Tag Archive | church

No Experience Necessary

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5¬†minutes on a one-word prompt, without heavy editing, and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “experience.”

I have a college-aged son who is looking to graduate in December. He is currently looking for internships for the summer, but is running across a lot of positions where he has to have previous experience. Well, when you’re a college student looking for work in a national or state park, experience is hard to come by. (If you have any connections, hit me up!)

 

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It can be discouraging when you’re looking for a job, but when you’re talking about a relationship with Jesus, it’s a really good thing.

He doesn’t ask us to be religious. He doesn’t expect us to have our act together (whew!) He wants us to come as we are.

“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Yep, that would be the kind of experience we all have, wouldn’t it?

There’s a song playing on Christian radio these days called “Church (Take Me Back)” by Bryan Fowler, Michael Cochrane and Micah Kuiper. The words are very poignant when you’re talking about someone who has wandered away and just wants to get back to the faith that is in their bones. A place they can call home. A place where they are known.

“It’s not a trophy for the winners
It’s a shelter for the sinners
And it’s right where I belong.”

They just want to go to church.

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That’s how it should be with all of us. Church is not supposed to be a haven for the righteous. It’s supposed to be a hospital for the wounded.

Can we just get back to that? Can we be welcoming of everyone who walks in the doors? Because they’re not looking for a place where they have to be perfect; they’re looking for a place where they can be accepted. People just need to heal. Let’s give them that chance.

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I Am My Sister’s Keeper

I have a group of 6 women friends with whom I share life on a daily basis.

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So sorry to be missing 1 friend in this picture. Back row from left: me, Marjorie, Julie; front: Alyson, Keturah, Crystal

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Alyson, Julie and me

We live near each other. We attend the same church. We all were involved in the same K-8 school for many years. We are raising our kids together, walking through troubled times and celebrations. Graduations, jobs, school successes. Two of them came and sat in the lobby of the hospital and prayed when my grandson was being born. Even our kids have become really good friends.

We’ve laughed and cried and raged and cheered. We pray earnestly and often. We share holidays together because most of our families are far off.

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Marjorie, Keturah and me

We have a Facebook messenger group where we are available whenever we need each other.

We were built for community, and we are all aware that what we have with each other is not normal. We have a bond that will transcend place if anyone would take the gigantic step of moving away.

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Kehau and Alyson (they’re sisters in law)

 

We know each other well.

As women, we thrive on the words we exchange. We don’t always have to do something together, but we know we are always there for one another. Because we all have families, getting together isn’t always easy, but those times are precious too.

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Crystal and Alyson

 

We call ourselves the “wonder women.” Our tribe. Our cadre. Our peeps. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and need to remind each other of that fact often. We can also do wonderful things as we make our requests known to the God of the universe who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or think. And we share the wonder of that great God.

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Keturah and me

 

We are unique in that we have such a group of soul sisters, but we certainly don’t want to be alone in that fact. Pray, ask God for such a group. It doesn’t have to be 7 like we have. Just 2 or 3 will be a blessing as long as you can share your hearts and be honest with each other.

Go, find your tribe.

 

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday link up. Join the fun!

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

I really need to have a conversation with Jan. And Monique, I’ve hardly spoken to her since she had her baby–two years ago, was it? And Laura? I can’t even remember the last time I saw her. And Maureen. And Erin, And Shari. And Juanita. And Maria.

These are my neighbors. We live on a small Cul-de-sac. I know all their names. But, boy, have I been neglecting these relationships. We wave and say hi, but that’s been about it.

It’s not like the cold winter has kept us inside our houses. I think the average temperature this winter was 75, or something like that. I may be exaggerating, but you get the point. It’s not been the cold¬†weather; it’s been my cold heart.

Most are older than I and don’t have kids the same age as mine. And they haven’t exactly made overtures to talk to me either. Why do I always have to be the one to do the initiating?

Maybe because I’m the one who supposedly walks with Jesus. I’m the one who knows the importance of community. I’m the one whose church is right across the street, for crying out loud!

My kids have sold them all coupon books in fundraisers over the years. They’ve knocked on their doors to ask them questions for a survey during their community unit in first grade. All three kids, the same questions, a few years apart. No one ever complained.

My dog has run through their yard.

The last time I spent any significant time with any neighbor was when three of us had to go to juvenile court to testify against a boy who had broken into one of the neighbor’s cars. It was me, and two of the husbands. I had to go because I took pictures of the perp, even though David saw him first.

But I spent a couple of hours talking to them while we waited for our case to come up on the docket. It was a great conversation where I learned a lot about them.

That was in August.

Seven months ago.

Who goes that long without talking to a neighbor?

I’m frustrated with myself. Things simply must change. Spring is right around the corner.

I’ve got some cleaning to do.

Thankful today for:
114. My neighbors
115. A waning fever
116. My bike, that hopefully I will get on and ride today

God is Not a GPS

Recently, on a marquee outside a church, I saw written, “Let God be your GPS.”

Let’s break that down: With the GPS app on my iPhone, I tell it where I want to go, and it tells me how to get there. Or I ask it to tell me where I might find a certain type of business, and it gives me suggestions. I then can choose to which one I want to go. It will give me a suggested route, tell me how far it is and how long it will take me to get there, and then give me step by step vocal guidance of how to get where we’re going.

That doesn’t sound anything like God to me.

I would liken Him more to a magical treasure map that only reveals your next step when you have taken the one before. You hold it firmly, making sure the winds of doubt don’t blow it away. You keep your eye constantly on it so as to not lose your way.

This magical treasure map also shows you beauty unimaginable, gives you relationships inconceivable without it, and constantly sings you a love song in the most incredible voice you have ever heard.

And the treasure you find at the end of your road has, in large part, been the journey it took you to get there.

Thankful today for:
99. More light at the end of the day
100. A chance to help lead our congregation in worship
101. One more day of the weekend