Today we went to visit a new church. I haven't been to church in a long time. Partly because I've established an idea of what I think "church" is and also because the churches within the military are not very open to the Holy Spirit. But now I'm home, finally settled in, and I know it's time to get my life and marriage back in-line with God's word. Not that I've been living outside of his word, at least I don't think so. But not being around other believers has been incredibly hard on my spiritual health.
Going in this morning I had a slight pessimistic view of how I thought the service would be. (And it probably didn't help that the inside looked like an IKEA showroom.) But I was surprised with the morning bulletin at how well designed it was. Not that this matters to probably 90% of other people. But to me, a creative individual, I tend to scrutinize the design of almost anything. So I was happy to see a beautifully constructed piece of print in my hands.
I know God is in the details and I can't stand it when churches sacrifice good design for mediocre clip art that was popular in the 1990's.
Moving on, the worship was very refreshing and I felt a good connection with God as I sang praise to Him. I really spent a lot of time focusing on His blessings in my life these past few months. And every time I really focused on delivering my praise to Him and not just singing I was struck with tears in my eyes. Which is something I honestly miss, as weird as that may sound. But really, the closest times I've ever been to God have been when the tears poured from my eyes like waterfalls.
The message this morning was on Jeremiah 29:1-7. It spoke exactly of my recent 3 years in Japan. How God placed me in a foreign land where the ratio of Christians to Buddhist is something like 1 to 10. I wish I could have been more faithful with the time I was given there though. I feel like I just lost hope a lot of the time. And the rest of the time I feel like I was just waiting for my time to end in Japan. So I guess the big difference between me and the Jews is that I knew my date of exile from the foreign land. However, I realized I don't have to be on the other side of the world to be in a foreign land. Because, in reality, this earth is a foreign land compared to where my real home resides, in Heaven.
I hope this finds you well today. Remember that it's never to late to start anew and get back in touch with the One who is always willing to listen. God Bless.