Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People
"The Scriptures reveal God in terms of a family relationship— God the Father and Jesus the Son are together the God family!" https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-god-a-trinity/how-is-god-revealed-in-the-bible
Hi Teresa. I am sorry for your loss. It truly a great loss when someone we love dies. It can cause a person great emotional pain that can stay with us for a long time. Depression is not a sin. It is a human response to a difficult situation. It is a feeling of despair when something bad happens. By themselves our feelings are not sins, but feelings can lead to sin, or cause us to hinder our spiritual growth. Depression is a cry for help. I would encourage you to find someone to talk to. Start by talking to God. Pray for His comfort. Reach out to find someone to counsel with such as a pastor or a professional counselor. I will pray for you.
This is a common concern that others have also expressed. There are two thoughts I have in mind: How old were you when you were baptized? How much did you understand about God’s truth at the time of this baptism? The purpose of baptism is to have our sins washed away and forgiven after we repent of those sins. If we don’t know what sin is when we are baptized, or if we don’t know the truth of the sacrifice which makes our forgiveness possible, then we might want to rethink the validity of such a baptism. Age is one factor because the choice to repent and follow God is a mature decision that God intends for mature individuals to make. While there are plenty of examples of mature adults being baptized, there are no examples found in the Bible of children being baptized. Here is a link to an article that asks a few more questions about baptism: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/do-i-need-to-be-re-baptized
Hello friend. I appreciate your comments, and feel for you very deeply. I want to reassure you that you are not alone in your struggles. Neither of difficulty overcoming sins, nor of loneliness. Fellowship is more than attending church services together, but about making connections with people. It seems this is a huge element that is missing from your life. Being able to share our beliefs and struggles with like-minded people is a huge blessing, and I hope you find this blessing. I don’t know where you live, but we have many congregations all over the world. You can search on congregations.ucg.org to find a congregation near you, or to find a caring and loving pastor to talk to. I also hope and pray that you continue your fight to overcome sin. I assure you that you can never “out-sinned” God’s forgiveness. The only sins that are not forgiven are the ones we have not repented of. Unless we completely turn our back on God’s gift of grace, Jesus Christ said, “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, whatever blasphemies they may utter” (Mark 3:28). As long as we are willing to repent and change, God is willing to forgive.
We have to be careful "not to add to" or "take away from" the Word of God. This means not adding on worship that would counter what God commands us to do. You are right, most people don't burn their sons and daughters on Christmas. But the traditions that are used to celebrate the birth of Christ are completely pagan in origin and contrary to God's commands. They come from the worship of idols and foreign gods that other people try to worship. We can't take a tradition that was used to celebrate a different god and use it to celebrate the one true God or His Son. Jeremiah chapter 10 describes a practice used by other people to worship their own gods, and even worship something that they created themselves. The description sounds very much like the practice of choosing a Christmas tree. We should not use the traditions of men to worship God.
Thanks for the tip on the book. I will have to look that one up. Learning is a wonderful adventure and most especially when we learn about things that help make the word of God come alive!