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Monday, April 26, 2010

Changing Churches

Our family has attended the same church for the past nine years. I made my bestest friends there. I served there. I grew as a leader there. It's where I came to know Christ more fully. Yet, I felt a tug to move on - or at least try something new. So, our family has been attending a new (to us) church for the past four months. It's been good. Different, but good.

The pastor's message is current and relate-able, without losing any of God's truth. The music is LOUD. Really, really LOUD. To say it's contemporary is an understatement. It was a shocker the first Sunday we attended, but we've become accustomed to it. And the kids - that's the big worry - the kids like their Sunday school classes. They know some friends, are making new friends, and like their "big group" time and their lessons each week. They run to class - it's a joy to watch.

Yesterday, our family attended the church we'd attended for years to witness the joy of a friend's baptism. We had a lovely time with good friends in worship. The message was different than the new pastor - and the music felt like a step backward in time. We realized that one of the reasons we liked the church we were at before is because that's all we knew. Now, we know what else is out there ... and WOW!

As we talked about it last night, the kids are torn. They like both churches for different reasons - as do Mom and Dad. Is it time to decide to return or to move on? Where does God want us?

Friday, April 23, 2010



This is not a word that brings me great joy. Not even a smidgen of joy. I think of a pain in my shoulder, a sliver in my finger, a sinus headache, tight shoes that have cut into the back of my ankle ... or a slew of other things. Uncomfortable is not what I aspire to. And it's definitely not what comes to mind when I think about God or Worship. Yet, I think this is where God wants us – at least some of the time. And I'm not just talking about physical discomfort.

When we are comfortable, operating in our "zone," we are not necessarily reaching beyond ourselves. We remain in a trusted circle of friends, family, places, or events where we find much gratification. We resist the unknown. Yet, when we test our bravery, being courageous enough to step outside our "bubble," great things happen. Now, I don’t mean great, as in better than good; I mean great as in awesome, powerful, or spectacular – those terms in their good and bad connotations.

When we step outside our safety zone, we lean on God more. Or maybe, we realize we need to lean on God, Period. Maybe we realize that we weren't leaning on God at all inside the bubble and doing it all on our own. When we venture beyond, we must trust that God holds us - that He gives us a “force field” to protect us. We must lean “not on our own understanding.”

Uncomfortable. That’s where God wants us – at least some of the time. Are you uncomfortable?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

God's Whisper

I'm so thankful for the women who surround me with faithfulness and friendship. The other day, another mom called me to swap volunteer days at the school. No problem, except that I wasn't scheduled for another six weeks. Yet, she was looking at a schedule that had me listed for a day she wanted to swap. I told her I'd take her day and sort out the rest. I was just getting ready to fire off an email to the gal who coordinates it, when I realized it would be MUCH easier to explain it on the phone than write it out. Besides, I hadn't spoke with her in a while. So, I call.

"I've been meaning to call you, I really need a pick me up," she said.
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
"You always lift me up and encourage me and make me feel better."
"Awwww. Well, I'm glad I can do that for you."

We proceeded to make a date for coffee. My day went on .... laundry, shopping, bus stop ... then it dawned on me - that "glitch" in the volunteer schedule was God's whisper, "Stephanie, call her." And I'm so glad I did.