As many of you know I took the summer “off”. I say that in quotations because I was still working my 9-5 and doing ministry work. My dog and the house didn’t get the memo, so off is a relative term. I was still writing blogs during my vacation, I just wasn’t posting them. What can I say? I did take some time off to get away from home; some personal and some ministry related and although I had a fantastic time, I was yearning for home. During my trip I got to spend great time with awesome friends, make some new ones, learn new things, see new places, but at the end of the day I missed home. As I think about it when we are home we are always looking for a place to go because we are tired of seeing the same things. As soon as we cross the door, something in us realizes that we don’t belong outside of those walls, we always belong home. You know how it is, that cup that you keep rinsing and using because it fits the right amount. You want to experience the curve in that sofa that you have made from sitting in the same corner every day. The joy of embracing your pillow that is used to the unique way that you curve your head at night. Even the dog that you step on when you go to the bathroom in the dark, it’s all a part of you. Ironically one of the central themes at the church conference was “Coming Home”. It was based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son; which is no different than what I’m talking about. How many times do we get annoyed with our church home and leave because someone said or did something we didn’t like? Did you find yourself complaining about the music, the message…Then we left God looking for something better. As you’re sitting away looking back, you know you miss it. You miss that spiritual food that you received. You missed the message of hope inside your spirit. You even miss the sister screaming “hallelujah” right behind you, because you knew you were home. You knew that every time you crossed those lobby doors someone welcomed you with a smile. You knew that being in the presence of God was the best place to be and were you found true happiness. This was the place where you found peace. And by place I don’t mean XYZ particular building. I’m talking about returning to God. I’m talking about that place inside of you that you have abandoned for whatever reason: habits, addictions, relationships, laziness, lack of commitment, unforgiveness, pain. Yes, we call the church the house of God, so once our spirit has come home we need to assemble, to keep supporting each other and grow in our purpose. Pray about it. God has assigned you a particular place of worship. An imperfect place that is perfect for you. This is a place filled with imperfect people, just like you, to be in his perfect presence, receiving his perfect love. How long have you been away from home? C’mon, we’re all waiting for you.
Have you ever been in a competition where Christians discuss their denominational differences almost like football fans? I think what we miss as believers is that our differences are really as the many ways of making white rice. What do I mean?
Growing up I learned that to make white rice I had to place oil, water and salt, bring it to a boil then pour the rice. Some people use butter instead of oil, some add garlic powder. At the end of the day you get in your plate the same thing: white rice
The Word of God tells us in John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
I believe that our particular rituals work for us in our humanity. Just like music is a matter of taste, but at the end of the day is the message of the Word of God that we are called to live by. I also believe that our discrepancies are used by the enemy to distract us from our real purpose which is to spread the Good News to others. So when you find yourself and those around you that we are ALL here to do the work of the kingdom and not for our purposes. I also invite you to use that opportunity to come together and do something for the kingdom that all of those in the conversation can agree. You will see that you have way more in common than you imagine.
Until next time, be blessed!
“This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. ”Mary Anne Benedetto
The great thing for those who believe in God is that there’s hope. It doesn’t matter how hard life gets or how gray the things around us look we have hope. We have the hope that not only we can survive anything that crosses our path, but also that God will use it for our good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
This song that I chose to share today says it all. It’s not falling that makes us a loser, it’s staying down that does. We have the choice of getting up and keep on fighting and why not when we have God on our side.
I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
WF: Worship Friday
Routine is an element that could prevent us from embracing the new things that God wants to do in our lives. No matter how free spirited our lives may be the most disorganized of us has a routine. We get up, go to work or school, we have a hygiene routine, eating routine, a schedule. After all the hours outside of our house, we then return and do mostly the same things, clean up, eat, and entertain ourselves (television, internet, games, Facebook). The day ends and we have not given God a minute of our time.
Some people have included God in their daily routine somewhat, but if something comes along that changes the things we usually do, we have the tendency to present resistance. I know that God has woken me up in the middle of the night with someone’s name. He usually wants me to go and pray for that person. I have to admit that I have not always been obedient to that call. How many times have you ignored that voice when you know in your heart that you needed to do something for someone or in obedience to God?
This reminded me of the parable of the Good Samaritan, when people bypassed helping someone in need in order to make it to the temple on time. Stopping there would have affected their routine. I have found out that when I get out of myself and actually allow God to alter my routine, I get more blessed than any blessing I can be to anyone else. Let’s decide today to give our daily schedules to God everyday and let his will be done.