Who You Say I Am

“Tell us what is saving your life now.” This answer was posed to author/speaker Barbara Brown Taylor as the topic she was given for a speaking engagement which she writes about in her authentic memoir, Leaving Church. Since then, many bloggers, podcasters, preachers, and speakers have asked the same question of their audience. I have a friend who has told me several times recently that worshipping and praying with her small group at the Salvation Army is saving her life right now. To me, it seems to be such a sacred question that I struggle to ever answer it verbally…sometimes my only obvious answer is God, because everything else seems meaningless. Taylor later writes in An Altar in the World that her answers to the question have changed over the years, “that is the beauty of the question-but the principle is the same”. What is saving my life now is the conviction that there is no spiritual treasure to be found apart from the bodily experiences of human life on earth. My life depends on engaging the most ordinary physical activities with the most exquisite attention I can give them. My life depends on ignoring all touted distinctions between the secular and the sacred, the physical and the spiritual, the body and the soul. What is saving my life now is becoming more fully human, trusting that there is no way to God apart from real life in the real world.”

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Gifts

If you’ve driven by the church building recently and wondered why I’m not at work since my 2005 black Honda Civic with the Aloha sticker is missing, it’s because I bought myself a really nice Christmas present this year. I bought a new car. She’s so pretty! She’s a 2015 blue VW Jetta. I’ve needed to replace my Honda for a while. She had a lot of sentimental value, but her trade-in value was $250. The last church I served, Impact Houston Church of Christ, gave me the Honda Civic. It was a complete surprise when my co-worker, Dennis, handed me the keys to the Honda Civic at the dealership and said she was mine. I named her “Impact.” She replaced “Granny,” my maroon Geo Prism that my Granny bought for me during my senior year in college. “Granny” replaced my white Ford Escort that my parents gave to me my senior year in high school after I hit a deer two weeks before my Granny passed away. I never named the Ford Escort. I think I never named my first car because I didn’t understand the value and sacrifice it meant for my parents to give me a car. I do now. I have a car payment for the first time ever in my life, and even though it’s an added expense, even this car payment is a gift because it represents the ability to travel safely to and from work, travel to see my family for Christmas, and new adventures. Names are important…to name someone or something designates value. I haven’t named the new car yet, but I’m sure inspiration will come at the right moment.

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Let It Grow

Singing Oaks has just begun a new season with Grow Groups meeting, the return of Wednesday night meals (Can I get an AMEN?), new teachers in Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, and Adult Ministry, kids moving into new classrooms, and new opportunities to serve at the Salvation Army, Arms of Hope, Walk for Water, and even a new Prowell baby coming to a nursery near you soon! We are, as a church family, brand new and shiny!

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STAND

At Camp Connect this week we are studying the Armor of God. As I’ve been investigating Ephesians 6, specifically, the Armor of God passage, and also digesting our most recent school massacres in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas, I am convicted by Ephesians 6 that our battle is not with people, but it is definitely a supernatural, spiritual battle against evil. Our weapons are not guns, bombs, biological warfare, or drones, but our weapons are within us and they are Fruit of the Spirit…goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, and above all, love. As we tackle this week of Camp Connect, our focus will be growing this Fruit of the Spirit within ourselves, becoming aware of the Holy Spirit power within us from Ezekiel 37 as it foreshadows Paul’s writing to the church in Ephesus, and understanding how this Roman citizen, Paul, is transforming a Roman soldiers armor, which is meant to protect a soldiers body from literal flaming arrows, axes, and swords into the Armor of God, which is meant to protect the inner life of the Body of Christ so that we may stand against a more sinister, often invisible, and scheming enemy that desires to take our very breath, our Holy Spirit, away from us.

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Growing Pains

2018 has been a year of reflection for me. I was born almost 40 years ago this Juneteenth. I’m not approaching this milestone with trepidation, but with a mix of relief and anticipation. I never expected to reach 40 years for some reason. As a teenager, I couldn’t wait to be 30. For some reason I thought 30 would be the year in life when I had it all figured out, whatever that means. I never wanted to be 40 and not have it all figured out, yet here I almost am. I think the number 40 is significant to me and all of us believers because the number is significant to our faith story. 40 days and nights on the ark with Noah, 40 years wandering in the wilderness with Moses and the Israelites, and then 40 days in the wilderness with Jesus. The number 40 represents growing pains for God’s people. The number 40 represents God’s growing pains for us. The number 40 also represents God’s persistent patience and presence with us. If God is able to stick with us through 40 seconds, 40 minutes, 40 days, 40 nights, 40 months, and 40 years, then God is obviously willing and committed to sticking with us throughout life.

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on the journeybaby dedication

Directions & Worship Schedule
McKinney at Cardinal
101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209
940.387.4355
map Sunday Morning
8:30 - Worship
9:45 - Classes
11:00 - Worship

Wednesday Evening
5:30 - Dinner
6:30 - Passion Worship
7:00 - Classes/Small Groups
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery

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