Favorite colors

Favorite colors

I have a precise method which allows me to pick between any two colors which I like best.
When speaking of colors, it’s hard to be specific without pictures. What I call green is not the same as what other people might call green. However, at least we can both agree that grass is certainly closer to green than a cloud is.

First of all, I like white and black. Not necessarily can I say that one is better than the other. They are opposites and are almost defined by being different from each other. If I had to pick an object that was either, I would probably go with white but it doesn’t matter that much.

Aside from that, I like colors on the red side. What I mean is, colors which contain a high amount of red light. If you’ve ever messed around with computer graphics, you’ll know that white light is composed of red, green, and blue light.
So all colors you see on a computer screen are some combination.

Colors on the red side would of course be red, orange, yellow, magenta, pink, and even white since red is a third of it.
Naturally, these take priority over things which are more blue or green. Between blue and green however, I like blue better.

No one can really explain why some people like the colors they do. We can only come up with guesses as to why this is.
In my case for example, things I like such and ketchup or the inside of a watermelon happen to be red. That alone might explain it. Likewise, I tend to dislike green things mostly just because there are so many green plants that I get tired of seeing it. Also, some people are slightly colorblind to certain colors.

Who can know if the colors I see are the same as everyone else? Maybe my red is someone else’s blue. I thank God that these things don’t really matter. I’m just glad that we have a variety of colors or life would be really boring.

Actually, though, I wouldn’t mind if the world were reduced to black and white, they are the perfect colors just because it’s easy to read black on a white backround or white on a black background.


I never knew you

I never knew you

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 7:22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ 7:23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’

The verse above is very interesting. Jesus is saying that doing things in his name isn’t the same thing as knowing him. This implies that someone may be able to cast out demons and do miracles in the name of Jesus and not really know who Jesus is or have accepted him as their savior.

I think what he’s describing is a case of identity theft. It’s a lot like if someone were to steal someone’s debit card or birth certificate and claim to be someone they are not. Eventually they would be caught. If some strange woman decided to steal my mother’s stuff and pretend to be her, then it would not likely work very long. On the other hand, when I go to the HyVee pharmacy to pick up prescriptions for my mom, I usually have some identification with me, but they don’t even need to see it anymore because everyone knows by now that I’m her son and that she called and said she was sending me.

In the same way, since born again christians are God’s children, wherever we go and whatever we do should have the same effect as if Jesus was here. Why then don’t we see christians walking around teaching, healing, casting out demons, walking on water, or feeding fish and bread to thousands of people? I guess it’s really quite simple, we haven’t really spent enough time with Jesus to learn how. It’s directly a result of how well we know Jesus. People shouldn’t have to ask the question “what would Jesus do?” because we should already know.

But then again, not all of us had the same advantage of being with Jesus while he was on earth in his own body. The people who knew him then were able to see with their own eyes the type of person he was and couldn’t doubt that he was God in the flesh.

However, there have been other people long before that in the old testament who clearly knew more about God than people in our day do.

One of my favorite examples is Noah. Genesis 6 tells the story of Noah and how God told him to build a boat to protect him and his family from the flood. We don’t know much about Noah except that he found favor in the sight of God, that he was blameless, and had a wife and three sons. God spoke to him very specific directions on how to build a gigantic boat. How many of us if we heard a voice telling us to build a gigantic boat would know it was God?

Noah must have talked to God enough in his life to know God’s voice and believed him about the flood. Either this or he was crazy and planned on turning the ark into a petting zoo if the flood never came. Still, it must have been a lot of work, but he still finished it by the time he was 600 years old. It’s amazing that he didn’t even have the Bible to read back then but he must have been able to listen to God. Then again, he didn’t have anything else to do since the internet hadn’t been invented yet.

But today, while many people not only don’t know the difference between God and a squirrel, there are some who think he doesn’t exist.

This is very silly, even the demons know who God is.

Mark 1:34 So he healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Luke 4:33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 4:34 “Ha! Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God.”

James 2:19 You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear.

And because the demons know very well who God/Jesus is, they can also tell when those who don’t really know Jesus try to use his name.

Acts 19:11 God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul’s hands, 19:12 so that when even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his body were brought to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 19:13 But some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by evil spirits, saying, “I sternly warn you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 19:14 (Now seven sons of a man named Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were doing this.) 19:15 But the evil spirit replied to them, “I know about Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” 19:16 Then the man who was possessed by the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them all into submission. He prevailed against them so that they fled from that house naked and wounded.

And so apparently, even the name of Jesus is rather useless when the demons know who he is more than the humans who speak about Jesus.

Isaiah 29:13 The sovereign master says, “These people say they are loyal to me; they say wonderful things about me, but they are not really loyal to me. Their worship consists of nothing but man-made ritual 29:14 Therefore I will again do an amazing thing for these people – an absolutely extraordinary deed. Wise men will have nothing to say, the sages will have no explanations.”

Make sure that you really know who you’re talking about when you talk about God, whether the father, son, or holy spirit. You don’t want to hear Jesus say “I never knew you”.

HyVee vs church

HyVee vs church

At church, you sometimes get a small amount of grape juice and a tiny cracker during communion.
At HyVee, you can buy a big bottle of grape juice and a loaf of bread.

At church, if a pastor, elder, or a member who gives a lot of money in the offering, insults you, sexually harasses you, or wants to start a fight with you, you’re told you must forgive them and act like nothing is wrong.
At HyVee, if an employee upsets you for any of the same reasons, you can write a note for the store director and someone will correct or fire them.

At church, you’re expected to sing along to the slow boring worship music and raise your hands or people think that you don’t have the right relationship with God. If you dance then you’re considered a distraction.
At HyVee, you hear better music on the radio and you can dance. No one cares as long as you buy something.

At church, people expect you to put on your fancy uncomfortable clothes on Sunday morning or they’ll assume you have no respect for God’s house.
At HyVee, they simply appreciate that you are wearing clothes. Only employees must dress professional but at least they get paid for it.

At church, there is nothing going on except on Sunday and Wednesday.
At HyVee, you can buy food every day of the week.

At church, if your kids scream and run around, you are considered a bad parent and people will tell you that God is punishing you for some sin.
At HyVee, kids scream, run around, and throw a fit when their parents don’t buy them everything they want but HyVee employees think it’s entertaining and will attempt to calm the kids down and have an intelligent conversation to distract them while their mother pays for the food.

At church, you don’t have enough hands to hold your Bible, purse, the bulletin, and still have a free hand to shake hands with everyone.
At HyVee, we can use shopping carts.

At church, you’re told that you’re robbing God if you don’t give ten percent of your income to their church. You don’t get anything in return, not even a bottle of Pepsi.
At HyVee, you can buy a 3 egg omelette with hash browns and toast for $3.99 . You can also buy a small soft drink for $1.59 and get free refills.

At church, if people are rude to you, you’re still expected to come back. Otherwise, you are considered a “church hopper”.
At HyVee, if employees are rude to the customers, they will not feel like coming back and will shop somewhere else.

Halloween is not for Christians (comments by Judena Klebs)

Halloween is not for Christians  (comments by Judena Klebs)

Halloween is a celebration of fear and death.

A celebration of fear:

Fear is not of God.

” For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” ( Romans 8:15 )
” There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear; because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” ( 1 John 4:18 )

If fear is not of God, then why do Christians attend horror movies that were especially designed to generate and promote fear?
Why do they sometimes participate in haunted houses?

A celebration of death:

Jesus said, You are seeking to kill me…You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning…” (John 8:40,44 NASB)
” The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 )

Ghosts, skulls, skeletons all remind us that Halloween is a celebration of death.

” Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He, Himself, likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” ( Hebrews 2: 14,15 )

Is It A Church Or A Cult?(written by Judena Klebs)

Is It A Church Or A Cult?(written by Judena Klebs)

There are many traits of cults, but we have recently encountered three of them :

1) Not wanting people in their group to read anything but their own literature to interpret the Bible

Recently we were told that we should not even read books from the library. The leader who mentioned this seems to believe that pastors can read whatever they want to read.
Do you suppose that there are opinions or information that they don’t want us to know?

2) Ostracizing those who leave the group

One of the common traits of a cult is when they tell their people to have nothing to do with those who have left their organization. The people are ordered to exclude them in every way, not to be friendly to them in any way, and are usually encouraged to persecute them or punish them in some way for leaving the group.

3) Dominating leadership

A prominent sign of a cult is leadership that claims to have special access to God that no one else has, that they are the source of truth, and that others must obey everything they say, having complete loyalty to their control.
I have heard some leaders say that their congregation answers only to them and that the leader himself answers only to God, Without any say from other humans. They believe that only they know what God approves or disapproves and that they alone are God’s representative. They supposedly have rights and privileges that others cannot enjoy.
Jesus said that the one who wants to be great must be the servant of all. The Bible also warns the shepherds of their congregation not to “lord it over” the flock.
When we run into people who think that they are the “boss” and consider it their job to dictate every detail of people’s lives, we know that we are seeing evidence of a cult. If leaders say that they answer to no other human authority but instead answer only to God without being questioned and if they refuse to listen to anyone else’s input, they should not be followed. Too bad that there are so many “churches” that are really cults.

Is God Responsible for our Suffering ? (an essay by Judena Klebs)

Is God Responsible for our Suffering ? (an essay by Judena Klebs)

For as long as I can remember, I have heard people pass on traditional
beliefs that God is the one who either “causes” or “allows” our
suffering.I have heard it in various churches and in society as a
whole. It is so common that people don’t seem to question it very
often. Is this what the Bible really teaches ?
I have suffered in various ways throughout my life. Many times I was
judged by others that God had caused my suffering because of some
fault of my own. Other times, it was worded that God had allowed my
suffering because I needed to change in some way. Many times I have
become frustrated with people’s conclusions.
One day I made a list of many of the things I had heard and was still
hearing from people whenever I had a problem. There were twelve
statements that came to mind. Perhaps there are other statements that
people make to blame God for our suffering but these twelve seem to
cover a lot of ground. I decided to respond to each of these
statements with comments and with scripture to hopefully counter some
of Satan’s lies coming to us through traditional beliefs.

Reasons people say that God “causes” or “allows” our suffering :

1) To make us a better person

2) To teach us something

3) To test us

4) To make us able to help others

5) To make us patient

6) To make us stronger

7) To prepare us for Heaven

8) To punish us for something

9) To keep us from pride

10) To make us like Christ

11) To teach us to be content

12) To help us get rid of sin

My Response to Each Reason :

1) To make us a better person

If suffering will make us better people, why do some suffer more than
others? Do some people need more improvement than others? Even if they
suffer as babies or young children? If they suffer, does that mean
they are inferior people to those who suffer less?
Acts 10:34 tells us that God does not show favoritism between people.
Actually, what does a person define as a “better” person? What kind of
improvements in a person really count? Who is to judge the quality of
people? If I hit you over the head with a baseball bat, would I make
you a better person?

2) To teach us something

How does suffering educate us? We find out how painful our lives are,
that we are unhappy, and that life is difficult. If that is what we
are supposed to learn, how does that benefit any one in any way?
1 Timothy 3:16,17 say that the scripture is useful for teaching, for
reproof, and for training in righteousness to equip us for every good
If the scripture teaches us what we need to know, wouldn’t suffering
only distract us from learning from the scripture? How can we
concentrate on the instruction we receive from our Bible study while
we are in pain?

3) To test us

The only tests God gave people in the Bible were commands to test
obedience. He did not send suffering except in judgment.
Except in cases where intercession turned the situation around, the
judgment was final. Since it was a final judgment, it could neither
teach nor test a person.
In James 1:13,14, God claims that He is not one who tempts anyone. The
words “test” and “tempt” are used interchangeably in this passage.
They come from the same Greek word, ” pi-ras-mos’ “. The kind of
testing that people say comes from God through suffering would be a
temptation to turn away from God rather than to Him. He cannot be
responsible to cause suffering in order to “test” people.

4) To make us able to help others.

If God causes or allows suffering to make us able to help others, why
did He cause or allow the other person to need help with the
particular problem they had in the first place? If no one was
suffering, no one would be needed to understand what the original
suffering person was going through.
It is true that once the suffering has occurred, it can be used for
the good of helping others. However, it is illogical to say that God
would cause or allow suffering so that people could be relieved of
suffering by being “helped”. Does He want them to suffer or be helped?
Which is it? Is His kingdom divided against itself?
In Matthew 12 : 24-26, the Pharisees accused Jesus of having a divided
kingdom by casting out a demon by Satan’s power. Jesus responded by
saying that every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed. How can
we accuse God of such foolishness?

5) To make us patient

Are we more patient when we suffer? I think not.
Many scriptures talk about patience but the word is often translated
as “perseverance” or “endurance”. These words describe a continual
obedience to God in spite of our suffering. Does this mean that the
suffering comes from God for this purpose?
James 1:3 in the King James Version of the Bible says that the testing
of our faith worketh patience. It does make us have to “work” our
patience. But only if we choose to endure.
It is actually harder to be patient when we are suffering because it
is only natural to fight to relieve our suffering. Why take measures
to ease our suffering by going to doctors or taking medicine when we
are sick, for example, if we lose the virtue of patience that way?
This goes back to the idea of suffering making us a better person. If
it does, we are bad when we feel better. Patience is a fruit of the
spirit, not the fruit of suffering ( Galatians 5 : 22 ).

6) To make us stronger

It is not the suffering that makes us stronger, but the endurance
through suffering that makes us stronger. God can use our faithfulness
through our suffering if we choose to endure. We can get through the
suffering to the other side of it, if we do not become bitter toward
God. This can be obtained by the realization that God is not the one
causing the suffering.
If we become stronger because of our endurance, God can use that to
bring good out of a bad situation. James 1 : 3,4 say that the testing
of our faith produces endurance. It does not say that God is the one
testing us. In James 1 : 2, it also says that keeping our joy in the
midst of our trials helps us to get through them and to develop
The Bible does talk a lot about suffering but if you study the context
of it, it usually refers to the suffering of persecution. We are not
always delivered from persecution. People are free to persecute us. It
is one of the ways  we reach others for God’s kingdom. God also
promises to give us strength to go through it. ( See my notes about
“Paul’s thorn in the flesh” in point nine. )

7) To prepare us for Heaven

This is one of the strangest reasons given for suffering that I have
ever heard. As far as I know, there is no suffering in Heaven so how
could suffering here prepare us for it? Revelation 21:4 says that
God’s future Kingdom contains no mourning, crying, or pain.
What prepares us for Heaven is not our suffering but the salvation
from our sins that Jesus provided for us through His death on the
cross. Suffering is not God’s plan but it is the plan of Satan to try
to destroy us.

8) To punish us for something

Jesus has already paid for our sins. We receive Him as our substitute
and no longer need to be punished if we have accepted His free gift.
The Bible does talk about discipline but this is not the same as
punishment. Hebrews 12:5-13 talks about God’s discipline as correction
and instruction. It cannot be the same as punishment which is a
penalty for wrong and has no redeeming purpose. The Hebrews passage
above talks about ultimately producing healing for us.

9) To keep us from pride

People who believe that suffering is meant to keep us from pride are
usually referring to “Paul’s thorn in the flesh” spoken of in 2
Corinthians 12:7-10. This “thorn in the flesh” is said to be sent by a
messenger of Satan to keep Paul from being exalted. The context seems
to be referring to persecution which Paul suffered. To say that God
sent this thorn to keep Paul from being exalted does not consider 1
Peter 5:6,7 which says that God does exalt us in due time if we humble
ourselves. If God was trying to humble Paul through persecution, it
would not say that the “thorn” came from Satan.
God does not send us suffering to keep us from pride. He expects us to
humble ourselves. But then He promises to give us strength when we are

10) To make us like Christ

Philippians 2 : 4-11 tell us to follow Christ example by having the
same attitude toward others as He had when He humbled Himself by
letting go of His equality with God to come to earth and to become a
sacrifice for us. He did not exalt Himself so God, the Father exalted
Him. We are to be like Christ in the way He treated us.
Christ did suffer but He suffered in our place so that we would not be
judged. The only suffering that we are called to do is to suffer
persecution when necessary.
What makes us like Christ? When we live the way He lived on earth and
the way He lives now as He intercedes for us in Heaven. We are like
Him when we pray. We are like Him when we obey God. And we will be
like Him when He returns and we “see Him just as He is.” ( 1 John 3:2).
Suffering, in itself, does not make us like Christ. We may live for
Him or die for the sake of His gospel, but suffering itself does not
come from God.

11) To teach us to be content

This is similar to Point 5 ” To make us patient”. However, it also
suggests that we accept all our problems as coming from God. In
Philippians 4:11-13, Paul states that He has learned to be content in
every circumstance. He does not say that all his circumstances come
from God. He says that God strengthens him to do what He wants him to
do no matter what he faces. Suffering does not make him content but
God’s strength does.

12) To help us get rid of sin

If there is sin in our lives, we are told in 1 John 1:9 that if we
confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is the way to get rid of
sin. Inflicting suffering on ourselves in penance or expecting God to
inflict suffering on us does not do it. Christ already paid the price
for our sin. We go to Him to get rid of it.

“What about Job?” many people may ask. “Didn’t God allow Satan to test Job?”
If you know the story, Satan tested Job in order to tempt him to curse
God. Since Satan has been the “god of this world” ( 2 Corinthians 4:4
and John 12:31 ), he had power on this earth to do evil. God
recognized that Satan had some power to hurt Job. In the sense that
God gave free will to people and to angels, God did allow Satan’s
control to a point. But He limited Satan’s control. He told Satan that
He would not allow him to take Job’s life. That is because God had a
plan to make up to Job the suffering Satan had caused by giving Job
twice as much as he had before.
In John 12:31 it says Satan has been cast out as god of this world.
But because Christians are unaware of the authority given to us by
Christ, many allow things to happen while thinking that it comes from
God. God was the one who ultimately healed Job. In the end, it was Job
who had to pray for his friends because they had falsely accused God
of punishing Job for some sin in his life.

Many people blame God for “causing” or “allowing” our suffering when
it is really they or others causing or allowing it. Because we have
free wills, we can choose to either obey God or to disobey Him by what
we do. Ultimately, the “bad” comes from Satan, but we and others make
choices that either cause or alleviate suffering. It can be an excuse
for our own decisions and actions to say that God caused or allowed
these things. This is a way to justify them and make them look right
to ourselves and to the rest of the world. Stop blaming God and face
up to your own responsibilities!
These false concepts of God have been taught to the world throughout
history. Maybe we should take a second look at our interpretation of
the Bible and not keep passing on to others what we have heard all of
our lives. Sometimes traditional beliefs can do a lot of damage and
encourage us to judge others who are suffering.

3 Strikes and I’m out

I have made the decision that now is the best time to leave Life Christian Center completely. I had planned to just quit going without saying a word. I didn’t want anyone to ask me my reasons for leaving. I didn’t ask anyone’s permission to visit that church when I started in the spring of 2011. I met a lot of great people in the year and a half that I was at youth group. Overtime though, I felt less and less welcome on Sunday mornings.

Laurie Virgin called me to find out how things were going with my new job. I told her what was happening. Then she said “see you Wednesday”. I had to break the news to her that I would not be coming anymore. What she told me not long after that really broke my heart. She said that she was going to announce to the church that I left and tell them to leave me alone. I didn’t tell her to do that. It is NOT her job to speak for me. I am a 25 year old adult and I can speak for myself.

She said that I was part of the church family and said that I was like a son to her. If this is how she treats a son then it is a good thing she only has daughters. I’m glad that I already have a mother. Laurie also accused my mom of dragging me into some pattern of looking though the eyes of hurt and finding fault with churches. My mom did not drag me into anything, but excuse me if I happen to notice that one of the faults of people in church is to judge my mother when they haven’t taken any time to talk to her and learn who she is. I’ve had people tell me that my mom needs to be put in a rest home, that she’s old, or tell her that God is testing her by breaking her tooth and she’s not passing the test.

I could easily have decided to leave just over the way they treat my mom, or maybe over the creepy dead animals in the men’s bathroom, but I stayed as long as I did because I do like many of the people and I haven’t found fault with the majority. However, I’m sure that when Laurie announces that I’ve left, she’ll try to come up with her own reasons to tell others when they ask why.

And so,I think it’s for everyone’s benefit that I explain the 3 strikes as I call them.

Strike 1

They told me I was a “distraction” when I danced during worship on Sunday. I don’t know who I was distracting or what I was distracting them from, but I felt rejected and not as welcome as I used to. The really odd thing is that even though they discouraged me from dancing on Sunday morning, it was just fine for me to dance in youth group on Wednesday. So tell me, is it right or wrong to dance? If it’s right, then what was wrong about it Sunday? If it’s wrong, then why is it ok only on Wednesday? It doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t leave the church over that but I was depressed ever since then.

Strike 2

The Sunday that Suzy gave a prophecy that there were suicidal people there that should come to the front and be prayed for. Pastor Bill Virgin however said “don’t come,because…….just because”. I was one of the people who was extremely depressed to the point of feeling like I should die. It could have had something to do with the fact that we lost half our income, our washing machine had broken, I couldn’t get a job, and on top of that people thought I was bad for dancing. Either way, when he told me not to come and be prayed for, I only felt more rejected.

Strike 3

In Bill’s September 9 2012 sermon, his whole theme was about God breaking us and messing up our lives. He said at one part

“You ever been messed up by the lord? You will have your turn if you haven’t. Especially after today. We’re going to release a holy ghost mess up in your life.”

This is very different from my view of God as our loving creator,healer,and savior who forgives us and dies in our place so that we don’t have to be punished. I don’t agree with Bill’s opinion of God and I don’t find that type of God in the Bible. Aside from that, it was not the kind of encouragement I was hoping for.

These are a few thing that really made me question why I was still in that church. After much thinking and praying, I knew that I couldn’t continue listening to this garbage.

I hope that all you teenagers and young adults know that none of this has anything to do with you. I can’t hold you responsible for anything that other people say. I’ll miss seeing you as often as I did, but there is no reason you can’t talk to me if you want to.