I have a post that I want to write about soon. It is heavy on my heart tonight, but I'm just not up to putting it all into words.
So, instead, I'll tell you, AGAIN, how much I LOVE our church!!! It took us three years after we moved here before we found a good fit for our family. We knew about this church, but it was a little farther than we wanted to drive. It's only about 25 minutes, which isn't very far, but we really wanted something closer.
After Grady died, and I was so mad at God, I told Gib that I really needed to be back in church. We decided the first Sunday of 2009 that we would make the drive and try it. We didn't miss a Sunday until last month. Jessica and Emma Grace absolutely LOVE going.
We always get so much out of the message. It's fun, upbeat and casual. We meet in the theatre of a conference center, so it's not your typical church/sanctuary environment, which is A-okay with me. It isn't about what you wear or where you worship, it's about your heart and your love for the Lord that's important!
I'm not sure what your views are on church, as they are many and different. I have never really cared about the denomination of the church that I attend. It is important to me that it is a Bible-based church where the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and shared. It needs to be a church committed to "leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ" which is exactly the mission statement of our church.
I want to share how the service opened today.
We have a band that truly "rocks out". This morning, the music started with the Bryan Adams song, "Summer of '69". Strange? Maybe. But, the title of the sermon was "My Summer Vacation". Not long after the band started singing, a few people walked out on stage and started throwing out blown-up beach balls. We were all punching these beach balls trying to keep them in the air. Everyone was having a blast! Gib and I couldn't help but laugh out loud when a beach ball hit an unknowing young woman in the back of the head near the front. I know some of you will read this and say, "Whoa, that's going a little too far in church, isn't it?" I think not. What a fun way to get people fired up, awake and excited about worship! What a way to make "un-churched" people feel a little more relaxed and welcome! After that song, we all stood, greeted one another and began our praise and worship songs.
I love the relaxed, up-beat atmosphere of our church. But, what I love more is that every Sunday I walk away with a new perspective or new insight into God's word. A new and different look into the way He wants, and even expects, me to live my life as a Christian. The messages aren't "in your face", but rather, how to better apply God's word and live it out in my daily life.
The message today has stirred some things deep within me. Things that I try to shove aside, but they keep coming up again. Is the Lord trying to tell me something? I think so! To sum it up, Andy Stanley spoke about his trip to Africa. Doesn't seem like much, but it was great. He taught about forgiveness and reconciliation and read II Corinthians 5:17-19..."Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." God expects us to reconcile with others, even if we aren't in the wrong. WHOA. That's hard for me. That's what I really wanted to post about tonight and will soon...
I was going to put the link to the sermon in this post, but I just checked and it's not available yet to be watched. I'll post it when it's up.
Off to bed. School starts tomorrow, so it's an early start for us after a long, very wonderfully, lazy summer.