i feel as though this post could be a little scattered, but i hope you can see my heart and i can somehow really portray what the Lord is showing me.
i've been really researching church lately. by that i mean things like a)the acts 2 church, b)who was church for, c)whatdoes churchcost us as believers, d)what's expected of me as a church goer e)what is a christian anyway?
so much confusion.
and then in the midst of all that i find that i'm exceptionally selfish. i like my time and my way of doing it, and my things, and i want it this way and that way, and i find myself completely frustrated when it doesn't go my way. all the while saying, "God's in control."
what a joke.
so. i dug in. i read the Word and i read A LOT about what other people and churches are doing. i have my favorites but i branch off into other sites and blogs and really try and find out what people are saying these days about church. i listen to messages of people i've never met and dissect what they're saying. and i've found one that really has my attention.
her name is charlotte gambill and, to me, what she has to say is fantastic (read all about her if you'd like. i must move on). i've listened to four of her messages in the last 6 days. and 3 of them over and over. we can talk about all the others another time, but tonight i am just going to talk about one.
it has to do with a shopping trolley. now, to us americans, we'd call that a shopping cart. but since she's from england, we'll call it a trolley. in this message she talks about you and me and the church. she states that church is not about you and me (which i happen to agree with) and how wrong we are for believing its about you and me. and we have these ideas about what it should look like, and how things are to run and what we do and how we do it. and we never follow through.
she makes the example of going to the grocery store on a budget. and how every week we have this certain amount we are willing to spend. and then one week, you take your kids or husband with you to the store. and when you're not looking, they slip things into your trolley. so at the check out instead of the $25 you normally spend, now there's a tab of $100 and we FREAK OUT. how did all of that get in there!?!?!? we then must evaluate what we are willing to spend (mrs. gambill goes on about other great things pertaining to this trolley but i'm going to focus on this part...me).
i have my job and i go to church and i come home and play video games and i lay by the pool and i sit on the couch and i stay up late on facebook for no reason and i play this stupid game on my phone and... whew, am i busy! i have time for nothing and no one!
i'm sure you're going...wow amber, that's really not very much. and as of this week, i'm going to have agree with you. its nothing that matters anyway. i have my shopping trolley full of nothing that matters. nothing is in there that costs' me something!
what am i doing in my church and in my community that is actually costing me something? am i being "THE CHURCH?" am i showing the people i come in contact with - anywhere and everywhere - that my God is really worth serving? do i show them who He is? do i just complain that its too hard, and its draining and people drive me crazy and i don't want to spend time with the youth kids - they're weird! and i don't want to spend time with the unloved. that would be too hard!
i, personally, am SURROUNDED by people that love me and show me continually that they do. and i love all of those people in return.
but what if i or we, all of us who have lots and lots love, would love on those who don't? how much would it really cost me to put something else in my shopping trolley? can i remove things to add a few things to really show people the love of Christ? to really show them the church? He was surrounded by people all the time while He was on this earth. He went where no one else did and He hung out with people you and i would not hang out with.
yes, Jesus. the Saviour. the Creator of the world!
this is what my trolley is full of right now -
me (pretend it looks like me). and i'm in control.
here's one i'd like to find -
de-lish! haha! jk.
here's the one i should start with.
i also believe that this pertains to my job. i asked for this task to be put in my trolley. i begged God for this job. seriously begged Him. and He gave it to me. He equipped me and set me on my path. He didn't have to give it to me, but He did. and i complain all the time! here's what i realized -
i can single handedly reach more people by what they see than most of our staff and pastors combined with the tools that i have.
i have control of the internet, videos, images, content, etc. you name a piece of media, and it comes from the same two hands typing these words. pretty crazy. and i murmur all the time..."it's too hard, i'm too tired, i just want to be taking pictures somewhere, boo hoo hoo!" i'm sure God's going, "shut up! you asked for it!" and i did.
so, i will shut up about it and do what i can with the tools i have been given and trolley space i have.
HE has made me able. and HE has allowed for this time in my life. what am i going to do with the right now? forget about the future. all i have is this moment.
what about you. what has He allowed for your life and who can you reach?