Well, more of what has been itching my heart lately is coming out. I’ve realized it’s good to grow, it’s good to dance; it’s good to be swept away by the awesome, breath-taking Love of God; to have music speak to your soul, to get lost in worship, to grow, grow, grow. I realize that we never stop growing, and this too, is good. What is coming to light now in my heart as I think back on this journey of having a relationship with Jesus that started as a child, raised in Catholicism and scratching my head all the way; to truly coming to Christ in my late 20’s. I think back to the the ministry that God worked through. It was called Hot Church. It was ministry that was trying to reach the un-churched and break down the walls of traditional ways of “doing church”. It is where I began to grow and learn, to desire and thirst for the word; where I had amazing fellowships and a strong network of friends to do life with, and pastoral guidance. Sadly, through a variety of circumstances, the ministry ended and many of us got plugged into a large non-denominational church; which I still attend today. In the beginning, things were going pretty good. We started a new singles ministry at the church and things started to sync again for us. At one point, (I can’t remember time frames), I took a job that required me to work on Sundays; which, (to make a long story short), became my falling away. After much emotional and spiritual pain and anguish of becoming a single mother, I knew that I had to get back into church. I sought out pastoral counseling, and the pastor even helped me move out of an ungodly relationship. I started coming back to church only to find things very different. There was constant change, which was a little too fast for me at the time. The singles ministry that I belonged to was gone, friends that I once knew moved away and/or where married with a new set of responsibilities, and it would seem every week that I did attend there was another announcement of a long time staff member giving there resignation. At one point I realized that the pastor who had counseled me was no longer there, and the only response that I got was an email to contact the church board on such matters. What? You gotta be kidding me? It was at this point, I started to feel the abandonment that exists in churches all over the place. As hard as it was to keep coming to church, I kept coming. Sure, there were weeks that I didn’t but, eventually things would even out, and I started to get plugged in again. I tried to start a single moms ministry a few times that never took off, and I have tried to lead a Bible Study on Wed. that also had very little response, and is currently going no where. As much as my sadness has brought me to utter despair and complete surrender, it has also made me realize what a mess our churches are in. In a previous blog, I wrote how God has been throwing things in front of me; whether a book, worship CD, another blog or website, etc.. Well, yesterday, as I was on my facebook, I saw a status update from one of previous pastors that use to belong to my church. As my curiosity led me onto his page, I clicked on the website a church that he pastors now. I found his sermons and started to listen to them. His series “A Heart to Heart Conversation”, was very much speaking to me. He was talking about how The Church is the hope of the world, and as ” A Church”, we’ve often blown it in many ways. We get caught up in our buildings, traditions, idols, ministries, ect…. and we forget what the church is there for. It is there for the broken; (for people like me, a single mom), people needing hope and a message to connect to, people who can be loved in their geinue ‘messy” state. You see, all this growth that I have been undergoing, (read my past blogs), it has brought me back to this central theme that has gotten buried. I actually have several word documents and notepad entries that I have tried to sort out as well. All this writing; whether you’ve read it or not, comes back to a central theme that God is making ever so clear to me now. The love the God has poured into me, through all growth and realization; what has actually happened is that God has circumcised my heart in a way that it is truely becomming more like the heart of Jesus. It is this heart transformation that needs to take place in our churches that will truly change us from the inside out, which gives us the power to Go and become God’s hands and feet in a broken world. This is what I have been praying for with my church. That we would all experience The Love of God and to take that Love and give it away. So now, my hearts cry is becoming for the church. Not just mine, but all of ours. We all have this problem in all of our churches. I could go on and on about this, but I think I made my point. If we are really honest about things, you’d agree. We have the power of Jesus living in all of us. We can do so much, and we can reach each other in such profound ways, if we’d learn to lay aside our pride, our ways, and break down the barriers that hold our churches in bondage from reaching out to a broken world. Because Friends, That Is What We Are Called To Do! In closing this post, which is just a tip of the iceberg of my heart, and the things that God is making known to me; I would like to pray for all of our churches, that we would come to a place of surrender to Jesus, and completely obey Him in every way we know how to. I pray too, that God show me what to do my my enthusiasm that burns in my heart, and that I would hear and Go where ever He calls.