Sunday, September 11, 2016

Between the lines of Faith

It's been a very long time since I've attended Sunday School.  You would think that after attending the same church for over 26 years, that I would be steadfast in this, but it's been a struggle.

Honey and I  used to teach K-1st grade together before we had kids, and it was just a joy!  The way the kids think and how they think is pretty hilarious at times and oh so refreshing.  Some of the first kids we taught are now 30 and have families of their own.  

Then I took some time off when we began our own family...  Okay, so I took a long time off, but Honey loves the little ones, and he has been teaching the same class each Sunday, for longer than we can remember. They love their Mr. D! He is easy going, goofy at times, and doesn't mind the noise, and is just lovable. But me? After being with our kids 24/7, and watching other people's children, working in the public schools, etc, I was worn and frankly, I had little tolerance for outright disobedience/disrespect that I saw in some of the kids. I know, it begins with the parents, but that is another time and discussion. 

Each Sunday for I've tried different ones through the years and each semester they do change.  Some are WAY too deep and philosophical and I was constantly lost and dread attending, some I struggled to relate to the direction or style of teaching, some had those who liked to debate and made me want to run away, and others left me wishing I'd slept in. One, I particularly really gleaned a ton from, was from a pilot who has spent time in the middle east.  He has the most wonderful insight to customs, the people, and when he puts it in correlation to the Bible, it really just becomes so clear.  One of the lessons that stuck with me was on the simple lesson on Zaccheus, a tax collector.  How totally bad it was for a middle Eastern man, to climb a tree, run, or or just be in the presence of Jews (because he was a crooked and wealthy tax collector).  Another was the lesson he presented on the Parable of the Prodigal Son - again, how the actions of the son, who would have been really dead to his family,  and brought much shame and disgrace to them, but Jesus used the story to show the most disgusting and shameful things, could and would be forgiven and how the wreckless/abandoned love of a Dad brought forgiveness and rejoicing.   

This morning, I decided to give Sunday School a try again.  Fruit of the Spirit lead by our lead pastor's wife.  I knew that she was real, focused, and had a passion for sharing.  I must say, this class is EXACTLY what I've been looking for all these years!  While the focus is about the Fruit of the Spirit, it is about each of our broken stories, how we cry out so many times to God, and without Him, we truly cannot do it on our own.   Then she shared her story, her struggles, and fears and I knew, this was the class I could not miss. This was not just a class, but it is about relational and personal.  She said we all have stories, a background, experiences, some are broken, some are healing...  Today she related and spoke simply about Faith...  

Faith - it is trust and it is intellectual
1. strong or unshakable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence2.  belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) :  belief in the Traditional doctrines of a religion
Faith is:
  1. An attribute of God - Psalms 146:5  How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
  2. A positive characteristic of men -
  3. A characteristic that men lack -
     Romans 1:31

    Luke 8:25   And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”

  4. A  characteristic of the Holy Spirit -
    2 Corinthians 5:7     We live by faith, not by sight.
    Hebrews 11:39-40    These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
If we don't have faith, we cannot do make it on our own. We cannot be victorious.  

John 10:10  10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I know I didn't take the best notes, but frankly, I was struggling to just breathe.  My heart was still, listening...  I've been thinking of the words she spoke all day, and I know...  For me, it's about lack of trust, self worth, forgiveness, purpose, childhood parental inflected scars and memories, search for approval, belonging, trust (yeah, there it is again), and let's not talk about fears yet (beside canned biscuits and balloons)...  

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