Having grown up in the church and having sung as a family in a singing quartet and later leading a travel worship band, I have been in many churches, many denominations, all over America and the world even. And one thing has been bugging me all this time. In fact, I had to take a break from church buildings for a while because of it. It is this…
Churches are notoriously uptight and self-righteous judgmental. Meaning by this the cutting eyes if anyone makes a noise, shunning the not fancy enough, looking down on gum chewers, refusing people to drink coffee in houses of worship, judging outward sins but not addressing obvious inward sins, etc.
The thing is I passionately love the church and so did Jesus… so much so He died for her. Jesus taught so much to get us out of that judgmentalism. He did not allow his disciples to refuse kids being kids. He said bring them here. He taught the church is the people and the heart and going to a building does not make one holy unless one is already holy without walls. Grace is indelibly forgiveness and cannot be removed from Jesus’ loving way. How can we preach grace and yet scold the poorly behaved. How do they know better without instruction? We must meet people where they are and gently teach. You go to a baseball game and everyone accepts you as you are. Why does a church not? What makes you better than Jesus who loved people where they were and then taught a better way? No one is. The church is the people. As such, the church may chew gum, make noise, dress as they are, be welcomed, may drink coffee. And quit putting so much money into a building to meet in. Put thr money into the church and work of the Lord. ❤
The Lord granted me rest today when I needed it. The baby was not able to come over today after PE, as the car seat was “accidentally” not left for him. This was unexpected and granted me rest. I could spend time with my kids and husband, teach school, catch up on laundry, do the dishes, prepare for band practice, etc. It was wonderful, as this week is the busiest week of our lives so far this year. Crazy busy and I was feeling overwhelmed and a bit guilty for being behind in my care of my family. So God gives me this gift of time. It was amazing, and the whole time I was at perfect peace and joy. Wow! What a gift! God is so very good!😄❤❤❤
Most of my life, I was asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. I have been asked my secret. I will tell the whole world now because many people are apparently having difficulty getting to sleep. Here is my lifestyle that promotes restful sleep as soon as you lay down for bed…
1. Faith and trust in God. I understand that sounds like a simplistic, pat answer but I assure you it is legit. I do not worry for I put my life and everything going on into God’s hands before going to sleep.
2. Pray right before bed and read the Bible. This is where you put all those things into God’s hands.
3. Guilt-free, clean living. Now those few years of my life I did not get right to sleep were the years I was steeped in sin. Hard to sleep when #1 and #2 above are unattainable because of sinful, guilty living.
4. Hard work during the day. I work hard at living and serving in the day and worship God and cook and clean and so on. If there is yard work, I do that too. I also walk the dog with the kids 4 times a day for more exercise.
That is it. I believe I put them in the order of importance also, so please be encouraged that your sleep is important to the Lord. If you do these four things every day and pray for sound, quick sleep, God will provide that to you and bless you for it. God bless you!😴❤
Ok, so it wasn’t my love of oil painting, but painting n it was. I repainted the trim in our new back patio and my husband and son hung bamboo shades. And it us amazing how cozy a transformation that was! Little changes make a big change. Tomorrow we do the trim and grout the tiles and voila, all is finished and the room may be lived in. Super excited. And I love that the whole family helped with it as we will all benefit.
After a day of work, the kids and I went to the pool and that was wonderful. And my kids reminded me that work is not all there is. Yes, work for the Lord when you work anywhere for anyone else (even rude people). But God does not require us to be slaves that never get a break. Breaks are important. Fun is important. Too much of anything is not healthy, including work. So, I will work on the health of balance for my kids’ sake.❤
We just returned from a week in God’s masterpiece, Gatlinburg. We found hiking trails in mountains by beautiful waters and wild turkeys and quiet time with God. There is no doubt that He keeps His eye there to just enjoy what He made without argument. It is beautiful and peaceful and full of His glory. You cannot be there an deny Him. You cannot help but be regenerated and invigerated. He is everywhere and more obviously there. Gorgeous!! And our whole family feels more relaxed and alive and ready for the rest of the school and gig year.😄❤
Now many people in my life, myself included, have perfect parts and broken or messy parts of them, great habits and sinful habits, good focus on some things and horrible focus on others, amazing gifts in some areas and no giftedness in other areas. And most people look around and want other people’s hood parts and gifts and long for it, ignoring the bad parts entirely. And we are told by God to focus on Him and do our jobs on one hand and rest in Him on the other. So basically, do and focus on the good and forgive or deny credence to the bad stuff. And the whole time, our focus is to be on Jesus. I think surfers have more the right idea than people give them credit for. Catch the wave, bask in the surf, chill out, love everyone. Now they may take it too far and neglect responsibility sometimes maybe but they got the chill out portion of how we should be. We are to be balanced in life but always focusing on Jesus and resting in Him. Contentment is a mandate, a commmission. Yes, so is teaching, witnessing, worship, doing our gifts, baptizing, caring for those in our lives, etc. Yes, that is true. But that is it. The rest is extra. And we are called to peace and contentment in the midst of life and that can only be accomplished by focusing on Jesus.❤
This week has been scary busy, like moving a hundred miles an hour right after my early morning daily prayer time walk until my head hits the pillow. One important thing after another and relentless. So today I get a text from our very good friends that they are in town (from CA) and can we spend some time tomorrow. And I am publicly thanking and praising God for this trump card to relax and catch up with our sweet friends. Ahhhh. Sometimes we move too much and God is good at slowing our roll so we can function better for Him. Praise God!!!❤❤❤