Day 15 Hebrews 10:19-39

“But recall the former days…”

Let me just say how many times people with good intentions have admonished me not “to keep recalling the former days….those former days when, in my case, it seems you and the people around you were on fire for “making community happen.”   Often, their meaning is, you can’t live in the past but those of us feeling called are not trying to repeat a program or follow a person who is long gone.  We are trying to remember what was the fuel for the fire; what drew us together so that we can find today’s ways to bring that back into being.

Just the intentional stirring of the ashes, kindles a new warmth in me and in some who “recall the former days.”  But for a good while, there seemed one fire code after another that stomped on the embers and demanded battery operated candles. My frustration became a fire but the totally wrong kind. This could not be what God  had in mind. And then these words: “Have no expectations for results. Stop trying to lead the church and just be the church.”

Right fire, wrong ground.

So some of us rubbed two sticks together somewhere else with the idea if it lights, it lights.  And on the first try, it has a tiny flame.  I am trying not to expect anything except to be faithful and see what happens.  I have three more new stick rubbings planned.  Each one with the same ideas…build community, share our faith, no expectations. Then loop back around 1, 2, 3, 4.

It’s an experiment in revival.

“…do not throw away your confidence,…For you have need of endurance…”

This is the tricky part of any endeavor.  It always starts out with a ton of confidence – excitement, hope.  But it doesn’t always ignite right away; sometimes it just plain dies.  Did I get the message wrong? Did I make this up? There is always that possibility but a rough road doesn’t equal a wrong road.

And just now the Lord says,  “Endure.  Stick around and keep looping for a while. Keep looping and looking for signs of embers and stir them gently – blow on them tiny breaths.  Forget the mentality that this is something you are doing for them.  You are doing this for you! Because this is what YOU need and long for and I, Jesus, want it for you. And is it just okay that this is my gift to you?”

Now here’s the thing.  When you start writing you never know where it will lead.  I’m tempted to erase this whole entry, but what the heck. Only a couple of people read this and I think I can trust them enough to be what feels like “vulnerable”. So, I refuse to polish this up or write something that feels like a safer thing.

About God?
God loves everybody, personally and individually…even me.

About Me?
Being real means being needy.  That’s not a bad thing.  To embrace neediness is to be open to Jesus.

About the World?
What the world needs now is love, sweet love…

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3 thoughts on “Day 15 Hebrews 10:19-39

  1. The definition of community has changed. So rarely do we think of the neighbors to our left and right when we talk about and seek community. We are no longer constrained by our geography. Everyday, people go online looking for community and a place to belong. Distance and time zones lose their power to limit us due to the internet and social media. The church has joined this movement and created virtual communities as well. I am not necessarily referencing the local church, though many of those offer sermons and other resources online. I am talking about communities such as the one which was created by If:Equip or the ones resulting from Christian bloggers. These communities have become safe havens, sources of inspiration, renewal and hope, for many. They are readily available to anyone at anytime. How great is the internet? How great is a God who uses any means possible to reach his people?

    However, some people who access these communities are like me. I am a consumer of the information offered in those communities, but I do not take part in the community itself. Nor do I belong to a geographic community of believers. I honestly have not consistently participated in or been a part of a community since leaving American University. That was over 10 years ago! Do you want to know why? Community is hard. Finding a place you fit in and feel comfortable, yet still challenges you, is hard. It also requires a huge commitment and there are always excuses to skip out. I don’t have time to go. I need to rest. I cannot take on one more responsibility when I am barely holding it together as is. Excuses are easy when community is hard.

    Nonetheless, we are called to community. As it says in this passage, “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.” How can I encourage others to love and do good works when I refuse to take part in community? How can I receive that same encouragement? I will tell you that it is next to impossible. Let’s call this blog and my comments a baby step that just might be in the right direction. I receive encouragement from you and from If:Equip. In turn, I hope that I provide a bit of encouragement to you as well. As I take this baby step, perhaps I will find the encouragement and the motivation to seek greater involvement in a community of believers.

    About God? He wants us to draw near to him now that the curtain has been rent by Jesus’ sacrifice.

    About the World? No man is an island. We are meant to live in community.

    About Me? Idly sitting back and waiting for Christ to come is not an option. I need to seek encouragement and be of encouragement. I need to take part in a community of believers. This will likely involve a local church and perhaps some online communities as well. But, first I will start with baby steps.

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    • I have to say, you encourage me…AND LOTS! It’s hard taking the time to do this considering all the other demands of your life. Heck, it’s hard even with not too many demands. I spent the first year, Mar to Feb, just writing my own responses and rarely, if ever, putting anything on the IF:EQUIP page. I was so encouraged to see these women just keep showing up and sharing their lives and supporting each other. One day it occurred to me – they may not know I’m here. Not because I had something to offer but just because I wanted to be an encouragement back. My friend Bobbie and I have adopted theses women (unbeknownst to them) and they are in our circle. I’ve gotten slack in my posting on the IF:EQUIP page. Thanks for the reminder to take the effort to be “in” that community I value.
      I pray you will find your place in a faith community. It’s important to have a local church and maybe your “personal” community will include some from there. Those connections have become some of my closest over the years but even those have changed as things do change. All this to say baby steps are the perfect beginning. I love being part of the baby steps! ❤
      .

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      • First step always leads to another. It is good to lean into
        New things. Being open w/what’s inside is good for all
        Involved. Good stuff girls🌈

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