It has been a long time since I went on a regular basis. For the last 10-15 years I have been more of a home study kind of guy. I don't mean I watch a Church program for 30 min once a month either.lol I will study up to 16hrs a day when I can. I am always reading or listening to something or meditating on the Word. Not because I have to, but because I want to. It's addictive!! My relationship with God gets stonger and stronger every day. There are a lot of different reasons that I didn't go to Church much in the last 10-15 years. My two youngest kids were diagnosed with autism and the daycares at the Church weren't schooled in how to handle them (BTW, they didn't tell me they couldn't watch them, they were willing to make adjustments to make it work. I just felt bad for them because my kids were making life hard on them. Plus, I couldn't concentrate on what the preacher was saying because I was worried about the kids.). Also, I am very particular about what a preacher says about God. I can let small things slide, but I want them to minister the truth and have a good foundation of knowing who God is. Nothing gets to me more than someone speaking traditional lies about my God (even if they don't know any better). So, finding a good church was another issue.
I started listening to Andrew Wommack in the early 90's and he ruined me, because now it is hard for me to listen to anyone else and get fed the Word like his teachings feed me.lol His teachings are the best I have ever heard. There are very few things that I have ever disagreed with him on, and they were petty things for the most part. I still listen to him on a daily basis and get a new revelation everytime I hear one of his teaching. I would highly recommend him to anyone. He gives all of his materials away for free and you can download most of his teachings on his website www.awmi.net
So, for the last 10-15 years I have mainly been listening to Andrew Wommack and reading the Bible on my own. I listen to other Ministers as well but Andrews teaching are by far the best. I like him because he "teaches" the Word and doesn't sound weird doing it.lol
His teaching have helped me build a strong foundation in my relationship with God. I personally have seen many miracles and blessings in my life through the Word of God, that I most likely wouldn't have if it weren't for his teachings. I realized this since I started back in Church. I have met and talked to all kinds of people. I've been getting a good sense of peoples relationship with God by some of the things they say. I see some that seem to know a lot of scripture, but they misunderstand what it is saying. I see some that don't know much, but are hungry to learn. I see some that claim to have gone to Church their whole life(not at this Church though), but by the way they talk they have no clue of who God is. Then I see some, that are on track and seem to have a really good foundation and relationship with God. So, far I haven't ran into any hardcore "Religious" people that think God is lucky to have them on his side because they are so holy.lol So far it has been a good experience and I am glad to get back into fellowship with other Christians.
I am very thankful to God, that all of my seeking hasn't been waisted on wrong teaching. I am sure there are people that don't agree totally with the way I believe. But, I am seeing things that I have believed for manifest time after time. I feel bad for people that grow up in a dead Church's that don't help guide them into a true relationship with God, or the ones that are caught up into tradition that have believed that way for a long time and will never see it any other way, even if they don't see God's blessings manifest in their life. Don't get me wrong, I don't claim to know it all and I don't see everything manifest that I am believing for. But, I am seeing more and more come to pass.
God has been telling me to go into the Ministry. I love talking to people about God, but "Religion" keeps trying to creep in telling me that I am not holy enough. I'll admit I need to clean up my language and quit smoking, but I want to do it out of the right motivation. I want to do it because I love God and "I" want to quit (and I really do want to quit). I am 35 and have been cusing(old school rap got me) and smoking since I was 11-12 years old. Smoking will probably be easier to quit than cusing. I hate it, because it is part of my vocabulary and sometime I don't even realize how much I do it. One of the reasons I started going back to Church was to meet new friends that I would be less prone to start cusing around. I have noticed I can keep from cusing when I am working or around social events (kids soccer games etc.). But, when I am around my wife and closer friends I just spew out verbal trash. Religion keeps trying to say, I need to "practice what I preach" but the problem is I am not going to preach "don't sin so God will love you" because God loves you reguardless of your sins (ie. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.). I do think that a Minister should live at somewhat of a higher standard and be a good role model. Plus, even if I understand that we all fall short and sin, and that God is forgiving. I am sure the Church wouldn't be too forgiving if I dropped an F-bomb when I dropped my cigarette in my lap and burnt my crouch.lol