Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday QB

This Sunday my family visited a different church, Victory Church. Our home church is about 40 minutes from our where we live, so we sometimes fantasize about finding a church nearer, especially when gas prices go up. Another downfall of one's church home being so far away is when friends ask for help finding a church, you don't want to invite them to your church long term but help them find one that works for them. And sometimes it is also just fun to worship the same God with a bunch of people who are at once strangers and family.

So, today's adventure started with rain...the kind that makes you want to stay in bed. After meeting with the kids for the usual breakfast and g babe snuggles, we set off. Tiersa mumbled that she didn't like trying new things as we walked thru the parking lot to the front doors. For a moment, fear crept in. What if we aren't dressed right? What if we don't know any songs? I shrugged off the "what ifs" knowing that my Father is the Father of all of us. If I knew that, might they not also?

Before getting to the message, I need to give Victory 2 props. The chairs were the most comfy and relaxed of any church I have visited and tho they were "modern" they had a little pocket in the back of the one you faced to put papers. And the second thing, my son and I were checking out the crowd and we both noted how many men were worshiping...not just hanging out, but hands out stretched to God. Probably 2/3 of the crowd were grown men! Amazing!

Ok, well the message was a familiar Sunday school story...Daniel 3...the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego, three friends who refused to give into peer pressure, got throw into a furnace, God showed up and they were saved from being burnt alive. These guys would've had no pre-church jitters.

Well, that is the Sunday school version, but what about the version for where I am today? Pastor Curt reminded me that these three friends actually had other names-Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah but the king had changed their Hebrew names for Babylonian names to weaken their sense of self and community.

What other names do we have? Lazy? Stupid? Average? Amount to nothing? Crazy? What names whisper at you breaking your confidence, taunting you in your darkness?

I hear this whisper accuse me of being crazy...that seeking God is being weak and wanting comfort from ancient mythology, that finding Him on my path is seeing what I want, that I think about things that no one does, that I am different. Then at other times, if that doesn't work, it hisses that no one wants to read the stuff I write, that it is BS, that it is arrogant, that it is bland and uneducated.

But, like the three friends, I am counting on our God, "...If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:17-18)


Well, my translation would read: "...if I end up alone and shunned by others, the God I serve is able to save me from all ridicule and he will rescue me from my accuser. But even if he does not, I want you to know, father of lies, that I will not take your taunts and allow them to determine my destiny. God alone determined my destiny long ago, and you cannot change that!" Or something like that.

Of course there was lots more to the message, but that is what snagged my spirit. It amazes me still that this Book of old stories and other people's evidence of God is so alive and so pertinent to me today. I continue to seek God in His Word, and as I learn more about Him, I find I rest in Him a little more. I want His Truth to be my Truth, and I want His Victory to be mine.

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