Tag Archives: serving

Two surprising ways to respond to suffering

10 Oct
Photo by Jonathan Rados on Unsplash

Being surprised or scared can be a horrible feeling right?  Even when the surprise is a good surprise, there are some people that hate to be surprised!  Do you know anyone who makes you promise that you will not throw them a surprise birthday party?  Why? When you are in a groove, a routine, and something interrupts you, it can feel like a loss of control.  We hate that. 

In our next passage in 1st Peter, he says that Christians are people that should not be surprised about something.  Take a look at 1 Peter 4:12-19.
In verse 12 Peter is once again addressing his Christian friends who are being persecuted for their choice to follow Jesus. He says, “Do not be surprised about it, as if something strange were happening.”

Imagine being persecuted because you are a follower of Jesus.  Our normal viewpoint is that following Jesus is normal and good.  To be persecuted, to be shunned, to endure physical bodily harm simply because we are followers of Jesus sounds crazy.  If that happened to me here in Lancaster, I would be very surprised.  I wouldn’t expect it.  It would feel like my life is out of control.

But here Peter is saying to these Christians, “Don’t be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange is happening to you.”  I want to say, “Peter, what are you talking about?  Don’t be surprised at pain and suffering?  If they are not surprised, then how should they react?  Are you saying they should expect it, as if it is normal?  No way!  They definitely SHOULD be surprised.  That pain and suffering is wrong, it shouldn’t be happening.”

From our vantage point living in a time and place where there is no persecution for our faith, of course we would think that persecution is surprising and strange.  But those Christians were not living in our time and place. 

And what is more, I suspect that Peter is concerned that if those Christians become surprised at the suffering, and they think it is strange, they will miss the opportunity to have the right attitude about it.  If they think pain and suffering for Christ is strange, they will likely have the wrong attitude about the persecution.

In my own life, and when I have interacted with people going through difficult situations, I have seen that often times when we are suffering, we hate it, we want it to be done, and can easily become bitter and angry and lose heart.  We often look for someone to blame, and we get stuck on that. It is very, very easy to have the wrong attitude about suffering.

So Peter tells them not to be surprised, and he goes on in verse 13 to explain to them the right attitude they should have about their sufferings.  And what he says is truly a shocker: they should rejoice that they participate in the sufferings of Christ!  And thus they will be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

But he doesn’t stop there.  He says in verse 14 that if they are insulted for Christ, they are blessed, and God’s Spirit rests on them. 

Rejoice.  Be overjoyed.  You are blessed.  Huh?

That’s the kind of language that we normally reserve for good things.  Birthday parties.  Even surprise parties.  The blessing of new children, weddings, baptisms, new jobs, raises, new houses, a vacation.  You name it.  When really good things happen to us, we rejoice!  We are overjoyed, and we say that we are blessed.

The hashtag “Blessed” was a thing that was overused and is oftentimes still used when people post on social media about something good that happened in their life. But Peter isn’t talking about any of that good stuff.  He is talking about painful trials.  Suffering.  Participating in the sufferings of Christ, he calls it. Why does Peter call suffering, “good stuff”?

Christians, Peter says, look at suffering differently.  Very differently.  For Christians, painful trials are not strange, they are cause for rejoicing!  For Christians, suffering is not surprising or unexpected, it is cause to say “I am blessed!”

Just let that soak in.

We are so used to our comfy society, and we try so, so hard to avoid pain of any kind, that what Peter is saying might have us ripping out this page of the Bible.  I get it, I am not a fan of pain.  When things don’t go our way we can be quick to say “God, why are you doing this to me?”, and we generally don’t look at ourselves, that we might be the cause of our pain. Or we point to others as the cause, and then we get angry, hurt and bitter.

But read through this passage by Peter again, and what you will find is that there is nothing like that described here as the way to handle suffering and persecution. What Peter does say, instead, is that Christians will have a change in perspective about their pain.  No blame, anger or bitterness, but rejoicing in the pain.  But how?

Three of us from Faith Church are once again in training for a marathon.  On Sept 30th, we will run 26.2 miles.  That will be a painful day.  But what most people don’t realize is that a marathon of 26 miles can only happen after much training.  Our training plan is 18 weeks long, and by the end of the marathon, we will have run nearly 600 miles in those 18 weeks.  For the last month or so, we have been saying that we are basically hungry, tired and sore all the time.  My knees ache.  My feet hurt.  My muscles are just worn out.  You might think, then why do you put yourself through that?  It is a very good question, because I hate pain.

But there is something weird that happens, and it is unexpected.  On the day of the marathon, after I have run about 21 or 22 miles, and all the way until mile 26.1, I am thinking this is stupid and dumb and I am never putting myself through this pain again.  And then I see the finish line, and I cross it, and something comes over me, and I think this is the greatest thing ever, and I love it and I’m definitely going to run a marathon again. You know what I doing at that moment?  Rejoicing through the pain.  But how?  My body still hurts.  In fact it hurts bad.  But you know what? My attitude has changed.

It’s all about attitude and perspective.  Peter is telling them to have a new perspective, a new outlook.  See pain as blessing.  He says in verse 13 that it will mean extra joy when Jesus’ glory is revealed, which is another way of talking about some day in the future when they meet Jesus face to face.  And further, in verse 14, they are blessed because, Peter says, God’s Spirit rests on them!  That is amazing.  Not only do they get the joy of going through what Jesus went through, and so identifying with him like that, they also are blessed because God’s Spirit is on them.

When you are facing suffering, a change of perspective will allow you to see the pain as joy and blessing.

But not all suffering should lead to rejoicing.  Peter is quick to say in verse 15 that there is some suffering that does not qualify as rejoicing.  That is suffering for doing wrong.  He lists a couple sins in verse 15.  If you suffer consequences for poor behavior, that is not good suffering.  When we are suffering, it can be hard to be honest with ourselves.  When we suffer we can think that is all bad and painful and want it to stop, and that can mess with our heads.  We can start to think that it wasn’t our fault.  We can start to blame others.  We can start to say that we are being attacked by the devil.  There are all sorts of things we can do to have the wrong attitude about suffering.

Peter says, don’t do that.  Be honest with yourself about your suffering.  Own what is yours to own about a situation, about a circumstance, about why there is suffering going on. Be honest and own it.  That requires a lot of humility and maturity.  It is hard to swallow your pride and say, “I messed up.” 

But, as he says in verse 16, if you suffering because of your faith in Christ, now that is a whole new thing.  That is good suffering.  And you can and should rejoice!

But the thing is that when we are suffering for Christ, it is still suffering, still hurts, still stings, whether physically, emotionally, or relationally.   If we are suffering for Christ, if people are making fun of us for praying at meals, for going to Bible study, for reading our Bibles, for going to church, for talking about Jesus, you name it, then there is one simple thing we can do to make the pain go away. 

Just stop following Jesus.  Or more likely, we can hide the fact that we are following Jesus.

Think about it, if you were one of these early Christians who used to participate in wild partying, just like we heard about in an earlier post about verses 3-4, and you have stopped that partying, your old friends might not like the new you, and they might heap abuse on you.  That would not feel good, and depending on long the abuse lasted and how awful it was, the easiest thing to do to make the abuse stop would be for you to go back to your old ways.

A Christian would feel shame from their old friends. And in that culture that was a big deal. Scholars tell us that the Ancient Near East was an honor and shame culture.  What that means is that saving face was a huge part of their society.  People would go to great lengths to save face, including lying.

When Peter says, in verse 16, “do not be ashamed,” he is using honor and shame language that would have spoken deeply to his friends.  I think it speaks to us too.

Have you ever been ashamed of Jesus?  For me the most obvious time in my life when I struggled with being ashamed of Jesus was in 9th grade in high school.  I had gone to a private Christian all my life up to that point, and 9th grade was my first year in public school.  I remember that gradually I stopped wearing my Christian school apparel.  I stopped telling people I had previously gone to a Christian.  I stopped telling them my dad worked at the Bible College.  He was just a professor.  I didn’t want to feel shame.  I became way more concerned about what other kids in school thought, than what God thought.

That was wrong.  But how about you?  How do you feel shame for being a Christian?

Sometimes there are people in our world who loudly say they are Christians, and then maybe don’t act the way that Christ actually acted.  That can cause shame for us because we may think, “I don’t want to declare I am a Christian, if that poor example of Jesus is what people think when they think of the name ‘Christian’.”  There were certainly people like that in Jesus’ day; the Pharisees, for example.  But Jesus’ followers were still to follow his ways and let it be known that they were living their lives because of their desire to follow Jesus.  He didn’t tell the disciples to not follow God just because others were hypocrites about it.  Instead he said, “follow me.”

Peter says we should praise God that we bear the name “Christian.”  We should wear that label with pride.  Of course we don’t actually wear “Christian” as a written label, such as a logo on a hat or shirt or flag.  There is another, but still very physical, visible way we show we are Christians.  We show we are genuine followers of Jesus by how we live our lives, and a huge way we can do that is to rejoice in the midst of suffering.   I have watched many people in my church rejoice and faithfully praise God, even as they have battled difficult health and life situations.  That has been amazing.

When people think of the word Christian, they should think, “Those are the people who rejoice in suffering.”

We Christians have a different perspective about our pain!  We praise God, Peter says, that we bear the name Christian.  And Jesus Christ had a different perspective about suffering.  He said, “Blessed are you when men persecute you because of me.  So rejoice.”  When we rejoice in suffering, we carry Jesus’ name, we are Christians.

But just as Peter says that we praise God that we bear that name, he goes on to say in verse 17, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God.”  I read that and I thought that I don’t like that sound of that.  Judgment?  In the family of God?  What does he mean? Peter, in verse 17, is connecting back to verse 12.  Peter is now rounding out a thought he started then.  Look back and 12 where he says, don’t be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering.

Peter is literally using a word picture here of a trial by fire. It’s no joke.  Fire purifies.  But even more, a trial by fire is a test.  Like walking on hot coals.  Can you handle it? Would you do it?  Will you pass the test?  Or will you chicken out?  The persecution those Christians endured, Peter says, is a test.  And would they pass the test by remaining faithful?

In verse 17, then, he hearkens back to verse 12.  It is time for judgment to begin with the family of God.  By tying the two verses together, we get the idea that as these Christians were going through persecution, it was a kind of trial by fire to see if they were going to remain faithful to God or not.  How would they handle the fiery trial?  They were literally being tried and tested first.  It began with them. And the testing would continue with everyone else, including those who do not follow the Gospel.

Peter quotes a proverb to support his view.   In other words, he is using Proverbs 11:31 to say, “if you, the faithful follower of Jesus, are going through difficult trial, imagine how much more difficult it will be for the ungodly and sinner?” In verse 19, Peter’s conclusion is this: when you suffer for God, commit yourself to him, because he is faithful, and thus you though you are suffering, you can and should choose to do good.

We Christians have a different perspective about our pain.  We need to be known for joy in the midst of suffering, and for doing good.

We Christians view things differently.

We rejoice in suffering.

We’re unashamed about Jesus.

When we suffer, we respond by doing good.

When we are feeling like we have been treated wrongly, we rejoice and we serve others!  It would be very easy to succumb to bitterness, or wallow in self-pity, but Peter says that when we are persecuted, we choose to do good. 

When you are feeling shame, choose to volunteer and serve others!  Peter’s advice here is genius.  He knows that when those Christians were being persecuted, it would be so easy for them to be self-focused and get stuck in a mindset of “how bad they have it”.  But what does he tell them to do?  Rejoice, be unashamed, and do good.

When you get bad news about your health, think about how you can volunteer at the clinic. 

When you lose your job, think about how you might serve the homeless and those in need of food and clothing.  Maybe you’ll have some time on unemployment where you can volunteer at a food bank or shelter!

When you have a relationship go bad, call up the person you know who struggles with loneliness and encourage them.  Invite them over for coffee, or take them out for lunch.

We Christians think about suffering differently!  Our heart and focus needs to be on Jesus and on others, as we look for ways to rejoice and serve.

Learning how to say “Yes” and “No” to serving in the church

24 Jul

Image result for yes and noHow should we view serving in the church?  (For that matter, how should we view serving at work, serving at home, serving our neighbors?).

Each of us should ask: am I serving like God wants me to?  Are you saying “Yes” enough?  Are you saying “No” enough?  How should we respond to all the opportunities there are for serving?

In my weekly Saturday morning email to Faith Church I mentioned the 80/20 principle that says 80% of the ministry of the church is done by 20% of the people.  That’s a pretty cynical view, and it comes from people who are in churches where that ratio might be true.  I am here to say that Faith Church is NOT following the 80/20 rule.  I guess that makes us rule-breakers!  I went down through the list of all 130 or so people in our church family, and I think we are much closer to something like a 90/90 rule.  90% of the people are doing 90% of the work.  That’s is so awesome.  I love how you serve, Faith Church!

But does that mean that mean we are in the clear and don’t need to think about serving?  Let’s take some time to look at what Jesus had to say about the discipline of serving.

Take a look at John 13:1-17.  In this famous and astounding story, Jesus demonstrates for us how to view our connection to the church.  Just hours before his arrest, trial, beating and crucifixion, Jesus has a final meal with his followers.  John was there, recording the event for us, depicting Jesus going one by one to each of his disciples, washing their feet.  At Faith Church we re-enact this many years on Maundy Thursday.  It is very, very humbling to hold someone’s crusty feet in your hands and wash them.  We don’t believe that Jesus wanted us to practice ritual footwashing.  That’s not why he washed his disciples’ feet.  While it is not wrong to reenact the ritual if done with the right motivation, Jesus had something else in mind.

That night, Jesus had every right to ask his disciples to serve him.  He is the Messiah, the King, and God in the flesh, for goodness sake.  He was their leader, their teacher, Rabbi.  They were his disciples.  They should have been washing his feet.

Instead he showed them, and he showed us, that those of us who are his disciples will have a totally different view of the world.  In a world of consumers, we are called to be servants.  In a world where the norm is to be entertained or to be pleased, we are called to be selfless.  We should see our connection to a church family, therefore, as selfless servants.

Right away, if you’re like me, you start thinking, “Man, being a servant sounds horrible.”  Giving of yourself?  Selflessness?  They all sound boring, hard, and stupid.  Who would do that?

It is a good question.  Jesus’ call to discipleship is not a call to be consumers.  It is a call to be servants, and that is not easy.  So we have to ask, Is Jesus right?

Many societal observers say that we live in a consumer society.  This week I posted an article on the Faith Church Facebook page about how generally-speaking people view their connection to church in terms of what how a church family can benefit them. People do this because they have been discipled, taught by society to be consumers, taught that life is about what they can get out of it.

We are so used to living in a society that is in large part designed to please us, with loads of choices about clothing, food, and entertainment.  We look at vacation and the movies and TV shows, and many other various forms of comfort, as the epitome of life.  We look at ease and luxury as what we are to attain to.

Consumers, therefore, feel that the way to evaluate church worship services and their participation in a church family is this: how do those church activities make them feel, or benefit them?  If a church worship service doesn’t excite them, they are prone to start feeling down about the church, and move on to go to another church to see if it can do a better job at worship.  If a church family isn’t reaching out to them, they feel the church must be cold and uncaring.  For a consumer, church is not about serving, it is about receiving.

So how about you?  Do you have a consumer mentality about church?

Jesus comes along and says “What you are to attain to, what you are to make your life’s work, is to be a servant.”  And what we find, surprisingly, is that selflessness and serving can be done with joy, leading to a life of deeper satisfaction than we ever thought possible.

In Donald Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, he asks the question “Can you serve your boss and others at work?  Can you be happy when they are promoted and you are overlooked?Can you pray for the ministry of others to prosper, even if it would cast a shadow on yours?”

I think about Whitney’s quote in relationship to The Door Christian Fellowship.

On February 12, 2017, we started renting space to The Door.  They rent five rooms 24/7, and we share many other spaces in the building, including the sanctuary on Sunday mornings.  Faith Church worships at 9am, then we have a combined meet and greet with both churches from 10:15-45am.  Faith Church then heads to classes, and The Door starts their worship at 11am.  Our youth groups have started working together.  Our Leadership Teams have had two prayer times together, including one meal.  We even did a congregational meal together last fall before The Door started renting.  We are so thankful for the partnership with have with The Door.

Before The Door moved in and started worshiping here in February, many of us put in a lot of work to make room for them.  There was a lot of serving and giving and selflessness going on, and I continue to be extremely proud of how Faith Church has been flexible and opened its arms to another congregation. We had to give up space, move classrooms, and even start our worship service one half hour earlier.

In the months leading up to that first Sunday with The Door, I had lots of conversations with people outside of Faith Church about this arrangement.  The feedback I got (and still get) is that what we were/are attempting is fairly monumental, even unheard of.  People were quite curious about it.  I talked about it a lot with family and friends, and one person, whose opinion I really respect, questioned the idea of one church renting to another church, when those churches are very similar.  Rent to a church with a different ethnicity?  No problem.  Faith Church had rented to Hispanic and Ethiopian congregations in the past, but those churches worshiped on Saturdays, and in different languages, so not too much mixing happened.

The Door, however, is nearly identical to Faith Church and worships on Sunday.  Renting to a church so similar to your own?  My trusted friend questioned it.

At the heart of the concern was: What if renting to The Door helps them so much that they grow faster than Faith Church does?  What if people from Faith Church decide they like The Door better?  What if renting to The Door has serious negative consequences for Faith Church?

I appreciated their concern very much.  Actually it kinda scared me.  I really respect this person’s opinion.  What if renting to The Door was a colossal mistake? Here’s the thing though: our Leadership Team had prayed and discussed and prayed some more and discussed some more, and we firmly believed that this was the right thing to do in the Lord’s eyes, for the mission of his Kingdom.

In a way, we wanted our entire church family to serve another entire church family.  And though our time of renting to The Door is still very much in the early stages, only six months, I am growing more and more convinced that it was the right decision.  We truly see it as a mutually beneficial partnership!

Just like all the other disciplines we have been studying, then, serving is a decision, a choice we must make.

It is true that serving is listed as one of the spiritual gifts.  Some say that once you find your spiritual gift, using that gift is a joy, flowing naturally through you with ease.  But that is not always true.  Serving can sometimes be hard.  Serving means giving of yourself and that is not always easy.  Sometimes we just need to serve where needed, because it is needed.  And we might not like to serve in that particular way.

Whitney says that we should serve because God calls us all to serve.  Serve motivated by love for God and his church.  And remember that Jesus showed us and taught us that service is done by a servant.  Normally we think of servants as lower than us.  But identifying ourselves as servants is a must.  Servanthood is a critical element of what it means to be a disciple.

Disciples need to cultivate a lifestyle of serving. It is a choice we make, to take on the identity of a servant, and to practice being a servant.  How can you practice serving as a discipline? How can you have a servant’s heart in every situation? It might mean that you serve, even when your heart is not in it.  It might just be serving because it is a job that needs to be done and no one else is signing up to do it.

But does that mean you need to say “Yes” to every opportunity that comes your way?  I will admit that it is tough to know when to say “No” and not feel bad about it.  It is hard to know when to say “Yes” and sacrificially serve. I was recently asked to consider being the president of our local Ministerium.  I really, really believe in our Ministerium.  I think it is amazing how churches of all shapes and sizes, from a variety of denominations, can work together here in Conestoga Valley.  I was the secretary of the Ministerium for a few years, have taken a year off, and thought I would consider being president.  I wanted to say “Yes”.  I would love to play a more hands-on role in keeping the Ministerium moving forward.  As I talked it over with Michelle, with the PRC, and prayed about it, I sensed I needed to say “No.”  I can’t say for sure that I made the right decision. Often when we say “No” there is a lingering sense of guilt. We don’t want to disappoint people.  We also think we might have been able to help.

Being a faithful servant doesn’t mean that you have to say “Yes” to every opportunity that comes your way. We do need to learn when it is wise and right to say “No”, and when people say “No” to an opportunity to serve, we should allow them to say “No”.  We should receive their “No” graciously, without pushing and pushing them to reconsider.

As you can see though, it is a tricky balance.  We should also be people who are willing to say “Yes,” people who are willing to sacrificially serve just like Jesus did.

I find it difficult to know when to say “Yes” and when to say “No.”  You have to know yourself and your family, and seek wisdom.  Spend time in prayer, asking God for wisdom.

There are certainly times when it is wise to say “No.”  When your kids are young, for example. When you are newlywed.  When you are going through serious stress or difficulty.

There are also good times to say “Yes.”  If you are not serving very much or not at all, perhaps.  If you are noticing that you have a lot of free time to watch TV, be online, or pursue lots of hobbies and vacations.  Maybe you are not serving enough.  Jesus’ example and teaching indicates that we would do well to err on the side of saying “Yes”.  But remember that Jesus also knew when to say “No.”  Many times in the Gospels we read how he left the crowds, got away to a quiet spot for refreshment with his Father.  Jesus didn’t eradicate every disease in the land.  He could have.  Instead he drew a line.  So err on the side of saying “Yes,” but avoid overcommitment and burnout.  Evaluate your heart.  Why are you saying “Yes”? If you are saying “Yes” for the wrong reason, maybe to get attention, to look good, for example, you should say “No.”

Finally, get a trainer.  Who do you know that is an excellent servant?  As them to help you practice the discipline of serving.  Ask them to help guide you when to say “Yes” and when to say “No.”

Does Michael Phelps have an unfair advantage? (and why it matters for followers of Jesus!) Luke 17:1-19

15 Feb

Quick trivia question: which Olympian is the record holder for the most Olympic medals of all time?

Michael Phelps is the correct answer, which if you didn’t know already, you probably guessed by the title!

But this picture only shows his medals from one Olympics. Guess how many total medals he has won? Total of 22!  See the chart below.  (Update 8/13/16 – Phelps is adding to his record total in the Rio games!  So this info is out of date.  The guy just keeps winning!)

Olympic Medal Winners Top 10When I watched Phelps swim in previous summer Olympics, I thought, he has a freakishly long torso. And he’s not this huge body-builder type. Instead he seems like he has a God-given body for swimming superiority. Anyone else every notice that? Well, it has made the news.   And because he has done so well, scientists have taken notice.

Does Michael Phelps have an unfair advantage? Scientists studied Phelps, took measurements, and they found that he does have some unique physical characteristics. The long torso, double-jointed ankles, long arm span. The scientists noted all these things, and found that compared to the average human, these characteristics are really helpful for swimming

It got me thinking about how perfect it is for Phelps that he got into swimming then. How many other people with bodies suited for swimming or some other sport never got into swimming? Maybe there are people with better-suited bodies than Phelps? It is amazing that not only does he have an amazing body for swimming, but that he got into swimming!  It’s almost not fair for the other swimmers.

My thoughts were dashed by the scientists. You know what they said? Sure his body might be better suited for swimming, but the actual advantage would be so minute as to be negligible. In fact, they suggested that his double-jointed ankles could be a disadvantage, when it comes to force and power in his kick.

You know what they said is Michael Phelps’ reason for success? Almost entirely his training. His insane training regimen is also the stuff of legends.

If you want to get your body operating at premium athletic levels, you have to fine-tune it with a commitment to daily habits.

Just like Olympic athletes, are there habits or practices that disciples of Jesus should be known for?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!”  Jesus gave us habits, practices that he wanted us, his disciples, to follow. Some of them we learn by just watching him. Then we do what he did. What did he do? In Luke we have seen him regularly getting away from the crowds, spending time alone in prayer. We have seen him make disciples. So prayer and making disciples are two things he did, and thus they are two practices that we must do.  How are you doing in those areas?

But there are other important practices that we disciples of Jesus should learn.  He specifically teaches a number of them.  In Luke 17:1-19 he teaches that disciples should have a regular habit of the following practices:

Don’t cause people to sin, confront sin, be forgiving, have great faith, serve dutifully, be grateful.

Church Has Left The Building recap

20 May

On Sunday May 17, Faith Church left it’s building!  It was an incredible morning.  My group (below) went to Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services, the local social services organization started by area churches to provide free food and clothing to residents in need.  It is an awesome place sharing love in the name of Jesus.  We cleaned floors, bathrooms, shelves, clothing racks, sorted celery and potatoes, and had a blast throwing packs of paper products around!

Other groups were cleaning up the principal’s serenity garden at Smoketown Elementary School, mulching at East Lampeter Community Park…

Yes, that is a newborn in that pouch!

 

…washing East Lampeter Township Police vehicles at Highland Car Wash, taking a mini-worship service to one of our home-bound members, providing childcare at the church building, and finally we had a group doing food prep for our celebration lunch afterward.  It was a great day of worshiping by serving!

It is so fascinating how we tend to compartmentalize worship as something that happens in the sanctuary (room) of our church building.  Usually it includes singing songs, preaching, giving and prayer.  But this past Sunday we truly worshiped by serving the community.  That’s a reminder that God wants to transform us into people who have hearts of worship 24-7.