September 22, 2011
In case you are wonderin', I just greeted ya'll with the Botswana word for hello. If you are speakin' to a woman, it is Dumelah Mma, and to a man, Dumelah Rra.
No, I'm not plannin' a mission trip to Africa--I have been watchin' a little HBO series on DVD, called THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY. It's really good--I recommend it. It's basically a comedy, yet it deals with some serious subjects, so use discretion with younger viewers.
Has it really been two weeks since I last posted? I got a bit 'Dorothy in the tornado', but I'm back now.
Rodeo season is over for our family--Brian didn't make the finals. We will go to watch, but no horse haulin'! I had to rescue him from a viscious mouse in the feed barrel early one mornin'. I ran to the feed room where he was yellin', thinkin' somethin' was wrong with a horse. He was standin' there with a flashlight shinin' in the barrel, sayin' "get your pet outta the barrel!" There was a tiny mouse--all of 3 inches long, lookin' up and terrified. I reached in with a coffee can and scooped him up then released him outside. Later I asked the Redneck if he had ever had a pet mouse or rat.
I gotta admit it was funny, and I had a great 'tail' to tell folks at the rodeo later that day!
Okay, today I have somethin' to say about church.
I have invited quite a few folks to church over the years. Some have shown up, others have blown off my invites, and then there are the ones I just bang my head on the wall over...
The ones who say, "I don't need to go to a building to have church. My church is the woods/my living room/the beach/the mountains/fill in your own excuse--oops, pardon me--location."
Church is NOT a buildin'. The Sistine Chapel is beautiful, but it ain't a church. That little country buildin' with a steeple and bell is quaint, but it ain't a church. Our old barn, complete with sawdust on the floor is wonderful, but it ain't a church.
THE church--'cause let's face it--there is really only ONE church--the body of Jesus--is made up of people who have put their faith in His death and resurrection, and how He paid for their sins. All the smaller parts of the 'body'--denominations, sects, individuals, etc, are just like parts of your own body. They are unique, yet they are also a part of the whole. When I was a kid, I thought all churches were God's, and that denominations were just ways to classify how some folks worshipped different from others. I basically figured that we all worked for the same BOSS--just in different departments.
Heck--I was 12 years old before I understood there were no BAPTIST NUNS!
But I digress...what a shock....
What I'm gettin' at is that people make the mistake of not understandin' WHY goin' to church is a lot more than just goin' into a buildin'.
Church is about CONNECTIONS.
We first connect with God, and through Him we connect with other believers, then out to our homes, communities and the world.
Church is where we connect with those who believe as we do, where we can freely speak of our love of God. We connect with others who have been hurt by the world, and who are seekin' peace in Jesus. We connect with others who have fallen in their Christian walk, who have come back to square one and now need our support to keep goin'. We connect with our communities in love in times of crisis and celebration, with either funds, labor, or even a simple cup of coffee given in the name of Jesus. We connect with people who UNDERSTAND, because they have been down that same dark road we have just come back from, we are on right now, or we are contemplatin' headin' down.
A buildin' can't do that. Only livin', breathin', believin' PEOPLE can do that.
Let me give you an example from this last week that actually triggered this post.
The other night, I didn't get to sleep until after 2 a.m.. Wasn't upset, worried, nuthin' like that--just couldn't sleep. I get up at 4 a.m., get the Redneck off to work, then crash again instead of havin' my prayer and Bible study time, and I'm comatose until my son gets up. Even then, I am still havin' trouble functionin'--'cause I'm not someone who does well on little sleep.
So here I am, out feedin' my animals, stumblin' over my own feet. Add to that--my moods are swingin' from tree to tree, and then suddenly, for no reason, I am cryin' all over the place. We are not talkin' regular cryin'--we're talkin' fussy two year old, done missed his nap and can't find his binky mumbly', growly, WHINY cryin'.
I thought, "WHAT is wrong with me? Father--I need HELP!"
I don't hear an audible voice when I hear from God--but I know His voice. He reminded me that I had a cell phone and textin'. I gulped back a sob as I quickly sent the followin' message:
Long story short. I've got mood swings and cryin' for no
reason. I'm askin' for prayer. Thanks.
I sent it to about 10 people I knew who wouldn't hesitate to pray for me. Once I sent it, I went on with my chores. I trusted that God would handle it from there through the prayers of my friends.
I know folks prayed, 'cause within 20 minutes my tears had stopped completely and my mood had evened out to a normal level. I was fine and went on about my day with no more weird emotional stuff.
I never doubted those 10 folks would pray for me. I never doubted God would answer those prayers. I know that they in turn never doubted their prayers would be answered. They also know that if I got a text from them, I would pray for their needs.
Buildin's don't connect like that. A buildin' can't pray for you and care about you. A buildin' can't hold you in its arms and comfort you when you lose a loved one. It can't confront you when you're messin' up your life and need to be gently loved back to the Lord. It can't bring you chicken soup when you're sick. It can't come to your house when you are so desperate you called a local preacher at random to ask him to please tell your family you're sorry for what you're about do, and he shows up to bring you the good news that there is hope and you don't have to do somethin' stupid.
Buildin's can't connect. People do.
Jesus had church on a mountain side, from a boat, on the steps of the temple, at a well in the heat of the day, at the tomb of His friend, in the midst of a crowd as a woman touched the hem of His garment and was healed, around a table with His disciples, and ON A CROSS.
Jesus connected with people, wherever they were.
So what am I sayin'? I'm sayin' that the next time someone uses that 'I don't need a buildin' to worship God" line--tell 'em you ain't invitin' them to a buildin'. You're invitin' them to CONNECT.
Well, I got chores. Later ya'll.
© 2011 by Evelyn Edgett