Personal stuff

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Currently Reading
Not Forsaken – Healing the Father Wound
By Donald E. Moore
see related

Heather steps up on soapbox:

Some of you may wonder about how often I mention Pastor Don in my posts. It is not putting him on a pedestal. It is true that I do mention his name a lot, but thought I would give you my philosophy of posting. I believe in giving credit where credit is due. If I read something in a book, I quote the book and author. If I hear a great Bible study, I make sure that people know that it is not my work that I am sharing, but the notes from my Bible study. If I get something from a daily devotional or another blog I will quote the source. The studies I am doing in Genesis are a lot of my own study and research, but when I get information from other sources, I quote it. I think that is the honest thing to do. My feeling is that the Bible studies of our church are high quality and so I share them frequently.

As is often the case among Christians, there are differences in doctrine. I share what I have learned that is Biblical to me. You may not realize this, but there are Bible studies that I have notes for that I do not share here on Xanga. If I can’t find the agreement in the Bible for the material, or something does not seem right to me, I do not write the notes. So far Pastor Don has consistently taught the Word in an incredible way.

You should know a bit about him. Many times when he is mentoring me, I thank him for how much he has done for me. I tell him that without his love and kindness I would not be saved. I believe this, but every time I tell him that, he points out that it is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that did the work, he was just an instrument. This man is very humble and sweet. He also, as my husband says, is like a professor of the Bible. I am still amazed that with any question posed to him he can go to the Bible and find chapter and verse to back his comments. No amount of note taking on my part can cover all that he shares in Bible study. You are just getting the highlights.

One thing that often surprises me is when someone starts tearing apart a person’s testimony, looking for mistakes in theology or mis-understandings about God in their testimony! I don’t get it, instead of rejoicing and building a person up because of the wonderful work God has done in their lives, they take the fire that God built in the person and douse it with the water of their opinions. Most of you who have read my testimony rejoice at how much God has done in my life and how much God has impacted my life. When I wrote my testimony I was still young in faith, and I guess if I re-wrote it I would change some things because of learning more about God, but I also think there is value in keeping a testimony as it is, raw and unedited. When someone has made a big change – say from the occult to God, rejoice, do not nit-pick their theology. There is time enough to help them grow in God later. And I think that a person needs to realize that as one grows in faith, walks with God on a daily basis, their opinions about God will change. God ceases to be a distant figure and a relationship is formed. God will make sure that the person’s view of him changes to match the truth about God. In fact I would worry if God did not change a person over time. If they were set in stone, not progressing that would make me wonder.

And different doctrines and the posturing that goes along with it is like chalk squeaking on a blackboard to me. There is NO DENOMINATION or church that has everything 100% right, and that includes ours. Pastor Don has changed some of his thinking on teachings based on what the Holy Spirit shows him. An example is in his book mentioned above, just go and open up the pages on Amazon and you will read how the change came about. We are all rough stones in the temple of God, and we are being shaped by each other, by the Word, by the Holy Spirit, by Jesus, by our choices, and by God to be smoother. None of us are perfect, if we were perfect we would not be here on earth.

Sometimes when I respond to a person, I do not always quote scripture. It is not always necessary. I am not on a debate team, we are not butting heads together. If you read my Bible studies and my notes, I think it is apparent that there is scripture in it – every time you see italic it is a Bible verse, and to make life easier for you, I tend to quote the relevant verses so that you do not have to dig out your Bibles and look them up. I hope it is helpful, but I feel that teachings must mirror what the Bible says. And in that, it cannot be an isolated quote, you need the whole counsel of Scripture. Sometimes in our studies we stick with certain passages, favorite teachings, but that is not all that God is showing. In my own reading of the Bible I start in Genesis and read to Revelation – I do not put a time frame on my reading – 3 chapters a day, etc. Sometimes it is a few verses, sometimes it is a few chapters. It just depends. But I do not skip around in my personal study. God somehow seems to show me something relevant where ever I am reading. And I think that it is like a prescription, the Bible is put together in an order that is the right order to read. I do not skip passages, even the begats as you saw in a previous post contain the Gospel.

I know that when we are taught to think a certain way, to view the scriptures through a certain denominational lens, when someone says something that varies from that it seems so wrong. I am certain that there are wrong doctrines out there, and yet, I have found the Bible to be so deep a book that the same passage can be seen many ways. Best example is the parables – the common people heard the story, the disciples got some of the meaning behind the parables, and then later on realized more of what Jesus was saying. We can be like the scribes and Pharisees and debate and nit-pick each doctrinal point, or we can choose to look beyond the differences and see the heart of a post. That is our choice. That being said, there are some things that cannot be overlooked. If someone is stating that Jesus is not Lord, that He did not die for our sins and raise up from the dead, or any of the important main doctrinal points of Christianity, that is something different and is to be contested. Jesus was not an angel, etc.

Yes, we can tear each other apart, and try to figure out who has the best doctrine. I suspect satan loves that, for when we infight among ourselves we are less effective in God’s kingdom. If we are focused on where each other has got it wrong, we are not doing any good in advancing God’s Kingdom, and those who are not saved are seeing us infight.

I trust that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will correct errors in thinking. When we were babies and we talked, if we made errors in grammar our parents did not correct us, they were happy we were trying to get the words out. As we grow older, and read the Word more, and hear the Word of God taught, we will self-correct errors. Sometimes to prove one is right and tear down a person is far worse than walking alongside and showing them by example the right way.

I hope you are hearing my heart in this. I see this kind of behavior not only on my site but on other sites on Xanga too. We need to walk in love, and the rest will sort itself out. We have a big God, He is big enough to correct us when we make a mistake. Also, when I make a mistake and find out about it, I am eager to correct my mistake.

I think too we have to go where we find we glean the most fruit in our walk with God. While one person may find their pastor the best one for them, another may not. We cannot go from pastor to pastor, church hop from church to church. Sometimes we have to stay where we are, learn until the Holy Spirit directs us that we need to move on. Some of our best lessons are learned in tough situations at church. Pastor Don has been such a good role model, pastor, shepherd, servant, and friend that I choose to stay at this church. His teachings are sound and bear much fruit in my life and the lives of many others. And I also take Bible studies by Kay Arthur and Beth Moore. These studies also bear out what Pastor Don has taught. With so much confirmation, I feel secure in sharing Pastor Don’s teachings.

Heather steps off of soap box.

Hope you stay cool. I have to go and practice for my talk on Sunday, pray for me please that God helps me to teach about testing. He gave me a new sentence today that cracked me up about His tests – they are open book(The Bible).

Have a blessed night.



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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