It has been a while since my last post, but I thought what better timing than to post on the eve of one of our biggest services yet at OneLife Church. Looking back on past blogs, I noticed that I had written about our 100th service and couldn’t help but feel grateful and encouraged to see that between 100 services, our mission and our vision as a church has not changed.
I am honored to be a part of a church that is not there to be a place that you “attend” on Sunday. Instead, it is a place that truly challenges you and stretches you and gives God and the Holy Spirit the room to move in the lives of our people where the things that they learn are applicable and real.
Beginning with this post, I will be featuring life change stories that I have asked friends of mine to let me share publicly. What is written are not my words but their’s, and I hope that by posting these stories there is something that you can relate to. And if you haven’t yet really gotten to know who God is or what all of the “life change” stuff is about, I would love to share what that means with you!
Morgan Savage’s Story
Growing up our family never attended church or even really spoke about Jesus. I was brought up to believe that if you were a good person you would go to heaven. My eyes have now been opened to see that people can never always be “good”. We are flawed, make mistakes, and do wrong things daily.
Having grown up your entire life being taught one thing, then realizing that everything I had known about heaven and God was wrong was really hard for me to wrap my head around and accept. I was definitely a skeptic and had more questions than answers. It was difficult to for me to let go of my questions and not let them consume me and keep me from Him. But once I did it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
When I began my journey seeking Jesus, nothing in my life was going wrong and I never had anything terrible ever happen to me. I was perfectly happy and content with life and didn’t think it could get any better! When I began to know Jesus on a personal level, what he did for me, and what he wanted to do for me; that’s when I found a joy unlike any other that is unexplainable and overwhelming.
My questions didn’t go away, they just became smaller because something so much bigger and better was way more important to me than my questions!!
Tomorrow marks 100. Wow.
It is hard to believe that it has been two years already. But as “they” say, time flies when you are having fun, right?
I can’t put into a short blog post a complete download of what these 99 Sundays at OneLife have been like, but they have been nothing short of a miracle. Literally.
I have seen scared, broken, hurting people walk through those doors on a Sunday morning and within weeks, their lives have completely changed.
I remember a now very dear friend of mine coming to OneLife for the first time with her boyfriend. As she entered the building she hardly made eye contact with me as I tried to introduce myself and welcome her. All they wanted to do was find a seat in the auditorium and be left alone.
And who wouldn’t? If you have ever been hurt by the church, by “churchy” people, or have preconceived notions of the church being full of hypocritical, judgmental people, sure it can feel a little yucky walking through those doors.
But that is why I so love my church and, even more so, love what God has done through our church. Because we are not that church!
Without spitting out a bunch of yay-for-us stats, I thought I would give a few personal to-God-be-the-glories that I have seen and experienced over the past two years at OneLife.
Here they are:
The college years. Like lots of college students, every Thursday through Saturday night I was tearing it up in the bars and clubs. And then Sunday through Wednesday I was making awesome grades, serving in leadership positions, doing lots of community service and playing in my college symphony orchestra on scholarship.
Then after graduation, I moved from South Carolina to Tennessee in 2004. I had met a guy through mutual friends. He was a student at the University of Tennessee and I moved to Tennessee because I just knew he was “the one”.
I connected with him on so many levels and thought we had a great relationship. Yet since he was still in college, he was still into the party/heavy drinking “phase” and that lifestyle was starting to grow a little old to me.
He was scheduled to graduate from UT in 2005 and I knew at that point the drinking and constant partying would stop. But it didn’t. And that became a huge fight between us.
After all, I drank a lot in college, so what was the big deal? I was asked that question a million times. But this was different. I’m not talking about the “social” drinking kind of drinking here. I am talking 100 beers in four days kind drinking. And yes, I counted all 100 bottles.
Don’t you dare. Not at home, not with friends or family, and definitely not at work.
Don’t talk about it. Don’t hint around about it. That is really going to ruffle some feathers and insult a lot of people so just leave it well enough alone.
Because when we are “politically correct” we are just being polite, right?
So the big elephant in the room. What could it be?
It all started around 1:00am this morning. Rodney and I were wide awake and restless.
Rodney had just put his finishing touches on his sermon and printed his notes and I assumed it was finally time for bed. But I was wrong.
I’m not skipping church tomorrow…
Why not? Well that should seem like an obvious answer, but it really isn’t.
Going to church is not all about being married to the pastor. I don’t feel like I have to drag my butt out of bed every Sunday, put on my church face, dress my child in the best clothes that she has, and pretend that I care. Believe it or not, I love my church and I love going to church every week.
Does that mean we never miss a Sunday? No. We actually played hooky last week when we were in Bristol for the redneck, I mean NASCAR, race.
Just to keep the trend going a bit, I wanted to share the Top 5 Reasons I Love My Church