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?

 

 

You and Me

We are friends.  Jesus and Me.  He sits shotgun when I drive, He is my conscious when I’m stuck with a decision.  When I’m in anguish, He comforts me.  When I am bored, I get into the Word for inspiration and encouragement.  Songs have been written about this friendship:  “What a friend we have in Jesus” or “Jesus is a friend of mine.”  Jesus is the original friend on Facebook; He tweets out blessings every day, and Pinterest?  Yah, no more card catalogs in heaven!  🙂

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If Jesus isn’t your best friend, you need to take a look at who fills that spot.

 

 

 

Pieces of Logic

What do you know logically, that doesn’t make sense spiritually?  Or vice versa.

I think of faith; like wind – you can’t see it, but you CAN feel it. 

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The word “sense” is as close to “logic” ‘as I can find in the bible and it’s a stretch!

  • Nehemiah 8:8
    They read from the book, from the Law of God, with interpretation, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
  • Hebrews 11:19
    He reasoned that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he indeed received him in a figurative sense.

 

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Pieces of Loss

There are many variations of loss.  Of life, love, a health diagnosis, home, job, and whatever it is, is the most important thing to you at the time.  No one could possibly understand, even if they can relate – it’s not the same.  Sometimes we don’t want empathy as much as we want someone to listen.  We want someone to put up with our bad days — the days when we feel deeply alone in our grief.

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In time of grief that is so incredibly overwhelming, where do you go for peace? 

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Jeremiah 31:3
The Lord has appeared to him from afar, saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
John 13:34
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
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Pieces of Broken Chain

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While doing my devotions this morning, I added music to my routine.  Blasted the volume on my laptop and plugged into YouTube and started with Selah, Wonderful Merciful Savior, then one of my favorites by Jesus Culture; “Break Every Chain.”

I was reminded of what keeps me in bondage; bad habits some might say, but I know they are more than that – they keep me separated from God.  Ironically (but not really, right???!!!), my devotion was on placing my trust in the Holy Spirit to guide and nudge me towards a Godly life, instead of living by feelings; which can change in a moment’s notice.

I have been overcome by the presence of God many times.  Music seems to be the vehicle, the lyrics speak to my heart and remind me through repetition (I listen to the same song fifty times, like I did when I was a teenager!) what my  heart longs for, to be closer to God, to live in His grace and to know that I am saved.

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Where Do You Find God?

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I find God on a quiet day, in nature, the sound of wind always reminds me of Jesus.  As if He is whispering to me.  Also in my daily devotions, or wanderings in the bible.

Today “faith” was a dominant word in my day; it came reading Hebrews; all of the people who chose (not just obey) to walk in faith.  Abraham offered up his son (how awful a decision to make), the only thing Sarah ever wanted was a child and Moses, a grown man; preferred to suffer hardships than live within the walls of great wealth.

WHY?

3 John 1:3
It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.
Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

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Random Pieces

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Today, I found a two sided piece of paper;  it fluttered from somewhere and landed behind my desk.  There are a few scribblings and a date of 12/4/2013.

These exact kind of notes were the reason behind “The Pieces” book.  I wanted to share what God had shown me, inspired revelations that carried me from bad and sorrowful moments in time, to joy filled and peaceful days.

A few of my ramblings:

2 Peter 3:18 SPIRITUAL GROWTH:  Read scripture, apply the truth.  Admit and assume responsibility for failure.  Commit to change.

Philippians:  Joy, is a calm delight from God.  The worldview of joy is “happiness is based on what happens,” but joy, in reality – is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Paul was in jail during this time, he remembers people in his prayers; he thanks God for his situation, he encourages others.

Ephesians 2:15 (my take):  It’s a harsh world for those who are not believers in Christ.  I was under a terrible impression or just didn’t want to see – that the most noble and good people are still not of God.  They are still on the wrong side.  It’s not my place to judge, but do I have responsibility of those I love to save their soul?  You bet!

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