*Singing* “Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your naaaame. And they're always glad you caaame. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name”
Oh, singing the theme song to Cheers today is so befitting, I’ll tell you why =)
I stopped into my favorite neighborhood Starbucks early this morning and spent the day with them. (So much work to do) It's been a while since I've been here and so I was greeted with the question, “Where you been?” by several different baristas.
They checked in with me, they knew my usual, and they showed they cared even if they really didn't. Lol.
When I ordered something different than my norm they looked at me crazy and said, “What's wrong with you, what are you going thru, this ain't normal for you."
This is after a good six months of NOT coming to this particular location. No other Starbucks has taken the time to get to know me like this one. No matter how many times I've frequented.
Here's the point...True community, it always brings you back!
We are all looking for people to relate with, to trust, to share with even if we are consciously attempting to
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT
Most of my early mornings are spent at one of two of my neighborhood Starbucks. In this season it seems to be about one of the only places I can get anything done. I’ve learned a couple of things from my frequent visits. One, it’s quite an expensive office space and two it’s a great meet up spot.
There are a group of adults that meet in one of these locations daily. Between 7:30am and 10:00am you’ll see them file in and engage in whatever conversations come up. There’s no agenda, there are no plans, just a go with the flow interaction that obviously is life giving in some way because they keep showing up!
From what I’ve learned they don’t make phone calls and say what time they will be there, they don’t call to see who is or who isn’t going to make it, they just show up! This means that sometimes one will get there while everyone else is leaving or you’ll hear, “hey we missed you yesterday!” at someone else’s entrance.
It reminds me of how important interactions with like-minded individuals are. Many of us try to go this life alone without the support of anyone else. We have moments of wanting to be around people then moments of isolation but the truth of the matter is we need relationships with others. We need people to tell us when we are doing right and wrong, we need people who will pray for us, we need people to just sit and laugh with, we need people that we know are going to be there everyday if needed, and we need to know that we can be that for someone else.
This Starbucks group comes together with a common goal: hang out and enjoy coffee. They argue about ideas, they laugh, they partake in food and drinks, and they go home filled up.
This is how it should be in the church. Whenever we gather we should have a common goal, hang out in order to get the word, encourage one another, allow debate to lead to growth, and be prepared for application when we leave.
Sadly many of us avoid the church. The reasons for this run the gamut from legit church hurt to just having other things that occupy our attention. The reality is, the church should be a place of refuge. It should be a place that you know whenever you show up there will be someone there to talk to, someone to laugh with, someone to cry with, someone to encourage you, someone to sit with you, and someone to study the word with you.
If there is anything you can do to strengthen your ties with people in the community of faith, do it! Join a group, plan a monthly meet up, attend Bible study weekly, or go to other events that happen on your church’s campus. There is too much going on in the world around us and in our own homes to be disconnected from the very people that can help us stay connected to our true source.
If you’ve been running from the church I pray that God will lead you to one that can help to heal whatever area that caused you to run. If you’re in the church but have just decided to be anti-social, I pray that He will send you just the right individuals to encourage you and walk with you on this journey with Christ. Being connected to the right people is oh so worth it!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mark 3:24-25
Why does the enemy keep us fighting? I’ll give you two reasons:
1) We will fall apart
2) Others won’t see Jesus
A house divided cannot stand. If we continue to fight with each other we will continue to tear ourselves down as an entity. When a house is divided in any type of way, no one trusts the others, love diminishes, and our power to flow in the power of godly love becomes non-existent.
Right now we have family members against family members, congregations against their Pastors, the church against the world, and the church against itself.
The enemy keeps us fighting because if we remain united as a body, in God, resting in His love and the wisdom of the directives He gives us, then the world would believe Jesus was sent in love for them. The world would begin to see that His love for us is like the Father’s love for Him, pure and undeniable and they couldn’t help but to be attracted to Him and the grace that He brings. (Please see John 17:22-23 below). Satan wants no parts in that.
Anything Satan can do to prevent this he will. He’ll use text messages, social media, petty interactions, and whatever
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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