Thankful for Worship

I was glad when they said unto me,

One of the foster toddlers got me up at 5:30 am. Who wants to wake up at 5:30 am on a Sunday morning? Sunday, after all, should be a day of rest.

It’s already been a full weekend. I’ve got a list of chores a mile long. Write lesson plans for the five teens and tweens. Grocery shop for the week. Ensure my husband has enough clothes and gluten-free snacks to pack for his upcoming  business trip.

Can’t I just stay home today?

It’s rainy outside, too. Aren’t gloomy days for staying at home, curling up in your toasty pj’s, and reading a good book? I’d rather not have to get out the umbrella, and try keep myself, two toddlers, a diaper bag and my Bible dry as we hurry across the wet parking lot. I can see it now. My nearly three-year old foster son is going to want to stop and inspect every single puddle on our way to the door.

I think today I’d prefer to skip church.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Freedom of Worship,” 1943. Oil on canvas, 46″ x 35 1/2″. Story illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” February 27, 1943. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Freedom of Worship,” 1943. Oil on canvas, 46″ x 35 1/2″. Story illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” February 27, 1943. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.

In America we are blessed with the freedom to worship … or not to worship.

It seems to me that a lot of our basic freedoms are slowly slipping away. And as much as I might think I want to exercise my right to not have to attend church today, I dread more to imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have the opportunity to worship at all (or was forced to be part of a religion with which I didn’t agree).

I’m so thankful that I’ve still got this freedom to go to the church of my choice. I pray it never is taken away.

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It’s rainy, I’ve got important things to do at home, and I’d rather just relax at home anyway. But I won’t.

I’ll go to church and worship.  

Not out of some civic duty to exercise my right to worship. Not because I particularly feel like it at this very moment.

I am going to church because it’s what God said to do.

And I know that once I’m there, I will bow my heart and raise my hands … and leave thankful that I chose to spend time today worshipping my Savior.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ~Hebrews 10:24-25

With a Thankful Heart-2

Late and Lost: Lousy Words for Today

My husband Jon woke up late this morning. He needed to leave the house by 6 am to get to work on time, but for some reason it was 5:50 am before either of us woke up. Waking up late is never a good way to start the day.

Maddie works on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a local church’s Mother’s Day Out program. She doesn’t have to leave for work until 7:30 am, but in order for her to get ready in time she has to be woken at 6 am. I felt thankful that I wasn’t late for waking up Maddie … but I might as well have been.

You see, Maddie quickly realized that she lost her work shirt. She searched high and low. Jon, who I mentioned earlier was already running late, stepped in to help Maddie search for the missing garment. It was all to no avail. The work shirt was very much lost. Losing something as important as a work shirt is also not a good way to start the day.

As I poured myself a cup of coffee, I realized it was raining outside … again. It’s been raining since last Friday. Another day of no sunshine. Another day of being stuck inside the house.

“What a lousy day this is turning out to be!” I thought. 

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Some days are just lousy, even if you aren’t running late or losing important items.  We’ve all been there. Everyone has experienced a day (or two …  or three) when from the start it all goes wrong.

In the past, whenever I have fretted about one thing or another not going quite right, my mother would remind me, “Paige, one thing you can count on is that in this world you will have trouble. But think of it this way …  it is the problems and troubles we face that cause us to long for the perfection of heaven.”

She’s right. Today there might be trouble (thankfully just in the form of running late and losing important items and more rain that I’d like), but there is coming a day when I will leave behind this world full of lousy days. Then I will live forever in the presence of holy perfection, which is found only in Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  ~John 16:33

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BaptistGirlConfession

This post is part of the 2015 A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. If you are visiting due to that, thanks so much for popping in to read today’s post. I hope you will leave me a comment so that I can return the visit to your blog. I love to connect with other bloggers and readers. If you are a regular reader, I hope you’ll stick with me during April when I blog about the stories of my faith.