Peep Roast

FullSizeRenderIt was a simple command, really, but I suffered a mini-meltdown in my seat.

“Think of one friend you know that you can invite to the Peep Roast and send them this card.”

I looked down at the ground, I casually glanced around at everyone else thinking and writing and I choked in the death pause of uncertainty.

I couldn’t think of one person.

The truth hit me hard, painfully hard and it ached in places I didn’t know I could ache.

Here is my reality right now, I live in a Christian bubble.

No one put me here, it just happened because I let myself get comfortable.

And it’s revolting to me. It’s against everything I believe to be true about the gospel.

My kids go to Christian school. My neighborhood all goes to the church we helped start in our local area. I see the same people day in and day out. And I love this community with all my heart, but sometimes I need to get out of it a little too.

How can you invite new peeps to the Peeps Roast when you don’t know any?

When your husband is a pastor and you are a Christian writer, every conversation begins with, “Come check out our church.”

But I invite people so casually, I don’t even think about it anymore. It’s like “How are you?”–or some other greeting I drop like I don’t really mean.  It’s just a rote expression I do by routine.

When did I stop being intentional about meeting new people that are different from me?

………………….

I will never forget the night Tim when asked me where I wanted to go to dinner and I replied “Mutt Lynches.”

He looked at me like I was cray-cray, because Mutts is a rowdy bar on the boardwalk of Balboa Penninsula.  I was pregnant at the time and could barely stomach the smell of beer, barf, or people in general.

But I nodded yes vehemently because my intuition or (prompt from God) was powerful.

That night we met a group of guys and one in particular we connected with. Over too many beers on his part, he confided that his wife had filed for divorce and served him papers that day. He had come home to an empty house void of his little ones and all he held dear.

He started to tear up as he shared that he deserved it. He had put his family’s needs below his quest for success and climbing the corporate ladder. He had erroneously believed they would always be there until they weren’t.

His friends had taken him out to tie one on. But it wasn’t helping. It just magnified the pain. His friends were stunned at his admission but too drunk to know what to do.

Then he jumped up and ran out the bar.

Tim and I huddled up and decided that Tim would go after him and I would stay with all my sweet drunk friends who would protect me or vice versa.

Tim found the guy walking towards the water’s edge.

Tim walked up and asked if he could pray with him and the guy collapsed on the beach weeping.

“I was ready to kill myself,”he confessed. I was going towards the water to drown myself. I cried out to God, “If you are real, give me one sign that you love me.”

“And you found me.”

They spent a long time on the sand simply crying out to God together and lifting heavy hearts, as the waves crashed and I played beer pong with iced tea back in the bar with the guys.

We later heard from the guy that he was working hard to repair his family. He thanked us over and over.

But the gift of that evening was just as profound for us as it was for him.

I, we, want to be available when God is moving. I want to get my hands dirty and wipe the tears of the broken and spiritually wounded.

And I don’t think staying comfortable is helping.

It’s probably time to start venturing out and hanging out with some rowdy folks again. Maybe you need to get your hands a little dirty again too?

–Samantha

 

Maybe no one has invited you to an Easter service this year?  Can I?

Saturday March 26th at 5:00pm

Easter Service at Mariners Mission Viejo (with our annual Peep Roast following the service)

26862 Crown Valley Parkway, Mission Viejo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you need to forget the “t”

105I have a confession.

I am still very attached to Mariners Mission Viejo Church—the church my husband and I planted four and a half years ago.

(My husband doesn’t work there anymore—he’s back pastoring at the main campus again)

But I miss it—the sounds, the smells, the AMAZING peeps.

When my husband is out of town, like he was this week, I take the kids and we sneak back in to our old home away from home and CHILLAX.  No pressure here.  I’m not the pastor’s wife–just Sam.

I also keep up with MMV.  I do a Bible Study here and read the Compass newsletter that lead Pastor Jeff Maguire sends out.

Last week, he made a comment at the end of his letter that had me in stitches.

Jeff was referencing how he responds to people when they ask how the service went on Sunday.

And in the newsletter he responds—if everything went well—“I was good.”

I stopped and read it again.

ok…

It’s not really something Jeff would say.  He’s a pretty humble guy.  More of a foot washing type than a kiss my butt kind of guy.

But he’s also ridiculously funny.

At a wedding once, an old lady asked me if he was a professional dancer or a comedienne.

“No Mam, that’s the pastor.”

Yep, he’s That FUNNY.

So, when I read his words, I figured he was being a bit of a smart ass.

But at service this week, he shared it was a typo.  What he meant to say was: “It was good.”

One little “t” makes all the difference between perceived arrogance and humility.

Seriously, I don’t even know how many people actually read the church newsletter.

But I imagine Jeff’s blood pressure probably shot up.

Because mine would have.

My people pleasing personality (that I rebel against with everything I’ve got) would be freaking out!

I would pray and beat my chest and wail, “Why God? Why?”

I would head to the beach and stick my head in the sand.  I’d be embarrassed.

At least for a day or two until everyone forgot my doofus move.

But I’ve thought about it some more and maybe saying “I was good” isn’t the worst thing ever.

What if it was ok to own that that our God does awesome things through us on occasion?

If the definition of true humility is: knowing who we are in light of Christ, then we must acknowledge that a Good God uses us (broken, lame, normal people) to accomplish his good works.

Marianne Williamson writes, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world…We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Pastor Jeff, I think you are pretty good! Maybe, really good! In fact, I think most people would agree with me who go to MMV that you are a great pastor.

Not perfect, but pretty dang good.

So, don’t worry about the typo.

Maybe God simply wanted you to know how much he loves you.

Maybe he wants us to know its ok to be a little good.

Not “Good” like a Holy and Perfect God Good, but good because of God within us good.

Jeff, what if God was using you—as a catalyst perhaps—for the rest of us who are struggling and insecure about our gifts and image in light of God?

What if someone looked in the mirror because of your typo and said, “I could do something good for the Kingdom of God too.  I am an image bearer.  I won’t let my fear define me.  Maybe I have some good to offer the world if my faith is bigger than my insecurity!”

(I might be stretching here, but roll with my point)

So cheers to the typo. I think we all need to forget the “t” on occasion and remember who we really are.

A little good, a lot broken, and loved by a big God.

 

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