But this was a good friend's daughter and it was important for me to go. So I originally planned on going to the earlier church service at 9AM so that I would be able to make it. Well....sleeping with the fan in the window blowing in 7 pounds of pollen kept me from getting anything close to a good night's sleep. I also couldn't understand how my head was so heavy with congestion, yet my nose was draining out gallons of clear goop. (sorry for the visual) I mean, how much liquid can the human head hold?
Anyway.....I never made it out the door for the earlier service. I couldn't get my act together in time. But I sooooooooo needed to get my praise and worship on too. Not sure about you.....but I have some of my best "convos" with The Big Guy during praise and worship. He speaks to me over my totally off key tone-deaf singing. He still manages to get close to me even when my arms might be waving all around or I am doing some funky dance steps, completely oblivious to everyone around me (or their feet that I trample on)
I decided we would just take separate vehicles to church, attend the 11AM service with everyone and leave early with N to get to the shower around noon-ish.
As expected, I had yet another amazing experience during worship. Pretty sure the angels were joining in the praise, in a much more pleasant key than me. I got stuck on this one line of a song......"We don't want blessings......we want You!" I've sung that song many times, but for some reason this line got placed in my heart. (this has nothing to do with this post....just thought it was such a powerful phrase and it might stick on your heart too.....ok......carry on)
So after praise/worship, they did the offering and it was time for me to go. I felt very guilty leaving......but I made the commitment to my friend and it was the "right" thing to do. (or was it?)
I wrestled with this guilt all the way to the hall where the shower was held. When I walked in, my friend's face lit up. She came running over to me and gave me one of the most sincere hugs I've had in a long time. I will keep the situation with her daughter's pregnancy private, but let's just say that my friend really needed to know she had the support of her friends right now.
It was then that I think that it *was* the right thing to do. Not only did I need to put my own selfish needs aside......but I also needed to banish the guilt that can be placed on the "religious" mindset I was raised with.
Yes, it is super important to be part of The Body of Christ in life.
Yes, I need to be fed/taught weekly daily with The Word.
but I also know that The Bible tells me this in Romans 3:28
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
So now what?
I am praying that God knew my heart and that I am trying to live my life the best way to please Him. Trying to figure out if Jesus would have stayed in His Father's house or would have skipped out early and went to Mary Magdalene's sister's baby shower to support her and let her know she is loved. (that is, however, if they even did baby showers back in The Day and if men were "allowed" of course)
I know I come from a background where the mindset is that you can earn your way into heaven. I am ever so grateful to know that I've learned that it is the wrong way of thinking/believing. You can't earn your way in. Even on our best days, we will never be "good" enough to get in on our own merit.
And how ironic that I passed an old Baptist church on the way home with this sign outside?
Romans 11:6 tells us
And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.
How refreshing it is to know that we serve a God who is not keeping score.....He does not have a checklist with my name on it to see how many times I made it to church or double check I put in X amount of hours at the local community center. He loves me just as He found me......a sinner saved only by His grace.
WOW....this post is all over the place, huh?
(welcome to my
I know I don't articulate my thoughts as well as many well versed bloggers out there.....but I write from my heart. Sometimes I know I go off on tangents and get completely off topic. My grammar is incorrect more than correct.....and thank goodness for spellcheck. My blog is my outlet to pour out what God places on my heart. So if you can follow along without getting completely lost and get a little message out of it....it will be a blessing to me and you.
So let me wrap this up with a prayer....
God.....Thank you for sending Your only Son for us. He died for us and shed His blood for our sins. He rose and conquered death. All so that we can live eternally. I know that having faith in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as our Savior is the ONLY door into Heaven. So I will pray that everyday....I am keeping my eyes and heart set on You. Know that I am making choices that I hope are pleasing to You. I will release myself from the pressure of relying on myself and my actions to "prove" I am worthy. I will rest in knowing that it is because of Your grace that I am still Your Child.....and You still love me, even though I skipped out early from church.