Have you ever gone to a church that was very religious and judgmental? At Living Hope there are a lot of real people and we work hard at loving people and meeting them where they are at. Christianity is not about looking a certain way or adopting a particular style, it is a lifestyle of loving and serving centered on God’s word. It is true that sometimes we get hurt by people, but that’s not a reflection of God. God loves you and wants you to feel at home when you are with his family.
I love the people at Living Hope and have developed good relationships with many of them over the years. It’s encouraging to have people who are faithful, honest, and true—people who genuinely love me and have a real concern for my life. I enjoy how people help one another. For example for our young adult retreat we had a soup sale and people worked together to raise money so others who couldn’t afford it could still come to the weekend. I just feel like we have a real community spirit and there is true love. Ultimately the love that we see is the love of God and his son Jesus Christ. The way people live their lives is a reflection of God and his son and I think that’s where lives change.
Prior to becoming a believer, my heart was very hardened but over a short period of time the love of God warmed my heart. That’s what really got me. It wasn’t so much the scripture at first, but the love and acceptance. At an early age I had put up a lot of walls because of lies I believed about myself as well as my environment and negative things that happened to me. I experienced a real transformation when I went to my first retreat as a teenager. The people there helped me to see a picture of God’s love. The retreat I went to changed my life and I probably wouldn’t even be a believer today if I hadn’t been a part of that camp.This is why I think it is so important to meet people where they are at just the way Jesus did.
I’m on a continual journey and still growing every day. I’m part of the church family and that really helps me to grow. My husband and I have three children and we volunteer as teachers for the four to six year olds on a regular basis. In Deuteronomy it talks about how we should be teaching our children when we get up, when we sit down, when we are walking along the way, etc. It’s real important to teach our children the scriptures at a young age because when they are older they will know right from wrong and be able to make it their own. I really love teaching the kids. We find creative ways to help them to connect with God. For example, right before prayer we throw a ball around and each one catches it and shares two things they are thankful for. That gets their hearts warmed up and this helps them be more willing to pray and to have an attitude of gratitude. We have a great time together. I am honored to have the opportunity to teach the children how to connect with God in a real way.
God is changing lives all the time. Maybe you'd like to find out what he can do in your life? Why not visit Living Hope this Sunday? Click here for more information.