Friday, 5 June 2009

love walking... "success" by church culture standards... or success by Jesus' standards?

May 31, 2009

Isa 46: 3 Listen to me... You who have been borne by Me from birth And have been carried from the womb. 4. Even to your old age I will be the same. And even to your gray hairs I will bear you! I have made you and I will carry you. And I will bear you and I will deliver you.

Got up 3:30 am, made bread dough, went back to sleep till 4:30 am. Then got up and made fry bread (also made cow pattie cookies last night). Went to Another Chance (church-in-the-park) breakfast and church gathering from about 6:30 to 10:00 am. ___ and __, some of my new friends, came by for a little visit and coffee out on the porch. Then I "went to our church" about 10:50, in time for the teaching & discussion (aka sermon... but not so much anymore!) and home about 12:15. Walk, walk, walk! Then had a little nap, then my daughter and her family came by for awhile. Hubby was up about 3:30 (sleeps in the day because he works night shift), and we went for a lovely walk along the beach, and sitting on benches enjoying the view. Then home and went walking with my son! Yup, I think I got my 10,000 steps in today - and then some!

Finished my Bible reading, sitting on the porch (lovely, lovely day. Got up to 29 C but very dry with a nice cool breeze off the lake. Yay!).

Then a long phone chat with ___, talking about churches reaching out to the community. She's kind of discouraged, because her church seems convinced that the way to "reach out" is to produce high-grade entertainment and programs - that it isn't worth it to even try something that has not previously been "proven successful" (by whom, I don't know..).

I'm thinking that we are to love and neighbor and to love God... and in building relationships, let them meet Father through His love walking in/through us. I like what I'm part of right now because there really is no "agenda" - not what they can give me in return (though they've been totally surprising me anyway in that regard - fertilizer for my garden, red spring jacket, pearl necklace... and so much appreciation and friendship! Wow!)... and not how they can fill the church pews (and add to the coffers or volunteer in church programs etc), and not how "good" they make "our church" look to the community (because a lot of people in the community are not impressed with them and would just like them gone or at least be well hidden), and no guarantees of "success" by most "standards" of either "church culture" or "society" or whatever...)

Anyway, finally I watered the garden and lawn... and just in time as it suddenly got dark! (Sunset was about 9 pm)

Oh, and I really am wanting - desiring - to pray again! more! Thank You, Lord! Show me what/who You want me to pray for! "Cooperate in prayer" eh?!?!

I've had a lot of thoughts about what ___ said today about "strength in the Lord" (and the troubles we can face when we reach out) (and how so many "volunteers" drop out especially in summer...) and what ___ said about fellowship and what all that means and includes.

And about what ___ said her pastor said about the woman at the well... reaching out to people on their turf... as Paul wrote, being all things to all people in order to win some (We think with awe of the thousands of people converted in Jerusalem in the early days of the church... but I was just thinking of how many people would have been there for the feast - I've heard the city swelled to incredible numbers...) (and of Jesus fed and healed multitudes, yet how when he was arrested, they all deserted him... and probably a lot of the people in the "crucify Him!" mob might well have been fed by Him, taught by Him, even healed by Him - but in the end they turned against Him because He wasn't the military leader/conqueror/earthly king they envisioned, and His Way required a whole new life that they rejected!

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