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Secret Place of the Most High, Kingdom
Learned Student, Honest.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Familiar vs. Unfamiliar

Prior to relocating to Atlanta this summer, I sought out churches that had similar characteristics to the church I fellowship at in Chicago, Jesus House Chicago. I started looking as soon as I knew I was coming to Atlanta last year, but websites don't tell you everything about a church. So I started asking people too. I wanted to find that one perfect church for me and go there the entire summer. Then Pastor Isoken informed me that that's not how it's going to go down, in so many words of course. I would have to visit a few churches to get a feel for the right one for me.

And so I did that, literally (almost too literally). I visited a new church practically every week. The first week, I just picked a church, cold. It's been so long since I was a visitor. Then the following weeks, I accepted invitations or went with someone.

  • City of David - Week 1
  • Jubilee International - Week 2
  • First Baptist Lithonia - Week 3
  • RiverStone - Week 4
  • Victory International - Week 5
  • World Changers International - Week 5
  • Jubilee International - Week 6
  • International House of Prayer - Atlanta - Week 7
  • Jesus House Chicago - Week 8

I appreciated experiencing different churches and seeing how they conduct different parts of the service. The opportunity to "church hop" does not come along frequently (or ever) when you're a member of a church and  have responsibilities in departments within the church. I was able to see what's going on outside of the not-so intentional but partly intentional comfort zone.

Ahh but last weekend, I went home! Fabulous time! It was great to see everyone. And likewise, I went to my home church. There really is no place like home. I've been going there since I was 12. And I feel the love every time I come back from any type of hiatus - school, internship away from home, etc. and even when I'm gone; messages, calls. It's like Cheers; everyone knows your name. I even took pics of different highlights and uploaded them onto facebook, kind of a like a groupie :) gosh!

So in that vein, along with a few other factors, I decided I would watch Jesus House Chicago livestreamed tomorrow.

I'm currently revisiting that decision since tomorrow is the First Sunday of the month, Thanksgiving Sunday, and Mama says (referencing the great Book) "do not forsake the fellowship of others." 

Well Sunday morning is quickly approaching and I'm at the same decision phase that I go through every Saturday night stroke Sunday morning that I've been here. I could either go to one of the aforementioned churches or pick a new church completely and inevitably be the visitor or the new[er] person with either decision.

But tomorrow I don't feel like being the visitor or the new[er] person. I just don't feel like it. *shrugs* I just want to get my praise and worship on and my lesson, Pastor B style. 

Now, it boils down to two options:

1) Virtual attendee of the Familiar vs. 2) Visitor to the Unfamiliar.

1) Safe route vs. 2) The unfamiliar route

To some people, it's just church, to me it's deeper, a little more complex and very symbolic of decisions to come.

To be continued . . .

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So I went to this department store and bought a few (a lot of) items. The store was officially closed and they were trying to get the last stragglers out. She said my total but something didn’t seem right with the amount. It looked like she didn’t charge me for something. I tried to do the math in my head real fast but she was directing me to swipe my card. I got home and double checked everything against the receipt and realized she didn’t charge me for a dress I received.

I brought the dress back on the next available day that I could and this is how part of the conversation went:

Sales Associate: Oh you’re bringing it back . . . but you still want it?
Me: Yeah I still want it, I just came to pay for it.
SA: Oh most people, well the average person wouldn’t do that?
Me: I’m not average. (smile)
SA: Oh, so why did you do it?
Me: Because that’s what Jesus would do?
SA: Huh? Because that’s what you’re supposed to do?
Me: Because that’s what Jesus would do.
SA: …oh……***
SA: can I have your telephone number?
Me: Is it okay if I don’t give it out? I don’t like to give it out.
SA: Yeah, but Jesus would give it out, Jesus would give me His phone number.
Me: Jesus wouldn’t have to, you can call on him anytime anywhere.
[laughter and smiles]
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