May I Introduce myself?
Who is your partner in this?
When you are busy with spiritual things it is good to know who your partner in this is. Especially his background may be important.
That is why I want to tell a few things about myself.
My name is Laurens Hoddenbagh, I was born in 1943 in The Hague, Netherlands and had a Christian upbringing.
In my mind I knew God existed and I also told Him at a fairly young age that I wanted to follow Him.
But… believing with the mind is different than with the heart, I found that out eventually. After I got married I let go of the faith more and more. I did not go to a church or meetings and did not pray anymore. We were going downhill in a spiritual sense. Not only spiritual, our marriage looked like it would end in a failure.
God spoke to me
One day I had a feeling God was directly talking to me:
"When you were young, you told me you wanted to follow Me. I want you to make a decision and follow that now or continue running further away from Me."
That was really scary; I was really ashamed about my behavior in the previous years. Meanwhile I moved to the city Driebergen.
Finding the right church
The local paper mentioned a few church meetings. I visited all of them until the last one which was a "full gospel" church community. This one did not look like all the ones before; it was strange and according to me not real good. From my youth I had some basic Bible knowledge and I thought to know for sure that what was happening there was not according to the Bible. After I came home I took a Bible for the first time in years and was going to prove that what was happening there in that church could not be right.
I was not much of a Bible expert but what I looked up seemed to be correct. It was not at all strange in that community. If there was something strange it would have to be me. I kept going for a few Sundays and became jealous of the way those people believed.
To cut the story short: after about six weeks I went forward and gave my heart to the Lord Jesus.
My wife did so half a year later.
This was the beginning of a completely different and new life. Our marriage became completely renewed. Everything was different, better. Of course I had to learn a lot more. In the fifteen years after this I did so. Especially to trust in the Lord. Sometimes you have to learn this the hard way but God knows what is best for you and remains the loving heavenly Father.
Hungry for the Word
After about fifteen years, I was still hungry for the Word. The Bible studies in the church have taught me much but I acrossed more and more questions which required an answer. I started digging in the Bible and did not stop. For many churches and congregations a lot of things are determined, there is no room for discussion. Dogmas have been so sacred over the years that you should not dare to ask questions about them. The strange thing is that what is a dogma in one church is not necessary one in another church. One might have a clear look in things and in the other one it is hidden behind a veil. All the more reason to gather your Bible knowledge and therefore your knowledge what God wants to point out to people, not only from others but to work on it yourself as well.
If you have an overall view of the Bible you can enjoy Gods greatness more and be amazed about His endless love for you.
What I have been able to see over the past years I would like to share with others. The World Wide Web is an extensive source for doing so. Making Gods real and pure love public, contrary to all the filth that is being sent into the world by that same resource.
All churches who follow Jesus: one body
It is not my intention to attack certain denominations. I have learned to see that the parish is a body of Jesus, he is the head. My left foot is doing something else than my right hand, it feels different and would not feel at ease if it would be a hand, or an ear or an eye. The same applies to churches, church communities. In one they feel like the foot and all who feel attracted to it join there. In the other church they feel more like hands, there people gather who feel comfortable there.
For me it is only important what the Bible says. What God says! It does not matter if you are more close to, or feel at home, at a Reformed church, a Pentecostal- or a Baptist church or what ever church you are a member of. For me this now is not important, as long as you are a child of God.
I wish you much blessing, studying the Word of God and you will meet "The Word ", that is Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The Eternal Life.
Praise and honour are His.