Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Little Soap Boxy Post

This is one of my favorite pictures that Roy has taken over the years on the Biltmore estate. I love the look of the gate and just by entering in, you get a clearer view of the path ahead and a long distance view of the mountains. Right there in the middle of the gate is the sign asking ever so kindly to keep the gate closed because this trail enters into the protected gardens of the estate from deer who would love nothing more than to graze on the beautiful flowers in the garden. Keeping the gate shut ensures gazing grazing.

I have loved the extended time I have here to gaze and graze into and at God's kindness. After years of trying to determine purpose, pray the prayer of Jabez, have boundaries, dream big, go all out, find joy, experience peace, know more, be in moments, make a difference, guard my heart, find meaning, fight comparison, and now the ever ubiquitous...tell your story, I am realizing these passing Christian "product" fads are more to fill in the empty places of life and at the same time decorate your home with banners and plaques. Sermon and lesson points need to be reduced to tweetable length for re-tweeting or for Instagram. Really, we should all have some kind of goals or find rest for our hearts in meaningful lives but maybe not all of us are meant for the BIG stages of life and maybe when we find that out, we are more content if we will lay it down. I read blogs, Tweets and FB and there are a lot of people out there trying to be discovered and hoping they can be the next big thing.  Sure, there are people who got their start that way but you have to be early to the process. Maybe if you are wanting the fame and lukewarm fortune of Christendom, maybe you should find a new platform so that you then can advise thousands of people to do the one thing that worked for you.

Being in a smaller community and going to a smaller church has been just the fit, the right fit for me. This whole area has been the right fit and thus enabling me to find meaning in ministry and serving. I am at such a beginning level as I have not officially joined in a service project and I will but for now there is such great meaningful life and service in doing what God has gifted me with to serve Him and His church. Really, we need both big and small churches to do the work in the communities they serve. All styles work to reach others for Christ but bringing it down to the basics, we need to feel we are a part of the story and for me, my story wasn't going to go any farther while attending a huge church. I was talking to a Houston friend the other night and mentioned how refreshing it is not to hear the ubiquitous desire of most women there influenced by the books and ministries of Priscilla, Jen, Beth, Christine and Lisa; to have a speaking ministry. I would offer that most of these wonderful women who minister to our lives started out serving in a smaller arena of the church. They were faithful in ministry and God opened up the doors.  They didn't start having a platform. We tend to forget this on many levels whether they be musicians or teachers or preachers.

We have been seeing videos in church about the persecuted church. The films are raw and difficult to watch but yet we are more mindful to pray as a church and as individuals for Christians around the world. The story last week was about a Chinese Christian being held for six years because she would not sign papers inditing her friends who are also Christians. It was hard watching her story and the ending words have stuck with me this week, she was kept a prisoner for six year making Christmas lights for America. You know the kinds we have bought throughout the years...for like $3.00 and we think we are getting such a bargain but it has come at a great sacrifice. I did some research and most Christmas items made over there are being made by enslaved Christians. Yes, this has so made me vigilant to pray for them and I cannot buy those lights anymore. So being a better consumer than Christian, I Googled lights made in America. They are few and far between but there are some. Of course in the big picture where my lights come from doesn't make a huge difference but the huge difference is now especially as the season gears up I will have many opportunities and reminders to pray for our brothers and sisters.

This post is a little soap boxy this morning. No worries, I will return to the minutia of daily life living in the mountains, in a valley, on a hill. In God's kindness He has let me come here and be still and hear His voice to equip, oh that sounds too church le feme, to ready me to live out Psalm 92 and still be fruitful in old age.

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