Pastor's wife (6)

Church Building

 

Years ago, when we first moved to California to start the Lighthouse, my husband and I were diligent in our efforts to grow the church. Carrying three under the age of 5, we would spend our weekends walking through dozens of neighborhoods- inviting people to church. The sun would beat down on us; our feet would be sore; and our kids were extremely fussy. Still, we were faithful in the work of God.  Several times a week, we would spend countless hours walking and inviting. It seemed like the more we worked, the harder it was to take that no one was accepting our invitation.

One warm summer evening, as my husband was in prayer, he decided to ask God a question: why we weren’t being successful in our efforts? After all, we’d been working so hard. We were doing everything that we knew to do. As though audibly, God spoke to my husband saying, “I will build My church”. God promised that he would build his church. The burden of building his church wasn’t on us. We were required to work in it, but the building would be left to God. He would do it so well, that the very gates of Hell could do nothing stop its growth. That message was not just to our church, here in the small town of San Jacinto, CA. This was a message to God’s international church.

In the past few years, I’ve been seeing article headlines boasting of the decline in Christianity and the Christian church. Honestly, I didn’t pay too much attention to them-besides the sensory glance. Still, I can’t say that I wasn’t bothered by the charge. “God would build his church”, I reminded myself. Yet, months would go by and I would see a similar article, as though it was single-handedly challenging my God. Then one day, I came across an article.  A study was conducted and its findings were interesting to say the least. Although not exhaustive, a five-year study, following thousands of congregants, showed the churches in decline, were churches that took a liberal stance on the Bible; believing its concepts, but not taking it literally.  This study showed that conservative churches are continuing to grow and remain strong and stable in the communities in which they thrive. This study is just a little reminder of what the Bible says; and what God put on my husband’s heart so many years ago. God said that He would build his church and there is nothing that can be done to prevent God from prevailing in the end.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/04/liberal-churches-are-dying-but-conservative-churches-are-thriving/?utm_term=.d99e455d243d

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Family

This passed weekend was the first time the church put together a “family fun night”. Before the actual date, there was a considerable amount of buzz that had circulated around the church preceding the event. Anytime we announced it, the children's (and congregants') eyes would light up; overwrought with excitement.

 

I know all of us can relate to the time in life when the one thing we were excited for ended up being disappointing. Those were the times when our anticipation got the better of us. Fortunately, this was not the case for our church family night. As I looked around that night, I could only see the joy that I know God intended for us to enjoy in his New Testament church.

 

From the very beginning, God saw that it was not good for man to be alone. Adam walked with God in the cool of the day. He enjoyed fellowship with God, but man was made in the image of God; God whose nature is fellowship. God the Father is in constant communion with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, our creator recognized loneliness. It wasn't good. So, He decided to create fellowship for Adam.

 

Throughout the Bible, we see how God used a team to accomplish His will. In the New Testament, we see that Jesus told his disciples to go out into the world in twos. I think that is significant. As believers, once we asked the Holy Spirit to come inside our hearts, we changed. There is something that is now in our genetic makeup that needs that connection with other believers.

 

I just want to encourage anyone reading, to continue to (or get into) fellowship with other believers. Forgive past hurts; open yourself up for what God intended. He said, it is not good for man to be alone.

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Tomorrow

A friend of mine sent me a video, a while ago, through social media. It took me a while to get around to watching it. When I finally did, a rush of regret flooded my heart. The theme of the video was to admonish mothers to “live in the moment” with their children; take each ordinary day as one that God gave you as a gift.

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Blooming

 

We recently did a woman's group study with the title, “Bloom Where You're Planted”. I thought this topic was so relevant to every believing woman (or man) who finds themselves in a place where their normality has been shaken.

 

 

 

We arrived early to our woman's meeting and a few ladies began to casually chat about their day and what was going on with their hobbies. One of the ladies (without knowing the topic for the night) began talking about her plants. She began to tell us how a plant could survive without being planted in water. Apparently, if you place the right amount of vitamins and nutrients in the water, the plant will go on living. Later, when we started our lesson, one of the ladies brought up the conversation. As long as a plant has what it needs, it will survive, thrive, and bloom. It does not matter that the plant is used to being in soil. It doesn't matter that the plant prefers to be in soil; it doesn't have a choice whether it gets to be in the soil or not. Still, what we see is that the owner of the plant made a decision regarding it. So now it has two options: 1) Die 2) Bloom.... and it chooses to bloom.

 

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Modesty- Today's Christian Woman

Ayesha Curry (NBA player Steph Curry's beautiful wife) made a comment earlier this month regarding the way women dress (or don't) today. She got so much flack about voicing her opinion (don't get me on that soapbox). It got me thinking about how controversial women can be with how they express themselves with their clothing. This controversy is further appropriated in the Christian community.



I often think about the women of Islam who cover their whole body in public (including their hair); great lengths to ensure they are not attracting men. Then, there is the Fundamentalist Mormon woman who wears a prarie style dress which goes down to her wrists and ankles. Just to make sure every provocative inch is covered she will wear her dress over undergarments or pants. To complete her look, she wears a braid down her back- never out and down because that is just lascivious!



Fundamental Mormons aren't the only group dressing this way. I came across a forum discussing a certain lady who dressed similar to the Fundamental Mormons except her hair was covered. Someone went on to find photos and commented, “Here are some photos of Christian attire for True Christian women who DO NOT have the Jezebel Spirit”! Whoa! Strong words huh?

Next, we get to the Holiness church who seem to strongly believe that the right way for a woman to be modest is if she wears a skirt. These skirts are usually long and ankle length. I have seen a lot of women in this type of church who would scoff and eye roll at someone claiming Christianity who happened to have on pants or -even worse- skinny jeans.

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To You or For You

I know, I know, I know.... this verse is so cliche! Everyone knows it and it has become part of our Christianese! Listen to a Christian speak long enough and you'll be sure to hear the "all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose". A little while ago, I was doing one of those BibleGateway reading plans, and although I don't remember the theme of the plan, I do know that Romans 8 was one of the required readings. So, as I began reading, the all too familiar verses were ringing true and honestly, I began glazing over it. After all, I know these verses already. Right?

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