Church…we ARE Plan A there is no Plan B

3 Simple Reasons why Church is God’s Plan A.

Here are three simple reasons why “church” is GOD’S plan A and there is no plan B in God’s book. Why we must stop kicking and screaming and questioning God’s plan. It is He that is in change. It is HIS salvation gift to us. It is His death that paid the price…NOT OURS!

1. Church is plan A because God tells us NOT to forsake the gathering of ourselves together as believers. This is one of those hot buttons of the day and yes, I am going to talk about it! First, I’d like to say that I am truly sorry if you have been hurt, offended, or even abused in any form by the church as a whole. This is WRONG!! This is not pleasing, honoring, or glorifying to the Lord nor is it not His plan for His church.

But may I ask you a question? Have you ever bought something from a store, like meat, and got home to find out that it was bad? Did it stop you from buying meat for the rest of your life? 

Have you ever had food poisoning from a restaurant? Did that stop you from ever eating out again? Most likely NOT! 

SO…why is it when something “bad” at church happens we lump them all together and vow the mother of all vows that ALL Christians are hypocrites, ALL churches are filled with liars, cheaters, hypocrites, and rotten filthy sinners and we are never going back. 

I want to stop right here. I understand, I know I talk with ladies who have physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually been abused by family members, unbelievers as well as believers. None are right. None should have happened (mine included), but we live in a sin-filled world and we have a choice. Yes, we have a choice even in the midst of our greatest pain, sorrow and trial. Will I use this situation to grow closer to my Heavenly Father or will I take it and grow bitter by the the day.

So often, I see “church” used as an excuse and see bitterness grow by the day and the choice to live in disobedience to God spiral from that one choice! 

The bitterness will take you farther than you ever excepted to go. 

Regardless of what enters of life, we are accountable before Christ. When we use people as an excuses to not obey Christ, we justify our own actions and guilt to make ourselves feel better. 

I have another question to ask you. I am assuming you got over your food poisoning or got over that purchase of “bad meat.” If I opened your refrigerator door, I would find it full or at least part-way full and would come to find out that you have feasted on many meals “outside” of your home. You didn’t grow bitter at the “bad” meat. You didn’t call the store a hypocrite. You didn’t hold a grudge. You didn’t allow bitterness, people, or excuses from stopping you from shopping or eating, did you??!!

So why the double standard? Using people, excuses, our own bitterness and unforgiveness to NOT obey God is sin. If you are a child of God, you are part of plan A…you are not doing your part. You are needed, but you are choicing to missing out on God’s plan A. 

Because Matthew 18 wasn’t practiced like it should have been when the offense happened, sadly, you are hurting yourself, the church, fellow believers, unbelievers, and you are hurting the cause of Christ…for what “bad meat?” That didn’t stop you before!

Reconcile that “bad meat” even if the other party doesn’t want too! Make it right before God on YOUR end!! Go and confront that offense! Seek and be ye reconciled. Forgive.

I speak from experience! I have “abuse” in my background. What kind I will not speak of at this time, but believe me when I tell you, I know! I know what I feels like, how it hurts, the anger, bitterness, the confusion, the spiral effects. But I also know the healing power of God in ones heart and life. I know the comfort and release of walking in obedience to the Father and it is worth it all! I would do it a thousand times over!

It is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it is one of the most spirit-freeing (bondage releasing) God+you experience you will ever do, because when you walk in trust and obedience, God blesses! You NEVER go wrong walking in obedience to Christ….NEVER!

Hebrews 10:25

2. The very second you accepted Christ as your personal Savior, He gave you at least one spiritual gift, at least one. You may have more! Do you know your spiritual gift or gifts? Do you know God wants that gift or gifts to be used? Yeppers, you guessed it! For Him, for His Glory in His Church! 

I hear the question already, can you use your God-given gift in other places? Sure! But the primary place is where He wants, within His Church. Again, this is not our plan or trying to make our plan work…this is God’s plan. We either obey and do or not!

I Peter 4:10-11

3. Church is Plan A because it is the only plan! We are to be proclaiming, mouthpieces, ambassadors, of what and who God is and what He has done for us to everyone soul we come in contact with. To fail to accomplish the great commission is to live in disobedience to Christ. 

Matthew 28:18-20

  • The bottom line is this: God’s Word is clear. The choice is in your hands…your heart.
  • How will you choose to walk before the very God who gave you your eternal life? 

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Dozing Church…”zzzzzzz”

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[excerpts from Causes of a Dozing Church | A.W. Tozer]

What is the present condition of the evangelical church? The bulk of Christians are asleep. I do not mean that the bulk of Christians who come to evangelical churches are not converted, because if I meant that I would say they were dead and never had been born again. But I say they are asleep. It is possible to be morally asleep yet mentally, intellectually, physically and theologically alert.

The present condition is that we are asleep. These sleeping Christians do two things that God must grieve over. One is that they control church affairs. We are democratic, and if we do not like a pastor we give him the bounce or pray that he will get another call. Then when the time comes we vote in whom we want and vote out whom we do not want. Church people control church affairs because they are intellectually, mentally and physically awake, but they may be morally and spiritually asleep. That is, they are so far down in the rut that they do not see up.

Many people who are asleep control church affairs. It gets into whole conferences. Representatives will meet at the expense of the local church people. They will read minutes and pass resolutions, but they are asleep. You know they are asleep by the way they talk as soon as the benediction is pronounced and they have adjourned. You know they are asleep by their conduct, the things they are interested in or lack interest in, yet they control church affairs.

The second thing sleeping Christians do is set the standards for new Christians. When you bring in a newly converted Christian, he or she automatically takes on the coloration, general mood and temperature of the solemn seats around him or her. Pretty soon he or she is where they are, and once again there are no good examples of the Christian life.


  • Revelation 3:14-16 says, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” 
  • Matthew 7:16-17 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (also see verses 20-25; 16:24; 10:38).
  • Isaiah 29:13 ” Then the Lord said, Because this people draw near with their words, and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverance for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,”
  • Titus 1:16 “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?”
  • Huge warnings for us to look at ourselves–daily heart checks in order

 

 

Missionaries & Pastors

Sometimes you came across an article that is so good that you just cannot not share. This is one of them. It was written by Amy Medina. Personally, I have never meet Amy but through reading her blog I can relate to her in many aspects. For some, this article may or may not hit every aspect of missionary life, that is not the point. She does an excellent job expressing being on the field. I appreciate that.

What we need is fellow believers falling on their knees before our Lord upholding one another in prayerfully consideration and ask ourselves what can we do and be honest about what we are not doing for our missionaries as a church and as individuals.  

After reading Amy’s blog I began to ponder on a few things. First, as believers in Christ we all are “missionaries.” In First Corinthians 5 it says we are ambassadors of Christ. Second, there is another kind of family that is also a ‘missionary’ that often is overlooked or unseen as one. We tend to forget or maybe just grow comfortable with then take for granted — intended or not. I am talking about the Pastor and his family. I read a Facebook post today that said this:

“Before you judge your Pastor, imagine you are the Pastor and you have to deal with a church full of people like you…every day!

Now, pray for your Pastor…every day!”

I chuckled at first, then grew quickly saddened knowing how true this statement really was. We have heard the replies, “But you don’t know my Pastor” or “You don’t know the Pastor I had 20 years ago.” Believe me, we have first handedly seen the destruction of sinful things pastors have done to congregations; we have also seen awful things congregations have done to pastors and their families. Both are wrong.

To God’s glory, we have been given the opportunity to help churches over the years through some mighty hard situations. So please understand me when I write that I do understand both sides, but this never negates or replaces our personal responsibility before God to obey Him and His Word…NEVER! Before God it is not an excuse. We are accountable for our actions and responses. If we have been hurt, if we have a bitter filled heart, if we have been offended or hurt, unforgiveness fills us, whatever the case may be…it is our responsibility to get it right before God and that person. Leaving the baggage of sin at the proper doorstep brings freedom to your soul. 

Our God-given gifts are to be used in the church (I Cor. 12; Rom. 12; Eph. 4; I Cor. 13). If you are not using them we are living in disobedience to God. We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25). If you are not actively serving and worshipping the Lord within our local church then we are in direct disobedience to God. It is that simple – this is just two examples. It is how God sees it. Either God is on the throne of ones life or He is not.

Oh but when a church is God-blessed with a Pastor who has the calling of God upon his life to shepherd and preach the Word; and one who seeks God whole heartedly first above all; and one who is God-leading the flock to the best of his abilities; that is a precious gift from God. It must brake God’s heart when a church fails to see this authority blessing and chooses to reject their Pastor. This ought not to be. For failure to follow and choose to reject with an unsubmissive spirit to God’s man kills the church. 

Are we, the church as a whole and individuals, supporting our Pastor and his family? Are we daily prayerfully supporting them in word and deed as they daily fight against spiritual and physical battles (many are related to you as a congregation), or are we to busy rejecting his leadership and trying to control him because of our own fear, past, or spiritual sickness. 

When we rebel against authorities, which include God’s man, we rebel against God Himself.  

We kill the church when we are unsupportive to our Pastor and reject his family.

We forget that our Pastor is our first missionary to our home field. They are our first responders. Many have moved their families to your land and left their home towns out of love for God and you! Just as our dear precious missionary families are entering into countries to share Christ, labor for the Lord, and give of their lives because of love for people; likewise your Pastor and his family has for YOU. How are you responding?

In Christ I Am S.H.E. {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}


Below is Amy’s Blog & Bio. {enjoy}


I wrote you a newsletter today. I told you about the success in our ministry, about the lives being touched and the happy stories. Everyone was smiling in all the pictures. But there is so much more I wish I could tell you.

I wish I could tell you that lots of times I feel like a total failure. I’ve asked you to pray for the Big Event, or the Camp Sign-Ups, or the Grand Opening. You might not realize that afterwards, I don’t always tell you how it went. That’s because sometimes, despite weeks of hard work and lots of prayer, the event is a total flop. Five people show up. Or no one.  And I can’t bring myself to tell you.

Then there’s the time when I realize that I’ve hurt a national friend. Or a missionary colleague and I are having a huge conflict. Or I’ve made a major cultural mistake. Or I’m just not learning this language. Or everything blows up in my face. There are many, many times when I wonder why I’m here, or if I really am the right person for this job. But I’m afraid to tell you, because then I think you will wonder why I’m here or if I am the right person for this job.

I wish I could tell you about my personal struggles. Sometimes I feel like you make me out to be more spiritual than I am, but I wish you knew that becoming a missionary didn’t turn me into a saint. In fact, sometimes I think it brings out the worst in me.  I wish I could tell you about the immobilizing depression or the fights with my spouse. I wish I could tell you that my anxiety was so bad that I needed to travel to another country to see a professional counselor. I wish I could tell you about that time my friend was robbed at gunpoint in his home, and I couldn’t sleep for weeks afterward.

I wish you knew that I hate it here sometimes, and there’s nothing more I want than to go home. But I know I need to stay, so I don’t tell you because I’ve heard the stories of friends forced to go home because they confided in the wrong person. I don’t tell you because I can’t imagine you would want to support such a flawed person.

I wish I could tell you about the perks. We live in an exotic place, so sometimes that means that we take our kids snorkeling the way you would take your kids to the park.  Sometimes it means that our conferences or layovers take us to exciting places like Thailand or Johannesburg or Dubai. Sometimes it means that lobster is cheap or the historic castle is just a day-trip away.

But I am afraid to tell you about these experiences, because I’m afraid you think missionaries are supposed to suffer. After all, we often live in poor countries and we always subsist on your financial sacrifice. I’m worried you will think we are being extravagant. And I’ve heard stories of missionaries who have lost support because of their vacations. I fear your judgment.

I wish I could tell you that I long for more connection with you. The first couple years were great because we got lots of care packages and Christmas letters and everyone asked us how it was going. But time goes on and people move on and we realize that we’re really not that exciting anymore. It’s hard to come home and feel like we have to be pushy for opportunities to share.  It’s hard to feel like people are intimidated to talk to us because we are so different now. Our newsletter program tells us that only 60% of our list open our email updates, which isn’t that surprising since we only get a handful of responses.

Part of that is okay because we don’t need care packages as much anymore, and you’ve made new friends and we have too. But I wish you knew how much it means to me when you remember to ask about a detail I wrote about, or when you continue to send me your Christmas letter. When we are together, it makes my day when you ask about my life in my other country—when you really look me in the eyes and want to know how it’s going.  Listening is the best gift you can give me. And the scariest part of feeling disconnected is wondering if people are still praying for us. So when you tell me that you are still praying for me, that makes all the difference.

I wish I could find a way to express how much you mean to me. Despite how hard this life can be, I have the tremendous joy of doing God’s work in the place I am called. And there is no way I could do it without your sacrifice. I hope you know how important that is to me. How important you are to me.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Your Missionary



About Amy Medina

Amy Medina has spent almost half her life in Africa, both as an MK in Liberia and now in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, since 2001. Living in tropical Africa has helped her perfect the fine art of sweating, but she also loves teaching, cooking, and hospitality. She and her husband worked many years with TCKs and now are involved with theological training. They also adopted four amazing Tanzanian kids along the way. Amy blogs regularly at http://www.gilandamy.blogspot.com.