A Grateful Heart

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For the past few years, I have done “30 days of thankful”.   Every day in the month of November I would post something I was thankful for as my Facebook status.  My intent was to do the same this year, until I thought about an old song we used to sing in church, “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart”.  We “give” thanks with our mouth.  We speak it.     But do we mean it?

The mouth is a wild animal, often speaking before we can check the attitude of our heart.   The song title suggests that when we do give thanks, we must check to be sure that our hearts are as grateful as the mouth.   I didn’t post something every day for thirty days because I wasn’t sure that in years past my heart was sincere.   So I asked myself a difficult question, am I truly giving thanks if my heart isn’t in it?  God hears me when I talk, but he also sees my heart (I Samuel 16:7).  I don’t feel I am truly giving thanks if my heart isn’t in it.  The words of my mouth and the attitude of my heart must be the same.  Then I am truly grateful.

I made a decision to spend the days up until now thinking of things that I am truly grateful for.   Friends, I give you my heart.

I have not and will not have children come through me but I have many whom have come to me.  They enrich me, challenge me, change me, make me think, and give me more love than my heart can hold.   I am so grateful for the gift that is each one of those kids.   Lil Man- in my heart, every day, forever.

My husband- God didn’t give me what I wanted, He gave me what I needed.  And that is so much better than anything I could have ever dreamed of wanting for myself.  He isn’t perfect, and neither am I, but we make it work.  He is my teammate!

My family- all inclusive!  I am blessed to still have grandparents, and at my age that is a true gift.  I enjoy relationship with them.   My parents are such an example of marriage, dedication, and hard work. To say thanks for not giving up will never be enough.   My brother, in spite of it all, we managed to find our way.   My sister in law- truly grateful for the wife and mother she is!  My nieces, you are quite simply my world.  To the many I didn’t mention- thank you for the things you add to my life. My heart overflows because of each of you.

My friends and church family- What a blessing you each are.  It is a pleasure to laugh with you, cry with you, and live out life with you.  You are a community Michael and l have chosen, and I am happy to say we have chosen well.

Last but not least- Jesus, keeper and savior of my heart and soul without whom I would be lost.

This is my challenge to you, when you are thankful today, consider your heart, and listen to it.  What is it grateful for?b4eabf6d80bdd1a0eee5352c88d05920

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November 27, 2014. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Faithful In The Community

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Our church has a very simple mission statement: “Focused on Christ, faithful in the community.”  To be honest, when first attending LifePoint I thought the mission statement was probably just that- a statement.  It was evident the first few Sundays my husband and I attended that the church was focused on Christ. After just over one year of attendance the church is still focused on Christ first and foremost.  What I didn’t expect was to see the “faithful in the community” part of the mission statement carried out. And I have. Not just within our church community but in the surrounding community.

Our church provides meals at Grace and Grits, a ministry that serves the homeless.  A woman in our congregation cut the hair of a stay at home mom with a special needs child, and offered to do the babies first hair cut.  And she went to the house to do this so mom didn’t have to leave baby.  A homeless mom stopped by the church asking for diapers and wipes for her baby. An email was sent out and 24 hours later a mom was blessed with diapers, wipes, gift cards, and other things she didn’t expect.  My husband and I have been prayed over and supported in tough times. And that isn’t all the things I could mention.   I didn’t believe it until I seen it, but LifePoint is faithful to the community both within and outside the church walls.

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It isn’t easy. To be a church that is faithful to the community inside and outside the church isn’t without difficulty.   Here are my thoughts on why it works and what it takes.

  1.  LifePoint has Pastors that care so therefore they pass it on the congregation.   We all know our Pastors care for us; they also encourage us to care for each other.  They can’t carry the burden alone.  They devote themselves to keeping the focus on Christ so the burden of caring for each other and the community is shared responsibility.   We strive to do that.
  2. It is realized that although we are care for each other and are faithful in the community there is always room for improvement and growth.   New ways can be tried, new ministries developed, improvements made in current ministries. Healthy community is all about improvement and growth, and that is strived for.
  3. Individual growth has to happen.  A community can only improve if the members are growing as individuals.  Being focused on Christ does help to facilitate this, but we each have to make our own decision to grow spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  Healthy community has healthy people in it.  If we know we aren’t healthy inside, we need to do what it takes to become healthy.
  4. It takes authenticity and vulnerability.  Being faithful to each other and to the community outside the church means we have to be authentic, we must offer our truest self, struggles and triumphs.  This is, in my opinion, the hardest yet most important part.  If we are going to care well for each other we have to know that we all struggle and we all triumph.   Doing life together means sharing both the good and bad.  Authenticity means being vulnerable first.

Being a part LifePoint has been a wonderful experience and one I hope to continue for many years to come.  I have learned so much more about what community is and what it means to be faithful to the community.  What is community to you? How can you be faithful in your community?

November 17, 2014. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.