Monday, September 26, 2011

The Big Things

I kind of like starting my blog as if we are in the middle of a conversation.  We have just spoken moments ago and you know exactly where I am coming from.  However, the truth is my blog has been  a slow conversation these days. Things just seem to come up and steal my time.   However, I am back in Bible study and so far my study as been enlightening.  It has me thinking about the BIG THINGS.

You see, I often think that God is not doing anything important in my life because there are NO big things happening.  I am waiting for my special calling.  In case you didn’t notice, I am what some people would call a “DRAMA QUEEN.”  Actually, my husband likes to say, I am like TNT, I know drama!  Well, for the most part he is right.  I often overreact and expect that the world should actually stand still when I stub my toe.  This is why I have an issue with the big stuff.   I keep thinking I am going to wake up one day and God is going to be like, “Hey Miranda, you are ready to be the next Anita Renfroe, or  here is this place where you can make a BIG difference in the lives of many.”  There are so many great examples of BIG stuff in the bible.  A whale swallowed Jonah.  David beat Goliath, the GIANT, and for that, matter won most every fight he fought.  Naturally I think that when I am called it is going to be something BIG, like sounding the horns at the walls of Jericho.

This week, during study, I read a profound revelation.  While reading about the anointing of God, and how it creates a super natural way to live, the author wrote this:

“While you have patience in your mothering, holiness in your singleness, gentleness in your response, contentment in your circumstances, and empowerment in the face of your challenges, you are experiencing the greatest miracle of all: God’s presence appearing in your life.”

This was a major AHA moment for me.  God’s work in my life is not at all about the big things, it is mostly about the little things.  It is how I react to life.  It is how I exhibit my Christianity.

Sooo, I went to Galveston on what I considered a last minute trip.  It was at that point that all God’s presence vanished from my life.  You see, my husband and I, while we love each other dearly, we do not travel well together.  We have two very different styles of travel.  I like to know where we are going, him not so much.  I like to plan, him not so much.  All travel with us starts with a few small arguments here and there, like did you pack this? Or don’t put my bag there!  Then it progresses into, I don’t want to go, you are being a pain!  It always turns out fine.  Once we are out of town the mood changes and the laughter starts.  We joke about how silly we acted, and how this is just part of some weird travel routine we have.  We agree that we should approach travel like Sunday morning church.  It would be better if we rode in separate cars!

Now that we are back from our whirlwind trip to Galveston, I have to question myself about the small things.  After all, the small things will drive a person insane.  The small things are the pieces that add together to make a great day or a bad day.  While I admit, I have never been detail oriented; I would say that the small things are where the real work is done.  I have to remember that sometimes God chooses the small moves to prepare us for the BIG THINGS, and there is blessing in preparation.  I will probably always have that drama queen in the back of my head, wondering what great cause God has for me.  However, I think now, I will cherish the small details of God’s presence more.  I will rest in His participation in the small things, knowing that my God is not only present in the big things, but also in the small. 

  So, I close this conversation with a verse, that really inspired me this week:

“In ALL THESE THINGS we overwhelmingly conquer, through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fellowship and Prayer

 A while back, I saw a post on a friends Facebook page.  It went something like this:  If your excuse for not coming to church is because you think it is full of hypocrites, then you will fit right in!  Please join us in the pews!  I loved it, because I use to think that way.  I have had my fair share of bad church experiences.  My most memorable went something like this….

I was in Junior high and it was around the time when the jr. high kids transitioned to being the sr. high kids.  There was a lovely trip to the beached planned for us, and I was excited.  I really wanted to go.  That of course is when; the adult sponsor called and told my folks that I could not go, because they did not want the responsibility of having a diabetic child on the trip.  I would like to tell you that I was ok, but in fact, I cried, and I cried a lot.  At that impressionable age, I felt singled out, left out, and discriminated against.  It only took the one bad experience to make me not want to go to church or participate in any of the church programs.
As I grew, I attended church sporadically.  My motto then was, I just want to go and listen to the word, and then leave.  I do not want to invest in any of the people who will just ultimately disappoint me with their lack of Christianity.  (Insert HUGE laugh here!  REALLY, I don’t know what I was thinking; the only perfect example is Jesus.)  I guess I had this idea of Christianity but no clue as to the real relationship with Jesus it is suppose to be.  I just figured that Christians were Holier than Thou and always out to judge you.  I was wrong, so very wrong, and not in the right Church.

I have learned that in the right church, fellowship can be so much more than expected.  There is nothing like assembling with a group of Christians who are struggling with the same struggles, but at the same time-sharing, the same laughs.  I will take this moment to give a BLOG SHOUT OUT to my Bunco girls!  They are crazy, funny, and sweet women that God uses in my life.  I know that in this group, there are friends I can count on that will pray for me faithfully when I need it.  There is nothing more refreshing than a room full of Christian women laughing together!  My husband and I also attend a Sunday school class.  They are a wonderful group of people that share in our lives.  The group has a genuine quality and sense of care for each other.  As a Sunday school family, we lift each other up as needed.  They are the people we consider friends, even if we have to “Bible” them! (Bible is our code word for letting some one know they have talked too long, or gotten off subject.)  We learn about God, share His love, and have a few laughs too!

I guess the reason this is on my mind is, without fellowship in the name of the Lord, life and struggles would be harder.  The people that you share God with are also the people who will pray with you, lift you up and hold you when you cannot.  I have a dear friend who is struggling with Cancer.  She is the epitome of humor and love.  The people, who are in fellowship together, praying for the same goal, have magnified the effect of prayer in her struggle.  This is how she describes the fellowship of prayer for her:

“I want to start this out by telling you a story...Everyone is asking me how do you feel and I (am) going to describe the feeling. You know how at rock concerts they body surf a person through the crowd? Well I feel like everyone is holding their hands up in prayer and you all are body surfing me through with prayer. Everyone is touching me with their hands in prayer, chanting and thoughts, as I go through this crowd. IT IS AMAZING!!!! I wish everyone could experience this sometime in their life, without having to go through a hard time of course. So this is the best way I can think of to tell everyone that every prayer, every thought and every chant is felt, and is holding me up high. WOW!!!”

I know that people often say, “Church just isn’t for me,” but there is something special in a fellowship of believers.  As a community of Christians, we need each other.  We need to pray together and for each other, our community and country.  The Bible says in Matthew 7:7-8:
 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I don’t know about you, but if fellowship coupled with prayer can lift me up and send me body surfing through a crowd, on my way to a miracle rock concert lead by the King of Kings, I am in!