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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Come on Over
Date Posted: January 28, 2006

There was a family in my small Illinois town a few years ago whose members gradually all relocated to California - to more illustrious careers and warmer weather.

When the ties to our former life - due to careers, the death of elderly relatives, kids graduating from school - are no longer binding, perhaps it is easy to heed the call from loved ones of "Come on over. It's great out here!"

As Christians, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing the same bidding for those who need to "come on over" to Christ. Does our daily living and attitude say, "It's great over here!"? Do our words about church members convey a community in harmony? Do our choices of activities reflect our commitments to live in the community of Christ?

Could our testimonial appear in a brochure to get someone to move into our church community? There are many days I don't like the answers to these questions.

When people relocate geographically it's usually to make life better. Better job (or retirement), milder climate, quality schools, closer to loved ones.

Should we expect people to relocate from a life that's lost to a life in Christ with less amenities? Yes, we are to give up our lives and follow Christ. We know we will have trials when we follow him. He told us so.

But we also are to "encourage one another and build each other up" according to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:11; to help each other grow in faith; to offer a soft place to fall, a shoulder to cry on, and sometimes even a word of admonishment spoken with love.

So even though we may not like all our neighbors in the community of the church, we are to love them and work together with them to grow our community.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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