I have a confession...ready... (sigh) I haven't been to a Sunday morning service in about 6 months. I know, I know...I knoooow. And I really don't have an excuse. Now I speak of the wonders and splendid things that God has done for me. When those around me are in despair I try to offer a kind word and say a prayer. But on Sunday morning...my temperpedic just holds me hostage. It does. My alarm goes off, I hit it, roll back over and continue the snoozing. What's crazy is before I moved (to my current city) I was a 8 o'clock service attending, bible study going, member of such a great church. One where I attending for years before being compelled to join. I loved this church. So when I moved, I took a survey of what churches people attended and checked out the internet and was on a mission to join a church (by letter or Christian experience). And what I found was an ABUNDANT...naw I'm gonna have to keep it real, I found hella churches man. HELLA CHURCHES!
Whew. I mean enough to make you dizzy, especially since this is a small/big area and I just didn't think there would be soooooo many. Let me get a glass of water to calm my nerves...
So I attended a few services and well...wait let me tell you about my former church home. The Pastor was charismatic and he preached the word. He wasn't afraid to train those under him. He allowed Associate/Assistant/Up and coming called Ministers to lead Sunday service and bible study. The choir sang beautifully, the people moved over to let you sit down, and older ladies loved to offer you a piece of candy. And he didn't BEG!! Oh my goodness.
3 outta 5 churches I have been to in the area, have made begging a work of art. Oh now they wouldn't call what they do begging, they would call it planting a seed, collecting a love offering, missionary offering, building fund, giving to the glory of God-don't you steal from God because has placed it in my heart that 50 people can give $100 towards this seed. Don't steal from God! He will provide for all your needs.
Uh he did, he provided me w/$110. $10 of which you gonna get, the rest imma need you to getcho hand outta my pocket.
Momma need a house, baby needs some shoes, Times is getting hard (oh sorry-had an Ace Hood break)...
My family (w/probably the exception of my father), I know feels I am destined to rot in hell. We were not raised like this. We were raised to attend church service every Sunday and if we didn't we needed to have a very good excuse. Like work or being in the hospital because being tired- was not an excuse. Partying the night before-not an excuse. So, in what seems to sneakingly become a ritual, on Saturdays if I speak with my mother in the evening she asks me, "Are you going to church in the morning"? To which I reply, "I don't know". My grandmother- same question. and she gets -the same answer. I don't know why I haven't "found" a church home. Guess its the same reason I haven't "found" a boyfriend. I'm picky, nostalgic, and I think too much. I keep waiting to feel the way I felt about my old church and that's probably blocking me from feeling anything about a new church (this has been a moment w/Dr TeeJay). I think "church folks" make it hard for me too. And while I shouldn't allow someone else's action to manifest a negative reaction in me-it does. You know "church folks"...these are the people the phrase, going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. They turn their nose down on you when you say you don't have a church home. They say things like I love gospel music and I listen to it all the time, in response to you saying you have to listen to an inspirational song before you come to work. A "saint" would have just said, yup you have to put on your armor. The CF thinks its a competition in churchyness. This same CF will see in the hallway, street, shoot sometime even in the House of the Lord and will not speak (and they the dangon greeter). My Pastor used to say all the time "we are the church". And we are!
That building is brick and paste and if it is destroyed that doesn't mean that the church is destroyed-just the building. Because We are the Church. We represent the church to non-believers. We represent the church to fence straddlers in our daily actions and comments. Always so quick to judge or look at someone funny, yes I am a visitor (not from Mars though, I live in town), just move outta the way and let me sit down (sorry flashback). These little actions can make someone feel uncomfortable and not want to return. Trust me I speak of what I know. I would like to say I have a good heart. I am charitable and believe in staying prayed up. I have no problem praying with or for those who ask (and sometimes even those that don't). It surprises me when people ask me to pray with them, I'd like to think something in my actions is shining through. I continue to pray for guidance-always. And renewal of my spirit because I know that it has been broken a time or two. I have found a potential church home and I'll listen to its podcast from time to time. I read my bible-not as often as I should but I am a work in progress. I try not to rely on the "God knows my heart" saying because, well it's insulting. Of course he knows my heart. He made me. He knows his child. And he also knows the Saturday in which my reply to that question will be "yes ma'am, I sure am".