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Archive for August, 2009

August Post

It’s been over a week now since my daughter and I came back from our
vacation. The first week was awesome, as we camped along the Appalachian
trail (meaning, no amenities except a potty at the trailhead parking
lot, put no camping fees either!).  What a wonderful time did we have!
We washed in the creek and cooked over an open fire, chopping for fire
wood tree trunks that had been cut down. Was so thankful to have my
good Fiskars axe (couldnt’ve done without it).  There were some black
bears (a mother bear with two cubs) and they got into some church group
campers’ food.  One evening, right at dusk when my daughter and I went
for our last bathroom trip to the trailhead, a bear cub ran right in
front of us on the trail back to it’s mama
(who was further up in the
woods). The Raven cliffs trail is a pretty curvy one, it has steep
upgrades and downgrades the 2.5 mi. trek to Raven cliffs and back. So
it makes for a good day hike. It follows a creek with many pretty
little waterfalls and has twists and turns, (that’s how we “surprised”
that little bear cub, coming around a tight curve). I will post piccs
from along the trail on my newest blog photo album.

 

My precious Anna got so scared after seeing that cub that she wanted to
stay in the car that night… But I convinced her that there’s no way
the Lord would let anything bad happen to us. After all, He knows every
single hair on our little heads!
So we returned back to our tent. There
were no other campers there that night and even I felt a bit uneasy
about camping there all alone. So I kept the fire burning all night to
keep away the bears. It also provided us a sweet bonus, cooking our
breakfast over last nite’s fire, still hot!  Oh, what a memorable
camping trip! We got wet a few times, slept in our car a couple of
nights, found a cute cuckoo clock in a little German shop
(something I’ve always wanted!) and we sure did some good mother-daughter
bonding! Praise God! I’ve felt so guilty for ignoring her so much due
to the job and it’s pressures. At our second campsite (this one was at a
real campground) Anna also made a little friend Abby (Abigail) who’s a
year younger than she. It was pretty rainy those days but the girls had
a blast, mud-sliding and waiting the rains to pass at grandparent’s
pop-up trailer.

We then continued to MN where the elders were holding their meetings that span across the whole US.  It was a sweet-sad gathering for me as I heard a lot of condemning of dead faith and heresy -type preaching, straight from the elder’s mouths. The congregations are very much in line with the preaching, as has been since early 1900’s. There was a certain subject of past disagreement from the early 70’s brought up with a stern rebuke, and there was a direct reminder to not repeat such… I questioned my relatives, why this should be brought up now…  As I talked with my cousin about this flock agreeing about there being no other living faith/denom. etc. where a man can be saved- I stated that “I cannot agree with such teaching, becauseI believe that the gifts of the Spirit are many, that there are many members in the body etc.” Saying, “how it hurts me to hear this kind of teaching and my conscience will not allow me to agree with such doctrine…” There were other ears picking up the conversation, I’m sure, as we talked in the hallway leading to the living room area.  Oh there were such precious gatherings and the people were so dear… They are very forgiving, humble servants of God. I love them dearly! I met dozens of my cousins and Anna got to meet so many relatives, she really misses them all and is still asking, “Mommy, when can we go back?”

The people in my childhood faith continue to believe that the kingdom keys were given to ‘this living faith’ alone and that there needs to be a human mediator that belongs to ‘this living faith’ that can testify sins forgiven… I was rebuked by a statement that “this is what the elders say and they are always right so we must believe it.” I departed somewhat sad but also very touched by the loving concern that my relatives held for my ‘lost’ state.  My cousin hugged me so tight as he and his sweet wife came outside to see us one more time (after we had already bid our goodbyes), asking for forgiveness which is a common tradition (a very wonderful way of finding Peace with God and fellow believers -also beneficial in achieving inner healing).  Only on a few occasions in my lifetime have I ever felt so touched and so cared about! It brought tears to my eyes over and over again as I thought about our farewell during our 3-day return trip back home.  Oh what a precious flock!

But How can one church put restrictions on God’s Grace and Mercy? It belongs to all! And how can an eye say to an elbow, I have no need of you? I pray that Lord Jesus will soon reveal to OALC and all these precious workers in the fields of His Kingdom that His mercy and grace have no boundaries! The Laestadian churches in Finland don’t verbally exclude other churches to the extent that the Laestadian
churches do elsewhere, in Northern Scandinavia and in the North American continent, where a good size portion of the preaching centers around living faith vs. dead faith and so on…

I have long felt that the Holy Spirit is grieved by the deliberate rejection of other members in the body of Christ, that I have to state where I stand.  I pray that His will be done and if there are any erroneous beliefs, Lord would have them exposed (because there is denial and bondage that hurts precious believers, whether they acknowledge it or not).

So now I’ve made it clear as to where I stand…

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