My Spiritual History

not quite amish

I used to go to a church like this. No really, I did. And for a while, my wife and children did too. Were we born into it? No, but there are some Christians that do migrate this way, adopting the practices and culture. These folks in the photo are Conservative Mennonites, cousins to the Amish, and some of the German Brethren. They are sitting down to a nice meal.

As a person of faith, I studied these groups for years, for more than 20 years in fact, before I ever stepped foot in one of their churches. So how did I wind up there?

In addition to studying them, some of my ancestors were Mennonite. I remember my Grandmother telling me about it. But then something happened in our family, that was so life changing, so horrible, that I felt an immediate need to get serious about God. My wife had been having very difficult health problems, serious, then life threatening health problems for a couple of years, and then they found cancer. It was a blood cancer.

So we were people of faith, and yet, we lived with death being close to us every day. For me I was in a constant state of grieving, daily. No one saw it, but it flowed all through me, and there was always a great fear that my wife would die. And not only that, I knew I could die at any moment. Life was not a guarantee.

So I started going to the best type of church I could find, like the one pictured above. I had to get this right! No more fooling around with churches I had been so disappointed with in the past.

But it wasn’t until later, that I realized I had made a terrible mistake. At first my wife was not able to go to any church due to her health. Even after a bone marrow transplant, she was on chemo. And it took a number of years for her to improve to a somewhat normal life.

So it was me and the children going. But when my wife did start attending she didn’t want to be there. It was not her culture, and she would never join. She felt like she didn’t fit in. And our children felt the same way.

And me? I was having a great time. So it took several years for me to realize, or to become aware of, how it was all affecting my family in a negative way. And when it hit me, how they struggled internally, it shattered me. There was more grieving then, but in a different way.

And at the core – I thought I had been doing the right thing. So I backed off my faith, we left there, even though we still keep in touch with some of the people. They are beautiful, loving, family oriented people. And by the way they are against war.

We go to a non-denominational church now, and culturally we fit in. But you know what? There a number of things I don’t agree with, and I’m still disappointed with churches. Maybe that’s why I don’t write about them, and why I often turn to nature for healing. I still do believe though, in the One who made us all.

I wish you peace.

P.S. I’ll post some poetry later today.

  

Writing © Copyright 2017, ancient skies

image by unknown artist 

Sunday Evening

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We shuffle in quietly taking our seats, stillness envelopes

our beings, as our prayers seek out the light of the candles,

lifting themselves beyond what we can see.

And we read:

“In you Lord, I have taken refuge;

let me never be put to shame;

deliver me in your righteousness.

Turn your ear to me,

come quickly to my rescue;

be my rock of refuge,

a strong fortress to save me.

Since you are my rock and my fortress…..”

With a few more encouraging words,

flames flicker, and for some a tear will fall,

and for others they are still praying,

as we quietly stand, and walk

out the door.

       

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2016, Ancient Skies

Quote, Psalm 31:1-4, from the NIV Bible

There Are Still Ghosts

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And there are still ghosts in some of our churches

wandering from the graveyard, passing through walls

sliding quietly into the pews, moving over

out of habit, silence surrounding.

       

And while they wonder where we are –

down at the bingo hall, women adjust

their lipstick, and men tuck in their shirts

and everyone listens

as “G9!” is called.

     

And back at the church the motion detector trips,

moved by the wind, a signal

for the ghosts

to return

to their beds

at the graveyard.

      

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2016, ancient skies

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“When we love people, we give them hope.”

First Friday – Our Father

Mountains and Rivers 400

Our Father

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be Your name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our debts,

as we have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 6:9-13

      

Not much commentary needs to be made here. This a feature of faith I present once a month, on the first Friday of each month. 

Millions of Christians around the world repeat this prayer, or something close to it, each week. In the these verses Jesus teaches us how to pray. Notice the different elements of asking for the Creator’s help in earning a living, in forgiving others, and delivering us from evil. In a word, strength.

Have a great weekend, and I wish you peace.

      

Bible Quote from the New International Version

             

Commentary and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Old Church House

Maine and More 345

They still use the old church house,

down at the harbor, but only,

for special occasions, weddings,

and funerals.

A young man from Portugal,

came looking for faith,

but he was guided to the museum,

where it was stored,

looking pretty for tourists,

and photography.

He wondered, if faith would ever,

come back again,

but everyone went to sleep,

no one cared.

He decided he would return,

if he ever needed,

a wedding,

or a funeral.

 

 

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone and peace!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”