Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Worth the hassle!

I hope you had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend.  We do want to thank and pray for all those who are currently serving for our freedom.  We remember those who have served and those who gave their lives so we might live freely.  We are blessed to be able to worship God openly in the USA, and we would not have that blessing and privilege if not for our wonderful servicemen and women!

When we think Memorial Day, other things may come to mind in addition to honoring those who serve our country.  We may think pool, beach, and summer time has arrived.  I know my girls were counting down the days till our community pool opened its gates.  We were so excited to get out there and find a seat on Saturday.  We splashed and played and had a wonderful time.  My youngest daughter thinks any body of water is the beach, and she has asked if we could go to the beach about 20 times today.  We were able to go back for a little while yesterday as well.  We packed a lunch and we had a few new pool toys to try out.  When it was time to head home, we had two very pouty girls.  They were not ready to leave.  Last year my youngest daughter preferred to stay home and play in the sprinkler.  This year it seems she would rather be at the "beach".

I told my husband that occasionally I felt it was too much of a hassle to go out to the pool.  I have to get the towels, pack a cooler, get out all the swimsuits and coverups, and find all pool toys.  Then we drive the ten minutes to have a couple hours of fun, only to have to come home and undo it all.  We put everything up, wash everything, and it seems like so much extra work.  Is it worth the hassle?

While debating the hassle in my head, I thought of another weekly tradition that can seem like a hassle as well...Church.

Church?  A hassle?  Surely not!  But it very well can be, at least for our family in this season of life.  Cook breakfast, get everyone dressed (including hairbows for the girls which is always so difficult to find), gather the Bibles, pack the diaper bag, make snacks and sippy cups to take, and I would like to have on a little makeup and preferably two matching shoes upon leaving the house.  Sometimes there are disagreements and sometimes downright yelling before we make the dash for the car.  We may feel frazzled before we sit down in the pew.  We go for inspiration, encouragement, and worship only to sometimes have to sit out with a little one that refuses to go to Sunday School or Children's church.  We rush home to get lunch on the table, because it is past lunch time and nap time, or we fight a crowd at a restaurant.  Hassle, hassle, hassle!!!  Is the couple of hours of worship and fellowship worth it?

In both cases...an absolutely big YES!

The pool...our children are not going to want to hang out with us forever.  Before we know it, they will be asking to go with their friends.  These are the perfect years for memory making, and the "hassle" of making any memory is well worth it.

Church...a must to grow as a follower of Christ.  We can and should worship God everyday, but what better way to start off your week than in the house of the Lord with fellow believers.  The music can lift your spirits, even when you have had a rough morning.  The message can touch your heart when you are going through the toughest trial.  The pat on the back can calm you to know that someone else is praying for you.  And if you are a mother of little ones, what better way to raise them than to know that every Sunday we are in God's house as a family learning about our Creator, no matter what!.

Today's Verse
Acts 20:32 "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified."

His grace is able to build us up.  I love that part of this verse.  We are not going to receive that building up if we are not learning about His grace that can do the building.  Luke is writing about Paul speaking to Ephesian elders before he left.  He is telling them they will never see his face again (v. 25).  He is warning them of false teachers (vs. 28-31).  He is also showing the kind of relationship we can have with fellow believers (vs. 31-38).  Bellow is what the KJV Life Application Bible has to say about verses 31-38...

"Paul's relationship with these believers is a beautiful examle of Christian fellowship.  He had cared for them and loved them, even cried over their needs.  They responded with love and care for him and sorrow over his leaving.  They had prayed together and comforted one another.  Like Paul, you can build strong relationships with other Christians by sharing, caring, sorrowing, rejoicing, and praying with them.  You will gather others around you only by giving yourself away to them."  

Yes the hassle of getting to church on time is worth it.  How else can we find a family of fellow believers to lean on during the ups and downs of our lives?  I love this picture of how important it is to fellowship with other Christians, but we have to be willing to give of ourselves.  Nothing can be more supportive for a family than to have other faithful families walking with them through the trials and hassles of life!

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