What do you think of when I say the word church? Joy? Good people? Pain? Hypocrisy? Unspoken?
So many thoughts…none of them wrong, but I think of home. My go to place each Wednesday and Sunday. My first boyfriend and best friend. Youth group hang outs and camps. People that prayed.
Sure it is full of broken people and sinners, but that is why I fit in so well. My brokenness is welcome here and yours should be too. My youth church closed its doors this past Sunday. Church is not a place, but still sad I cannot go back to visit the building where I was baptized. Happy to have my family with me this Easter. Hope my son has all I had in a church home and more. If you feel a certain way about church, I encourage you to try again. It is worth it.
One of my favorite things to do is work in the preschool at church. I get to love on babies, play with toddlers, tell little ones about Jesus and SHOW them God’s love on display. Tell each kid that Jesus knows his or her by name.
I get to give parents an hour to worship undistracted by little ones. My time with their children help ls them to feed their souls. Is it loud and crazy…oh yes. But is it important?
Nothing else matters.
The kingdom belongs to these littles. We must be careful to train up the next generation so the church carries on until He returns.
Be the church wherever you fit in using whatever gift He bestowed upon you.
This seems like just a normal concert that has reminded us that we are slowly opening things back up as we get more and more people vaccinated, but it is more than that! This concert was rescheduled 4 times! It was one of the first cancelled due to Covid…he literally played on Thursday and this one was cancelled that Friday. It was a reminder that we are not the same people that we were in 2020 and how much has changed! The audience was full of broken individuals that each had a story of loss, hope and redemption. We were changed.
But God is not.
God is the same yesterday, today, forever. We worshipped him big last night! I could not help but look back at all we have gone through and for many still going through. But, it just made my praise stronger for our God who will not waste any of our hurt.
So grateful Zach Williams did not issue refunds and we walked in with our March 20, 2020 paper tickets in hand. We celebrated, cried and proclaimed His name until He returns or calls us home.
First, let me say Covid is a disaster. Anything that causes people to die alone, businesses to crash, jobs be destroyed and kids depressed is awful. This pandemic is not to be taken lightly, but there are a few plus sides if you look for them.
1. To go alcohol. I do not mean drinking and driving…I mean ordering your favorite cocktail to go.
2. Reservations. How nice to know how many people to expect, less crowded places and knowing you are going to get in.
3. Online shopping. Now more than ever some of the best deals are online and delivery services are on fire.
4. Virtual everything. Virtual school. Virtual conferences. Virtual workouts. Virtual get togethers. Even virtual church. Virtual can be a good thing when you cannot afford to miss, but cannot get up to go.
If you need a place to worship our Savior, need some peace and hope or want to get back to your roots or start a new thing…let me invite you to http://www.clifec.com
Times are listed above or it will be on demand. Nothing to lose and it may be the start of something beautiful.
We are living in a crazy time! Businesses open during the Great Depression are closing, schools canceled indefinitely, churches are even closed! Institutions that seemed unbreakable are broken…crazy times!
Look on Facebook and you get a range of emotions from fear to doubt to frustration. Truth is we all process trauma in different ways and no place is that more evident than on social media.
The battle for me begins and ends in my mind. Do I choose joy or jealousy? Do I judge or like a post I do not agree with because I know their heart? Easy to not want to read it, but then it is the one way to stay somewhat connected. Constant choices for your time. How best to spend it when getting out of the house is limited?
As Christians, we have a calling in times like these while the world watches. Where is my source of strength? Where is the root of my joy? Do I trust my heavenly Father like I say I do?
The best we can do as Christ Followers is to be the Church. Share love, time and our resources. Check on our neighbors. The world will know us by our love. Not easy when you just want to be left alone, but this is our time to prove our faith are more than words.
The greatest lesson I am learning is that we can fill our calendars with all of our stuff, but God is in control. God is the ultimate decision maker. This surprised us, but not him. My father always said after every plan “Lord willing”. It drove me crazy, but as I cancel event after event it makes sense. God is in control.
In my devotional today, the author talked about retreating to her “Faith Cocoon” in times like these. Meditate on scripture. Sing worship songs. Dive into devotionals. Draw near to God. This does not mean you push others out of your life, but that feed yourself in faith so that you can share that with others. If you are not full then you cannot pour into others. I believe lives will be saved and churches will be full the first Sunday they are reopen. God will redeem this if we hold on and wait patiently.