|The House That Built Me|
Secondly, I am looking forward to tomorrow because I am going to see the house and neighborhood I was raised in for the first 12 years of my life. I haven't been "Home" in a looooooong time. If you have ever moved as a teen you know how "akward" it is to return over the years to see old friends. One thing becomes painfully obvious. Over time we all change. Anyway, I can't wait to share a little of my life story with my wife who has never been to see my "humble beginnings".
Finally, some good friends of ours from our time at First North are at Colonial Heights Baptist church and I hope to see them, even if it is just for a moment. We shall see :) Either way, I am blessed with a great family, friends, ministry and most importantly a God that loves me in spite of my faults. This should be an interesting journey.
If you want to read more about how I got to this point, check out this old blog post http://www.jamesbstrickland.com/2009/06/why-i-am-here.html
If you attended church Sunday, think back to one thing that God told you or comforted you with. Meditate on it and thank Him for it. If you did not attend services somewhere, just know there are churches on every corner that are seeking to share God's love and strength with you. Check out Psalm 84:1-4
1 How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 2 I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near Your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! 4 What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing Your praises. (NLT)
Do we have to go to church to be saved? No, salvation is not about our works but His grace. However, the writer of this psalm wanted a change of location. A chance to get out of his everyday surroundings to meet God inside his dwelling place. We can meet God anywhere, at any time. But we find encouragement in the people, prayers, music, and sermons we share every Sunday. These people are not "perfect" but going through the process of being more like Christ. I pray you find a church that preaches God's Word the Bible and offers you the retreat this psalmist wrote about.