Thursday, May 15, 2008

Convictions of the Heart

This was written last night but something happened to it and I couldn't post it like I wanted to.

I have been so convicted recently about how we Americans (or I) DO church and Christianity. You know what I mean (those of you who have gone to church most of your lives or for a long period of time), when I say DO church. Let me explain by saying that we tend to go to church and do what we do.....sing, listen to the sermon, teach classes, serve in other ways and come home. Sometimes thinking it was a good day in church today, sometimes not thinking about it again in that day much less the rest of the week. We get in a rut that sometimes becomes comfortable and we "think" we are doing SO much for the church.

Before any of you go postal on me about this entry please know that I have been just as guilty of doing all of what I mentioned above. God has opened my eyes to many things recently and it is my job to "fix" them or find a way to change things.

In our small group we have been studying the book of Acts. It is just a fantastic book and I am enjoying it greatly. That is the first place this started brewing in my heart (really it started in the Drowning Elephants class on Wednesday nights). I started learning about thinking outside of the box (or church) on what Christ would want from me. Before then, it was always where does God want me to serve in the church ( serving in the church is great, don't get me wrong). Then I "stumbled" upon Angel's blog and started to see some of her passion for orphans and people who live in extreme poverty. Her passion and love is overflowing...talking about cup running over (she also got me hooked up with the book Dangerous Surrender). Then (yes, there is more) I started going to a Worship class at church on Wednesday nights. Guess what verse is read at the end of each class.....Acts 2:42-47

42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

I have read this scripture many times but it has recently developed a new meaning to me. If there is a need that needs to be met and I don't have the means to meet the need, then if I need to sell something of my own to meet the be it!!! (from Tom Davis' blog) I am seeing responsibility of others in a whole new light. It is really starting to hit home with all the stuff I am getting rid of so we can move. It is ridiculous how much stuff we as Americans have. Before you all get your panties in a wad, I am not saying you shouldn't have stuff if you are a Christian, I AM saying we could do without many of the things we own. Look at all the storage buildings in America. It is stinkin' amazing how many storage building companies we passed from AR to MD when we moved here. I think this is something we should consider since the buildings that house our stuff (most of which is not used at all) is something that someone who lives in another country would love to live in (and it houses stuff....people.....stuff....with my hands thrown up in the air).

Understand that I am not just on a soapbox here. This is serious business. Our responsibility is to take care of church members, people in our community, our neighbors, our co-workers, people who are "unlovable", single moms, widows, and orphans.

As in the message on Sunday morning, IT has to start somewhere with someone but then it grows and expands (just like the drop and the ripples). It (the gospel) started out in a very small location with 11 disciples and is now all over the world. YOU can also start something or jump on one of the ripples that someone else has started. The Red Letters Campaign is just starting if you would like to jump on and help to eliminate extreme poverty.

We as Christians have sat in our pews (or chairs) and "talked" about saving the world too often. Now lets LIVE Christianity instead of "doing" it.


LeLe said...

Alice, this timing is so weird. We just started our "Get Uncomfortable" study last night and we watched a video. Most of the world (excluding American) can live on $2 a day! And our cell phone bills are upwards of $60 a month...I'm going to check out the Red Letters Campaign. It's so interesting how we're on the same page!

Hannah said...

Alice, it's very cool that you are involved with the Red Letters campaign! I found your blog today and wanted to jot a line. : ) I work with Tom Davis at Children's Hopechest. Were you on the RLC/Hopechest Ethiopia conference call about 2 weeks ago? If not, I can send you a summary of the call if you'de like to hear more about the combined effort to open up orphan care in Ethiopia. : ) Well, take care.
With joy,