I don’t attend church every Sunday, but when I do, it’s truly because I want to be there and connect with God in a different way, than personally through prayer; it is meaningful to me. It really seems the discussions are relevant to things happening in my life when I am there too. So in my thoughts, this is God’s message getting through to me.
THE DRIVE TO CHURCH – DECISIONS
This past Sunday, on the way to church, I was talking to my son about “why I go to church and what happens” and about how sometimes when I’m making decisions I will just “have a feeling inside” about which direction I should go, and truly, it’s not always the easy decision “I want”, but I just have a feeling inside that “I should”do it. Is this God letting me know what I should do, because it’s not always what I want to do? During the service, my son and I looked at each other, because it was really ironic, the things we talked about in the car on the way there were the things that Pastor Greg was talking about, almost as if he heard our conversation. My son noticed it too.
THE MUSIC – CONNECTING PERSONALLY
Another interesting thing happened, this church has phenomenal music by the way, so that probably explains more of why I connect so well. Anyway, one musician told us a story of how he and a friend had a falling out after a very long friendship, and that he felt like God was telling him to apologize to his friend, which he did apologize, but didn’t get the response from his friend he was expecting. Anyway that night at 2 am this melody came into his head and he wrote this song until about 4 am; it was a beautiful song. Here is the link: Kenny DeShields “That’s When You Love” Relating to this event, in my own experience, I also seem to get middle of the night ideas or early morning ideas. Is this God providing guidance or influence?
The bible topic this day was the two most important things we can do: “Love God and Love Your Neighbor” The Pastor went into detail on what it means to “Love your Neighbor” and the relevant scripture passage was the Good Samaritan Parable I’ve heard this story many times before, but he made it more relevant, by asking questions: he asked everyone to come up with reasons why the first two people didn’t help the beaten man and the answers were: “no one was looking, they didn’t want to be inconvenienced, it was someone else’s job or duty, didn’t want to get involved, etc.” It is here where it relates to all of us, those could all be OUR reasons for not helping someone in the present day. How many times have we thought those things in our heads when we didn’t help someone?
The Pastor also made another point, if we were truly starving and we were offered a) bread or b) the recipe for bread? Which would we want at that point in our life? Of course, the actual bread more immediately addresses the need. He related this concept of the bread and recipe to people offering empathy or sympathy in WORDS to others, but not taking ACTIONS. Wow! I bet we can all relate to that in our lives! Have you ever had someone tell you what you “wanted” or
“needed” to hear, but not make the personal effort to truly connect with you or take action? It really feels like empty words, doesn’t it? Have we done that to others?
SUMMARY: Loving your neighbor may be inconvenient.
MY LIFE EXAMPLES
This also related to me, personally, with the access we have to technology today, we are always connected. I made the mistake this weekend of multi-tasking, I was distracted by a message that I hadn’t seen. The message came in about 4 hours earlier so I was curious what it said and clicked on it when I should have been paying attention to the conversation I was having with the person. This person is 100% more important to me than the message, but I didn’t show it when I quit paying attention to look at the message. I wasn’t being present in the moment and I offended the other person and felt terrible about it, but I couldn’t take it back! I did apologize, but the damage was already done at that point. Sometimes being there for a person may simply mean being fully present and truly listening – without distractions. This situation has happened to me, with roles reversed before and it made me feel like I was unimportant. An action not words example can simply be actively, truly listening to someone, and hearing what they are saying. And I blew that this weekend!
When someone gives you their full attention, isn’t that awesome? When this happens, it is not only noticed, but remembered, even years later, because not many people truly listen. So many people have other things going through their minds and may only capture a fraction of what is said. I seriously remember specific people who listened attentively, because they stand out from all others.
FRIENDS TAKING ACTION
I also had another example of Actions Not Words, that I will always remember: Our family was away on vacation and had a death in the family while we were away. A fairly new neighbor heard about this and took immediate action: Michelle C. contacted people that she met through me and spread the word. She went grocery shopping and Maria R. provided a meal so when we got home we could focus on family and not have to worry about the food basics. This completely amazed me, the action she took and the other friends who did as well. Logically people do not have much food in their refrigerators when they leave for vacation, so she and others took care of that for us and we didn’t even have to think what we needed! By the time we arrived home, it was already in our refrigerator!
So in summary, the next time someone is in need the message was to try for Actions not Words in addressing their situation.
If you are looking for a Christian Church, they offer online Live service every week, so you can log in where ever you are located as long as you have internet service. Here is their website: https://www.wcrossing.org/, they are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter too.
This is an amazing church in my opinion! My friend, Michelle C. had encouraged me to check out the church years ago, but I was a member of another church, so I didn’t. Then another friend of mine Krista K. also encouraged me, and I finally did in December 2015. It was definitely something I should have done a long time ago and since then, I’ve found many of my friends from all different denominations also attend this church.
Have a Make it Count week!