This is My Church

In this next week, as the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving wanes and Advent approaches, I want to share with you a few reflections. I know these thoughts will strike deeply for some because they echo the thoughts in my poem, Stepping Away, which received moving and profound comments. For others, they may raise questions or concerns. That’s okay. Sit with the thoughts, the questions, the concerns. God will respond to you through the Spirit as he always does, uniquely in his own way.

First, I am thankful I have learned to recognize my Shepherd’s voice. I am thankful I have learned to rest in him and with him. And I am thankful he chose the perfect time to open my eyes and lead me to himself. I am thankful he comforts me and grants me exquisite peace.

jesus-comfort

Second, I am thankful for my church. Not the building I visit occasionally on Sunday mornings; that is not my church. That is a place where I go to hear worship music, visit a handful of friends, and give and receive a few hugs.

My church is my home, the place where I abide in God’s love and grace and share it with others. My church is the place where I can have serious and lengthy discussions about doubt and the Spirit without worrying about how I’m dressed or how many tattoos I have or whether what I say is wrong or right according to legalistic doctrine.

My church is anywhere I can speak about being awed by the wonder and mystery of God in my life, can reveal the tears of joy he brings to my eyes and never be ashamed or feel awkward at the sheer glory of his light warming my heart.

My church is here with you, where I’ve felt safe enough to present poetry of praise, and opinions about God’s love and mercy for all, and have been welcomed and accepted as family, as a sister in Christ, as a wholly loved and precious daughter of our Father who wraps his grace around each of us.

My church has given me hope in the body of Christ. Because I have seen we are not all “those kind of Christians.” We are the faces of Jesus. We are welcoming, open-hearted, loving, followers of the One who brought us back to God.

In light of this, I extend an invitation.

©susanirenefox

©susanirenefox

The next four Sundays of Advent, (Nov 30-Dec 21) I’ve invited members of my church to share their sense of Hope. Now I know on occasion, when we receive a notice of a blog we follow and see it’s a guest blogger, we don’t read it. I’m guilty of that myself sometimes. However, I’m asking you as a member of my church to nourish yourself. Allow your heart to open. I can honestly say you will be uplifted, edified and maybe even changed.

Since I usually post my poetry on Sundays, during this time I’ll post the poems on Wednesdays instead.

Haiku:

church

church is Jesus’ heart

love, grace, mercy, compassion

giving it away

My church is the church Jesus continues to build inside my heart through the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that yours is, too.

28 comments

  1. The True Light! · ·

    I belong to the church of Christ, a non-denominational NT church fashioned after the church of Acts chp. 2. We worship God and call Jesus Christ as the head of the church. Some of our doctrine is different, and I realize this isn’t your time of Advent, but I wish you the very best of worship all throughout the year!

    That’s the way we see things, worship is the same sincere effort each day of the year…

    Steve

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    1. Church is not just in a building, though glad yours fills your heart. It is wherever we are because we carry the Holy Spirit, whenever we glorify God. It’s more than doctrine – it’s about shining the love, grace and compassion of Jesus through our words and walk.

      Thank you as always for your addition, Steve.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The True Light! · ·

        Susan, if I gave you the wrong impression I am sorry. Of course we are the church, people, not a building. And it is because we do carry the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within our hearts.

        We can meet as a church in a building or on a freeway for that matter, and as long as we worship in spirit and truth we are fine.

        In a building we have certain creature comforts which may accommodate more people’s needs, so we traditionally meet inside “brick and mortar.”

        I hope this clears this up. We’re in agreement here, totally!

        Thanks for your reply in such loving compassion…

        Steve

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      2. Amen, Steve, Amen. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The True Light! · ·

        Oh, I am so glad we cleared that one up! Thanks for the instant reply. God love and bless you and enjoy your day and evening…

        Steve

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      4. So true. Church is not just a building. We don’t want to pay more homage to the building than we do to God. The highest honor (worship) should go to God first and foremost.

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      5. So glad you’re a part of this church, Lynette. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thank you so much Susan.

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  2. Learning to love, accepting grace, growing in faith. My church, it’s a journey always stretching me moulding me pulling me closer to him, making me humble exposing my weaknesses. Surrounding me with love. Made up of different folks in different places in their journey here on earth. Trusting and abiding in you Lord always. I loved your comments Susan. I pray more Christians discover the real church. God needs them.

    Much love Tom

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    1. Your first sentence captured my heart, Tom, and really says it all. And yes, it’s definitely more of a journey than a place. Thank you for being part of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really kinda love this write. Fellowship comes in many forms right? 😉
    Church is where the heart is..there where our treasure lies.
    If I am terribly honest though.. (ho hum) I tend to be rather frantic with my time with God, he just kinda is there throughout the day – normally laughing at me and then needing to stop me and say stuff really urgently. ALL THE TIME! JUST ALL the time. He cannot WAIT for me to be quiet …or He would not get a word in. So He doesn’t wait… He JUST does what He wants to do with me – all the time. Never stops – like – EVER!! (like a flippin sergeant major man)
    And then I sit down and shut up… and fall asleep – exhausted… in His arms. Like the silly little brat I can be. See I SHOULD be asleep..but NOOOO… NOW at the thirteenth hour… as always, I finally get the last piece of the puzzle to do what I have to do… 😉 Sheez…

    So I came over to – just be here I suppose. Hi. ❤
    Nite Nite. 🙂

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    1. He forms His relationship with each of us in the way we need Him. SO glad for that. And He brings us together in the same way. Glad for you to simply…be here. Makes my heart sing to have you say that. ❤

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  4. […] each other. So this week two post by susanirenefox.com share post of the week. Stepping Away and This Is My Church  They blessed me I pray they bless […]

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  5. Shalom, my sister. You are a real blessing and I look forward to it. Btw, Happy Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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    1. Oh, you too, Levi. Your posts have meant so much to my soul. We have traveled such a similar road; thank the Lord, He has brought us to this place to savor each others’ joy in His love, grace and glory. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you dear girl. Youre a sweetheart!!! 💐

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  6. yes! God has used you to inspire a devotion that he wants me to write! Church does not start or end on Sunday! matter of fact Church is us, Church is 24/7/365!!!!!! Bless you sis! and happy thanksgiving

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    1. Bless you, my brother. 🙂 Looking forward to read it.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome. Look forward to it. 🙂 Have a very blessed Thanksgiving, with good food, family, friends, and full of Him!

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    1. Thanks, Mel. Same to you.
      And thank you so much for agreeing to round up the series. You always edify my heart with your words. I learn new things, and the things I seem to understand are explained in a deeper way that stick with me – in a way I can then explain them to others. Now that is church, my friend!
      Bless you, Mel.

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  8. Dr. Stanley advises us to create a dark, quiet place in our own homes where we can be with God with no distractions and commune with Him. I have done that and twice daily go to that place. That is my church. But it also goes wherever I do. I close my eyes, go within, and meet the Trinity there for counsel, for giving thanks, to quiet my nerves.

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    1. Absolutely, Beth, we must meet with him one on one to maintain our relationship with him. And continue as we meet with others reflecting Jesus to them. It’s not the words, it’s the character, the way of being that promotes the gospel.
      I hope you know that you are SO a part of my church here. I have a heart connection with you that runs deep. And I am so thankful for that.

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  9. (((HUGS))), Susan. I HOPE you are well. Beautiful post! Bless you and thank you. Love, Amy

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    1. Ah, still loving your photo dressed with light, dear Amy. And I have not been around nearly often enough to encourage you. That changes as of today, my sister. Your blessing warms my heart every day. Thank you. Hugs back.

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      1. (((HUGS))) Sister!

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  10. There are times I read words here and get damp eyes. This is one such time. I have not heard this church written of in such a loving and connected and as powerful (and empowering) a way as this. Thank you.

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    1. Paul, you are one whose words always welcome and inspire. Thank you for being my brother, and beginning the series on Sunday in such a bold and heartfelt way.

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