Thursday, February 11, 2010

Church Journey Week 2 (Granby)

Again, please refer to the introductory blog for this if you have not read that first.

For our second week of church exploration, we chose Life Church in Granby, CT. We had been told about this church by a friend and we always check out the website on line before we go.

We were surprised that there was such a large congregation in such a nice building so close to us that we did not know about. It is off of a main road, so perhaps that is why we never heard of it before.

We were greeted by a friendly member who gave us an informative, professional welcoming packet. She also explained that after the service they had a coffee hour and in our packet was a coupon for a free coffee. We were puzzled and asked if they normally paid for their coffee. It turns out that it is the fund raiser each week for the youth group. That was a unique idea.

This was a newer building--a contemporary setting to go with the contemporary music. There were instrumentalists and the words to the songs were projected on the walls, as we are finding is typical for contemporary services. We did not read the website that closely, as we were in for a surprise. The service started at 9am with an hour of music. I understand that this is to put you in the reflective state and prepare your hearts for the sermon, however, not everyone likes to worship this way. Contemporary is not George's cup of tea for one thing, and for another, they didn't have an American flag.

Many people felt the need to approach the stage and stand in front as we sang. I guess it is the symbolism of being closer to the altar, but I did not feel the need to go up front to feel nearer to God, after all He is omnipresent. It was distracting that one woman was practically dragging someone she knew up to the front. In the end the friend did appear happy that she went, but when there came a point in the service that you were to greet one another, I cringed when the "dragger" friend came to us. I was ready to say, "leave me alone". It made me feel uncomfortable. We are staid New Englanders and not used to being demonstrative in our worship. Truth be told (and it's a harsh one), we sometimes wonder if some of the demonstrative actions are more for show than a natural feeling of praise. I will accept thoughts in defense of those actions, if anyone wants to straighten me out. This was the second church on our journey where someone was in their stocking feet. We began to wonder if this is some new religious ritual.

We were happy when the preacher finally started the sermon. Pastor Al was quite good. His message was Bible based. This was a Sunday when they were going to have a meeting or something afterward in the sanctuary that would go on longer. The pastor said he wouldn't keep those who had to go any longer, so those that needed to could leave, so we did. On the way out we did meet the cordial pastor's wife.

What I got from the sermon: The sermon was on "Facing Giants in your Life". Pastor Al referred to giants as our impediments or struggles. He said there were three kinds of giants: those from your past--bad things that haunt you; giants of today--troubles and the giants of the future. He read Isaiah 17 and the account of David and Goliath. He outlined the steps to destroying your giants. First was Intimidation. He said to be careful how you labeled your giant. For example, in verse 4 Goliath is called a champion. Don't make your problem too big and feed the monster. Don't empower the monster. Secondly he said to be careful how you describe your giant or you can talk yourself into a frenzy. Third he said to be careful how you listen to your giant. Goliath shouted and used intimidation. Run from negativity. Giants in your life test and continue to test you until you give up. (I Sam. 17:10).

He further said most people can't see what we can see. Speak positive and you will succeed. People will try to snuff out your positive attitude. Remember your past victories and apply them to today. Embrace God at the very moment of your need. Your enemy will come with weapons, but like David, fight in the name of the Lord. We do not fight the way the world fights. Speak positive no matter how bleak things may appear. God is a deliverer. The battle is His not yours. If you think it is your battle you will not win. David used the enemies sword to behead the giant. God did not have him go there with a sword.

The sermon was good. Unfortunately, the rest of the service was not a fit for us. Will we go again? Well, let's just say, we have a coffee coupon if anyone wants one.

Life Church is located at 23 Griffin Road, Granby, CT.
The website is:

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