Over at Kate Krull's blog, she's been hosting "Fun Fridays" for many weeks now. I've been looking forward to this specific one, because she asked us to share "where you worship."
My family and I attend Water's Edge Church on the Virginia Peninsula. They have three separate locations [Yorktown, Hampton and Newport News], and you can also watch the services online at: http://www.watersedgechurch.net/watch/
I love being a part of a church that welcomes everyone with open arms; a church that acknowledges that we are not perfect. We sin ... again and again [and again and again]. There is no pressure to be "perfect" there. Everyone dresses casually and comes as they are. It's not a "traditional" church with a steeple, but the contents for an amazing place of worship are all there.
Because it isn't "traditional," people do judge it. Unfortunately, that judgement is usually passed by other Christians. But we have found a home there; it is our refuge from the imperfect lives that we all live.
This morning, Pastor Stu Hodges talked about the tension that arrives from a "Perfect/Imperfect Contradiction." The Bible clearly states that God wants us to be perfect. Yet, we are imperfect.
We get frustrated and yell at our children and others. We form unhealthy habits. We disrespect our spouses. We do imperfect things. And this creates a contradiction.
Pastor Stu read John 1:42: "And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter)."
That's kind of weird, right? Jesus decided to change Simon's name to Peter. Stu acted out randomly changing a guy's name from Frank to Larry, and it was pretty hillarious.
But then his point hit home: Simon meant "shifty," and in fact, Simon had refused Jesus many times before. But Peter meant, "a rock."
Like Jesus changed Simon, He also changes us. He gives us definition and reminds us of who we really are.
Pastor Stu shared the sweetest father's day gift that his children made for him earlier this year. They wrote down some of their favorite memories and lessons learned from their father. They wrote things like: "You're the greatest dad" and "You're the best Pastor in the world."
Pastor Stu said that he didn't believe that he was the greatest dad, or the best pastor in the world. But his children did. And that was an important reminder.
God thinks no differently of us. Sometimes, we forget who we are simply because we let our actions define us. When we’re tempted to act in a way that is not consistent with who we are, we can ask God to help us make wise choices. Who we are, should define what we do [not the other way around].
More times than I can remember, God reminded me who I was -- especially in the last year.
At times, I thought I was weak. Or a bad mother. Or a bad wife. I couldn't care for my family like I had in the past. I felt guilty about how my health affected my abilities. I would get upset, mad and frankly, my misery needed some company. I felt so imperfect. But I managed to pull myself out of those self-defined moments, because God reminded me who I am.
I am a good mother and wife. I am strong. I want to be an unstoppable force. I want to be helpful. I want to be thankful in all circumstances.
Because I am imperfect, I will lose sight of myself. But He won't.
These weekly reminders are so important to me. I'm so thankful for my church.
If you are imperfect, if you are looking for a place to worship, or if you are just curious -- I highly suggest that you check out Water's Edge Church.
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. -- Ephesians 2:19-22