Monday, November 24, 2008

Another day, another freak call

Here is another one of those posts that will get those readers of my blog who hate me all up in arms. Not sure why they keep stopping by here, but hey, I don't want to disappoint them. :)

I am the wonderful person who answers the church phone. Basically, there are three types of people who call:

1) Nice, normal people with a legitimate question or issue

This includes our church members, people asking about service times or needing a ride to church, etc. I love these calls, so obviously this post is not about them.

2) People asking for money

Before your heart starts bleeding for these people, consider this: We get scores of calls each week, and they all follow the same basic pattern. An unlisted number calls, the person on the other end asks "Hello, is this the church?" and if asked "What church are you looking for?" they start stuttering because they are just calling through the phone directory. Then they ask whether we offer rental assistance/motel vouchers/help with bills/Christmas gifts for their children etc. I then tell them that we only offer financial assistance to our members and that they should check whether their church offers a similar program. No, I don't know whether these people actually go to church or not, but since when has God become an ATM machine for people who do not even care about Him enough to go to church anywhere? Mostly, at this point they say "Okay, thanks" and the call is over. Occasionally, they might say something smart like "I didn't know you had to go to church for God to help you!". You don't. You can pray and ask God for help without ever going to church anywhere. But I am not God, and you are asking us for money, not Him.

I understand that sometimes people just get down on their luck and need help, but we have to draw the line somewhere. We can just hand them all free money because they call on the phone. When people like that actually show up at church and ask for help, we usually do help them out.

The people who irk me the most are young men who call up all suave and friendly, acting like we have been best friends since grade school. Depending on what mood they catch me in, I might just tell them to go get a job. The Bible does say that "if any would not work, neither should he eat". This one particular guy called me every single Monday morning for several weeks in a row, always using the same "sales pitch" which he had down quite well. I finally told him to get a job and hung up, and thankfully he hasn't called since.

Once a couple drove by me in our church parking lot as I was walking in for the service. While cruising past me, the girl rolled the window of her HUGE, late-model SUV down and asked me if we offered financial assistance. Yeah, sure! NOT.

Some people may think that if we would just fork over the cash, these people would be falling down crying, asking me how to be saved, and living for God the rest of their life. But instead, they are doomed to hell because we are tightwads. Such is not the case. What these people need more than anything is that they hear the gospel preached to them, which we do through door-to-door evangelism every day.


3) People calling to complain about our church

Let me clarify that these are never people who have actually attended a service, or even just someone on whose door we knocked, but rather these are calls from complete strangers who find us on the internet. They might find any number of things offensive, such as (but not limited to) my husband's preaching, his materials on YouTube, our church's doctrinal statement, my blog, etc.

Lately, my husband has had several people e-mailing him informing him that they did not like my blog because I am just too radical. This is very funny to both of us because I am actually very mild and benign compared to him. Let's see, if you don't like it, why do you keep reading it?!? One person actually wrote me suggesting that I make my blog private because even though she did not like what I had to say, she couldn't keep herself from coming back to my blog again and again.

The other day, I had a guy calling me because he wanted to ask me some questions about my blog. He was referring to an old post I wrote as a parody of an actual e-mail I had received from someone who wanted me to pray for the right kind of neighbors for them. Anyone who reads this post can figure out that the "horror neighbors" I am describing is actually our family, since the post says their name was Anderson and they moved to Tempe, AZ. Not only that, but the post itself actually states that it is a spoof. Well, this guy must have had somewhat limited intelligence because he was calling to reprimand me for being so unkind about our neighbors. I laughed and told him I didn't have time for his call, wished him a good day, and hung up. Of course, he called back (they always do), so I briefly told him it was a spoof, reiterated that I didn't have time for him, while he was muttering "whatsoever things are lovely" in reference to Philippians 4:8. He then asked to speak to the pastor, which I said he couldn't, and then hung up again. With five young children in the house, one just a week or so old at the time, I can't waste my time with pointless phone calls. This man then proceeded to call back in excess of 60 times within the next hour - literally. I silenced the phone and went about my business as usual, but I did briefly wonder what was so pure and lovely about him ringing my phone off the hook? I was thinking about sharing his home phone number on this blog post since he obviously has no life and likes to hang on the phone. Maybe some other person who hates my blog could befriend him, that way and they could commiserate.

Of course, I got a comment on my blog from him later that day (these people are so predictable), and just to show what a fool this guy is I will share it here:

Trying to look trashy?? Wow, coming from a pastors wife, that is quite shocking. You seem to have a very critical spirit. Does she need to have an image consultant? Does God look at our clothes? Or at our heart? Interesting that when a fellow christian "rebukes" you (as we are called to do by scripture) you proceed to insult their intelligence, lie to them about the incident, and then refuse to let that person speak to your husband, the PASTOR of your church. No wonder people these days hate christians. Your are such a wonderful example of the light we are called to be. If you are the only Jesus someone ever knows, they're going to hell for sure.

So it is "quite shocking" for me to say that Michelle Obama looks trashy in her sweatpants, but he is calling me across state lines to rebuke me? Sounds like he has a critical spirit himself. God does look at our heart, but man looks on the outward appearance, and a First Lady ought to dress like she has respect for her husband's position. Besides, Jesus said to clean that which is within the platter FIRST, that the OUTSIDE may be clean ALSO. Michelle Obama is trashy inside and out because both her beliefs and appearance are in opposition to the Bible. I get so sick of so-called Christians defending the wicked president-elect, Obama, who sees nothing wrong with partial-birth abortions, not to mention so many other issues. This man is evil, twisted, and perverted, and the sooner he drops dead the better.

Of course, just because my husband is a pastor does not mean he is obligated to talk to every moron who calls. Nevertheless, I actually asked my husband's assistant to call this stalker back a few days later because he kept calling me several times per day. Instead of seizing the opportunity and getting all his complaints off his chest, he just muttered something unintelligible and didn't want to talk any more, but rather started bombarding my husband with lengthy emails again. Ah well, hitting "delete" takes no time at all.


I could probably fill a small book with anecdotes from the strange calls and emails we receive on a daily basis. But I won't waste your time or mine. We have thought about passing the task of answering the church phone off to my husband's assistant, but I just don't want to miss the fun.

The next post will be a friendly one, I promise! ;)

13 comments:

  1. Just to clarify as I'm assuming you're talking about me here:
    "One person actually wrote me suggesting that I make my blog private because even though she did not like what I had to say, she couldn't keep herself from coming back to my blog again and again."

    That is NOT what I said. I said:
    "Why not make your blog private? I mean, you claim to be blogging for the purpose of encouraging your like-minded folks...but your blog is hard to turn away from."

    I suppose one could stretch that to mean I WANTED you to make your blog private so that I would stop reading it. But that is not at all what I meant (or even implied). My email was a response to your comment "I wish you would stop reading my blog anyway." that you directed to "fag-loving liberals" - so it was my suggestion to you in order to INSURE that said "fag-loving liberals" stopped reading and commenting on your blog. The "your blog is hard to turn away from" did refer to me, but I was making a larger assumption that others kept reading your blog for the same reason. The people your statement was directed at... And then you even did a poll shortly thereafter to confirm what I said.

    For the record, I do enjoy reading your posts about your children (not that you care...).

    Hudson6803

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  2. Hudson6803,

    I apologize for misunderstanding your intent. I do seem to remember you also saying that my blog was hard to stay away from right before you said what you quoted above, so maybe that's why I got the wrong impression.

    Glad to hear there's stuff you like about my blog.

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  3. You must have some really thick skin because those calls/emails would work my nerve and I would just end up disconnecting it. Though I might not agree with every word of what you write, but that certainly doesn't put me in a position to harass you day and night. It's your life... it's your blog and you have every right to express your beliefs the way you opt to.

    All you are doing is living your life as a preacher’s wife and a mother to 5 beautiful children. There is nothing wrong with that. The fact that you express your beliefs and that your church is conservation (which they ALL should be but are not!) in their beliefs doesn't make you evil.

    There are those who feel strongly about issues that you and others may feel otherwise and it just pushes their buttons. When you are reading someone’s blog you have to keep in mind that you are reading someone’s personal notes/journal on their OWN lives. If you do that you won't let it bother you so much.

    I'd love to know what they get out of constantly calling and emailing. I would just simply not visit your blog. It seems so simple to me yet others have a hard time as if you should be ashamed and hide your personal views.

    It's very odd if you ask me. I would keep my gun by my side at all times because that's just nuts!

    May God watch over you and your family.

    Christine

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  4. Christine,

    Thanks for the voice of reason. Good point about the gun. Since my husband is in the alarm business, we have a very extensive alarm system at the house complete with cameras and all the bells and whistles. That is, if they get past the 6 ft wall around our property and the dog. But yes, I have two guns in my bedroom, and have no problem using them.

    The other night, we actually had a false alarm, probably from the wind rattling the back door. The siren that it sets off is VERY loud, it could wake the dead. My husband was home that night, but I jumped out of bed and cocked the semiautomatic rifle without even thinking about letting him handle it because it didn't even occur to me. He took the gun from me and checked to make sure nobody was in the house (we didn't think there was, because they would have had to make it past the dog first).

    Honestly, I am never scared even when I am home alone. I know that God can protect me no matter what the case. I sleep like a baby.

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  5. I don't like very liberal churches. But I don't spend my time commenting on their blogs or calling their pastor and harassing them. That just makes me look stupid. When I read something I don't agree with I just don't comment. If a blog bothers me too much I don't read it. But I guess that is too much to ask for some people.

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  6. Zszusanna,

    I don't agree with everything that you write or what your husband believes in, but I don't believe we should be ugly when we disagree or make harrassing calls. I am sorry for the harrassing calls you all have received. It sounds like people are just mad and want to use their time to bother you.

    I am curious. Have you all ever received hate emails or phone calls in regard to male gynecologists? I learned about your church a few years ago by looking up some keywords about male gynecologists on Google or Yahoo. I was curious if any pastor had ever preached on this issue. I was delighted to find out that there was a pastor (your husband) who had preached on male gynecoliogists. It is hard to believe how many Christians have blindly trusted the medical industry.

    As for Obama, I am disappointed in how he supports abortion and homosexuality. But God has the potential to change him. It is amazing, but Dr. Beverly McMillian who started the first abortion clinic in Mississippi became a Christian and stopped performing abortions. A Christian friend of hers prayed for her.

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  7. Glad to hear that you are well prepared with the alarm systems and guns. That's something we have to do is get an alarm system. We are actually renting a house now in Gilbert, AZ and everyone has one in the neighborhood but us! I feel very safe but heck you never know. The gun we keep high up and though it's nice to have I think the alarm would scare someone immediately and would wake us up in time to get the gun.

    I've never heard a preacher approach the topic of male OB/GYNs and I have always gone to a male not thinking much of it before. But ever since I've become more spiritually in tuned I have to say it something that bothers me more and more.

    You know once you start standing your ground on issues many will react accordingly. Because much of society has become a product of years of anti-Christ programming we assume anything that is strictly scriptural is crazy and out there. Soon you will be labeled a "cult" and it's unfortunately because there are some great churches out there putting themselves out on the line to save others.

    BTW, I watched on YouTube your video from when you all went to Miami, AZ (never even knew there was a town with that name!) and I am just amazing how you all do it. I just can't do that door to door preaching. When I was in PA there was 2 times I had Jehovah Witnesses come to my door. I stood there and entertained their discussion and said peace be with you and goodbye. But I bet 80% are slamming doors in faces or not answering or cursing many out. I give credit to those who come around like that because it can't be easy. I always try to be courteous when they come around.

    OK, sorry so long!
    Christine

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  8. I may not agree with your thoughts on issues 99% of the time but that doesn't mean I cannot respect your opinion on things. I like getting differing points of views, it keeps things interesting. While I sometimes disagree with what I deem hateful terms such as "fag" or "old queer", it is your blog and your prerogative if you want to use those terms. I think your views and your staunch support of them keep me coming back because even though I don't agree with some of what you say, I can certainly respect your steadfastness to your beliefs. The other reason I come here is I love to hear the trials and tribulations of having 5 kids. Your kids are just beautiful by the way.

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  9. Zsuzsanna,

    My husband just recently became a pastor of a small country church. We are not listed in the book... yet, but have been considering it. This has made me think twice about it! We want the church to grow so we will likely relent and list it.

    This is YOUR blog and you have the right to YOUR opinion just as liberal left wing goons have the right to theirs! They are the ones that scream and demand tolerance from those of us that disagree with them and they are the most intolerant of our beliefs and our opinions.

    I've been reading a blog of a very impressive (and refreshing in comparison to most teen young ladies these days) who has a great page and a widget you may want to post. It says "Ahem, My site, my right". I found her when I was doing some research on modesty (the lack thereof) in the post modern church and found her to be an excellent example of a Christian young lady. You can check out the widget here http://aponderingheart.com/blog/?p=314

    We must be steadfast to tell the truth that comes from Scripture!!
    Keep standing up for what's right and don't back down by making your blog private. The liberal left wing goons would win at that point! Besides, I would miss reading your blog too! :-)

    As for the whacko that called over 60 times to "rebuke" a fellow Christians is just plain crazy! You should keep a whistle by your phone so when you get harassing phone calls just blow it loud and hard and I bet that would stop them.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!
    Becki

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  10. My comment is about point number 2. Have you ever considered directing these people to the many charitable agencies in the community that are there to help people in these situations? Nearly every city has a rescue mission, a food bank, a Salvation Army, etc. Personally, I would never hand over cash to someone who came asking for assistance, unless I knew the person very well, and I hope my church wouldn't either. There is too much chance of that money going towards alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs, and not to the hungry little children at home. If a church or individual wants to help someone like that, it is best to buy the person some groceries, or ask to see that electric bill or gas bill or rent bill and pay it directly.

    I also read your blog because I find your stories about your children and homeschooling interesting. I often don't agree with your religious and political views (and this is coming from a person who considers herself to be an independent fundamental Baptist who prefers the KJV). However, it is your blog and you have every right to express your own opinion on your blog, just as I have a right to express my opinion on my blog.

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  11. I have enjoyed your blogs, although I don't agree with everything all the time. Few Christians always agree. Nice job on the "money" issue. In the past, I was always a sucker. About 15 years ago, I nearly opened my wallet to a young man at a fast food joint-that is until a saw his $150 Air Jordan sneakers. The deal was off. As for the Obamas, well, maybe Michelle was exercising? Bubba Clinton never looked great jogging around DC in his skimpy "come get me shorts", but he was doing something healthful. However, I do wish that you would pray for Barack, rather than hoping for his death. Should your wish be granted, we'd be stuck with President Hillary Clinton (a possibilty if the Electoral College has not voted) or Joe Biden, with Nancy Pelosi still third in line. Would that better our country? GH

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  12. This post helps explain your apparently antagonistic tone towards people who might disagree with your posts. I do disagree with some of what you say and disagree with the way you say some of the things I agree with but I don't think that justifies people harassing you like that.

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Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.