Have Christians turned the Church into a building?

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Since I have found Christ I have had this strong desire to walk along side the broken to help them to find God and be transformed.

The only way to succeed in this is by having people from the body give of their time to individuals who aren’t ready to step into a church building.

It seems like it is so hard to get others to see this point.

One example from Scripture that would back up this idea is….

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

I truly believe that even as true believers we need each other to overcome things in life and to be strong enough to do so.

We have a purpose no matter where we are in life. It is not only the recipient that has something to gain.

Yes, God can do it all himself but He chooses to have us form relationships and to work together.

Some obstacles that I see within the body are…

1. There are to many steps and to many people to go through just to get a need or message out into the congregations. I tried to do this on my own for a couple years.
2. Some Leaders say that they are very protective over their people and their time
3. Some leaders don’t want to overwhelm their people with opportunities that need to be met outside of the building.

First of all, where in Scripture does it say that the Church is a building? Are we to be segregated by the views we have on topics such as Baptism, which comes down to Religion?

Second, where does it say that the body needs to be protected by the opportunities God provides to others?

I believe that the Church has become a building that is segregated and protected.

When you say Church to people, most of them automatically think of a building. It doesn’t matter if they are saved or not, that is the common thought.

When God told Peter that he would use him to build his Church I don’t believe that He meant the Catholic building or denomination. I believe that God meant He would bring His children together on the Rock or Foundation of Jesus Christ to serve His Purpose, which is our Purpose.

Yet church buildings seem to have set the stage, which would mean people have set the stage for the definition of Church.

Is it not true that God’s children are being used so much to keep buildings running that they don’t have time to do what they are truly called to do within their communities and this world?

Would you be comfortable with standing in front of the Lord to tell Him that you kept a building funded and running? A building that many are not comfortable with approaching?

Would you be comfortable to explain to God why you thought it was your job to withhold information/opportunities from His congregation that could have been part of their purpose?

A building is not God’s Church.

People are his Church and if there were more people willing/or knowing to walk outside of the building to help those outside of the walls, what transformation could take place?

If we took more of our time, the time we put into making a building run smoothly, into individuals who might not be ready for the building, what would be accomplished for God’s purpose?

I am one of those people who think that a Church should be simple and basic so that it does not become the focus or Idol of God’s people. Maybe in a tent or an individuals home?

So I challenge you to think about the time you put into a building and challenge you to think about what could happen if we put more focus on the individuals around us.

 

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Lord, where are your people?

I am so distraught over the church today.

I work for a ministry where we try to bring the body together to help the community around them, to love on others who need help, earn their trust, and change their view of the church and God.

We had a client who’s husband is a vet in a nursing home and she needed help loading a truck in Round Lake Park and unloading in Waukegan because they have to move because her and her granddaughter are disabled and receiving no money from disability as of yet.

We put the word out to 21 churches and over 600 individual Christians. We had 2 older gentlemen offer to help. We showed up at 9:30 to do this ourselves. We did a great job and got most of their belongings out on their lawn and then we had to leave. We are spent and can’t go any further.

I feel horrible for these women and small children, I can feel their despair. What now????? How are they going to load a truck and unload a truck on their own?

Where is the church???? I understand its the weekend but if we had enough people show up we could have had that whole loading job done within an hour or two.

I really understand why people say that the church doesn’t care. It is times like this that is confirmed to me.

I just don’t understand…..

I feel like I just evicted these women out into the street.

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I just wanted you to know…

I really miss you today…

You were/are my best friend, the only one who understood my talk about me, life, and “Christians”.

I wish I could talk to you today but I can’t.

I pray you are following what God wants for you and that you are putting the effort into following Him and the steps in your path.

Remind me to tell you about our fundraiser breakfast today…

And the potential of my future with being an Executive Director down the road…

Anyway, I know there was a reason for this break and we will see in March what is left. All I know for sure is God is amazing and no matter what, we both have a purpose and a person for the future…

See that is what life is all about, our purpose and the path God has for us.

We were created by a God who loves us and died for us (Jesus) and He only wants the best for our lives. We have this idea for what is best for us but then we fail over and over again. Yet the minute we follow Him, from the first step, it’s like we are breathing new life and we accomplish something we never knew was possible.

We had this whole big picture of what would make us happy and then as we follow Him this picture might change and we are so full of Joy we don’t think we could handle another minute of it. We just want to scream out to the world that Jesus is King and He knows best if we just take that step of Faith.

Anyway the point is that we will talk again and I pray we have so many things to tell each other about what God has done. Although we may feel right now, that we want to talk, in 6 months it will be so much better no matter what.

Sweet dreams my friend…

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It hurts to do the right thing….

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

When I started a relationship with God in 2010 I went in with both feet. I ran after Him and the things that He wanted me to do in order to become the person He created me to be.

When we live our lives on our own making our own decisions and experiencing so much pain because of them, we become someone we weren’t meant to be. We have walls up that weren’t meant to be there. It is impossible to experience a fully intimate relationship when you have a guard up. You live a lifestyle that isn’t really yours. That lifestyle comes from numbing/ignoring the pain and living around it in order to hide it from the world and yourself.

I was doing really good letting God heal me and as I did I became stronger and walls went down. But the last year I have started to put a wall up with God again and had started to fall back into old patterns. I felt the distance between us and knew He was telling me to do certain things, yet I ignored Him because I didn’t want to listen.

The things He wants me to do are stop any addictions and to break off my relationship of 4 years. These are things that bring me temporary comfort and help me to just survive enough to make it through everyday. The reason I started to fall back into these comforts is because God has taken me into healing my deepest pain. It is scary to face that again and to let it go. But as I do I become stronger and see a little more of who I actually am. I am meeting myself for the first time in many ways. I like this new person but it takes sacrificing the person I thought I was for so long.

Anyway, I have been in this relationship for 4 years and it has been pretty dang good. Although we are both unhealthy and have healing to do, it was a relationship with a lot of love and compassion. Yet there is a co dependency because I know that no matter what he will accept me and love me. If I fail at being this new person he will stay. God helped me understand though, that when you want a healthy relationship you need two healthy people in order to attain that.

So I talked with him last night and shared this and he agreed and understood, another reason why I have loved him for so long. We know we both have work to do with God and healing, moving toward finding our real selves even more.

It still hurts though. We will grieve for a time but I know we will become stronger people because of our obedience to the LORD.

God tells us to do hard things because he wants us to live a full life. He has never once had me do something that didn’t benefit me, that didn’t protect me.

As I was crying on the way home last night He reminded me of the verse above and I truly believe that promise because I have already experienced it a few times in my walk with Him. I know that if we stay the desires of each others hearts God will reunite us one day but only if we delight in Him first. Because if we delight in God first then we will be healthy people for each other.

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My how I have grown!!!

I have been doing a lot of difficult healing from things in my past. Pain that has been stuffed inside for so long has been covering up who I really was meant to be. I have been working with a Christian therapist and doing a lot of grieving. There are some days I just lay on my couch and cry. I thought it was depression until God showed me that it was grieving and normal.

Anyway, I didn’t realize what a positive impact it was making on me until last week.

Keep in mind that some of my problems in life have been going with the flow, never speaking up and defending myself or setting boundaries, never questioning anything and never planning ahead. I was simply a survivor.

Well I decided to start looking into getting another car. My original plan was to drive the one I have until it died and I had no choice. I do have a teenage daughter though and sharing the car has been a pain, there are already a ton of miles on it and small things are starting to go wrong with it, and I am in a position where I can actually do it right now.

So I started looking at cars on cars.com. As I was looking, this one car, my past dream car came up. It is a 2003 Monte Carlo in mint condition because it has had one owner who took extremely good care of it.

I remember about 10 years ago I drove one for a few days as a rental car and that just intensified the dream of wanting one. I remember how it felt to want it so bad and to go over every possible scenario of how I could get it, but finally realizing I couldn’t and probably never would.

This time though, I saw it and looked into it but also looked into 17 other cars because it no longer has the same hold on me. I searched reviews and Carfax reports. I then dwindled the number down to 8 cars with the Monte still in the running only because of the mileage and reports about it. I then took into consideration the year of the vehicles, mileage, and price. I decided to start with the Monte based on those reasons and also because it was at Stasek Chevrolet in Wheeling where I got my Cobalt, so I already trust them and know their body and service department are amazing.

I went to test it out and was amazed at the condition, it looks brand new and drove so nicely. I took it for the weekend had a couple friends check it out and they said most of the hoses and stuff under the hood looked brand new and the only issue was a creaking noise in the engine.

I was told by the dealer that I needed $1750.00 for a down and I only had $750.00 so I continued to pray about it and God brought the rest as a gift to me. This person who helped me mentioned that all they expected was to basically pay it forward in my life. I started having flashes of a time when I brought a woman who was in an abusive relationship into my home to help her get on her feet and at this time I was on unemployment and had no extra money yet managed to provide for her also. It was like God was reminding me of my faithfulness to help not only her but the others he has brought to me and now he was blessing me in this way also.

So now it was down to whether my credit was good enough to get it financed on my own. Last time I needed my parent’s to co-sign because I had a credit score in the low 500’s but I have been working on it.

It was worth it because I got approved.

Last thing was that creaking noise. I told them I wouldn’t buy the car if they didn’t fix it, so they wrote something up saying they would fix the noise in the steering column. I said “you don’t know if it’s in the steering column, I want it to say you will fix it no matter what”. So they changed it to say that they will fix the noise (: Another sign of my strength. In the past I would have been scared to say that or would have wanted that car so bad I wouldn’t have worried about possible future consequences.

I was so overwhelmed because of how responsible I have gotten and how strong. It is all because of God. I have trusted him and followed what he has wanted me to do in order to heal. All these great things about me were covered up by pain and I am now seeing them come up in me.

10 years ago the excitement and happiness would have been because of the actual car itself, the car would have gotten the glory, but that is the least of my Joy now. I am happy to have it but what it resembles to me now is God’s love for me and all the great things he is doing in my life and inside of me, to God be the glory.

He has helped me learn to not just survive but to plan ahead. I have been able to provide a car for my daughter to use and a second car so I am never stranded without one.

I thought about all these things and cried as I drove home in my dream car last night. I still can’t believe how he knew what car I wanted all those years ago yet he didn’t give it to me until he knew it wouldn’t be an idle to me. The meaning of that car is so different now.

His timing truly is perfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way…..

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Why I love my job!

Love INC has been working with this woman named Deb for a year now. When she came to us she was in need of a car because the car that she had was no longer able to be driven and was to costly to fix. But she wasn’t able to part with it because it was her last connection to her son who was killed.

She ended up coming in and volunteering with us and through these interactions we were able to see her pain from the loss of her son and how severely depressed she was. She would say that she wanted to die and be with her son again. However, she did say that coming to Love INC and volunteering with us brought her spirits up and she enjoyed the time she spent with us.

About 6 months ago she started having medical issues, which made her have to stop volunteering and she was in need of rides to her doctors offices and hospitals. We connected her with a woman named Carol from LifeBridge church who was willing to give her these rides and since Deb used to go to LifeBridge it just seemed right.

Carol and another woman named Martha faithfully took Deb for her blood tests, ultrasounds, and cat scans.

Unfortunately, Deb got some really bad news about a month ago. She was told that something was wrong with her liver and if she didn’t seek treatment right away she would probably die.

Deb debated just letting herself die because then she would be reunited with her son, but then after a few weeks she decided that she wanted to live and was now worried because she waited to start her treatment.

Well today was her appointment with the specialist and nobody from LifeBridge was able to take her but I decided that I would do it and I believe that there was an apparent reason that God needed me to this time.

When Deb came out of the office she was smiling and told me that she was fine. Her doctor came into the office and told her that he didn’t have an answer or reason but her last blood test came back and she was fine, death is no longer an option for her.

I said “it was God, I just witnessed another miracle”. Deb said she was thinking the same thing. It was at this point that I was able to share with her that when I found God I was miraculously healed of a disease that I had for 17 years and almost died from.

There is no mistaking that we have an awesome God who still heals to this day.

Deb was shocked the whole drive home but started telling me how all the sudden everything in her life is falling into place.

It was like watching someone come to life.

She told me about Carol and how loving, classy yet humble, and how welcoming she is.
How Larry another of our volunteers came over yesterday to look at the leak in her basement which has now produced black mold, and said that it would be fixed next week.

The best part yet is about that car that she couldn’t part with…. And the car she still needed.

She finally let go and junked it for $300.00 and found a neighbor who was selling a jeep that just needs a battery and a hose replaced and he sold it to her for $300.00.

I believe letting go of the car is her first huge step to healing from the death of her son. That her having this death threat was God’s way of her deciding finally that she wanted to live.

Disability seemed to be her only option for surviving but she is now excited to get this battery and go apply for jobs while being able to say she has transportation.

We prayed and thanked God for all the blessings in her life before she got out of the car and as she got out she told me “I love you” and popped her head back in and asked when she could call me to get back to volunteering.

So we couldn’t get her the car she came to us for, but through Love INC and LifeBridge partnering together we were able to be used by God to transform a woman’s life by loving her and not giving up.

Deb still has a lot of healing ahead of her but I believe that God has great plans for her life.

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Why I love my job!

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