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Husband Curses Wife’s Boots as He Trips Over Them—When He Realizes Where They’ve Been, He’s in Tears

Here they were. Brown boots, fuzzy on the inside, worn ragged but sturdy as fresh leather, covered in dog hair and the permanent crumbs of family life.

Dear Mom, I’ll Never Be Too Old to Stop Needing You

It doesn't matter how old I am, I'll never stop needing you mom.

Autistic Boys’ Parents Send Him to Visit Murderer in Jail—Radically Changes His Life

From his Colorado prison yard, Vogt explained what he sees as redemption. "This is the thing I do to give back," he said. "When Zach and even the other kids get to work with me, they don't see the murderer. This has given me a chance to do something better."

Why the Church Doesn’t Need Any More Starbucks

As I look at two young children who now have to grow up without their amazing dad by their side, I am not thinking of how cool it is that ministers are relating the message to a Hollywood film. I am thinking of how much I need Jesus.


Prayers for Mel

When church leaders sit around and discuss how they can reach people, I don’t think they have the widow in mind. I don’t think they have the cancer patient in mind. I don’t think they have the children who are growing up without a parent in mind. I am not paying attention to the church décor when I walk through the doors. I don’t want to smell freshly brewed coffee in the lobby. I don’t want to see a trendy pastor on the platform. I don’t care about the graphics or the props on the platform. I am hurting in a way that is almost indescribable. My days are spent working full-time. My nights are spent homeschooling and taking care of two young children. I don’t have shared duties with a spouse anymore; everything is on my plate. And when I go to church, I desperately want to hear the Word of God.

Because there are days I am running on empty and a coffee bar in the lobby isn’t filling me up. There are days when the pain is so brutal and a concert like setting is not providing healing. There are days when the tears won’t stop and a trendsetting church is not what I need. I need Jesus. There are days I wonder if the pain is ever going to end and a couch on the platform is not providing answers.

The lighting, coffee bars, relevant messages, graphics and other things are secondary and serve no assistance to me during the darkest hour of my life. This is in no way a criticism of churches that have coffee bars, nice lighting and catchy sermon titles. However, in everything that is done, we need to make sure that Jesus is at the center. It is also a reminder that there are hurting people sitting in your congregation. There are people whose marriages are crumbling, people whose finances are deteriorating, people whose children are rebelling and people like me, whose husband has passed away after a brutal fight with cancer. And these people are not impressed with the stage lighting. They could care less about the coffee flavor. They don’t need to be pumped or hyped. They need and are desperate for Jesus. And they may actually be turned off by all that they consider gimmicks to get people to go to church.

I scroll down my social media feed and I see churches with pictures of their coffee bars, their concert like settings, their graphics, their trendy sermon series and those don’t appeal to me. I want to see how Jesus has changed a person’s life. I want to see the power of prayer. I want to see how the Word of God can be applied to one’s life. I want to see how Jesus can help the hurting. I want to see how Jesus can heal the sick. I want to see how the broken heart was restored. I want to see how the mourners were comforted. I want to see how lives were restored. Rather than posting pictures of coffee bars, I would rather see testimonies of the power of God. I am thankful I attend a church that focuses on prayer and the word of God. I am thankful that in one of the darkest moments of my life I knew I could count on others to pray for me and with me.

The church does not need any more coffee bars. They don’t need the lighting. They don’t need the concerts. They don’t need the trendsetting. They don’t need couches on the platform. They don’t need to dim the lights to attract people. Tell a person how God has changed your life. Show them the love of God through your actions. Demonstrate how God helped you through the darkest of storms.

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Church leaders, remember that you are not just trying to attract the hip and the cool to your church. You are reaching widows. You are reaching children who don’t have a parent. You are reaching someone battling with a disease. You are reaching a person going through a divorce. You are reaching a businessman who thinks they have all that they need. You are reaching the hurting. And the only thing they need is Jesus.

**This post appeared originally on Peace in the Midst of the Storm.
Kimberli Lira
Kimberli Lira
Kimberli Lira is a mom of two and a recent widow after her husband's courageous 2-year battle with cancer. She blogs about their fight & faith in God at Peace In the Midst of the Storm. Learn more about her family's journey on their Facebook page, Prayers for Mel.

Husband Curses Wife’s Boots as He Trips Over Them—When He Realizes Where They’ve Been, He’s in Tears

Here they were. Brown boots, fuzzy on the inside, worn ragged but sturdy as fresh leather, covered in dog hair and the permanent crumbs of family life.

Dear Mom, I’ll Never Be Too Old to Stop Needing You

It doesn't matter how old I am, I'll never stop needing you mom.

Autistic Boys’ Parents Send Him to Visit Murderer in Jail—Radically Changes His Life

From his Colorado prison yard, Vogt explained what he sees as redemption. "This is the thing I do to give back," he said. "When Zach and even the other kids get to work with me, they don't see the murderer. This has given me a chance to do something better."