Loving The Carpenter

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Loving The Carpenter —  4-21-2018

   

My Testimony and The Facts as I see them:  Over a lifetime, starting at age 4 with Bible stories told while sitting in my Grandmother’s lap, I have learned, changed and come to a few startling conclusions. The first step was knowing the Gospel that Jesus is our Savior, the Savior of the world. I don’t remember when I first heard it. I have just always known. At age 13 at church camp, I received (accepted) Him as my Savior, was Born Again. I was now a true member of the Christian faith. I went on in the ‘normal’ course of life for that day and time. I attended church with my family and was a good girl. When grew up, I had my own family, and we continued with Sunday’s at the building. We even became very involved: I taught Sunday School, served as church treasurer, and my husband was a deacon.
Then, twenty years after being Born Again, I experienced a ‘second touch’ from Jesus. When that happened, I really put my hand in the hand of The Carpenter from Galilee. This radically changed my life. I began reading the Bible at home in private study. I joined a home Bible study with women from several churches, and learned even more! I was learning from the Holy Spirit who is our Teacher. As time went on I began to see other things in Christianity. I saw in church, mean people with money in leadership and good ordinary people left on the sidelines. I heard dull preaching, bad teaching, judgmental gossiping. I heard sermons without substance and saw ceremony without celebration. I found admiration for the way “Christianity” works among my friends, not in Sunday morning sessions, but in gatherings with others who had gotten the second touch like I did. We were all full of love, joy and excitement, and it was spreading all over town. It was a sovereign move of God.
 A leader at my church board meeting was not amused at this. He opined concerning our new enthusiasm:  “This laughing and chattering in the hallways before Sunday service, people hugging everybody they can get their hands on–is silly and irreverent. We need to put a stop to it!”  My cheeks burned red and I wanted to cry. I had come to really love The Carpenter, and it made me want to love other people as I had never done in my life. I was just getting started in my new walk with Him and had a target on my back already!! In my OWN church.
Soon after that meeting, my family felt the Lord was moving us on in our new journey. We gave our resignations from our positions and Elvis-style, left the building by the back door. We went into a full-tilt Charismatic spiritual life with others around town of like mind. It was a glorious time. We were FREE and everybody was ‘kin by the blood of Jesus.’  Some of us were still in the denominational cradle, but attended the Charismatic meetings on the sly.
My family met on Sunday in my sister’s living room, and it wasn’t long before people began joining us—-leaving their various churches. Within a few months we acknowledged ourselves as a home church, going from house to house just like the Book of Acts. As time went along, our numbers grew. Instead of splitting up, having more than one group, we stuck together and rented a large house to meet in. We could fit everybody in and used bedrooms for counseling, classrooms and our weekly Saturday “Jesus & Me Club” meetings with the kids. Friday night was ‘prayer and share’ and just loving one another. Sunday morning was a worship (singing) service, a teaching or preaching, then we ate our noon covered dish meal together.  Most of us stayed until about 3:00 PM.
But, within a few years, there was unrest among us. Strangers we did not know crept in among us. We received them gladly. But they sowed seeds of discord. These malcontents did not come openly to voice their concerns or opinions, nor did they speak up in our business meetings when we discussed plans, expenses and so forth. They worked quietly in secret, one on one, under-mining our fellowship, untying the cords of love. I was shocked when the death blow fell so hard. I was wounded by my brothers and sisters in the Lord. My heart was broken. I watched my friends drift back into their old denominations. The people who caused all the problems regrouped and started another church, which did not include those who were still my friends. My vision of a real family in God was a failure. I got lost in pain, remorse, guilt, and depression. The devil beat me senseless.
I made several bad decisions in a state which might be called ‘insane.”  I moved from my home town, ran away from the shame of utter failure as a woman of God. It took me about 7 years to really find myself again, and finally stop having thoughts of, “This is what’s left of me, after what was done to me and what I did to myself.”  When I woke up, I was alone and self-supporting for the first time at 50 years of age. Like the woman with the issue of blood, I grabbed the fringe of the Carpenter’s prayer shawl and hung on for dear life!
I had membership in 3 more churches as the years went by. One was small, one was medium and one was HUGE. All Charismatic. I met people and learned things at each place. In time I remarried, and Tony and I were leaders of a home group for about three years, before we moved from San Antonio. I came to see all three of those churches, no matter what size, as being about the same as most other denominational settings, but with a a sort of ‘holier’ twist. Denomination was the pattern we knew, and we just went with it. But it was/is wrong and the Lord confirmed that to me.
In time I saw these foundational truths:  1) The original Believers in Bible days were regarded by all, including themselves, to be a sect in Judaism. 2) It was necessary to have Gentile Believers in synagogue among the Jews because they were pagans with no background in God’s law. They needed a lot of instruction in the way of righteousness. 3) Jewish Believers in Jesus did not need to stop being Jews. 4) The Apostles wrote the testimony of Jesus (The Gospels) and letters that were passed around among Believers. These were abbreviated versions of God’s laws to help teach the Gentiles in their home meetings.  5) They called themselves “Believers in the Way”. The people were ALL Jewish: some by birth and the others by the Blood of Jesus.
Even today Jews do not need to stop being Jews to know Jesus. He was and is THEIR Messiah, THEIR King. Gentiles are supposed to be a part of them, not trying to make them become “Christians.” Paul taught this himself. He knew Jews had 6,000 years of worshiping God and learning His laws. Gentiles were steeped in ungodly traditions and pornographic rituals. I know of two people, one born Jewish and one born Gentile. They don’t know each other. Both came to follow Jesus, but neither was ever a Christian! They both had the Torah and a King James Bible. Both consider themselves to be Jews. One by birth and the other by The Blood of Jesus.
I believe this should be the norm for Believers as it was when this whole thing was new. I have shed the way of  “Pagan Christianity” to become who I was called out to be. The Christian Religion will never cease to be. It will grow. Some churches will be as huge as ever. And, they will all participate in the One World Religion that is coming. It will include EVERYBODY so there is no right nor wrong any more. Pick Buddha, Mohammed, Wiccan,  even God/Jesus. They are all teaching the right way to live. “There are many paths to God.”
But, before that happens, Jews and others are coming right now, to embrace a very Jewish Messiah Yeshua. These may be the ones God will call “The Remnant.”  They will leave the name “Christian” and return to being just saying I am a Believer or “‘Believers in The Way” as it was in the beginning. Jesus is The Way, the Truth and the Life. Those End Time Believers will all really love each other, and the very Jewish Carpenter: The Nazarene.
Day by day the Believers were of the same mind (in one accord) as they shared the gospel in the temple.  Breaking bread from house to house, they shared their meals together with joy, gladness and simplicity of heart.  Acts 2:46

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright August 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at
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Lay Down The Sword

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Lay Down The Sword — 4-14-2018
There’s a verse in Scripture that says “The rain falls on the just and unjust.”  It means the whole area gets rain: the Godly praying man and his chicken stealing neighbor on the next farm! It might cause us to wonder why some people who don’t seem to deserve it, are still blessed at times.
There’s another saying, “into each life some rain must fall.” This is unwelcome rain, the other side of the coin, when good people have bad things happen to them. We might be singing, “How high’s the water, Mama? Six feet high and rising.”  Like the people in Houston a while back. It’s way more than a just rainy day!
It seems these good and bad times are random, without rhyme or reason. But the good people will praise God in the good times and trust Him in the bad times. When things are bad, we know we won’t make it through in our own strength. There’s no “Onward Christian Soldiers” being sung. It is just completely blindsided and overwhelmed servants of the Lord, hanging on for dear life!. This is when we realize we must lay our weapons down, stop fuming and fighting, and just trust the Lord in quiet prayer, enduring as much as we are able.
The court battle our family went through in 2016-17 was one of those ‘helpless’ times; an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. It began with murder. Then while the dirt on the graves was still fresh, the “games” began. We were up and we were down. First there was the money: attorneys aren’t known to work cheap, the tab for our family with traveling expenses added in, was around 30K. Then there were the rumors, accusations, lies, and acrimonious phone calls with family we once loved and they loved us. There was open hostility even hate; and obvious neglect of the most innocent family member by those who had her. She was a BABY! It went on 13 months. Over a year of heartbreak and stress. But there was joy in standing up for the little one.
Together we soon saw that we must not respond in kind. We had to lay down the swords of ill will and pray God’s will be done. There are no guarantees of the outcome in such situations, even when we do trust Him. We can’t know He will do what we want, but we can hope. And we can trust that He will do what is best in the situation. He’s sees a bigger picture than we do. The whole thing is in His hands. Our emotions ran high and low, and the fear factor came and went with each new development. But we always managed to have a measure of trust in the King of the Universe—La Ha Roi: the Living God Who Sees.
For the righteous, the purpose of unexpected, unwelcome bad things is so we can rise to the occasion and show ourselves how well we can walk in righteousness, lean on Jesus, and overcome the real enemies, which is fear and pain. We must take our trust in God to a higher level than ever before. We are not tested so God can see what we are capable of. He already knows! The test is so WE will know.
Have you ever come through the toughest storm you ever had in your entire life and marveled that you were able to get through it?  You rejoiced that you came out the other side more or less “clothed and in your right mind”!!   Yeah, me too.
Some trust in chariots, and some trust in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Through You we will push down our enemies. I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. You have saved us from our enemies, and have put them to shame them that hated us.  Psalm 20:7; 44:5-7
 
< Savannah Reams at her forever home with Mama, Daddy, Sister, Brother 10-3-17 >
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright October 2017

Stop Fighting

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Stop Fighting — 3-24-2018
There is plenty in Scripture about facing and fighting enemies; and nothing that says we cannot defend our possessions and our person against them. We can even do hand to hand fighting to defend our homes, our possessions, and our nation in military service. The commandment ‘do not kill’ refers to premeditated murder.
However, there is always that thing about ‘taking up our cross’ to follow Jesus. We are ‘living sacrifices’ so for most of us today it is not an actual physical death. We become ‘dead’ to personal desires, pride, selfishness. It’s the way of the cross to sacrifice our lives: to endure insult and/or verbal attacks from others. We don’t ask “What have I done to deserve this?”  Don’t try to ‘get even.’ So, this means we must stop fighting and get busy dying!
Whoa, Nellie!!!!  How do we do this?  As a child, I acquired an overblown sense of injustice—-a ‘you can’t do that to me’ attitude. It kicked in when I felt threatened or slighted. I would become indignant inside, even if I didn’t say a word. I knew when things were ‘not fair.’ I felt like a misfit. I was uncomfortable a lot of the time. I felt rejected by some adult authority figures and most of my peers. I was like the weakest hen in the flock, even the nerds and other rejects got to peck me! I got tough and became a real fighter inside. This preserved my self esteem. But by the time I got to my teens, I had become an awkward, sensitive and very shy person. Most people don’t know I am shy, because I can talk in most any situation and seem OK. I had become a survivor.
My adult life has been a work toward becoming an OVERCOMER. I learned that hurt people will hurt others. So I worked on getting healed so I wouldn’t do so much damage to other people. The Lord told me to stop trying to be understood, and work at understanding others and their problems. It is an ongoing ‘fixing’ of me. But taking this path allowed me to understand and forgive my birth family, some school teachers, and a few grade school harpies-in-training. This process is Dying To Self. Jesus didn’t fight much. Instead, when His follower cut off His enemy’s ear, He just stuck it back on!  And soon after that, He died for that same enemy.
So, no Ear Whackers allowed among us! Yet, I can still feel adversarial and even fight. But step by painful step, I’m learning to be the person I was born to be. First we learn what to do, then keep walking until that WAY is our way of life, fulfilling our kingdom purpose. And we must have faith. That means, we trust the Lord in all of this. We come to understand the faith Jesus had in us when He died for us. He went to His death believing we were worth dying for. If your Bible says in the verse below “I live by faith IN the Son of God” that is incorrect. Before we put our faith in Him, 2000 years ago, He put His faith IN US. When we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live. Yet, not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life I live now in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Galatians 2:20 KJV

Charlene Reams Manning,

Slave of the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright September 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at

How Can I Be Saved?

Weekly Sabbath Survey

How Can I Be Saved? —  3-17-2018


There are quite a few groups that call themselves Christian, but their understanding of salvation is contrary to good doctrine. Their plan for being saved is each person must ‘work’ themselves into it by doing good. This might seem to make sense, but it misses the mark of Truth. Christian Believers are for sure required to do ‘good works.’ But these works have never been about securing salvation, rather (according to the teachings of James the Lord’s brother, the works are the outward manifestation of our salvation. We are saved first, then the good we do matters in heaven. Doing good without being saved is a waste of our time! Think of wealthy people in the public eye who are decidedly NOT saved, may even publicly disdain the Living God, but are giving away a lot of money doing good all over. They profess weird theology, false gods, live immoral lives, and are trying to make themselves good through their good works. They help others, but that doesn’t make them GOOD.
Whether strictly in the context of Judaism or among the sect called Believers in The Way, it has always been recognized and taught that salvation is a GIFT from God the Father. The concept and the term “Born Again” was a Jewish thing, even before the Lord Jesus was born. A Jewish friend years ago told me that the rabbis still teach being Born Again. My surprise was so evident, he chuckled and said, “Billy Graham didn’t invent it, we did!” (It’s odd to me that some Jews know more about us than we have any idea about them! They live quietly among us, go to school with us, play bridge or golf with us, mostly keeping their spiritual lives a secret from us.)
So, we see Jesus in the New Testament in conversation with a Pharisee named Nicodemas. In response to questions from him, Jesus spoke concerning the Way of Salvation, saying, “You must be Born Again.”  Nicodemas replied, “How can a man enter again into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus said, “You mean to tell me you are a Master Teacher in Israel and you don’t know what it means to be Born Again?!” In that day, Pharisees were teaching a concept of “salvation through circumcision.” They were teaching this ‘new thing’ to Gentile Believers, instead of the Born Again way. For this reason the Jerusalem Council was convened. (Acts 15) Paul was hoppin’ mad, wrote the Book of Galatians. He wasn’t objecting so much to Gentiles becoming Jews, but to his Gentile converts being taught ‘another way’ of salvation. (Jesus said, I AM THE WAY.)
Circumcision for those adult males was a choice, but it was not salvation. It was instituted by God with Abraham as a sign of belonging to Him. But it is an outward appearance. We can sprinkle a baby, put on “Christian” jewelry, give money to the church or the poor. But sooner or later, we must have an actual inward spiritual experience which is necessary for us to be in covenant with our Abba (Father God) and Jesus. Salvation is a spiritual transformation that occurs in the heart of a human being by understanding and accepting the work of Jesus at the cross. His blood shed for The World. Salvation must be understood before it can be obtained.
I have heard testimonies of people who were saved at age five. In their highly prized by Jesus childlike faith they KNEW they were saved. Later they learned more about it, but the seed of salvation was with them when they gave their life to Jesus. And it went with them all their lives until the time came to accept the adult version and understanding of our faith. There are older people who stubbornly refuse God’s plan, but they finally gave in and asked Him to accept and forgive their sins. These ‘better late than never’ folks are sometimes hard to understand, but if they are sincere, God never turns them away. We look on the outside, but the Lord sees the heart. It isn’t our place to even speculate. Just leave those late comers in God’s hands. He can sort the sheep from the goats in that great and terrible DAY when the time for sorting finally arrives.
When they heard [that Jesus was both Lord and Christ] they were pricked in their hearts and said, “What must we do to be saved?”  Peter said, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Acts 2:36-39
 
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright  July 2017

Aspiration

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Aspiration  3-10-2018
[Webster] Aspiration: a strong desire to achieve something high or great; ambition. In today’s Christian communities we see two extreme models: 1) most commonly the pastor is a very strong leader. Some are held in such high regard, it becomes adoration. There are NO additions, subtractions or complaints against “Pastor” or his decisions. 2) Everyone is equal, each one has a voice. The only followers appear to be new converts and small children. Decisions are made by democratic methods, i.e. voting. Isn’t there something more Biblical than either of these two?

Yes! The Five Fold Ministry designates offices and functions within the group. The beginning congregation of Jesus worked this plan under the leadership of the first Apostles. Nobody aspired to be anything but a servant of the Lord. However, being equal does not mean ‘the same.’ Each person was called and appointed by God to the position that suited them. All was revealed either by Jesus before He ascended, or later by Holy Spirit when they prayed for guidance, and even by drawing lots. They trusted God.

The five offices of ministry were Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher. Pastor and Teacher are often the same person. Each office function is defined in Scripture, and may be carried out by both men and women. Whatever they were doing back then, we should be doing now! The duties sometimes overlap so the job gets done. There is no place to be offended at a stepped on toe. There is also no place for elbowing ourselves through in self-promotion. The goal is to serve one another in humility. Then go out and spread the Gospel!

In addition to the Big Five, there were appointed elders, deacons, and administrators, who helped with organizing, visiting the sick, and so forth. There were even ‘givers’ whose function seemed to be sharing their wealth so the congregation had an operating fund. One major job was the distribution of food and other help for the poor among them. The Jewish mentality within the community at that time did not elevate leaders to positions of great authority, but of great responsibility and TRUST. They had fear of God that we Gentiles have a hard time acquiring to this day, even after 2000 years. When leaders betray the scared trust God has given, many just say, ‘sorry…oops’, feel forgiven and go on like it never happened. This is wrong. Jewish Believers who founded this whole thing we now call “Christianity” knew and understood the heavy requirements on people in leadership and the accountability required of everyone.

All of us should be aware that we are in the ministry of Jesus, according to the call of God on our lives. I have seen children minister, pray for one another. As teenagers my boys went to “Believers Boot Camp.” There, kids ministered to each other as much or more than the adults. There was salvation, healing, even deliverance in meetings and in the dorms. Holy Spirit is present in every blood-bought Believer, no matter how young or old. We are all used of God when we are willing. Doing the work of the ministry does not always mean “leader.” It means we are serving the Lord our Savior the best we can, and spreading His great love.

Aspirations are for people in the world. They climb the ladder of success. We don’t climb. We just answer to a Higher Power. He is the one who ascended. Everything is done as if it’s for the Lord, because IT IS. That means being faithful, doing our best at the job we are called to, and keeping our promises in all things. The Bible teaches us to start where we are no matter how small it may seem, and let God take us where He wants us to go. It also says promotion comes from the Lord.

And (Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.  Ephesians 4:11-13 KJV

 
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright June 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at

The Ancient Paths

Weekly Sabbath Survey
The Ancients Paths —  3-3-2018

   

Rocking the Boat. Quitting the Herd. Making Waves. Swimming Upstream. Thinking Outside the Box. All of these terms refer to people who challenge status quo. When I started to do this in my life as a Believer, I called it Holy Cow Tipping. Folk legends say Cow Tipping was a sport for rural teens. They sneaked up on a cow sleeping standing up, pushed it over, frightening the poor animal, getting a big laugh out of it. I added the “holy” part because I challenge church traditions/rituals that are so ingrained they are our “Sacred Cows” like in India. I ‘push over’ false doctrines. I quote pesky Scriptures. People like me want to fix something the rest of everybody can’t see is broken. (Think Martin Luther!) We cause problems. We’re troublemakers. But these are people who make history because they see what others don’t. Albert Einstein was a scientific outcast for YEARS among his fellow geniuses. Nobody listened to him. Then, he got E=MC2, and the outcast made history!  It’s being a pioneer.
Over 30 years ago, I received teaching that made me think we should be doing more Jewish things instead of the Gentile things we got from Pagan Christianity. I saw us as a wild branch grafted into the Jewish olive tree, but refusing to take on the properties of the host tree. I felt the Christian faith was anemic and under-powered because we didn’t participate in things the Lord said we should. (Like the Sabbath and the Seven Levitical Feasts.) There were a few others saying this, but back in my day, it was very few. There was no big grassroots movement of followers wanting to do what we were saying.
Now, some years later, there’s an unfettered Hebraic roots “thing” striving to discover long lost truths. It is a ground swell, a legitimate force in modern Christianity. It is bungling around a bit, with no exact plan. But this may be a better way than following some big name leader who has it all figured out, telling one and all his way is The Way. We’ve done this in some measure time after time, and it never works too well. Our false gods promise health, wealth, fame, and a host of ‘feel good’ things. I’m sort of sitting on the sidelines now, cheering for people who are willing to challenge centuries of ‘stuff’ to go after something more divine, something more of the Spirit of God than the self-centered materialism we have had in America for more than 40 years.
I pray each group and congregation finds their way to the ancient paths of righteousness that will work every time, if we have an honest, open heart. We can begin by not judging others who are doing it differently than our group is doing it. No matter what new thing we do, we always drag a lot of baggage along with us. We always pack up before we leave! But at least we have challenged status quo. We did leave. We are trying. The Jews didn’t get it right all the time either. It’s a hit and miss service we do unto the Lord. But we must keep trying. We must follow Jesus and the Apostles, but follow them on the ancient paths. And, no matter how flat we fall, we must get up and try again. Even if what we do is too little too late for our once great nation as a whole, Jesus still saves people one at a time. And He always has a faithful remnant. Don’t look for big crowds. Look for the few, doing the right thing, not in some great hall that holds thousands, but in some little place where two or three can gather in His name and find Him in their midst.
Because my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to false gods. And the false gods have caused my people to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in a way that does not go up. Their land is made desolate, and they are a perpetual laughingstock among other nations; everyone who sees will shake his head in astonishment.  Jeremiah 18:15-17

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright July 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at

 

 

On The Other Hand

Weekly Sabbath Survey
On The Other Hand—  2-24-2018

   

I have been sort of a student of the human condition and the human mind for quite a few years. I was my own first test subject! One thing I learned early on is this: we are truly “‘fearfully and wonderfully made” as David said. We are all very much alike, and yet, each of us is unique. I learned that some people’s minds work very differently from mine. I can see something in nature or human behavior and The Lord shows me a Biblical truth. But for every person like me there is someone who, when presented with a Bible teaching or lesson, begins immediately thinking of the opposite of what is being taught. In time, I came to see these people cannot help doing this. They say, “Yes, but what about . . .”  And a conversation, discussion, or argument ensues.
There was a friend in my church back in my hometown. We were acquaintances before she joined our merry band of misfits. We always brought covered dishes Sunday morning and ate together after our worship and teaching time. Some days we stayed in fellowship until way into the afternoon. The rest of the week, we spent in making a living and “doing unto others.” Many times in those conversations after the dishes were done, this friend would begin going over the sermon with what I came to think of as “On The Other Hand” or “Point and Counter Point” or at the worst, “On The Contrary.” This is very easy to do with the Bible. It has things that seem to contradict each other, David said, “I will trust the Lord, and not fear.”  In another place he said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust the Lord.” So, is he afraid or trusting God?  He’s both!  The Bible is the whole truth. Both sides of the issue.
As this person in my church talked with me, sort of giving me a teaching of the other way of thinking, I wondered if people like her hear a teaching and spend the whole time thinking of an argument against what is being said. If so, they will miss the actual lesson! I had respect for this friend and worked at not getting upset with her. (God gave me grace.) I allowed both points of view were valid. Others joined in and it was many times a good discussion. But I detected an element of pride with her. Like she had a ‘gotcha’ mentality, seemed to want to trip me up. (I remembered the guys who asked Jesus questions, hoping they could trick Him into saying something heretical.) This went on now and again for as long as she stayed with us. She eventually moved on, but we stayed in close contact because of a para-church group with events we all attended. (Small town.)
I have to admit, I learned from that friend. One thing was, a person who is determined to do a continual critique of your work cannot be much of an encouragement to you. The one-up-man-ship prevents it. So, don’t waste much time trying to prove yourself to them or ever expecting them to truly approve of you. Another thing I learned was God saying, “I don’t want you to ever do this to another person!” When a person is sincerely doing their best to serve God, unless they are preaching something Biblically wrong, just zip it. There are exceptions. Like mentoring another person. Part of mentoring is correction. Nobody likes to be corrected, but it is necessary. Another time to speak up is when you recognize you are discerning something NOT RIGHT. But, criticism and discernment are not the same thing. So, mostly, we need to cheer others on, not give them grief. Lastly, I came to see even my worst critics functioned to force me to stay on my toes and not go off the beam. Their negative input was a test the Lord allowed. If I lived over it with grace, no malice for the detractor, I had passed the test.
My friend and I both moved away from our little town. Years later, we both attended a funeral, and had a nice long visit afterwards. She acknowledged the good ol’ days when I was her pastor, even thanked me for what we all had together when we were so young in the Lord. She was as loving and sweet as a sister could be. I really was glad I got to see her one last time and hug her real good. I think both of us have good memories.
I know how to be submit myself to want [and on the other hand] I know how to be abundant; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret of both how to be filled [and on the other hand] how to be needy, how to be affluent and how to suffer want. I have strength to overcome all things in the One Who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright July 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at