Monday, March 29, 2010

Ok, so I'm learning.......

We have been visiting a Baptist church for the last several weeks. And, apparently, things are done just a smidget different when it comes to Communion/Lords Supper. ;)

Here's what homegirl did Sunday. I'm so cool.

I leaned over to my Baptist BFF and asked her...."So, anything different with Baptist Communion?" She basically said, "no, you are good." Ok......I should be fine. I know I have taken Communion 17 million times right?

Wrong.

Homegirl hasn't taken Communion/Lord's Supper in a Baptist church. And, apparently it is just a smidget different.

They blessed the elements and said a beautiful prayer and then they passed a bowl/tray/thing of the tiny square crackers. Ok, no big deal. I was so proud to take that bowl/tray/thing and grab my cracker bread piece and put it in my mouth.

Did you catch that? I PUT IT IN MY MOUTH BEFORE I HAD IT PASSED TO THE PRECIOUS CHILD BESIDE ME!!!!!

I quickly noticed that others have not eaten their cracker bread piece yet.

Just me.

I ate it too soon didn't I?

Yes, I did.

I prayed and prayed for forgiveness and asked the good Lord to remove that memory out of any one's eyes that might have seen it. I was borderline embarrassed and borderline wanted to laugh hysterically.

I am on the 4th row, ya know. I know some pastor or deacon had to have seen me.

Sigh.

Well, by the time the pastor asks us to eat our bread cracker piece together mine was already being digested. However, because I'm cool and all.......I just put two fingers up to my mouth and acted like I had that tiny bread cracker piece in my little hands and ate that imaginary piece all over again. I even fake chewed!!!

I FAKE CHEWED!!!!

I so wanted to bust out and I really wish I had Robyn beside me to laugh hysterically without getting caught. Its moments like those it's easy to be 12.

Anyhoo.....I was a pro by the time they sent the grape juice down the aisle. I clearly waited my instructions and drank with all the other folks.

I then prayed for God's forgiveness for breaking the rules and getting tickled and probably not having the right heart for Communion/Lord's Supper.

I will always think of that Palm Sunday where I learned how to do things the Baptist way. :)

Ok....any funny stories out there happening in your church? Come on now...I'm not alone am I?

Hugs and blessings~
Fran

Sunday, March 21, 2010

To church members and staff....from the eyes of a visitor.

Ok, these are my thoughts, feelings, and observations from the last 6 months of visiting churches and feeling my way through that process. These are a few things I have seen from within my own heart and a few things I have noticed through the eyes of a visitor.

Here is what I know....

1. People come into church looking all fabulous, cleaned up, put together, bibles in tow, and appear to have it all together. HOWEVER, we are broken, hurting, lonely, sad, scared, anxious, and insecure (to some degree) needing to meet people and Jesus in a REAL LIFE HEART FELT WAY!!!!! Yes, it's true. Every single one of us is broken. Every single one of us need relationships here on earth. Every single one of us need Jesus.

2. I might know 50 people or I may know 5 people in your church. Oh wait....I might not know a soul in your church. I need someone to acknowledge my presence in your church and recognize that I darkened your doors. I need to know that you really care and want me and my family to come back. And, I mean that beyond the "I'm glad you are here today and hope you come back and if you have any questions let me know" sort of thing.

3. I want someone to acknowledge my kids. Even though I might have middle school boys, their mom and dad still take them everywhere and I want to know who you are and what you do as a church to minister to these kids. I am very interested in that. VERY! Communication is good. Especially to the seeker. And do this more than once.

4. If we have spent months in your church and then all of a sudden stop coming, please call and say you miss us and let us know what is going so we don't feel left out and dismissed so easily. Remember #1 above? Read it again. Let me talk mail for one second. Please add us to your mailing lists or email lists or whatever your church has going list so I'll know what is going on. Call me needy, but I want someone to reach out to us. It's not fun to do all the digging as a visitor.

5. Finally, invest in your visitors when you see that they have been coming fairly regularly. Reach out to them. Call, email, mail, whatever. DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING. PLEASE. The keyword is invest. Act like the church and reach out to them. Go back to #1 again.

It is so hard to walk into a church with all the junk that you may be carrying, acting as if all is right with the world, and desperately wanting a place to call home. It is hard. Period.

If you are active in a church or on staff of a church, please take the time to invest in your visitors. And I mean, take the time to guide them, show them, share with them, include them, and invite them to everything you can think of when it comes to your church. And, don't forget about them when they have been coming for awhile too. ;)

I'm ready to be at home. My heart is all but crying out for it. Praying to find it soon.

Love you all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just a few pix to let you see heaven












I don't need to do a lot of explaining with these pix. It looks like we have eaten a lot, huh? We have eaten at Acme Oyster House and Pompano Joe's since we've been here. The sand is gorgeous, the water is beautiful, and the sun is heavenly.

I'll share more later. Hoping you are having a good week. I'm learning just how important rest is. I've had to adjust to "doing nothing" and I like it! :)

Hugs and blessings from the sunshine state~
Fran

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

Boy 1

Boy 1

Boy 2

Boy 2

Boy 3

Boy 3

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