My Favourite Blogs

If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I’m an avid reader. I will rip through scores of books on various topics. There is nothing quite like the experience of reading a great book. For me it’s like going on a new adventure, literally like I’ve taken a trip and come back to share about the journey.

Though I love actual books, I love to read blogs too. I’ve included a list of blogs that I would categorize as reading on a regular basis. I hope you’ll check them out and that you find something interesting, inspiring or encouraging, as I have.

For Reflection

A Holy Experience – Ann VosKamp… what can I say? She’s Canadian, she’s authentic in her delivery.Her books are great.  I appreciate her lifestyle. She lives on a farm, loves her family, embraces the rustic, has a huge world view, she homeschools… though I don’t embrace all of her theology, her thoughts on grace and gratitude (Eucharistia) are hands down paradigm shifting. If she’s got a new post, I take the time and read it.

Beyond Evangelical – Frank Viola… his writings on the New Testament church and God’s Eternal Purpose rocked my world. Literally, I think I systematically read everything he wrote on that subject. (maybe 15 books? I don’t remember specifics, but now when I refer in mind to one thing, I can’t remember which book it came from, they are all like one giant book mushed up in my brain. Good thing I own most of them so I can go back for reference) – I must note at this point that I also read through almost everything Gene Edwards wrote on the same subject, though his were written in semi-fictitious form. Good for left-right brain development. Anyways, back to the blog, I love that he is not afraid to ask many questions, but unlike Rob Bell, he at least points you to where to find the answers, if not attempting to share his own thoughts first. He’s also not afraid to take heat and to be controversial. I read his blog because it makes me think.

Disrupting Culture – The husband and I have only discovered Jonathon Welton recently, but we’ve been gobbling up his stuff on the blog and youtube and his books. As students of the New Covenant it’s refreshing to find resources that embrace a) sound doctrine  b) the supernatural  c) the grace of God and walking in our identity in Christ d) putting the great commission in action. Often you can find some of these things, but less often do you find them all in one.

Life In Grace – I don’t remember how I got connected to Edie’s blog. But shortly after following this blog, she and her family lost everything in a house fire a couple days before Christmas. I was moved by the outpouring of support from the internet and ultimately the depth of her writing following such devastation…I’ve been hooked ever since. She’s got a great style, posts awesome recipes (many I’ve tried and added to my repertoire), she’s a Lutheran and classical reader, former homeschooler and has that southern charm that draws you back again and again.

Shauna Niequist – My sister turned me on to Shauna. Love her blog, though it’s sporadic, her books are awesome and after you’ve read one of her books, you feel like she’s a friend, so you read her blog because it’s like catching up with a friend.

Homefries – I must clarify that this is not a blog, though you can link to blogs from this site. I love this site because it features several podcasts on a variety of subjects from a variety of people. I particularly love the interviews with Tsh Oxenreider. Podcasts are great for listening to while working in the kitchen.

For Fun

Pioneer Woman – Started reading Ree Drummond’s posts years ago after a friend recommended her. I guess  a lot of people like her food posts (which I admit are pretty awesome) – I do own one of her cookbooks and love it, but I honestly love her Confessions blog. It just makes me laugh. She’s got some great stories about her life on a ranch in Oklahoma. She’s had so many embarassing things happen to her, it seems impossible…but oh it’s funny.

Home with Boys – Honestly I just started reading her blogs because she has 3 boys and started homeschooling around the same time as me. I’ve since come to find her simple approach to life refreshing.

Martha Stewart – I honestly just read Martha’s blog to see how “the other side lives” – you know, the fabulously rich… Plus I get great tips on gardening, etc from her posts.

For the Heart & Home

AKA Design – this husband and wife team are Canadian. They live not far away, so they have the same harsh Canadian winters, the same weird summers, celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time, etc. etc.  They do a lot of DIY projects that are totally do-able for people like me, she’s got great style and is super organized. Plus she homeschools… that’s inspiring to me. There’s also a personal connection as I’m very good friends with her sister, so even though I don’t think I’ve ever met them in person, I feel like I know them.

Nesting Place – I’d followed this blog for a few years. I loved her philosophy and style…but then sort of drifted off for a bit. Then about a year and a bit ago they bought this run down old house on a great property with an even more run down barn. They shared their vision for it all, and slowly have been making it happen and I’m hooked with renewed interest.

The Inspired Room – to be honest, I just started following her because she seemed to love fall as much as me, and then I got hooked. I love her style and decorating philsophy. She’s has tremendous success in the world of home decor, and though I don’t aspire to have her home, I do appreciate the love she has for her home, and would like to continue to grow in that same kind of appreciation for my own.

New House New Home – Another Canadian not far from here. I love her gardening posts especially, but she shares some really great home projects too.

Living Well Spending Less – As the title implies, it has a plethora of tips on saving money while living well. The organizational resources are pretty awesome too.

For Food – I primarily go to pinterest for food recipes, but once in awhile I’ll find a blogger who I love to read their thoughts on food…as well as the recipes.

 Six Sisters – I was drawn to the name. They have very frequent posts and are adaptable.

Simple Bites – Another Canadian. I love her lifestyle, her passion is evident. The recipes are delish but not so crazy that you don’t want to try them. She’s got a great philosophy for bringing kids into the kitchen and they totally embrace the urban homesteading concept. Love!

Homeschooling – I peruse many other blogs on homeschooling, but most of them are very sporadic and don’t necessarily apply to what we’re doing at home. There are many many sites that I use often, but these are the top 3 for now. I will probably do a post on these resources and more on the Heaslip Homestead Academy soon.

Half a Hundred Acre Wood – I love this blog. She’s a classical homeschooler, and though we aspire to incorporate classical elements, we are not. I still find it inspiring and love their philosophy. Her organization is pretty great too.

 The Canadian Homeschooler – lot’s of great resources for homeschoolers in Canada. Frequent posts and current content.

The Unlikely Homeschool – for those who don’t homeschool. It’s super easy and at the same time the most difficult thing I’ve ever tackled. So I will find as many support resources as I can. For me, this site is one of them.

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A Long Revelation Road

I want to preface this post with a warning. This is part of the process of getting out of my head and into print many of the things I’ve been intensely wrestling with over the past 6 months (though the process started years ago really). It may change your opinion of me, and I’m OK with that. I started this blog to help me keep a record of my walk on this earth physically and spiritually. This is one of the “deeper” posts. It is also LONG.
If you get lost because it gets too deep or rambles, that’s ok too, and I’m sorry.
If you have questions, fire away, it will help me continue to work through this process – after months of going it rather alone, I’m cautiously optimistic to share it with others so as to continue to grow J

A Long Revelation Road
Every once in awhile I start reading a book that just turns everything topsy turvy in what I thought I knew, what I thought I believed. The last few months I’ve been reading like crazy, but there are 2 books that hands down have just wreaked blessed havoc (in a good way). The first is this one…
The Bonsai Conspiracy
Here’s the official description:
When the idea for this book was first conceived, it was born out of a simple desire to help reframe the “Good News” of the gospel of Jesus Christ for those who, having become disillusioned with their “faith”, had found their way to The Grace Project. It was intended for a limited audience. It was for those of us who, in the words of Thomas Carlyle, knew that “the ideal is in thyself; the impediment, too, is in thyself” but for whom the reconciliation of the paradox seemed beyond them.

It was written by Paul Anderson Walsh is based out of and is part of The Grace Project in Great Britain. To add to the “official” description, I would say that personally, it added great depth to my understanding of the mystery of “Christ in Us the hope of glory” and to the grace of God through the New Covenant. This book has kept me up at night because the biblical instruction is so intense and the scope is so pointedly inward. I would go to the scripture passages it referred to and get absorbed in it. It felt at times like it was taking the instruction that I’ve been under for the past 9 years and turned on a light switch. All the complexities and the the intricate beauty of God’s intention for me became something I could grasp and cling to. Likewise all the instructional dust, the rot and the vermin of false add-ons to the scriptures or lack of taking it to the fullest understanding and application were also very apparent…and caused me to become very uncomfortable in my own shoes.
The second book has also kept me up at night, but for much different reasons. First of all, it feels like so much of it has also helped me to tie together much of the instruction that I’ve received in the word in my walk thus far – especially in dealing with those “whispers”. Maybe you know what I’m talking about here. By whispers I mean those moments when you feel like you’ve heard or read something very very important but because of where you are personally, in your life circumstances or maturity/ or lack thereof or you were too busy to stop and really consider it – you didn’t grasp it fully. You are acutely aware that you just glimpsed something big, something real, something more – even if you had to look away or distract yourself.

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry on as if nothing had happened.” Winston Churchill – at many times, I know that was me. I had walked away from those whispers feeling like i had been burnt by a small flame, the numb chafed sensation was there, but it wasn’t enough to make me pay attention to it…yet. This book has made me pay attention.
This book has also helped me come to terms with questions and doubts that came up over the past 17 years that I was involved in full time ministry in an “institutional” church. By institutional, I mean one that fits into the form gradually established over the past 1700 years including the aspects that were not part of the original organism known as the Church (the Body of Christ). i.e. buildings, paid staff, pulpit-to-pew sharing of the word, laity and clergy, etc. What we know as traditional or contemporary church today
Please understand that I do not have a problem with any of these aspects of church as we’ve known it personally. However in being fully transparent I want to acknowledge that in all my “working” in the ministry these many years, I always heard these whispers that I was missing something, not just personally, but in the community of the church and it’s fellowship with God and one another. Having been part of something that I now know was an unintentional Organic Church in the 90’s; I always wondered why that felt so real, so much like Jesus was in charge, and we saw lives really truly changed, compared to the “ministry” I was involved in it was so different. In the “ministry” or traditional church form, if I’m completely honest… different “leaders” were the “head” rather than Jesus. As I said before I feel like a light was turned on and now I can see just a little further down the road and my footing is a little surer… having said all that the second book is:

Finding Organic Church
Here’s the official description:
A comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities
Here’s my take on it:
Organic Church is not about the “how to’s of seeing how the church functions” it’s about seeing it as an organism that is alive and it’s head is Jesus, not a man or a group of “leaders”. It is a completely different way of living your life as a Christian and as a part of the Body of Christ, Therefore, its a different way of viewing “ministry” and our daily/ weekly interaction with other believers and the the world around us. Having said that I wanted to explore a few of the things that I would say started as whispers and then became pivotal in my growth as a believer…
The Jesus Centered Life
When I met Jesus in 1989, my mom was instrumental in leading a life of example of someone who already knew Him, and the main thing she would direct me in was Jesus. “It’s all about Jesus”, “He’s more than enough”, “He’s all you need”, “Look to Jesus”; “Let’s ask Jesus” – these statements crossed her lips so frequently it was almost maddening . She was very intent on laying a foundation of the reality of Jesus in my life. Over time I remember getting caught up in various teachings as a young person – but my mom (and other believers in our “Bible Study” – which I now know was more of an organic church than anything) would constantly point us back to the person of Jesus. All these years later, this truth has become more and more of a reality to me. It’s not about what I can do or who I am – But who He is, what he did and then who He is in me. He was someone who lived a life on earth in communion with God. He was aware of the reality of heaven, and brought it to earth (as a man) because of his communion with His Father… what did heaven look like? It is the presence and the fullness of God.
Jesus said when we saw him, we saw the Father. That he only did His Father’s will. What does the father’s will look like? What does the Father look like? Everywhere Jesus went he did good, he healed the sick, he fed the hungry… and in doing so, he upset the religious people. I am becoming more aware that because I am one with Christ, I have this same communion with the Father through the Spirit – and so my steps on earth should mirror Christs (the Son of Man; the Son of God) – my steps should be bringing the fullness of God’s presence (heaven) to earth – bringing healing, feeding the hungry, giving hope, doing good (and maybe in doing so, upsetting a few religious people too J)
About 8 or 9 years ago, the pastor I served under began to teach in earnest a series of messages about the Grace of God. To this day I believe that they were a divine word for the body in Niagara. Doing away with works of the flesh, resting in the finished work of Jesus and being set free from fear, guilt, condemnation and sin consciousness rather than Jesus consciousness. Knowing how to sit with Christ, how to walk with Christ and how to Stand. In my life, it resulted in an increased thirst for God, for His word, it steered me toward generosity and an intense desire to demonstrate the great love poured out for me, through me toward all others. It also over time, made me feel an intense sense of responsibility to be a good steward of my life, the lives that cross paths with mine and all of creation too.
Eventually this led to an even longer period of time being instructed in…
The New Covenant/ The Mystery of the Ages Revealed
The following quotes bring it together so beautifully…
“The members of the Godhead counseled together and concieved an eternal purpose. They shrouded this purpose in a mystery, and they hid it in the Son until an appointed time (Rom 16:25; Eph 1:9-11; 3:3-11) What was that purpose? It was that the Trinitarian Community (The Father, Son and Holy Spirit) would one day expand its fellowship to others (John 17:20-26; Gal 6:15; Eph 2:15; 3:3-6; Col. 1:25-27; 3:11) When men and women are brought to Christ and organic churches are born, the divine fellowship is expanded. Properly understood, the church is a human community that lives by divine life and participates in and reflects the Divine fellowship (John 6:57; Gal 2:20; 2 Pet 1:4).” Frank Viola
“This is the story of community. The Trinity, God in community, reaches out in creation and in redemption to form a human community to partcipate in the Divine community…”
Stuart Murray
“Throughout eternity God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the community of love. More specifically, the dynamic of the Trinity is the love shared between the Father and the Son, which is the Holy Spirit. God’s purpose is to bring glory to His own triune nature by establishing a reconciled creation in which humans reflect the reality of the Creator. The triune God desires that human beings be brought together into a fellowship of reconcillation, which not only reflects God’s own eternal essence, but actually participates in His nature.” (2 Peter 1:4)
Stanley Grentz
I think its because of this extended amount of time under this teaching via our former Pastor and others like Steve McVey, Joseph Prince, Andrew Womack and Paul Anderson Walsh – that I gradually began to question why the church (and not just the one I was a part of) seemed to be so limited in its effectiveness (especially compared to the years prior to my coming to Niagara and full time ministry when I was part of something that seemed so genuine, effective, and allowed Jesus to be the head – even though it was small – no one person was more important than another, it was similar to the church that I read about in the Bible)… Why were there so many walls, so much division? I have friends (brothers and sisters in Christ in literally every church in the region – and deciding to remain at one, or attend another felt more and more like I was picking which friends I preferred to do life with – and well, I was growing more and more frustrated with this. We are all one body, and I didn’t want to choose…

The Organic Church
I was also doubting more and more the pattern of one pastor being the leader of the congregation, sharing the “vision”, telling me and others what God wanted me to hear, when all through the years I had learned that God would direct us individually and corporately. I also questioned why a small team (of which I was a part) were the only ones truly using their gifts when the Ecclesia (assembly of the church) would gather together (on Sundays) Though I enjoyed sharing my gifts, I felt that so many others were being robbed of the same privilege… I felt more and more like the primary assembly time was occupied with “the big show” – and I found this in almost every congregation I visited.
I questioned how much more individual growth happened in smaller chapel times of open discussion of the Word, than the longer sermons where one speaks and everyone else listens. Not that I don’t appreciate times of instruction and teaching, I do very much. However I’ve begun to feel that the Body ministry should not be limited to that.
I felt like fellow believers (and sometimes myself) were constantly looking to Sunday as the spiritual “pick me up” – rather than a true celebration of the overflow of daily interaction with Christ and each other. Church was never meant to be a big show with scripted moments for “connection”. It’s not about buildings, and staff and programs… It is ALL about connection and taking care of each other. It is a BODY – where each joint fits perfectly, and is working together supplying life. The Church is comprised of everyone who follows Christ – and yes we are to get together, often – but is it always supposed to be limited to a certain “local group”?
I question the mega-church model and whether numbers are really what God looks at to measure success. I guess you could say I’ve just begun to openly question a lot of things (as in the questions in my mind and heart are coming out of my mouth now)… and I know that I’m not alone in my questioning – in fact I’ve learned that there are millions in the same boat… I also have come to many possible answers, though I know many of them would upset people. So we’ll leave most of them for another day…
What I do know is this. The Church is a FAMILY. Sure there should be a general idea of what we’d like to do when we get together, but it should be completely organic in nature – open to change, to everyone participating, to everyone partaking in a genuine love for each other and for God. Instead, over and over again I find that more churches are run like businesses (and of course they have the “business” of the church to attend to (or is it the busy-ness?) – but the wake of this approach is countless believers who’ve been hurt, offended, battered, abused and taken for granted. Love is not overwhelmingly present for them – you know, patient, kind, longsuffering, gentle, etc, etc. instead they are the walking wounded – and it’s all good and easy to point at them and say – don’t be offended, but the New Testament is full of exhortations to not cause or be an offence to anyone either. We are supposed to be doing this “God kind of life” together, not living as the world does.
Understanding that the Church flows out of the Godhead removes it from the world of human methodology. Church renewal, then, is not a matter of finding a new style, a mew method, or a new structure. It’s a matter of participating in God’s life (2 Pet 1:4)… “The most primitive expression of the ekklesia is found in the fellowship of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit before time. We can say then, that the church finds its origins in the Godhead in the timeless past.” Frank Viola
“There was ministry before there was a world, ministry in the being of God… Ministry is God’s ministry, arising from the communal life of God, the Father, the Son and Spirit ministering love to one another even before there was a world to save.”
R. Paul Stevens

“As the doctrine of the Trinity assert, throughout all eternity God is community, namely the fellowship of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit who comprise the triune God. The creation of humankind in the Divine image, therefore, can ean nothing less than that humans express the relational dynamic of God whose representations we are called to be… the focus of this present experience, according to the New Testament writers, is the community of Christ.”
Stanley Grentz
In Finding Organic Church, Frank Viola repeats the following points over and over again, showing how in scripture it is a constant thread…

God’s Eternal Thought for Humanity

1) To live by divine life (the christian life)
2) To experience the fellowship of the divine community (org church life)
3) to enlarge the divine life and fellowship to others

The thread begins with Jesus
The Father taught Jesus how to live by divine love (essentially the Christian life which is a life lived by God’s own life)
The Father taught Jesus how to fellowship with Him as a man… In Jesus, humanity had fellowship with divinity. For the first time a human being was brought into vital participation with the divine community. In this way Jesus Christ incarnated God’s purpose for humanity.
The Father taught Jesus how to raise up men and train them in a short period of time, to be able to go out and increase the divine life and fellowship to the known world.
This same thread passed on through these men through several generations and in fact continues to this day…
I love that, the community Christ – where we minister love to one another – because at the end of the day – God is Love and He’s what it’s all about”. I believe that when the church of today begins to walk in the fullness of this, the World will “know we are Christians because of our great love for each other” and since love is the language, the power, the actual person of the Trinity revealed in us – shouldn’t this be so overwhelmingly present in our lives and in our community of faith that as we go about like Jesus did…we in turn change the world?
Anyways, I hope this wasn’t too much for anyone, and please believe me when I say, I will not go off on a tangent when we’re talking face to face – though now you know at least some of what’s going on behind these blue eyes when I’m not talking J

Also, please, I am not offended or angry or bitter. I’ve just had questions. I have loved every moment of these past years in ministry and in the local church. I am grateful for how it’s shaped me, and I’m thankful for every opportunity, for all the growth, for every relationship and for all the love and the many memories. I continue to walk the same journey i always have, though I know some feel or think perhaps I am misguided, I am fully confident in Christ and in His Body to continue to lead me in His way. t

You sure you want a Revolution? – Part One

Just watched this video and this one. It’s funny how when you are ready, the things you need to hear and read and see are there, the things you need in order to be changed and renewed, which were just out of reach – are suddenly rushing in abundantly…


After reading the book: Irresistible Revolution
(thanks for the referral Stephanie, you should have warned me not to listen to the book while driving 🙂
My mind is swirling and my heart is pounding… I’ve felt this shift inside me coming for a long time now, but it’s starting to take shape…starting to…
Fav. Quotes…
“The more I get to know Jesus, the more trouble he seems to get me into.”

“To refer to the Church as a building is to call people 2 x 4’s.”

“Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived.”

“And I think that’s what our world is desperately in need of – lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about.”

Mother Theresa always said, “Calcuttas are everywhere if only we have eyes to see. Find your Calcutta.”

Biological family is too small of a vision. Patriotism is far too myopic. A love for our own relatives and a love for the people of our own country are not bad things, but our love does not stop at the border.”

“I asked participants who claimed to be “strong followers of Jesus” whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question, I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time wit the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy of the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.”

“For even if the whole world believed in resurrection, little would change until we began to practice it. We can believe in CPR, but people will remain dead until someone breathes new life into them. And we can tell the world that there is life after death, but the world really seems to be wondering if there is life before death.”
This of course is on the heals of reading about the life of Billy Graham who was a radical in his own right…
Billy – The Untold Story… Just As I Am

Some Fav. Quotes…
Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.

Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.
The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.

The men who followed Him were unique in their generation. They turned the world upside down because their hearts had been turned right side up. The world has never been the same
.

I want to live my life authentically. The reality of my very real relationship with Christ clearly evident. I want it to matter in light of eternity…knowing this, some things are going to change.


Where do you go to church?

Where do you go to church?

I am often asked this question, and honestly lately, it’s been setting my mind a twitter…
Really, what’s being asked is “where do you go, to be who you ARE?”

Most people who’ve spent any amount of time as a follower of Christ understand this principle. We are taught that we are the church. When we become a follower, we become part of a body (Eph 5; 30) where Christ is the head and we make up the rest of the parts, working together to minister to the world… we are a body, a group of people, a FAMILY, all children, brothers and sisters. We are meant to be ONE. Over and over and over again in the New Testament, the body aka the church is encouraged, almost commanded to “be on one mind, one spirit, have the same love…”…there is ONE body, and ONE spirit, just as you were called in ONE hope of your calling; ONe Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism; ONE God and Father of all, who is above all, and through and in you all.” (Eph 4:4)
So we come back to the question… Where do you go to church?
Socially and culturally it refers to the smaller group of people you choose to meet with weekly in a building to celebrate, to worship Christ. I so long to answer…”it’s irrelevant.”
But it’s not. Nowadays, today, where you meet is of utmost importance. How you answer will determine (in some minds) how you believe – that is what factions of doctrine you hold yourself to. How you answer will imply the outward expression of your faith or the “passion” you have or don’t have. It will let people know your morality, your social standing, your dedication to family, etc. etc. etc. Of course we know this can’t REALLY tell us these things because no one really knows what is in a heart, except God that is. I wonder if many of us find a sort of peace in being able to hide behind the group we belong to, rather than BE, who we are in our world.

In doing this, we rob ourselves of our true place, our true identity as members of the body, the world-wide body of Christ. When we are aware of our place in the greater picture, when we know our authority and our responsibility. It changes everything.
We are meant to work together, all together, to encourage, bless, lift up, mourn with, rejoice with, grow with and worship and celebrate with – without limits. Without limits of time, space, geography, social standing, culture, language, age or gender.
If only we would have our eyes opened to see how deep, wide, high and vast the great Love of God is… that love that’s been poured into our hearts.
Our hearts are meant to be poured out in our world, as Jesus was. We are meant to love each other IN the body, so as a body, we can love the world. God hasn’t changed, and He loves the world so much, that He…gives.

Don’t you think that so much of church as we know it today, is about Taking. I mean really, we just want to celebrate together, be encouraged, and then be left to do our own thing. Churches have become programs, mortgages, the big show, employment opportunities, places for hospices from the world…. when really, its just supposed to be a simple celebration, an opportunity to share the joy of the LIFE that we live every other day – with Christ and with each other, as light and salt in the world.

I’m beginning to think that the best way for me to personally answer the “where do you go to church” question is…
I don’t go to church, I AM the church. I am part of the body, and wherever I go, the rest of us are. I hope that my life is a demonstration of God’s love for you today, how can I serve You today?
If you want to know what group of people, or what building I’ll be celebrating in soon…well it’s like this, just like in my earthly life, the where, the how and the scope of what I celebrate changes – it does in my spiritual life too. My worship is all the time, every day, because I’m a follower of Christ. My celebration oppourtunities are vast, there are hundreds of places where members of this body can be found, maybe it will be a big group, maybe it will be a small one, maybe I’ll be able to speak the language, maybe I won’t…it doesn’t matter. We are numerous, we are the body, the body of Christ. We are the church.
I found the following applicable, (from this blog)
Acts 2:42-47 – 42. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46. And day by day,attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47. praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lordadded to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Many people in the early church were being saved everyday because they were seeing them gather in the temple and in homes. They were seeing their love for one another and the community being established and because of it they believed in God. I also think it is reflectent of what Jesus said in John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” When people get to see how we relate to one another and worship God they will know who we belong to.

The expositional part of this blog post is over, if you want to read about my personal encounters with this truth, keep reading, if not. Be blessed.
Yes, WE are the church. It was never meant to have limits. I’ve experienced this way to much over the last 17 years, and I’ve been so blind.
God is not limited by the things we are limited by. He is not limited by time, space, geography, social standing, culture, language, age or gender.
While visiting India in 1998, I had the joy of celebrating Jesus with hundreds of believers in worship, and then again in smaller gatherings over two weeks. I could not speak the language, but there was no limits with God. Souls met their creator, bodies were healed, I rejoiced with a precious part of the body of the Christ, and we were ONE.
When I was travelling Canada in the year 2001, my husband and I had recently experienced our first of two miscarriages, after 3 years of brutal battles with infertility. I happened to be travelling in Eastern Canada on the day when I would have been due with my daughter, it also coincided, painfully, with Mothers day. God used a group of women I had never met to minister to my broken heart in ways that are unspeakable. I do not remember their names, but I remember the Love of God poured out to me.
In 2003 I traveled to visit my sister in France, we decided to attend a celebration service there in a village outside of Rouen, near the Northern coast. It was undoubtedly one of the most wonderful times of fellowship I have experienced with believers to this day. We shared a meal, the word, and life. It was beautiful truly.
there are countless other memories to add to this that span from North America to the South, across oceans to the Pacific Rim and back again.
As my eyes continue to be opened, I’m aware of this truth more and more. I recently had the privilege of visiting with friends and also followers of Christ in South Carolina – I joined them where they celebrate Christ each week, and it was powerful and timely to me, the sharing of the word, the fellowship all weekend long, the prayer time, rejoicing and mourning together. A couple weeks later we had friends and followers stay with us for a holiday, and again, precious fellowship, open hearts, honest prayers. Last week a family crisis rose up, and it was incredible, thanks to the power of the world wide web, to alert the believers I’ve come to know, love and value – to pray, to have the burden shared by the WHOLE body, from my limited perspective, and again to share in that burden for others when I’ve been made aware of a need.
I’m not sure who all reads this, but today I want to send a shout out to a friend in Europe. Once I was told that you Lindsay (in Croatia, yes you) read this from time to time – last week I saw your facebook status, and my heart was touched, and I lifted you up in prayer. We are the body, we are sisters and I hurt for you, I felt it. Be encouraged that you are part of something that is much bigger than you alone, something that is strong when you feel weak, wise when you are uncertain, and full of hope and peace when you are despairing – you are part of the body of Christ. We are Unlimited.

My love and affection to all of you reading this who are followers of Christ, may it not cause offense but hopefully inspire us to BE. To those who perchance who have read all this way, and do not follow Christ, thank you. Please leave a message or comment if you have questions, want to know more, or wonder what it means to be a follower of Christ, and I’d love to connect further with you.

Blessings,

T