Relax… He’s coming.

Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way! Jude 1:2 (The Message)2014-11-20_0002

Every day since late October of last year my talks with God about this little white church – when I got gut-level honest would end with me saying, “God! What do you want me to do?” This question was often preceded with a list of all the problems I was facing. As though He wasn’t aware of them.

Lord…

the chimney has to be removed, the weight is too much! We can rent a lift and we have people who will help us!

the west wall is buckling, it’s going to fall in! Should we brace it? From the inside or the outside?

the roof is falling inside, will it hold a tarp? How do I tarp this thing?

I want to get as much salvageable wood out of there as I can? But is it safe to pull it all off?

the County is telling me I have to get permission from the City. The City is telling me I can’t do this without approval from the County. They tell me this place is “dead”. You’ve given me a “dead lot”, God! It’s not only worthless, it’s costing me more than I have!

What do you want me to do!?

“Relax…. I’m coming.”

He never told me what I was waiting on. He simply continues to assure my heart that He’s coming. I’m doing my best to relax.

And so as the building began falling to pieces on the west side I did the only thing I knew to do. I picked up the small pieces and brought them home and pulled the bigger pieces behind the building to wait for a place to wait for a new purpose. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

On Thursday morning this week I was excited about an idea I had for some of the fascia boards laying on the west side. So I looked for a saw in Jason’s tools. I knew he had an electric saw somewhere in our garage but all I found was a hack saw. So I drove out to the church and started “sawing” and quickly realized it was not the tool I needed.

Sometimes in my enthusiasm to impress my husband I get myself into frustrating situations.

He’s more impressed when I include Him by submitting to our oneness, his authority, and asking him for help ……….so is Jason.

So on Friday morning I started over. With the nifty little electric saw Jason provided in the passenger’s seat and my awesome idea for that board getting even better, I headed over to the little white church.

After passing the curve and topping the little hill I could see “Grace” spray painted in white  on the boarded up window above the fence, like always. But I couldn’t see the roof, and something seemed wrong in front of the building too. My heart sank because I knew what I was about to see and I wasn’t ready.2015-06-12_0004No, no, no…

I’ve been fighting off a terrible cold and I havn’t really slept for a week. For a moment I thought I was dreaming but as I took a deep breath and got out of my car I realized I was going to have to walk up to this scene and take it in alone with Jesus.

Jason was in a meeting. My friends would all be at work. My parents are 300 miles away.

I walked around to get the whole scene… tears didn’t come, but questions did.

The NW corner.

The NW corner.

The east wall is leaning severely and will eventually fall into the fence.

The east wall is leaning severely and will eventually fall into the fence.

I finally just sat down under the cross. Although I felt quite calm and safe asking God my questions, my hands were shaking as I sent a picture to Jason and then to my friend Sarah. And then I just sat there silent. We are going to need so much help.

2015-06-13_0005Although I didn’t stay for long in that spot I must have heard 4 or 5 cars pass by, but not before I heard them slow to a stop and sit idle behind me for a few seconds. Sometimes the mess and destruction pull our focus away from the person dealing with it. We think we can’t do anything to help or fix it, we don’t know what to say or what to do, so we leave the person alone and don’t even bother to ask… anything at all. We call ourselves “cautious”. We don’t want to get hurt or hurt anybody… and we miss an opportunity to experience Grace.

Because God doesn’t TAKE Grace from you and give it to another. God GIVES us Grace when we operate in His power. It’s His gift, our salvation, our faith… and while we guard it, we must not neglect to cherish it.2015-06-12_0001“Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish. What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks (our Scriptures warned us this would happen), who beneath their pious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master.”

Jude 1:3-4 (The Message)2015-06-13_0012

Any message other than The Gospel message cautions us against Grace. It tells us we must work, earn, and prove ourselves. We must DO something…

“God, what do you want me to do… now?”

Caution tape & “Keep Out” signs

The little white church is no more – now I have a very dangerous mess on my hands that might tempt thieves and trouble.

So I picked up my kids at home and we bought our supplies and went to work.

Audrey helped to wrap the caution tape around the telephone pole in front of the building.

Audrey helped to wrap the caution tape around the telephone pole in front of the building.

The north wall and back door.

The north wall and back door.

2015-06-13_00142015-06-13_0007

I’m sure there will be those who disregard our signs and tape and try to go in anyway. People are often very disrespectful of scenes like this. It looks like the building was hit by a tornado and don’t we all stare at chaos trying to make sense of it? Sadly all this is just the result of neglect and disregard for a building that really had no owner able to do the work of repair. It was too much for the Church of God to afford 20 years ago. They were only caring for the building at the time, they didn’t even have the deed to it. And by the time we got the deed it was more than we could afford to invest immediately. An immediate emergency investment of thousands of dollars might have saved it…

The front wall fell forward when the west wall collapsed inside. This is the SW corner.

The front wall fell forward when the west wall collapsed inside. This is the SW corner.

A curtain still hanging on to what is left of the SW window.

A curtain still hanging on to what is left of the SW window.

Looking north into the building at the front platform. The roof caved on the west side and this is the metal pipe that attached to the brick chimney in the rafters.

Looking north into the building at the front platform. The roof caved on the west side and this is the metal pipe that attached to the brick chimney in the rafters.

But our way of “saving” is not God’s way. His love is beyond our understanding. He intends to tell His story at all costs because He spared no cost to write it.

Many people I talk to feel they have no story because their lives never looked “like that”…. so often we don’t consider the reality that without Jesus, they would. It costs us nothing of eternal value to share our faith and to build each other up. Real life, and everything we’ve ever really longed for, awaits us.2015-06-13_0013But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life.” Jude 1:20-21 (The Message)

2014-11-15_00042014-11-04_00032014-10-31_0001

God is constantly renewing. Constantly improving. Constantly revealing more. It only looks like destruction to us when we take our eyes off the real story. Afterall, what is the building without the Church but a bunch of walls that will never last forever.

2014-10-31_0010

The stump used for the last story session on the 9th still sits out from the west wall. We'd love to pull a section of siding to use for a background. For the last several sessions, we've used this space for prayer over the story. The final images of the last several sessions were captured right here.

The stump used for the last story session on the 9th still sits out from the west wall. We’d love to pull a section of siding to use for a background. For the last several sessions, we’ve used this space for prayer over the story. The final images of the last several sessions were captured right here.

The foundation is still solid all the way around from what we can see.

The foundation is still solid all the way around from what we can see.

2015-06-13_0010“Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.” Jude 1:22-23 (The Message)

The Church is not destroyed.

You, Bride, are not a mess.

Your sin is. My sin is.

And we need each other to clean it up and start building again. Our foundation, Christ, is standing strong.

“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” Jude 1:20-23 (NLT)2015-06-13_0009
We must remember that Grace is just beyond caution.
Caution alerts you. Caution tells you there is danger ahead. Caution makes you look more carefully.
Caution will stop the weak, the doubters, the comfortable.
Caution serves a purpose, but its purpose is not to stop you.
Rescue… show mercy… with great caution…” 
Great caution Church, because many within our walls and a multitude without struggle to identify with Someone other than themselves and their sin.
Grace is our identity, not sin. Jesus has taken our place. We are His Bride.
Don’t identify with your sin. Identify with your Savior.
Be confident as His Bride, she declares Good News…
Therefore, thus says the Lord,
“If you return, then I will restore you-
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman.
Jeremiah 15:19 (NASB)
“But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.” Jeremiah 18:4 (NLT)
“The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the lord of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!” Haggai 2:9 (NLT)
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.” Jude 1:24-25 (NLT)
So you don’t have the right tool. You messed up. Fell apart. And you’re wondering what to do next.
Relax, Bride, He’s coming…

Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way! Jude 1:2 (The Message)

 

 

 

 

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared.

Menu