Monday, October 6, 2014

One Reason Church Is So Important To Me

Hey y'all! I don't usually do this around church time, but last week I was messaging a friend on Facebook between our prayer service and communion service. They messaged me first, and the timing was odd, so I asked them straight up why they weren't in church. "Well, I'm out of town" "So?" "Well, I was up late last night upset over a TV show, so I need to just chill". I realized, wow, not everyone feels the same way I do about the life-giving power of worshiping the Lord with reverence each week. I've been thinking about that since and it's on my heart to share a teensy bit why worship, and specifically Lord's Day services, are so important to me.

As Christians, we have the awesome privilege of going to the Lord anytime with our prayers, joys, sorrows, everything. The Lord is our Father, and we are His children. But as members of His Body, we also have the opportunity to come together with the rest of His Body and together worship the Lord. When we gather, the Lord is there, the angels are there, and His means of grace are poured out upon us. Singing hymns and Psalms, hearing the preaching of the Word, and feasting with Him at the table He has prepared are all incredible ways the Lord blesses us! 

Waving to my audience

My friend asked how I was doing. "I feel like I'm going to throw up" I femininely responded. 
"You should chill like me. Sweats and a t-shirt are calling your name."
"Why would I skip what gives me the strength to get through the rest of my week?" 

Asking my friend that convinced me to stick through the pain and stay for the communion service and I could not be more grateful that I did. I have lots of theological/doctrinal reasons for why I believe church is so important, but in this season of life, I am especially appreciating His realness in worship. The Lord always blesses my heart during church. Lately, I've been sobbing through at least one part of the service. Is that silly? I sure hope not. Sometimes its part of the sermon that speaks directly to me, sometimes it's a particularly poignant line of a hymn. That week when I was struggling to even sit up, this line of On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, with the power of the piano, organ, three violins, flute, and cello that were accompanying our singing, struck me at my core and left me with such incredible hope:

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;

When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

 His covenant. His promise to me, His child, that I am His. That is my support. It's not about me and what I've done, but it is His blood which supports me in the whelming flood! When the Body of Christ comes together each week to renew covenant with our Lord, I want to be there! Because that is my hope and stay. "Maybe I'll rest this afternoon" I told my friend, "But I'm also really looking forward to our once-a-month hymn sing this evening."

This jumper has become a new favorite of mine. It fits awesome, doesn't need a slip, and is warm enough for chilly mornings, but not too warm for sunny afternoons. :) 
Dress: ThredUP
Sweater: Forever 21: $12
Boots: ThredUP
Purse: Just Fab: $39.99
Beret: Target: $8
Pearl set: Gift

I hope to be back to blogging on-schedule soon! My health has been a roller coaster ride lately (especially the "get me out of here I'm going to be sick" part. ;)) but the Lord was so gracious as to give me a reprieve this past weekend. Next up is a Let's Talk post!

So, why is church so important to you? How has the Lord showed His face to you during worship lately?


71 comments :

  1. Wow. Great article, Olivia! Just what I needed to hear ... oh, well ... read :)

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  2. You are NOT weird for sobbing during parts of the sermon or worship service! I do that, too. Sometimes I am so blessed or just overwhelmed by something in a song or in the message that I'll struggle to keep on singing or sitting quietly, or whatever it might be, which is a little awkward sometimes, because I'm on the worship team. =D

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  3. awesome thoughts! I needed this!

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  4. Totally agree with you on the church thing! Whenever I travel i find a church to go to. I didn't realize that people didn't till they traveled with me and were genuinely surprised!

    p.s. THE CUTEST JUMPER EVER. me wants.

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  5. You are so adorable. My daughter is 22 years old and dresses very modestly. She went to a public high school and was very open about her love of Jesus. The other girls gave her a hard time in public. I am so thankful for you and this blog. You are helping many girls who want to share the love of Jesus in public schools. Jess just married a great guy who is a full time minister. She waited on God and this was the first and only man she ever dated. Thank you from mothers everywhere!

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  6. really great post Olivia! Hope you feel better soon!

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  7. That's exactly what I needed to read! I've been having such a hard time pushing myself to go to church. We move so much that it's been a new church too many times to count, where I don't know anyone else there, except my husband. I have no commitment to the church and no one to say, "We missed you on Sunday." if I had a long night with the baby and chose to sleep in. I've been so wrapped up in me that I've forgotten it's about Him! Like you said, "When we gather, the Lord is there, the angels are there, and His means of grace are poured out upon us. " He is "the rock" that we should stand on. The extra sleep that I might get is never enough. I'm always still exhausted because "all other ground is sinking sand." He will give me rest. He will give me the energy that I need...Another reason why I've been skipping out on church? I hate crying! And nearly every service I've made it to lately, has me in tears at some point! I don't want to be the person people look at or ask if I'm okay. But I should be happy that His Spirit is moving me! I'll work on just letting the tears flow and telling anyone who asks that the service just touched my heart. :)

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  8. I appreciate the authenticity in this post. I can hear your heart coming through your words, and I am so encouraged by the "meditations of your heart!" :) Thanks for being real and for sharing your thoughts with us, Olivia.

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  9. I think the best and most important part of worshiping God is celebrating Communion every week. It is so special to participate in it every Lord's day.

    I think it's interesting that some people don't visit Churches when they're out of town. When ever any one in my family goes out of town over the weekend, we make a point in finding a Church in the area we are visiting, so we can worship God with the body of Christ. It is so special being able to meet more of the body of Christ, and fellowship with them, and have that general like mindedness.

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  10. That was good to hear! Puts things in perspective!

    craftswithoutborders.blogspot.com

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  11. I enjoyed this post! No you're definitely not weird for crying during service. Many people at my church cry during worship, which makes my heart so happy as a worship team member that my voice could bring them to a special place with God. Sometimes seeing others overwhelmed with emotions makes me become overwhelmed too! It is a precious thing to connect with the Holy Spirit and you shouldn't feel ashamed of your tears! Keep on crying ;P lol. This post also makes me a little sad because it reminds me of the Sundays that I have missed due to health problems (last Sunday I missed in fact, as I am pregnant and have pneumonia so I was advised to stay home and rest) and I definitely feel like I'm missing something for the rest of my week. Going to church and worshipping makes me feel so refreshed. Thanks for being honest and encouraging others. :)

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  12. Hello there,

    I've been following your blog for a little bit but am commenting for the first time today.

    I'm not sure how to describe where I am in my faith journey. I grew up Catholic but I never felt particularly at home in that faith and stopped attending once I moved out of my parent's home. For many years I neglected my spirituality, turned my back on the Lord, and thought nothing of it.

    I've recently moved (again....that's a theme in my life) and felt a call to attend church. I'm not sure where it came from or why. But it's there so I heeded the call. I did some googling in my new town and found a church that appealed to me. It's a different church than the one I grew up in. I attended this past Sunday and it was remarkable. I immediately felt at home and at peace. I felt an inner peace and I can't remember the last time I felt that. I also cried during the service (even before it started). I've had so many major life changes recently so I think all my pent up stress, worry, and fear were released. Knowing that I wasn't alone and had the Lord with me - words can't describe it. So great!

    When I was younger I went to church because I had to. And now I want to go to church to learn more about the Lord and how to have a relationship with him. And how to make better the fact that I turned my back on Him all these years. I want to learn how to be a Christian. I long for the sense of community and family.

    Melissa

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    1. Oh, Melissa this is beautiful! May the Lord bless you as you pursue Him with your whole heart! If you haven't read it already, you might really gain a lot from reading "Uncompromising: A Heart Claimed By Radical Love" by Hannah Farver. It's like $12 on Amazon and such a great book for someone who has grown up in church but now wants a relationship of their own. Blessings!

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  13. Thanks so much for the post! <33

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  14. Thanks so much for sharing your heart about the Church Family and how important church is to the believer in Christ. Growing up I always felt the same as you and on into marriage and the early years of having children. But after Satan did a workout in the church my husband, my children and I were in it was torn apart. We knew in our hearts it was time to leave. We were out of church for 3 years somewhat visiting never could find our belonging in any churches....either to worldly, over the edge worldly, or pridefully legalistic (sorta were we came from), or way to far to drive. Mostly the churches we loved were so far from our house it was impossible to get involved so we didn't pursue any of those during our search until we found one we could really worship in and it was a 45 min drive one way. Worship both music and preaching of the Word was Biblical. The only thing was it was a large church and the large number of the members been there for 20-30 yrs. It had clicks and after a year of attending as members we never felt apart!! We tried by having a fellowship at our house for Christmas with our Sunday school class but hardly anyone showed up. They were a hard bunch of people to get to know...many times I would go to the bathroom and cry cause I felt like an outsider. My kids made a friend or two but not close. Anyways....we got so discouraged not feeling like our church was a family so we have left there. Now it's back trying to find another church...it's NOT easy like it use to be to find a Christlike church family and one that preaches the Word of God w/o error. There is a church just down the street that is an Independent Baptist (that's our denomination) but I don't know if I can take all the legalism or not!! I sure miss for my family worshiping God in a church home!! Your post made me do some serious thinking tonight!!

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear of all the trouble you've had finding a church! I understand the struggle of driving long distances, not fitting in, and not knowing what to do. Our family ended up making a 10 hour move to be close (now a mile and a half) to a church we felt the Lord was calling us to. It was really, really hard at first, but I now am so so thankful for His clear guidance to our family. I hope your situation is resolved soon!

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    2. Thank you Olivia for your reply to my comment above. That's awesome and so glad to hear that you love to be in the House of the Lord (so many young girls don't..sad!!) I was talking to my mother in law just tonight about church and how my kids need church!!! (thanks to your timely post the other day that stirred my heart). It's time for my husband and I to be serious about God's will, follow his guidance and get back in church. I have so much appreciated your site here. I told my 10 yr old daughter last night, who loves clothes, that I want her to start reading you blog. Not only to learn to put modest clothes together but for the wise words you give. Thanks a bunch Olivia!!! Pam Little, Georgia

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  15. Thank-you for this article, Olivia. A conviction and encouragement, and I hope to have more of that attitude towards Sunday morning worship in future. :) It is a blessing to fellowship with the Lord! And such a small offering to give back for all He does for us during the week.

    ~Schuyler

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  16. Thank you for your post! It was so encouraging for me to hear that you were in church even though you felt so sick. Right now I am taking care of a two year old by myself while her foster family is gone and its hard for me to get to church/pay attention when I am there, but thank you for reminding me that its worth it! :)

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing, Olivia! I love hearing others delighting in worship and the Lord's Table. It's really so incredibly important--and so amazing and mind-boggling and wonderful--His grace and goodness poured out upon us! :)

    And I was so sorry to hear just how sick you've been lately. Thank you so much for honestly sharing both your struggles and joys--and for seeking to beautifully encourage others through it all!

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  18. Awesome post and wonderful encouragement! :)

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  19. I find my week doesn't go as well if I miss Sunday services. It just gets me in the right headspace and ready to rely on God to help me conquer the week ahead!

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  20. I absolutely love this! We went through so many churches trying to find one but when we finally did, I understood why people *wanted* to go to church. Church is my escape and my source of inspiration for everything (life, blogging, everything) and I can't imagine now, skipping a Sunday or Wednesday unless I'm terribly sick or miles and miles away out of town. Even then, I feel like I'm missing something. It's so wonderful seeing other young girls actually excited about going to church, not just dreading sitting still and listening to a "boring pastor" all morning. :)

    PS: I love, love, love that outfit!

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  21. Amen!!!! This is well said. There are times I feel bad when I have to miss a service because of my kids being crazy sick or something big. But when I would travel and may not know where to find a job, I have a church that I Skype into for their service. But most times, if I can I google churches in the area and find one close to what I like.

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  22. Hi Olivia! I have been reading your posts for a while now but this is the first post I am commenting on. This post really spoke to be personally. Lately, I haven't been longing to go to church. I used to love going to church all my life. My family and I have been attending the same church for just about 20 years. Everyone in my family all love it... except me now. For some reason, no matter how hard I try, I just feel like I am unnoticed at this church. I really don't have friends and the girls I used to be friends with won't even speak with me let alone look at me. I feel so uncomfortable and unloved whenever I am at my bible study. Many people in the youth group have even commented to me saying that... I don't belong here... or that I don't have any friends. So with that said, about a year of me enduring that I decided to help kids in the nursery area at my church instead of going to my actual bible study class. I still attend the actual service before hand but I am not attending bible study. Do you think I should go back to bible study? I have tried to go back but I feel like I am not learning anything, and that I don't belong there. Please help! Thank you so much!

    Blessings,
    Molly Breanne

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    1. A little background: I'm a preacher's daughter, always have been, I've had a very rough church history, and I can honestly say that because of what I went through, I will never become a member of a church as long as live. The topper, the only reason I'm going to church right now has nothing to do with the fact that me dad's the preacher, it has to do with the fact that he does his very best to not mess up God's word no matter who it might upset, even himself. All that to say this: if you don't feel like you're getting anything out of it, don't go. Same with church. It's not like God is going to be upset that you aren't attending every service and every bible study. Think early Christian. Think Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David.... The list goes on. Granted, you might very well get pounded and back stabbed for this (baptists are usually like that, I ought to know), but, last I checked, only God has the power to send you to heaven or hell. So if someone doesn't like it, they will just have to get over it.
      In a nutshell, feel free to back off if you need to. It's okay. Sometimes taking a break is the best way to ensure learning again.
      I don't know if I've helped you, but please believe I was honestly trying to. I understand only too well what you're going through.

      L

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    2. Molly Breanne,
      I just wanted to leave you a quick note of encouragement with a couple long term and short term ideas! Long term: I would just say it's hugely important to remember that God has always saved a people for Himself—and He wants (commands) His people to gather together faithfully before Him in worship. But there are gradations of importance: I would say worship is hugely important (He's given commands about it), but Bible studies (while sometimes helpful) are not required—so if they're too much I would say feel quite free to not do them. And in the church we're most definitely all a mess—saved by God's grace alone. Yet (and here's where the long term comes in) Christ died for His people when we were ugly and sinful—and He still won't let go of us and calls us to do the same. So I would just encourage you on that head to persevere in looking for ways you can be pouring yourself out in service—using the gifts He's given you for the strengthening of His body—(like it sounds like you already are! :)). And trust Him.

      That all being said, I totally agree that sometimes it can be really tough! And as far as friendships go, there are all kinds of seasons in life—and I think there are many wonderful ways God blesses His people. At the moment (and you may have already discovered this), but there are a lot of lovely, wonderful, welcoming young ladies (seeking to serve God and live faithfully) who share plenty of thoughts and hearty fun and encouragement via blogging, etc. That might be a good avenue to look into, too....(you're certainly always most welcome to visit over on mine. :))

      I do hope that was all helpful!

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  23. Amen, it is SUCH a blessing to have a good church to attend + be fed spiritually + worship the Lord! I am so blessed...what a great reminder to never take it for granted.
    Thanks for this post!

    www.chelsyrenee.com

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  24. I am so sorry that you have been having health problems. I will be praying for you; I know that can be very difficult, and I wanted to say that I really respect the way that you are working through this with God's help. He understands that you are struggling, and He is with you. =)

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  25. Thank you for the great post Olivia. Something I would like to add is that church does not need to be in a building. The Lord has called our family to Home church. And Home Church for us is just our family. We have a time of quiet Bible reading in the morning, Then a time of Sharing what the Lord has showed us in his word with each other and a time of Worship and Prayer. We don't do it like the normal church does it, but I feel just as filled and strengthened.
    I'll be praying for you Olivia! DO Not ever hesitate to ask for prayer if you are not doing well. There are a lot of us readers I am sure that would be more that happy to help in that way!
    I love you Girl! You are such an inspiration to me!
    By His Grace,
    Victoria.
    www.rufflesandgrace.wordpress.com

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  26. I love that going to Mass I am in God's physical presence and that I can receive His real body and blood. The graces that flow from this sacrament are amazing! Being able to witness the same sacrifice He performed on Calvary at every Mass is mind boggling. Quite a miracle. Going to Mass on Sunday is definitely an obligation to God. After all He's done for us, He really doesn't ask all that much in return.

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    1. Thank you for posting this, Andrea! Mass is, indeed, an encounter with the physical presence of God and a great grace-filled miracle. May God bless you!

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    2. Andrea,

      I totally agree with you! being Catholic is an amazing gift from God.

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  27. Great post, Olivia! I think I really needed to hear/read this. It is so greatly refreshing to me. Thank you! You are an inspiration. :]

    Blessings,
    Sarah
    sarah-plainandaverage.blogspot.com

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  28. You. are. SO. pretty. I would never guess that you wanted to throw up!
    I totally agree, I HATE missing any church service. Our church is a really close knit family. My dad is the pastor of our church, so I rarely do miss, which makes it all the harder when he takes his vacation or has to cover for a pastor in another church. (Besides an occasional sick day, these are the only times we miss.) I love that song too, by the way!

    Your outfit is adorable! It looks like something I would totally wear. If you ever want to get rid of your entire wardrobe, let me know. :)

    Praying for your sanity and your health over these next few weeks. Blessings!
    ~Abby

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  29. Absolutely adorable outfit, Olivia! I love the texture and different colors.
    I'm actually working through some stuff at church right now. It's been a rough Summer and I'm sort of picking up the pieces. I allowed Satan to use me to be a dividing person-not a good thing! I started feeling like no one cared about me-turns out everyone was feeling that way. We all felt alone and like everyone else was connected but us. Short story long, we all sat down and talked it out, with an abundance of tears! So I'm sort if at a healing phase right now. I love my Savior, and worshipping Him! I just let the imperfection (in me and others) become too important. I let my focus turn from Him, to people who'll always let me down.
    I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for the encouragement.
    Natasha
    A modest fashion blog: www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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  30. Hey Olivia,

    I'm so glad you found a place where you can worship and feel restored. I would caution you not to judge others who haven't found the same thing though. I once felt exactly the same as you. I got kind of upset when the man I was dating (this was back before courting was in style) didn't feel the same way as me. In fact, none of his family did except his dad, who was our pastor. As we got closer, and started discussing marriage, I started to understand. His parents home was so peaceful, and there was so much worship going on there all the time, that in comparison going to church started to feel like a job. There was gossip and problems and eventually when I got on the ministry staff as an assistant it only got worse. I learned a lot in those days. Now that I'm an adult and married I strive to keep our home as much as a haven as I learned about in those days. As we've grown and moved away, I've struggled to find the same feeling of restoration in a church as I had when I was young. But I can always find it at home, in my quiet times, with the right music. I guarantee you that there will be struggles in life, and you might not always find the right atmosphere for restoration at church either. As long as you remember the restoration comes from the Lord, and not from a building, a pastor, or a certain group of people, you'll always find that best part of your week. Whether you find it in the same place or not.

    <3 - Katy

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  31. Thank you soo much this is just what I needed to read!! It encourages me to read/hear that others can't wait for Sunday to come around and that you wouldn't want to miss it!!

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  32. The Sabbath Day is such a blessing, isn't it?! BTW, I love your outfit!

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  33. Hey Olivia! It is always welcoming to hear from you! I know how wonderfully busy you are from all the work you have put into FA. And on top of that, your heath issues these days- I just appreciate you so very much. :)

    This topic of the love for your Church and the body of Believers could not have hit home better for me. We recently left our church of 12+ years. Moving on has been on our minds and in our prayers for a while because of leadership and unresolved issues. But as we were struggling through this most difficult time, we were brought to a wonderful home-church, kinda on a whim. We have found so much healing through our time there. Friends whom we have come to love. And just the most amazing studies of the Word that our family is overwhelmed by our Father's providence!
    Church gatherings are always a huge highlight. I wholeheartedly agree with you! We desperately need to be encouraged by our brothers and sisters in the Lord. He gave us a Sabbath day for just that! And we should do our very best (just as you did) to put forth our best effort by making it our priority. Whether that means taking some time alone for a study or meeting at a certain building!

    I adore your new jumper/dress! I'd wear it in a heart-beat!

    Love as always,
    Cassie

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  34. This is a beautiful post, Olivia. Encouraging and inspiring... XD

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  35. Oh Olivia, this was beautiful. <3 It's certainly not silly to cry during sermons. I do that all the time. To me, it just means you really love God, and definitely not something to be ashamed of :) I love that you're so devoted to attending Church on Sundays! As a Catholic, attending "Church" (which is Mass) every Sunday is not just optional, it is imperative; but regardless, I love it. Last Sunday I was especially touched by the positively beautiful music and all the extremely wonderful singing, as well as Father's amazing homily, as we went to a different Church than usual.
    P.S. I love your hat. :) I'm so sorry you haven't been so well lately. Take your time with the posts, and I'm praying for you.

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  36. This is such a beautiful post. I agree, On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand is a very powerful song. It's not silly at all to sob in church, I completely understand!

    I love your outfit! you look so adorable... I'm sorry your health has been bothering you. I hope and pray you start feeling better.
    -Marianne

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  37. I hope you feel better Olivia, I'll be praying for you. Blessing's

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  38. Such a nice outfit Olivia. :) Love your hat!
    I'm glad you resisted the world's pressure against you and did what you thought was right - and what you did wasn't wrong. I worship Jesus everyday, not just on a appointed day.
    Have a wonderful day!
    -D-)

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  39. During worship a song said "I amYours I am Yours forever" and God just filled me with this overwelming peace and He said "McKenna, when u know that, how can u worry? When u know that how can u not trust in me?" And that just hit me at the core
    So awesome!
    Btw side note- don't feel weird or unholy if u don't g"get" something in worship, it's not meant for u-worship is putting God above EVERYTGING else it's not to make u feel good
    He will sometimes reveal things to u, but that's not what it's about or what we should strive for-it's all about glorifying Him ;) God bless!

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  40. Gathering with other Believers is definitely an important part of being a Christian--in fact, we're commanded not to forsake it.

    However, I don't think the Lord would condemn us for staying home if we're ill. When our bodies aren't well, it's harder for us to concentrate on worshiping God and listening to the sermon...and if we're coughing or sneezing, it's a distraction to those around us (not to mention the issue of possibly spreading illness to other people). All that to say, I don't think it's so wrong to stay home from church to rest if we're sick as a dog. One can still worship God on the sickbed, since He is everywhere.

    That's not to say, of course, that we can stay home from church just because we don't feel like going. If there's nothing physically, medically wrong, then one really doesn't have an excuse. See the difference?

    Please understand, I'm not trying to be nasty or anything--just trying to present the other side of the coin. :-)

    Get well, soon, Olivia! Topsy-turvy tum-tums are the PITS! :-(
    ~"Tom Wild Rose"~

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    1. Hey! Thanks for the comment. :) I certainly don't believe the Lord condemns for staying home because of illness. I wouldn't have gone if I thought I was contagious, but what I have certainly isn't. :) So, I totally agree with you. ;)

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  41. Hey Olivia!
    I'm afraid I cannot wholly agree with this post, although it was very well, and passionately said, it's not going to church or not going to church that's the problem, it's the heart to want to praise the Lord, and fellowship and encourage fellow believers is where we need to really study. You don't have, have, have, to go to church each Sunday to be a good Christian, it should be the God-given want to go to church and serve, and fellowship.
    I love what you said about how it's a privilege and a gift to worship and fellowship with other brothers and sisters, this is extremely true! But I just wanted to put an emphasis on the impetus that should be behind going to church. Thanks for the post, it gave me a lot to think about!
    Jazzy, a Daughter of the King

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    1. Thank you, Jazzy, for pointing that out! I meant to say something about the heart-attitude in my previous comment...but my brain isn't running on all cylinders these days. :-P Thanks again for the reminder.

      In Christ,
      ~"Tom Wild Rose"~
      (the Forgetful)

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  42. Oh, you are not weird. I cry during Mass quite often, remembering what our Lord suffered out of His infinite love for us. My little ones will look at me quizzically and I'll whisper to them, "I'm crying because I'm so happy! I'm thanking God!" ;-)

    (The other day, our four year-old son whispered back, "It's okay, Jesus cried too, Mama!")

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  43. Wonderful post! I go to church for pretty much the same reasons as you do. We are blessed to have a great church. As a mom of two little ones, I'm often trying to keep them from escaping the pew or fussing, so it's hard to always pay attention, but that is life for only a season, and God 'gently leads those with young." I absolutely love your outfit .It might be one of my top favorites!

    -Hannah

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  44. "The Solid Rock" is one of my favorite hymns. Singing hymns was my favorite part of worship when I was a child. I bought a used hymnal (online for cheap) and still enjoying singing many of the hymns with accompaniment from youtube.
    I know how easy it is to want to sleep in or just "chill" on Sunday mornings. I try to take inspiration from a couple that drive over 50 miles to attend church and remind myself if they can do that each week, I can make the (much shorter) trip to church,
    too.
    Jenny K

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  45. Alright, I have a confession: I don't always enjoy going to church.
    I am an extremely intrapersonal learner (meaning I process things better when I can have some alone time). Sometimes, being in church with other people just makes me feel like I have to endure two hours of acting engaged, all the while trying to make myself focus despite the people around me. I don't connect with God in groups; I'm not a big fan of prayer groups either. Sometimes, though, when I'm alone, especially when the weather's just right, I like to go outside and lay in God's creation and just be with him. I have sermons on podcast that I like to listen to, when it's just me and God and I feel like I can focus on only Him.
    I do agree, though, that it's important to have a time of fellowship and worship. Connections with each other are almost as important as connections with God. We need each other. And I totally agree with what you said, Olivia; why would we skip the only thing that will get us through the week? It's really easy for us to try to hide from God and try to deal with our problems ourselves, but all we're doing is making things worse. Trust me; I try it almost weekly.
    ~Sheridan
    www.beautyeternal.blogspot.com

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  46. Oh, my goodness Olivia. I had one of the BEST church services ever last Sunday and you just pretty much summed up everything I was/ am still feeling about it and church in general! I was so blessed and re-energized by the service and fellowship, I was almost deliriously happy...I may have been bubbling over and scaring people, but who cares! I was stunned (in a wonderful way!) to come on here and find what your latest post topic was about!
    Blessings,
    Courtney

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  47. I'm sorry that your sick, hope you feel better soon! I totally agree with church giving you the strength for the rest of the week. Whenever I miss church it seems like I don't do as good of a job striving for Christ that week.

    Esther.

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  48. That jumper does look pretty warm! I love how you styled it, too.
    Thanks for sharing this post. My husband does think I'm weird when I cry in the middle of a sermon or a song. We are emotional beings, and emotions can be used for good!
    I would like to yearn for the Word of God like how I look for food more than three times a day! I'd like it to be so essential that I can't live or breathe without it. We've definitely taken it for granted as a people more often than not because of the freedom we enjoy to worship here in the US, but I personally would like to keep looking for it more. There's so much life in the Word. Indeed, it was what gave us life itself. "In the beginning was the Word..."

    Rachel
    http://alamodest.com

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  49. I'd like you to know that even though I had a miserably late night on Saturday and could barely keep my eyes open Sunday morning, this was my inspiration to chug two cups of black tea and crawl out the door to church. And I'm quite glad I did!

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  50. Hey Olivia!
    Great post! I have a question on a *completely* different subject, I have been wanting to make a long camo skirt (like the one you made, I love it!!!), and I was wondering if you had any advice you can give me? Thanks!!

    Anna :)

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  51. This post makes me sad. There are any number of reasons why people choose not to go to church, and that's between them and God. Your post is uncharacteristically judgmental. There are some who would criticize you for using Facebook on the Lord's Day. I think it's important to stay out of other people's relationships with God...shrugs...I guess I'm a little disappointed to find out you are as judgmental as most other Christians I've met :(

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    1. I can only speak for what I read, but I don't think Olivia was trying to be judgmental. It is Biblically supported that Christians are encouraged to fellowship with other believers. It's a fine balance; how do you get that fellowship and still connect with God in a way that's right for you. For my part, I know that I don't always connect with God best in church. I like to listen to sermons on podcast. You do have a VERY excellent point: your relationship with God is between you and God. I get very picky about that myself. Far too often, good intentions become legalism, and at that point all we've done is drive people away.
      Thank you for sharing; it's never easy to share an opinion that isn't popular.
      ~Sheridan, www.beautyeternal,blogspot.com

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    2. "You do have a VERY excellent point: your relationship with God is between you and God."

      If that's the case then you've just justified any kind of heresy: Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Prosperity Gospel, "progressive" Christianity, pick your poison.

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    3. If you know the one True God, saying it's between you and God doesn't justify anything. I believe that the Bible is the word of God and I base my life on that fact. There's a balance between saying that "anything goes if I say God told me to" and saying "if your life doesn't follow this exact outline then you're not really a Christian." It's hard and it will always be. We just have to be careful.
      ~Sheridan, www.beautyeternal.blogspot.com

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  52. I'm so sorry you're not feeling well, Olivia!
    I'm praying for you!
    And, as always, love this post! Thanks!

    Anne
    {joyfullyhisblog.blogspot.com}

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  53. Hi Olivia! Great post!

    Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebester Award over at livingasmodestgirls.wordpress.com :)
    Have a great day!
    Naomi Rae

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  54. Thanks for this post Olivia! I was never super religious until age 12 (I am 15 now) and church was always the second priority. In 2011 sometime we found a great church and a homeschool group (2010) and it changed me. The people, the church family, Christians everywhere. I never wanted to miss church. We moved away but my faith was still strong. I cry in almost every service at our new and old church because the message is so strong, and 90% of the time it relates to me. It's a little awkward but it makes me feel better. So your not alone. God has great plans for my family and I, we just have to remember to stay faithful all the way through. Thanks again Olivia ;-)

    God Bless, Amy Kathleen
    living738.blogspot.com
    <3 Jesus was my first love <3

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  55. I stumbled on your blog.. cute outfits. I need some inspiration for modest outfits.
    I want to add something that you may not think of.. when you go to church, feeling like throwing up, with a bad cold, a virus etc.. that may be great for you. However, for a child like mine, it can mean you send him to the hospital.
    For this season in life, we are doing home church. Why? Because there are many people who believe that it is "super spiritual" to go to church, no matter how sick they are. Which in turn means that each Sunday brings not rest and refreshment to a tired momma, but yet another virus, yet another bug, yet another week of sleepless nights giving constant breathing treatments.. Because your cold, is our asthma attack. You mild stomach bug is our major knockdown drag out stomach bug.
    Also when my late husband was sick with cancer, we often missed church for the same reason. Church was one of the worst places for him to go during chemo.
    So I caution.. while it is GREAT to enjoy going to church and to drag your sick self there to be encouraged, remember that some family who is already deep in the trenches of illness has to stay home so as to avoid getting sick.

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  56. I'm sorry to hear that your family deals with illness so much. I completely agree that great wisdom is needed where viruses are concerned. My illness (lyme disease and rocky mountain spotted fever) is not contagious, so I feel comfortable dragging myself to church because I know it doesn't affect others. :) May the Lord bless you in this rough season.

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  57. Thanks for this lovely post. It's beautiful and I felt so uplifted. :) much love!

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  58. So is your friend still your friend after you shamed her on your blog and made us all realize how holy you are?
    ~Betsy

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Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!