Easter Is Sneaking Up On Us

We are just over a week away from Easter. This year feels so different from the years past. It doesn’t feel like it’s time for Easter. And I know Easter comes early this year, but it seems like more than that.

In the years past, the boys and I have done a lot of talking leading up to Easter. One year, we went on a search to find the cross. One year we talked about the lamb. Every year, we doing lots of talking, and Easter never sneaks up on us. This year it’s sneaking up on us and I’m not sure why.

Maybe it’s because we leave for vacation Easter morning. I guess that’s possible, but it doesn’t feel likely because we have a plan. I’ve told Chris that I don’t care what time we leave the house. We can leave at 4 am if he wants but some time between 10 and 11, he had to pull over and find me a church because I will not miss Easter service. I don’t care what church, but I need a church that morning. And the people vacationing with us can stop with us, or keep driving and we will catch up later.

Maybe it’s the fact that I recently became in charge of a group of kids every other Friday night, and I’m in charge of their Easter party. I’m in charge of the Easter bunny and the egg hunt and everything in between, and I hate the Easter bunny and just want to tell them all about Jesus and the real reason we celebrate Easter. (And it’s so much more amazing than a bunny leaving candy.) What would happen if I told the REAL Easter story in the middle of the party?

But maybe the real reason it doesn’t feel right is because I don’t have a church that I feel like I will be missing leaving for vacation Easter morning. Right now I don’t have a church that I want to go to on Sunday mornings. I don’t have a church that seems worth that extra hour or two I can sleep if we don’t go.

This makes me feel like a terrible mom. I grew up in Sunday School and that’s what I wanted for my boys. But churches don’t have Sunday School anymore. They have kid’s church which takes the children out of the service. I want my kids in the service with me. I want them to be able to sit for that hour (counting music) with me. And my recent experience with kid’s church is that it is all fluff. We watch Veggie Tales at home. I don’t want that on Sunday mornings.

So it puts me in a place where I don’t know what to do. I want a church that I WANT to go to on Sunday mornings. I want a church where I know my kids are getting Jesus when they aren’t by my side. I want Jesus.

Easter is an amazing day. Jesus DIED and then Easter morning he ROSE FROM THE GRAVE TO SAVE US ALL! I want more. I want to not be surprised that Easter is a week away. I want every day to feel like Easter.

A Quest for a Church

In my last post, I wrote about wanting to be on fire again, to feel that passion about going to church that I felt as a teen. I’ve been feeling this way for a while and trying to figure out what to do about it. As I thought over the past few month, maybe even the last year, I realized how lukewarm I felt about, not my faith or my God, but about attending church. It also occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one in my home feeling this way.

We have missed way more church services than we attending. No one was excited about going on Sundays to the point where most weeks we didn’t even bother to get out of bed or dressed until it was too late to make it on time.

I’ve been “regularly” attending the same church since I was 14 years old. If you asked me where I go to church, it’s the one I would have named. But it’s not working for us anymore. Something has to change. And I have prayed to feel differently to the point where I am starting to believe that God has answered that prayer with a firm “NO.” It’s time to do something different.

I did a Google search for churches in our town and found that there are over 80 churches here. Wow. I’m pretty sure we should be able to find a church that works for all of us with that many to try. Right away we can rule out all of the catholic churches, any that speak a language other than English, and a couple of denominations that we know we disagree with their doctrine. I figure that leaves us with about 40 churches IN OUR TOWN!

We started our search on Palm Sunday. I had such high hopes for it. I really enjoyed the service and the boys loved the children’s service. However, there were some really big downsides. As a visitor, I felt so out-of-place trying to figure out how to get the boys signed in. When I walked up to the “Welcome Center” and asked how to sign the boys into the children’s church, they acted like it was the strangest thing they had ever been asked.

We finally got the boys signed up and settled and headed into the service. I liked the service, but with a guest speaker they passed the offering plate twice. This is one of the biggest ways to get us to never come back. The second issue was that the closing song actually turned out to be five songs making the service last over an hour and a half. At one point my husband had finally had enough and actually walked out. We crossed this church off our list of possibilities and moved on.

For Easter Sunday, we attended our regular church. My thoughts on this were that for Easter I didn’t want to take a chance on a service where I wouldn’t know what to expect and that I might not enjoy. Plus, since it was Easter, I assumed they would be having communion. Well, you know what they say about assuming.

The service was enjoyable, but instead of communion it was a baptism service. I normally love a baptismal service, but on Easter I really needed communion. It just reinforced my feelings on needing a new church.

Over the week following Easter, as we talked about what church we would try that week, I continually said I wanted to go somewhere that I knew I could have communion. I grew up in a Church of Christ, so I knew that they do communion every Sunday. There are three of them in our town. I started Googling them to find starting times and addresses. One is a teeny tiny church, and we were concerned that because we weren’t members of that church that they might not let us take communion. One was a United Church of Christ so I wasn’t sure if they have communion every week. The third doesn’t actually have “Church of Christ” in its name so we couldn’t figure out which church it was.

Finally my husband decided that we would just drive the 30-45 minutes to the Church of Christ I grew up in. My parents decided to make the drive with us. It was kind of like going home again. Unlike the church a couple of weeks before, everyone was so friendly. We still knew a handful of people there, and the pastor was the same.

The bulletin scared my husband a bit with all the songs listed but singing out of a hymnal is much different from what he was used to and the songs don’t last nearly as long. The service was very enjoyable, and it was so nice to sit in a service where the pastor wasn’t afraid to talk about the Christian being persecuted around the world or say that abortion is wrong. And towards the end of the service, I could feel my husband tense up next to me when the preacher said he had 45 minutes worth of talking left. But he relaxed as everyone else laughed, and the service ended right at an hour.

There were definitely some downsides. The most obvious being the drive. It is just too far for us to attend regularly. The next would be that even though I want the boys to know the hymns that I grew up with, I have been attended contemporary services for too long to go back to such a traditional service. And the next issue we had is the size. With the six of us attending, we literally increased the attendance by ten percent. So this is just not a feasible option for us at this point.

For our fourth church in four weeks, we decided to try a missionary church that we had been to a couple of times years ago. Again, I Googled to find the starting times. (Do you remember when all churches used to start at 10:30?) Their website said they had a 9:15 and a 10:45 service. We headed out Sunday morning for the 10:45 service. When we got there, the sign at the road showed the service times as the same as we saw online. However, as we walked to the door, there was another sign saying the service times were 9:45 and 11.

We walked in the doors and were overwhelmed with the people and the noise. It was so loud in the entry that my husband and I couldn’t hear anything the other said. I finally spotted the area to sign the boys into the children’s church (since at this church there was no one working the welcome center.). We got them all signed in and were pointed down the hall to where the classrooms were. However, we were not told which classroom we were to take them to.

I finally found the one with a sign saying 5 & 6 year olds. The lights were off, but there were two adults in the room. They told us for the second service all the kids go into the same classroom, the one for the 1 & 2 year olds. I was so confused by everything that had happened up to this point, I said to the woman, “Church starts at 10:45, right?”

She responded with, “10:45 or 11. I don’t know. Don’t worry. You’re not too early.”

Are you kidding? Of course, I wasn’t too early. By this time it was 10:45 and I was wondering if anyone here knew what was going on or if they let you work in the kids area on your first Sunday.

I took the boys across the hall and found a teenager in charge of the room where there was nothing age appropriate for my boys. And while I certainly don’t mind a teenager working with the kids, I did want someone who appeared to care and/or know what was going on. I dropped the boys off and stepped back into the hall where my husband was waiting.

We just stood there a minute dumbfounded wondering what was going on. I noticed a back door with no alarm right behind us. I looked at him and said, “Want me to grab the boys and we’ll sneak out that door?”

We discussed it for a minute. What was the service going to be like if no one knew what was going on? What were the boys going to be doing during the service? Was the service ever going to start? We grabbed the boys and left. If it is this unorganized before hand, we weren’t hanging around to see what the service was going to be like.

For those of you keeping score, this means that in 4 churches in 4 weeks, my husband has walked out of half of them.

So what have we learned over the last four weeks?

1. The church we are looking for needs to be within a 30 minute drive from our house.

2. We want a contemporary service.

3. There must be only one time the offering plate is passed.

4. The service needs to be an hour long.

5. We would like there to be other people there around our age or at least other kids for the boys to make friends.

and most importantly to me at this point

6. The people in charge MUST know what is going on and what time the service starts.

 

We have laughed that we can attend a different church every Sunday for at least a year, and maybe that’s what we will do. As we’ve all learned, if it’s bad we will just walk out. I’ll keep you guys updated on our Quest for a Church.

What things do you look for in a church? What else should we be looking for?

 

Set Me On Fire

A while ago, I heard a song. It was Sanctus Real’s On Fire. It broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I’ve lived the life they sing out in the song.

Remember when you couldn’t wait
to show up early and find your place.
Cause you didn’t want to miss a thing.
And your heart was open and ready for change.
Oh, those were the days.
You were never afraid to sing,
never afraid to life your hands.
Didn’t care what people would think.

I remember what that was like. Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, we were there. We were there early. We got together before and after. We were a solid unit for Christ. We were a family. We worshiped together. We mourned together. If one of us was hurting, we all hurt together. We were a force for Christ that was not to be reckoned with. And it felt as if nothing and no one could drive us a part.

You were on fire,
and church was more than a place,
and people were more than faces.
and Jesus was more than a name.

We were on fire. We loved each other and Jesus. Church was more than a place. And Jesus was definitely more than a name. We were living for Him. We ministered to each other and strangers. We came from different places. We were a crazy range of ages from young teens to early twenties.

But our age differences and where we had come from didn’t matter. We loved each other and Jesus fiercely. Nothing could stand in our way.

Remember when you weren’t ashamed.
To tell your friends about your faith.
A time when you felt the pain
of just one lost soul that was slipping away.
Your heart was soft, you had radiant eyes,
but slowly the pressures and burdens of life
pulled you into the dark of night.
But when did you lose your sight?

We weren’t ashamed. We wore our faith proudly. We wanted to reach more, do more, BE MORE. We started our own church services. We shared our mistakes, our pain, our triumphs, our hearts.

We didn’t all look the same. We covered a range of everything, from preppy to emo. We were a band of misfits with our crazy hair and piercings and our crazy love of God. And those of us who would scare strangers on the street with our looks were the most softhearted.

We took the phrase “Freedom From Religion” to heart. We didn’t need a bunch of rules and regulations. We loved God and each other.

Oh, you were on fire,
you let life put out the flame.

Oh, isn’t that the truth? Mistakes were made by people we trusted, people who should have been supporting what we were doing. And suddenly we were lost. We fell apart and away from each other. This breach of trust drove us away from each other, and some of us even away from God.

Some of us are still friends. Some of us are simply Facebook friends. There are some of us I haven’t seen in over 10 years. And while I haven’t lost my faith, I haven’t felt like I did back then since. These days church is just a place, and it breaks my heart. And there are times, even all these years later, sitting in that place, when all that hurt and anger comes back as if it just happened yesterday.

But He’s still calling out for you
cause He wants to light your heart again.
And set it on fire

Turn your eyes, turn your eyes
and don’t forget what it was like
Set me on fire, set me on fire
I wanna hold God’s people close
wanna feel the power of Jesus’ name

I don’t know how to get back there. I don’t know what I’m looking for. I pray for that fire to fill me again. I pray for that fire to fill us all again.

Set me on fire

You can find all the Worship Wednesday posts here.

The Church of My Childhood

 

I spent the majority of my childhood attending a Church of Christ. We sang hymns out of a hymnal. We had traditional Sunday school that wasn’t called a fancy name. We had Sunday night services. My grandma played the piano. We had communion every Sunday. Baptism could happen any Sunday, no appointment necessary. Sunday nights, instead of having a specific list of hymns, they would take requests, and the kids seemed to pick as many songs as the adults.

There are days that I really miss all of that. Don’t get me wrong. I like the church we attend now. I enjoy the preacher. I love the music. However, we attend a contemporary church and sometimes I miss the traditional church.

I miss the hymns we used to sing. I’m trying to find ways to hear them and teach them to my boys. But even more than the hymns, I miss communion every week. I miss taking that time to reflect on what Jesus did for us.

I really don’t understand why all churches don’t have communion more often. My church has communion on Easter and Christmas and then a couple other times a year. And some of those times are on Wednesday nights instead of Sunday mornings. I know my church isn’t the only one like this.

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this and divide it amount yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’

“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’

“Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.'” Luke 22:17-20

Do this in remembrance of Me. Why aren’t we having communion more often? Why isn’t is a regular part of all church services? Why aren’t we having that quiet reflection time of remembrance? Why aren’t we begging our churches for it?

I’ve had people ask it having communion every Sunday makes it more like a habit than in reverence. Let me tell you, if taking communion has become a habit for you, DON’T TAKE IT. Get back to your bible and your faith and your God. If your heart isn’t right, DON’T TAKE IT. Communion should never be something you are doing just because it’s offered.

There was a time when I was a part of a youth group. We were a close group of kids from high school freshmen to early 20s. We grew up our faith together. We wanted to reach our peers and for a time actually put together our own church services.

At one point there was some anger and hurt feelings among us, as there is with teenagers. We got together one night and were talking about communion and getting our hearts right. That evening we took turns getting on our knees, asking each other for forgiveness and then we washed each others feet as Christ did before the last supper.

It was an amazing experience that I will carry with me always. We left there whole and filled with faith.

Now I’m not saying for the church to get out there and wash everyone’s feet. But maybe it’s time to get back to the basics. I’m not saying ditch the band, but let’s remember our roots. I’m not saying we need hymns and communion every Sunday, but I’m looking for that feeling, that closeness with God.

There have been times that I’ve had the feelings I get from communion through the music and I could feel it affecting the people around me as well. And then what should be a moment of quiet reflection or prayer, is interrupted with applause. Could we have more prayer and less applause? Maybe less of a show and more heart.

I do want to be clear. I’m not saying that my church or any other like it are bad. There are just times I’m looking for more. I’m looking for the church of my childhood, and I’m not sure it even exists anymore.

This Worship Wednesday post is looking more like a Throwback Thursday so I’ll leave you with the song that we sang at the end of every Sunday morning service.

 

 

 
You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

Heart of Worship

I was thinking about skipping this week’s Worship Wednesday’s post. It feels like every week we have been fighting a new battle around our crazy little house, and it would be much easier to just take a break.

First our cat died. It was not unexpected as she was 14 years old, but it was still hard.

Then my husband had to be out-of-town for work for a couple of days. While he was gone, I spotted a couple of fleas on our 60 pound dog. That meant I had to give the dog a bath. During the bath, somehow the diamond fell out of my engagement ring. (Thankfully, I did find the diamond, but only after I sat and cried for 20 minutes.)

Then we went camping and all the hoopla that came along with that. The burn on my thumb still hasn’t healed completely. We ended that trip by getting super sick and our dog getting Parvo. As I shared last week, we then had to have our dog put to sleep.

And then last week, we found fleas again. We have been fighting the seemingly never-ending battle against these bugs. We’ve been bombing, cleaning, washing, sweeping, scratching.

Oh, and somewhere in there I found a dead mouse (which I guess is better than a live one). And mice actually bother me more than fleas.

So you can see why I might want to just crawl back into bed rather than putting my thoughts out here. It would be easier to pull the blanket over my head. Or to toss my words aside and head to the park to play.

I’m feeling under attack. I’m feeling worn out. But instead of going back to bed, I’m fighting back. When we do God’s work, Satan attacks.

God knows I’m under attack. He knows I’m tired. He knows I was thinking about skipping today. And He knows what I need. I didn’t have a song picked out in advance for today like I have the past weeks. And last night He put a song on my heart.

 

Heart of Worship

When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come.
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart.

I’ll bring You more than a song,
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within,
Through the way things appear,
You’re looking into my heart.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

King of endless worth,
No one could express
How much you deserve.
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours,
Every single breath!

I’ll bring You more than a song,
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within,
Through the way things appear,
You’re looking into my heart.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

I remember the first time I heard this song. It was sometime around 2000 at a Wednesday night church service. Before the song started, the story behind Matt Redman writing it was shared. If you don’t know it, you can find it here.

The first time I sang Heart of Worship it moved me to tears as it has almost every time since. It reminds me of where I need to be, of where my heart needs to be.

God isn’t asking us for a show. He doesn’t need a production in our lives or our churches. All He requires is for us to simply come to Him. To bring Him our hearts.

As my crazy little family is traveling this hard road, it’s important for us to remember this. To take a step back and simply come before our God. To set down our trials and worries at His feet and breathe Him in.

I know I needed this reminder this week to get back to the Heart of Worship. Maybe you need this reminder, too. If it was up to me, this song would be played in every church on a regular basis. I know our churches need this reminder.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

May we all get back to the Heart of Worship.

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here

Are you pretending God is in control?

Image

 

My husband drives by this church several times a day for his job. Last week, the sign out front caught his eye, and he came home and told me about it. “Be calm and pretend God is in control.”

Let’s be honest here. I didn’t believe him. Pretend God is in control?! I mean, there are a lot of really bad church signs out there (just google it if you don’t believe me), but what church would tell you to pretend God was in control?

And then he sent me the above picture. Sorry, honey, you were right.

The phrase be calm and (insert anything here) is very popular right now so I would not be surprised to see it popping up on church signs everywhere. And, in fact, I would not be surprised to see this sign on churches everywhere if pretend was changed to know or trust.

 

Are you pretending?

 

If you are pretending that God is in control, you need to take a close look at your heart. And if you are attending a church that tells you to pretend God is in control, you need to take a close look at your church.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding what they meant. But I really can think of nothing that makes this sign okay with me.

In the gospels, it tells us that Jesus controlled the sea and the storm with his words. “So then the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey him?'” (Matthew 8:27) Genesis tells is that God said, “Let there be light.” and there was light.

God controls the sea and the winds and the light and the darkness, but you’re just pretending that He’s in control of your life?

 

Give control to God

 

I feel that whenever we talk about God being in control and people, we must also talk about free will. God gave us free will, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t in control. I believe these go hand in hand.

Not only do I believe God is in control, I pray God is in control of me and that He would help me to see His will and follow it. Do I fail? Yes. Absolutely. I fail over and over again. Am I pretending when I say that God is in control? No. Absolutely not.

I know that God is in control. I know He has a plan so big I can’t even begin to understand it all. I know that I will stumble and fall, and God will pick me back up and help me on my way (His way) if I will trust and turn control over to him.

That’s called faith.

If you’re pretending God is in control, that’s not faith. That’s a lie. And, in my mind, it’s the worst kind of lie you can tell yourself.

There are so many things this sign leads me to believe about the church it’s in front of. If you are pretending that God is in control, do you pretend that Jesus is the Christ?

Do you pretend He died for our sins?

Do you pretend He rose three days later?

Do you pretend God hears and answers our prayers?

What else are you pretending about?

 

Change one word, change the meaning

 

Can we change just one word on the sign? Let’s change pretend to know.

Be calm and know God is in control.

Know that Jesus is the Christ.

Know that He died for our sins.

Know that He rose three days later.

Know that God hears and answers our prayers.

I hope that the sign was changed today. I hope yesterday morning someone on their way into that church looked at that sign and it gave them pause. I hope they talked about it and decided that they’re not the people pretending God is in control. I hope they’re the kind of people who hand God the wheel and put Him in control.

That sign out front is the first impression people get. It tells them who you are. Look at the sign, not just in front of your church but in front of your life.

Are you pretending that God is in control, or did you hand Him the wheel and give Him control?

Christians, stand united!

There are things going on within the Christian community that I just don’t understand. Christians are being persecuted all over the world. Why aren’t we all standing up against this? Why isn’t this on the news every single night?

I am defining the Christian community to include all people who believe that Jesus is the Christ, that he came to Earth, died on the cross and rose again three days later to pay for all our sins and give us eternal life. In Philippians 2:12, Paul writes, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.

I don’t care if you call yourself Catholic, Protestant, Coptic, Mormon, Amish, or anything else. I don’t care if you say you are part of the Church of Jesus Christ Whom We Serve By Raising Cows. If you believe that Jesus is the Christ and are living to serve Him, we are brothers and sisters and should be united. We should all be standing together as a united front against Satan and not worrying about our differences.

And if one group is being persecuted for their belief that Jesus is The Christ, then we are all being persecuted. Right now, I, personally, am not being persecuted for my faith. However, if we stand by while others are, how long until that persecution reaches us? If I don’t stand up and say that this is wrong when it is happening elsewhere, who is going to stand with me?

We are The Church, and we should all be standing together.

Why are we letting the little differences separate us? If you believe that babies should be baptized at birth, and I believe that you shouldn’t be baptized until you are of an age where you can make that decision on your own, does that mean that Jesus loves one of us more? If you are a pacifist and I serve proudly in the military, do I not pray to the same God as you? Does it matter if I have a minister, preacher, bishop, priest, or what I call the person who gives the message on Sunday mornings? Does it matter if my church meets on Sunday mornings or Saturday nights or Tuesday afternoons? Does it matter if the person giving the message is wearing a robe or a collar or jeans and a t-shirt?

Instead of letting all of these things divide us, why don’t we all stand united in Christ? As people who believe that Jesus is The Christ, let’s unite and say that enough is enough. It’s not okay to murder people. It’s not okay to persecute people for their beliefs, no matter what those beliefs are. We don’t have to agree on all the little stuff, but can we stand together on the big stuff?

Let’s start talking about what’s happening to Christians around the world. Let’s tell the media to start reporting on it. And let’s tell our elected officials to stop sending money to the people persecuting Christians. Let’s stand together.

I am Coptic. I am Catholic. I am Mormon. I am Protestant. I am Amish. I am Christian. I believe that Jesus is the Christ. I believe that He came to Earth. I believe that He died on the cross for all the world. I believe that He rose from the grave three days later to save us all and give us eternal life.

I believe and I’m not afraid to say it.  

 

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For a story on where persecution is happening now (and where the US is sending money) go here: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/confirmed-the-us-facilitates-christian-persecution-around-the-world/

For a story on a Nigerian Christian church being attacked, go here: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/28/huge-number-of-nigerians-killed-in-two-day-shooting-and-bombing-spree-that-began-at-a-sunday-church-service/

Resolutions

It’s New Year’s Eve, and everyone is making resolutions for the new year. Personally I think this is silly and have no intentions of making some resolutions that I won’t even remember by the end of January. I do have a plan for the new year. I do have some goals I’ve set. But not resolutions.

But there is a place where I’d like to see some resolutions, a plan to change in the new year, and an announcement to the world about it. I’m talking about the church.

It’s time to call the church out, and for the church to stand up and quit hiding in the background. The time for being quiet and trying not to offend anyone is over. (Although I don’t think this time should have ever started.) Stand up and make your voice heard.

Jesus tells us that what we do for the least, we have also done for Him, and what we have not done for the least, we have not done for Him. (Matthew 25:31-46) It’s time to start doing. We are called to take care of the poor, the sick, the orphans and widows. Jesus did not tell us to have the government take care of them. He called the church, his people, to care for them.

Lets stop telling people about all the government programs they can qualify for and instead HELP THEM OURSELVES!

When we get a call that someone is hungry, instead of saying that they should sign up for food stamps, lets give them food. When we get a call that someone needs shelter, instead of giving them the names of all the government housing agencies, lets give them shelter. Lets open our homes, our hearts, and OUR CHURCHS!

Maybe we don’t need a new fancy building. Maybe we don’t need the newest, coolest audio system. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for the church to stand up and instead of sending people to the government, bring them to Jesus.

I want to be a part of a church that when they get a call that someone needs help they immediately move into action. When a single mom doesn’t have food to feed her children, instead of telling her how to apply for food stamps, we deliver food. When a job is lost and the heat is going to be turned off, lets be ready to make sure that home stays warm. And when someone has fallen behind in everything and is going to be out on the streets with no where to go and they call us, lets have a safe place for them to stay.

I’m tired of the church saying that they’re sorry but here’s the number for food stamps, WIC, section 8 housing. If the only place we have to let people stay when they call asking for help is the sanctuary, lets move the chairs out of the way and set up cots.

There are more and more people depending on the government to get by. Let’s start taking care of our own and anyone else who calls us for help. How discouraging must it be to call the church for help and be told to call the government? Or that the church can help, but you need to fill out a form and we can’t do anything until the next elders meeting in 3 weeks? When people are hurting and searching and need help, let have that help ready in a moments notice.

“for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” Matthew 25:35-36

It’s time for the church to step up. Jesus just called and you told him to sign up for food stamps.