Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Am I a "Christian"?

We throw the word around pretty freely. As a noun, an adjective, a way of life. But what I continually see is "Christian" and "Christianity" both ridiculed, misused, laughed at, wielded, toted, put on a pedestal, and also become weapons.

Our pastor is working his way through the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation as he prepares to lead us into the book of Acts.
I am more than a bit anxious.

See I know we are currently not the church of Christ we are called to be. Because I am not the daughter of God I a called to be.
I soooo get that I am a work in progress, I get that more than you know.
What makes me anxious is the willingness I have or wont have when really put to the test in life - of truly saying I am willing to give myself completely over to the Spirit. Do I truly want to see what He may or may not call me to do, and who He may be asking me to be?
I know that this time will be a huge catalyst for some challenging things to consider as a body of believers and as individuals.
I hope we "Christians" are ready. Ready to see how much we have to change. Ready to experience either so much more of the Holy Spirit we will feel overcome by the weight of it, or ready to see it move on because we aren't willing to see our failure at being the bride we are.
Acts 20:30-31
Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!

I love our church and God's hand is on it without a doubt. But as our pastor has said many times, God can remove His hand of blessing too. And He will if we aren't willing to ditch the American label we have created of "Christianity" and become the church of Acts we are called to be - living and loving completely by and in the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:44-47 All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
What if it was our unity in love and life as believers of Christ that set us apart and not a label we have created?

What if we were so in tune to His Spirit, and loved and served one another so well that we needed no label of "Christianity"?
What if people weren't drawn to a "Christian" and our version of the drop in and drop out mission trip, our old school VBS mode of operation, our recipe for conversion that rarely includes the follow up of then actually doing life together, by our "Christian lingo", or the recited evangelism scriptures we have rehearsed time and time again that come with no previous real conversations, by the track handed out as we canvas neighborhoods only to retreat to our own where we never talk to our neighbors on either side - but they were drawn to being welcomed onto our front porches for friendship, that they were shown compassion through us just being real about our own lives, our own struggles, our own experience of being loved well by God because we decided that there was something to the freedom of living with and for a God willing to go to such lengths for us, by our true concern for human life around us, by our lack of judgement of them, by the fact we actually find reasons to respect them and their differences from us instead of "pitying" them - what if they were drawn to God by being loved by us because we honestly decide we are gonna love and see as He loves and sees?
What would happen if we approached a relationship without even using the word Christian, Christianity, redemption, repentance, judgement, or eternity - and instead we earned the right to eventually go there by loving them so well that they couldn't help but ask us out of an overwhelming curiosity to tell them what makes us different?
What if they didn't call us "Christians"?
What if they just called us "friends"?

Chick Chat with Marisa

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lots of Fun Stuff........

Lots of great things are being planned for the Women of NorthStar!!  Check out a few of the fun things that are ahead:

Craft Day at NorthStar!!

Beth Moore Simulcast!!

Esther Experience near Chattanooga!!

If you are interested in any of these events, please stop by Connection Point for more information and to sign up!!!  If you have any questions please leave us a comment!!

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mark Your Calendars.............

 Ladies: Mark your calendars now for our next “Conversations”
Saturday July 16th 9am—11am 
at the Carmichael Campus. Check out the new flyer!!! (Click on pic to enlarge.)

There will be a light breakfast, fellowship, fun and our special guest speaker will be Jenny Bushkell!
Come be blessed by her experiences, pictures, and stories of time spent in Israel and in Jerusalem- "Walking with Jesus."

Child care is free but you need to reserve spots by calling the church office at 539-2222.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Want What's Mine!

Driving home from Paducah KY, I was contemplating some of the changes in my life recently. I was pondering on the things that at one point brought me feelings of anxiousness, concern, even panic at moments - and to be totally honest still sometimes try to grab at my heart for a few split seconds sometimes when I awake at 2am in the dark of night.
But what I am learning over and over in such grand and small ways is that if those changes had not come to my life, then the new things I am experiencing now would never have touched my life either.
For instance I would not have been able to take time away to join my husband for the last few days on his work related jaunt. A couple of what on the surface could be seen as regular old weekdays by many standards, but that upon closer examination are shown to reveal so much more.
Like an unexpected sweet time of silly road talk, lots of laughter, precious romantic moments with the man I love, finding a beautiful new vacation spot we would love to return to soon because we took a spontaneous side trip along the way, getting to meet singer Jeff Jenkins from The Voice in the middle of the Pancake Pantry in Nashville on the way, seeing a wall of creative artwork along the river in Paducah that uniquely paints the history of a town I mistakenly saw as unassuming before, and seeing many beautiful examples of God's creation all along the way.
Oh, if we could just forget what we think we need or want, and let Him give us what He wants us to have, there is nothing in our wildest dreams that could match the ongoing blessings of receiving what is good and perfectly designed by God for us each... "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9

I want what is mine - from Him - in all its perfection :)

Joyful on the Journey

Chick Chat With Marisa

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Start of a Great Week

To change the way this week ends - change the way it begins!
Make it a week of purpose... Psalm 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Decide that whatever comes you will give it to Him immediately, look for the divine appointments that have been set in motion and love others, live in each moment and dont worry bout the next because He is Faithful, seek Him with intensity and ask Him to place in your heart a burning passion for what is His best for you!

Chick Chat with Marisa