I was nine months old. My parents had been brought up in church, but had not attended since they were teens. They both knew that they wanted to raise their new little girl (me) in church. So they prayed. They were too shy to go church to church looking for just the right one, even though they still lived in the same town in which they grew up. Maybe because of that reason, who knows? So they prayed. They prayed for God to send someone to them. I know that’s not a very active way to seek an answer to prayer, but it’s all they were willing to do at that time in their lives.
Then, Thanksgiving Day, 1979 rolled around. They were sitting at the dinner table chowing down on turkey when someone knocked on the door. It was two women. Two church women, Sharon and Annie. They invited Mom and Dad to church, and my parents went.
I was raised in that church, saved in that church, and baptized in that church (well, really it was Indian Creek, but I was with my church family). I called my mom tonight to get the details. She said that all four of her kids grew up gnawing on the backs of those wooden benches.
I love God with all of my heart, and I am working to pass that on to as many people as possible. Where would I be today if Sharon and Annie had not responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit 32 years ago? They had the guts to knock on someone’s door on a holiday, no less! Did they knock on a lot of doors that night, or only one? I can’t help but wonder. Anyway, I thank God for them, and for the domino effect they caused in my life!
I said all that to say this: your associates, acquaintances, friends, etc. might be praying right now for God to send someone to them. Deep down inside, I think that every person desires a relationship with Him, and some are just on the verge of accepting Him. We don’t know which ones. Please do everything you can to reach out to them. Be brave! You never know how a word from you may affect generations to come! Eternity is at stake.
Getting dressed for church every Sunday morning had become a chore. I couldn’t remember what I had worn the last Sunday. I had a couple of favorite skirts and shirts, and I had no idea how frequently I actually wore them. I was beginning to feel that I needed to start keeping a list. Or write week designations on the clothing tags. Thus was my thinking almost all winter.
Then spring came, and I was okay for several weeks because the warmer weather brought new options. But too soon, I was stuck again. Frequently, I would change my clothes two or three times every Sunday morning, trying to decide what to wear. And on and on it went…
Until one fabulous, life-altering morning. I had invited a friend to church, and she and her family were going to come that morning. I loved and knew this family well. They comprised a fairly large, one-income family. I knew that she wouldn’t be wearing anything particularly nice to church that morning, so I dressed down. Because I loved her and wanted her to feel comfortable, and I didn’t want her to think I was trying to show her up. That morning has been so liberating for me. Since then, I’ve realized and pondered several things:
- I love everybody, and I don’t want to show anyone up.
- Visitors to our church are less likely to have nice-looking church-appropriate attire, and I definitely want them to feel comfortable and not like they are dressed too casually. If I can get intimidated every single Sunday, I can just imagine how a visitor might feel, especially someone who’s not used to going to church at all.
- The other church ladies can still wear whatever they like; dressing very nicely is their way of honoring God.
- There’s no sin in owning fewer articles of clothing, so if I accidentally wear my favorite skirt/blouse combo every Sunday, people can go ahead and believe that’s all I own. Why should that bother me? Do I honestly believe that people will think I haven’t changed clothes all week, or done laundry?
- My level of modesty should be the same wherever I go, so it should not be a consideration when I am dressing for church. I
should be able to wear anything I own.
- God doesn’t care how I dress, as long as I am clean, modest, and easy to be around.
I hope this post helps lift a burden somewhere!
Posted in Church, Inspiration, Modesty
Tagged burden, church, clothing, dressing down, intimidation, loving everybody, modesty, Sunday, visitor
I can still remember where I was standing when I led my cousin to the Lord. I was on the phone with him in my sister’s bedroom. Then a couple of months ago, during the drive home from an evening church service, my son also accepted Christ as his Savior. But for years between those two phenomenal events, I haven’t been involved in the making of new Christians. My role in the Kingdom has been more supportive of existing Christians than anything else.
Until this past weekend.
Brother Miles Wallis came up from Talking Rock Road Baptist Church, bringing his sheaves (of paper) with him. He brought enough supplies to assemble 13,000 booklets containing John and Romans. My church was not new to this type of project, but this is the first time they’ve assembled Bibles since our family has been attending (January). Covers were folded, books were assembled, stapled, trimmed, and boxed. The booklets were printed in French, and are destined to reach thousands of souls in Kenya. It took 30-40 people (my estimation) 9 hours over a Friday evening and Saturday morning to completely finish (including loading the trailer and cleaning the church). Even the children had plenty to do, as they transported the partly assembled Bibles from station to station.
As a result, I hope to cultivate friendships with simply thousands of brothers and sisters in heaven who will be saved as a result of our church’s labor of love.
The project was one of the most satisfying events I have ever participated in, yet paradoxically, has left me starving for more! (I guess it’s because I was actually fulfilling my purpose as a Christian on this earth.)
For information on how to donate or participate, check out Seedline International.
Sometimes, most times, as I sit in church listening to a special song or a sermon, or even sometimes when I am taking part in a congregational song, I become so struck with the message that I fear that I will burst into tears. Over the years, I have learned that it is much less distracting to everyone else if I allow the tears to stream down my face, wiping them away once I am finished or allowing them to dry completely on their own. (This is one advantage to rarely wearing make-up!) Anyway, lately, I’ve been unsure whether I can even hold back audible sobs. Sometimes I am really tempted to get up, leave the sanctuary, and find a place to be alone and pray. I often feel that I need time to reflect on the message in order to assimilate it into my life. I think that my body is telling me that I need more times of praying, worshipping, and listening to God. I’m confused by one thing though: I am almost always in public when I feel so emotional; why do I rarely feel overwhelmed this way daily when I am alone with God? Am I trying to get my Bible reading out of the way in the mornings so that I can get on with the rest of my day? I try very hard to pay attention to everything that I read. If I feel like I have glossed over something, I try to go back and reread. At night, when I pray, sometimes I am tired and fall asleep before I really feel like I’ve covered everything essential, and before moving on to really “talking” to God and worshipping Him. Throughout the day as I talk to God, I am usually in the middle of something else as well, so I rarely drop everything I am doing to get away. I think my schedule needs revamped to make quality time for the most important Person in my life. I wonder then if I will be less emotional in public? Any ideas? How do you all make time for really communing with God? When you do feel overwhelmed in public, how do you handle it? Do you write down the passage or the message and address it later when you are alone?
I love visiting new churches – especially if they are out of town. I love participating in homeschool events or Christian school competitions. I love meeting Christians that I’ll probably never see again. Why? Because I know that I will meet them again someday. I’m building up my friend list in preparation of eternity. It’s not that I think eternity isn’t long enough to get to know everyone. Who knows? Perhaps we will know everyone instinctively. But it’s the way that I feel at the time of introduction and in the moments that follow. It’s like meeting a long-lost brother or sister. Even better – a soul mate. We already share plenty of common ground: common beliefs, common goals, common Best Friend, and ultimately, a common destination. So if I don’t see you in the next 60 or 70 years, I’ll see you later!