Posted by: Timothy | July 24, 2017

A Change in Direction….

I’ve had this blog for many years, once posting many more writing than what are currently showing. And life passes us as we set out to make a living, and we almost forget about things we originally set out to do.

Going forward I’m going to change the direction of things that I post here, including the title and name of this blog. No longer will it show predominately essays I have written, but I will be sharing life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and my history regarding the possibility/calling to become a Eunuch.

From Matthew 19

Matthew19

Posted by: Timothy | April 7, 2010

A Silent Witness

     Have you ever had something happen to you, or had someone cross your path in life that put a big smile on your face? Something that made you, either silently or audibly say “Thank You, Jesus!” An event that made you realize that you had just met another child of God.

      About two years ago on an afternoon that I had gotten off work early I was meandering around my local Wal-Mart, when I ran across two individuals that made me smile, and praise God. The one was an older lady in a modest grandmotherly type dress and her hair up in a fashion that you might have seen on the streets of Mayberry. Accompanying her was a younger twenties something gal in a jumper type dress with her hair pulled back in a single braid. And what I’ll call for the sake of writing was the crowning touch was a very noticeable head covering on each of them. A thick, crocheted ‘you cannot miss it’ type, that reminded me of the church I grew up in, during my youth.

      But wait a minute, I was in Fort Worth, Texas that day, and while the church I grew up in was holding services locally, these ladies I knew were not affiliated with the church of my youth. Could it be possible that there was another group of believers that believed and lived their lives similar to the way I was raised?

      I debated with in myself for several moments, while observing from a distance, as to whether I would approach them and inquire, or whether my ‘shyness’ of my youth would reign supreme for that incident, and I would walk away. Well, that day curiosity did kill the cat.

      “Excuse me, can you tell me where you go to church?” were the words that came out as I approached them. While I spoke no Spanish, the younger one interpreted to the older one as I shared how in my youth I attended and was a member of a church, where the sisters dressed modestly as they but also wore head coverings as they were that day.

      As it turned out, up the street they told me of the church they attended. Soldiers of the Cross of Christ, International, was the name and I was familiar with it in a sense that I had driven past it many times.

      As we parted that afternoon, they invited me to church that Sunday evening for a church singing. “I’ll keep that in mind”, I told them, thinking that I might actually overcome a bit of hesitancy that I have about visiting churches where I know no one.

     That was until I drove past the church on the way home. As I approached the church, my heart dropped as I saw the sign. It was in Spanish! Now I’m just an average middle aged white guy from Middle America and learning Spanish has never on my top ten to do list. And attending a church I had never visited before, especially where they spoke Spanish made me stop and go, Hmmmm.

      I never did visit that Sunday night. I still fondly remember that incident when I met those two, yeah, Sisters.

      So fast forward to Thursday night July 6th, I’m once more heading to the same Wal-Mart to pick up supplies for a trip. As I drive in I’m mentally composing a letter to a Pentecostal friend in Maryland thanking her for her visible Christian witness. Why I’m thinking of this I’m unsure, but as I walk in the thought crosses my mind. “I wonder if…?”

      As I pick up my things and head up to the check out, I run across a young Hispanic gal in a fairly long jean skirt and a modest top. That’s unusual, I thought, considering how a lot of young kids dress today. That was unusual until I saw her go up to her father and mother. Her father was clean cut, jeans and a shirt, and her mother in a jean skirt also, and she had her hair in a pony tail, and… (Drum roll please)…and a head covering.

 A Silent Witness.

 I smiled, and quietly said “Thank You, Jesus!”

      A few moments pass as I contemplate approaching them and asking if they attend the church up the street, like the two afore mentioned sisters. Upon observing the father on his cell phone, I turn and head to the check out, again thanking God, feeling uplifted and encouraged.

      For some of you reading this; you be a little disturbed, confused as to why something like this encourages me, and even still you might think I’m being a little legalistic, thinking that I believe all Christian women need to be in dresses, with their hair up and a head covering on. Others of you will understand completely.

      Let me explain. I was raised in a traditional ‘holiness type’ church, (minus speaking in tongues). The reason it was considered a ‘holiness’ type church I believe is because of the emphasis on personal holiness.

 “for it is written ‘Be Holy, because I am Holy’ “           1 Peter 1:16          (Leviticus 11:44)

“… You ought to live holy and godly lives…”              2 Peter 3:11

      One of the things that made the church unique was that the sisters in the church were attired in dresses/skirts, with their hair up in a bun or some sort of fashion, and a head covering. How you saw them on Sunday morning, was probably close to how they looked through out the week.

      While I currently attend a Bible Church, and am no longer a member of the church I was raised in, and became a Christian in, I still appreciate, love and admire the convictions, beliefs and traditions of that denomination. Today I can be encouraged, when visiting one of the towns that has a congregation, and see a lady from the church, and know that she is my Sister in Christ based on her appearance.

      On the flip side of the coin are three Christian women I know here in Texas. A red head from San Antonio, an American born Chinese gal from North Richland Hills and a transplanted Yankee that lives in Richland Hills. Not one of these wears a dress daily, or their hair up, and they don’t wear a head covering, but yet I know for a fact that these three, are sincere Christians. Truthfully in some of my conversations with these three, I feel at times they are more sincere in their beliefs and convictions than I am.

      If you are reading this and feel I am judging you and the way you wear your hair, as a Christian, I am not. I am writing about what is an encouragement to me. I judge no one as I am not worthy. However I will tell you what the Bible says. In 1 Corinthians 11, it says a woman should have long hair and her head needs to be covered when she prays. It does not say she needs to wear it in a bun and have a crocheted “doily” on top. Some churches believe that the hair is her covering; others believe that a covering needs to be something additional.

      If ten years ago you would have put me in a position where I knew none of these six women and told me to pick out the ones that I thought were a Christian, because of my raising, I would have picked the first three mentioned in this writing. Truth be known, I probably would not have picked my Bible church pastors wife either.

      If you’re a Christian female, I want you to know I love you as my sister in Christ regardless of how you wear your hair. If you happen to be one of the ones that wear it in a manner whereby a head covering is also present, I appreciate your “Silent Witness” and encourage you to continue to be such. Many times a ‘silent witness’ speaks louder and stronger than a sermon with many words.

 I look forward to the next time of being encouraged by a “Silent Witness”

By Timothy Stoller
                On July 7, 2006

Posted by: Timothy | March 7, 2010

The Right Way to Answer

It was the first weekend in August, a hot summer Saturday night in Texas. It was the type day that you did not mind having nothing to do, because it meant you could stay indoors in the air conditioning. But tonight, I looked forward to getting out as a friend had send me an email earlier in the week, A night of Praise and Worship was in the subject line along with the persons name, who was leading the evening. I had heard this person perform several years before, and enjoyed it, as he had an incredible testimony.

     I had been feeling a bit of a spiritual void, as it seemed outside of Sunday worship, spiritual activities were kind of slim. With that in mind, I send out an email to my singles group announcing this and made plans to go, looking forward to an evening of praising God with other believers.

     After meeting one other of the singles at church, and a short drive, we arrived in the rural Texas town at the Baptist church where the ‘concert’ was to be held. As in a lot of small towns one of the biggest buildings it seems is one of the churches. This town was no exception, as this church was in the middle of a building expansion project; it was definitely the largest and most modern building in the area. Gone are the days of rural American towns with little white churches.

     As we took our seats in what years ago would have been called the sanctuary, I could tell that it was more of an auditorium and multipurpose room more that anything else. It was the main room where church services took place, but seeing a design in the carpet that looked like the markings of a basketball court, and raised basketball goals at the end, told me much more went on in here besides worship services. Gone are the days it seems in a lot of churches, are the sanctuaries where we enter with reverence to worship our God.

     Several minutes prior to the evening officially starting I noticed a young couple and their four young boys take their seats in the section to the right of where I was sitting. The father and the young boys were similarly attired in nice jeans, and plaid short sleeved button down the front shirts. The wife and mother of the boys was modestly attired in an ankle length dress with her hair up I’m guessing in a bun type fashion.  I say I’m guessing about the bun because it was covered by a black head covering that covered the majority of her head and hung down to her neck.

     For those of you reading this, thinking this is another installment of “A Silent Witness”, reread the title and continue reading.

     Occasionally during the next two hours I found myself observing the family. The boys were as cute as could be, with the oldest one was probably six at the most and the youngest was probably two years old. More importantly, I wondered about their background. A Christian sister with a head covering in a Baptist church probably had not been seen in a long time. Where were they from? Did they attend a church somewhere close by? Was it possible that in the rural Fort Worth area was a group of believers that had similar beliefs as to the way I was raised? I determined in my heart that I would talk with them before leaving that evening.

     Following the closing prayer as people began to leave the auditorium, I went up to them, said hello and asked whether I could inquire of their background. I explained I was also raised in a church where the sisters wore head coverings and modest attire was the way everybody dressed. Or something close to that.

     The response that followed was one that gave me the greatest blessing that evening. It went something to the effect of; “It’s not so much about our background, but what the Bible says and our desire to be obedient to it”.

     It was not until several moments of conversation had passed after we had shared mutual information, that he told me they were originally from Pennsylvania and had a Mennonite background. He also shared that they live in the Sherman, Texas area and meet with 6-7 other families for church. It was also reiterated that modest attire was for both the men and women, along with the head covering for the women, as it was what the Bible taught.

     Think about his answer with me for a moment; “It’s not so much about our background, but what the Bible says and our desire to be obedient to it”. The answer was not about them, or a belief of their church. His answer quite simply, directed me back to the Bible, and more importantly, back to God and back to God’s instruction to us, and their desire to be obedient.

     How many times in our Christian witness and walk of life have we been asked why we believe something, or why we do or don’t do certain things? How have we answered it? Have you ever answered an inquiry with a “Well, my church…”? I have, and it is the wrong way to answer questions for the most part. You see, with out God there is no Bible, and with out God and the Bible, there is no church, or salvation for us.

     It’s all about God, and it’s all about us being obedient to his word. It’s my hope and prayer that the next time we are posed a question about something we do, or don’t do, or something we believe, that we can direct the questioner back to God and the Bible, and our desire to be obedient.

And that’s The Right Way to Answer!

By Timothy Stoller
      On August 5, 2006

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