Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 19 This is Church

Can I be absolutely, completely honest with you right now?  Instead of sitting at this computer I desperately want to turn on the tv and catch up on Pretty Little Liars.  Sigh.  Don't judge me on my tween television picks.  Or the fact that it's the middle of the day and I want to veg on the couch.

But instead I'm here, in front of my computer, on Day 19 of being real.  When I started this blogging journey I thought I would long be done before the middle of January.  I definitely thought I would be done before February ever came and went.  But it's March.  It's March.

Anyways, here's what I want to share.  Do you go to church?  I go.  Most Sundays.  We skipped last week.  Yep, we totally skipped church.  But here's what I realized today.  I've been to church three times this week... actually, four... nope, make it five.

We have a friend who says, "That's church!" when something real happens.  My husband shared that with me and I smiled and I thought, it's pretty true.  I'm not dogging on church on Sundays.  Go.  I like it.  Find a church that teaches the Bible and believes that God is good, just and loving; One that believes Jesus is God with skin on and lived a sinless life, died on the cross for you, for me, and rose on the third day to ultimately give us the greatest gift we could ever know- life with God, a relationship with Him and an eternity with Him.

But church can happen every day.  I sat at my dining room table last night as a friend poured out her heart.  I sat there asking some tough questions and following up with some loving truth.  She cried.  My heart was tendered.  It was doing very real life with another person centered around the truth of who God is and the truth of who He says we are.  That's church.  My heart praised him when she left my house because He showed up.  Right there.  In my little dining room.

Today another sweet friend sat at the very same table.  And we laughed and cried.  We talked about hard, real stuff.  It was honest.  Soul wrenching honest.  And we spoke truth of who God is and the amazing, unpredictable ways that He works.  He was glorified.  And that was church.

Earlier I spent almost more than an hour on the phone with a friend and again, there were tears and truth and love.  There was forgiveness and grace.  Two lives intertwined by a loving Heavenly Father who has created us to do life together.  That was church.

Tuesday mornings you can find me gathered around a table with a group of women that I am humbled and honored to know.  I get to see them for Bible study and there is honesty and depth centered around God's word.  And I am continually challenged as they share their lives, their hopes, their fears, what God is calling them to and how they are following Him.  Yep, that's church.

And on Monday nights you can find me sitting in a comfy chair at Starbucks with two or three other women. We are all moms.  We are all in this following God thing together.  Some Mondays it's chit chat and fun.  But some Mondays, like this week, it gets messy.  Some Mondays we talk about our fears, our short comings, What we think God is doing, what we want Him to do and ultimately how we have to trust that His ways are the best ways.  That's church.  Christ centered, God glorified truth.

God shows up in every day places at normal hum drum times.  And I realized this week that I need to start recognizing Him in those every day moments.  Years ago God re-wired my mindset to know that ministry isn't something you do where you raise support.  Ministry is wherever you are.  Your work place, your neighborhood, at the mall or Target.  It's loving the people around you.  It's modeling Christ and living for Him wherever you are.  (Thank you, Amy and Kristie for speaking that truth into this girl's life.  It took a while, but ultimately the Holy Spirit got that through my thick skull!).

I think too often I think of church as a place.  It's the big building in the northtowns that I go to on Sundays.  And then it's over and I can check it off my list.  But I don't ever think that is how God desired or designed church to be.  In Acts church happened when a bunch of believers were together.  They preached the gospel, they ate together and fellowshipped together.  They praised God together and did life together.  God was glorified and the news about Jesus spread.  I want to live a life like that.  Fear often holds me back.  Fear of being let down by people or letting people down.  Fear of the mess that comes when my life is intertwined with anothers.  But today God spoke very clearly to me that despite the messy-ness and the difficulty of doing life with people who might not see things exactly as you do, it's worth it.  Push past the fear because it's totally worth it.

How about you?  Have you done church this week?  I know it's not easy.  Don't let fear win.  You were created for more.