I read over and over in the Bible about humility. God loves it. He hates pride and boastfulness.
But would you allow me to be boastful for a bit?
I'd like to brag on God's family.
I doubt there are any new readers to this blog but if you find yourself here today for the first time let me share something about our church family.
We are a house church family. We've been a house church family since the end of 2006. We moved to Brasil with a team and a mindset of, to be honest, planting an American type church. Buy/rent a building, buy stuff to fill the building and make everything centered around the building.
Nothing wrong with that at all if it wins souls for Christ. It just didn't work for our team or this city. The Holy Spirit united us to close the building and begin house churches throughout the city.
Five and a half years later I wouldn't change it for anything.
Is it hard? Yes.
Is it frustrating? Yes.
Is it awesome? Yes.
Does it make you want to pull your hair out at times? Yes.
Can it be overwhelming and super tiring? Yes.
Does it also give you the biggest Holy Spirit energy boost you could ever imagine? Yes.
You see being a house church family is like being a real family.
In your family do you fight at times? Sure.
Share harsh words? Sure.
Ask for forgiveness? Sure.
Laugh till you cry? Sure.
Reach out if someone is hurting? Sure.
And, if you are a follower of Christ, do you go to a family member if you see sin? That is a tough one but it's what you are called to do.
We try, sometimes failing, to do all those things as a house church family.
It is not easy. In fact, it's the hardest thing we've ever done but it's so very worth it.
House church is family and it takes work to be a real family and not some social club. Just showing up one day a week, getting a warm fuzzy from being around other people like you and then going on with your lives.
We aren't interested in a life like that. God didn't call us here to have a life like that. He didn't call any Christian to live like that. He calls us to be much more than a social club.
House church, we've found, helps us to walk as closely to Acts 2: 43-47 as possible.
We aren't perfect but we strive to live out Acts and God shares with us brief glimpses of heaven.
Like two Sundays ago.
We have a sister in Christ who has a medical need. She has to have some tests done. The problem is that she doesn't have insurance and her tests were going to be around R$1000 ($500 U.S.).
There was no way for her to pay for them.
In the past she would not have shared much about her tests even though they are super important tests. She would have kept that to herself. Last week she asked for prayers for her tests.
The great thing about house church is that we have no costs. We don't pay rent. We don't pay preachers. We don't pay utilities. We can meet wherever. Since 2006 we've met in apartments, houses, parks, garages, next to waterfalls, other cities, businesses, anywhere. If someone wants to meet we go to them. The church is, as it should be, mobile. We go to where there is need. It's been very cool.
Because we have no expenses our tithe can go immediately to those who have an immediate need. We have no committees or leadership chain we have to go through to see if it's okay to use the tithe for a certain thing.
We ask when we meet if anyone has a need or knows of a need that someone they know has and then we bless that need on the same day. I love that!
Anyway, after our sister asked for prayers for her tests my girlfriend shared the financial need of doing those tests. She didn't share the cost. Just the need.
We had our house church present as well as the Aggies. Everyone went crazy with the tithe.
I know the Aggies shared from their hearts and they gave in a big way. I like this group and I've seen them bless people over and over since they've been here. I know they blessed our sister in a big way last Sunday with what they gave.
Our sister received about 75% of what she needed to cover the costs of her testing and we gave everything to her. She had no idea any of this was going to happen when she came to our apartment and a few hours later she was leaving with almost the entire cost of the testing covered.
She called the next day to tell us someone else had blessed her with the rest. God is so cool!
I finally want to share about one of the younger members of our church family. One that has one of the biggest and coolest hearts for God that I've ever seen.
It's our son Anderson.
I'm biased I know but he has always been a warrior for God. Willing to do anything for Him. He has a very big heart.
When he heard what the tithe was for last week he went to his room and cleaned out his wallet. Every penny came out and went to his sister.
This was money that grandparents had given to him for his birthday. He had used some of it to buy new soccer shoes and was saving the rest for something in the future.
Instead of waiting for the next cool thing to buy he listened to the Spirit and blessed his sister who had an immediate need.
He never shared what he did. He didn't do it for show. He quietly and humbly gave everything to his sister who had a need. He shared everything he had. Everything. Acts 2:44.
Yesterday he asked if our sister had done her biopsy yet? He then wanted to make sure it was called biopsy. His sister has been on his heart all week.
There are times that God just specifically blesses my girlfriend and myself. I mean He blesses us all the time but there seems to be times that He opens that window a little bit more and gives us a taste of heaven here on earth.
He did that last week with our sister, our church family here in POA, our church family from College Station, Texas and through an eight year old Spirit led boy who allowed us to see someone giving, literally, everything they owned and doing it with a huge smile.
God's family is cool and we need to share that coolness with this world.