Archives for category: Religion/Spirituality

As a speaker, teacher, and learner, it is imperative that I stay *audience centered* when delivering a message. This means that when conveying an idea, I focus on the receiver more than myself. After all, the goal of a message is to be understood by the receiver and that can only be successfully accomplished if the receiver does, in fact, comprehend the message.

From my understanding, there are several types of learners. Of course there are subcategories of each, but I have categorized the ones I plan to discuss below:

Auditory Learners – Learn through hearing and speaking.
Kinesthetic Learners – Learn through the sense of touch, feeling.
Visual Learners- Learn through seeing.

Teachers are instructed to teach material using all learning styles, so not to isolate or hinder a student’s ability to digest the material. Speakers are advised to keep the audience imgresin mind throughout the entire speech-making process. Learners are encouraged to know what method of instruction they receive the best and ask for that form of instruction.

I had a math course and I just could not grasp the new concept. The teacher said it to me, showed it to me, and I even attempted to watch her and duplicate it myself. She tried to dissect the information to me in various ways. After several attempts, my teacher told me, “I don’t know how to teach it any other way.”

After leaving her classroom, I went home and read back through the material. As I was able to reflect on what she had shown or said to me, as well as my textbook and notes, it finally clicked. I had to combine what I saw, heard, and attempted to do to understand the material.

Many times, God is the teacher trying to get us to learn new material. I am a firm believer that if you do not grasp the concept the first time around, God will continue to try to show you the same thing in various ways. He may be telling us the way, showing us the way, or even guiding us on the way. The issue occurs when we are not teachable. When we get upset when we do not understand the lesson the first time. When we get discouraged because we have to keep trying over and over again until we finally get the lesson.

In comparing this to the word of God, I wonder is your learning style hindering your progress?

If you have to see what God has promised you to believe, then you can only reach for what has been done. In his Word, God often makes promises that are nowhere near being fulfilled and it takes faith to believe it despite the circumstances.

If you have to literally hear a pastor, preacher or prophet to believe the Word of God, then you will falter when others don’t affirm what you hear God telling you. Oftentimes, you hear the voice of God in your spirit, not with your ears. God uses people often to speak to you, but let us not forget that he can take it to the source–you.

If you have to literally work on your blessing with your hands to believe it, you won’t begin. What if God gave you a vision to create something that has never been made? You have to start from nothing so you have no blueprint or example to follow. Many times the work is not physical labor but it begins with our minds and a change of heart.

Occasionally it takes us going off on our own, reading the Word of God, applying all that we have heard about God, seeing Him work our lives or in the lives of others, or feeling the experience of his presence in our lives for us to get it. For it to click.

Visionaries go beyond the borders of learning styles to grasp what God has for them to learn.Unlike my teacher, God is not limited in his teaching ability and never says, “I don’t know how to teach it any other way.” He speaks your language and he can break down anything you need to learn and give it to you on your level of comprehension.

Don’t let your learning style block your blessing.

With Love,

MS

*I was introduced to the term “audience centered”  in  The Public Speaking Handbook by Steven A. Beebe and Susan J. Beebe.


Copyright 2014 by Morgan Smalls of mosmalls.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

Too often, we settle. Women, Men, Young and Not so Young, for whatever reason we do it. We trick ourselves into believing that our current state of unhappiness and displeasure is where we are destined to be. That it’s the best life can offer to us — so we willingly accept it.

Don’t get me wrong– this is not something we say to ourselves as we look in the mirror in the midst of teeth brushing, hair combing, makeup applying, or face shaving. No, we do this way before our feet touch the floor at the dawn of a new day.images-1

Why?

Maybe it is because we forget that each day is an unique day. Each day is the most important day in our lives, right here, right now for two very important reasons:

1. Today is a brand new day that we have never seen before. It is unlike any other. It is a time to try again, to use past falls, stumbles, and triumphs as building blocks for the future.

2. Today is a day we won’t ever see again once it is complete. We won’t ever get the chance to experience today again. There is no re-do, no rewind button on time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

I’ve learned that time is precious, valuable and we can’t get it back. For that reason, we have to use it wisely–o so wisely.

Don’t settle today, tomorrow or any day henceforth because we are not meant to live like zombies in a state of unhappiness and displeasure–and not even know it. We are meant to live full in all areas– so if you have settled in your personal, professional, familial, spiritual, or any aspect of our lives– pursue better, obtain better, and accept better when it’s offered.

I stand in agreement that your life can and will be better.

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Happy Monday!

With love,

M.S.

 

For a while, I had been asking God to give me some sort of guidance and direction in my life. I had been praying about it and seeking the advice of family and friends all to no avail. Each person seemed to have a different opinion about what I should do with my life. Each person gave me their honest opinion, but that still was not enough. Each conversation with one person led me in a different direction than the previous conversation with another and I was done with asking others about my life. After all, it’s my life so whatever decision I do or don’t make should be based on me since I’m the one who has to deal with the repercussions, good or bad.

I had watched enough on-line sermons, read enough passages out the Bible, and  prayed enough, etc.  to satisfy my desire to hear about what the Lord was going to do and I was tired of not having an answer to my question.

So, I had gotten to the place where I decided to just let the chips fall where they may and not really focus on my life after graduation. I was living with the mentality “what will be, will be.”

I heard nothing back from the Lord and figured there was no need to ask anymore because I had already asked for a while. I mean, I seriously asked, dang near pleaded to know what was in store for me. Still I heard nothing, not even a whisper.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I was not expecting God to come down from Heaven to sit in my living room and have a heart to heart session with me. I just figured in some way, shape or form, He would have let me know by now. I mean, time’s ticking. I need to make plans and preparation for my future. I didn’t know what more was expected of me, especially since I had tried the whole “seeking His (God’s) face” part of the scripture so I was waiting on the “all other things should be added” part.  I no longer prayed about it. I no longer asked God for direction. I just was done with the uncertainty and figured I wasn’t about to continue to ask the same question and continue to not get an answer. So maybe I was supposed to not know.

Before I returned to school, I decided to go to a different church with my Dad. As we sat in the back of a small church with only about twenty people there, I wished I would have just gone to my regular church.

But, as I sat and the youth choir (which was actually five kids) sang the song, “Turn Around,” and “Emmanuel,” I couldn’t help but get a little emotional. I don’t know, I guess the lyrics got to me.

Despite my initial reaction, the church had a good guest speaker. She was a lady I had never seen before. She preached on the topic “In his presence” and the sermon was taken from (I have to find my Bible in my bags that I packed but I will fill it in later).

Near the end of her sermon, she points in my direction and asks me to come to the front of the church because she wanted to speak to me.Hesitant, I went up front as this stranger told me things about myself that no one else in that building would have known but God and my Dad. She talked to me about my fears and my uncertainties and my hopes and my desires. She talked to me about questionable friends and career paths and my finances.

What she told me made me cry. Not because she told me anything bad, but because she identified the specific things I had been dealing with in my life and the answers to specific questions I wanted to know.

As I returned to my seat, I noticed that my Dad was also a little teary eyed.

We left church and road home in silence.

When we made it home, he came into my room and said, “Missy, did you know her?”

“No, I’ve never seen her before.”

“Oh, that’s crazy how she knew all that stuff.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“I mean, Missy, we were just talking about those things she mentioned a few days ago.”

“I know.”

“I don’t know how she knew about that.”

“Must be God.”

As our conversation ended and he left my room, I knew that I had received an answer to some of  my questions and I was filled with a serenity I cannot explain. God is real. Believe what you want, but as for me, “Yes, God is real for I can feel Him in my soul.”

 

International Federation of Medical Students' ...

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So, I am leaving soon (3 days) and I must admit, I am having mixed feelings about leaving. On one hand, I am excited about going home to see my friends and family back home. On the other hand, I will really miss my classmates and friends that I have made here. In general, everyone was so nice and helpful and helped make my time here a wonderful experience. Even though I am leaving soon, a good bit of my classmates and friends have made time to meet with me and hang out before leaving. That meant a lot to me as they took time out of their schedules to hang with me before I left. They tend to say, “Don’t leave. Stay with us.” I feel bad that I have to go after making some positive connections with them, but I have no other choice. I must graduate. lol

I’m not good at goodbye’s. It’s not my favorite part about leaving. In fact, I’m kind of awkward when it comes to showing certain emotions, but I believe each of my friends know that I am very much appreciative of the love and support and advice they have given me both personally and professionally.

When I needed to complain about an assignment or discuss family issues, they were each there to listen when I needed them to be. I really didn’t think I would meet people who I would get along with so well, but I did. That was a blessing in itself. I have lived abroad before and this experience exceeded my expectations. I’ve learned. I’ve had fun. I’ve traveled. I’ve had a blast.

It’s sad to say goodbye to everyone. And as many of my friends and classmates go in their own direction (Russia, Ireland, Poland, Korea, Lithuania, Spain, Greece) to name a few, I feel extremely blessed to have met them and I am certain that some of our paths will cross again in the near or far future.

I wish all of them the best of luck in all their endeavors and I promise to not be a stranger.

Love you guys and girls.

Mo

After reading my uncle’s email, I decided to read Matthew 6 and respond. The beauty about reading the word of God for yourself is that in the same passage, there are many different interpretations based on how the word touches your heart. Below, at that time, is what the passage spoke to me.

My email response to my uncle was:

 “Hey, Let me find out you acting like a Pastor’s child and delivering sermons via email. lol

Seriously, I am familiar with the text you mentioned about the boat and the storm. The application of that story in our own lives, particularly Matthew 6: 45-50 which discusses how Jesus sent the disciplines ahead and saw them battling the storm can be helpful in all times, not just stormy seasons.

Verse 48 says, “And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.” I like this verse because God is so caring that similar to putting flesh on his only son and sending him to the earth, while on earth, Jesus cared enough to get in the “boat” with us and help us deal with our storms of life.

 The boat is representative of life and the storm is representative of the woes/misfortunes of this world. Similar to how Jesus could have passed the disciples in the boat, he thought enough of them to stop by and help them in their situation.

One reason for this could be because they followed his direction. He told them to go in the first place and where God leads his people, he will keep them. This verse is evidence to that fact. Similar to how Jesus was on the shore watching the disciplines in the storm (vs 47-48), he too watches us while we are in our own storm. And when he feels we have had enough, he will tell us “Be of good cheer: it is I, be not afraid.” That, for me, is comforting to know.

Like Grandma says, “Trouble don’t last always. This too shall pass.” I don’t know about you but I’d rather be in storm with Jesus, than out of a storm without Him.

Be encouraged, for Jesus has risen that we might have a right to the tree of life and that we might have it more abundantly.

Happy Thanksgiving. Give a little more, love a little harder, and smile a little harder.”

I’m sure if I read that same passage again, I may come up with another insight into how this story applies to my life. How about you? Have you ever faced a storm in life?

Thanksgiving was definitely different. Instead of my day being filled with food, fun, and family, I spent my day in classes and ate a sandwich for dinner. But, I won’t complain. Thanksgiving is an American holiday and I’m not in America, so that was expected (though I really could have used a good meal from home). I also miss eating sunday dinners at my Grandma’s house. Just thinking about the food makes me mouth water. Literally.

Today, I woke up too late to go to church on time, so I watched an on-line sermon again. There are definitely benefits to being able to watch sermons on-line, in the comfort of your own home, on your own time schedule, but I digress. I found it quite interesting that the Pastor spoke from the same passage from the Bible that my Uncle had sent to me a few days before Thanksgiving. Is it a coincidence? Some may believe so.

 In the email my uncle addresses me and his other siblings who have email. (6 out of the 10) I would like to share our email conversation: Hopefully, it blesses you like it blessed me.

 He wrote, “Good morning, I want to let you all of you know that I’m so proud of each of you. Having all of you in my life has made my life better than I could ever imagine. We are so blessed to have a loving Mom that raised all of us. Please during this thanksgiving let’s all remember and be so thankful we still have a loving mother that loves us all so dearly. All of us know she did the best with what she had for us. I can only say each of us still should continue to follow Jesus.

In the book of Mark, chapter six, we read that the disciples got into a boat, at night, and took out across the sea. In their obedience to Jesus, the disciples ran directly into a storm. Their obedience literally took them into the nucleus of a disaster. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means you will never have to face any storms.

 I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means that the waters of life will always be calm. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means life will be rosy and all of your days sweet. But I can’t. These disciples were following Jesus, and they ran right into rough-seas. The disciples discovered, as many of us have also discovered, that you can be both in the center of God’s will, and still in a storm.

There is a lot of preaching today as well as many Christian books that tell you that if you follow Jesus, than you will never have to face any challenges in life. That wasn’t true for Jesus, or for anyone else I know who has followed Him. Following Jesus doesn’t offer immunity from troubles. What it does give is the opportunity to experience Him in the midst of the trouble. Life comes with troubles, regardless of whether or not you follow Jesus. You get to choose if you want Him to join you in your troubles, or if you’d rather go through them alone.

(Sometimes God doesn’t give you what you think you want, not because you don’t deserve it, but because you deserve so much more.)”

 Even though I was away from my family this Thanksgiving and I was unable to partake in any of the dishes on that day, I was still fed spiritually, which is more than meat or raiment.

Lately, I have been pretty anxious about my future. With graduation looming, this is another stage in life where I am once again, bombarded by questions regarding my future: “So, what do you want to do after graduation? Have you been applying to jobs? Where do you want to live? Have you ever thought about _______ as a career option? How about ________? (fill in blanks with some type of profession)

Honestly, I do not have a response to those questions. Everything is up in the air. Trust me, folks, if I had a definite answer, I would climb the highest building and yell my career choice for the whole world to know.

But,

 I don’t have that answer.

And,

I’m okay with it

Because

I know that I will understand my purpose on earth more and more as each day passes.

I am a planner. I like to know what I will do and when I will do it way in advance. I am not comfortable in uncertainty. I don’t like gray areas. I prefer black and white. But, my relationship with God has continuously challenged my plans or my perception of how things should go in my life. It is because God only provides a snapshot big enough for me to see the next phase in life, but not big enough for me to get a clear view of the entire picture.

If I could look into the future and see what my desired occupation would be and if I am married, if I had kids, etc., I probably would. I don’t like surprises in my life. I want to know where I am going before I get there.

 But in my life, God has not given me that roadmap. I must admit, I am not thrilled about not knowing all the answers to the questions others harmlessly ask.

When I decided to surrender my will go God’s will, I did not realize how much that would entail. I thought that God would allow me to have my dreams fulfilled, as long as I abided by His rules. But, that is not how it has occurred.

His ways are not my ways and his thoughts are not my thoughts and for that reason, I feel like a pawn in the universe. Just waiting to see what will happen in the next chapter of my life.

It has been difficult; However, had I been going on my own wims, I probably would be more confused than I am right now.

Who knows what this situation is teaching me…. Maybe it is teaching me how to be patient, or how to rely on God, or how to be obedient because obedience is better than sacrifice.

I DON’T KNOW.

That, in itself, is an uncomfortable feeling.

However, like my Grandma says, “I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.”

So, I’ll wait and see what the future holds and if I continue to ask God to order my steps, He will lead me to my destination. Don’t get me wrong, I still will make plans and preparation for my future, but I will surrender my will to His.

This is my song for the week:

“I don’t know
About tomorrow
I just live from day to day
And I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
And I don’t worry about my future
For I know what Jesus said
And today He walks beside me
For He knows what lies ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I, I know, I know, I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds, who holds my hand.”

Gospel Version

Country Version

Item 31160, Ben Evans Recreation Program Colle...

The steroptypical family structure: Mom, Dad, 2 Kids..

Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe

“Every family has its issues. If someone tells you that, their family has no secrets or skeletons in their closet, he or she is either lying or he or she has been too sheltered from their own family history to know the truth”-Me

Cynical? Maybe

Harsh? Maybe

Accurate? Definitely

Even if your nuclear family (mom/dad/bro/sis) is intact and you are proof that the 2.5 kids, dog, and house with a white picket fence, is true. Trust, that for most of us, our family has issues: big and small and our family tree would take up more than the house on the street. In fact, some of us would need the whole block.

Today, I was talking to a friend who informed me that she had recently found out she has an older brother by her dad.  She was shocked by the secret brother that she has no relationship with along a host of relatives that were attached with him. She stated that the paternity had always been in question, and her dad died while she was young, so that is why others kept it from her. He was unable to tell her about it before he passed.

This leads me to think about my own relationship regarding paternity: As a product of a man who denied paternity (and probably, to some extent, him and his family still do) the whole child denial is a sensitive topic for me. I think a sorry excuse of a male denies a child that could potentially be theirs. Plain and simple, if you had sex with a women unprotected and there is a possibility of a child being yours, do yourself, the child, and society a favour and take proper action to determine the paternity. Honestly, I feel males use that excuse to evade responsibility, particularly when they lament how the child is not theirs, yet take no course of action to see if it is or not. Why? Because usually, the male knows in their heart that it is a possibility that they could be the father, which scares them and they would rather not know if the child is theirs and never provide for it, than know for sure that it is theirs and not provide.

In addition, for the males those who discover the child is theirs and give the excuse “She tried to trap me. She know I don’t want no kids “as a reason to not provide for their offspring. SHAME ON YOU!! Even if the mother trapped you, is crazy, only wants a check, etc. what does that have to do with the product that resulted?  You were there. You didn’t take the proper precaution. You should man up and take care of your responsibility.  

Of course, talking about familial relations led to the question “Morgan, do you have any brothers or sisters?”

Inside, I cringe as I debate whether I should give a clear-cut ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. I decide to, as complicated as it may seem, give the truth, my truth.

I am the only child—from my mom. My biological father (who I have no relationship with) has 2 children (who I have met but to this day, they do not know my relationship to them). I assume they would be titled (half-sisters); I have no relationship with my biological father and consequently, I have no relationship with his other children. My mom is married and as a result, I was blessed with 2 step-brothers and 1 step-sister. However, it gets even more complicated as through crucial times in my life, prior to my mom’s marriage I acquired a father figure who has two daughters, who I refer to as sisters as well. So when I am asked the seemingly harmless question that many ask in getting to know one another, depending on my mood, my response ranges from an only child to 3 sisters and 2 brothers.

After hearing about my family structure, I am sure she felt normal in comparison. Lol

I told her my familial situation to inform her that families are complex. Family structures are difficult to explain. Many people who have no blood relation to us become closer than those who share biological traits. Marriages change structures. Divorces change structure. Many things outside of our control change the family structure. Moreover, sadly, for many of us, we know too well the saying “Momma’s baby and Daddy’s maybe.”

Complicated? Yes

Difficult to explain? Yes

Would I have it any other way? No

I love my family and the relationships that we have. I have many dad’s that I call on in times of crisis or just for everyday inspiration/advice.etc.  As far as I’m concerned, my biological father and everything attached to him (his sis/bros/others kids) are the ones who missed and are missing out.

One day, I will contact my biological sisters because it’s not their fault that our father, who may have been a great dad to them, was and is nothing more than a sperm donor to me.

I would be doing all of us a disservice if I, being the eldest, didn’t take action to form a relationship with them.

For that reason, I encouraged her to contact her brother–sooner, than later–to try to establish a relationship.

But, I do realize, that for many, their story does not end as happily as mine. Many do not have other people to go to in order to have that male father figure in their life. For those girls and women with no male representative, I am sorry. For those boys and men, whose father missed out on those special moments in life, I am sorry. I am sorry that you were not loved in the way you should have been. I am sorry that you were the victim in a situation outside of your control.  It is not your fault. I encourage you to seek those relationships with your uncles, mentors, etc. But above all know, that God is a father to us all.

Does this story ring true for you? I would love to hear about your family dynamics and how you overcame having a less than normal family structure.

If you like this story, retweet and share on fb/twitter/etc with friends.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

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All week, I have been searching for some type of inspiration, motivation, encouragement. Something or someone to get me motivated to venture ahead and accomplish the various tasks that need to get done.

I have watched Oprah’s LifeClass Sessions, listened to Joel Olsteen’s sermons and even watched T.D. Jakes archives of sermons. Although these things have helped to cheer my spirits and boost my morale, I still feel a bit lackluster.

I know what my issue is: It took a while longer than most, but after being here for a month and a half, homesickness has come. It’s nothing that is huge or hard to handle, nor am I homesick 24/7. Just in those small, unexpected moments, I miss little things from home.

Of course, I miss my family and friends. Particularly when they are all hanging out and having fun and I am absent.

For example, my family went to the fair. It is something we do as a group every year. I happened to call my Aunt while she was at the fair and talked to a few of my family members. When I got off the phone, I realized I miss then more than I thought.

That is expected.

However, a trigger has been found in other venues.

For example, I feel that social media makes my homesickness worse. Reading my friends tweets and status updates about what events they are attending and how much fun they are having does make me miss home even more.

For that reason, I am taking a hiatus from social media (fb/twitter) to: #1- focus on getting work done and #2-not get caught up in what others are doing without me.

But these are brief and fleeting moments of homesickness. We all get them from time to time when in a new situation/environment.

I overcome this feeling when I remind myself that I am having a wonderful time meeting great people and learning lots. I am living out many people’s dream, so I should enjoy it while I can. I’ll be home soon enough, probably wishing I was back in Manchester.

So although I miss having a home-cooked meal, and would rather not eat anymore take-aways (British term for fast-food) while I am here, I realize that this is only temporary. Sooner, rather than later, I will reunite with my family.

But, I find comfort in doing what David did in the Bible: I have to encourage myself. We all get in our funk of apathy and I must admit, I have been in that zone for about a week, but this too shall pass.

I can’t wait on anyone else to boost my morale or give me encouragement.  I have the aptitude and ability to do that for myself.

Like the song says, “Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.” 

This is my song of the week.

Pastor Tom Schaller preaching at GGWO

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My Grandma  is one of those God-fearing women who had me in church ALL THE TIME.  As a kid, it seemed like I was going to church for every possible program. So much, that I began to dread going because I didn’t get anything out of the service. I mostly, just fell asleep in her lap.

As I got older my Grandmother told me “Morgan, You’re too old to be sleeping in church. Time for you to pay attention.” So, since I was no longer allowed to draw, color, eat snacks, and sleep during service, I figured I’d do the next best thing: TALK to my neighbors and the other kids beside me.

Well, that was short-lived as my Grandma made me sit beside her in the first row of the church. I spent most of the time looking back at the other kids, kicking my feet and biting my nails. Basically, doing anything except paying attention.

But, as I got older and got to the age of accountability, I began to take God and church seriously. In fact, I actually began to enjoy going to church. I loved to learn of the different Bible stories and how they relate to my life. Going to church does something for me. It gives me strength and motivation to face the obstacles of the next week along with inspiration for my life and strengthens my relationship with the Lord.

No matter where I lived in the U.S., I made an effort to find a church home. In the U.S., I tend to go to church on a regular. Here: not so much.

Since I have been here, I have attended a church near my home a few times. I actually spoke about the church in an earlier post titled, “Do You Practice Your Religion?”

In comparison to the church I attend back at home, this church atmosphere is very different. The music here is….well… not my type to say the least. Although they sing hymnals, many of the songs sound similar (in regards to key, rhythm, etc).

For each song, the same person stands in the front of the sanctuary leading the song while the congregation sings along (somewhat). I hate to say this but is so dry. I mean, I wasn’t expecting them to burst out with a Kirk Franklin “Stump” or Donnie McClurkin “Stand,” but gosh, can they not seem so somber when they are singing praises to the Lord. It really is pretty sad sounding and I wish they would put a little pep in their step and at least try to clap a different rhythm sometime. Instead of clapping always on beat one and three, try clapping on beat two and four.  

Needless to say, I’m used to a choir back at home. One that sings contemporary/hymnals and one where the music is different.

Also, the preaching is different here. The pastor seems almost to be like a teacher, using PowerPoint and video clips every once in a while. I’m not mad at the use of technology. My problem is the lack of inflection of her voice during any part of the sermon. The pastor doesn’t yell or even seem to project her voice very far when she speaks. Her style seems to be as if she is having a really normal conversation with a person sitting directly in front of her. The church isn’t big so I understand the reason she does not project very loud, but can I get an inflection and a non-monotone sermon? This too, seems dry to me. Now, I’m not expecting the Pastor to jump from the pulpit and start sounding like Bishop T.D. Jakes, Joel Olsteen or somebody because I know each Pastor has his or her own style. Nevertheless, I would like for the pastor  to sound a little excited about spreading the gospel and preaching the word.

Lastly, if I thought the music or pastoring was a little tasteless, the congregation just makes me wonder. Nobody claps when the pastor preaches. Nobody says “Hallelujuah” “Amen” “Praise the Lord.” It is all very quiet. Almost as if you are in the library or a museum. All you may hear is somebody cough. This may be because the church has an older congregation. I’m one of the youngest people there besides a few teenagers and toddlers.

So as I sit in the church, I just do not feel like I’m getting what I need. I’ve heard that many of the churches in the Manchester area are similar, so that makes me hesitant in visiting other churches.

I know a quote says, “Be The Change You Want To See” but I would feel out-of-place if I started raising my hand and saying “Praise the Lord. Preach Preachah!” during the service so I just sit there. Feeling dry and praying that the Lord helps me pay attention and not fall asleep.

I know that I go to church to hear the word and as long as the word is preached that should be fine.

I know that culture differences and denominational divides play a major role in influencing every church’s culture.  Possibly if this church style was the only type I was exposed to, I wouldn’t be longing for more.

But I do.

At the very least, all I want is an Amen.

Can I get an Amen?