Deployment of the Church

I recently saw something that has been going around on Facebook that said,

The church isn’t empty. The church has been deployed.

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I agree with this. Church looks different right now. Churches are streaming their sermons live or sharing via email during this time of quarantine. However, although I agree with this statement, it also gave me pause..and I asked myself this question..

Shouldn’t the church always be on deployment?

I used to think that the church was a building that you attended every Sunday morning, but while maturing in my faith, I have come to realize that is not what church is.

Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20 (Msg)

Go out.. it doesn’t say to go to church and sit in the same pew every Sunday (although taking the time each week to go to church is a good thing). Jesus commissioned us to go out and make disciples. So what does this look like?

  • Volunteer (giving your time)– local food banks, shelters, youth gatherings, VBS, outreach programs, etc.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Acts 20:35 (ESV)
  • Using your gifts- music, athletics, writings, speech, photograhy, etc

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
  • Treasures- donations to missions, Operation Christmas Child, help a family in need, etc.

Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’

Matthew 19:21 (ESV)

To go out, may be out of your comfort zone. It takes vulnerability to share your testimony and tell about who Jesus is; but as Christians, that is what we are called to do. We believe that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phillipians 4:12 ESV). We need to seek those who are hurting, in need, lost, or have never heard the story of Jesus. They can be on the court as your teammate, a co-worker, your child’s friend, or a stranger that you just can’t shake the nudge to speak to them.

So, branch outside of the building and know that..

We are the church. We are always deployed. Our mission is to bring others to Jesus. Now go…

..and become the hands and feet of Christ.

Messy blessings,

Misty

Faith Over Fear

We are in a time of great uncertainty. The news is filled with new CDC regulations, more cases of Covid-19, increasing number of deaths, and most recently we find out that our children will continue to be out of school until at least May 1st.

I think it would be safe to say that the world is on edge and fearful for what is to come..

It’s easy to go to that place of fear and allow the ‘what ifs’ to race through our minds. Sometimes I find myself in that place. What if I lose my income..What if I can’t feed my family..or..What if I run out of toilet paper and I can’t find any in the stores?

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Matthew 6:30 ESV

As believers and followers of Christ, we are to be brave and have no fear because we know that God is with us and is our Provider. However, as humans, we tend to rely on our own understandings and try to control what is happening. 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 ESV

I suffer from anxiety, and yet during this time of crisis, I find myself having a calm spirit. Instead of focusing on my fears, I’m intentionally focusing on God’s truth. Instead of watching the fear fueled news, or scanning through social media.. I’m diving into scripture and turning to Him.

So during this time of uncertainty, lean into God and His promises.  

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. – Psalms 56:3 ESV

Messy Blessings,

Misty

My Messy Blessed Life

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Life doesn’t always end up like you expect. The choices we make and the consequences that follow can either enhance your life, or they can cause you to take a major step back to work on yourself. The latter is what I have been doing.

I am navigating through a divorce. I’m sure that comes as a shock for some of you that follow my blog. I thought my marriage was restored and I wanted it to be restored. I tried, as did he, but in the end it was too late. I also had fallen in love with someone else, and we have been in a relationship for the past year.

Needless to say, this last year has been incredibly difficult. There is a reason scripture says that God hates divorce. 

I hate divorce, says the Lord, God of Israel. I hate it when one of you does such a cruel thing to his wife. Make sure that you do not break your promise to be faithful to your wife. – Malachi 2:16 (GNB)

Divorce rips apart family, friends, and children. It is ugly and painful. Bitterness, resentment, and anger start to take root in your heart, and if your are not careful, those three things will spread and contaminate all aspects of your life. I have experienced great shame and guilt that I continue to struggle with because of the choices I have made. I am finding that the only way for me to try to forgive myself, is accepting the forgiveness that God has already given me. It is a process.

I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. – Isaiah 43:25 (ESV)

I tried to be as transparent as I could be in my prior posts, and yet I held back the deep and dark secrets of my heart. I cannot fully express how sorry I am, and I humbly ask for your forgiveness. 

I mentioned earlier that I took a major step back and worked on myself. I was diagnosed with a mental illness in April 2019, and since that time, I have been in therapy. Therapy was a long time coming, and I should have taken that step years ago. I am finally able to start working through my childhood, past traumas, and life as it is today. My plan is to share some of my journey with you.

I have revamped this blog, and will share and discuss numerous topics. I originally started to create a new blog entirely. I found myself having a mental block. Something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t know what I was going to do with Living By Grace. Finally, after talking with a dear friend, the answer was obvious.. I couldn’t delete my story.  No matter how things had turned out, or what I should have done or could have done, it was still my story. I wasn’t supposed to start over. I was called to continue sharing the messiness of life and all its blessings.  

..the answer was obvious. I couldn’t delete my story. No matter how things had turned out, or what I should have done or could have done, it was still my story. I wasn’t supposed to start over.

So now here I am, starting over in more ways than one, and excited to share and talk about life. Real life. Real struggles. Real blessings. I hope you will join me!

Messy blessings,

Misty