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A Church Moving Forward


I recently went to the doctor for my annual physical.

The nurse asked me how much I weighed. I told her 135 pounds. Then she weighed me and the scale said 160.

She asked me how tall I was. I said, “5 feet, 5 inches.” She measured me and I was only 5 feet, 3 inches.

So she took my blood pressure and told me it was high.

“Of course it’s high,” I said. “When I came in here I was tall and slender. Now I’m short and fat!”

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Growing up or growing older can be tough sometimes.It seems that with each new opportunity or time of growth, there is a period of stress that comes with the change.Pulling through that is essential if we are to continue to grow to be the people God wants us to be. Graduation is a time that is celebratory, but is often also filled with uncertainty and the feeling of being lost. Some grab the opportunity for change with gusto. Others shy back from it and are afraid of future commitment.

Exercise is tough. I’m going through a fairly tough time with my back right now, and “exercise” happens three times a week in my life. The physical therapist tells me that I need to use the right amount of weight on the machines so that my muscles feel a burn near the end of each set movements. The burn tells me that I’m actually strengthening the muscle.The word ‘burn’ just doesn’t sound pleasant to me though. I’ve been burned before, and I don’t like the muscles in my back burning. I’d rather just sit and look at the machine and imagine myself doing great feats of strength…then go home.

The burn is necessary for me to reach the next level. The burn means that the muscle is actually breaking down… even tearing a little. When I rest over the next day, the muscle actually mends itself in a way that makes it stronger. The burn and the tearing down is necessary .The stress is necessary.

The church in Colossi seems to be doing great according to Paul’s words in the first chapter of Colossians. Paul says he and his buddies are praying all the time for this specific church family because of their moves forward, their continual growth and commitment to getting better in passing on the love of Jesus. He uses a few words in the specific passage which are telling of what true growth entails. He mentions the words ‘strengthen,’ ‘endurance,’ and ‘patience.’ Those three words tell me that these people are committed to change for the better. They’re committed to working through tough times because they know tough times are just the precursor of better times…if the right choices are made. Strengthening oneself means becoming aware of weaknesses and either getting rid of those things or working on them. Endurance reminds me of the times when I was tired and ready to quit on the 5th mile of a 6 mile race. Patience reminds me of the times when I’m helping my youngest child learn the consequences of talking back to her parents. Haha. But Paul, in this section of scripture, sees these things as awesome signs of growth as this church family in this town expands, spreads love, and helps many see the salvation of God.


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