January 4, 2009 - still catching up!
Dear God - Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit -
Thank You for the prayer meetings and church gathering this morning! Thank You for the awesome presence of Your Spirit! Thank You for the unity of Your body, Your church! Thank You for Your love to us! Thank You for Your message through the pastor You have given us, and the meesages through the other members of the body!
This past year I went through a great struggle in relation to "church" and even thought of pulling out/ away. I had pretty much given up on "alternatives" such as "house churches" and "cell groups" because they seemed to me to, in the end, be mostly just other systems. And yet, You are clear in Your Word that You want Your people to gather regularly, to pray and worship and love one another.
I'm still not convinced we "need a building." That was the message from the governing board a couple weeks ago - that we are short on finances - and that we "need a building" ... so we might have to go with a part-time (bi-vocational) pastor. Well, I'm not sure we "need" a "pastor" either.. at least in the way of our "tradition." The pastor today was saying that God has been telling him that He has given him the job of being the "leader for this church" so he needs to stop being discouraged, and "get out there and lead." Of course, he also said, correctly, that God is the head.
I guess I'm still skittish on the whole "leadership" thing. It feels like a "dirty word" to me... but maybe that is just because of negative experiences of the past? Lord???
Obviously there were roles in the early church that had "leader" qualities ... but is that expression actually used? Paul goes to such lengths to stress servant-hood, and the necessity of every member of the body.. and yet he also says to respect the workers who bring the gospel etc.
It wasn't that long ago that I was wanting some kind of "freedom" from "church" ... and yet I am still attending (more than less - for awhile it was less than more) and I do see You really working among Your people!
I am happy to see that the message is more about You and Your Spirit, and less about methods, numbers (but numbers came up today... kind of scary to me... is that again just outfall from the past?), systems, etc.
Thank You that just because I have been so tired (and distracted... I'm sorry), You haven't pulled back. I've felt so flat... but You were "there all the time" and gave me such joy today.
I really want to get back into Your Word - and to really focus on prayer. Really focus on time with You. Really learn to "practice the Presence of God!" (Thank You! Please! In Jesus' name!)
I'm thinking again about getting a job... thinking that we need money to move - but at the same time wondering, "What if moving is just my idea, not Yours... or what if You really want us to move somewhere different ... I don't want to be outside of Your will!
I hear that people are having trouble getting mortgages... and I don't want to be in debt! (I just thought of that!)... and hubby was just phoned to come in for a job interview locally.... (But I was so sure about this whole moving thing... before...)
I don't want to work if You don't want me to...
I don't want to do anything unless You want me to... Again at church they are begging for Sunday School helpers... I've even been wondering about leading another Bible study... or at least participating in th upcoming "Truth Project" study... or at least going to be a friend at the early morning street people outreach.
I have felt lately like I'm kind of in limbo, on hold, spaced out, holding my breath... I have this enormously long to-do-list, and yet I can't seem to get at anything. (Boy I really need to exercise... looking forward to warmer weather! Though I have loved the snow! It's warming up outside, but snow and wind chill! Maybe it will really be warmer tomorrow?)
I just really want to go to sleep now... and start fresh tomorrow... asking You at the start of the day to lead me in what You want me to do each moment, each step of the path, of the journey, of the adventure with You! Amen! Praise the Lord!
I love You, Lord. Please help me to sleep... and to rise to walk in "newness of life" with You tomorrow. Amen!