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A Car Wreck and Possibly Alienating Coordinating Analogy

22 May

Just as the toddlers got settled in the basket outside our car at Kroger, we heard a car crash nearby.  Looking in the direction of the noise, I witnessed an SUV crash into a white car parked on the far end of the parking lot and then skid around before finally stopping.  I pushed the kids in that direction to get the license plate of the car that was making all the trouble, in case the person decided to hit and run.  The guy whose car got smashed up walked up and was wondering why the heck his new car was crushed in on one side.  I gave him my card as a witness.  Some lady had sped through the parking lot and a truck hit her before the part of the crash that I saw.

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I don’t know what was going on with that lady, but what struck me was that the car that was way off on the end of the lot, supposedly safe from being dinged by other car doors, is the one that got badly damaged.  It got me to thinking about how all of our plans to “play it safe” are subject to fail.  And there’s one area where I’ve noticed all my Christian life that people play it safe, and that’s in choosing not to get overly enthusiastic about Jesus.

If you think about it, usually only preachers and missionaries live sacrificially and are sincerely head-over-heels for Jesus.  Not many everyday Christians can be accused of being more excited about Jesus than anything else.  Truth is, the overall “church in America” has more of the world in it than it does devotion to Jesus Christ.

Never will forget the deacon at a Baptist church who spoke up one Wednesday night at church during a Bible discussion.  He outright and unashamedly admitted that he chooses to please man rather than God.  As a person who has been lopsided about maintaining a God-focus, I can say it really does create friction in relationships.  The easy-going road that invites everyone to roll out their welcome mats is not the one which follows hard after God.

The way I see it is that people like that deacon play it safe like that white car at the end of the parking lot.  But in the end, they’re the ones that weren’t as wise as they thought.  There will be great reward in heaven for people who live for the things above rather than the things below.  And there will be great loss of reward for those who didn’t; talk about an inconvenient truth!  Even more inconvenient that having to deal with all the hassle of a wrecked vehicle.

Here’s my disclaimer: This post may sound a bit like I’m feeling spiritually superior, but I don’t mean to.  I’m so far from a perfect Christian it’s ridiculous, but no one who knows me can deny that I have a heart after God and obviously not after the world. 

She Cut Her Eyes At Me, And Now I’m Over It

8 Mar

I will now confess that I have dropped off the roll of every church I formerly attended.  Why?  I got offended, okay?  I admit it.  While I love the Lord and worship Him in my heart every day, I’ve found it so so difficult to again face the cold environment that I find in churches ever since I got divorced.  It seems that loving the Lord isn’t what church members are looking for when they decide to welcome you with open arms or turn a cold shoulder.

Are you also among the ranks of people who have stopped going to church because of offense?  I know I’m not alone.  Whether a rude woman cut her eyes at you or teachers were less than welcoming to your children – which I experienced at the last church I attended – it’s all too common for Christians to stray from the flock.

You know as well as I do that straying from the church does not necessarily lead to straying from God.  However, as I was reminded in a beautiful article yesterday (if I can find it again, I’ll add the link) that it really is important to have a church home.  I’ve been praying almost daily for guidance about where to attend church, but I felt no sense of direction.

Then yesterday happened.  Joyce Meyer Ministries had a huge prayer day in which their worldwide ministry read out loud and prayed for all of the prayer requests they received.  I told them about my church dilemma.  Let me tell you, Joyce Meyer has been a catalyst for the outpouring of God’s blessings in my life on numerous occasions, and yesterday was one of them.  All the matters I’d asked for prayer about saw an answer yesterday!

And I realized that I know where to attend church!  The answer was right in front of me all along, but somehow I didn’t see.  There’s a ministry that focuses on prayer, and it’s not a big “country club” environment in which church seems more like a social event than a worshipful occasion.  So the kids and I are going to drive less than 10 miles every Saturday night and join with other Christians to worship the Lord and to pray.  Since this direction is definitely a result of prayers and inspiration, I’ve decided that I will stick with this ministry, even if someone or even several people give me the brush-off.