Don’t Miss Life While Stuck in the Rut of Tradition

Fitness outside

I love Sunday morning runs.

They have a whole different feel from the everyday run, mostly because of the cars that pass by.

A moving van, I imagine it’s an exciting day for someone, a brand new house and a new community. Then my mind wanders, what if it’s tragic and they never wanted to move, a divorce or another lost job. I always choose the picket fence story, welcoming the young family with 2 little ones and a beaming woman 2 months away from adding the 3rd to their picture perfect family. Hey, it’s my mind and it’s Sunday, let me have my Hallmark moment if I want to.

This morning I noticed something interesting.

An SUV with a kayak on top loaded with a man, woman and kids in the back seat, their faces all smiles and I could sense the excitement as they went on their excursion.

I also saw several cars and SUV’s pass with a man, woman and children, nicely dressed but no smiles. Their stoic expressions and blank stares caught my attention. A wife numbly looking out her side window, a bored husband in his button down shirt and tie, so different from the ones with a kayak on top of their car.

I imagine they are off to church.

It gets me thinking about the obligation of church and how easy it is to fall into the rut of tradition and miss the moments in time that only a weekend together as a family can give us.


Maybe I read them all wrong, I guess I’ll never know.

It’s here! Summer 2012 Praise and Coffee Magazine

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What If Your Church Didn’t Exist Anymore?

Many hairstyles ago I stood in front of the church that my husband pastored and shared a thought that burned so deep inside me I couldn’t help but breathe it out loud. With a shaking that reached from my platinum blonde hair to my painted toes I asked the congregation, “What would happen if you didn’t have a church to attend anymore?” It was not an announcement of the church closing its doors; but more a sense of the burden on my heart that we are all too comfortable sitting in the church.

What would you do if there were no church to get ready for on Sunday? What if there were no Bible studies or MOPS groups?

How would your family navigate their Christianity without the church building? Do you feel equipped to teach the truths of the Bible to your children?

Obviously we don’t have to navigate the road of Christianity alone, we have churches and groups and the freedom to assemble, and for this I am grateful. But I still wonder, what if?

I believe that God wants a relationship with us that is not dependent on church attendance.

I have driven home from church and felt a sense of satisfaction by the mere fact that I attended. I hadn’t connected with anyone or learned anything that sparked faith in my heart. But that religious side of me felt approved by God just by walking in the doors, sitting in a pew, picking up a bulletin and smiling at the greeter on the way out.
I want more than that in my relationship with the God of Creation. I believe God wants more for us.
I think it does us all good to stop and think about how our lives would look if the freedom to assemble in our churches disappeared. I’m not saying this because I think that is what’s happening; I’m not storing up guns in my basement or buying rice in bulk. But I think we need to look at our relationship with the Father and consider if it’s authentic enough that it would pass down to the next generation without overhead projectors or flannel boards teaching them about Noah’s Ark.

THE Church (the body of Christ) will exist, but if your building weren’t available, how would you do?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

I’m Tired of Being Told What to Believe…are you???

Last night my husband and I watched a special on The History Channel about September 11, 2001.

It captivates me. The images and sounds bring me back to the emotions I had that day. It was like cold water being thrown in my face, it woke me up.

The fear, the uncertainty. The overwhelming sense that we would never be the same. Never.

These emotions come as I feel there is a whirlwind of confusion in our world and especially the church today. All the voices screaming different opinions.

The right wing.
The left wing
The centerist.

Some are chanting the praises of the Glenn Beck, and the “Restoring Honor” movement.
Others consider him a type of false prophet and even “breaking up” with him.

There are those saying we need to get into church and stay there.
And those saying we need to BE the church…regardless of where we are.

So many voices and opinions can get tiring to say the least.

I’m not writing this to tell you WHAT to believe. You have to iron that out yourself. Frankly I’m sick of being told what to believe. I hope you are too!

But I want look at a few verses that help me keep my feet on stable ground.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Period. No question.
Don’t follow a movement, don’t follow a person, follow Jesus.
He is the way. the truth and the life.
Salvation is not found anywhere else.

If salvation is offered with a list of requirements…throw it out. It’s not truth.

John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my
disciples, if you love one another.”

And again, Jesus’ words tell us:

Mark 12:28
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.
Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the
commandments, which is the most important?”
29″The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

These are foundational. There are many more, but if we look at these three verses we have a real good idea what is most important.

9/11 was a wake up call.

In the same way, I believe we as the body of Christ need a wake up call today.

1 Cor. 3:3
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling
among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one
says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through
whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted
the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants
nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things
. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and
each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow
workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Time to follow Jesus.

Could you do that?

If the churches were all shut down today, could you do that?

Do you know enough about God’s Word and truth that you would know how to live?

Do you have relationships with other believers that would keep you strong?

Could you live this verse without a church building?

Hebrews 10:25
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I’m NOT saying we should do this without attending church, but if we don’t know how to do this without attending a church on Sundays…we’re in trouble.

It’s time for many of us to wake up and pay attention.
What do we believe and why?

Are we standing on our own two feet with our convictions or are we mindlessly getting caught up in all the voices trying to persuade us?

What do you believe?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

EDITED to add:
I want to clarify that I’m not saying the articles I linked are wrong…I was just throwing up articles that gave the different viewpoints. I happen to agree with some of those viewpoints.

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