church journey

houses of refuge

I read a nice blog post here about how God’s accepting love of us, over time, brings us to trust him with more and more of our hearts. As I read it, it inspired thoughts that I commented there, but wanted to post here as well.

I see a correlation in that story to what God is revealing to us among human relations as well. Or better said, among the mix of Jesus and his followers.

For the first few years of our gathering, with about 5-6 families, we were still fresh from the church-business model, and I think we carried some of that habit of trying to prod others to do the things we thought a group of Jesus followers should be doing. You know, the “shoulds” and “ought-tos”. We’re so good at directing this business, with all our strategies and methods, with “No Holy Spirit Required.”

Gradually, that kind of stuff seems to be dropping off, and in recent years, without consciously intending it, but now realizing in reflection, we’re seeing that we’re mostly just “being” together, with our loving Father, accepting each other where they are the best we can, screw-ups and all. Not that it’s always a piece of cake, and certainly not perfectly done. But what else can we do? Where else can we go? We’re ruined from going back to anything, so all we can do is press onward. It’s like we realize how much we appreciate and need this life-together-with-each-other-and-Jesus.

God is getting his way with us, and safety is growing. And an interesting thing is happening to nearly every one of us over the last year: God is bringing us to the growth points he wants for us, right in front of each other, where it can’t be hidden. Messy sometimes. But I think we’re starting to “get” what some of his design is for his followers – as we keep gathering in Jesus, year over year, we can become a host to his healing presence and power, and he shepherds the growth and change all on his own, with “No Human Intervention Required.” It might be early to say, but it would seem that “scrapes and scabs, that were all over his body, are disappearing” (a quote from the above referenced blog post).

Thank you, dear God. May you raise up small, simple gatherings of your followers everywhere, and would you fill them with hunger for your presence, that we might become houses of refuge in the midst of these stormy days.

By Page

Aspiring to follow Jesus, dad to two young girls, work in IT industry, living in the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy playing acoustic guitar, home projects, building stuff, even yard work.

2 replies on “houses of refuge”

This post could have been written by and about the “house of refuge” of which my wife Judy and I have been privileged to be a part since 1999 approx. I’d say the coincidence is eeriely uncanny if I did not know the Lord and some of the ways He is building His Church. No kidding; there is nothing in this post that does not apply to our experience of Christ in the simple church fellowship in which the Father has placed us. This gives me “joy inexpressible and full of glory.”

Thanks for sharing this, Chuck. So wonderful how our God moves among us. Christine and I look forward to connecting more with you and those you gather with.

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