Sunday, August 10, 2008

It takes The Village to raise a child?

The best thing to have ever happened to my walk so far is for me to have become a part of The Village Church. I don't believe that the Lord has more power there or works deeper there or loves us more. I just believe he is working there. He has placed in my life, in His timing, a body of believers with joyful loving hearts that seek to love Him with their lives above all else.

One problem with college is that you begin to make friends with temporary relationships in mind. Friendships will undoubtedly change in a semester or in a few semesters or when someone graduates. Joining a college ministry makes it easy to temporarily invest in a group of people (whether you mean to or not) because you are soon going to lose them to real life. That will be a challenge here in Lubbock because I don't know how long I will stay.

But a Village homegroup doesn't go away. Even when you get tired and you want it to. It is, by design, an environment when you begin to "do life" with others. It is a permanent investment in real relationship. It will grow and change, and people will of course come and go. But the mindset is that of lifelong commitment.

Someone in my family said "Oh, so its like a Bible Study Group?" Oh no, my friend, it is so much more, but only if you let it become what God desires to use it for.

I began attending a homegroup childishly and selfishly. "Fix me, please," I said. What I failed to realize was that Jesus Christ is the only Healer, and the homegroup is the burden bearers. THAT is what changes me. He is what has taken me from fearful adolescence to excited, unashamed adulthood in awe of what He will do next. The willingness I now have to let Him fix me is what gives me back my childlike expectancy and hope for my future whether in Lubbock, DFW or a hut in Thailand. Relationship with these women in my homegroup points me to Jesus. It sometimes gets really messy but it is making me grow up.

Now I am church hunting here and I will miss these women. They share in the story of my life that God is telling and in all of the fears and fun that have come my way in the last year of my life. And what I learned in the last round is that you can have relationship with people for self serving reasons or you can come together with the desire for true community. I will grieve the relationships I have left but will invest here with a different perspective.

I pray that God will replace the relationships I lost, but not to the point that I exclude relationship with him. His is the constant love that is with me wherever I go.

Hebrews 10:24-25
Acts 2:42-47

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Comfort Zone??

Here I am in Sugar Brown's with a smile and a question mark both on my face.

Sugars (the coffee shop's nickname) is where I did most of my spiritual searching and failing when I lived in Lubbock previously.

Well now I am back in this flatland called Lubbock and wondering what God really is doing. Sometimes we know His plans before they come to pass; sometimes we know what he is teaching us while its happening. Sometimes we see it in hindsight, and sometimes we never know what in the wide world was going on when God decided to do that thing...

Today, however I find myself in a coffee shop that brings me back to so much. I know this place and it almost seems to know me. I like the booth around the corner so that I don't get distracted by everyone I know that comes in. I know the coffee is best in the morning and at night but be sure to order something with espresso in the middle of the afternoon. Oh and the coffee cake is excellent. I know that the toilet handle in the women's restroom has to be held down to flush. Ok, TMI, but I am just saying I know this place like I know my own home.

I guess that is why it is hard to be home. DFW challenged me. I was not in my comfort zone. But now I am back in my old house, with my old friends, and back in my coffee shop. It would be really easy for me to slip back into old habits and old comforts.

The challenge for me is to stay on my face. To keep seeking the Lord for his plan and his will. I believe he has be here for the practical. I am getting out of debt! Finally.

So the thing he is doing now is teaching me to use Wisdom when making decisions. I also believe that this is a stepping stone to the future. I can't adequately respond to his call when trying to juggle debt that is swallowing me. We'll see what hindsight brings. I am sure there is A LOT more going on here than I see. I sure hope so.

I am kind of ok with not seeing the big picture right now. He is keeping me content with the present.