What about faith?

Are you a person of faith? At Life Community we are having a conversation right now centered on what we are calling Faith Transitions. We’re committed to spending a minimum of four Sundays developing an understanding of what faith is and why faith matters. It’s a start as we consider what life can become when and if one’s faith begins to transition, to grow, to transform one’s life.

Are you a person of faith? My first thought would be of course you are! I believe everyone has faith, it’s part of a person’s worldview. Without it life would be an improbable if not impossible journey to undertake. We all practice faith in our own way. 

Merriam-Webster is of some help when it comes to a basic description of faith; Faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. How does that fit with you? I like it as a baseline, a place to start. I hope that is okay with you as well. Stay with me, it’s going to get deeper.

Are you a person of faith who lives as if you have complete trust in someone you’d call “God”? At Life Community we have always begun our pursuit of God through a Conversation which leads to a Connection, which invites us into a Community. Those 3 steps are always being recycled in our lives because when it comes to FAITH, we all have a lot to experience. And for some reason, God has chosen to draw us together in community so that we can encourage one another as we wrestle with faith itself.

I have attended churches that have a list (sometimes a very long list) of things you have to DO in order to maintain your Christian faith. 

Jesus seems to have had a different perspective. He called people to follow him in order to experience 

Who he is, 

How he roles, 

Why he is focused (not on lists to DO) but on How God has created you to BE so that you can come fully alive to Who you are. 

When was the last time you felt this way about WHO YOU ARE?

Now, I’ve been following Jesus for over 50 years. During this journey here’s one thing I am certain of. Becoming who I was made to BE is the only way for me (or you) to ever DO what I (or you) need to be doing. When DOING overwhelms BEING in the Church (which it has in many churches) Christianity loses people who know better. I’ll get into WHY that makes sense in an upcoming blog, but for now I’ve got a conclusion to write.

Most of the people I hang out with are:

  1. Not Christians
  2. Christians who have left the Church because of Rules and Regs
  3. Christians following Jesus in order to discover life to the full
  4. Friends I have made who are interested in knowing more about why I am following Jesus.

After 30 years of ministry in the Church I have never felt so free to BE me. And having walked in this way with others @ Life Community Church, I am convinced beyond everything else that this is WHY LCC is still here in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Hopefully, you’ll give me some time to make this case. My goal is to post twice a week during this June /July series. Before I close, I’d like to invite you to join us on a Sunday morning during this current series on FAITH TRANSITIONS. We stream to Facebook live every Sunday at 10:15. Like our page Life Community Church for the service to show up in your feed. 

Don’t forget to leave a comment and/or share this blog site with a friend.

MC

THE INTENTIONAL LIFE OF SUSTAINABLE RELATIONSHIPS

Thanks for your responses to the Monday post – What Is 46 Years Worth? Lynda and I are into our third day of celebrating our forty sixth year together.  We began doing this not too long ago for anniversaries and birthdays. Try it, seven days is a heck of a lot better than one day, plus you’re not under some outdated time restraint. Who needs those?

Today, as I write from my Study in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant, I am looking forward to this follow up post about Sustainable Relationships. First, let me report that Lynda and I are still together and grateful that we are, especially having been sheltered in place with each other for almost two months!

One of the most unexpected results of growing old with one another is that when you reach a certain age you realize there is nothing that can separate you short of death and of course death, as many know, lost its power when Jesus was resurrected. Now, if you’re not a follower or a fan of Jesus please do not leave this somewhat brief post as you might find inside of it something of value.

Look, couples should never forget that each tomorrow we live into will in someway be different from yesterday. I had brought up this word in Monday’s post which may have been missed and so I will rebuild it into our conversation here. That word is intention and it should command our attention. Hokey, right? Keep reading.

Intention has kept Lynda and I together for 16,792 days. And the word itself may seem pedestrian at first glance but we’d be wrong to define its impact so quickly.

Over the course of our journey it has been intention that has salvaged our marriage the day after a 10 round fight that left us both reeling and running to our respective corners. You probably know what that’s like, as anyone, who is truly in love, finds within themselves this counterintuitive thought that only love could inspire. That thought; to live is to love, and to love is to honor, and to honor is to REMAIN. It’s as simple as that. 

I heard this at a conference I had attended and have used it alongside Lynda in the FOCCUS program we have taught to couples for over twenty years. Some of you reading this will remember it because it is quiet simply hilarious. On the evening we talk about forgiveness when it comes my time to speak I stand in front of the audience and say to the them; “I’d like to share with you why Lynda and I are still married. Anytime we get into a fight, one of us says to the other, Lynda I’m sorry.”

It occurs to me that people who have bought into Jesus’ (there I go again) offer in John 10 to; give us life and describes that life to be abundant, are people who desire a life that is overflowing with life. Whenever we talk about  Sustainable Relationships @ Life Community we define it as: A Life that Gives Life. 

If we are not intentional about living A Life that Gives Life, then we should not be surprised at the other life we have chosen. We need only examine the investment we have made in our relationships, friendships, and marriages to get a true picture of where we are. All three will take up the majority of your life, but done well, they will also become a testimony for a life lived well. 

Lynda and I have spent countless hours building friendships and have come to find that it is this, this longing to converse, connect, and be in community with others that have made the life we chose, to be the life we are living still. It is not merely a piece of who we are, it is what we have given our lives to. The journey with others on this road to Life!

With no regrets (there could have been a few?) we continue. And for now, you are a part of this life we live. And for that, we are grateful to you all. With no regrets!

This weekend I will post another article about the book we are laboring through entitled – PARTICIPATION – An Invitation to Life. 

Let’s continue this conversation then.

God’s peace to you all,

MC

ON BEING THANKFUL

Here’s a short Thanksgiving post to all of you who visit my Blog. It comes from my heart so don’t say anything to hurt me okay. But, please, by all means, comment or add to this mini post your thoughts on not just this holiday but giving thanks for life in general.

There are many things like events, toys, opportunities, etc., etc., which we find ourselves thankful for on a daily basis. We know that we have a feedback loop which dumps that awesome chemical serotonin into our brain creating feelings of happiness when we’ve experienced something that makes us happy. We know this because this has happened at times to all of us. Like right now you might be feeling a sense of goodwill because Mike is taking time out of his Thanksgiving holiday to say to me he is thankful for me.

Well, you’d be right, I am taking time to do just that, but the point isn’t just to say to you how grateful I am to have you in my life.

The point is to say how your being in my life has changed me, challenged me, taught me, encouraged me, supported me, inspired me………. I could go on and on, but this is a mini blog today!

You people – you individually have spoken into my life through your own lives what it literally means to be alive and to embrace life day by day with thanksgiving.

That’s it. You have been a part of making me, ME! And for that contribution from you I say to myself, to my God, and to each of you 

THANK YOU!!

God’s peace,

MC 

Day 682

Sorry for the absence but these last 5 weeks have been consumed by preparation for a long awaited court date. As many of you know, our family has spent most of the last 682 days crawling forward as we continue to seek answers to the shooting death of our son Bryan. The journey is far from over, but next week, we have an opportunity to face the confessed gunman. Imagine what that might be like? A good piece of our time has been spent preparing ourselves for Wednesday, November 13, 2019. It will be Day 682 of our tragedy. Though it’s just one day it seems to encompass an entire lifetime.

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to speak at New Song Church over on Daniel Island. Inside of that message I placed this reminder from Jesus which John, the Gospel writer included in his book. It was a reminder to me and those who had gathered that morning to hear our story. Perhaps it is familiar to you or maybe you have never heard it until today. 

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

That first statement has been born out by all of us to be absolutely true. No one gets a pass on trouble. In fact, you and I at times seem to be experts at creating trouble in our own lives, our own family, and our own relationships.

I have returned to that verse time and time again because I am fascinated by that exclamation point which follows the word heart because it engenders this thought of hope. I was having lunch just the other day with my favorite Millennial Landis, who opened up a conversation about that word hope. In our back and forth on the matter we asked this question out loud; What would life be without hope

For me, I believe that Jesus’ thought process here in these two statements are critical to a life well lived in spite of trouble or tragedy or loss. During my own journey (which has never been just my own journey because so many of you guys have walked with me), I have listened and learned a truth about life I had never appreciated. 

The truth about loss is the truth about love because suffering is the test of love. Until you lose someone you will never know fully how much you loved them. 

I’m going to shut up for today and as always I hope you might have some thoughts yourself specific to this post. If so let’s start our own conversation. You never know who we might impact!

MC