RELATE with Helen: This is My Body

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“I am completely unapologetic about my passionate love for the House of God. It is where I discovered who I am, why I am here and what I am called to do with my one life.”

By Helen Burns | Twitter: @helenburns

I am on a flight from Amsterdam and homeward bound as I write my thoughts today …

I have a few uninterrupted hours to pour out some thoughts that have been swirling in my heart and head about the beauty of community … specifically the church. My eyes continue to see the wonder of this glorious global family.

I’ve just spent 12 days away from home with my husband, John in the glorious Netherlands. There we encountered stunning landscapes and magnificent buildings and walked the streets of cities that told the story of a rich and ancient history. I ate too much delicious cheese (Old Amsterdam is my fave) and drank too much coffee perhaps, but it was all a part of a priceless adventure.

During that time John and I ministered more than 20 times and had many meals with others–opportunities to meet with pastors and leaders and their extraordinary families. I am coming home once again refreshed and refueled and uber-excited! Not a hint of feeling tired, spent and discouraged. I believe that is because of the caliber of the people we consistently encounter who are building God’s amazing church. They are so completely breathtaking that my spirit is lifted and revitalized on every level.

Over the past number of years, I have had the blessing and honour of intimately observing how the church of Jesus Christ is beautiful, strong and magnificent throughout the whole world. Each time I have an opportunity to glimpse into the life of another “new-to-me” local church family and hear their stories and see and experience the passion with which they build, serve and lead, I am inspired and energized to keep running my race of faith.

I am completely unapologetic about my passionate love for the House of God. It is where I discovered who I am, why I am here and what I am called to do with my one life.

One Question

On a Sunday afternoon, about 27 years ago, John and I were chatting at the close of a church service with a businessman and the pastor of that church. Both were very successful and greatly respected in what they were doing with their lives. During the conversation, there was a bit of a tug-of-war going on about what John and I should do with our lives and our future.  Each man had differing opinions on what was best for us to do.

At the time, John was running a successful dental practice as well as ministering as often as he could in several capacities. Everything in our lives seemed to be going great personally, in our marriage and family, as well as in business and ministry, but we were well aware that our lives had come to a crossroads and a decision had to be made about building our future.

The defining moment came when the businessman looked straight into John’s eyes and asked the question: “John, if you could do anything with your life, what do you believe is the best?”

Without hesitation, John answered: “Church.”

That was the beginning of what brought us to this day and we still we love what we get to do … more than ever.

For me, nothing compares to building the church. There is no business, no activity, no investment I can make with my life that is of more value than building the church. From my perspective it is the most powerful, dynamic, exciting, vibrant, life-giving force and movement on planet Earth and I am completely devoted to it, always and forever.

I know it’s the one thing I can invest my life into that will live on long after I am gone–it will live on for all eternity. It is the hope of the world.

I am well aware that the church is not perfect–it is filled with people, like me, who still have a long way to go. The people I am meeting on this journey are not perfect either … but they inspire me, they awaken my God-given passion, they make me want to be a better person. They strengthen my core convictions and make me love God and people more.

So, as my plane is about to land in my favourite city in the world–Vancouver, my home, I find myself exceedingly grateful for this recent journey. Once again my heart has grown to hold new and renewed friendships. My love and knowledge of new cultures, food and languages has grown. But most of all my love for the passion of God’s heart has grown … a passion for God’s beautiful bride, God’s church.

Eph 2:19  “That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all — irrespective of how we got here — in what he is building. -The Message

_______________________________

My beautiful SheLoves friends, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments:

  • How do you see church?
  • Has church been a shelter for you–a place of hope–or a story of pain?
  • How has Jesus met you through his church?

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About Helen:

Helen Burns and her husband, John, speak around the world on the topic of relationships. They host the popular TV show “Relate with John and Helen.”

 

Image credit: Kids on the beach, by José A. Warletta

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Idelette McVicker
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women. I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth. My word last year was “roar” and I learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice. This year, my own word is “soar.” I have three children and this place–right here, called shelovesmagazine.com–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago. I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at idelette.com and tweet @idelette.
Idelette McVicker

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