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Messages - skater07

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1
General Discussion Forum / Why people leave and what we can do
« on: Sun Oct 01, 2017 - 13:25:50 »
I started attending church at the end of 2007. Back then there were a LOT more people attending than there is now. I never expected the majority of my friends to leave.

I know we are to be our brothers' keeper. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that voice to just give up and throw in the towel, that this just isn't for me, I don't fit into the church, you might as well save your time and your money because you're never going to make it, etc.

I'm not sure who so many people have left. Those of you that go to church, has this been your experience as well? Are there fewer people attending or more?

It feels to me that the 'climate' has changed here in the US. I'm quite tired of social media, politics, all of it. Maybe I've just gotten older, but even in 10 years it seems harder to focus on God, much harder, and there seems to be a grown opposition or outright disinterest in the things of faith or even just doing the right thing.

I remember my best friend, I sort of just let them go. After they stopped coming to church, they went to another for a while. I still would meet up with them. We would go watch a movie once in a while. Usually they were ok, but the last movie we went to see I was just appalled at the content, I guess they expected me to know ti would be like that, but I felt dirty after. It's so sad how people give up their boundaries.

My other friend gave in to peer pressure I think. At one time they were insistent on never missing a church service, bringing friends to church, etc. Then they wanted to be around their family, started going to parties, etc. Then it was making excuses not to come, and then they stopped. They said they would find a new church, but I was skeptical. I don't see them anymore. Last I saw them, they said to call and we'd hang out, but I never have contacted them.

Sure one can and should pray for those that go astray, but I am sure there's more I haven't done. Sometimes we get caught up and our minds get clouded and we don't realize what we are doing. But we can backslide and still go to church just as much as we can backslide and not go to a church.

I think there is strength in numbers. When my best friend's family started attending a different church, is when the cracking started. Within two years the rest of my close friends at church were out. Now it's just me, and I'm always asking myself if this is where I should be, but the only answer I can seem to get is where else is there to go?

2
I've always wondered about this. A number of years ago I had read a lot on this revival and other Pentecostal religions and groups. I've always been a bit wary of some of the things I read, they made me uncomfortable and cautious. But I have always wondered about the mainline denominations also - why are they so staunchly against anything that isn't the typical norm that they've had for hundreds of years now? You have the charismatics and Pentecostals saying they're dead, dry dull religion, and then the mainline denominations saying they're holy rollers, etc.

Although I think what really happened, is the charismatics and such went underground more or less, so you don't see or hear about them as much. They went to the house churches, and renting spaces in old buildings on the outskirts of town to hold their services. Invitation by word of mouth, not with their name everywhere. Not usually as much money associated with those groups as you have in the big, old, long established mainline churches.

3
Television / Last Alaskans
« on: Mon May 15, 2017 - 22:17:24 »
Do you think any of the people on Last Alaskans are people of faith? I have a strong idea that at least a few are but I am not sure. They have not said openly to my knowledge.

4
General Discussion Forum / Is everything a sin?
« on: Mon May 15, 2017 - 21:20:03 »
I feel like it must be. I feel guilty for so many things, I feel like if I'm not praying, fasting, witnessing, reading bible or at church I'm just wasting time and sinning. My church makes me feel like it's a sin to watch TV or movies. They were preaching on how they were getting all movies and TV shows out of their life. I think that's admirable but I don't know if I can totally do that or not. I rarely watch TV or movies but I don't think I could get rid of them totally.

My church also believes we should only listen to Christian music. I have trouble with that, I used to have a lot of trouble with it but I'm getting better about it. I mean, I don't listen to things that I know are bad or have bad lyrics, but I don't always listen to worship or CCM music. But they say music can control your thinking and I agree with it.

I also feel guilty for wanting nice things, and I admit it consumes me. The other day I was frustrated about how I feel like I don't have anything and then after prayer I felt better.

But I always feel like a disappointment to God, I feel bad because I think my family is lost and it's my fault. I'm about to lose my grandmother and I'm praying so hard for God to reveal himself to her and save her, but I don't know if he will. I'm trying so hard to fast and believe that he will. I feel very guilty I didn't talk to her about my faith. I worry my whole family just has religion and not God.

I'm also OCD so I am always feeling like I've messed up in some way. I worry that I've offended someone or offended the Holy Spirit or worry I'm not really saved because I messed up or my heart isn't right and I'm going to hell and God doesn't really listen to me anymore. It's hard for me to tell if it's my OCD or really God telling me to do/not do something. At times it feels insufferable because I'm afraid to do/not do anything.

I feel led of the world at times. There are times I feel an interest in worldly things, not bad things, but just worldly things and there are times I want to dress like people I see even if my church disagrees with it. I feel like my church has the proper response to the gospel. I agree with you all on the gospel but the response to it I disagree with. I don't believe we can just believe in Jesus and we are saved or just say a sinner's prayer and bam we're saved. It's not what they preached in Acts. There was always repentance, always baptism and always the Holy Ghost. If they didn't have all three someone came and made sure they got it all. I don't agree with everything my church teaches, but I have to admit they follow the book of Acts church the closest I have seen.

My family is of another belief system for the most part. Great people but from what I see they don't have what my church has, they don't have that closeness to God from what I can tell. I am not saying I have it either, but from others I see at church, they have that hunger and desire that I don't see just everyone having. But I also wonder we have been influenced somehow by man's teaching.

5
General Discussion Forum / Soul-winners
« on: Sun Apr 30, 2017 - 13:24:20 »
What are your thought about soul-winning, spiritually speaking?

I have noticed that many churches don't put much emphasis on it. Other churches do. And those more cultic churches seem to place the biggest emphasis on it. Always doing Bible studies, etc. I am guessing the push is because since they are the only ones, there are a lot more souls to be saved, than say if they believed the majority of Christian churches taught the truth.

I, unfortunately have never won a soul to Christ. I often hear of people being referred to as great soul-winners or that they won a lot of souls for the kingdom. And I guess some do. But the Bible also says that some plant, some water. So I don't know that a single person is ever totally responsible for seeing someone saved.

The biggest thing I have about soul-winning is I want to be SURE that I am leading them to Christ and not a church denomination or body, or a specific doctrine. I find that a lot of churches want you to stay in the congregation you have been placed in, and when you leave you're out of the will of God.

I guess you could say I'm lax on soul-winning, and that would probably be true. Some say the fruit of a believer should be souls. I don't push my beliefs on others, maybe that means, they're not strong enough, but I don't think that's necessarily what it is.

What are your thoughts?

6
General Discussion Forum / Christian uniform
« on: Sun Apr 30, 2017 - 13:10:16 »
What do you think about this? I have heard churches teach that you should be able to look at a person and tell if they are a Christian or not. They say this should not only be by their character but their dress. Usually these churches teach a sort of voluntary dress code similar to the following:

Women:
No makeup
No jewelry (usually a watch, maybe a wedding ring but this is highly contested between congegations)
Long hair
No pants or shorts
Usually a minimum skirt length
Usually a minimum sleeve length

Men:
Short hair
No jewelry (again other than watch or wedding ring)
Usually no facial hair allowed (though this can vary, but is again highly debatable, and usually this results in the women hating facial hair)
Usually a minimum sleeve length
Usually no shorts (but again this varies, even in congregations you have some that might wear shorts some not)

I have heard it put like this:
If a policeman wears a uniform, you know what his job title or position is, it should be the same with Christians.

I don't know how I feel about this. My church has a dress code, but I'm very conflicted. Sometimes I wear things that would conflict with their teaching. And I struggle if I feel convicted from God or the church. I never wear these things around the church people, but I wonder if I'm living a double life. Lately I feel like God isn't concerned with me not always following their standards, but I don't know if this is possible because technically I could be in rebellion and of course that is definitely sinful.

7
General Discussion Forum / Church
« on: Sun Apr 09, 2017 - 14:15:02 »
How often is church?

The church I attend has church three times per week. I know some churches that are large have multiple services on Sunday and maybe Saturday evenings.

Anyway, we have services Sunday morning and evening and middle of the week. I have always been taught that we need to attend all of the services because we may miss God's moving in the worship or preaching. So I've always been afraid to miss a service in case something happens the next week and I'm unprepared.

In a way I prefer a Sunday night service as well because I'd rather be in church than doing nothing, or worrying about the week ahead when I can be in church.

But I have a far drive to church and sometimes, it can get tiring driving all that way, back home, then in a few hours all that way and then back home again.

What I don't like is when people look at others as less spiritual because they don't attend every service, I'm guilty of it too. I've been pressured to attend every service, and when I have missed services I always have people questioning me about it, usually girls. Men never do for some reason. They will say we missed you, or why weren't you in church this morning.

I think for most churches the Sunday night thing is a thing of the past. I thought about attending a church closer to home, but  can't get over the fact they don't have two services on Sunday. I feel so lazy sitting at home the rest of the day. But at times I feel like it would be a bit of a relief not having to go go go all the time.

8
Parenting and Family Life / My mother
« on: Mon Apr 03, 2017 - 21:18:40 »
My mom has gotten almost impossible to deal with anymore. She is so angry and unappreciative and I can't figure out how to please her. I feel like i'm walking on eggshells.

She is an alcohlic and has never been easy to live with at times. I can remember as a kid my dad would say she's just blowing off steam and it'll blow over. Now I don't even mention it as he'll just blow up and say how sick he is of her.

Lately she talks to herself constantly which wouldn't bother me as much but it's mostly in a sarcastic tone and complaining.

She will be ina good mood one minute and suddenly she makes remarks about how she hates where she lives and how she's old and tired.

I try to help where I can but apparently it's not enough... my mom complains about my dad watching old movies orif someone is in the bathroom. Just everything.

I always wished she'd get help... I just want to see her be saved I don't know how long she has left. I don't think she would want to go to my church...

I just want my old mom back at least, but I don't see it happening she get more and more insufferable. I wish I could help her... I used to be able to talk to her and calm her down...

I never tell family or people from church as it's embarasing and you know how pride is. Ionly told 1 close friend and they said she is just crazy and not worth worrying over.

I used to feel self pity but now just sadness and guilt. I feel like it's getting in the way of my relationship with God... I feel guilty going to church and leaving them at home suffering but they don't want religion.

It hurts alot. Can anyone relate?

I always wanted to see healing in my family, to be "normal". Even before I was a Christian, I felt there has to be a way, better than this, a way out. Now I feel like there's a wall and it's too late.

Can anyone relate, testimonies of grace and change?

I feel guilty, I know I am. I could be a jerk when I was younger to my mom. By God's grace I've gotten better I think, I don't lose my temper as much, I believe I am gentler. I don't know if she sees that. She said today she gets treated bad and yelled at. I asked her if I do that, she said no, thanks for being nice.

But I still feel I'm doing something wrong. I admit I don't take it to God as much as I should I just sit and think how impossible it is. I get very angry in my mind instead of praying. I've just gotten good at hiding it andholding my tongue.

9
Television / Re: Would this ever work?
« on: Sun Apr 02, 2017 - 15:31:05 »
I suppose, but honestly I don't watch TV much and most of the dramas and comedies I would not care about watching. Maybe the baddies get caught, but our shows over here have so much junk in them I don't know how Christians could watch. There are plenty of bed scenes let alone those married, plenty of I'm sorry I'm doing this but it's ok because nobody's perfect type things. Plus our shows  are even getting names like Devil, etc.

Ok, now I sound like an old prude so I'll stop. But I think you get my drift. Even some of the older shows I do like I have to get slightly embarrassed because of the innuendo sometimes. I like British comedy and consider most of them to be fairly safe but they do have their moments where I ask is this something I should be watching?

But I think I get your point NorrinRadd about people feeling it would be something they have to watch. Personally I don't watch the Duggars or Duck Dynasty and don't really care to to be honest. Sometimes I feel like I'm supposed to like those things because I'm a Christian but I really don't have much in common with them other than that.

10
General Discussion Forum / Footwashing and communion
« on: Sun Apr 02, 2017 - 15:14:19 »
Do you participate in communion and or footwashing? The church I attend does not have a communion or footwashing every year but every few years. I have only attended it once and did not participate in the communion. I always worried about the scripture that states that participating in it unworthily would result in damnation. From what I saw the church prays in repentance before taking the communion.

Footwashing is a very serious thing also. What I saw was men washing each others feet and women washing each others feet. There were lots of tears and hugging and people looked very sad. The service was very somber and emotional and the feeling was very heavy.

We are having the service this year but I do not plan to attend it.

I wonder why some churches participate rarely or never in communion but I believe others do it every service? And to many it doesn't seem to be a big deal, they just go up, get the wafer and juice or wine and take it.

11
General Discussion Forum / Why is it expected to drink>?
« on: Sun Mar 05, 2017 - 16:24:31 »
Most men I know except for elderly men, drink. I never have, never desired to. Most of my close friends didn't drink, but as soon as they stopped going to church, bam started drinking. Even those who told me they didn't even like beer. And told me if I was to socialize with them they would probably be drinking.

I don't understand why you're a weirdo if you don't drink. Personally, I hate drinking, I have seen the bad end of it in more ways than once, and just have no need for it.

Note, I know a lot of denominations don't. I have never heard preached at church that you can't drink, but I have heard that we don't need wine and strong drink, and it is not done at church social activities. All of the men I know at church (there are more women than men) don't drink. But I have never heard it taught as a standard that we can't.

I guess alcohol is the accepted "drug".

12
Christian Singles Forum / Re: Does my Guy Exist?
« on: Sun Mar 05, 2017 - 16:19:02 »
I meet all of those requirements but not big into heavy metal.

But I digress, how are those requirements really going to make a good husband necessarily. I meet all those requirements and I don't think I would make a good husband, not as I am now anyway.

13
General Discussion Forum / Distancing from old friends
« on: Sun Mar 05, 2017 - 15:36:54 »
I have had friends from church that I considered close friends. One in particular has been a big encourager in my life and probably still would be. But I noticed as we got older we have grown apart, and eventually they all stopped going to church and I hate to judge, but from what I see, going to worldy ways. Started drinking, getting girlfriends that I assume are not into God, etc.

I haven't really hung out with these people much since. I do not want to puff myself up and say that I am the right one because I still go to church and don't want to associate with "those" people that fell away. But while I get lonely, I really don't feel like we have much in common, and I don't see how they could influence me toward God. I don't feel led to hang out with them other than when I get bored and I think that's just me. At the same time, I feel like I am letting them down because I should probably be trying to influence people toward God. But I don't want to push them away either or be a bother. I feel like they know what is the right way, and I don't want to get in their way.

One of these friends invited me to hang out with them and their girlfriend and some others I know as they go to theme parks often. I really wanted to go but felt a red flag that it would be sinful for me to do that, so I haven't.

How do you feel about this and how have you handled it?

14
Television / Would this ever work?
« on: Sun Mar 05, 2017 - 15:28:11 »
I don't watch much television as far as dramas or comedies and such because I feel I have nothing to relate to with them, they are too of the world. I sometimes watch other networks that are more on the 'hard' topics so to speak and not on morality, etc.

But I have long had an idea about a Christian style TV show, a drama show, not one of these "reality Christian" shows like the Duggars or the Duck Dynasty stuff, but you know, normal people. I always wondered how that would go over. I've often heard that there is a silent majority that would like to see Christian values come back to our media. I wonder if a show like that could just end up doing very well.

15
I started going to church in college, I was 18. There were plenty of people my age then, some grew up there, others started coming later in life. Most of them were there through college, but in last few years, I've noticed quite a few stopped coming. Granted some started going to other churches, but some stopped with church altogether.

I don't really understand this. I used to hear college would cause some to leave when they got into teaching evolution, and peer pressure and being away from family, etc. But this wasn't the case with any I know, they stopped attending well after college.

It just seems like the late 20s age range is where many stop. There is only one other guy close to my age at church anymore and it gets lonely. It really isn't a place to go if you want to meet people close to your age or socialize. Which I realize it's supposed to be about God but it would be better to have more people your age to fellowship with. We used to go out places and go on trips but we stopped, partly because when you get older and have more responsibility tend to be tired and not want to meet up.

Another thing though I notice is when women get in this age range, they tend to stay in church, and overall there are usually more women at churches than men.

Unfortunately it seems when a church loses people, it also less likely there will be a lot of growth, because when you have fewer people, there are less chances for people to be invited. I remember there used to be more visitors when there was a bigger congregation. But maybe it is all God's will, numbers really don't indicate one is doing something right or wrong, it could go either way.

One thing I noticed also is that some of the men that left used to lament to me the fact that there were few or no women their age at the church, which made dating or marriage prospects slim. It seemed after they left the church they all got girlfriends "in the world". Maybe that had something to do with it.

16
General Discussion Forum / I feel out of church
« on: Wed Jan 18, 2017 - 21:01:27 »
I've always been Apostolic and most of my family is Baptist (or claims to be) so it has always been hard and I rarely talk about church with them, because we wouldn't see eye to eye on much. Apostolics believe you must be baptized to go to heaven and it must be done in the name of Jesus and not as father son and holy ghost. And they believe when you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit that you will speak with tongues. If you haven't gotten that far, you haven't done God's will. I DO see this in the Bible but I have always disliked how exclusive we are. We do not consider Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, even other Pentecostal groups to truly be out brothers and sister. Well, maybe brothers and sisters yes, but not as spiritual or as close to the truth as we are. Sometimes I get angry when I hear how they talk about other denominations. I would love to be Baptist, Methodist, etc and fit in but I always feel like they are missing something, and I can't put my finger on it but it feels like there's just something Apostolics have that they don't. Maybe it's because that's what's been taught me so long, I don't know.

But I've never felt really comfortable being Apostolic especially when church gets loud or the spirit starts to move. I stopped going to the conferences because it just gets weird with people running around and shouting and shaking. I've done that stuff a few times, but it's just so weird to me, I couldn't imagine bringing someone in to that that hadn't been around that before...

It's just different now because the church I go to has gotten so small than when I first attended. People moved away and a lot of others started going to other Apostolic churches. My best friend that I met at church doesn't even go to church at all anymore, it's sad. He started going to another church and I said I didn't feel comfortable leaving my church and he said I had been brainwashed. Then he stopped attending church. I've been wondering if he was right or if I'm right. Maybe we both are right in a way.

I wish I could get my mom to go to church, she really needs God, well we all do, but I wish I could see her get away from her addictions and have her mind healed. But anymore I feel like it will never happen. I couldn't imagine how she would feel at an Apostolic church. I drive a long way to church alone now and sometimes I'd like to be closer to home, but I feel like there's nowhere else to go.

But I'm worried I fall away from God. I am faithful to attend church but I am so tired lately I haven't felt like reading my Bible, and I pray but I feel like it's not deep enough.

17
General Discussion Forum / Depression
« on: Thu Nov 17, 2016 - 19:43:24 »
I know I sound like a whiny Christian but it's so hard anymore.

I'm depressed because of my grandma. She fell last month and went to rehab. I asked for prayer on here and at church. I begged and fasted for God to heal her and put someone in her life to lead her to him. But she doesn't seem to be getting any better. She's trying so hard to do things on her own though she not supposed to. She loves talking about the election but my mom says she sounds confused. She is still in pain from surgery and likely falling and she's not going to get better. She won't be able to go out to eat anymore or do anything

My aunt keeps calling back to say what's going on and I'm so tired of hearing about it. Apparently she's moving from assisted living apt to my other aunt's and having home health. Which makes no sense as that's where she was before.

I'm just disappointed God didn't move it seems. I'm blaming myself for not talking to her before. I haven't seen her in almost 3 years. She lives out of state and I will never see her again.

But this has made me question my faith. I don't understand why God does not move when we fast and pray for souls. Is the devil so strong it's so hard to be saved?

I tried to read my Bible last night for first time in weeks but I just could't get my mind into it at all.

I think I may have depression because I've lost interest in just about everything except work. And I'm really getting worn out with work.

Granted, I know life will never be as fun as college or my first job. The world is darker now and most of my friends lost interest in God. I have more stress and responsibility. But I didn't expect life to be so bleak and empty.

What is wrong with me?

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Prayer Requests Online and Praise Reports / Pray for grandma
« on: Thu Nov 10, 2016 - 18:22:54 »
I posted a couple weeks ago about my grandma falling when she went over to her daughter's for lunch. She was walking again and in good spirits, following the election again. She has had her surgery this week and she was feeling better but after she got off the pain meds and anesthesia she is in pain again and having trouble walking. She is in rehab but they aren't sure how long medicare will pay for it before she has to leave.

At 96 years old it's hard. Please pray for her pain to heal and not only but that God would draw her to him and show her his power and truth.

19
General Discussion Forum / Health issues in family
« on: Sat Oct 22, 2016 - 19:28:13 »
Is anyone having a lot of health issues in their families lately? We have been. I guess it's to be expected with age. My parents are in their 60s and my grandparents are in their 80s and 90s.

I knew my grandmother as having health issues with her blood lately and her legs. She lives in assisted living and was doing pretty well after having a stroke 10 years ago. But she's nearing 97 and I think her age is catching up. She went over to her daughter's house today for lunch and fell in the bedroom. She to be put in assisted living due to falling, but hadn't fallen in probably two years. They haven't been letting her take her own blood sugar because she's having issues with it. I think she's also having memory issues at times. My aunt is visiting her now and said she's not like she was. Just a week or two ago she sounded fine on the phone and was talking about going downstairs to dinner and her "boyfriend" she has there and them going out for walks.

I know I am going to have to face this time and I don't know why it's bothering me so much. I haven't lost a grandparent except my grandpa (her husband) but I was very young and didn't fully grasp it. My other grandpa is also having issues with COPD and weakness and he's 92. I fear my other grandmother will get alzheimer's as her mother and sister both had it. She always told me if she got it and became nasty not to take it to heart.

My dad faced colon cancer two years ago and came through it but he hasn't really been the same since. He still works but I can see he doesn't have the energy he once had and he has digestive issues all the time due to the surgery. My mother seems deeply depressed and has health issues too that she doesn't seem to want to see attention for.

I think this wouldn't be so hard if I knew my family was saved. But I have doubts that possibly any of them are. I'm facing a lot of confusion and loss in my own life and so it adds to the issues. At times I don't know where to start to untangle the mess. I think I try to avoid it more than deal with it because I don't know the answers.

I'm not sure how I'm going to face losing all three grandparents plus my parents. I guess I will get through it but it's really weird and hard to think about. I don't want them to have to suffer and think of them having to go through all that, nor having to see my parents dealing with it. When my grandmother has had issues in the past, I could see it's hard on my mom to hear.

Plus my neighbor's wife is 97 and is dying from cancer. Up until recently she was still driving and doing well. I can see the depression he has from it. It's such a shock to hear when people are doing well and their health suddenly takes a dive. I guess it's a bigger shock when this all seems to be hitting at once.

I hate to sound so negative, but how have you all faced these things and how did you feel? I felt it might help to talk about it.

20
Unfortunately it's getting that way for me. I used to have close friends there, we went together and hung out pretty often. One moved to another church, and then the other friend stopped coming and they both no longer attend any church.

Like you, it's hard for me because I don't feel connected to anyone. It's not their fault in my case. But that may just be me because I live pretty far away and don't see anyone other than at church. We go out to eat afterwards but I feel distant from everyone, I used to not feel that way.

I've held out for almost two years going to church basically alone, and I don't know for how long I can keep doing this. I keep trying to remind myself, I should be doing this to meet with God and not others, but yeah there have been times especially lately where I feel like I would rather just stay home. It's weird, because fairly recently I would look forward to church but now it's mostly just something I feel like I should do.

But sometimes our feelings don't determine whether or not we should do something. Look at Jesus and the great OT characters, I'm sure at times they didn't feel overly enthused to do what they did.

I don't know if it's the same for you, but the church I go to has also been shrinking a lot these last few years. It's a little depressing and I feel guilty for thinking about leaving, but I also feel like I'm not contributing much, and it's very necessary to contribute now that there are fewer people.

I'm not a very social person either, and I tend to like being alone as well. I do tend to keep people at a distance. I don't think that's very healthy though, as it seems to be contributing to depression in me as I have not had people to socialize with much.

21
And I'm in my 20s and live at home. I work full time 40+ hours a week. I do not have a girlfriend.

I think part of the issue is I have no social life. I go to church but I don't have anyone there I would consider close friends. I don't hang out with them anymore since my other friends have left, and my church is 45 miles away. I don't trust any other churches though around here. I couldn't just leave where I am and go somewhere closer. I feel like it would be easier to make friendships that way, but I feel like my church teaches closer to the Bible than most others, so I would not feel right going to another church.

I'm an Apostolic so it's not like I can just leave there and go to another church and be comfortable like I would if I was Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. We don't really fit in with other denominations very well. I can leave the forum if you'd like, I'm just telling the truth about what denomination I'm from.

22
I'm sure some on here can relate from times in their walk with God.

I feel like I've just become so indifferent and complacent in my relationship to God. I have been through ups and downs before. But lately it seems to stay down. I'm still going to church, yes, but I feel often like I've become a "Sunday Christian." I still pray everyday - as soon as I get up and I try to pray before bed. But I seem to be up and down most days in my faith. At times I still do things I know I shouldn't. I'm a terrible witness, I don't talk about God at all. At times I feel unqualified to, like I'm a reprobate. Sometimes God isn't much on my mind, like when I'm busy at work, etc.

 I think things really started over these last few years. I've become disillusioned toward church, and it's not anyone's fault but mine. My closest friends went to church with me and one by one they all stopped going or started going to a different church. I felt a little separated when we they started going somewhere else, but we were still in the same faith. Now though, my best friend stopped going to church and seems to show little interest. I haven't really talked to them lately so I don't know where they are as far as that goes.

But seeing people I never thought would leave church, well leave and drop many of the things they used to hold so strongly, has caused me to kind of, well, question a lot of things. I haven't been reading my Bible like I should be. There are some weeks where I feel like I might as well stop going to church. I don't feel like I can connect well with most people there, like something is missing. But it's not their fault. I am a very quiet and introspective person by nature, and well, my denomination, and my view of the book of Acts church doesn't fit that nature at all! Something is missing in me it seems, but I feel like I don't really care. I think if I were honest I've been living life for me lately.

And I've been going through the same old routine these last months or years. Nothing is really changing in my life at all. My socializing is nil - which I don't believe is good. I believe that no man is an island.

I just don't really know how to get out of this. My mom says I need to find a new church that is closer and I can get to know people better. She also says I need to start by helping others. I do agree with her there. I'm just not sure how. I'm so shy and in my own routine I just don't know how to change. I've asked God to change me but I never come through.

23
Christian Men Forum / Re: Modesty for MEN?
« on: Thu Sep 08, 2016 - 21:15:06 »
I think you misunderstood my question. I didn't say I would wear a tank top and shorts to church. I meant I wore them to the gym or going for walks, and I wouldn't wear them around people that I know from church because I didn't want them to be offended.  I would never wear anything like that to a worship service. I usually wear a suit to church, not that I would say one has to do so.

24
General Discussion Forum / Re: Are sexual innuendo jokes sinful?
« on: Mon Jul 18, 2016 - 21:43:31 »
I don't know, but I don't like it, and I wish sometimes I could unhear things. Because at times I hear completely normal things, where nothing was intended and in my mind I think of it in a bad inappropriate way. I guess we all have to struggle with thoughts... I don't know what else to do other than rebuke the thoughts.

25
General Discussion Forum / Re: Friend issues
« on: Fri Jul 08, 2016 - 19:36:05 »
Thank you.

Sadly, most of my friendships have been in the church, and now that those people are gone, I just don't have friends anymore. Also the "mothers and fathers" that I had in the church that Jesus said we would gain are for the most part no longer there either. Honestly, I have to say that I feel like an orphan. Have I done something wrong that has caused me to be cut off? I don't know. I do know that I know no one in this town other than those in the church, so it is very difficult to make friendships. We all long for companionship and interaction, I believe that God put that in us. But to be honest I don't know how to achieve that anymore. I cannot interact with the "world" on the same level that I could with people of like-minded faith.

Has God taken away those relationships to make me seek him more? Possibly. But I still think there has to be balance somewhere. I can't possibly entertain or fellowship with myself 99% of my free time and expect to be mentally or spiritually healthy to any degree.

26
Prayer Requests Online and Praise Reports / Re: Please Pray
« on: Mon Jul 04, 2016 - 11:38:51 »
I am so sorry to hear about this. I am praying.

27
General Discussion Forum / Re: Dog owners
« on: Mon Jul 04, 2016 - 11:12:59 »
Aww, I hope she starts to heal and has some good years left. We have a young dog (probably 4 years or so) and she has been having health issues, it's sad when we know they aren't feeling their best. And I agree they pick up on our anxiety at times.

28
General Discussion Forum / Friend issues
« on: Mon Jul 04, 2016 - 11:10:13 »
Over the last two years or so I have had some friend issues. I had three close friends from church. We hung out all the time when I was younger, and I guess when we put trust in people we think they'll always be there. But about two years ago one of my best friends stopped going to church with me, and gradually I stopped hearing from them at all. I still had one close friend, but I noticed they started changing. They got more into social clubs and told me they started drinking. I was a little surprised because they never drank before, but I thought "maybe it's not a big deal, they're still going to church at least". And I just tried not to be judgmental, but I did tell them that I felt it may not be good in the long run. I personally don't drink, but I try not to be narrow minded, although I am very cautious about it. Anyway, I recently noticed they aren't going to church anymore and are looking to go to bars. I'm concerned... I've been praying for them but we have kind of lost touch. I am not sure how to talk to them as it will be awkward, as it sounds like they have changed a lot to me. We may not fit anymore.

But the Bible did say some would fall away. I just can't believe all of my closest friends out of everyone in the church seem to have done just this. It hurts very much at times. It is also very tempting as I face a lot of temptation these days to do things that don't line up with God. But it has made me even more cautious not doing things against the word of God.

I'm sure many of us have dealt with this. What have been your experiences and how have you dealt with people falling away. Have you been able to get them back on the right path?

29
Introductions / Hello peoples
« on: Mon Jul 04, 2016 - 11:03:07 »
I'm 27 years old. I've been a committed Christian since 2008, although I have wavered at times, God has been faithful. I'm struggling some now with certain things, but trying to stay on the straight and narrow.

30
No, I would not move in together nor travel alone together. One thing leads to another...

Marriage is something you have to give and take to make it work, not just try it and see if it works out. If you don't think you can handle marriage, then don't get married.

31
Christian Men Forum / Re: Men worshiping and praising God
« on: Mon Jul 04, 2016 - 10:28:37 »
Yes, I try to focus on just God and sing or even dance at times. My church is very open in spirit filled worship. But it's important to not look at others and feel competitive because we worship differently at times.

32
Christian Men Forum / Modesty for MEN?
« on: Mon Jul 04, 2016 - 10:27:04 »
Hey guys,

I know everyone teaches women should dress modestly, but what about men?

I'm having an issue with this. It's usually not a big deal for me, but there's one thing. Sometimes when it's hot I like to wear tank tops, and I don't know if that's right. My church would not really approve of it, so I guess I should not do it, I would never wear it around them as I know that would be wrong. But sometimes when I go to the gym or for a walk I wear them, and I wish I could just give them up if it's wrong. But I seem to have this urge to wear them, as it feels good on a hot day, but I don't believe if something feels good means we should do it.

33
Christian Music, Lyrics, Videos and Worship Songs / Christian bands?
« on: Mon Jul 04, 2016 - 10:21:33 »
Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone likes these bands:

Mainstay
Anberlin
RelientK
Run Kid Run
Hawk Nelson
Switchfoot
Falling Up
Copeland

These are some of my favorites, very inspirational lyrics in many songs. I first got into them almost 10 years ago and listening since. I like Christian contemporary and other genres too.

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