"A Christ-centered church is not a showcase for saints but a hospital for sinners"
- Randy Alcorn, Heaven, page 35 (http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Randy-C-Alcorn/dp/0842379428/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-5380703-1512938?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191103913&sr=8-1)
Wow. not really much more to add to this except that i don't think that i have yet to find a church that speaks like this to me. i own part of that. it is (also) up to me to make it known to others what i am about and what i want the church to be about. WE are the church. the church is not a building that we go to on sundays, it's a group of people that get together on sundays (and it just so happens that they have a building and whatnot to hang out in). i'm definitely a sinner and definitely more in the hospital than in the realm of saints.
there is so much darkness inside each of us. darkness that we must fight against, rallying for the truth. we fight these battles internally every day as well as externally. each day as we head out of our residences, we head into battle, armed with the tools of Ephesians 6:10-17. it is so tough to grasp at times that we truly are battling for God EVERY day, every moment. we are being assailed by the dark one...our thoughts intertwined with darkness...being pulled down by the beautiful woman at the bank or the new computer that we can't afford at best buy. we are encouraged by some unseen being to do things that are rooted in evil, that if we let them take hold, will pull us down and keep the veil over our eyes. we must rise up. we must persevere and become greater than what we are today. this is temporary. we are all temporary and need to keep that in focus.
it continually impresses me that we can be so much more than we are. I often feel stuck in this eternal road that leads almost flat...the road to our destinies. it is so easy to get caught up in this world, to plan the big wedding, to spend money frivolously...what is greater - a new phone and a faster computer that will bring many hours of (selfish, self-centered) entertainment or financially backing a struggling christian radio station and adding on to the children's ministry at church? putting it in that kind of black and white, hit or miss comparison, it seems obvious. it's really easy to say...but freakin hard to actually DO. when the paychecks come in and the money does it's thing, seemingly disappearing from the bank on it's own...yeah. well...that's how it can go sometimes. take charge...make the conscious decision to do what you know is right. so much of life feels like sitting in a boat moving down the river. things pass...time flies by...and somehow, we just end up at the end of the river. what if God has more in store for us than that? what if God wants me to jump out of the boat at the next turn...test the waters....what then? will i jump? or will i just sit back and ride it out, knowing that there's always more grace to cover over my weakness? i keep asking God to make it more obvious to me when he's calling...but i wonder if i'm just not hearing because i'm afraid. dunno.