Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"It Takes"

This past Sunday my Grandlady, Paige, followed Jesus into the baptismal waters. It was not an easy trip for her to make. She faced opposition and disappointment before taking her final step announcing what her heart believed. She has given her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that her sins will be forgiven and that He will help her to grow more like Him every day. It was a wonderful celebration with the angels and those who love Jesus!

My husband, Patrick, and I had the privilege of spending some time with Paige, and her sister Brooke, the night before the baptism. We had dinner and enjoyed a movie together. As we fixed dinner, Paige confided in me that she was a bit scared about the baptism. I asked her if it was because of the crowd at church, and of course she said, "No." She told me then that she was worried that it (the baptism) wouldn't "Take." I stopped and looked at her asking if she had not already made the choice for Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. She replied quickly and with assurance that "Yes" she had. I told her that if that was the case then it already "Took" because Jesus was already in her heart. She was only taking her first step of obedience in following her Lord when she went under the water. The conversation quickly changed to the movie "Anne of Green Gables" that she had watched the night before.

When I make big decisions that take me in a new direction, I also wonder if it is going to "Take." Will my decision turn out to be right? Will things work out like I want them to work out? Will I really be going in the right direction? Yes, I too sometimes wonder if my decision to be a disciple of Christ has "taken," especially when I fight the hard battles within me. The battles are the enemy's effort meant to make me doubt, but Jesus has already won the victory for me on the cross.

Like Paige, I need to remember the truth. The battle for my heart has already been won! We have made the choice to let His victory "Take" in our lives.

Jesus, Lord and Savior, You have died, been buried and rose again so that we all can have victory! Forgive us for doubting Your gift of freedom from the eternal bondage of sin. Thank You for reminding us in our baptism that we have put our faith, our trust, and our lives in You who are faithful, strong and the Giver of grace. Teach us daily to walk in your ways even if we do not understand. I am happy to have my Grandlady, Paige as a sister in Christ! You are Good!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I just heard someone say that people in America are not going to church. It was a statement made with an air of sadness. I have to agree that it is a thermometer of the faith of our "Christian" nation. Our thermometer does seem to measure a coldness toward church. Church attendance is important, but is going to church more important than being the church?

I grew up as a "good" Catholic. We went to church every Sunday and confessions every Saturday. I was schooled at the local Catholic school and it was expected that we make our church attendance a priority. I learned that my good attendance at church would be seen by God as a good life worthy of His grace. My problem was that going to church did not always translate into faith in God or a faith filled life outside of the church walls.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am very thankful to my Heavenly Father for the churches' influence on my life. Though I am no longer in the Catholic church, without the stories of the Saints, I would never have desired to have faith or to see that I was a sinner who needed God to save me. My point here is not about what the church teaches. It is that I believe the scriptures, God's Word, emphasizes going out and BEING the church, more than it tells us to go to church.

Of course, I know that I cannot be the church without going to church. The church is the Body of Christ. The church is where I am encouraged by God's Word and the fellowship of other Christians. But, I must leave the church building to go out and truly be the church Jesus desires. What is given to me in the church needs to be taken to those outside of the church.

Lord God, Head of the Body of Christ and founder of Your church, I give You praise for the role of church in my life. I ask You to forgive me for allowing the church to be a shield from the world instead of a safe haven where I can be renewed and equipped to go into the world. Thank You for the balance You created between going to church and being the church. Teach me to be Your church in the world that needs You. Remind me that the church is not a place to hide but a place to heal.
Labels: Christian, church, church attendance, God's word