Monday, July 3, 2017


This is the second of a series of blog posts with my sister Betty Haynie about what we believe. Our thoughts may be helpful to those who don’t believe in God. Betty wrote down her beliefs in detail several years ago. I’ll post her thoughts monthly and add my thoughts and beliefs to each one. Our thoughts are intentionally brief on subjects that could fill volumes. We have some differing views but agree on the basics. She writes with wit and joy.

By Betty Haynie

As a child, I read through the Bible twice. I didn’t think I remembered much, but the scriptures came back every once in a while to assist my daily living. I recall one time in the early days of owning a kennel, I was out in the back on a Sunday, using the pooper scooper and hose, crying at what I perceived then as a ruined life, missing my family, feeling like a jerk and a fool for a number of reasons, and I cried out to God. The response I heard in my head was “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all thesethings shall be given unto you.”  (Matthew 6:33 KJV) I couldn’t have told you then where it is in the Bible, but I knew the message was from God.  

Every time from 1980 to 1990 that I got discouraged, this scripture would pop into my head. Finally I decided I should do more than think about it. After not setting foot in any church for two years, I walked into Calvary Hill Church on May 20, 1990 and the Holy Spirit filled me to overflowing. I have not been the same since. I TRULY became a NEW person in Christ. “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

I had gone to church for most of my 58 years because it was “the thing to do”, I now couldn’t wait for Sundays. I found myself eager for more knowledge of God, the Bible, Jesus, prayer, etc. My appetite for God was insatiable. I couldn’t stand listening to any music but Christian or any secular radio. I turned off TV that used profanity or that was too violent - even finding The Golden Girls too sexy at times, though I loved the show. This was not a sudden, conscious change but a gradual happening in my life. It was not done as an act of “holiness” but rather I was made acutely aware of how awful some of the stuff out there is, and was given an automatic desire to fill my time and my mind with happiness and joy. It was a “God-thing”.

My prayer for music to be a part of my life again was answered with over 50 original songs. ”Seek Ye First” was the title of the first song I wrote. I had tried to compose songs before but just could not do it. Now they were coming so quickly I could hardly write them down fast enough. I wondered if these changes would last or were they just an emotional reaction to a different kind of church. Well, it’s been over two decades and I still feel the same. I LOVE to learn about God. I LOVE to LOVE God and worship God. The more I get to know Him the more I LOVE Him. He is awesome!

Blessings, Betty

By Dottie Parish

My life-changing journey was similar to Betty’s. At the end of February 1990 Mike, my husband said, “Let’s make March church month and visit a different church each week.” Mike, always relaxed and easy-going, rarely took the lead in planning. I gulped at giving up my Sunday mornings for four weeks, but thought, Mike will never say this again—so I agreed. The third Sunday in March we found our church home.

We walked into Main Street United Methodist Church after decades away from God and church. We walked in thinking of God as a vague force and were surprised we sensed God’s presence. I choked up singing “Fairest Lord Jesus” and couldn’t explain why. Mike and I wanted more people in our life. We thought we would be “casual” Christians. God had other plans.

We attended church and the adult Bible class weekly—in a joyful daze. We learned about the faith, met new people as we’d hoped, and so much more. A letter to Pastor Wesley describes my transformation.

December 16, 1990
Dear Wesley,                                                                                                     
One year ago I thought I was happy. But what a difference now! I’ve rediscovered the Bible, prayer and worship. You helped me rediscover my soul. You put me in touch with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I woke up one morning singing “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” I hadn’t thought of this song in years!

I’m feeling, thinking and acting differently. I’m reading the Bible and devotional literature and praying on a daily basis. I’m more giving to others and more content with myself. I know I’m part of something big and I have a new family. Life has meaning and purpose. Every holiday has meaning now—especially Christmas and Easter. We’d been celebrating Xmas (with an X) for years and ignoring Easter. We’re celebrating Christmas this year.

Our lives were radically changed. Mike had never been a church member or even a regular church attender. But God touched his mind and heart as well as mine. Both Mike and I learned and grew spiritually throughout the 1990s. We continued in the adult Bible class and began saying grace at meals. Our worldview gradually changed. And through 27 years since then our faith has grown deeper than ever. Isn’t God amazing! The Holy Spirit changed us both once we took a step toward Him by deciding to go to church. And Betty’s experience was similar. We too, LOVE to learn about God, and we LOVE to worship and LOVE him. The more we know about him the more we LOVE him.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given unto you.”  Matthew 6:33 KJV

Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Blessings, Dottie

Watch for the next Reasons to Believe post on WHY I BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE in early August by Betty and Dottie

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