Ekklesia/Dallas

A new way of living.

August 12, 2008
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Here is the lovely Sarah. She’s an amazing friend and is genuine in her interactions and walk with the Lord. Here is her perspective.

Blogger: Sarah Chambers


[L to R: Sara, Kristyn, Brittany, Kelly, Sandy, and me]

Blog: http://www.sarahelizabethchambers.blogspot.com

Hometown: Dallas

Favorite coffee drink: The vanilla chai latte at Crooked Tree Coffeehouse. The vanilla part makes it awesome!

Favorite verse/passage: Philippians 4: 6-7

Currently reading/watching: Olympics and just finished reading Sex God by Rob Bell. Highly recommend the book…well and the Olympics. Go USA!

Job: 4th grade teacher

Perspective:

At first when asked to write for this blog, I thought I would need to focus in on my experiences with one particular community I am currently apart of. In trying to determine which community I would write about, I had to take a minute and appreciate the joy in that and consider the irony. Two and half years ago I didn’t know what terms such as “biblical community” and “living life together” meant. Though I grew up in a Christian home; I never went to church, rarely hung out with other believers, and more or less lived life for my enjoyment alone. I don’t think I have perfected my definitions of living in community, but now I have actual experiences to gain understanding from. Back then I didn’t surround myself with others that pointed me toward anything really much less Christ. And yet I had friends, laughter, and fun. So what is the difference? What makes this “biblical community” an improvement in my life instead of just a new way to live?

I am a pretty messed up person frankly. I suffer from selfishness, pride, insecurity, control, body image….etc. Some of the ways I have coped with my deficiencies have included alcohol, shopping, starving myself, turning to food, and of course boys. When I started going to church and joined a community group two years ago I still lived this lifestyle, I just had another one on the side. Then something happened, I began to really get to know these girls and became involved with their lives as they became involved with mine. I’m not new to this experience of making friends or anything; I haven’t lived in a cave up until 2 years ago, but these girls were different. They cared how I was living my life. It made a difference to them if I had two drinks or five. They told me to my face that I looked unhealthy and needed to gain weight. But most importantly they loved me through everything and constantly encouraged me to hold onto the promises in God’s word, that Jesus loves me and died on the cross so that I could be free from the life I was living.

It hasn’t been just one person that I can point to and say yes this person has gotten me to this place, and I would be a hypocrite to leave out that ultimately it is God’s grace that has enabled any growth in my life. Rather this collection of experiences with other believers, this “biblical community” has changed my life. Do I have friends now? Yes. Do I still have fun and laugh? Of course. The difference is the joy. The joy in living for Christ and the blessing of friends who love me where I am yet continually point me to Jesus.

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Mini-revelations.. and the beginning of something exciting.

August 11, 2008
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‘Revelation’ seems like such a big word. Adding ‘mini’ in front of it makes me feel better and somewhat justified in using such wordage.

I’ve had some interesting conversations with several people recently about the local church. I think the fact that part of my job at RightNow is to talk to pastors that may or may not feel the necessity for a young adult ministry. When I get to talk to the few leaders whose hearts are burdened for this generation, I could talk to them for hours. I love hearing their passion about raising up leaders in the local body. I think it’s important for us as young adults to be active and making a difference in the world instead of behind computer screens or Guitar Hero. [Which trust me, this is harder for me than for some.]

After a few lengthy discussions with leaders on the opposite side of the spectrum, I discovered something-

It is very easy to criticize the Church.

I know, right?

I say this because I’m guilty of flinging around definitions, explanations and accusations in a single breath. I’m currently reading Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution. I will admit, I was and am still a bit hesistant about this fellow’s book. I’m usually fairly hesistant until I’m halfway through the epilogue. Something he said in the foreword really resonated with me. Well, there are a few things but in particular he made mention of “a movement bubbling up that goes beyond cynicism and celebrates a new way of living, a generation that stops complaining about the church it sees and becomes the church it dreams of“. Wow. That’s pretty cool, I don’t care if you’re an Evangelical, Emergent, Emerging, Calvinist or all of the above [ha].

While I could write about how the 3rd chapter of the book brought me to tears and the 4th challenged me as well as encouraged me, I’ll refrain. I’ll leave you to pick up a copy. 😉

For the next several weeks, this will be a place for believers to write on their perspective on life. I’m super stoked about this for there will be such a beautiful display of many different observations on faith, love, community and the church in general.  Here it goes:

Blogger: Krystal Mullins

Me with some girls from my small group, 4th of July weekend

[L to R: Christy, me, Ashley, Sarah]

Hometown: Arlington by birth, Austin by choice

Favorite coffee drink: The made up ones that the Watermark coffee crew concoct with espresso, mocha and more. Holla.

Favorite verse/passage: Isaiah 51:12-16.. it puts things into perspective. I know it’s random and obscure.. but that’s me.

Currently reading/watching: This awesome old guy at a coffee shop playing the banjo. A-mazing!

Perspective:

I have been surrounded with some amazing brothers and sisters in Christ.

I have experienced community on large and small scales. [I’m getting kind of tired of typing and speaking the word “community” but I’m not aware of a suitable Thesaurus replacement.] Whether it’s a missions debrief discussing how God worked through the hearts of people and the hands and feet of missionaries or whether it’s chatting at a Starbucks, a meeting place exactly halfway between residences, God uses the words and actions of fellow believers as reminders. Reminders that the Lord is in everything. Not just the “ministry” within the four walls of church but life in general. The coffee shop. The workplace. Concert venues. Porches and patios. Newly moved-in apartments. God’s love has been infiltrating my heart in ways I wouldn’t have expected.

Living and participating in communities of faith is hard. Not only hard, it’s near impossible. Why? Because we are selfish and about 1,839 other reasons why, left to our own devices, we will never experience life together.

That’s where the Spirit comes in. Good thing, too.

That’s when hard truths are spoken in love. Intercession becomes, not a practice of duty, but a real way to experience the love of our Savior. Meeting early one morning for coffee is a blessing and not just another thing to pencil in on our calendars. The Word comes alive, not a list of do’s and dont’s. I don’t know how to punctuate multiple of the word “don’t”. Two apostrophes or what..any suggestions?

Anyway, with all of this to say, it’s the church that I dream of. I catch glimpses of it over coffee and over the phone, at work and at gatherings. I’m incredibly blessed with the girls I have the pleasure of hanging out with and meeting with on a consistent basis. They encourage me to not settle for less than what the Lord has for me. They are also way fun and have cute clothes I can borrow. All fashion aside, I hope to be a person of faith that can step out and help in cultivating this elusive concept of community… and use more alliterations as they are also alluring in allegories and awesome artifacts of the Amazon. I don’t know.

The Lord has stretched my understanding of what it means to have a faith to live out in this world and a Love to share with those around me that, like myself, desperately need it.

Each week will be a new blog posting..hopefully. Next up.. Miss Sarah Chambers. 🙂 Watch out, this girl can blog up a storm..


Be a trader.

August 11, 2008
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Want to find ways to serve? Look no further.

I'm a Trader

The RightNow Campaign

Trusty mission coaches like myself can help you find ways to serve the Lord using your skills and passions. It has a great database that I currently am surfing to find different opportunities all over the globe. It’s cool. And legit. If you want to go to an event that encourages you and other young adults to step out of your comfort zone and passionately take the Great Commission seriously, go to Fusion and hang out with us.

Learn more about trading in the American dream for a world that desperately needs Christ here.

Read more about traders just like yourself here.

Over and out.