Monday, December 20, 2010

Reality Check... Take 1 and 2...

I had a pretty extraordinary week where I had the privilege of hearing from two people about what they thought our church should be doing, but wasn't doing. Each situation was an honest assessment of how they were basically let down by their fellow christian brothers and sisters. Our family of believers, who I believe really do love each other, sometimes just doesn't express that love through any particular action. I know that we are not saved by works. I know that we have eternal salvation through Jesus Christ when we place our faith in him. But the Bible also says in James 2:18-26 that "Faith without works is DEAD."

So how do we put on Christ for those in need? How do we work as Christians to fulfil God's law of kindness...gentleness... tenderness...

Colossians 3 spoke volumes to me this week as I tried to work through this devasting reality of how sad the situations of these two individuals were. Let us be reminded of what it really means to live out the Christian Life...

You are God's people, Holy and loved.

So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes.
Don't be proud.

Be gentle and patient.
Put up with each other.

Forgive the things you are holding against one another.
Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.

And above all those good things, put on love.
Love holds them all together perfectly as if they were one.

Let the peace that Christ gives rule in your heart.
As parts of one body you were appointed to live in peace.
Let the message about Christ, in all it's richness, fill your lives.

Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through him to God the Father.
The fact that we are more socially connected now, with the invention of Facebook and texting and other social media networks, than ever before DOES NOT give us an excuse to not get physically involved when we see someone hurting or in need. We must do the Christ thing and extend the hand of fellowship, or meet the financial need, or offer a helping hand, or cook a meal, or pick up kids, or send birthday wishes... We MUST get involved.
The Christian life is about sacrifice
The Christian life is about service.
The Christian life is about self-less-ness (thinking of yourself LESS and others MORE)
No wonder the world thinks it doesn't need a savior... The Christians aren't acting any different than the lost. We are as self-absorbed and self-serving, and selfish as everybody else.
PLEASE... I'm begging the church to take notice of those that are hurting, that need a friend's shoulder to cry on... that just need to be remembered... Look for ways you can meet a need today.
I'm Looking...
Lea Anne

Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The Wood's
Merry Christmas!
Glory to God in the Highest,
and on earth peace,
to men
I am so thankful for what the Lord has done for me this year. One of the great mysteries of the Lord is how He can take the horrible, the tragic, the painful, the devastating, the embarrassing, and the ruinous experiences and memories of our lives and not only heal them, but use them for good. It's not that He will make you unable to recall them, but He will heal you so thoroughly from their effects that you no longer think about them with any pain.
He did just that with me this past year. I did a lot of Waiting on the Lord... A lot of praying for direction... A lot of self-reflection in hopes that I become more like Christ and less like the old me. I want to be right with the Lord. I want to be right with others.
God will never allow anything to happen to us that He doesn't already have a way to use it if we will let him. I just hope that whatever has happened to you this year, you will let God heal and use it for His glory. Don't hold on to the hurt or the pain... Let it go... Let GOD bring restoration and healing to your life... your marriage... your job... your children... your health... your ministry... your friendships... your "whatever" the enemy might have tried to steal from you this year. He can if you let him.
In Christ,
Lea Anne