A New Normal #ourCOG

#ourCOG A New Normal

A New Normal

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. I was brought up in church all of my life. Truth be told, church was my life. I’ve lived the majority of life with a “drug” problem. My mom and dad “drug” me to church EVERYTIME the doors were open. As a matter of fact, I have a “stained glass” backdrop of virtually all of my greatest childhood memories. The irony of it is, all of my childhood memories happened IN the church. Youth events, singing, puppet ministry, Great services, healings, fundraisers, and outreaches were all IN the church. Sunday AM, Sunday PM, Wednesday, Revivals, Practices, Plays, Discipleship, Training, Meetings & anything else imaginable happened IN the church. Heck, I held hands with a girl for the 1st time IN church. I LOVED church! I lived for it, because it (being at church all the time) is all I ever known. Today, I’m still a church-goer! When I hear about revivals or singings, I want to be there. At Judah, we don’t do Sunday nights. That statement in itself, made me chuckle a little. We “DID” Sunday nights! Haha There is a part of me that is so glad we don’t do Sunday Nights, though. Sundays from 6am – 3:30pm is enough for me at this stage. But another part of me yearns for the Sunday Night Shoutdowns of days gone by. Why? Because it (Sunday Night Service) was NORMAL me. The absence of that additional service leaves a void in me. Why? It’s the way I’ve been trained! I’ve been “trained that I should go & now that I’m old I almost feel guilty for having departed from that pattern.” This past Saturday, my Judah family and I went into a low-income area of the city of Charlotte to Love Charlotte A Lot by doing an event we call Loads Of Love (LOL.) It is our desire and passion to REACH the hurting through meeting their “immediate need” so we can have an open door of opportunity to lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus, the King to quench the thirst of their soul. I’m still very emotional for this event. 7 people were won to the Kingdom right there in a laundymat. These 7 came to clean their clothes, yet they left with clean clothes, clean heart and a clean slate! I’m about to shout right here at Starbucks! What struck me the most at the event, was watching the Judah Kids that were there. As much as young children could help, they did. They face painted, played soccer, threw horseshoes, folded laundry, and served food until their attention span couldn’t take it any longer! It was a beautiful thing. This whole “Loads of Love” thing we did, we did as a church OUTSIDE, not stuck on the INSIDE. It dawned on me that these Judah Kids of mine are living a New Normal for adult church attenders, but just normal for them. It’s new & different to go to laundrymats & give coats away to homeless for the winter months for us old PEW DWELLERS, but our kids have a New Normal. It’s gonna be normal for our kids to FEED the hungry, give WATER to the thirsty, CARE for the stranger, CLOTHE the naked, HEAL the sick, and GO to the incarcerated. my “normal” consisted of sending money to send others. My kids “normal” is raising the money to GO themselves. Shew that’s awesome!!! Proverbs 22:6 is often seen as a Bible verse that implies “teach a kid about Jesus & when their old they’ll be saved from Hell.” For me, I’ve seen this “Lamp Language” in a more illuminated way. What is being said is, “I’m training children in certain patterns that they will not break with age.” Let me break that down… I’m training children how to love their enemies by the way I love mine. I’m training children how to treat their spouse by the way I treat mine. I’m training children how to love the least of these by the way I love them. I’m training children how to eat by the way I eat. I’m training children how to treat different ethnicities by the way I treat them. I’m training children how to honor the old by the way I honor them. I’m training children how to handle their conflict by the way I handle mine. I will train children how to die by the way I approach my death. I’m training children how to extend grace & mercy by the way I extend it. The warning here Ladies & Gentlemen is that they will not break the pattern I’ve trained them to “go in” with merely getting older. My prayer for me & you is that the way they “should go” is the right way to go. Lets be clear, we are in fact training our kids in “the way they should go” by the way we live our lives, but it doesn’t means its the right way to go. Lets covenant together that the NEW NORMAL our kids will have is one that we who are training them can be proud of. Hope I Helped, gw

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