Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Formation of Our Call

Mike Gerber preached again today. Wow! Gotta love Mike Gerber!! He just radiates tenderness and compassion and you can really feel the depth of his words. I hope that he’ll preach more often!! He has a nice way of communicating!! If you would like to hear Mike for yourself, you can visit our church website to listen to the sermons online or download the podcasts.

Last week, Mike talked about faith and being called to serve Christ. (Read last Sunday’s entry if you missed it and want to get caught up to what I’m writing about today). Today, he went more in depth by talking more about how we are called.

There are different areas into which we are called and they are all formed in different ways. Some are formed out of hardship, necessity, opportunity, conviction, desire, or even silence. So, let’s look at each of those and understand more about what they mean.

We all have hardship. A LOT of growth comes out of that!! Pain is hard, but it helps develop qualities that we will need to be the person that we are meant to become. When you think about it, a lot of people’s missions in life involve some testimony of hardship. People relate to other people through their stories; particularly when they speak of their own struggles. Testimonies of pain helps other people get through their own problems when they see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. So, what if your mission and ministry in life comes from your own struggles? What if the way you have overcome your problems can help someone else overcome theirs? For me, one of the most amazing examples comes from my friend Susan Stafford. Of course, many of you already know her story. But, for those of you who haven‘t, please click here to watch a short video - and grab the Kleenex!. I never get tired of hearing about her testimony; though that video only scratches the surface of the horrors that she has suffered through in her life. Yet, she has emerged victorious. Even to this day, God still continues to use her and bless her. She is a beautiful and totally transformed woman of God and the way God uses her to bless me, and others, touches countless hearts!! Now THAT is a pure of example of turning pain into beauty!! I love you, Susan!!! You’re an inspiration!! Praise God for you!!

Another way we are formed into our calling is through necessity. Sometimes, things just need to get done!! God needs people to step up and do what needs to be done for the kingdom. We all have a role to play, and we need to be courageous and obedient to do our part!!

In addition to necessity, some are called because of opportunity. That’s how it was for Esther in the Bible. She didn’t really want to be queen, but the opportunity was pretty much forced upon her. So, what happens in cases like that when we are given an opportunity to do a lot of good? What happens when we are given a huge responsibility and opportunity to do something wonderful? Do we just stand around and do nothing and bury our talents in the sand? Do we shrink back in fear? Or, do we do as Esther did? Do we stand up and be courageous and stand up for what is right, even when it’s hard? Do we embrace what Mordecai said to Esther: “and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) We are all given an opportunity to make a difference. All of us are living and breathing during a very important time in the history of the world!! Never before have we had such an ability to reach out and make a difference in this age of technology; and in a time of such peril and decline in morality!! We were born for such a time as this!!

Some people have a call of conviction. David sure did!! He killed a giant!! He did it because he knew that God was on their side and that God could enable him to do anything!! He stood for his faith when all of the rest of his people were fleeing. He felt the call of conviction, and he did what no one else would do; just because he knew it was right! I can relate to this one! That’s why I stand for the sanctity of life. (Which reminds me, the next monthly call for life is this Friday!! Please click here to learn more about it! Please, it’s only a few minutes per month out of your life!! Please sacrifice those few minutes in order to save countless others!!)

In conjunction with conviction, there can also be a call out of desire. God places special burdens on our hearts to step out and serve out of a desire to be used of God. It’s best illustrated in Isaiah’s statement: “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:1-8). Mike Gerber pointed out how that kind of call is so much more an invitation than it is a command. God ASKED “whom shall I send?” rather than just saying, “hey you….go do that!”

The final call that Mike talked about was really beautiful. I also think it’s one of the most astounding ways to be called!! The call comes out of silence; from just sitting there and listening to God and then being moved to action. That’s what happened to Samuel when he heard the voice of the Lord. However, he had thought it was Eli’s voice and went to him three times saying, “Here am I; for thou callest me.” At that time, the Bible says Samuel didn’t even know the Lord yet!! Still, the Lord was calling him, and Samuel did hear. Eli told him to listen for the Lord and the next time the Lord called him by name, he was to answer, “Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth.” So that is what Samuel did. (1 Samuel 3).

I find it amazing when God calls people out like that!! I especially find it amazing when God calls people out of pure darkness; people who had no real knowledge of God beforehand, or had totally hated Him prior to their calling. I know two atheists who were totally taken by surprise and through amazing sets of circumstances, were just called by God out of their lives of darkness in order to live in the light. It just wows me how God can grab onto someone’s heart like that and totally transform them - and they never saw it coming!! WOW!!

Bottom line is, we are all called. We all have an area of service that we can specialize in. We got to find our purpose and grow into that calling; however it is that we are formed into it. Keep your eyes open and your heart sensitive to God’s voice!! Remember Mordecai and Eli’s words. We are here for such a time as this and we should tell the Lord that we are open and listening. Let’s be like Isaiah and say, “Here am I! Send me!” God bless you all!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Beautiful Movie!!

As I have said many times before, there aren’t many good movie and media choices out there. It’s rare to find a good movie to watch.

Thankfully, however, there is always a rare gem of a movie that comes along to touch your heart! “Bella” is one of those movies. It just came out and I can’t WAIT to see it!! This is one that you REALLY need to take the time to go see and support and send Hollywood the message that these kinds of movies are what we want to see more of!!

Please read the review of the movie by clicking here. Then, please make an effort to go and see it!! I know I will, especially considering that this movie values LIFE so much!! That is a value that is sadly on the decline in this “culture of death” society. However, we have another movie like this to look forward to when “Horton Hears a Who” comes out next year!! I think these two movies will be very instrumental in softening and changing the hearts of America!! And, when it does, we can look forward to a BETTER America as people begin to love, respect, and appreciate the value of life again. We all want a better America right? I sure do!! THIS is how we get a better America; by learning to love again, and that starts with loving what we have all been given: LIFE!!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fourteen Years Ago Today...

Do you know what happened fourteen years ago today? No. Of course you don’t. Not unless you have some kind of memory or anniversary attached to this day the way that I do.

Fourteen years ago today, my Uncle died. It was an event of tragic circumstance; a horrible and unlikely accident. It is best explained in something I wrote a few years ago, which you can read by clicking here.

I don’t have much else to say other than I am thinking about him and missing him. Although, when you know that your loved one is in a better place, that always brings peace and comfort.

So, I dedicate this day to Brett Giessler. So many loved him - and still do!! He is still missed and cherished. We are thinking of him today and the impact he made on this earth!! May we all strive to live a life of purpose and use our gifts to bring joy to the hearts of others as he did! I love you, Uncle Brett!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The "Dark Horse" Is Closing In!

You got to see this everyone!! Here is just a little something that will show you just how well the "dark horse" (Mike Huckabee) is closing in on the competition. ;)

All I got to say is BOO-YAH!! LOL I am just thrilled to pieces!! Let's keep pushing and praying for Mike Huckabee everyone!! And, if you have yet to "pick your pony" I would place your bets on this one! He's coming up fast and if everyone really starts supporting him and rooting for him, that "dark horse" will come racing to the finish line!! It can be done!! Let's do it!! GO MIKE GO!!!

Impact Alert!

I just got the following message, from Judie Brown, that I wanted to share with you. I've already made my call today - and got an answering machine. So, call and leave a message!! Hopefully, this Denver clinic won't be another Aurora IL situation. I hope we can stop it before it even starts!!

I also do the praying and I have LOTS of bumper stickers. ;) I have yet to go to a protest, but I'm sure I will sometime. Though, there are many ways to impact the world and fight for justice. I blog, I wear the t-shirts, display the bumper stickers, call, e-mail, etc. We can all do SOMETHING!! :) Let's keep working together people!! God bless you!

American Life League is fighting Planned Parenthood, and here are 5 simple ways you can join in!

CALL - Prevent Planned Parenthood from opening a 50,000 square foot abortion clinic in Denver. Call the Weitz Company's national headquarters and ask them to dump this project: (515) 698-4260. There is still time to stop the November 1 groundbreaking!

DRIVE - If you have a car, you can display the truth wherever you go. Witness to the world with a pro-life bumper sticker. Click here for our "PP Kills Babies" sticker.

PRAY - Prayer warriors are essential to this battle. Your fervent prayers are saving babies, so please keep it up!

PROTEST - Planned Parenthood doesn't want controversy. Your peaceful presence outside their clinics works miracles. To find a protest near you, visit ALL's Map Room.

INVITE - If you would like an American Life League expert to speak at your function, let us know. We'll come to you! Just e-mail us at stopp@all.org .

Sincerely yours in the Lord Who IS Life,

Judie Brown, President

Monday, October 22, 2007

Politics Really Can Be Funny!! LOL

After watching the republican debate tonight, I am becoming more and more encouraged that Mike Huckabee is gaining ground and popularity. He REALLY did well tonight; as he always does!! He made several insightful points tonight. One of which is when he said that all joking aside, there was nothing funny about having Hillary Clinton for president. Amen to that!! That wouldn’t be funny at all!! That would be a tragedy for all of America to weep for as we watch our nation be destroyed before our very eyes! I pray that that will never have to happen and that America still has enough common sense not to vote for a power hungry dictator who will strip us of our freedoms and our faith.

Huckabee was incredibly well prepared and articulate and he totally dominated!! I think he blew away the competition, and he totally read my mind when he said that Rudy and Romney and the rest of them could duke it out all they wanted. And, after their whole bloody fight was over with, he would still be the one standing there and could be the one to run for president. Ha ha. You just gotta love Mike Huckabee!!

He also wowed the crowd with his tremendously intelligent answers and commanding stage presence and personality. He is really a guy you can connect and feel comfortable with.

The same can’t be said of many of the other candidates, however. Ron Paul got booed a few times when he went on a spiel about how the troops need to get out of there and that people are tired of the war, etc. Granted, we are tired of the war and wish the troops could come home, but the American people are smart enough to realize that just jumping ship totally would be a bad idea. It’s like an exterminator leaving a job only half done. If you don’t get rid of all the bugs, you’ll just have to go back to a situation that is ten times worse the next time and it won’t be as easily contained.

Romney also fudged up big time. It was mind-blowing and laughable to see how he continually contradicted himself in such a John Kerry manner. He was always talking out of both sides of his mouth. It was astounding!! Hopefully, people will see through his hypocrisy the same way I hope they will see through Hillary’s. He doesn’t have a lot of room to talk about her lies when he does the very same thing. He caters and panders to the crowd just as much as she does. Never mind the fact that he probably doesn’t even know he’s being so ridiculous because he doesn’t even know what he believes himself. Just today, I saw him on television answering a question about how he believes in God but also in evolution and that he thinks God used the “tools of science” in order to create human beings. Oh my gosh, is he serious??? Evolution isn’t “science” anyways!! It’s nothing more than a ridiculous theory that has a religion all its own!! You have to be a special kind of stupid to believe that we “evolved” from apes!! And how insulting to say that he believes that GOD would use that kind of “tool” to create!! That’s like saying he couldn’t make us right in the first place, and we just “improved” upon ourselves over time. Well, first of all, the Bible says we are made in his image and that God never changes. So, that totally nullifies the evolution theory for you if you say that you believe in God. In order to have been made in his image, and be who we are today, we couldn’t have possibly come from apes. Otherwise, we would STILL be apes because God would have had to been a monkey to start with and a monkey now - since He never changes. But, since we are obviously NOT monkeys now (well, in the case of Romney, Clinton, and other monkey-brained people, there could be an exception! LOL) the evolution theory does not add up; especially if you claim that you have faith in the God that created you. Gee, Mr. Romney, what a slap in the face to Almighty God!! Maybe, in time, the mass of nothingness in your brain will have a big explosion and “evolve” into something out of nothing and you will miraculously have a brain!! Let us hope that you are just grossly misinformed and deceived and that when confronted with the truth of the matter, your eyes will be opened and you will see clearly. It’s like Kent Hovind always says, “Ignorance can be fixed, but stupid is forever.”

Well, I hope you got a good laugh out of that, because I sure did!! I find Mitt Romney’s ridiculous contradictions outrageously funny!! I don’t think he even realizes just how stupid and contradictory he sounds!! If he could only hear himself!! Oh boy!! We got to seriously pray for him to see the truth in so many ways - including the fact that he is also brainwashed by the false doctrine of the Mormon church.

Anyways, that’s all I have to say about Romney. Most of the debate was just bombastic falder-rah and an endless stream of circumventing the questions and pointing fingers at the other candidates - as well as the democratic candidates who weren’t present. In other words, just another typical debate. LOL Although, it was so refreshing to see that Huckabee had enough class and character not to act so immature and ridiculous. He knew his facts. He conducted himself respectfully and he was even rather humorous. I’ll even credit John McCain for that too. In fact, he got a standing ovation when he criticized Hillary for her wasteful spending (in regards to some ridiculous Woodstock museum or something like that). McCain said that he didn’t know how valuable or important something like that was considering that he was “tied up” at that moment in history. ;) LOL

Another moment of pure comic genius came from the mouth of Giuliani when he provided and actual quote from Hillary. “I’m not making this up,” he said. Hillary actually said, "I have a million ideas. The country can’t afford them all.” Giuliani went on to describe that she’s absolutely right. We CANNOT afford all of her millions of ideas!! Finally!! She actually said something truthful!! America cannot afford Hillary!!

Ok. I think I am done laughing for tonight. But, all joking aside, if you want a real winner who isn’t going to embarrass the country with their double-talk and lack of true insight and understanding, stand with Mike Huckabee. This guy truly knows what he’s doing, and he’s no imbecile!! He won’t turn this country into a three ring circus full of chaos and misery. He wouldn’t let us down! He wouldn’t turn us into the biggest laughingstock on the planet. Huckabee would actually restore our integrity and credibility that our nation was founded on and has been known for. Isn’t that how we want people to think of America? Isn’t it time that we show the world that we are honest, dependable, and worthy of the world’s respect by electing someone with true leadership into the white house? Yes, I think it’s time. It’s time for MIKE HUCKABEE!!!

And, before you laugh at this one, read this article about Chuck Norris’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee!! Hey, if he’s good enough for tough old Chuck, he’s good enough for us all!! ;) Mike, we love you and we’re praying for you!! Don’t give up!! Keep fighting the good fight!! God bless you!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bold and Untamed Faith

Today, it was Mike Gerber’s turn to preach. We’re taking a break from the “House” series; but will be coming back to it in a couple weeks. (Oh the suspense!! LOL I’ve been enjoying the “House” series so much!!) And, as I mentioned before, you can now listen to our church sermons online or on your ipod by going to our church's website.

The topic for today’s message was “The Call of Christ…An Untamed Faith.” I liked the title. It’s such a perfect thing to talk about, because as a follower of Christ, we are ALL called. And it’s not to be the “butt” of the church either - like I wrote about last week. We aren’t just supposed to sit around. Our faith needs to be an active faith; not a passive one.

Mike said that nowadays, the Christian faith has become so tame and domesticated. We seem to have simmered down our enthusiasm for Christ and have lost sight of Him; our first love. We spend so much time building our own kingdoms and pursuing our own goals; even if within those ambitions, it has to do with Christ. For example, he talked about how even on Christian television there is just so much “marketing.” It’s true. There is a lot of marketing of “this” Christian book or “that” Christian book or whatever else they are trying to promote. Sometimes, in all the hype, we lose our perspective.

That is why we are supposed to set our sights on Jesus. We need to take up our cross; not just wear it around our necks. Sure, display your faith. Wear a cross necklace or put a bumper sticker on your car. Nothing wrong with that. The point is, however, that real faith is more than just image; it’s action. Don’t just “wear“ the cross; CARRY IT!

Mike also talked about how everyone’s mission and path in life is different. Some people are meant to be like James Dobson and have a big ministry like that. Others, like me, just have a smaller “ministry” where I only touch a few people who happen to read things that I write. That’s ok. We all have different gifts and different measures of them - and we don‘t know how much we are truly impacting people in GIGANTIC ways just by doing simple things! All we have to do is USE what we have been given and we need not be like Peter and say, “What about HIM?” Jesus says, “What’s that to you?” Don’t worry about everyone else and THEIR mission in life. Just be responsible for your own! You’re not somebody else, you are YOU!! Do the part that was meant for YOU; not someone else’s part. YOUR IMPACT MATTERS!

Another valid point that was brought up is that faith isn’t timid and safe. Faith, REAL FAITH, is risky and even dangerous. Even as I speak, there is probably a Christian somewhere in the world who is being tortured for their faith. Faith isn’t safe. Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean that we are spared from pain and suffering. Jesus wasn’t spared. He had trouble and so do we. However, we have the assurance that those troubles will make us stronger and that the end result is worth it. If Jesus hadn’t suffered, none of us would have salvation! Trouble, persecution, and suffering makes us stronger; and we aren’t always rescued from it right away - or at all, in some cases. Sometimes, we do have to suffer a little while before we get the healing that we need. Other times, we don’t get the healing that we want. “But that’s not fair!” You’re right. It’s not. You know it and I know it (boy, you have no idea how much I know that and have said that - even lately! LOL) So, remember this phrase that Kent always says: “Life isn’t fair….people are weird…..love is the bottom line.” There is going to be a lot of “unfairness” in your life. There is also going to be a lot of weird and even awful people that seem to have better lives than you. But, what is that to you? It’s all in God’s plan and will work out for good (Romans 8:28).

Love IS the bottom line!! It all comes back to LOVE! Even if we can’t see it; it’s there. You can even see it in the examples of people’s lives in the Bible. Job lost everything. He suffered a great deal. But, God restored Him. God lets us grow through our troubles to give us purpose and to save us from the dullness and meaninglessness of life. All sunshine and roses ends up being pretty empty - just look at Solomon. You can have EVERYTHING and STILL have NOTHING!!

Even in the cases where people didn’t get healing in their lives, it still worked out for good. Mike illustrated that by talking about John the Baptist’s experience in prison. He was pretty much just waiting for his last hour to be up and he was having doubts about who Jesus was. I’m sure he wondered if Jesus even cared and hoped that maybe, He would save him and get him out of there. But, Jesus didn’t do that. Why? I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but God always has His reasons. We all have a certain amount of time on this earth and then, we leave and go home (well, assuming that our souls are right with God we go “home”). The time for John was obviously over and God wanted him “home.” So, in a way, he was spared; spared from more pain and torture on earth and given his full reward in the paradise of heaven where he would no longer have to worry about the troubles and perils of earth. So, he was ultimately “spared” and saved.

The message ended with a song by Clay Crosse. It’s a beautiful song called, “I Surrender All.” It has been a while since I have heard it. Wow! Those lyrics are so deeply powerful!! They really resonated with me! So, I have included the lyrics below as well as this link to the youtube video. May God bless your heart as much as He has blessed mine!! God only knows how much I needed this message today!! Here’s to hoping that all of our hearts are surrendered so we can have a live out loud kind of faith that is bold and untamed!

I Surrender All
By Clay Crosse

I have wrestled in the darkness of this lonely pilgrim land Raising strong and mighty fortresses that I alone command But these castles I've constructed by the strength of my own hand Are just temporary kingdoms on foundations made of sand In the middle of the battle I believe I've finally found I'll never know the thrill of victory 'til I'm willing to lay down All my weapons of defense and earthly strategies of war So I'm laying down my arms and running helplessly to Yours

Chorus:

I surrender all my silent hopes and dreams Though the price to follow costs me everything I surrender all my human soul desires If sacrifice requires That all my kingdoms fall I surrender all

If the source of my ambition is the treasure I obtain If I measure my successes on a scale of earthly gain If the focus of my vision is the status I attain My accomplishments are worthless and my efforts are in vain So I lay aside these trophies to pursue a higher crown And should You choose somehow to use the life I willingly lay down I surrender all the triumph for it's only by Your grace I relinquish all the glory, I surrender all the praise

Bridge:

Everything I am, all I've done, and all I've known Now belongs to You, the life I live is not my own Just as Abraham laid Isaac on the sacrificial fire If all I have is all that You desire I surrender all

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Finding Real Help At "A Friend's House"

Tonight, we went to “A Friend’s House” annual banquet. (To learn more about their ministry, please click on the link provided).

The banquet was delightful and there were a few speakers. The speakers talked about A Friend‘s House Ministries and what it offers to women in need. Basically, it’s a ministry unlike most others out there. It’s a residential facility that helps women cope with their life issues and struggles. The counselors really care and they mentor and guide them into becoming independent and healthy women as they help them to overcome their problems in life. And, because it is Christ centered, most of the residents begin to develop a wonderful and beautiful relationship with God as they discover how much He loves them and can heal them of their pain.

Of course, this ministry is at no cost to them, but it’s not “free.” The ministry counts on the generosity of the caring hearts of the community to keep them running. They said it takes over $300,000 to keep them running. And, believe me, this ministry NEEDS to keep going!! Every penny that goes into that ministry helps saves the lives of countless hurting women and gives them a new chance in life and helps them to be a productive member of society. And, in case you didn’t know, for a girl to be able to stay there, it costs a little over $100 a day. But, compared to a government funded place, that they spend our tax dollars on, that isn’t very much. If a woman were to go to a place other than AFH, it would cost thousands of dollars for her per day - and that doesn’t even guarantee that she will get the tailored one on one help that she needs. A Friend’s House ministers to these women so much better because it’s a residential facility that works with them one on one 24/7 and personal relationships are forged and nurtured. THAT is the difference and makes all the dollars put into that place go a lot further!!

It was so heartwarming to hear one of the success stories tonight. One of the ladies that stayed at A Friend’s House was talking about how she gets to go home now after learning the necessary skills that she needed and learning to love herself and get her life straightened out. Previously, she had been doing drugs and alcohol, but now, she has made a total turn around!! Praise the Lord for that!!

It was truly an honor to attend this banquet and to support a ministry like this. If God lays it on your heart, perhaps you could visit their site and donate to them - or at the very least, pray for them! Or, if you are reading this and you are thinking that you could use their help, contact them and apply for their aid. The girl that just finished their program was from Texas. They have accepted people from all around the country!

Well, I guess that is all I have to say for right now. The next time I write, it will probably be Sunday’s sermon synopsis. Of course, it’s all about the continuing “House” series. ;) I’m loving it!! God bless you everyone!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A "Berry" Good Post!

Here is a great post on Jill Stanek's blog concerning Halle Berry and her pregnancy. At least there are some Hollywood people that can grasp the fact that a baby is a baby - born and pre-born.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Butt" There's No Excuse!!

Don’t you just love cliffhangers?! The anticipation can just drive you nuts!! That’s how I have been feeling each and every Sunday for the last few weeks because our pastor has embarked on an exciting message series entitled “House.” And, the “house” that he is talking about is the “house” of Christianity.

So far, he has talked about getting in the door, waiting in the hallway, and now, we are starting to explore the “rooms.” This series is awesome; and I am LOVING IT!!! And, if you have been reading my blogs on this series for the past few weeks, I’m sure you’re just as eager to read about today’s message as much as I was eager to hear it today. Of course, since I just started this particular blog, you can just click on these links to go to my myspace page and read parts one, two, and three so that you can understand more about this series and what I'm talking about in some of my references. Also, you can now listen to these sermons for yourself at our church's website by clicking here. You can listen online, or download the free podcast. How cool is that??!! I highly recommend it, because I can’t possibly reiterate every single thing that Chad said. I just summarize it. Plus, he puts a lot of his personal testimony in there, and you would love to hear that for yourself!!

In addition to this series, Chad also decided to conduct a little experiment. Last week, he said that we were going to have a plant onstage and that the only time that it was going to get any light, attention, or water, was on Sunday mornings. So, how long do you think the plant will last? This morning, everyone could plainly see - as Chad put it - that it was already showing signs of “want.” One of the leaves has already turned yellow. So, there is a whole other sermon just in that plant alone - obviously. ;) If you’re only getting your spiritual food on Sundays and not filling yourself up every other day of the week, your “plant” will start showing some desperate signs of “want.” That plant is your soul, and if you don’t nurture your soul with some soul food, you’re going to start dying inside. Don’t wait for your leaves to turn yellow before you start quenching yourself with some soul food/living water!! Being a Sunday morning Christian just won’t cut it people!! Anyways, I won’t elaborate more on that right now. I will just dive in to the next part of the series.

Today’s door leads us into the “church” room. I can already visualize your eyes rolling!! “Church.” Maybe you’re like Chad and it was one of those doors that your parents dragged you through as a kid. Maybe you have been hurt by a church, or maybe you have never been to one for some reason. Maybe it’s because so many of us think of “church” as being a building, denomination, or something like that. But, that’s not what “church” is. Even in the Bible, when God talks about his “church” he isn’t talking about a place, building, or denominational branch. When God is talking about his “church” he is talking about “PEOPLE!”

Chad said that church isn’t a place you “go.” Church is PEOPLE “on the go.” AMEN TO THAT!!! The church is the body of Christ. Christ is the HEAD (Colossians 1:15-18) and we are the body. And, as Chad put it, the church body isn’t a “collecting body,” it’s a “sending body.” The church is (and SHOULD BE!) an equipping center. We come to our places of worship to learn and grow spiritually, and then, we should take that knowledge and use it as fuel for our souls to grow in our faith and share it with others by using our unique talents. EVERYONE has a talent and EVERYONE makes up the church body. We all need to be using our talents for the common good. Though, as Chad pointed out, sometimes we don’t think we have talent, or that our talent isn’t as important as someone else’s. Not so!! It’s just like what 1 Corinthians 12:14-18 says: “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” In other words, there is no “I” in the word “team.” We all need to do our part and no part is any less significant than another!! The whole body needs to work cooperatively in order to function completely and efficiently to its full potential!! EVERYONE is important!!

So, what is YOUR part in the body? I think the key is service. We all use our talents for some kind of service for the common good. I think, for too long, the church has had an overabundance of one body part: the butt. Chad said that he thinks the church has a really big butt - we just sit in the pews and that’s about it. Not to say that the church body doesn’t need its “butt.” After all, every part is important right? And, in all honesty, we all have the capacity to be a “butt” sometimes!! LOL Though, I think we are called to a higher degree of functionality. We can be a better “butt” than just a self-serving stationary one. A butt acts as a “cushion” and everyone needs that right? But if all we are doing is just being a cushion too much for our own selves and all we do is lazily sit down and only care about our own comfort and relaxation, then we are a bigger “butt” than we realize!!

Ok. No more “butt” jokes! LOL The point I am trying to make is mobilization. It like when Chad talked about the ministry the churches have at our city’s annual Street Fair. Usually, they set up a prayer tent and hand out cups of water to people. Though, when you are relying on people to just come to YOU, you aren’t going to be able to serve them as well. If you are going TO the people, you will have a lot better results!! That is why, this year, they sent out the churches to clean the streets and pick up trash; which was met with much appreciation and gratitude. People respond to service. Chad said that they helped and prayed for more people THAT WAY than they ever did in the prayer tent!

Let’s “catch the vision” as Chad put it. Let’s start understanding what it really means to be the church body of Christ! Don’t wait around for someone else to do what you know you should be doing. Quit being the “butt” of the church and get mobilized! This especially needs to be done in cases where only a small percentage of the church is actively serving, and all the pressure is put on THEM to do all the work because no one will let them rest on their own cushions for a while!! Come on people!! Let’s work together and share the burden!!!

Well, that’s my take on the sermon today. I can’t wait for next Sunday!! “Butt” (sorry, I had to! LOL) I guess I will just have to wait, and continue watering my soul each and every day so I don’t end up like the plant at church. ;) So, until next time, remember this phrase that a friend once told me: “Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death!” Feed your soul, and help others feed their souls too! Do your part! God bless all who read this!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Post #1

It's not as if I really needed to create another place for me to blog, but I have anyhow. I noticed that many people use this particular blog site, so I decided to have one here too. Usually, my myspace blog is the place where I get the most traffic; though I understand that not everyone uses myspace. So, I decided that in order to reach a broader audience, I would expand my blogging to yet one more site!!

Anyways, I'm glad to be here!! :) Hello everyone!! I have arrived!! LOL So, I will likely start posting regularly on here - as well as continuing to post on my other blogs. If you want to see my previous postings, you can check out my myspace blog and/or my msn space blog (which has a lot of informational links as well - which I will try to post on here, too, when I get the time to do so.).

God bless you all and have a great day!!