These were from ‘Episcopal Church Memes’ on Facebook.
I wish there were a lot more Episcopal churches here. They are non fundamentalist and appear to have many of the same beliefs and understanding, as I do.
I love the Spring weather in this beautiful part of the world I am blessed to live in.
Spring is probably my favourite time of year. I used to love all the cherry blossom trees in the country I previously lived in. Here, the jacarandas are stunning! And purple – one of my two favourite colours. I’ll no doubt start taking pics of them soon. I love taking photos of everything, all the beauty around me. It helps me to be very mindful of the moment, of the beauty, of what God has blessed us with. Helps me focus on good and be thankful for all the good.
My children are happy souls. My garden is looking lovely. My veggies are growing. The sun is shining. I have some peace and quiet for an hour now, before I go meet a lovely friend for coffee.
Life is good.
When I reflect on the facts…
I endured trauma of being abused by a church minister, and then further abused by all his supporters and the church hierarchy, and then further abused by a corrupt internal investigation/investigators…. which meant I was trying to deal with old trauma, whilst dealing with new trauma….
Plus, my husband has a personality disorder, that means I am completely unable to trust him, am not loved by him, and he shows no compassion/empathy etc… which clearly is not conducive to healing….
Plus, I have not had counselling with someone who is specifically trained in trauma/complex trauma/Complex PTSD ……
It truly is a miracle, that I have healed as much as I have over the last 3 years.
And as my first counsellor pointed out, I do most of my own counselling, because I have insight and the deep capacity to think, with honesty.
My healing, despite all I have endured over the last 3 years……… shows the depth of my resilience, the depth of my persistence, the depth of my inner strength and the depth of my spiritual progression and love & relationship with God & Jesus.
Because with all that has been going on in the last 3 years……. I ‘should’ be worse, not healing, you would think.
But, I am healing.
I have created a life for myself, within my life…… where I can enjoy my alone time, I crave and I need it.
It is where I feel most at peace, feel freedom, feel content, feel happy, feel joy.
I feel light in my life …….. I have never known before.
I feel Jesus’ presence ~ right beside me and God’s love shining down on me.
A lot of churches give money to the poor, but few choose to be directly involved in their lives. It’s not enough for a church to give to the poor. A church has to know the poor.
Many churches today are building their buildings out in the suburbs where they are surrounded by the rich. And sure, rich people need Jesus as much as anyone, but if churches want to follow in Christ’s example then they must be involved in the lives of the poor.
I’m not saying that every church should move to the inner city. But every church should mobilize their congregations to serve there.
Unity has always been an important mark of the Christian Church. But so many churches try to take on their missions independently. Here’s what ends up happening: several (sometimes hundreds) of like-minded churches in a city all try to reach their city with their own ideas and their own recourses. This creates some challenges.
What often happens is churches end up competing for the same people. Church populations fluctuate every time a church becomes the hot new thing. But unfortunately, it’s often the same group of people just moving from one church to the other.
Churches working together probably won’t put an end to “church hopping.” But think about how much a joint outreach program could do to reach the unchurched in a city. Churches should work together to reach their city united under Christ.
There aren’t many churches today that would turn someone away because they are “different.” But that doesn’t mean churches are working to achieve diversity. Most are apathetic to the idea.
And now churches are some of the least diverse institutions there are. Not only are congregations made up of people of the same color, but they are also monotone in age, socio-economic status, and even interests (there seems to be church for everybody with a hobby). Young people go to church with young people. Wealthy people go to church with other wealthy people.
Look, I get it. It is comfortable to go to church with people my age who look like me, live like me and think like me. But a lack of diversity in the church is dangerous.
For one, it limits the amount of personal growth a church can facilitate for its individual members. A young person surrounded by young people will find community easily, but he/she will be starved for the wisdom of someone more experienced.
It also limits a church’s potential to reach people. How can a church expect to reach multiple people groups if it is made up of just one?
Jesus Himself sought diversity in His group of disciples. One was a zealot and another was a tax collector (those two types of people came from two very different walks of life).
Growth in numbers is biblical. Churches should want to reach as many people as they possibly can. But they shouldn’t fall in love with numbers.
One of the biggest struggles for me is checking my desire to see our ministry grow in numbers so I can focus on growing the people who are already there.
We should want more people to show up, but we must be good stewards of the people God has already given us.
A lot of churches give a lot of money toward missions. Some have it fixed in their budget while others take up special offerings.
But missions shouldn’t be limited to giving away money. Churches must be eager to send people out.
Not every church can afford to fund full-time missionaries. But every church that has people can make a personal impact in their communities and around the world.
For many, church is little more than a show. It’s a sing-along concert with a speech shoved in the middle. Sure, people might be spiritually moved, but that is often the extent of it.
Churches should see themselves as equippers, not entertainers. Providing members with the tools they need to live out their faith on a daily basis is essential. So is providing members with multiple opportunities. Churches should delight themselves in preparing their members to be Christ’s representatives in the world.
My prayer is that you will be encouraged to challenge your church to strive for these goals. If your church is missing one or more of these, the answer is not to leave. Instead, my hope is that you will personally work to create an environment in your church where these things are true.
Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/6-things-your-church-should-be-doing-probably-isnt#flRI2FWgfr5JYGl8.99
This is my latest page….devoted to shared love for Jesus, and finding inspiration & gratitude through faith, hope, love & light.
I really believe so many people strive for outer successes, because that hole in their soul where God is meant to reside, is empty and they live life continually looking and striving for outer ways to try and fill that hole.
It is also why I think so many people look to guru’s to worship and put humans up on pedestals and worship celebrities, or some even worship themselves…..
Because it is in us ~ to actually want to find God, to worship.
I see this everywhere now…..and it makes me sad, because the idealist in me ~ wants everyone to have that God shaped hole, be filled with God and not all these other pursuits.
As I was just updating my Website, feeling how wonderful it is to be able to add books, resources and an organisation I am now partnering with…..
I had this thought come into my head……..
It really is my passion, my calling and what my life has been preparing me for, and teaching me…..since I was born…..to reach out to and help others.
I don’t believe for one second God wanted me to endure any of what I have endured. That would not be love and God is pure perfect love. He doesn’t ‘want’ any of us to suffer, but believes in free will and does not interfere in that….which is the reason for suffering.
But, He will ensure those who desire to love Him, and want to be transformed, will. It is those who truly wish to be transformed, He can and will use……and Jesus with help them to heal and then in turn use this to help others.
This to me, is what being a child of God is all about.
This is what prosperity is about……nothing to do with ‘getting rich’ like the TV Evangelists & the Hillsongs and the like will deceive you with…..prosperity is about whatever you are being blessed with, being blessed more with the heart to share that with others.
My life, whilst far from ‘good’ or ‘nice’ has blessed me with a wealth of life wisdom and a heart to help others…..which I do not always do perfectly at all…..far from…..but God doesn’t want ‘perfect’ – He wants a willing, teachable heart, and soul that yearns to help bless others.
I will never say abuse is a ‘blessing in disguise’……..that is applauding Satan.
But, God will use anything……..for His purposes……..and His purposes are always for our best.
Good article on not suppressing emotions and not being expected to.
Too many Christians, believe we can’t have emotions of anger etc, so they suppress them….which is never healthy.