Sunday, February 05, 2006

Spiritual Fulfillment

Went to church today. Morning and evening services. I don't know if I've ever felt so empty. It's not the preacher's fault. He preached a good sermon. I don't know if I've ever heard any better. I'm just lost. What made it feel so bad was probably that the people close to my age completely ignored me. They kept cuttin' their eyes at me during the service, but when it was over, they didn't talk to me. I used to be sort of in the same situation as them. I never did anyone like that. I always talked to anyone who came. No matter if they were near the same age, or not, I would try to be friendly. If you've never been a member of a Pentecostal church, you don't know what I feel. I wish you could. Man, it's like seeing someone eating your favorite food, and not being asked to have any. I was kinda hoping the preacher would ask me to testify. If he had, I would have opened up. It might would have embarrassed people who care about me, but I needed to testify.
A person's spiritual life is the most important thing. You feel so empty, and this horrible longing. You try to fill it with relationships and friends, but it doesn't work. I so long for the days when I knew what I was, and where I belonged. There have been so many different people at that church who found what they needed. I've seen it. People who were Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Muslim, even people who worshipped satan. All of them found what they needed spiritually. I can't believe I abandoned it. I think I just needed to experience everything in life, first. I don't know if I'm through, yet. The hope still exists that what this spirit needs will find what it has to have, soon.

7 Comments:

Anonymous james said...

Praise Jesus yeah i was hopeing you'd get to testify sunday night to i would of felt alot better and stuff

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well..I'm interested in the testimony.......and I'm not gonna be in a Pentacostal church to hear it..so would you mind bloggin it...your testimony..thanks......Cindy

12:45 AM  
Blogger Tonewah said...

lol. Pentecostal churches are cool. I think if I ever decide to start attending regularly again, I'll go to one. Anywho, I was raised, at least religiously, in the Church of God. I loved, and fully believed in it most of my life. I've been away from the church for few years, but I still attend occasionally. I don't think I could bring myself to regularly attend a boring church. Catholicism, Anglican, Episcopal, Orthodox, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and even Baptist churches bore me. Pretty much all churches are boring to me aside from Pentecostal churches.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol...you should hear me laugh,,,now is that your testimony? what you were gonna testify? What you were gonna stand up and say in church?? ..I have never been to a pentecostal church so i dont know what it would sound like. But i am thinking..that might not be what you needed to say.
Probably, it would be hard to just blurt it out..but uhh..I just scanned a years worth of blogs and you blurt out alot of other stuff..lol:PPP Like you said a person's spiritual life is the most important thing to them.

Maybe i am missing something at the Pentecostal Churches. I grew up in and out of the Methodist church. And your right..there is some things boring to it. But alas, we have changed some..the one i know now..we have guys with long hair and guitars up on stage Sunday mornings.. And they are rocking..lol

I dont think most people would say it was boring now...but its very different from the traditional methodist. I think we are calling ourselves..evangelical, evangelist United methodist. Sometimes i like it and sometimes i dont..I miss what i knew.

And I say i know the church..been there 10 years and i am there most every Sunday and some during the week but only been in a service twice in 365 days....none the year before...or the year before that...I guess I would be called a Lurker. Why?..the same thing you experienced in that pew in your Pentacostal church. I dont want to feel that. I dont want to have that deep feeling in the pit of myself that i dont belong there or there is some social circle i cant quite break into and i didnt know existed. Or hear the whispers. Or have no one reach for my hand when we all have to hold em and pray and there i would be..the break in the circle. Its a kind of purgatory, to be in a couple hundred people in a church crowd but feel incredibly all that....and lonely.

You are the only one who can tell it......the testimony....I cant be the only one interested......I really want to hear it..might help some of us listening. There is a chance...that in the journey of the telling.....you may stumble upon the road,,,,leading to what you're looking for. hmm? come on..put one foot in front of the other.....I walk it with ya...Cindy

12:15 PM  
Blogger Tonewah said...

Whoa! lol, dang.
No, Cindy, I wasn't really 'testifying' in my comment above. I think I was, in my own special way, kinda defending my choice to attend a pentecostal church. lol. The blog entry was triggered by the emotion ignited by attending my old church. The pastor was going around the church getting people to testify, and I was hearing all this good stuff. I just wanted to tell how I had gone to that church for twenty-something years, become disillusioned, mostly with myself, but also with the church, and stopped attending. I don't really know now what I would've said.

I guess I can try to lay out a few pieces of the puzzle and try to put 'em together. Walk with me... lol...

I was in a Christian Rock band back in the early 90's. It wasn't really very popular at the time, except with younger people. There were a few of 'em on the national scene, but they seemed watered down to me. We covered secular music when we played. We didn't think there was anything wrong with it. But we also came strong with the 'message'. I also felt that I wasn't accepted by the 'old line' religious people. We kinda saw them as the 'pharisees'. We were 'real', they were either faking, or not taking their responsibility to be 'fishers of men' seriously. We thought the 'religious' people were too caught up in the convention books and rules and regulations of being in an organized Christian church. Basically, they were putting a new kind of 'law' before the love that Christians are supposed to show for everyone, or so we thought.

But, I'm human, we were humans, and I did some things that made me not believe in myself anymore. After I failed myself, I felt as though I had failed everyone I was supposed to help. I guess that might be a litle vain, as well. It was more like I just quit caring.

Then, I realized I wanted to start enjoying my life. Years of self-denial made me want to explore some of the things I had previously disdained, or, if not disdained, at least didn't participate in because I felt those things were wrong.

I guess I really need to go back before the band to provide a better perspective. Being raised in a Church of God seems weird, looking back on it. If it was fun, pleasurable, or seemed decadent, it was wrong. Some examples: Bowling, playing cards, mixed bathing (men and women swimming at the same place, at the same time), wearing jewelery, going to a movie, dancing, playing any song that wasn't religious, wearing certain clothes, etc... Guys raised in the COG back in the day either became very outgoing, conservative suits, or they become individuals. I reckon I'm an individual.
Things are a lot different, now, though. They've changed a lot of the 'teachings'. I guess it was hard, but I wouldn't trade my experiences there for the world.

I've seen exorcisms. I've seen, and participated, in 'moves of the spirit', which are so hard to explain, I won't try.

Dang. I just read some of what I've just typed. I'm unable to be cohesive...

Anyway, the stuff I probably would've said in church that night, I don't think I feel as compelled to disclose in this forum. Something about the presence of 'the spirit' made me feel more obliged to divulge my insides.

Sorry, I know that's probably not what you wanted, but I did try!

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey its pretty close. Thanks for the go at it..I wanted the how you got to where you are now thing. Thats what you just shared. The details of the good stuff would be nice too but thats just me...cause i like details. And i am simple minded, you have to spell it out for me in detail..:P And then i'll ask you questions about it still...to make sure i got it straight. I found it incredibly hard to be cohesive myself writing you this email back.

Yeah i know what i was thinking when i was writing you about the Pentacostal church and it made my lip curl and my nose wrinkle like a bad smell..lol but I shouldnt judge cause i am not supposed to. Didnt mean for it come through like that. Lip curl and nose wrinkling came from my experience with anybody Pentacostal which is limited...generally and lately only to seeing em in the Country Buffet on sundays. And the women all sit together and the men all sit together. segregated. And they dress different. Before that, I just knew them to be clickish, like you had to have a special ticket to get in to their church or group. And they have looked at me and sized me up i felt and i always felt i didnt make the cut with em. As opposed to say the Baptist who always seem to be so inviting," Yall all come and yes,...sure...bring your drunk along brother too. Jesus has something for him"

And we're walking...lol

For myself I found being a Christian is a struggle. I didnt know that before i was one. On the outside of being a Christian, I thought it looked like it was easy for people and these Christian people were darn near perfect. And i knew i wasnt and so when i was a teenager, i figured it just wasnt for me, cause i couldnt be that good. And i wondered if other people's experience's are similiar. And you just showed me that they are.
I dont know how i got the idea that Christians are perfect into my head. Maybe all the church attending as a kid. It could be the root of why it is distasteful for people who are not christians. Maybe they have the same idea...You know you've heard it.."Oh those pompous goody two shoed church people christians. They think they are so good, but look at em. Why i saw so and so doing such and such on Sat nite and then in church sunday am....I dont know why they think they are better than me. They say one thing and do another. hypocrites the lot of em"..etc.

The point is..its not always a hop skip and jumping to the destination your gonna hang at..heaven. Its a journey, a walk, not a cake walk although--did you notice? we do seem to be walking in a circle,---its a road with bumps and turns...and hills and gravel in my shoe. And run off the road and slung under the bushes on the highway by the mack truck that hit me. I'm still gonna get there to the destination, since i was able to crawl out from under the bushes and now I'm on the steep uphill. If i could get the pick the gravel out of my shoe and out of my hands it be a bit more comfy. But I'll just keep pushing along.

It would have been hard for me to live the church of god lifestyle as a teenager. Hard enough that i would have bolted and maybe never looked back.

On the "good stuff"...see methodist dont stand up in church and go around the room testifying. Only one person per Sunday gets to do that..that would be the preacher or a special guest. Since i have to guess on good stuff...I would say..its how God has changed them or worked in their life and they would present supporting evidence to that.

But now.... i really do need to know. You may like this...I was raggin on you about telling your testimony in the morning.....and somebody asked me in the afternoon--- what was MY testimony?..lol Somebody wants to hear mine...rendered me speechless.

I've never been asked that and never said i had one, my first thought is "WTF ungus?@!. Get out of here! I dont have one!" all offended and the like.

Is it just my story of how i got to where I'm standing today..like you did? cause thats long and winding. I'll have to tell something. Maybe i'll just show this email....Must be God working right there..lol.. cause i have found that he really has a dead-on sense of humor. Just goes to show you........DO NOT ask people for what you dont have or cant give......and do unto others like you would have them do unto you. :P

That is something that the Church of God..hit the year 2000 and started changing 2000 years worth of their "teachings"?..Is that right? cause its pretty radical.

And yeah...I understand...your right..it'd be hard to feel the spirit, (we call it the holy ghost, i think thats the same) and testify out of the context. Sometimes the spirit just says, "Be still" and listen.

I understand that "old liners" vs. new generation. I have had the same attitude but couldnt have explained as well,,and it was not necessarily about the church. And the fishers of men and I think i fall more in the love for everybody your supposed to have at this point.

And we're still.....walking..

You ARE human, you fell off into a ditch in the road. I think..that it must happen with every Christian. But they usually hide it. I dont think thats a good thing. They should tell it..it helps others. Lots of Christians hanging out in the ditches...

Thats the only reason i am a Christian now. Somebody told me about their own struggles...and it included the same kind of things you are saying.

My best friend when we were teenagers. She said she wanted to drink and we did, makeout, and we did...NOT with each other...:P...just with boys...do what she wanted to do, sneak out of the house...booze sex and rock and roll! and I did.
But she also said..she knew that God didnt want that for her..but it was hard cause she wanted both.
I wanted what she had...the God part. Her "testimony" or she was really just sharing of herself showed me that I could have it too and still be a sinner. She laughed at me when she asked me if i was a christian and i replyed, "I believe in the christian faith but i'm not good enough to be one." She told me i didnt have to be good enough.
That i was also included.

That was huge. Especially in a world of religious segregation.

She let me in and watch her own internal struggle and that was the key for me. Maybe other people too. I dont have to be perfect neither do you. Thats why Jesus died. I just have to keep my feet on the pavement and my eye on the right road. Know where I live and keep dragging whats left of me home.

You know more about the spirit than i do. Somebody handed me an explanation of fruits of the spirit that i have yet to look at. But its interesting and talks more about all that "moves of the spirit", talking in tongues etc. all of which is scary to me and i did see some of it when i went to church with her at evangel temple here in Montgomery, AL

Maybe you are an example of a pioneer..in Christian rock in the midle of the Bible belt....when it wasnt the thing to do. If you believe God's in control of everything then he has been the whole time..and he has his reasons...while he's been walking the road with ya. i just caught up to lumber along a bit.. You've always had the free will to choose which path you took..where you went and isnt it funny that you choose to come home---to your church...where you knew the spirit was

From church to music and then music to church.

Yall have walked me along in a big wide circle..and it was a long one.....I thought at the very least I'd see something i hadnt seen before..lol.......

The prodgical son story. I remember it clearly cause I taught it two weeks ago. Dont you see yourself in it? He walked in a circle too--from his home to the world of parties, debachery and then he returned..back to his Father's home. I got good info on other christian's struggles..by your testimony---that the kind of struggles are the as mine. So I'm not all alone in it. But were you able to...find anything for yourself on our walking tour?...Cindy

1:23 PM  
Blogger Tonewah said...

No, I can't say that I see myself as the prodical. I walk in circles all the time. I think I'm just in the process of screwing my head on right. I'm looking for something, but I don't think church is it. I think I have more fun on the other team. I always pull for the underdog.

9:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home