Different– Not Wrong: Embracing All People

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I’m taking a course called, “Journey” at Engedi Church in Holland, Michigan. Our latest session dealt with connecting/ building relationships with people different than ourselves.

“Jesus’ desire wasn’t just that more people would believe in Him. Rather, He desired that those who followed Him would do so in complete unity. This means people from every nation, social strata, language, and culture worshipping and serving God together in the local church. Celebrating and learning from their differences, and growing more and more in the image of their Creator.”

God’s loves His people. He loves our diverse differences. He’s not a boring Creator that wanted us all to be the same.  As such, our “differences should be celebrated and learned from rather than ignored. Avoiding diversity and living in sameness runs contrary to the reconciling power of the gospel.”

“We need to stop seeing each other as wrong-Christian or right-Christian and value the diversity of the body of Christ.”

“How much could we all learn from each other, if we simply put aside our self-focused ‘values’ and considered the values of others?”

Monday Morning Joke: Why the Water?

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The Sunday school teacher was carefully explaining the story of Elijah the Prophet and the false prophets of Baal. She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood upon it, cut the steer in pieces and laid it upon the altar. And then Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this four times.

“Now, said the teacher, “Can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord would have Elijah pour water over the steer on the altar?”

A little girl in the back of the room raised her hand with great enthusiasm. “To make the gravy!”

Reference: http://jokes.christiansunite.com/Sunday_School/Barrels_of_Water.shtml
Picture Reference: http://www.garlandisd.net/departments/student_services/attendance.asp

#Joke #ChurchHumor

The Power of Music and Amy Grant

I am a big fan of Amy Grant. I grew up listening to Unguarded, Saved By Love, Heart in Motion, Lead On and many of her other gems. Her songs stick with me. I have a vast collection of Amy’s music. I like the jump around songs and the ones that bring me to my knees. There have been many times, I have sat with tears, listening and thinking, “Amy, you’re right on.” I also felt that way as I read through her book, Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far.

In 2010, my husband surprised me with tickets to see her in concert. I was recovering from a rough patch of life and her words in the song, Better than a Hallelujah ministered to me. The music moved me, changed me, and prepared me for the next step. Why? Because I experienced God in that music. I witnessed God’s presence in that music.

Here are a few of the lyrics to Better than a Hallelujah:
God loves a lullaby
In a mother’s tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes
God loves the drunkard’s cry
The soldier’s plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah
The woman holding on for life
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what’s been done
The silence when the words won’t come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
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Amy Grant at the Concert in Ada, Michigan

Music is a powerful vessel. That is why I desire good, strong, and uplifting music. That’s why I listen to Amy. Her honesty in her songwriting has meant so much to me and still does.

 

http://amygrant.com

#AmyGrant #Mosaic #ChristianMusic