Sundays are the best!
Growing up, I did not have this same opinion. Going to church was not fun. Yeah, I got to see my friends, but sitting for two hours on hard benches on hot summers days makes concentrating on what is coming out of the preachers mouth difficult. But then, my whole world turned upside down and we started a new church. It was more interesting and I was learning more about Jesus, which was awesome. We had so much to look forward too!
As I continued to grow up, I learned that the church that I had been going to my whole life, wasn’t the church for me. It was difficult because that church was pretty much all I knew. How was I to tell my parents that I didn’t want to be in their church?! That was a scary and very intimidating thought. This was something that I struggled with for over a year. While away on a trip to the west coast, I found out that my little brother (Trae) had already told them. (Side note:: after both my older siblings moved out, Trae and I became instant BFFs. Not like we were not before, but we did become closer). Looking back, it was kinda a blessing because I didn’t even know how to go about starting a conversation like that with my parents; despite my annoyance for my little brother.
While dating and the months following our marriage, we visited a couple different churches around where we live, as well as continuing to go to my parents church. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents church. All the people are like family to us. It just was not the right fit for us. So last September, we were talking with my aunt and uncle about this topic and they gave us church that they thought we might like to visit. AND that is how we ended up at Pond Bank Community Church.
We woke up one Sunday in the beginning of October and did something we had never done before. We went to a new church. We had been to others churches before, but always with friends or family. This was different. We went, just the two of us. I don’t know if it is because of how I was raised ( my sister has said the same thing) but going to a new church is not the easiest thing to do. So despite all the nerves and whatnot, we went! and Guess what?
It was not scary. The church members of Pond Bank are so welcoming and nice. You walk in the door and you have met a couple different people before you even enter the auditorium where services are held. It was comfortable. And Lowell even knew some people already! Leaving church that Sunday, my heart was happy.
So I think this a well known fact, but it always needs repeating; JESUS IS AMAZING!
I relearned this this morning at church. We knew going in that we were having a guest pastor from Dominican Republic (DR is how I will refer to Dominican Republic for most of the rest of this blog. My aunt and uncle and their two boys went down for a couple of years a while back and this is what they called it); David and Jewel Reyes. In January, four members from Pond Bank went down to a town in the DR for a week or so and shared about it in May. It was amazing to see all of the amazing things that they did for these people. It is truly humbling to see what little they have and are content with compared to how much we have and little content we tend to have; always wanting more.
There is so much to learn from from other cultures that we tend to not think about until it is right in front of our eyes. We recently went to Jamaica and Jamaicans are some of the nicest people I have met (as a group). They are happy no matter what. Probably most of them don’t have AC or nice houses or cars, but they don’t care. The taxi driver drove us to and from the airport and he played gospel music the whole time. I loved it. They have what they need and they are happy. It is something we need to learn from them. Something that we, as Americans find hard to do.
Anyway, back to the pastor from DR… Jewel was from a town about 30-40 minutes from where i live. She felt God was calling her to be a missionary. She got some information and met with many people and she eventually ended up going to DR. She had no idea what to expect, but God was with her (Psalm 46:5). Jewel went down there and ended up meeting her future husband, David. As she said in church today, “And the rest was history.” They ended up having two beautiful daughters (so cute. they sat in front of us this morning. The oldest just smiled and smiled at Lowell; all the girls love him). Jewel and David ended up starting a missionary for people to volunteer their time and love for Jesus to come and help the people of Dominican Republic.
So this morning, Jewel shared what they are doing in the DR at this time and how people can get involved. Then we had praise and worship time (so uplifting). Then the sub pastor introduces David R. (As he will be referred to because he talks about David and Goliath and just typing it up, I was confusing myself) to us. “He can not speak any English, so Jewel will be translating for us.” This was an amazing experience. To have someone from a different country come into our neighborhood, our church and speak to us and his native language. AMAZING! David R. talked out of 1 Samuel 17:32-40. His overall theme was “Doing something that no one has ever done before.” He talked about how David was called by God to go face Goliath. No one, not Saul, not Saul’s army, not even his own brothers could understand why he was doing this. Saul refused to let him go. Finally after David telling him he was going to go, Saul gave in with one condition. He dressed David in the army clothing and gave him a sword. David took one look and laughed. “I can’t wear this. I can’t walk.’ He removed the clothing and went on his way with five stones and a slingshot.
Now, I took three years of Spanish, but that doesn’t prepare you for completely understanding a whole sermon in Spanish. So, we are super thankful for Jewel. She laughed and had to ask what he said a couple of times, but Jewel did an amazing job because the message came across loud and clear. David R.’s main point was to let us know that it is OK to do something that no one has ever done before and God will call us to do just that! He wanted us to know that God is not going to call everyone to do the same thing; that others will not understand why you are doing what you are doing, like Saul and David’s brothers. But that is not a bad thing! God is calling you to do something because He knows that you have it in you to do what He is asking of you.
There are countless moments in The Bible where we are shown how Jesus did things that were never done before. It is fun to see how Jesus stunned the people by doing things that had never been done before. I don’t know what Jesus was thinking and I am not even going to try to guess, but I feel like Jesus loved to do things that He knew would shock the people around Him.
I just wanted to take a moment to Praise Jesus because He is so worthy of all our praise. Jesus brought David and Jewel to our church this morning and showed us how amazing He is. To bring a man who can’t speak the language of the majority of the church, but still teach a powerful amazing lesson is too powerful for me to even describe.
So don’t be afraid to do something that you have never heard of anyone else doing. It could be a God thing. “When God is with us, that is the difference.” “When God is with us, it allows us to do things that have never been done before.” Both things David said this morning. He mentioned that by doing this, we are not only do something new, we are giving the glory to God. Don’t worry if not everyone understand what you are doing; It is all part of God’s glorious and wonderful plan!
“When Jesus comes into someone’s life, there is change.”
Happy Sunday. Happy Week. Happy Thoughts.
Love you all!