Church and Dark Chocolate

I love my church. I am proud of it. And I want to tell you why- but first let me clear up a few things. First, loving one thing does not automatically mean you hate something else, for instance, dark chocolate. I love it, and I mean I really love it- I have a stash hidden for emergencies...and by emergency I mean every day after lunch when I need to eat a bite of chocolate.

But just because I love dark chocolate does not mean that I hate milk chocolate or that I think you should run far from milk chocolate and never eat it again, and I can sing the praises of my little jewel wrapped Hersey kisses without it being meant to anger you that I don't feel the same about a Hersey bar or a Reese Cup, or whatever floats your chocolate boat.

So, just because I want to tell you about why I love my church does not imply a criticism of yours, or your mama's or the big one around the corner...Ok, got it?

When I think of my church, I am not thinking of the building, although I am so grateful for our facilities and having a nice place to gather. What I am thinking of is the people there... they are family to me.

I grew up as the preacher's kid, and I am now still the preacher's kid so I literally do have family here. But I also have what I call my "faith family", and they are as thick to me as blood. They have seen me at my best and at my worst and they keep on holding my hand and telling me to look to Jesus. They don't always agree with me but they always talk to me about how my best self is when I let Jesus do in me whatever it is He needs to. They know I am 40 years old and have a blanket. They know I once had to pay myself to do laundry because I hated it THAT MUCH. They wiped my babies behinds in the nursery and now they guide them in the youth group.

They are my family and it does something deep in me to worship with them every week, to see them lifting up their voices and their hands when I know what some of them are going through at that moment. I know them, so I know that their praise is a sacrifice, and it really really spurs me on to worship more intently and more deeply. I have seen some of them go through dark times and see God be faithful, so when I go through dark times it helps me to remember His faithfulness.

Some of my faith family have been there for years, and some haven't. Some I see every week and some I don't. Some of them are rednecks, and some of them are refined. There are fat and skinny and dressed up people and people in sweatpants and people with perfectly fixed hair and some with red and green hair and some with no hair. When we have greeting time and the music is playing and everyone is hugging and laughing and smiling and the music stops and everyone is all over the sanctuary and out of their seats to say hi to someone else, I feel God there. I almost cry every single week. I just can feel the love and it is like some kind of warm drink on a cold day. I need that. If we just did that and then we had to go home I would feel like I had had church that day.

So there you go- my heart on my church. I could list a bunch of other things I love, like my Pastor, and Life Group meetings, and supper on Wednesday night... but what it all boils down to is these amazing people that I get to go after the heart of God with and who have been His hands and feet to me.

I would love to hear why you love about your church! There is room in the candy bowl for lots of kinds of chocolate. :) And if you don't have a church you love, I will save a seat for you beside me on Sunday at CCF.

Love and blessings,


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