I love the idea of community.
The book of Acts explains in great detail the type of community I long for.
When Peter addressed the crowd of followers on the day of Pentacost, 3,000 believers were added on that day… Talk about a mega church plant overnight!
3K heard the Word, believed and decided to be followers of Christ. Now that’s church. The number was astounding… But while studying the birth of the Christian church from the book of Acts, what filled me with joy more than the grand number was the huge sense of community.
Acts 2:42-47: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
In the beginning, the idea of community was established. It’s such a beautiful thing. I have always been intrigued by other cultures and their sense of community. During my years as a pediatric oncology nurse, I had the blessing to really get to know several Hispanic families as I cared for their sick little ones. They always had a large family and community to help them during thier time of need.
And now that we are a traveling family, we have had the opportunity to engage in many various communities across the USA. I am forever grateful for this season in our lives. Although community looks different for us now that we travel, perhaps we aren’t able to engage in the same community on a daily basis, we are blessed to meet so many people throughout the country and establish community whether we are.
You may have read this before in a previous blog or on social media, but one thing I am constantly praying over our family is that we live out Matthew 5:16 (shine His light) everywhere we go and that we have open hearts and open hands. I never want us to miss an opportunity to be a blessing or to be blessed. If our heart and hands are constantly open, the Lord is able to work in our midst and allow us to shine His light to every community we embark upon.
Having this mindset has allowed us to invite a homeless man, Mr. Jack to a Chris Tomlin album release party at our church in Atlanta and watch as he worshipped the Lord with tears streaming down his face.
We have been able to buy dinners for people whom we felt we needed to in a restaurant, we have been able to pour the love of Jesus to other families and invite kids to church that we have met at the campsites. My daughter and I even had the opportunity to lead a precious little one to Christ! Open hearts and open hands… Community! Community can happen wherever you are planted, rather you have a large tribe or a small one and regardless of the amount of time you have invested into an area.
Last month, our family drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming to spend a day at Frontier Days.
I highly recommend this fun event if you are in the area next July.
And even there, we desired to live out Matthew 5:16 with open hearts and open hands. Except this time… Instead of striving to bless others… We were blessed beyond measure…
As I was ordering my Indian taco (because everyone raved about the Indian tacos at Frontier days… And it did not disappoint), this little sweetie came up to me and said “I like your necklace. I like your shirt and hair and jeans and shoes.” Wow! Talk about making someone feel good. Then she goes on to say, “Girl, you are just gorg…e…ous!” With the gorgeous drawn out and exaggerated. I thanked her, we giggled a bit and I begged her to come home with me for my daily dose of much needed encouragement.
Throughout the day, we continued to encounter this precious one and she would always say to her mom, “Look! There’s my best friend!” She was such a doll. When we met once again near the petting zoo and horse stables, I had the best conversation with her and her mom about being a blessing to others. She for sure blessed my socks off and filled my love tank that day with all of her compliments. I was able to share Psalm 139 (being fearfully and wonderfully made) with her and explained how that scripture was speaking of her. As I walked away from this precious one, after numerous encounters throughout the day, my heart was filled with JOY!
We had many other beautiful encounters like this one during our day at Frontier Days. I will share those a little later in another blog post.
I love that church can happen anywhere you are. As followers of Christ, we are church… And church can even happen in the middle of Frontier Days in the middle of Cheyenne, Wyoming!
Here are a few pics from our fun day…