Invitation

Community.
This word is constantly rolling around in my mind. Maybe because in the last few years, I have begun to see what a major and positive impact community, and being part of one, has had on my life. I could go so far as to say that it is one of the top reasons my husband and I,
a) Love the church we attend.
b) Would be hesitant to move away.
(Even though home looks like THIS lately…
P1050652
Gah – December, and I am so done with snow! )

Every so often, I feel a tug to BE community.
Does that make sense?
I am constantly blessed with being part of a community; a family, church family, friends, etc., but I admit to not often being the initiator of community, or the inviter. For example, as someone who has attended the same church for the past few years, I should be the one saying ‘Hello’ to unfamiliar faces; I should be the one making others feel welcome; helping newcomers feel a sense of belonging.
Instead, it is almost like I’m still waiting for the invite. Like I’m the newcomer standing in the corner, hoping someone will say ‘Hi’ to me so I don’t feel painfully awkward and out-of-place.
What prompted this post in the first place, was that a ‘newcomer’ approached me; she extended an invitation to me. Said ‘Hi’ to me.
But not in church.
On my street.
I was just finishing up with shovelling the driveway, my glasses askew, my hair sticking up every which way, and my face all rosy from the cold, when a woman approached me with a card.
She wasn’t a Jehovah’s witness. She wasn’t trying to sell me anything or get me to join some club.
No.
She was simply new to the neighborhood, and was inviting ME over to her open house get together this weekend.
“Oh, how nice!” I said.  I hope it didn’t sound insincere; my social skills could use a little polishing…
Nevertheless, I think I might go. I think I should go.
I don’t know this woman. I don’t know what her beliefs are, or what her religion is. But she is opening up her home to complete strangers.
Christian or not, that’s love. That is being community.
Maybe I can learn a thing or two from her.

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God is not Dead

(I would have liked to have published this before Christmas, but since It is still within the season, I will still share these thoughts!)

December is a busy time. Some of us may find that the weeks disappear at an alarming rate, and our blood pressure beginning to spike, as we stare uncomprehendingly at the growing to-do list. Between Christmas parties, baking, decorating, cleaning, hosting, gift-buying, etc; it is no wonder some us have shot nerves!
In a world ( and month!) of Go, go, go – it is easy to forget the simple, yet powerful themes of this season:
~ Hope
~ Peace
~ Joy
~ Love
Previous years, I had found myself disappointed in the attitude of people; one of greed, self-indulgence, impatience, disrespect; the list goes on! I would always tell myself, I will never become such a person.
But this year something seemed different.
Maybe God was opening my eyes to his active, ever-present love in the lives of others. This season, I was encouraged. I saw consumers chatting cheerfully with cashiers; I saw kindness extended to strangers on more than one occasion, as a customer with a full cart, would let another with just a few items, ahead of them in line. ( Such happened to myself once or twice!) And I heard stories of generosity; people buying strangers coffee, buying strangers their groceries. A stranger paid for my sister’s fuel! ( $58 worth).
As the Christmas song says ( ‘I heard the Bells’):
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep”
It is too easy to look at all that is wrong with the world and ask “Where is God?”
I think God is alive in you and me;
If only we choose to let him be.