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I’m running out of steam!

I’m almost at the halfway point of The Purpose-Driven Life and I’ve officially run out of steam!  I didn’t realize taking on this venture would be emotionally and mentally taxing some days.  However, I’ve also been blessed by this journey with the self-discovery and purging that’s taking place in me.  Praise be to God!

As I write this entry, I’ve got Hezekiah Walker and The Love Fellowship Choir’s ’99 And A Half” playing.  This song is one of my all-time favorites, and it’s a great testimony to where I am and where many of us land at different points of life – this place of stopping for rest, for that quick breath to help us finish the journey. 

Lord, I’m runnin’ tryin’ to make 100 because

99 and a half won’t do  

Let’s keep on running, keep on trying to make it!

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Even though it’s a love song……

The sentiment is the same.  God intends for our fellowship to be a blessing, like a treasured friendship or love affair…..

“The only one for me is you

and you for me

So happy together…”

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So Happy Together….. (Day 18)

“How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony!” (Psalm 133:1, TEV)

Another of God’s purposes for us is to experience life together, or what the Word calls fellowship.  We are called to gather together to experience the ebbs and flows that we go through. 

Yet, fellowship has lost its meaning over the years.  It’s more about “let’s get together for lunch” or “yes, I attend such and such church” or “such and such is my pastor”.  It’s when we can be naked before each other with our failures, mishaps and struggles do we engage in real and meaningful fellowship.

And have you noticed that the best fellowship takes place with a small group?  Let’s look at Jesus’ example for a minute.  He recruited 12 disciples with various abilities and talents to engage them in a life-changing ministry.   A bigger group of disciples probably would have had a lesser impact.  Even with this small group there was dissention.  However, the closeness and intimacy built from their fellowship with Jesus was the springboard for their huge impact on the world. 

In other words, when you add people to a small group, two things tend to happen: someone stops participating and a few people end up dominating the overall group.  Imagine if the 12 Disciples were a group of 15.  One or two would be taking over the whole ministry, while the others who want to contribute can’t for fear of being disregarded.   Unfathomable, isn’t it? 

Also unfathomable is fake fellowship in the church.  You think that if any group of people are truly connected, it would be us.  Yet, it doesn’t happen as often or as much as you think.  We tend to put on the masks, hoping and praying that no one sees the real us.  We live a facade of everything’s coming up roses, knowing darn well our hearts are broken or our families are fractured.  It’s when we open up about our lives do we begin experiencing real fellowship and intimacy.  It’s in fellowship where we experience mercy, sympathy and mutuality. 

Yes, it’s a huge risk to expose the true you; however, we grow by taking risks and inspire those around us to do the same.  This is another area where me and a lot of us struggle, largely in part because of past experiences.  However, it’s when we seek God for His help that we begin to take those baby steps of trusting others with our lives.

So, let’s open up and allow our trusted Christian sisters and brothers in our hearts.  We never know just how great of an impact this genuine fellowship will have on us, and eventually we’ll have on someone else.   “I want us to help each other with the faith we have.  Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.” (Romans 1:12, CEV)

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What I tweeted today…..

@ShellyBS429 Good morning, tweeples. “…my grace is made perfect in weakness…so that Christ’s power dwells in me.” (II Cor. 12:9)

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What caught my eye on Twitter…..

@SherriEShepherd U ever had 1 of those teary snot filled praise & worship sessions w #Jesus? So very thankful 2B living out a secret desire in my heart #DWTS

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What caught my eye on Twitter…..

@PastorYPJ Faith is the ability to say “Okay” to God & do what He says even when you’re not “Okay” with what He’s saying.

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I Just Want To Say Thank You!

I’ve been a fan of Lisa Page Brooks since her days with Witness, and I absolutely love this song.  It speaks to what I was feeling when I wrote the previous post.  Be blessed!

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You Belong To Me, I Belong To You (Day 17)

As Christians we are called to belong to the Body of Christ, our church family.  No one can ever successfully be a hermit in this union, for we are called to fellowship with and be accountable to each other.  The Apostle Paul says that “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Rom. 12:5, NIV)

Being a member of a church congregation means giving back to God the time, talents and treasures He’s given us through ministry and tithing.  Our membership is imperative in teaching us how to live in the world and not be of it, be accountable to each other, to pray for one another and keep us aligned in Christ.  We find ourselves in Him when we have this relationship and become the hands, eyes, ears and feet for Him in the world.

This idea was hard for me to fathom when I became a Christian 21 years ago.  My life experiences before the day I asked Christ into my heart were all about shielding myself from the world.  I was hurting, broken in every part of my life.  Belonging to a church seemed scary, as it required me to fellowship with other people and be involved in ministry with people who had the same types of interests as me.  For a number of years after joining church, I was hesitant about letting my new church family into my world, especially being in my early twenties and still not knowing who I was.

On top of that, my family didn’t give me the support I needed at first.  They felt I was going through a phase, as I ended a year-long relationship with my significant other around the same time.  Needless to say, it was a stressful situation all around.

As I began falling in love with Jesus, He taught me how to open up my heart and blessed me with several of the seasoned women in our congregation.  What I couldn’t see in me, they saw the best in me.  Their nurturing hearts and genuine love for me shed layers from my life.  Their eight years of tutelage showered me with the foundation for my ministry of helps and the arts.  Now I’m in their position as a gradually seasoned woman, and I believe the Lord is preparing me to nuture the next generation.

My testimony is what belonging to a church family is all about: each one teaching one, loving on each other, correcting where correction’s needed and practicing unselfish love.  It’s not just about believing.  Belonging to a church congregation is essential to living a healthy life.

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What caught my eye on Twitter…..

@GMommy7 Worry will wear you out. The Word will work it out.

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What caught my eye on Twitter…..

 @just_a_word67 Encouragers are always encouraging & uplifting others, but when they receive encouragement is it like a treasured jewel, very rare.

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