Question of the Day

Question of the Day: Are You Supposed To Pray For People After They Are Deceased?

Once a person leaves this earth are we to continue to pray for them? If so, then for what? Do we pray that they reach heaven, that they were able to ask for forgiveness? Or do we pray for their forgiveness?
I don’t know the answer so if you have one please leave it for me. In addition if you know where I can find scripture to support your position of either we should or we shouldn’t please leave that as well.
For some reason it seems like my old catholic school religion classes might have said something about purgatory and levels of death and praying for the souls of those who have gone on. However if it did, that was a many moons ago and it is really fuzzy. If so, would you mind refreshing my memory? In addition is that scriptural or just something the Catholic church adopted (if it is correct)?
Looking forward to reading your responses!
Be Blessed
Riverangel42

Question of the Day: Should Children Be Allowed In Church

Currently I am in the process of finding a church home. I have been to a couple churches in my area and this Sunday I decided to try a church my eldest daughter wanted to check out. It is a newer church and the Pastor seems to be young, full of energy as well as technologically savvy. Before deciding to go I took a look at the churches website to find out where they were located and if what I saw lined up with what I was looking for.
I read a few of the Pastor’s post on his blog, check. I looked at the content and quality of the website, check. I noticed on the site that they have various ministries including nurseries and children’s church complete with beepers, check. SO I figure let’s check it out. Perhaps this would be a good ministry for the entire family, something a little less traditional than I am accustomed to but let’s give it a try.
Ok so church starts at 11:15. We leave the house at 11:07 headed in the direction of the church. We arrive about 20 minutes later. Myself, the 16yr old, 6 yr old, 17 month old and 2 month old pile out the car (Car seat included) at the convention center head toward the entrance of the church. After walking for about 4.5 minutes we see two of the members of the church. I ask them if we have much farther to go and they respond “quite a ways”. So I stop to take a breather and one of the women says, “But Kids_______ is back behind you”. I respectfully decline saying, “No thank you my children will be staying with me.” To which she very kindly responded, “We have an area designed just for children, where they can be ministered to. It’s right this way.” To which I smiled and responded, “This is our first time here so I would prefer they stay with me.” She then said, “Children aren’t allowed in the service. It disrupts you and the other congregants and so God led us to have an area designed for the children. You can follow me there.” I said, “Wait you mean they won’t let me in?” Response, “No not if the children are under 6th grade age”.
Now I was a little perplexed so I called home to confer what I was feeling. I explained what was going on and he saw both sides. I didn’t so I left and went to another church. I felt guided to go to church today and was torn between the two, the services started at the same time so I went to the one that was closer to home. After all of that I still made it to the other church in time to hear two songs and a word that was right on time. So at the end of the day I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to go to the other service, as was my daughter. I just was not comfortable leaving my children in an area that was far from where I would be with people I had never met. God must have been at work and knew that I was on my way somewhere. For as late as I was I was still able to take part of the majority of the service as if He held it up just for me. Perhaps when just the older children and I can go again we will visit again.
However where do you stand on this issue? What would you have done? Would you have stayed or left? In my opinion no one should ever force me to separate from my children, especially the two who can not talk. Second I do not feel that the idea of separating a family is scriptural. If it is please direct me to the passage as I am eager to learn. But to say I would not be allowed, hmph! In essence you are telling me my children are not allowed in your sanctuary, but what about Luke 18:15
“People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
I don’t want to sound cliche’ but what would Jesus do? I wonder if this is something many churches are doing now? I understand that when children cry or can not sit still it can be disruptive. However I remember being rebuked by the elders of my church, went something like “Girl sit still and be quiet!” I remember my grandfather telling our congregation when a baby talked during his sermon that the child might have been talking to God and to leave them alone. What has happened to us as people when we have so little tolerance for one another. A church is comprised of single people, families, married couples and all sorts of people. Since when was the reality of my life so bothersome that it was not allowed? That children had to have an age limit to enter the doors? Was I going to a club or a church service?
I know some feel that perhaps the service will be over their heads and that is true. However that is where I come in as the parent to explain in terms that they understand. I feel that Monday through Saturday my children see most of what I do, on Sunday I want them to see me worship as well. Well please ring in, when it was a restaurant everyone had something to say! I’m not opposed to children’s church where the children are dismissed during the sermon. It was the not allowed that got me. In addition, in order to be fair and get the entire picture I asked the pastor to read what happened and to comment. I hope he does. Perhaps I ran into someone who wasn’t sure what they were talking about. Perhaps they cover adult content and topics aren’t for children. In other words I am not trying to cast this church into the fire. I want your opinions, but I have an open mind and spirit to receive and understand the direction that the Pastor was under to make this decision.
Be Blessed
RiverAngle42
UPDATE: While it seems as though the pastor of whom I am speaking has not responded as of yet. I do not want you to think that he has intentionally done so. After looking at his blog it appears as though he has recently lost his father. I wanted to say this so that no one began to work under the assumption that he was trying to hide or avoid my questions. I am sure this is a difficult time for him and his family and even though you do not know of whom I am speaking, keep him and his family in your prayers. As a matter of fact keep all who have lost a parent in your prayers as I am sure they are needed.

Question Of The Day: Really, "Quick To Hear?" James 1:19

I was having a discussion with some of my friends on Facebook and it led me to this scripture, James 1:19 and it reads “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;”
So I copied it in my comment and and continued on with my conversation. Now to me this is a loaded scripture depending on your personality type. I’m not easily angered…so slow to anger, check. I’ve learned and am still learning to be slow to speak, most times now its the facial expressions that get me, however they communicate a message as well. So not quite a check and when I feel provoked I can have a sharp tongue. HOWEVER this “quick to hear”…hmmm. In most versions it reads “swift to listen” so sometimes when you have some of the more uncommonly used terms in the Bible one can read but not absorb. Then you come across the New American Standard Bible, the I’m going to put it in as plain of English as I possibly can so you don’t miss what you are supposed to do version of the Bible. Things start to read a little different.
So back to my point, “QUICK to HEAR” and slow to do everything else. In essence attentively HEAR what has been said first. Yeah, so I am good at a lot of things but I’m not so sure I am the greatest at this. How about you? If we heard one another better do you think the latter parts of the scripture would become easier. For example, if you actually stopped what you were doing so that you could HEAR what your teenager was saying, would you have to get so upset when they bring home a bad grade? If you actually made it a priority to hear what your husband or wife felt right away, quickly heard what they were saying, would some of the issues be resolved by positive actions before negative feelings began to fester? If you stopped thinking of your rebuttal while the other person was speaking and just took that time to be quick to hear what they were saying….You get my point.
The word quick by The Free Dictionary Online is defined as
quick (kwk)
adj. quick·er, quick·est
1. Moving or functioning rapidly and energetically; speedy.
2. Learning, thinking, or understanding with speed and dexterity; bright: a quick mind.
3.
a. Perceiving or responding with speed and sensitivity; keen.
b. Reacting immediately and sharply: a quick temper.
4.
a. Occurring, achieved, or acquired in a relatively brief period of time: a quick rise through the ranks; a quick profit.
b. Done or occurring immediately: a quick inspection. See Synonyms at fast1.
5. Tending to react hastily: quick to find fault.
n
2. The most personal and sensitive aspect of the emotions.
4. The vital core; the essence: got to the quick of the matter.
adv. quicker, quickest
Quickly; promptly.
And the word hear as
quick (kwk)
adj. quick·er, quick·est
1. Moving or functioning rapidly and energetically; speedy.
2. Learning, thinking, or understanding with speed and dexterity; bright: a quick mind.
3.
a. Perceiving or responding with speed and sensitivity; keen.
b. Reacting immediately and sharply: a quick temper.
4.
a. Occurring, achieved, or acquired in a relatively brief period of time: a quick rise through the ranks; a quick profit.
b. Done or occurring immediately: a quick inspection. See Synonyms at fast1.
5. Tending to react hastily: quick to find fault.
6. Archaic
a. Alive.
b. Pregnant.
n.
1. Sensitive or raw exposed flesh, as under the fingernails.
2. The most personal and sensitive aspect of the emotions.
3. The living: the quick and the dead.
4. The vital core; the essence: got to the quick of the matter.
adv. quicker, quickest
Quickly; promptly.
By those two definitions are we succeeding in being “Quick To Hear”? If we made this our practice would it alleviate misunderstandings? Would being quick to hear make relationships stronger? More importantly would it help us to then be slow to speak and anger? Because the next line warns us that “20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” Does that mean that being angry is unrighteous in and of itself or that anger can deter, take over or change where you could be in your life?

Question Of The Day: Don't You Wish You Had A Pray Button? Romans 8:26

Times are hard and many of us are stressed well beyond our normal limits. During times like this don’t you wish you had a “Pray Button”? A button that not only sends up a prayer, but a specific prayer that uttered the words that your mouth can not, the feelings that your mind can’t even begin to process.
Well in essence we all do, it’s called the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26 states:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
So many of us think that the Holy Spirit is something that comes to us during a time of worship. That it is something that has one way travel in that it descends upon us only. However keep in mind as you go through your day to day headaches, heartaches and strife that you do have a prayer button, who speaks to the Father on your behalf. In a language that you don’t know. From your heart where you don’t have to worry about causing confusion by not knowing the right words. The Holy Spirit is there and speaks to God just for you. So when you are frustrated and can’t get it out and wish you had that button. Know that it is there and you can press it at anytime. Pushing mine now! How many times a day do you think you would push your button?
Be Blessed
RiverAngel42

Question Of The Day – Love, With Spite or In Spite of Fault?

WWJD? Was a popular term a few years back. There were T-shirts and bracelets and all kinds of paraphernalia that adorned the popular slogan. However many of us wore them on our chest and arms without adding them to our minds, hearts and spirit.
So my question of the day is were you a letter wearer or did you actually subscribe to living a life full of choices that had what Jesus would do in mind? For example, when it comes to those you love, do you love them in spite or their flaws? Do you take the insults, bumps, bruises, heartache and disappointment that love will bring, erase them and move on? Do you say you still love them and harbor resentment, love them at a distance or just never forgive them?
What happens to you when you love someone with spite? How does it affect your spirit and others that are influenced by the relationship in which you hold discontent? How did Jesus forgive those who hurt him? Really what would Jesus do? What happens when the willingness to forgive is there but the steps to forgiveness, trust are hard to take? How do you convince yourself to trust again when the fault might reoccur again?
There is a popular song that says “He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs”. How do we love one another like that? Despite the faults and flaws, even what logic may tell us, and love in a way that we can see beyond all of that to another person’s needs? Most of us know, if we are honest, when we see a person’s faults and they negatively impact us the last thing we are typically concerned with is their needs. However WWJD?
So think of the people you love, your spouse, family, children, friends and parents (the list goes on) and answer the question. How do you love them: With Spite or In Spite? If it is with spite is it really love? If it is in spite of, have they ever really hurt you? If so how did you get passed it to a place of open and honest love.
Be Blessed and have a great weekend. Looking forward to your responses.
RiverAngel42

Question of the Day: Is "Inspirational Song" Code Word For So Close to Secular You Can Barely Tell The Difference?

Over the past few months I have heard several Christian artist classify their music as being “Inspirational”. Some of them will then follow up this classification by saying they don’t want to be so Churchy that they can’t reach everyone. They want to draw people in by making them jam therefore taking some of the intimidation factor out of the Gospel. Some will even go as far as to say that for them traditional gospel doesn’t work.
However what I want to ask you is what are they really saying? For example both Mary Mary and Trin-I-Tee 5:7 have recently released albums that they are calling Inspirational. Now let it be known that I have not heard all of either of these albums and while “Walking” by Mary Mary is not my cup of tea, they still sing my favorite rendition of “Yesterday”. Yet I still have to ask the Kirk’s and Ty’s of the world is this your way of skating really close to the line of secular without actually crossing it? Is there a difference in the content of Gospel and Inspirational music that will make one classify it as one over the other? Think about it, some classified “I Can Fly” by R. Kelly as Inspirational, yet I wouldn’t consider it a gospel song. The same with Christina Aguilera “You Are Beautiful” or Pink’s song “Perfect”. All three of these songs inspire people and make them feel good about themselves, but they do not teach the word of God.
So what do you think? Is the term Inspirational being used as a get out of Sanctuary card that artist can use when they want to get their groove on? Is it a term that is being used in a more clever way, that will allow the songs to be played on all stations so that they can reach more listeners? Are they the same or two different genres of music.
Let me know what you think.
Be Blessed
RiverAngel42
Bonus Question: Would you have a problem with your favorite Gospel Artist singing a secular song?

Question of the Day – Is the Bad Weather God or Science?

Over the past couple of years I am sure you have all noticed that the weather appears to be getting worse and worse. Typhoons, Hurricanes and Tornadoes in Urban areas have left me with today’s question. Is the bad weather God or science?
On one hand many have looked at the natural disasters and said this is the hand of God at work. That the end times are near and this is only the beginning of the end.
There are others who will say, on the other hand we warned you that the use of Aqua Net, Lysol and other aerosol cans etc. was causing a hole in the ozone and that global warming is to blame.

When I asked my complimentary half (I’m sure he’ll love that:)) what he thought, he brought up a good point and asked why couldn’t it be both? To which I had to answer well I guess it could. God does provide answers to our questions (when He wants) and science is one way to get an answer. So now I pose the same questions to you, which one is it? Is it both? Why or why not?
Looking forward to reading your thoughts!
Be Blessed,
RiverAngel42
Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by these storms. God be with you all.

Question of the Day: Should Pastors Peddle Goods To Their Congregation?

Before I go into my question, let me preface it by saying I come from a FAMILY FULL OF PASTORS. So I am not one of those people who talk about what a pastor should or shouldn’t have or how or if they should be compensated by the church for Their Pastoral Services. This is not that question. This is something a little different.
From my understanding a Pastor is a Shepherd and part of their responsibility is protecting their flock. In addition they should also be able to guide the members of their church in matters of stewardship. Being responsible with their money, making sure the church members are not being taken advantage of by quick schemes, get rich quick pyramids and the like.
At the same time, many pastors are not Mega-church compensated and have to have jobs outside of the ministry to support their families. With that being said, where should the pastor draw the line between their outside income and their congregation? For example if you know you have a church of economically struggling members, should you as a person of influence over them consistently try to peddle off items that you are selling trying to generate an income? How would you feel if your pastor called you more trying to get you to join a new income opportunity then they did to see how your family was doing? Calling trying to sell you the new hottest item instead of calling giving you a solid job lead if you are unemployed? I don’t know it seems to me that if you were generally concerned with my well being that you wouldn’t have to profit from it in any way. Where you can support their endeavors by spreading the word of what they are trying to do however whenever they send out a mass email it is always in regards to buying or joining something, never to spread the word of support for what you are already doing? Does this give you the comfort that God will supply all your needs if your Pastor is jumping from one get rich quick to the next?
How would this make you feel? Would you trust that this pastor had your best interest in mind? If you do not have an issue with this, why not? After all not all of us have to agree. If you do not see a problem with it please voice your opinion because part of this sites mission is Spiritual growth and perhaps this is an opportunity for growth and understanding.
Welp, let’s get to talking.
Be Blessed,
RiverAngel42

Question of The Day: Does The Color Of The Messenger Matter?


One of the things I have noticed since beginning this site is that people all over the world are preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So today I was listening to TD Jakes and I was wondering, would his message have the same impact if Jakes were white or Asian or any other race?
More importantly, should it matter? I often read various blogs and Daily Inspirations and have read spirit filled words from people who are Filipino, White, Black and many other races and cultures. However I know that there are some people who feel as though they need or want their Pastor or Spiritual leader to look like them.  Is there any scriptural basis to found this feeling upon?  I know that for many African Americans there is a painful past of slavery and that the Bible and Christianity were two of the tools that the oppressors misused to hold them in captivity, so there is sometimes a certain amount of distrust.
So how about you? Does it matter to you the color of the Messenger of God’s word? Could you attend a church of someone who was of a different race?  Does only listening to preachers who look like you mean you think that only people who look like you will be brought up in the rapture? Why or Why not? Let me know what you are thinking.
Be Blessed
RiverAngel42

Question of the Day: What Would You Say To Your Teen If Their Friend Were Gay?

In this day and age there are so many mixed messages being taught regarding homosexuality. Where it comes from, is it a choice, are you born that way, does it stem from some kind of abuse?
I think for those of us who are in our 30’s and above we may have ridden the end tide of the “Keep it in the closet” era. Meaning we all knew who our homosexual relatives were and those who were completely out there. However how many of us can really remember being in High School or even earlier with people who were openly and comfortably gay?
So how as Christians do we help our children to navigate their way through a society that teaches, it is acceptable to be gay. As a matter of fact, is it ok to be gay? A good deal of teens today will tell you that the numbers of homosexual teens in their school is quite high. So what have your conversations with your teens been like? Not only what are you saying to them, but what is their response to you? If your straight teen wanted to be friends or have sleepovers with a gay teen of the same sex how would you react? How should we react from a BIBLICAL point of view? To pose the question, What Would Jesus Do?
I pray that none of us want our teens taunting those who live differently than them. However where do we draw the line if anywhere?
Thoughts, comments and respect greatly appreciated.
Be Blessed
RiverAngel42