Archive for October, 2010

What On Earth Am I Here For? You Are Not An Accident Con’t.

“‘I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth. Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you,’ says the Lord.” Isaiah 44:2 CEV

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He even says he will stick it out with us to the end, even the bitter end, because he loves us so.

We realize who we truly are and what we are here for by learning to understand why God put us here, and how he feels about us. We must submit to him and always allow him to lead our lives and be the sole leader of our lives in order to gain his vision, in order to be receptive to truth.

He wraps us up in his love, and I’m sure we’re more important than we could ever begin to grasp—we are the children of the God most awesome—King of the universe, and all things, for crying out loud! He always wishes to be with us and to take care of us, more than we can begin to understand. How blessed we all are, and have always been, and continue to be, even when we forget or don’t realize it.

It just goes to show you that he did in fact think of us before we were all here on earth, and that he did love us and desire us to be here, so he put us here and continues to love us, and constantly hopes that we will understand that he cares dearly for us and our lives.

He chases after our lives constantly in order to try and reach us, and never stops pursuing us, just as he wants us to never stop pursuing him and growing more like him.

…..Happy Halloween! I don’t know why I’ve always really loved Halloween. Candy and costumes and creepy, scary themes… looove it. LOL. Have a great day, eat a BUT load of candy. I know I will.

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What On Earth Am I Here For? You Are Not An Accident

Reflections on what I read from Daily Inspiration for the Purpose Driven Life:

“I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born.” Isaiah 44:2 CEV

“You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.” Psalm 139:15 The Message

“You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!” Psalm 139:16 LB

“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.” Ephesians 1:4 The Message

———–
‘Focused of his love’—every time I read love in this quote above—and even all the quotes—it resonates in my soul, and sings love in my heart. I love God more than life itself!
———–

“God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made.” James 1:18 NCV

———–
This is so endlessly beautiful. He decided to make us the most important of all the things he made! Can you begin to imagine what love he has for us to want us to be most important—more important than all other creatures of the earth, and all of the earth and it’s beauty, and all of space, and all of the endless universe? We are so teensy and tiny and microscopic compared to the hugeness of the endless stretch of space and speckles of stars! Yet he is so gentle and kind and loving that he comes to us and places us above all things—and it’s breathtaking that he knew this even before we were made!
———–

“God formed the earth and made it. He set it up. He did not create it to be empty but formed it to be inhabited.” Isaiah 45:18 GWT

———–
So he wants us here! We are not devoid of purpose, and we were never an accident. He wanted us to fill up the earth so that his glory would ring through us, so that we could be his own children!
———–

“God is love.” 1 John 4:8 NIV

———–
This is it. He is love and he loved us first, and so we should love him with all our heart and mind and soul, and we should desire to be like him and to grow in his Spirit until he returns to us again. God calls us and never gives up on us, and would not trade us for anything. I can guarantee that he wants a relationship with us much more than we want one with him, and he desires our hearts more than we desire to give them to him, and he desires to communicate with us more than we could ever desire to hear him.

He’s a big endless fountain of love—and glory and strength and righteousness and pure awesomeness! So he’s not a ‘pansy God’ who wants to please everyone—he is a righteous God who wants the hearts of all mankind, and will fight to no end for them. We see this through his being with us through all of our phases in humanity—when we rise with him and when we fall—he is here with us. So even if it means death of some to save many others, he will pursue it, because he desires to save us this much.

He loves like a father should, except perfectly! He is kind and gentle and humble to those who treat him the same way, and he knows and pays attention to the heart of people—not outward appearances as man does. He is the judger of all mankind, and tries so hard to get us to follow him so we won’t end up with the worse judgment of all—hell for not having him fully in our hearts.

Click here to Accept Christ!

What on Earth Am I Here For? It All Starts with God

Reflections on what I read from Daily Inspiration for the Purpose Driven Life

“A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.” Proverbs 11:28 The Message

“For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.” Colossians 1:16 The Message

“Jesus said, ‘Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.’” Matthew 16:25 The Message

“Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.” Romans 8:6 The Message

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Ephesians 1:11 The Message

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We should focus on God. That is the only true way to get out of a cramped life of slavery to the things that surround us. What surrounds us are things of the world, and idolatry leads us only to death. We should seek the face of Jesus Christ and attempt to always be close to him, because he leads us away from the things of this world to follow him closely, so that we may be like him.

He was made in the exact likeness of God, and we are made in God’s likeness, therefore we are designed to be like Christ. This means rebelling against the sinful ways of the world—the ways that bring about endless destruction to those who follow it all their days. Being in Jesus protects us from this, because we become like him in the way we think and act and feel and do.

His own Spirit resides in us, so we start to see the world through his eyes, and all we do will begin to reflect our growth in our walk with God and closeness to his Spirit. He desires us to be opposite of the world, and by being so, we do not face endless destruction, but an eternity with the glorious King of the Universe, and we will glorify him even more in heaven.

God is the beginning of everything, and knew us before we came to be, and Jesus saved us while we were still sinners, and so he shows us his love in this way. The sooner we can realize that we are created for God’s purpose, the sooner we can find escape from this deadly world and freedom in all of life.

Click here to Accept Christ!

Philippians 2:12-18, Shining as Stars

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” -Philippians 2:12-18, NIV

Paul and Timothy are writing to the saints in Jesus Christ at Philippi, and they are trying to encourage everyone to remain faithful to the Lord.

In this passage, they are talking about how the people are obeying the Lord Jesus and how they should continue to do so, even in the absence of Paul. They should be very careful and do what is right, to avoid sin, so they can receive salvation from Christ. They should fear and submit to him. It is God’s will for these people to listen to him and carry out his good plans for them.

They should not complain or fight so that they won’t sin and will be pure. They will be God’s own children who live holy lives as opposed to those who live lives of sin and greed, jealous, immorality. They shine like the brightest stars in the universe compared to those people, as they uphold Christ’s word and live it out. This will make Paul and Timothy very happy because all their work they did with these people to spread the name of Christ will not have been in vain. They (Paul and Timothy) are very happy with them, so they should be happy
with them and rejoice together.

This is one of my favorite verses because as children of God, we are called to live lives like these; be the brightest stars in the universe as a contrast to how all other people in this world are. I love the huge contrast there is from God’s people and worldly peple.

People of the world: their hearts are not chagned and they worry and obsess over the temporary things of this world. Our hearts are changed by the grace and mercy of Christ, and our lives reflect it. The huge gap between the two types of people truly reflect how powerful the message of the Gospel is, and how, for the people it does change, it truly does rock their worlds, wash their hearts clean, and truly gives them a new and free life with God. Nothing better than that!

We uphold God’s rules for us because his rules are created so they protect us from sin and give us freedom to live the best and most fulfilling lives. His rules are created for our ultimate success, so we should be careful not to fall away from his powerful message and truth, and in doing this, our lives are richly blessed compared to the people of the world who can’t receive Christ’s blessings.

Click here to Accept Christ!

*Poetry Corner- Like a Hurricane

I am in love with who I am,
My attitude
Humble towards the Lord
He lifts me up
Lets me lead
Lets the humblest
Lead all others
I am a bird
I cannot fly higher in the sky
My life is meaningful
More than others know
I don’t need the things of this world
Money or cars, not fame for me
Unless of course it’s for Jesus’s name
I don’t need casual sex
Or partying or cheap thrills
Drugs, alcohol, gossip, lies, deceit
I am pure in my heart
Jesus has wiped my life clean
Forgiven me for the filthy things I’ve done
Erased the filthy ways I feel
A heart so broken, never thought it could heal
Jesus, his love, lifted my chin up,
Still lifts my chin up
Makes life worth living
And I throw the things of the world away
Stand proud in him,
Stand up for his name,
Which is his heart
I will not throw myself away
In this life
He says I’m beautiful, knows I’m beautiful
And truly, I’m happiest standing in his love
I’m freest when I’m not held down by the
Things of this world

Fleeting feelings of fun come and go
Like a hurricane
Without warning they’re there and then they’re gone
Wrecking everying in their path
Leaving nothing but broken homes, broken hearts,
Broken dreams, broken lives
But Jesus is my indestructable shelter
Keeping hurricanes away
Outside my window, I look and cry
As I see people totally destroyed with nowhere
To go
And I walk outside,
Every brave step I make,
It’s Jesus taking it for me
I do not fear being torn down by hurricanes
For I am truly indestructable

Even if my body is destroyed by the storm
Nothing can change me in my heart
Take me away from my king
I do not bow down to the things of this world
But to the only one who can save me from the storm
King Jesus
I wear his name bravely on my sleeve,
Tattooed on my heart permanently

And I go and grab the hands of all
The broken people sitting where the
Hurricanes hit
I lift them up, tell them about the
Refuge, the safety in Jesus,
That’s only found in Jesus,
And not in the things of this world
Take them to my indestructable shelter
Where they can be safe
In their hearts
And they go there
Not believing until they sit inside
And see none of the hurricanes can
Harm them anymore,
Can touch them, ruin them anymore
And there is a change in their hearts
From disbelief to belief in the truth that
Jesus saves all who trust in him
Because he loves everyone
No matter who they are, where they come from,
What kind of life they’ve left behind
They are safe in the shelter
Because he’s strong enough to protect them,
Shield them from the things of this life
That kill
Sin and the worldy things
That look fun but decieve you
And destroy everything you have

Yes, this change from disbelief to belief
Is a change in their hearts
And those hearts change from weak
And sinful
To pure and truly indestructable
And even with shelter in Jesus,
They are not afraid of hurricanes
And they leave this comfortable place
Even if their bodies are destroyed by the storm
Nothing can change them in their hearts

And now they can go out, reach
For someone’s hand to help them up
And lead them to the shelter, the safety in Jesus

Telling them
Fleeting feelings of fun come and go
Like a hurricane
Without warning they’re there and then they’re gone
Wrecking everying in their path
Leaving nothing but broken homes, broken hearts,
Broken dreams, broken lives
But Jesus is my indestructable shelter
Keeping hurricanes away
They’re telling these people
That Jesus loves them and begs them to come home

-Jennifer Clayton 🙂

Click here to Accept Christ!

Christian Websites!!

From Broken to Whole, Again

Before I met Christ, I would vent all my problems, pain, trash in my life through poetry. Any poison killing me, I would try to suck out the pain through poetry. It was always my ‘cure’ to my problems. I truly tried to use it as something to try to pull my life together, make my heart feel whole. It was so beautiful, but so sad. It almost never worked in healing me.

I would write but more pain would just build up. I had no way out. The more I wrote to try to hold my heart together, the more my heart shattered into thousands of pieces. I had tons of dreams in life, but if I could never make my heart feel whole, I would never have the strength to go out and achieve them. So one day I completely cracked. All of the heart breaking one day just caused my who heart to be ruined; there was nothing left to break.

I felt like I was going insane and like I was about to die. My heart was gone. The weight of responsibilites adn people and the world just killed it completely. I felt like I lost hope in life, lost meaning; in a sense, lost touch with reality.Felt like I was in a hole I could never get out of, like all there was to live in was eternal blackness.

But then my mom saw me struggling, and showed me this video about God.

And I broke down in my heart and told Jesus over and over again that I trusted him. I had no choice. And literally moments after that, I could feel a small change. The blood from my heart that splattered all over my winow of life, causing me to not see through it and to hurt- Jesus wiped away the blood and started bandaging my heart.

He took away the utter dependency of writing poetry; he let me rest in his heart and his strength and his mercy so I depended on him. He corrected the damage done in 3 years in a matter of a few months. And I’ve never been more free.

Now I can focus on my dreams, and I actually achieve them. For example, this year, I had 9 New Years Resolutions. I made them right at the beginning of 2010. Now bear in mind, the vast majority of people don’t achieve many, or any of their New Years Resolutions at all. But because my obsessive writing habit was not taking over my life and my heart was finally not in a million pieces, I had the strength to make my New Years Resolutions come true, which means everything to me.

The 9 were:

1. Get a job and keep it for at least 3 months.
2. Learn to play and sing 10 songs on the piano
3. Learn to play and sing 10 songs the guitar
4. Finish the bible
5. Draw 15 pictures
6. Get a boyfriend
7. Heal emotionally
8. Write and be able to play and sing 1 song by me
9. Keep my ‘Atypical Jesus’ blog up and running

And it is october. Want to know what I have accomplished?

1. Got a job at Chick-fil-A, been there 8 months, never plan on quitting. Love the people there, love the atmosphere, and love the food. I am confident there and incredibly happy. Now I tithe regularly.

2. I’ve learned to play 10 songs on the piano, and I can sing the songs and play them fairly well. I learned:
1. Another Town by Regina Spektor
2. Baobabs by Regina Spektor
3. Mary Anne by Regina Spektor
4. My Immortal by Evanescence
5. Glitter in the Air by Pink
6. Reaching Towards the Sky by Me
7. The Candle’s Flame by Me
8. Dare Myself to Dream by Me, for my friend Taylor Hurray
9. Across the Universe by the Beatles
10. Act Naturally by the Beatles
Only one of those songs is not completely done, but the others are. =)

3. I did the songs on piano in the first part of the year, and I stared the ones on the guitar about half way through the year. I’m learning 5 on accoustic and 5 on electric. I got my electric guitar by working at Chick-fil-A; in fact, that’s the biggest reason I got the job. Accoustic:
1. Hey There Delilah by the Plain White T’s
2. I’ll Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie
3. Let That be Enough by Switchfoot
4. Mile After Mile by Me
5. A song about God I’m working on, Lol
Electric:
6. Scars by Me
7. Somebody, Someone by Korn
And I plan on learning 3 more Korn songs on guitar. I’m getting so close to getting done. Guitar is much harder than piano in a lot of ways for me, but I’m pushing through the struggle.

4. I just recently finished the bible. Read it book by book. It took awhile, but I finally got done, from cover to cover.

5. I have completed 13 pictures:
1. Naruto: Sakura, Sasuke for a friend
2. Hayley from Paramore
3. Picture for My dad
4. Regina Spektor
5. Fefe Dobson
6. Jesus!! Yeah!
7. My Mom’s book Cover, ‘Joy and Paine’
8. Fantasy Girl
9. Welcome to the Yard of Graves
10. My Mom and Stepdad Wedding Day
11. Tamogatchi Animation- still working on
12. Self-portrait
13. Sad Girl- not on internet yet
14. Jesus Crucifixion- still working on it

I am in the process of drawing Jesus dying on the cross, bleeding out. It’s incredibly painful, incredibly beautiful. I find myself having to stop while drawing because it hurst so much. But I have to finish it and have one more picture after that, and I’m done with this resolution! These pictures usually take anywhere from 5 to 15 hours to draw.

6. I was working on getting a boyfriend, meeting guys and hanging out and getting numbers and stuff (LOL! =P), but Christ told me to let go of that resolution. He encouraged me to get a purity ring, which, I did and I’m still wearing. He pushes me away from a bunch of flirting. I know he has the perfect guy planned for me. So I gave up the boyfriend dream and just trust in him. He takes away the loneliness, even without a bf. So basically, I just kind of changed that resolution to being more socially active. And I have, keeping up with twitter, facebook, this blog, hangin out, going places, etc. I made this resolution because I’m very inclined to solitude, for some reason. So I’m breaking out of my shell.

7. I heal emotionally because Christ is actually healing my heart and I constantly feel him loving me and taking away the pain. Exercise and doing things I love, hanging out with friends, acheiving goals has helped me heal. I’ve already gotten over the man who broke my heart, which is a huge step for me! =) I’ve done Tai Chi to heal myself, also.

8. I wrote one song for my friend Taylor Hurray, who has a recording contract with Sony. Besides that song, I’ve written for songs for Jesus, because I’ve always wanted to write worship songs.

9. This resolution is basically achieved because I’ve kept this blog up and very active. I’ve started posting every other day and I’ve gotten 1,400 views.

So I’m either done or very close to achieving everything. The point of writng all my success after I got over failure is to say I did it with the power of Christ in my life.

Bare in mind that I’m not saying that the moment you believe in Christ, all your dreams comes true. In fact, right after my heart was healed when he saved me, it got broken a million times before all this happened. I fell into a little depression, cried a lot, go my heart broken, even was a little bit abused. The point is, the opportunity for success incread waaaay more after accepting Christ.

So before I was saved, I was not strong enough in my own heart to achieve my dreams. After I accepted him, it gave me strength and more passion to achieve my dreams. With Christ, you suffer and fight hard, but at the same time, by persevering in these hard times, he will bless you richly. It’s not always the same way I have been blessed. But you are guaranteed to get blessed. I had faith in him and worked very hard and diligently to achieve these goals. He made achieving them twice as easy.

So with Christ, truly anything is possible. Have faith and trust him no matter what!! 🙂 Love you all,

Jennifer Clayton xox

Click here to Accept Christ!

Picture of Jesus, *Poetry Corner- His Love Is

**Click for actual size

So I drew this on neondragonart.com. It’s an excellent drawing site. I draw most of my stuff there. I kept working on this picture until I just couldn’t work on it anymore. It was so painful because it’s hard to just draw someone you love dying, for hours.

Numerous times, I had to stop and lay down until the pain went away. And then I continued. I loved drawing it, but am glad to be done because I don’t have to feel such pain… hope you enjoy. 🙂 Took 14 1/2 hours to draw.

Also, I wrote a poem last night, called “His Love Is”

His love is
Deeper, richer than the bluest sky
Warmth within the coldest night
Within blackness, a spark of light
Within desolation, a scrap of hope
Stretching from coast to coast

His love is
Fingerprints on the soul
The dust leaving a trail of gold
The shimmer stretches and grows
‘Til it’s the only thing you know

His love is
Bandages on the heart
So strong it tears your pain apart
A breathtaking form of art
A reason for a brand new start

His love is
Reaching across everything
Turning you upside down
Gripping and shaking you
Wrestling you to the ground
Lifting you all the way up
Turning your life around

And it hits you so hard
It takes your breath away
We fall face down to give him praise
We fall face down because we’re
Dealt a blow of grace
Knocked out cold
Entrust him with our souls
And it’s all because
He’s the only one
Who truly knows how to love

Lifting up broken hearts with golden wings
His love is everything

—————
I hope he touches your heart the way he has touched mine.

-Jennifer Clayton

Spending Time Reading the Bible

Wooohooooooo!!!!!! God had put it in my heart to finish the bible and I finally did it today. I made it one of my New Year’s Resolutions, and for each of the books of the bible I read, I would give myself a small reward- by doing something I really enjoy. It really motivated me. In general, I was very motivated to do this because I am so in love with Christ and this is what he wanted me to do, so I was eager to be obedient and obey. I always listen to God when he calls me to do something, because I am so certain he knows what is best for me. 🙂

It is very effective to break the bible up and try to read it little by little, instead of looking at it as a whole and overwhelming yourself. Don’t think, ‘I’m going to try to read the whole bible.’ Think, ‘I’m going to read 1 section today.’ An by reading small sections every day, you eventually read the whole thing. There are two sayings:

“Little by little, one walks far.”
and
“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Take it step by step so not to overwhelm yourself. And reward yourself for reading parts of te bible. This is something that will motivate you.

But anyway, I was basically at the beginning of Revelation this morning (after I read through 2 John, 3 John, and Jude), and it was insane- a lot of interesting stuff, destruction; but I wrote it on my heart and believed it, because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I wholeheartedly trust that all the word of God is true.

The whole bible was very interesting. The theme I noticed most was God constantly trying to reach his people, and while a small group of people would try to focus on him and listen to him, the majority got swept away with sin and got caught up in doing evil things. It broke my heart that his chosen pepole, Israel, were given many opportunities to enjoy his friendship and worship him and live good lives, but they constantly fell in love with other false gods and idols. They worshipped cows made of jewelry, fertility gods, you name it. ):!!

God tried so hard to rescue his people from their sinful lifestyles of idolatry, greed, sexual immorality, etc. But they turned away. Sometimes, people think that God in the Old Testament was way too harsh, but I honestly think that’s a big fat lie.

He simply loved his people and sought after them so they could live rich and fulfilled lives with him, dedicated to his teaching. He simply wanted to lead them to live upright lives like any good and caring father would. Truly, it is because of the Israelites constantly ignoring God’s constant love and instruction that caused so many people to die and brought so much destruction. God was truly not mean; he was loving, kind, forgiving, compassionate.

But think in terms of life today. What happens when you ignore what your parents say over and over and only get caught up in a bunch of bad stuff that you want to do like drugs, sex, whatever? Though your parents love you dearly, after so much, they get fed up and really have to discipline you. It feels like they are ruining your life, but they are trying to keep you safe and protect you by having rules and order in the house. God is simply the same way and after so much time, with a brutally crushed heart, he is forced to discipline his children.

All I see is stubborn people falling away from a loving God. And that is true thought the bible. God raises some people up who live holy, upright lives and follow his commands, and those humble people are the ones he uses to change the nations and try to get them to believe in his name. Some of these are people like David and Moses and some of the prophets. God is always trying to give people a chance, it is just that peple persistantly choose not to take advantage of that.

In the New Testament, Jesus lives his perfect life, and when he gets around 30, he starts his ministry; preaching to people, and radically affecting everyone around him, causing hearts to change and fights to start up over his holy name. But still, the theme is fairly apparent; there are some people who refuse to believe he is the son of God, and Christ makes it very clear that to get to heaven and to be with God the Father, you have to have faith in him (Christ). There is only hell if you live without Christ.

Jesus says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV

People cause problems with Jesus and people choose to be ignorant, like the Israelites. But at the same time, lots of people are saved. Thousands and thousands. Christ has his apostles, and they radically spread the name of Christ and cause many people to believe. So there are always some who believe and some who don’t. I certainly believe!

But it was qutie a spiritual journey, reading through the entire bible, in which I walked and held Christ’s hand, and the hand of his Father and the Holy Spirit. I learned that the unfaithful eventually suffer- in this life and the next, and that the faithful get to enjoy treasures Christ has stored up in heaven for them. It’s so curcial to trust the Gospel, believing firmly and standing in the hope of Christ. It’s so enriching, and by obeying what he says, he allows us to live fulfilled and superbly blessed lives. He’s strong and moving, loyal and compassionate.

But I grew so much spiritually while reading. I can’t wait to see how it will affect my life; it depends on how I apply all the lessons I learned. But every time you pick up God’s word, you can learn something new, you can read a passage you’ve read a thousand times and still see something in a new and fresher way. There is so much potential for growth, so I encourage everyone to pick up the book and read. It is so necessary and it helps you gain strength and understanding of this life and the next.

Wonderful, wonderful read. I read the NIV, which is the New International Version, and now I’m about to start reading my Hug’s Bible for Women. 🙂 So super excited! I got done, and now I’m ready to start right back up again. Because I’m so certain that is what I- and all people in the world- are called to do; reflect on get changed by the word of God. Get there worlds rocked!! Woohoo!

Christ’s Beautiful Church Should Make You Feel Beautiful

I went to church today at Electric City Fellowship. I don’t go to NewSpring as much as I used to. Both are very good churches, and I can definately tell that Jesus is at work at both places- changing people’s hearts, affecting people, causing his beloved church to grow.

At Electric City Fellowship, I grow spiritually like I never thought possible. It once seemed like you just go to church and just get what you can out of it- I always knew that other people’s hearts would change, and God would make church seem awesome to them. I’ve always liked church and wanted to be involved, but only at ECF did I experience what I think church should truly feel like.

At other churches, I would feel like God is working in the preacher’s life and in some people’s life radically; and in my heart, that’s was it seemed that I was forced to accept. I kind of hated that because I always wanted to feel so much closer to Jesus at church than I did. But know matter how much faith I had, how much I prayed, no matter what I did, it seemed like he would just decide when the time was right to spend time with me. But at ECF, it feels like he is walking next to me, holding my hand; like the Holy Spirit is talking to me, healing my heart, discipling me, hugging me; like I am unbelievably involved with the message of God.

Church shouldn’t just feel like a place you go just to hang out; you should never feel like you are ‘just there’. You should pick a church in which you grow spiritually, feel truly connected to Jesus, and can really get involved. You really should be in love with the church you go to; if you are not, you should really consider going to another church. It is so crucial to feel like you belong to the community and that you feel fulfilled at the end of the service; like you can tell God is moving and doing a work in you and around you. You should do something if you feel nothing all the years you are there.

It was a really eye opening experience going to another church. Different churchers are for different people. I used to go to NewSpring all the time- and it is an incredible, life changing and amazing church. Thousands of members, and people obviously feel connected to Christ. But it’s not for me. It’s not that it’s not good, but I truly feel that different churches are for different people. My heart is designed differently than the next person, so they may love NewSpring, but I love Electric City Fellowship.

At NewSpring, it feels like I already know what the preacher is talking about. Every time, it seems like other people are learning, but maybe I’ve just grown much more spiritually than some people. However, at ECF, every week it is something new. I feel invigorated, refreshed, like Jesus is standing next to me.

I went to NewSpring for months and feel like I plateaued in my faith. Other people grow immensely and have their worlds rocked by Christ. But that’s because NewSpring is for them more than it is for me. But when I went to ECF for even just a couple weeks, I was so in love with that church and I felt closer to Christ than I ever felt in my life. ECF has around a 100 people, but it’s the kind of church designed for me.

The church- which is the collective body of Christ, all the Christians in the world together as one- the church is the beautiful, wonderful bride of Christ. And at ECF, I felt like I was in that romantic relationship with Christ, like I was truly part of the bride, part of the church. I felt like he wanted a personal relationship with me and that he wanted to love me, lead me, teach me, etc. It was amazing. I never quite felt that at NewSpring, but I can name 10 people off the top of my head who could probably say that about NewSpring.

The point of this post is this: Don’t choose a church simply because it’s popular, or simply because someone says you should go there. See for yourself how good the church is, and really give it a chance; but if you don’t grow in your walk with Christ or just don’t feel connected to the message, pray about it, and then move on to another church.

You’re more likely to listen to a preacher if you feel really in love with the church and the environment. You’re more likely to take in what you hear and much more likely to apply it; more likely get involved with the church and more likely to tell people about the church.

Someone once tried to convince me that I should stay at NewSpring, that God probably wants me at this particular church. But that’s not necessarily true. What he wants is me to grow in my walk with him, he wants me to feel closer to him and have a better relationship with him. If I can’t get it at one church, I’ll go to another. But pick somewhere you love, so you really can feel free and incredible in your church. Just because your family likes a certain place, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to.

As I said, sometimes, you just have to pray about it, and move on.

But again, ECF and NewSpring are both quite incredible, making the name of Jesus famous. They are working hard and are active churches. There are plenty of good churches all over the place, but these are the main two I have experience with. So just go check out different places, until you pick the one where you feel closest to Jesus. 🙂

So check out these churches!!

Electric City Fellowship!

NewSpring!

REVO Church!

Just a few good churches I truly believe in!! Enjoy.

-Jennifer Clayton xox

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