Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Be Brave!

At times I question if there is a place for my voice in the crowd. I lack the eloquence, knowledge and creativity that so many pastors exhibit. I wonder why would God call me. I'm nothing special, yet, here I am a pastor of a church.

Recently, I spent four days with teenagers and adults from across the Southeast Region of the United States at an annual event I have attended for years. Witnessing the talents of so many young people in one place, at one time is inspiring. The theme for this event was Brave. Honestly, I hadn't been sold on this theme from the start back in September but I just pushed through looking forward to a more creative theme next time. I was wrong, this was the perfect theme.

As I begin to process all that took place in the span of those few days, I find myself drawn to Joshua 1:9 which says "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Doubt debilitates us from being able to see that God, the one who calls us, is with us. We are not alone! He commands, but he also enables us to be strong and courageous. So when we follow, when we take that first step and every step there after even when it is uncertain and scary, when we use our talents great or small, when we simply say yes to God we are Brave and God is there with us.

So today, I choose to be Brave. To be a child of God, neighbor, pastor, coordinator, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, etc.. I may not feel brave. I may not feel as if what I do or say is great worth, but I know that the one who calls is Great and he will be faithful. Through God's strength and courage, I will Be Brave!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Singleness is a Blessing

For the the majority of my 38 years I have been single and it has been a love/hate relationship with myself to say the least. Fresh out of high school I enrolled in a Christian college and found myself expecting to find the man of my dreams along with a ring on my finger by graduation. Looking back I realize that I wasted valuable time and energy chasing, yes I admit it CHASING, after boys in hopes of fulfilling my desire for a happily ever after story book romance. For all my efforts I was left in my mid-twenties in a place of loneliness and disappointment. While residing in this dark place, I attempted to find community within the church, in hopes that I would find something to fill the void that was this status of single. I bounced around from church to church always hoping to find that one place where their would be others like me or people who would embrace me just as I was, single.

As I began to approach a new decade in life, I found myself back in community with a church that welcomed me.  My restlessness began to fade. I wasn't searching for a place to belong. I was no longer just the single girl. I was Susan. The ironic part is that this church was the very same community of believers that had embraced me as a teenager, it was home. Within this church I not only found community but identity. I became a friend and a sister, a teacher and a leader. I shared life with them and they shared life with me. I also finally allowed the saving grace of God to change me and I began to finally see my worth in His eyes and not in my status, whatever that was to be.

Recently I read a blog by Karina Kreminski (You can read it Here). Karina talked about ways in which we need to be more "inclusive of singles" and how we need to rethink the conversation of singleness within the church. I found myself nodding in agreement the whole time I was reading and wanted to shout Amen a few times. From families needing singles as much as singles needing families to the DNA stamp of community on all our lives, Karina nailed it.

The church needs to wake up and realize that the single girl in her twenties or the thirty something man in the pew next to the family of four, are equally vital to the life of the church. From the new born to the elderly adult, the church is the people not a building or a program. We are community, the body of Christ. I love cuddling a new born, hearing and seeing pictures from teens about their latest life experience and listening to the wisdom of those who have walked this faith journey far longer than me. I believe we all personally and spiritually thrive on sharing life together.

Singleness is not a curse or something to be fixed, it is a blessing. Let those in your church who are in a season or a lifetime of singleness know that they are a blessing to you and you will find that you are a blessing to them.

"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." ~ Acts 2:42 (NASB)

photo credit: Entrance to a crypt via photopin (license)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

At a Lost for Words

I have tons of words, stories, and topics I want to blog about. I have an array of pics I would love to share. I have actually started this blog several times, never seeming to get very far because the post just didn't seem to capture everything. It is as if words are failing me. It could be lack of vocabulary or simply exhaustion, but no matter the reason I am at a lost for words.

I have been able to catch up with old friends while making new ones. I have been able to share quality time with my nephew. I have shared life with an amazing group of teenagers and adults over these last few days. As I sit in a quiet hotel room, longing to take a nap, one thing keeps running through my heart and mind. To God be the Glory!!!!

"I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your Name forever." ~ Psalm 86:12 (NASB)