Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Letter to Good Shepherd Church of Honolulu

Mothers, brothers, and sisters of Good Shepherd-                

Not too long ago, I wouldn't come near the church. I felt like it was full of hypocrites. People who came for an hour on sunday, and blended right back into the world monday through saturday. They didn't even really want to be there for that one hour. I felt like the whole thing was just a charade. So I kept my faith under wraps. I didn't want anyone including me in that group. But over the last two years, God has really grown me. He has shown me that though there may be a ton of lukewarm people, He still has His remnant of people who truly feared Him. This remnant did not believe themselves to be above those that were lukewarm and understood that the only way to help was to be there with them, showing them what God can really do if we would only let Him. I realized that I could do nothing if I just sat on the outside complaining and pointing fingers. So, I started attending Church.

Since then, I have come to realize the beauty of the Church, and the amazing benefits She provides. This fellowship we enjoy is desperately needed. For we are people of the light who are in constant battle with the utter darkness we live in. It is easy to forget that we are in perpetual war that will not end until we die, but we must always remember this is indeed the case. The Church is a shelter from the present darkness. It is a place of refreshment and peace. It is a place where we can refill on love and truth, and come together as one to be with and glorify God, our Savior and Strength. I didn't realize how badly I needed fellowship with God's people until I participated and realized what I had been without.
That is what attracted me so much about Good Shepherd. Everybody truly loves our Father and His Son, Jesus. You stand in stark contrast to the churches I despised when I was younger. His Spirit is very evident in this place, and in y'all. You are willing to wait on God, and seek to come closer as a body before you find your next shepherd. That is unheard of in today's church, but desperately needed. In most churches, the congregation is nothing more than specatators, observing passively and expecting the church leadership to do everything. Not so with this church. Here, the congregation is full of the Spirit, ready to do their part whenever called. Y'all have elders, just like the ancient church did in accordance to the command of God. I love that every sunday there are people ready to pray with one another during worship. And y'all are so willing to let everyone contribute. You even have rotating worship bands, so that everyone gets a chance. Y'all are just awesome!

Now, I don't know how it was before, but I can joyfully tell you that y'all are the most unified body I have been apart of. Continue growing closer together in the Lord in His love. We need each other so very bady, as fellow warriors and servants of God Most High in this otherwise depressing world. Our enemy gives us no rest and wants us isolated, so let us bear one another's burdens and watch one anothers back. I would suggest even more time spent together, so that you can really get to know one another and understand what each other needs. The time right after church is awesome, as was the past social gathering where we played fun games and ate really good food. More of that would surely bring y'all closer. I think Pastor Max has some ideas for reaching out to those who live around us, which would definitely grow y'all as a church family, not to mention, be a help to this community, which is what God commands. Bottom line – The idea that church is only for sunday is garbage. This is your family of spirit, much stronger than anything of flesh and blood. We see in the gospel Jesus Himself preferring His disciples over His family of the earth. How much more should we prefer our church family over anyone of the world.       
And don't buy into his lie that the world ain't so bad. The world and everything in it is dead and under control of the evil one. The most dangerous part is that the world pretends otherwise and the more time we spend in it, the more we believe it. This slowly waters down our faith until we are swept away in their flow and become included in their number once again. That is why the Church is so important. She provides a community that understands the true view of the world. The Church understands that the world and everything in it is temporary and corrupt.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever. (1John 2:16-17 RSV)

The Church understands that God is truly God, and that we must fear Him. She understands that there is indeed a way to a better place, a way to partake of the divine nature. She understands that one day, man will have to give account to God for his actions.
The more we surround ourselves with others who possess this knowledge, the more we can understand what is at stake when we are in the world, doing the Fathers will and shining His light in the darkness, while growing in love and in truth to become more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember the true state of things my brothers and sisters, and continue growing closer to our Father and each other. Y'all blessed us so very much just by doing what your doing, so keep it up and don't stop for anything. We will miss you all so very much, and will never forget our ohana here in Liliha. May God continue blessing y'all and using y'all. May all praise, honor, and glory be to our Father in heaven and to His Son, Jesus our King.


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