Saturday, October 23, 2010

Does your Church look like this Bar?

Cheers intro logo.jpg
So you know the theme song to Cheers?  It is unfortunate that this was the theme song to a show about a bar, but the interesting part is that the people at bars get community.  The church doesn't get community.  We should.  We have been commanded to live in community, but we don't do it well at all.  Greet one another.  Comfort one another. Forgive one another.  Build one another up.  Serve one another.  Encourage one another.  Meet with one another.  Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving one another.  Receive one another. Love one another.  Show hospitality to one another.  Bear one another's burdens.  Pray for one another. Care for one another.  Minister to one another.  And many more.

We do these things when they are convenient, but is there any place where you feel like you can be real with someone about your struggles and the dirtiness of your life?  I'm hospitable, when it suits me.  But God you want them to come to my house?  Their kids destroy the place.  You want me to greet her?  She is so rude to me.  You want me to meet with him?  He is so socially awkward. 

Below are the full lyrics to the song, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" by Gary Portnoy & Judy Hart Angelo.  Think about them.  Would you go to your church in these circumstances?  Is everyone glad you came?  I encourage you to be the initiator to making your church become more like this bar. 

Making your way in the world today

Takes everything you've got;

Taking a break from all your worries

Sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

All those nights when you've got no lights,

The check is in the mail;

And your little angel

Hung the cat up by it's tail;

And your third fiance didn't show;

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,

And they're always glad you came;

You want to be where you can see,

Our troubles are all the same;

You want to be where everybody knows your name.

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee's dead;

The morning's looking bright;

And your shrink ran off to Europe,

And didn't even write;

And your husband wants to be a girl;

Be glad there's one place in the world

Where everybody knows your name,

And they're always glad you came;

You want to go where people know,

People are all the same;

You want to go where everybody knows your name.


Where everybody knows your name,

And they're always glad you came;

Where everybody knows your name,

And they're always glad you came...

Listen to the song online at this link:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why God? Why?

As I go through life and talk to people in the counseling office, I often encounter the word "Why?"  On a side note, I find it interesting that people who don't even believe in God will ask "Why does God allow this?" Anyway, why does God allow His people to suffer?  Why do things happen that make absolutely no sense to us? 

I don't have all the answers for sure!  If I did, then I would be God, and we would all be in trouble! :)  But I've learned some things along the way . . . even this morning as I was asking God why He allows some of the things that He allows in my life. 
  • First, and most importantly, we aren't God.  Therefore, we can't comprehend Him.  We can't always follow His line of thinking.  Romans 11:33-35 bring me great comfort here. 
  • Secondly, sometimes I think I can follow His way of thinking.  Maybe it is when I'm intimate enough with Him that I can see things as He does, but I think it is more that He allows me in on some things to keep me from whining :) 
  • Thirdly, it is about Him, not about me.  Everything is for His glory, and we should want our life to bring Him glory at all times.  (I Corinthians 10:31)  Do everything for His glory, even suffer.
  • Finally, since we can't comprehend Him, it pushes us to do what being a believer is at its core . . . Trust.  We chose to have faith in Him, and when we don't rest in His will, we aren't trusting Him at all.  Trust the Papa . . . He knows what is best.  He doesn't want to hurt us.  He wants what is best for us.  Small children look at parents as if they are being betrayed when parents allow doctors to inject the child with a vaccine.  It is a small amount of pain to ward off greater pain.  Going to college for 8 years isn't pleasant, but the reward that comes from endurance is worth it.  There are alot of different directions to go here, but we can't see the other side.  He can.  So to avoid anxiety & stress . . . learn to trust that He has your best interest in mind.  I didn't say He has your comfort in mind; I said He has your best in mind.  (Romans 8:28). 
I have so many things I could say here, bkz life can be really painful at times; but trusting Him is so much more relaxing, and it is what He asks for. 

I'll end with the lyrics from Bring the Rain by Mercy Me:

I can count a million times

People asking me how I

Can praise You with all that I've gone through

The question just amazes me

Can circumstances possibly

Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed

Long before these rainy days

It's never really ever crossed my mind

To turn my back on you, oh Lord

My only shelter from the storm

But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace

Bring the chance to be free

Bring me anything that brings You glory

And I know there'll be days

When this life brings me pain

But if that's what it takes to praise You

Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of

The dark clouds that may loom above

Because You are much greater than my pain

You who made a way for me

By suffering Your destiny

So tell me what's a little rain

So I pray

Holy, holy, holy

Is the Lord God Almighty