Sunday, August 31, 2008

Working Wonders

Often times we all shy away from speaking about our faith and/or religious beliefs. The thought of the topic makes most of us cringe with fear that we may be over stepping our bounds with those around us. I'm certainly of the same mindset but today I'm gonna take that chance and let you in on a few small aspects of my own personal journey in this thing called faith.

I've never been a church person to be honest with you. Growing up a good little catholic boy I shuddered every Sunday morning when mom made us kids go to 8 am mass whether we liked it or not. I mean come on all you parents out there don't you realize that Sunday morning is better meant for SLEEP than religious rituals that bore your little child monsters to death?! Needless to say I was turned off from religion and have been for many years.

That was until I saw an advertisement before a movie on the big screen at my local AMC theatres. What?? An advertisement for church at the movie theatre you ask? Yes'em. It wasn't until after I saw the same ad about 3 or 4 times that I thought what the hell (I'm glad God forgives *smile*) I'll give it a shot. So off to this church I go and needless to say my first impression was not exactly church like.

As I walked in I was greeted with a warm hello which was expected but then I entered into the auditorium where the service was held. The first thing that hit me was a view of these HUGE banners hanging from the rafters just above the stage up front that had pictures of an expensive and fancy sports car and a very lavish upper middle class McMansion in the middle of America suburbia. Then to top it off was one word that completed the magnificent banner - "MONEY". At this point I'm thinking to myself "What is this church all about?!" But instead of jumping up, grabbing my wallet, and running for the hills in fear of them taking me for everything I got I managed to calm my inner thoughts and stay for the sermon. And I'm glad I did :-)

I've never been to a place of worship that was more inviting and tolerant of it's congregation as Harborside Church is. You see the reason for the big banners and all the hoopla is that each month the pastor takes one topic and discusses how God wants us to live our life with the right intentions in regards to this topic. I soon found out that the church was doing a series on how finances affects each and every one of us in our everyday life. That first month they reinforced to me how important it was to spend responsibly and not to forget that life isn't all about what we have in physical possessions but rather what we can offer each other whether it be in friendships, financial help, or spiritual relationships.

Looking back I certainly appreciate my mother's efforts to get us boys to our Sunday sermon. For in her attempts she was subconsciously instilling the basic principles and values that all Christians strive to live by even though her little boy didn't realize it at the time. As for my father he has consistently preached to us kids that he has one and ONLY one expectation of his sons in this life here on earth. This expectation is to be a good person regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in in life. But I am just now understanding the concept of how to put both of these incredibly important lessons together in hopes to become the testament of love that the good Lord wants us to become everyday that we reside here on earth.

So almost a year later I have to say that I now can't wait for Sunday mornings to come along although I do get my much need sleep by picking the 10:45 am service to attend. I'm slowly growing in my spiritual journey to understand what the good Lord has in store for me. I'm certainly not even close to being an expert or even a half informed novice but that will come with time. For He is working wonders within me for what feels like the first time in my life.

7 comments:

Riannon said...

Hey, I am very exciting for you! I am happy you found a church that doesn't feel discouraging and "churchy"! Proud of you for giving it a shot!

Michelle said...

*hugs* and great big smiles being thrown your way :-)

Melissa said...

You are right, Harborside and Kurt Parker rock. Since the church is 3.5 hours away from where I live, I've listened to some sermons online at www.harborsidechurch.org/Multimedia.aspx

:)

JeanieD said...

This brought joyful tears to my heart. As a mother, and your mother in particular, this warms my heart in knowing I was not a total failure in a very critical area of raising children.

"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deut. 6:6-7)

It is a great work, and nothing can sustain you under the burden like praying for your children, believingly, earnestly and perseveringly, in giving attention to instruction and discipline, do not neglect prayer!

Some blessings seldom come except in answer to heartfelt prayer.

Jen said...

I thought you were still in your Buddhist stage? Huh...where did the time go?

Misty Cheesman said...

Dustin,

I don't usually read blogs, but I am thrilled that you sent out an email about this one. You are sounding like going to church is paying off. Also, I am very happy that you took me to Harborside when I came to visit the last time. The CD I purchased still tugs at my heart to guard the doors in my personal life.

RK said...

Picked your post up from the comments on a Huff post section. Thank you I enjoyed reading this from my perspective as a "freelance spiritual eclectic" and a Mom who makes her kids get up for on Sundays for religious education. (We claim a Jewish Ancestry). Keep doing good in the world and nurture yourself where ye may.