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    Confessions of a Church Hopper
    Mary Annthipie Bane
    Confessions of a Church Hopper was written as a short story of a lifelong spiritual journey. It is not a tale bearing tale but rather an encouragement to those who have sought the Lord in their personal lives, are seeking a church home and who have traveled through churches and denominations.

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    With the passing of the seasons of my life I have found that each not only has physical, emotional and financial needs which change, but each has spiritual needs that change also. Included in these changes has been an inner calling to seek and to, on occasion, move on. I have always understood church to be not only the denominational institution but in the greater sense, church for me is the body of believers. Romans 12:4-5 states, “For as we have many members in one body and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” The church is the collective group of sinners who are forgiven by grace and not of their own works. In Ephesians 2:8-9 we are told “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Not of works, not of deeds, not of church membership.

    Church for me is and always will be the people for whom God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, John 3:16. This verse is well known is sporting arenas. Whether in the community church or worship center, in my personal life, in the workplace, the sporting arena or on the missions field this is “church” to me.

    Any church building and congregation has always been considered to be my home base of sorts, a room in the house of believers. Here we are to be instructed, strengthened, refreshed and renewed; offering our fellowship and service to one another so as to go out into the world and face our daily lives and the work God has set out before us to do. The home bases have changed for me over the years. In answer to those who have ventured to question, criticize or shun I simply reply: just because I’ve moved out of the house doesn’t mean we aren’t still family. Sadly there have been those Christian friends who have not held this same belief. I have been blessed however with an extended Christian family of believing sisters and brothers who through the expanse of change, time and distance have remained faithful non-judgmental friends in Christ.

    The following writings are not intended to dissuade the regular, faithful and fulfilled church going member. That is a wonderful thing. There are some who have been raised in a church and are blessed to remain there. That has not been my story and I have come to discover that there are many more like me who have been led to seek and to search, to rest in the Lord and to reach out in fellowship and service once again. If you are like me and have had experience in Christian traveling then my hope is that the following pages will help you to feel less alone, at peace with your personal walk with God and in your relationship with Jesus Christ whose Word I have hidden in my heart. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee, Psalm 119:11. I have carefully reflected on my life a Christian Gypsy, a Journeyman of sorts, considering His ways better than my own and the lessons I have learned from every church I have visited and walked amongst.
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