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Different Does Not Equal Bad

Back in the Spring we stopped attending a church we’d been at for many years. It wasn’t intentional at first, just a hodgepodge of events and illnesses that kept us away.  There were already some things going on in the church that we were uncertain about, but when we were gone for so long and only 3 people took the time to contact us to check on us and tell us we were missed (none of them being anyone in a leadership position), we decided maybe it was time to go elsewhere.  To us it was obvious the people we thought were friends were just being friendly all that time. 

I didn’t feel led to break away from our church, but I didn’t exactly get warm fuzzies at the thought of going back.  
There was a non-denominational church not too far away that had always intrigued me. I did some research and liked what I found.  The church has significant community involvement and is much larger with two youth groups (jr/sr high are split).  There are 2 Sunday morning services plus live streaming online, and a true Bible study/group discussion on Wednesday nights (plus dinner).  An added bonus is that the youth meetings are on the weekend so the kids aren’t missing the main services but still get the youth interaction they need. And they’re both decently sized youth groups.  Did I mention that?  An even extra bonus – the church runs a coffee shop and sells used books.
From the beginning my goal throughout this has been to be obedient to God.  I want His will for my life, for our life as a family. I want to follow where He leads. 

Since we started attending the new church, I’ve been struggling with whether this is the right church for us. I’ve been trying to focus on the “I likes” and not the “I dislikes” but, of course, I’m human and they creep in. My two biggest dislikes so far are the music and the preaching. I know church isn’t about the music, but I’m realizing how big of a role music makes in my own worship and by not knowing the music I find myself frequently distracted from my worship. Probably not the right way to be, but I’m trying.

I love the pastor’s teaching method on Wednesday night. He does a short breakdown discussion (we’re working on parables right now) and then we break up into little groups at our tables and discuss some follow-up questions based on the scriptures we studied. My struggle is where this method crosses over to Sunday mornings. From what I’ve experienced so far, he teaches, not preaches. I’ve been telling myself it isn’t bad, it’s just different. I think it’s wonderful that there are still pastors willing to give practical, apply this to your life Bible based, bullet point teachings; it’s just not what I’m used to coming from almost 8 years of Pentecostal style sermons. And so I keep reminding myself: different does not equal bad. Different is just different, and I just need to give myself time to adjust to the difference.

I know God has a plan for me, a vision for my life and how it will be used for His glory. I’m receptive to that plan and I don’t want to be held back by my own fear, something I’m extraordinarily good at doing.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  (2 Timothy 1:7, NASB)

All day long yesterday I debated this issue with myself as I thought about how to best make this make sense blogged. I certainly didn’t want to come off as negative when I’m really just uncertain.  I thought maybe this time it’s not about me. Maybe it’s about what my boys need.  The Lord knows I’ve certainly been praying for them often enough this year.  (Side note: The next Warrior Prayers session starts in September. Go sign up!)  Either way, it’s still about being open and receptive and following where I’m led. 
However, it had been a long day and I was tired and not feeling very social.  As a last minute decision, I drug myself away from the computer and off to church. I admit – I only went b/c I wanted to know what parable we would be breaking down this week.   During dinner, I found out we had a guest speaker.  I sighed.  I typically dislike guest speakers and by then I was really doubting whether I should have even gone.  Had I known in advance we had a guest speaker, I’d have stayed home.  But then I’d have missed a wonderful message and an awesome outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I’d also have missed receiving the confirmation that we are in the right place for this season of our life. There are people we need to meet, things we need to learn,   and growth that is needed to take us to the next level in our relationships with Him.  As I basked in the presence of the Holy Spirit, tears streaming down my face as I felt just how much He loves me, I was so thankful that obedience won out over flesh, and that different does not equal bad. Sometimes different can be a very good thing.

Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Faith

 

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Lots going on

The blip below was originally emailed to Nan on 9/18, then shared with Eryn a week or so ago.  It’s at least the starting point for the changes that are going on within me right now.

 

*sigh* okay… let’s see if i can figure out where to start. i guess we’ll just go day by day. that’s probably easiest.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2009 in Faith

 

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7/26/09

Elementary and youth groups are playing volleyball tonight. Andy decided to play, Alex is just observing. Me, I’m just sitting on a speedbump in the hot sun bored out of my mind.
09

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2009 in Faith

 

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Nursery work

Due to my sprained wrist, I put Alex to work in the nursery with me this morning. He’s making the boys lego spaceships.

Nursery work

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2009 in Faith

 

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Skating

Tonight we went with our church family to a skating party. It was lots of fun.  I didn’t skate but I chatted and joked with Tammie (who brought her 3 kids) and my other friends from church while we watched everyone else skate.

Andy fell once and twisted his ankle slightly, but he was back on wheels after icing it for 5 minutes.  He ended up leaving with a little girlfriend, Samantha.  Samantha, btw, happens to be one of the little girls that Alex’s girlfriend Nicole babysits.  Interesting huh?  

Alex didn’t fall, but he ended up with a blister. He’s happy with his new blade wheels though and decided that he’ll keep the older ones for outdoors skating and reserve these solely for the rinks.  Fine by me.

*Sigh*  Michelle came over to visit for a bit after we got home from skating.  I’m up waiting on a couple loads of laundry to get finished so I can toss it in the dryer for tomorrow, but I had hoped to get in some reading tonight.  Now how do I do that without being rude?   Don’t know, but I suppose it shouldn’t matter b/c I need to get it done.  I’m already behind and I really don’t want to start out that way the first week in. It’ll only make me frustrated and more likely to give up rather than catch up.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2009 in Faith

 

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Venting, HighPoint, Fireproof & Twilight talk

I got there a little after 830 for prayer. Worship practice was at 9 and then fellowship from about 930-10 until church started. The service was very good – it was about it being okay to vent to God and that it’s better to vent to Him about your loved one than to vent directly to your loved one. Then we ran to jack in the box for burgers and went back to church to have lunch with some friends. Then it was time to start working on HighPoint. HighPoint introduction

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2008 in Faith

 

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