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More than Comfort

The boys are in the midst of their fourth week of school.  Transitioning to a new school in a new community has been both exciting and challenging.

On a typical morning the boys wake up at six and head straight downstairs to watch cartoons until Brandon and I can shake the haze of midnight feedings and get ourselves out of bed.  A few mornings ago Graham switched things up and instead of heading downstairs, climbed into bed and snuggled.  In the midst of my haze he whispered in my ear “Mom I miss Miles City…. I am starting to forget what my friends’ faces look like.” The haze disappeared instantly as my heart broke into a thousand pieces.

That same day, Micah struggled at school and as we talked about it over our mid-afternoon snack he shared that he missed his friends and even though he was getting to know people here, everyone else knows each other better and he misses being comfortable with everyone. “Comfortable”— I asked him what he meant.  He said that he misses playing with people that he has known since preschool, people who just know him.


I am not a territorial pastor.  I believe that some people “fit” in some congregations, and other people “fit” in other congregations.  I don’t get defensive if the congregation I am serving isn’t for everyone.  I am quick to let people know that if we aren’t the congregation for them, please let me know and I will try to help them find the right one.  I want people to find where they are comfortable and where they can most tune in to what God is doing in their life.  I have actually told people to just keep looking until they find where they are “comfortable.”  I think a lot of us who have looked for a congregation to call our own has used the term:

“I knew instantly that Federated was the church for me, I just felt comfortable.”

“We are trying out different churches until we find one where we feel comfortable.”

But after my conversations with the boys and thinking about our new ministry here in Anthem, I am realizing that “comfort” isn’t what we are actually looking for.  The old recliner in my living room growing up was “comfortable.”  Sweatpants are “comfortable.”

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Room for the Holy Spirit

In my younger years, I spent my summers counseling summer church camps.  It was a blast.  At the end of each week we closed out camp with a dance.  Also a blast.  It was great, the kids had spent the week getting to know each other and by the end of the week they had let go of their cool kid facades (at least mostly) and were ready to have a good time goofing off.  We broke out the classic moves– the lawnmower, the sprinkler, the running man–  and we made up some of our own. We just spent hours jumping around and having a great time.  Every once in a while a slow song would come on.  Most of the kids would migrate to the margins and catch their breath or head for a quick drink of water.  But there were some who were brave enough to actually partner up with a person of the opposite sex and attempt the awkward middle school slow dance.  And then the counselors sprung into action.  Most of the kids had the standard stance of keeping each other at an arms length away, but others seemed to be testing the adolescent waters and moved in for a closer embrace.  That is when we shined. We would bounce around from couple to couple saying “keep room for the Holy Spirit”, making sure that things didn’t get too serious.

This week Brandon and I started working our way through the book of Acts together.  We are starting a new church, so it seems reasonable to ground ourselves in the stories and events of the first charged with the task. In the first chapter the disciples ask Jesus if now is the time.  It makes sense.  Jesus was crucified and everything had been a mess and it seemed that everything they had hoped for was gone.  But then it wasn’t.  He came back.  He triumphed over death and he was there, in their midst– everything was good again.  Not just good, it was all clear now, Jesus was going to change everything.  So that change was going to happen now right, like right now right now– right?!?

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