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Another One Bites The Dust

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It never ceases to amaze me what can happen in a week.

If you read my blog from last week, you would have read that our whole church night last week was about being there for others. It was a great night. This past Sunday, we had another great night…but this time we had more visitors than we’ve had in weeks. We had people walk in from our signs, another from the bar, guests of others, and returnees. We started up a little late thanks to the USA/Portugal soccer match, but it made for the whole restaurant to come alive – not to mention they cranked up the bar band about the same time we started church! For all those who think the music is too loud in church, you would’ve hated our night…but I loved all 110 decibels of it! We served chips with guac and hot sauce, one guy had a burger with his beer, and Garrett talked about God’s goodness amidst the walls shaking to the pounding bass of the 80’s rock classic, ‘Another One Bites The Dust’. Welcome to Your Church. Not really conventional, hardly traditional, but the guy drinking beer enjoyed it…and he opened up about his life. Connection made.

Sometimes change never comes in the form we thought it would. It’s the message Jesus was teaching people in Matthew chapter 11, after being confronted from followers of John the Baptist, wondering if Jesus was the real deal. The chapter starts with John having issues with Jesus’ methods, so much so John questions whether or not Jesus was the actual Messiah. So Jesus told them to go back and tell John, who was in prison, everything that his followers saw and heard…which were results. In other words, doing things God’s way means that sometimes it’s going to take unconventional, untraditional methods to get the Good News proclaimed; and that before you judge it to pieces, Jesus says look for the results. You see the fact is, most people (myself included) don’t always like it when methods change, especially when the method once brought success; I’m reminded of the story of the successful Swiss watch making company who refused to change with the times when everyone else was going digital. The company hung on to what once worked, and it cost them everything. I think we do the same thing in church. We hold good memories of what once brought results; so much in fact that we end up making the plants, the grand piano or the organ into a shrine. Preachers do it too, but instead they build 3 altars out of old methods and every now and then re-preach a message or two from the 18th century in hopes they get the same results as saints gone by. I’m not slamming the church but rather stating the facts; sometimes change never comes in the form we think it will.

I want to stay open to change. I used to think God was all about changing and fixing me, but I’ve come to realize that’s not true. God loves us the way we are whether we change or not, but with that said He is all about Life and living life abundantly, which means He has a vested interest in helping us do that – so He shows us His plan. If we believe the plan, than He gives us the ability to walk it out. That’s where the problem begins; not with God, but in the walking it out. In order to get to where we can experience greater life it always involves changing our way of doing business…we have to adjust our thinking and methods. Doing that isn’t easy and sometimes it’s as hard as heck. The rewards are great and there’s rewards all along the way, just as God promised…but it takes time, sweat, tears, patience and focus.

We won’t always be in a bar and grill, at least I don’t think so, but I decided to do what we should all be doing in our journey of faith – enjoying it! If you’re skeptical of Your Church and our methods than I wish I could show you what visitors write on our comment/prayer cards and you would see the results. If you stop by, you might hear some serious good rock bands on one side of the room and on the other side you’d hear the Good News being spoken, you’d watch bartenders and church people hugging each other and you’d see the love of Jesus mending the hearts of broken people; people who will probably never darken the doors of a high steeple.

Enjoy your journey! There’s no telling what can happen in a week.
Pastor Shian

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