God of Wonders: Thoughts on Community

It’s amazing what true community will do for the weary and heavy-laden. Or just those who are in need of a nap.

My community group met again, and it was good. We started our study of Philippians, focusing on the first twelve verses.

For me, the best part was afterwards. I can’t really point to any one moment as extra magical, but it was really just the five of us sharing life together. One of the bright moments that I do recall is one of the girls breaking out the guitar and leading us in the oldie but goodie, God of Wonders.

Community doesn’t have to be earth-shattering or ground-breaking (or any of those other tried and true cliches). It can mean sharing the small moments of life together. It can be me saying to you, “I see you and I’m a witness to the fact that you’re not in this alone. I’m with you.”

Sometimes, that’s all we need– just a voice that says, “No, you’re not the only one who struggles with fear and doubt. No, you’re not weird or crazy. Yes, you will get through this. Yes, we will be with you.”

If you find a group of people who will let you be yourself, warts and all, you have truly found a blessing. It may not always look pretty, but then again, those healing moments never are. What we need most is quite honestly a lot less pleasant that what we’d like. But you’re never broken, you can never be truly whole.

My goal is to lead my own group soon. Hopefully sooner than later. But for now I’m enjoying being a part of a group where the leader sets the example of authenticity and honesty better than just about anybody I’ve seen. Thanks, David. Also, thanks to Jeff, Abbey, and Paige for making me feel so welcome.

The end.

 

 

A Good Non-Gaming Game Night

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The Green Hills Community Group scheduled a game night for tonight. Sounds like fun, right?

It was. The only minor complication was that it wasn’t really a game night. Only four people showed up, so we attempted Catch Phrase, but ended up doing something much better.

We had a bit of church.

I don’t mean we broke out the hymnals or burst into song. No one got up and preached and no one testified. Well, at least not in a Pentecostal way.

We had meaningful conversations and got to know each other a little bit better. To me, that’s church, where we figure out life together.

I couldn’t have asked for three better people to spend a rainy Friday night with. Even if I was tired and a bit dizzy, I still had a blast.

Life is like that. You show up expecting one thing, but get something else entirely. You make plans based on where you think you’ll be in ten years, but ten years later, all those plans and expectations are moot.

God rarely meets my expectations. He rarely does anything according to my timetable.

What He does always exceeds my expectations and His timing may not be mine, but it is always perfect. He gives me what I need exactly when I need it and not a moment too soon or a second too late.

I think if I have any expectations going forward, it’s that God will continue to astound and amaze me at how He turns setbacks and quiet nights into blessings.

He’s so very good at that.

Baseball After an 11-Hour Shift? Sounds Good to Me

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What does a normal person do after putting in an 11-hour shift on a Friday before a holiday weekend?
A. Go home and crash into a 48-hour coma.
B. Go eat my weight 1) chocolate and/or 2) fried foods.
C. Both A and B.

If you answered A, B, or C, you’d be wrong. I opted for
D. Drive to a Nashville Sounds game to hang out with my amazing community group.

Ok. I cheated. But then again, no one has ever accused me of being normal. I’m crazy and I go normal from time to time. It’s usually the worst 5 minutes of my day. Normal is not something I’ve ever been good at. Being unique is something I’m starting to excel at.

It was hot. And muggy. I sweated like a pig visiting a bacon factory. It was not pretty. For me or anyone within smelling distance of me.

The game was good. My team won and there was much rejoicing. Yay.

More than anything, I remember good conversations with good friends, good funnel cake (fried), and good memories made. Throw in some cold lemonade and an encouraging text or two and I call it a perfect night.

I am seeing God in the tiny details these days. And He’s everywhere. Like in the unexpectedly cool breeze on a humid day, grace from friends, the freedom to finally forgive myself for not being all things to all people, and good funnel cake. You just have to know where to look and how to see with eyes of faith.

I am still learning to live in the moment and love God there. No more dwelling on past regrets or future maybes. God is here now and I can only hear Him speaking if I am fully present in the present. Right here, right now.

Lord, I am here now hearing now. Speak, for Your servant is listening.