Tag Archives: Colonial Church

Love Wins

I was afraid when I went to church today that the service would be a huge 9-11 memorial.

Instead it was a service on balance and how we need balance in our finances to have balance in life, which was something I needed to refocus on.

At the end, though, our music minister did an amazing job with a one song reflection on the anniversary of the tragedy of 9-11. Or at least, that’s what I thought it was going to be.

It wasn’t.

It was a  beautiful anthem about how we’re resilient and how we won’t bow to hate and how LOVE WINS.

I’m embracing that message and, hopefully, doing my part to share it. Because in the end, when you get to the core of the hurt and pain and anger and hate that’s out there in the world, LOVE does win, if you let it.

 

Living on a Prayer

We’re studying the Crave lesson for tomorrow and talking about how often we limit God. Try to make Him fit in the box of who we are and what we want.

The lesson talks about how simple a concept faith is: Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

On paper faith is easy. It simply is. I believe absolutely that Jesus is my savior, that he is God, that he is of God.

But then I go and try to make God fit what I want. I’ve always said some people confuse God with Santa. Our study says we confuse God with a genie. It’s true. At least it’s true for me.

I struggle with “letting go and letting God.” I want to put my will first instead of God’s.

I want a new house and I want it in a certain neighborhood, so God should want that for me. I want a new car, and God should want that for me. I want a publishing contract, I want, I want, I want….

Yeah. That’s not what faith is about.

Bigger faith isn’t going to make that happen. Changing my prayers won’t make those things happen.

There’s nothing wrong with hoping for those things. There’s nothing wrong with working toward those things. But with faith, I need to pray NOT MY WILL GOD, but yours.

Faith doesn’t mean life won’t be hard. It doesn’t mean utopia. It doesn’t mean people won’t die, crimes won’t be committed, terrorists won’t strike.

Faith is a belief in the promises of God. In His grace. In Jesus. Faith is the cross.

Louie Giglio’s Hope is one of the best sermons I’ve heard about this subject. If you’re struggling or hurting or angry, if you’re facing tough times, if you can’t quite make yourself let go and let God, you should watch. (Actually everyone should watch.) The link takes you to part one. From there watch the other parts. It’s worth the time.

I’m going to work on trusting God. On believing He’s in control, on stepping out of the driver’s seat.

Crave meets at 10 a.m. in the college annex at the back of the Colonial Church building in Wichita Falls behind the mall. Coffee, hot chocolate, the best scones ever, fruit and fun conversation can be found. If you’re between the age of 18-26, we’d love to see you! Our current study is Faith, Hope and Luck by Andy Stanley.

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Honor and Lies and Prodigal by Elizabeth Lee (that’s me) are available on Amazon Kindle and smashwords.com or wherever ebooks are sold. Like paper instead? Honor and Lies is available on Amazon in paperback. If you have questions about getting involved in college age ministry or just want to talk about faith or faith struggles, feel free to comment here on the blog or you can email me at marybeth   aT    marybethlee   DoT   com.

 

State!

Both journalism kids at Regions qualified for State. One won 2nd, the other 6th. Our 6th place is an alternate. It was exciting for both of them, I think! I know it was exciting for me.
The day started with me sleeping in. My alarm didn’t sound because I went to sleep with my audible app open, so the alarm app didn’t work.
The UIL coordinator called me when I was supposed to be on the bus! I NEVER do that, so it was quite the shock.
Unfortunately, I left my makeup bag at the school. I lost my facial cleaner and moisturizer (ACK!) foundation, powder, blush, mascara, the BEST eyelash curler, and my tweezers. So today I’m taking a trip to Ulta. BUMMER.
Fortunately, my straightener was in the suitcase!

Had a great meeting today with Crave ministry (ages 18-26). We talked about biblical conflict resolution. Tough stuff. But such a good lesson. Such an important lesson.

Got a rejection last week on Letting Go. It’s going to a new publisher Monday. 🙂
While it’s making rounds, I’ll be working on the YA on my excerpt page.

Service

Almost two years ago our minister challenged us to “get out of the stands” at church. DH and I had already decided we were going to pay it forward, volunteer to help out with the college ministry at our church after DD made strong bonds with a mentor family in Huntsville where she was attending school.
When we started helping with college ministry, we never dreamed what it would come to mean to us. It’s truly changed out lives.
Tonight’s at our small group, we talked about service and how important it is to a strong walk with God. It’s funny because a handful of weeks ago, the topic was front and center in the Crave ministry.
When I was a young 20-something, I volunteered to help out with 3-yr-old children’s choir. Not because I felt led by God to do so, not because I had any special talent for working with toddlers, but because I knew service was important to being part of the church.
Two weeks in and the 3-yr-old kids and I were miserable. I dreaded Wednesday nights. I hated the box sitting in my living room filled with torture instruments also known as sticks (some sadistic person thought it was a good idea to have pairs of colored sticks for kids to knock together to make “music”), tapes of hymns and coloring pages.
Still, I pasted a smile on my face showed up for nine months of Wednesdays, sat in the floor with the heathen children and served my church and God.
At the end of that duty, when they asked me if I wanted to come back the next year, I couldn’t get rid of that box fast enough.
I have the utmost respect for people who work with little kids, but I have no business in the same room with more than three of them. They smell my fear, and they turn into little monsters.
There are lots of ways to practice service in the church, but the first thing you should do is figure out what your gifts are and serve there.
The service we talked about today crossed over into another service that should be easier, but often isn’t.
Those times when you have the opportunity to help people around you. Often, it’s easier to just ignore those needs.
DH is totally gifted in this area. On the spiritual gift inventory, I score a 0 here. To show Christ to the unchurched this service is absolutely essential. It’s outside of my comfort zone, but I need to work on practicing service toward others. I know in the long run doing so will help me grow as a Christian and hopefully share God’s love.

Sunday DH and I are leading Crave (Colonial College-Aged Ministry). The lesson is on conflict and how to solve it biblically. I think I’ll be learning a lot!

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Galations5:13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[c] 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Today’s Crave lesson really hit home for me as we discussed. In fact, for the last seven weeks I’ve been on this real soul search.
My next door neighbor is young and loud and, well, completely different from me. WHen we started this World Harvest series, one of the challenges we talked about was sharing God every day, with everyone you come in contact with. Let me just say I wasn’t sharing God in any way with my next door neighbor. In fact, the only interaction we had was me giving him the stink eye if I had to go out in front yard and glare at him and his friends late at night/early morning because of their noise level.
Since that first lesson, I’ve prayed for God to help me show more of His light to others.
Last week, my neighbor and his friends woke me up, but something was different in my response. Instead of being angry, I was worried. When I went outside, I didn’t glower, I spoke. I asked if he was okay. His response was comical. First, he asked his friend if that was his neighbor talking to him, and then he said “yes, Ma’am. I’m good.” and then he apologized. 🙂
When I asked if he was okay, I was sincere. God’s changed my heart where my neighbor’s concerned.
A big part of that change comes from the fact that I work with young adults my neighbor’s age all the time, but I’ve avoided HIM, and he’s right next door. I can’t very well share God with the young man if my only relationship with him is adversarial.
It’s easy to stay at home with my Netflix and computer and TV. It’s easy to hang out with other believers and talk about God. But it’s not biblical to keep God to myself.
God’s been working on me in this area, and this lesson just pushed me more. I’m so thankful for Drew and Sara our leaders and for how God’s using them to touch our lives!

Next week is forgiveness. STRANGE since I just blogged about how God’s been screaming that word at me lately. 🙂

My Utmost for His Highest

Kicked off Crave ministry with a barbecue at the leader’s home this afternoon. Great fun with some amazing young adults in such an important transitional time of life.
Brian and I are so blessed to be part of the Colonial College Ministry.
Right before I started writing, I got a strange friend request from a youtube group. When I clicked on the request, I was surprised to see it dealt with something that came up in my manuscript last night. I haven’t researched the topic or anything, so I was kind of shocked.

When I prayed tonight, I thought a lot about my writing. Is it for me or is it for Him? Tat led to thought about school and parenting and even the time I spend on Facebook. I came back to this saying I hear all the time: My utmost for His highest.
But that’s a pretty big statement when you think about it.
My utmost means I give my all every day no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Some days, I definitely give my utmost. But with the budget crisis in education, I can honestly say I’ve NOT given my all also.
for His highest takes it to an even tougher level. It means that every day I give my everything to God. That I do all for His glory.
I’m soooooo far from that place most days. In fact, my reality is more My Utmost for My Highest, I think. I pray, I read God’s word, I serve in my church. BUT I don’t give my everything to Him.
Letting Go and Letting God is something I’ve prayed about for years, and I’m getting better, but I’m still not there.
My current manuscript is challenging me there. Our current study at church is, too.
My Utmost for His Highest.
I hope that I do more than say the words. I want to live them.