Pieces of Community

In the past two days I’ve spent a good amount of time with UU’ers (Unitarian Universalists).  I remain a “friend” of this community, as I had been an active participant for four years.

Some Christians would tell you “don’t converse with unsaved folks.” But that NEVER made sense to me.  How are you supposed to share the love of God and the reason for grace if you only ‘hang out’ with like-minded people?

I personally don’t believe the God I believe in put His “Good-Housekeeping” Seal of a Approval on a particular church or religion.

However, I digress, this post is about community, and the importance of belonging; finding your (various types of) people and how the bible encourages it.

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Acts 12:12 …..”gathered together praying…”

Deuteronomy 31:12 “Gather the people together, men, women, children, and your foreigner who is within your towns, so that they may hear and learn…..”

A core belief in the UU church is to “question everything.”  I am not a Lutheran because my parents raised me to be one, in fact – I no longer identify as a Lutheran at all.  I check the box for Christian for medical forms and leave it at that.

But community; is more than a group of people hanging out together, it’s being with people who respect, are concerned about and want you to live your best life (I’m channeling Oprah)!

Is your community healthy?  Are you inspired and encouraged by those in your circle?  Is God at the center?

what does your community look like?  what is it missing?

 

 

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Lazy Pieces

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This is a touchy subject for people of all faiths.  Getting complacent, lazy and expectant can lead to disappointment and further laziness.

I’m very guilty of this. 

I realized today, I hadn’t written in this blog since Christmas!!  Why had I decided it was no longer important?  Laziness.

I forget to pray.  In the morning with my coffee, or when I hit the pillow at night.  FORGET?  How about lazy?

I talk to God in a hurry, no longer like He is the best friend I have in this world.

How can we become/or get back to — healthy Christian living?

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I learned an important lesson last year, a Godly woman shared with me her thoughts – and wow, they were right on!  I explained the trouble I had “managing” God in my life.  That in my “life pie” there were too many pieces, and God was one of them.

She simply said:  “GOD IS THE ENTIRE PIE, NOT A PIECE.”  What?  Of course, that makes perfect sense!  I had been treating God as if He were a sliver in my life, with all the other “important” pieces (family, work, health, money, etc.).  What a realization!  God is the pie, God is the pie!  I kept turning this over in my mind.  How foolish I had been for so many years.

I was so good after learning this fact.  I prayed daily, twice even!  I regularly attended church and other community activities, I soaked up God’s Word like I had never read before, I bought & read inspirational books, I talked about my faith….etc.  And then, reality set in.  This is the part I want you to really embrace.  WE ARE NOT FAILURES, we are just lazy at times. 

Life gets in the way, oh yes it does.  But the moment we realize how far we have strayed from that “good feeling”..the faster we need to correct and get back to what we can manage.  Maybe not twice daily prayers, but for sure time in the Word.  Coffee with a like-minded believer to share how the busyness of life does get in the way.  Give yourself a break.  God is always there, it is us – who have not made the time.

Pieces of Grace

The grace of God is always attainable, it’s nothing we have to do or say to make happen, it’s part of the many spiritual gifts available to us, “JUST” because our Father loves us.

Acts 20:24  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
2 Corinthians 1:12Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.
Colossians 1:6 In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.

Pieces of Serenity

We all experience highs and lows in our daily lives.  Praying, meditating on God’s word, being in fellowship with like-minded people, all good for trying times.

I have found that the Serenity Prayer works wonders when I need an easy-to-remember reminder of dealing with only right now.

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2 Corinthians 12:9   But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Pieces of discontent

There are many times in our life when we are annoyed with others.  We feel justified.  The world keeps spinning on its axis no matter what is going on with us.

God expects us to be patient and kind and loving.  ALL, not most of the time.  We are not justified, and we all too often rely on ‘how we feel’ instead of living and breathing in faith.

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

2 Kings 20:3  Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.