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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Yeast in the Bread of Society

My parents grew up as a part of the Church of God reformation movement, also known as the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana, which identifies us according to where our national offices are located, and as opposed to other groups that use the name Church of God, with denominational offices in Ohio or Tennessee and elsewhere. When Mom married Dad, a divorced man, they apparently felt they didn't fit any more and in the early years of my life our family didn’t go to church on a regular basis.

My first church memory and experience came at a Baptist Church in the Southern California town of Ontario. At that time it was a small, sleepy town rather than the bustling metropolis it has become. There, a neighbor took me to church and I was saved as a kindergartner at an altar of prayer. Although it was genuine, and had a permanent effect on my life, when we moved back to Southeast Missouri and the family didn't attend church, I didn't either, except occasionally. Dad started attending the Dogwood Methodist Church, near our Bertrand, Missouri home and my siblings and I attended with him. He even taught a Sunday School class for young boys. He wasn't really a born again Christian yet, but everyone assumed he was, because he was such a good man.

Later, my parents got serious about church attendance when we moved to Pinhook, a rural community near Pulltight, in Mississippi County, Missouri. We then began to attend church regularly at the little Pulltight Church of God where Mom and Dad had attended as young people when their families lived on nearby farms in the community. Before long, my Dad was saved at a revival service when my mom's brother Linvel Arington was the evangelist. My Mom also renewed her relationship with the Lord and they were both baptized in one of the local ditches at an outdoor service.

I gave my heart permanently to the Lord at the age of fifteen in a revival service at Mounds Church of God, where my cousin, Alan Hendrix was pastor. Our Uncle, Linvel Arington, brother to both our mothers, was the evangelist. All these events changed our lives in marvelous ways. I thank God that His Spirit continues to work in our lives even when we think we've turned our backs on him. My parents got away from the church for a while, but they could never get totally away from the influence of godly parents and church family and friends. When the time was right, God's Spirit, in His always perfect timing, drew them back to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his salvation. Their lives were blessed and they blessed the lives of countless others.

You can see from the family involved in our conversions, that our family was a religious one. Preachers are so common that family gatherings are one place where preachers, although respected, are just treated like one of the family—because they are. Our families can be our greatest spiritual heritage. If, as you read this, you are a new Christian who didn’t grow up in a Christian home, don’t despair. Just realize that something special has begun in you that will transform for good the lives of your descendants, neighbors, friends and family. You will be the yeast in the bread of society and because of what God has done in you, the whole loaf of society around you will rise and be better because of what God has done in your life.

If you aren’t yet a Christian, didn’t grow up in a Christian home and feel totally left out of the word picture I have drawn, you need to realize that you too, have a godly heritage. God, our heavenly Father, who is Creator of the heavens and the earth, is also your heavenly Father. He loves you and even though you are now a prodigal, he wants you to come home to him and to the rest of the family. When you accept Christ as Savior and Lord, you also accept his family, which includes people of every nation and tribe, denomination, race, and society. With all its flaws and failures, yes, but also with all its glory and good. And, you can be the beginning of a heritage of godliness that will last for generations to come and be a blessing both here and in eternity.

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . .and that's My View from Tanner Creek.


Tony Blumenberg said...

Thanks, Rick, for this post on our family. Some of this history happened before my time, so I learned a lot. Thank-you & Carol for you Godly influence on my life & the life of your daughters. God bless.

Rick Blumenberg said...

Thanks Tony. I also need to include this in our family history. Some of it is there, but not exactly as written here.

We are blessed!

Sharon Kuhns said...

Rick, your family history is an inspiration to others. It proves it's never too late to come back. I, too, accepted the Lord at a young age, but through circumstances beyond my control, stopped attending church for several years. Thankfully, I listened when God said "come back to church". Duane and I renewed our commitment to the Lord, when we were baptized at FCOG, April 1997. It forever changed us. I enjoy reading your blogs.
God Bless, Sharon

Anonymous said...

Andy Lindgren, is a cousin of mine and a friend to you Rick B.. Thank bolth of you for this story.

This story is similar to my familys story. My wife and I decided to start attending church again with our 4 children, Last Sunday was our first day at the Lakeside Family Church, and it could not have been a more succesfull journey.
We loved it and will be attending regularly from now on. This is the first time in about 12 years that I have attended regularly and the first ever for my wife and children.
Your story caught my eye and I wanted to thank you.
Steven Ramsey

Rick Blumenberg said...

Thanks Sharon, for reading my blog, for the kind words, and for sharing some of yours and Duane's story. I know you miss Duane, but because of your commitments to the Lord, Duane is now in heaven and you will see him again some day.

Rick Blumenberg said...

Thanks for the kind words Steven and thanks for reading my blog. If your Andy's cousin, I think I know your Mom and Dad from a few years ago when I was interim pastor at Baroda.

If you really enjoy my blog, why don't you become a follower so you get an email any time I put a new one on. Just click the "Follow" button on the right side of the blog and follow the directions.

Thanks again for reading it.