Origin Church crew ventures out today giving out 40 plus bags of love to tornado victims. Our hope and goal is just when it seems all the giving is over, a bag of love shows up on their doorstep. We are also set to give out gift cards to Home Depot and Walmart today! God, lead us to the right places!!!
Seasons are funny things. God may be speaking or He may be having us just sit back and wait. It’s hard for any of us to wait…especially when we want God to use us and we believe He has something big in store, however, what if God has used us in the mightiest way ALREADY? Are we o.k. with that? It should be fine if that is so! He will always use us, but in different degrees. If our focus is on the magnitude of use rather than the moldability of the use, we will be disappointed at certain stages of life. God NEVER stops using us, IF, we are available! His choice of scale never deifies His love for us!
Death is a funny thing. To our family, that know Christ, we often mention it and the fact that no one who loves and lives for Christ is upset with the thought of dying. In other words, it has a very positive outcome and resemblance to us in the Craven home and extended family. However, in thinking about it, as you look around at family, we all KNOW that it is inevitable one day for ALL of us, but nobody really talks about it and there is no real need to. I guess my wonder, sometimes is, how do each of us feel deep down inside? If we knew we were dying soon, how would our demeanor change? How would we act and react? Would any one of us be scared? Would we be able to live with passion in the time we had left? Or, would we just shut down, be totally torn apart and dysfunctional? One thing about family is, you don’t want any of them to hurt.
And so, it is nice to know that family might feel and say something like this, before and after: “Don’t ever wonder how I feel. I am about to soon go on to my eternal home. I will miss you all, but this is the next step, the next stop, and the destination we’ve all been looking forward to. It’s why we’ve lived our lives for something bigger than ourselves. I will miss making new memories with you all, but with every fiber of my being, I have loved the ones we’ve made, the fun times, the big family gatherings, the laughs, and the joys of living life with you, but I’m fine…I’m ok…I’m just taking an early flight…you are coming later and I’ll see you there. I’ll still be with you in spirit everytime you get together and everyday of your life. I know you will always be thinking of me too. So, that’s a win for all of us. If there is any regret at all, it will be that we can’t talk verbally like we always have, but, that, too, is for a short season. As you continue to talk to God everyday, He’ll give me the message, and I will SEE you soon. Bring as many people as you can with you…it’s unbelievable here.”
For those closest to me, I don’t like to think about it, but it is REAL…it lies dormant today, but comes alive one day. I encourage all of us to prepare our minds today. It will make the journey much easier.
“Not yet, Lord, too much to do for you here. We continue to work hard for you. Lots of people to reach; give us some more time. We are loading up as many as we can! Love you!”
Oftentimes church and church people are so judgmental. I’m one of those that has been around church all my life, but have been rarely impressed. I can even remember when I was younger and going, I was often bored to death. I knew there had to be the real, authentic, and transparent Christ-followers and churches out there, but it was rarely found. One place I did find it was Metro Bible Study at Mount Paran Church back through the 80′s. It impacted my life. It was alive with real people doing real life together, failures, victories, and all. You know why it worked for so many: Transparency and authenticity, no haughtiness nor judgmentalism, but truth spoken in love, and acceptance of people right where they were in life.
If we’ve somewhere talked along the way or you are finding this blog because one of our team has shared Origin Church with you, you have finally discovered a group of people who love you just like you are and know this: We exist for far away from God, agnostic, atheistic, religious, good, unsure of a belief system people who just haven’t seemed to gel in a church of any kind. You don’t have to change for us! We understand you! This thing at Origin is all about one thing: Relationships! We believe God has this big and great plan for your life and we’d like to help you discover it. We get where you are because a lot of what you don’t like or are unsure about, most of us have been too at some time or another. We don’t have all the answers! You’ve got questions, so do we! We’re on a journey of discovery! Listen, you could literally come, enjoy the vibe of the environment we have created, meet new friends, feel at home, and never, ever “get-it” about this thing of Jesus Christ, and we’d still love you, befriend you, want our families to be close, and never miss a beat in doing life together. That, our friends, is the truth!! We’ll prove it to you!
One of our greatest desires is to serve our city and add value to it, hoping that service will launch an initiative that explodes around the world for the care and concern for others. Hey, we’re not yet in a position (financially speaking) to help others; we’re launching a new church. But, we’re doing it anyway. We’re a partner for another church launching like this in Las Vegas, giving away to our city at Christmas parades and Haunted houses, searching for ways we can give of ourselves to the school systems in a mentoring role to students without fathers, and it’s only just begun. The people that make up the launch team at Origin Church are giving, unselfish, servant-hearted people who join with me in desiring to be a part of love, “crazy-compassion,” and meeting real needs. Jesus spent more time meeting physical needs than He did doing anything else; that’s us!
An old gentlemen once sat around the long thanksgiving dinner table staring at his large family and said, “Look to your left and right because these are the people that will love you and be there for you, all your life, unconditionally.” Nothing more important than family! We have one that we’re very proud of! Hope you do! If not, make yours that way, starting right now! If you’re single, know that God has a big plan for you to experience this kind of love…you are not alone. Use this time to get so happy with just you and Him. If you’re married and just existing, God has ways…you hang in there! Make a list today of every single thing you are thankful for. You’ll have a different perspective on life starting tomorrow!