Worry Ends Where Faith Begins

This morning I woke up with the urge to visit my favorite little Vermont country church, “Renewed Life in Jesus”, located in Chester, VT.   It is a bit of a hike for me so I needed to head out earlier than usual. Just as I crossed the state line into Vermont I came to a railroad crossing with flashing red lights and watched as the gate lowered. So much for being on time, I thought to myself. A couple of cars were ahead of me as I sat and waited and listened to the whistle and horn of the approaching train. All of a sudden the gates went up and the red lights stopped flashing and the cars moved ahead of me and crossed the tracks. I could still hear the horn of the approaching train as I creeped up to the tracks and started to cross. I saw the oncoming train and bolted across with a little time to spare but then worried about what happened to the next few cars as they followed me.

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As I drove through the hillside stretch of highway the thought came to me: what if I hadn’t made it across the train tracks before that train met me at the crossing? I worried that I might not be spiritually ready to meet my maker. The pastor of my favorite little country church preached today on things that require my utmost consideration.

Let me first tell you about this little church that I have become quite fond of after only a few visits. When I walk through the door I am greeted with warmth and genuine love. At first I thought it was because I was a guest, that others would actually get out of their seat and come greet m, and even with a hug. But I see it happen customarily and it reminds me of how a family would greet another family member as they arrive to a gathering. There is much joy and chatter at this little church and before the service begins they stand in a circle and hold hands, filled with excitement as they are led in prayer. It is a small group of people, perhaps 25 or 30 in attendance and they know one anothers names and are familiar with each other’s lives. During the service, the pastor sometimes is interrupted by those who feel a burning desire to share something that they feel applicable to the message. Pastor Rick seems open to the ideas being offered and weaves them right back into his message. It takes a special skill to be able to do this; to recognize how each idea might fit in appropriately with the scripture and message being taught. This little church sings whole heartedly with plenty of time allotted for music. Their praise band consists of six members including the pastor who also plays the drums. Familiar Bible pictures decorate the walls. On one of the front walls hangs an old wooden door with a hand painted picture of Christ . I was told it was a gift from one of the parishioners and I couldn’t help but snap a picture to share with you here…

imageSo getting to the message for today that got me thinking.. The pastor shared a thought: “Worry Ends Where Faith Begins”. He also later shared another thought as he introduced today’s message: “Life is not about selfies”!   Pastor Rick’s message was taught from the following scripture:
Philippians 2:3-7New International Version (NIV)

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

Today’s message was good and was summed up by the idea of dying to oneself and dying to things that get in the way of our faith walk. We should look for ways to be a blessing to others FIRST!

Have you ever gone to church and found the message was created just for you? I left feeling that way today, and feeling glad I made it across those train tracks, as I still have some work to do.  I will remember  that worry ends where faith begins and life is more than SELF (ies).