When we say that we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour and that we have a personal relationship with Him it really is personal. It will not be the same for each one.
Last night I did interpreting work for a Deaf couple for their Life In The Spirit Seminar with the Catholic Charismatic Community that I used to belong to. I was sooo excited to serve with the community where I was nourished spiritually and where I grew. In my mind I was thinking all out worship, the power of the Holy Spirit palpable in that place. That wasn’t exactly what happened. It felt — so different. Not what I remembered worship with that Community to be.
And yet people were blessed. The Deaf couple felt a sense of belonging with the community that they said they do not feel with their own relatives. This couple’s hearing daughter sees this Community to be the means by which she can bring her whole family back together. The couples who took care of the Youth Ministry when I was still active in service there are still very much involved, and so are a number of people from the Singles Ministry who I know. Even someone I served with in the Youth was still there. I can see that they find God in that Community. They feel a belongingness there.
And then there’s my experience with my current community. It’s a community for me, albeit I still only know a few people and I don’t attend as regularly as I used to. Still, when I am with them, I get to worship. My heart is in the worship, all out, and even during low days I am able to make that decision to lift my hands and surrender all. I was telling a friend that I know how imperfect our worship leaders are, I could just raise my eyebrow at them when they preach and not believe a word they say. But when they lead worship, when they speak, God speaks to me. I am touched. I am filled with thanksgiving, with a great love for God. I know for sure it is God’s grace and His Holy Spirit working through them…through all of us.
So whatever Community people are called to be a part of, I know God’s grace will find them there and will touch each one. He loves us wherever we are.
When I say that I have a personal relationship with my Lord, and when others share that with me, it means that we experience His love and His grace on our own terms, according to what we need. He is not one size fits all.
For 3 years now I’ve stopped listing New Year’s Resolutions and instead simplified this tradition by focusing on just one word. This came about when I chanced upon One Word 365 from one of the blogs that I used to follow. The idea is to choose a word and reflect/meditate on that for the rest of the year. Live the whole year with intention, focusing on what that one word means for you.
In the last weeks of 2015 I have been praying on what my one word for this year should be. The words I had previously chosen were MOVE and FORWARD. Was I able to live the past years according to the words I had chosen? Honestly? Not entirely. 😦 I chalk that up to forgetting about the part where I commit to living out my year with intention and focus on the word I’ve chosen. And I commit to making this year different. The word I choose is going to be my commitment to my God and to myself. Which is why I was cautious in making a choice for my ONE WORD.
And yet, no matter how I wanted to proceed with caution and choose a safe word (like joy or hope or faith) it was a different word that resonated with me.
Hmmm…Lord, SOAR? Are you sure this is what you want for me in 2016? I mean, I can barely run a 5k and you want me to soar?
My Father God believes in me more than I believe in myself, apparently. And I believe in Him. So SOAR it is. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for me.
How about you, friend? Do you have a one word for 2016? 🙂
Have a blessed and abundant year ahead. 🙂
I was about 8 or 9 years old when my parents brought me to my first Life in the Spirit Seminar with a Catholic Charismatic Community. There were other seminars and communities that followed over the course of the years. It’s been about 30 years since I became part of the renewal movement but it has never been easy. Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said that in following him we would have to pick up our cross. Mine isn’t light and it only gets heavier over the years.
The past few years have been challenging, to say the least. And there have been times when I’ve thought about putting down that cross and just living life the easiest way possible. But no matter how hard things get, there is still comfort in knowing that I have a loving God who will wrap me in his embrace and who will provide me with all that I need even before I know I need it.
Last week I was supposed to serve at a prayer gathering (I wasn’t able to but that’s another story) and this song was part of the line-up. I haven’t stopped listening to it since. It’s on a loop on my Spotify account. I’m sharing below the YouTube video of Touch The Sky sung at Lakewood Church.
And this is the story behind the song…
…I found my life when I laid it down…I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground…everything I am reaching out to surrender…
Really, that’s been His message for me all this time. Surrender. Surrender not as giving up but acknowledging that He is in control. Even if most of the time it doesn’t feel that way.
It’s only a Tuesday! The week is still ahead of us and whether you have it all planned out or are dreading the tons of things you have to get done just have a great week. God has you covered. 😉