E-Mess

E-MESS: How to dress for church

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E-Mess-smileyHey Wally

I am new at all this Christian stuff, but anyway I’ve been going to church trying to find a home, but as I have been going to church, I have been approached by different people telling me how I need to be respectful of the house of God.

They say I need to dress properly. They tell me how I need to wear a suit and a tie. They even tell me some Bible verses but I really do not remember which ones because I did not really pay attention to what they were telling me at that point. My understanding was that God cares more about your heart and personal relationship than your outward appearance.

So I was just wondering if you can give me advice on this topic or were to look in the Bible about this. I am really new to all this and I just want to follow Jesus now that I met Him but I do not know how to begin.

Confused

Wally-E-Mess-iconIt is funny but you already seem to know more about God then the people telling you to wear a suit.  God doesn’t look at our outside he looks at our hearts. He is less concerned about what we look like and more concerned about who we are becoming on the inside.

I honestly would look for a church that doesn’t make suits a priority, and one that wants people who love Jesus in their doors not matter what they look like. Your situation is what happens when people stop focusing on the relationship with God and put more focus on the “rules” of religion.

Now I would not show up in clothes that don’t align with the things of God. I would avoid clothes with phrases that might be counter to God or things that were not modest or distracting to others in the house of God, because having respect for God in a church is a good thing. However, if we are talking people equating wearing shorts to church as a sin, I don’t subscribe to that at all.

You are there, that is what is most important, they need to remember that. Plus you are there to meet God not impress others with your clothes.  That is just my two…

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E-MESS: Judge not… I will be honest, this one upset me a little

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E-Mess-smileyA few weeks ago on your show you were talking about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventative double mastectomy. You also shared that you and your wife had been having serious discussions about undergoing the same procedure for your wife. This really saddened me. Not because your wife has a history of breast cancer in her family and is at risk for developing it herself (although I am truly sorry for your loss and the situation it puts you in), but because it sounds as though Christian couples are not treating this scary cancer issue any differently than non-Christian couples.

Wally, what I heard you saying was that you and your wife would decide to have this surgery because you’re scared of her receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. That if she were to have it done, then you could be at peace. This is fear-based decision making. What does the Bible say about fear? Don’t have it! From what I heard, you would take comfort in a surgery; what about taking comfort in Jesus?

If you were to say, “we really feel that the Lord is telling us to go forward with this surgery,” this would sound to me like you are walking by faith, but to make plans based on your fears and then ask the Lord to bless them doesn’t seem like the faith I know.

Wally, I would love to hear you encourage your listeners to SEEK THE LORD FIRST in all that they do, and FOLLOW HIM, so that then they MAY HAVE PEACE in what they do, and then the world may see that we Christians really do handle life differently.

Wally-E-Mess-iconSee the thing that makes this show different from other Christian radio shows that put on a good face is that I am honest with my feelings and I share my real life, not just the stuff to try to make me look good to people.

That has historically been the problem with Christian radio. I don’t always have perfect faith. I don’t always trust God like I should, but if we are honest no one does. This show is about honesty and not pretending to have it all figured out.

Sometimes that means I will share things that might not sound like the perfect answer, but that is reality. I am sure there are times you have doubted or tried to control things or even had fear in your life. I would think you will agree that learning not to fear and trust completely is a process not an overnight thing. The thing we have to remember is everyone is not in the same place in our faith and we need to give grace, not judgement to those who may not be at the same level.

Later
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E-MESS: Judge not… I will be honest, this one upset me a little.

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E-Mess-smileyA few weeks ago on your show you were talking about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a preventative double mastectomy. You also shared that you and your wife had been having serious discussions about undergoing the same procedure for your wife. This really saddened me. Not because your wife has a history of breast cancer in her family and is at risk for developing it herself (although I am truly sorry for your loss and the situation it puts you in), but because it sounds as though Christian couples are not treating this scary cancer issue any differently than non-Christian couples.

Wally, what I heard you saying was that you and your wife would decide to have this surgery because you’re scared of her receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. That if she were to have it done, then you could be at peace. This is fear-based decision making. What does the Bible say about fear? Don’t have it! From what I heard, you would take comfort in a surgery; what about taking comfort in Jesus?

If you were to say, “we really feel that the Lord is telling us to go forward with this surgery,” this would sound to me like you are walking by faith, but to make plans based on your fears and then ask the Lord to bless them doesn’t seem like the faith I know.

Wally, I would love to hear you encourage your listeners to SEEK THE LORD FIRST in all that they do, and FOLLOW HIM, so that then they MAY HAVE PEACE in what they do, and then the world may see that we Christians really do handle life differently.

Wally-E-Mess-iconSee the thing that makes this show different from other Christian radio shows that put on a good face is that I am honest with my feelings and I share my real life, not just the stuff to try to make me look good to people.

That has historically been the problem with Christian radio. I don’t always have perfect faith. I don’t always trust God like I should, but if we are honest no one does. This show is about honesty and not pretending to have it all figured out.

Sometimes that means I will share things that might not sound like the perfect answer, but that is reality. I am sure there are times you have doubted or tried to control things or even had fear in your life. I would think you will agree that learning not to fear and trust completely is a process not an overnight thing. The thing we have to remember is everyone is not in the same place in our faith and we need to give grace, not judgement to those who may not be at the same level.

Later
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E-MESS: My faith has been shaken

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E-Mess-smileyHello i don’t usually do this (meaning ask for prayer from people i don’t personally know) but i listen to the show every chance i get and i feel like i know you all.

I know you have been in the same spot we are, which is having a house we moved from and trying to sell it….it has been on the market for 3-1/2 years and i am so very discouraged, it is affecting my marriage and home life.

i am so stressed about money we are one problem away from going into bankruptcy, we are current on our payments but there are things that are not getting done because of it…like kids not gong to the dentist, brakes not getting fixed on the car and a host of other things too many to mention.

i am in tears over this all the time….we tithe to our church, and I am wondering where is God, why is He allowing us to sink further and further into a dark hole.

My faith is really shaken over this and i am in desperate need of prayer. I am in tears as I am writing this to you..Thank you for taking time to read this..

Wally-E-Mess-iconSadly, I know all too well what that feels like and it is not fun. You can drive yourself crazy and second guess what got you to this point but it won’t change it.

Something you said really struck me. You said that this is affecting your marriage. There are things in your situation that are truly beyond your control but your marriage is one of the only things you actually can control. losing you house is sad but it is a house. Losing your marriage over your house is a tragedy.

My wife and I obviously had good and bad days when we were going through this but we were always in it together and our goal was to support the one who was struggling the most in the moment. I am not going to say that praying will save your house it might not but learning to trust God and be cognizant of His provision is vital.

God didn’t pull us out of our situation and I lost over $100,000. On the surface you could ask where was God why did he let you lose this money. In the end I had to lose it to learn to trust him and I saw His provision differently after that.

I saw that my family never starved. I saw that my daughter has a deeper reliance on God and I saw my faith grow and my relationship with my wife get even stronger. I didn’t get financial provision, but I got provision in different ways.

The turning point for me was when I learned to be thankful for what I had even though at the time it was not what I wanted. My sense of humor helped carry us. We joked that our 2nd home was like a vacation home we couldn’t visit and was draining us.

I always knew that when something good, like a tax refund for $800 came in, I would get a car repair bill for $815 and it did but I was thankful that $800 was covered. I changed my outlook and it changed things for me with the things I couldn’t change.

This well end for you and even if it is bankruptcy there will be relief from that too and you will feel good again but don’t let this time hurt your marriage or your faith cause again that would be the real tragedy. I hope that helps a little.

Later

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E-MESS: House for sale

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E-Mess-smileyHey Wally! Love the show!

I’m not sure why I am writing except to ask you How in the world did you get through 5 years of trying to sell your house?!

We are going on just over a year and we’re about to lose our minds.

In 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer (I was 33 with two small children). Incidentally, this is also when I discovered your show. I would listen to your show every day on my way to treatments. It was so nice having that reprieve, even for just a short while. I hated that time…It was scary and so sad.

After completing treatments, we decided to move back to Illinois from Alabama to be close to family and friends. Put the house on the market, got my husband a new job, and moved. We are now in a tiny apartment, with half of our stuff in storage and I was just diagnosed with a breast cancer reoccurrence. Ugh. I’m starting treatments again and surgeries are coming as well.

What did you finally do to get your house sold? We’ve lowered the price so much, had open houses, prayed, offered to make brownies 😉 and offered owner finance. The stress on my husband is visible and we only have one bathroom now for the four of us…. Awesome.

Anyway, I remember when you would ask for prayer that your house would sell, and I did pray for you. Could you say a little prayer for us if you think about it?

I wasn’t sure if I should even do this, but you keep telling me to hit you up on email with whatever is on my mind…

Keep up the good work!

P.S. Just like before, I drop my kids off at school and come home and listen to the podcast every day. Too tired from treatments to do much. So again, your show is a nice reprieve from a waking nightmare.

Wally-E-Mess-iconI feel you sister. I am so sorry to hear about your reoccurrence. I am sure that was the last thing you needed on top of all of this.

All the house stuff you described was what we lived. I went from a 4000 sq ft house to a 1000 sq ft apartment with one bathroom we shared with our daughter too. Things didn’t change for me till I got to the place I was thankful for the apartment and the provision. I lost money but never lost my house.

It was not easy but God was faithful and good came out of it but I really had to change my heart and become thankful for even the stuff I didn’t like. Then when we finally after 5 years got an offer it was horrible and even fell through.

In that I committed to trust God beyond what I could see and I thanked him for the offer even though it went away. Because at least for that day it brought me hope and I was happy and that is what I needed that day. Once again provision, but inside that perspective is so important.

It was for the first time seeing God as good in the bad. We got a second offer two days later and I was thankful even though I lost so much money and had to take money to closing it was worth it. On paper I could see how people might have asked where is God as you are losing all your money, but for me losing my money helped me see God.

I will certainly pray for you guys cause I know first hand how crippling the stress of all this can be. I know that is not a direct answer, but that was how my story went.

Take care

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E-MESS: Prayer

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E-Mess-smileyHey Wally,

I was listening to another Christian radio station when they started talking about how our prayers shouldn’t be like a monologue. That our prayers should be like a conversation where we actually pause from what we are saying and listen for God’s voice, like a normal conversation between two humans would go.

I’ve never heard it put like that before. It made sense, that we should talk to God like we have an actually relationship with Him and not some Santa Clause we give our (prayer) list to… but then it didn’t make sense about listening for God’s voice….

God doesn’t verbally speak to us like He did in the old testament, does He? If that’s not how He speaks to us then how does He?
I tried “pausing” when praying, throughout the day, but I never “heard” anything…

Have you ever heard of praying like this? Is this really how we’re suppose to pray? I usually consider myself a some-what strong Christian, but hearing this about prayer has confused me completely… have I been praying wrong all these years? How do you have a conversation with God when He doesn’t reply verbally or even reply right away?…

Wally-E-Mess-iconI get how prayer can be confusing. I think it is a little different for everyone. God doesn’t talk to me audibly but I know he is speaking to me in my soul when I feel things I know I would not come up with or the big test is when it is something so completely unselfish. That is when I know because I have the ability to look out for myself first many times.

I think maybe what they were getting at was many times we tell God what to do and how to do it and don’t want to wait for his timing. We give God our “to do” list then get frustrated when life doesn’t look like we designed it. I am learning to pray for less outcomes and more for God’s will to be done in the situation. I think that is how Jesus taught us to pray. Plus, it really helps give me peace with the things I can’t understand.

Also, if you pray for God’s will in your life no matter how that looks it will change the way you pray and what you pray for. I do get being silent and feeling God verses just having a one way conversation. The Bible does talk about being still and listening. I think it is in those quiet moment that we get direction even if it is not audible. I hope that helps a little and more than that I hope you learned your lesson for listening to another Christian station. 🙂

Thanks so much for getting what we are trying to do with the show.

Later

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E-MESS: Atheist

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E-Mess-smileyFirst off, I just wanted to say thank you. All my life no matter where I have gone, I have been criticized and ridiculed for my beliefs, or rather, lack there of.

I used to be a Christian, but because of how they treated others, I wanted nothing to do with them anymore. I have been an atheist for several years now and thoroughly enjoy not having to deal with any religious pressure.

But anyway, I suppose you are wondering why I said thank you in the first place. Well the thing is, while I’m not planning on changing my religion any time soon, listening to your radio channel has really opened my eyes to see that maybe, just maybe, not all Christians are cruel. I’ve had bad experiences with religion, but I just wanted to say thank you for showing me that there are some people who mean what they say.

Wally-E-Mess-iconI am so glad you like what we do and I get that you have been burned by religion. Me too. I think maybe why you like the show is because we talk about Jesus and not religion.

We as people have been doing a horrible job for years as ambassadors on His part. If I am being honest I am guilty of not looking like Christ way too many times in my own life. That is why God tells us to look and listen to him not people cause people will let us down or never live up to our expectations.

I appreciate you taking the time to hit me up. I am not trying to convert you I just want you to make your decision for the right reasons and not because people side tracked you. There are way more good Christians in the world than bad ones. It is just the bad ones that are the most noticeable.

I looked for years trying to decide if I believed in a God or not. There was too much order for me to not believe in a God. Atheism really led me down a path of fatalism and I truly hope that does not happen for you, unless, like me, it leads you to a loving God. If you ever have any questions feel free to ask and I will always try to help.

Thanks for listening

Later

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E-MESS: Music is better than cutting

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E-Mess-smileyHey Wally,
I just wanted to let you know what your show has done for me.

About 4 years ago I started cutting. Life at home wasn’t good and I had no other way to escape. I was 13. I’m 16 now. My dad is a preacher and religion was always forced to me, I never had an option.

When my parents found out about my cutting, my mother told me that God could never love me because I had done that to myself. She also told me that I was the reason our family fell apart. Later that year I was diagnosed with severe depression, bipolar disorder, and severe anxiety.

I decided then that God could not possibly exist. I attempted suicide 3 times. I was going to try again when I decided to turn the radio on. Your show was on and you made me laugh, like for real out loud laughter.

I learned that day that music is so much better than cutting. No matter how bad I feel, you never cease to make me smile. You convinced me that God is real. He is out there.

I still struggle everyday with faith and I honestly can’t tell you I have a relationship with God, but because of you I now believe he is real which is a step up from what I used to believe. Now when I feel like I need to escape I reach for my headphones instead of my blades. Headphones are softer and what they leave behind is a lot prettier.

I haven’t cut in 2 weeks, which for a girl who couldn’t go an hour without cutting is really good. Thank you. You helped me see the difference between short happiness out of pain, and real happiness. You’ve inspired me to tell my story and help others. I don’t know how to thank you enough.

Wally-E-Mess-iconThank you so much for sharing your story with me. I know it will also inspire others. First off, I don’t think your mom is right on this one. It doesn’t mean she is wrong about everything but I do know that God loves us and he sees more than our scars. I am sure she was hurting for you and had no idea how to help.

Let me assure you God is real and he loves you very much. The Bible is one of the greatest love stories ever told. It is all about God’s pursuit of us and the lengths he goes to have a relationship with us.

I am so proud of you for going two weeks without cutting. That is awesome. 2 weeks will turn into 2 months, then 2 years and so on. You already know the cutting doesn’t solve your problems, so that is good. I think the next thing would be to find out what it is that makes you want to cut. Figuring that out will help you greatly.

I am glad you like the music and it helps you out. The reason you like it is because it is the word of God and has His hope all through it. That is what you can have in your life all the time when you get to the point that you can trust God. He gives us peace in the middle of chaos. It doesn’t mean life gets easier, we still have problems and bad things still happen to us, but it means we can walk through some hard things with His help and love.

If you ever have any questions about God please feel free to ask. There are no dumb questions. Also if you are in a place where you are tempted to cut, try chatting with groundwire. They are a ministry that exists to help people 24 hrs a day and I love what they do. They have helped a lot of people. Here is the link.

I hope you will get to a place where you can trust God with your whole heart but I know it takes time to get to that place.

Later

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E-MESS: Even if the healing doesn’t come

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E-Mess-smileyWally,

What do you think about the song, “Even If the Healing Doesn’t Come”. I understand the premise behind it, but cringe everytime it comes on. As a person who has had a long standing battle with arthritis throughout the majority of my 30’s brought on by the Epstein Bar Virus, I know what it is to continually deal with long term issues and are “waiting” on God to heal you.

But I feel like that it really makes our God look weak and that He doesn’t want to heal you. I don’t believe it. I believe in a God that continually wants to pour his love, healing, compassion upon us! A Father who is ever looking to bless us! If we think about how much we want to give our own children and we do not even come close to his love and blessings.

I know this is an area of breakthrough I will see soon. I also know that I have been called to a healing ministry, like a young Smith Wigglesworth (great story there). I will continue to worship my God and walk in his love and know his power in my life. He is not a weak God!

God will heal someone who doesn’t even believe in Him. Why would he not want to heal me, a daughter. I just feel that it paints a bad picture.

Wally-E-Mess-iconI think it is focused more on our expectations of healing. How many times do we pray and tell God what the outcome needs to be? I think this is speaking more to us about how we should feel about God when the answer or “the healing” doesn’t look the way we think it should. It is talking about still seeing him as good in the midst of the bad. That is something that many people struggle with and is one of the biggest questions that people have about God, at least in the majority of emails I get.

The reality is God doesn’t heal everyone. Can He? I believe so. Does He? No. Otherwise there would be no death if he healed everyone who asked.

I really think the problem is with our definition of healing. When someone dies we see it as failure but maybe God sees it as healing and they are now perfect. So maybe if we change our perception or definition of healing we will better understand God. I hope this gives you a different perspective on the song because I love that song and really think the message is so good for so many people.

Take care

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E-MESS: Hostage situation

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E-Mess-smileyWally and Crew,

Hello! I have never sent an email to this show, and I’ve enjoyed listening, being encouraged, and challenged in my walk with the Lord.

However, I was deeply disturbed this morning as I was listening to your show, on my way to take my 7 year old to school. You were sharing the information surrounding the hostage situation in Alabama. I was so appalled at the way this story was handled, that I had to keep turning the radio off, so my children didn’t think laughing at something of this nature was appropriate. I kept turning it back on, hoping you would have gotten a hold of the situation, and treated the issue with the respect it deserved. The last straw for me was when you laughed at the fact that this man was shot in the process of rescuing this poor boy.

I believe that every life is precious to God, no matter what. This man was obviously a troubled soul and severely misled.

I’m not sure what happened in the show after that, I honestly couldn’t listen any longer. But I felt led to send this out to you.

Romans 12

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

I know it’s not easy being a believer, we’re called to a higher standard, and to live in the world and not of the world is a tricky matter. But with Christ ALL things are possible!

I also know God has used you to change lives, and as a Christian in the entertainment industry, it’s important that you maintain that integrity with Christ.

Bless you and know that prayers went with the email!

Wally-E-Mess-iconThat was one story in one news report for less than two minutes. I am sorry you missed how we talked about how cool it must have been for that kid’s parents to have him home safe and how it was the day before his birthday and how that was such a great thing for him. We were laughing at the irony of how Zach, who knows nothing about police work beyond watching TV, said how the situation should be handled a week ago, and how that was what the police ended up doing. That was ironic. No one was laughing at the situation, but I was happy at the outcome and that the kid was safe.

I am sorry, but I am glad that the police took the action they did and that this murderer and kidnapper is dead. I get you might not agree with that, but that we as a world are better off without some evil people in it. I wish Hitler had been stopped before he exterminate 6 million innocent Jews. I don’t think his presence on this earth was a good thing, and we are better off that he was stopped. I don’t think it would be good for this man, even though he was troubled, to be left here to potentially hurt other innocent people. I will say that I am glad to know this man will never cross paths with your children or mine. I think the police did what they had to do.

On a side note. You will be happy to know that yours is the only complaint I got. Usually if I really say something crazy I immediately get hundreds of emails and that was not the case. So, the good news is maybe there were not a bunch of people offended because that is never my intention. I appreciate your thoughts.

Later

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