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Today’s Truth

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7 ESV).

Friend to Friend

I don’t know about you, but a few of my greatest lessons on how to love other people haven’t come from church folks. For example:

Nestled 50 feet off Highway 17 in Pawley’s Island, S.C., rests C.J.’s Beach Club. For years, Steve and I eyed the clapboard building tucked in the grove of myrtle trees, but it wasn’t the sort of place we would tend to visit. One weekend it was just the two of us on a short holiday at the beach, and we were feeling adventurous. Steve turned the car onto the crushed-oyster-shell parking lot of C.J’s, and we decided to taste the local nightlife of the coastal South.

C.J.’s was a dance club. Now, before you click delete in shock that we would darken the doors of such a place, I want you to stay with me a moment. We grew up doing a dance called “The Shag,” which is like an East Coast swing. This was shag night at C.J.’s, and the disc jockey spinning the 45s was about 75 years old and had a striking resemblance to my mother-in-law.

Steve and I felt a bit uncomfortable as we walked through the doors and noted the neon signs advertising various drinks, but we were committed. All eyes turned toward the new couple as we walked across the threshold…there was no turning back. The smell of popcorn laced with cigarette smoke filled the air as middle-aged couples shuffled their feet to old beach music under the spinning disco ball.

We each ordered a Coke and found a seat. It wasn’t two minutes before a couple wandered over to our table and sat down.

“Hi, I’m Tom,” the fortysomething man said as he extended his hand to Steve. “And this is my wife, Julie. We’ve never seen you here before. Do you live around here?”

As soon as they walked away, another couple sat down, and the same friendly banter ensued. Then another couple…then another. By the time we left C.J.’s, we felt as though we had been welcomed into the family. We knew about families, college alma maters, and occupations. We had walked in as wary strangers and walked away as warm friends.

“Y’all come back when you’re down this way again,” several called out as we made our way to the door.

As we drove away in silence with the sound of oyster shells crunching under our tires, sadness washed over me. “I have been in many churches in my time, but never one that was as welcoming and warm as those folks were tonight,” I whispered. “We have a lot to learn.” Steve felt the same.

All through the New Testament, we are reminded to love one another (John 13:34), accept and welcome one another (Romans 15:7), encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32). Paul even tells believers in his day to greet one another “with a holy kiss” (2 Corinthians 13:12). For us in our culture, that could mean a good ol’ hug or a hardy handshake.

What struck me about the dance club was that no one said, “Now turn and greet someone around you.” It was simply spontaneous, genuine interest.

What is going to attract the world to the church and ultimately a relationship with Jesus Christ? Genuine interest, caring, and concern. More than a theological debate, modern facilities, or the latest media-savvy services, loving relationships are the net that casts out and gathers in a bounty of souls. Simple kindness reflects the heart of God to a weary world.

Friend, let me be the first to love on you today. You are amazing. I love doing life with you. I want to know you better. Click here to hop over to my blog space and pretend I’m a stranger. Click on “comment” at the end of this devotion and tell me 5 things you’d like me to know about you!

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, I want to be known as a woman who welcomes others. Show me someone today that needs an encouraging word or a hug—someone who needs to feel the love of Christ.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Think of 5 ways that you can be a bit friendlier to strangers this week.

Don’t forget to click here and tell me 5 things you want me to know about you!

More From the Girlfriends

Words are one of the most powerful forces in the universe, and God has entrusted them to you! They echo in hearts and minds long after they are spoken. How will we use this gift? Your words can change the course of someone’s day…even someone’s life. In The Power of a Woman’s Words learn how to tame your tongue and speak life to those around you. This book also has a companion study guide that is perfect for women’s Bible study groups!

© 2021 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

37 Responses to “The Dancing Church”

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Sharon

    I thoroughly enjoyed “THE DANCING CHURCH” Devotion in fact I love all of your devotions

    So five things about me.
    1. I live in The Bahamas (It’s Heaven on Earth)
    2. I am addicted to work
    3. I am a speaker with the John Maxwell Team
    4. I am married with three children
    5. I know what it’s like to loose a child my son died of asthma at age 21 years and this July 18th makes 6 years so the month of July can be rather challenging for me. So Keep me in prayer

    Thank you continue to be amazing for Yahweh!!!

  2. Carol says:

    I am a 56yr old memaw of Christ’s age 14 and Mckynzee age 8. I have been disabled for the last 12 yrs with back problems. I live in NE Florida with my daughter and son im law. I teach preschool Sunday school and volunteer in my granddaughter’s elementary school before covid and hope to be able to resume volunteering onn the fall.

  3. Mary says:

    I am a grandmother of four grandchildren who amaze me everyday. I started taking back my health six months ago and walk with a fellow GIG member and my life has changed in ways I never imagined. I’m from Ohio and love my Buckeyes ☺️

  4. Susan says:

    I was born and grew up in Charlotte. I went to the same church as your husband-in fact I think my mother was his and his twin brother’s 5 th grade Sunday School teacher! I have been married almost 37 years with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. I retired from teaching 2 years ago, and I am an artist (painter).

  5. Andrea says:

    Hello sisters in Christ! I’ve had Jesus as my savior since the age of 12 when I was saved at church camp! I am a wife of 33 years, mom of two and Grammy of two. I am heading into year 19 at elementary school as a technology teacher. I am a breast cancer survivor in year two. Having my faith in God our Father has gotten me through many trails in my life and I wouldn’t want to do life without him! Have a blessed day in Jesus!

  6. TJ says:

    I am a almost 60 year old follower of Christ. I accepted Christ at age 7 but never truly understood following Christ until I was 20. My husband and I have been married 22 years. Life has been difficult for me from my childhood to adult as my mom raised four girls by herself when my dad left. She struggled her entire life but always shared her faith with us. When my mom passed away in 2017 I became the guardian of one of my sisters who is mentally challenged since birth. I manage the office of an estate planning law firm for 22 years and am a three year cancer survivor. I have insecurities of being an outsider and struggle with that ever day. I believe prayer is the best tool in my day.

  7. Andrea says:

    Hello! Very pleased to meet you. My name is Andrea and I live in SW Pennsylvania. I’m 53 years old and have been on disability for 8 years for a rare genetic disease that popped out of nowhere. I’m working on putting Jesus back into my heart and soul.

  8. Carola says:

    Hola.novia.
    Soy carola.tengo 55años.casada 35años.5 hijos. Carlos 35, Danica 29.valentin21, Sebastian 18, Cristóbal 14.conozco al señor jesucristo.hace 20 años y día a día aprendo a vivir sorprendida de su amor y cuidado que tiene conmigo. Y familia de sangre y en fe..

    Bendiciones 😇

  9. Sherrilee says:

    I am 63, a widow of 1 year and a grandma to River age 13, Novalee age 10, Kaleah age 11, and Declan age 6. I live in Washington state on the dry side. I have been a follower of Jesus Christ since my late 20’s.

  10. Sofia says:

    I’m a 16 year old and have a sister that is ten years older than me. I live in TX with my mom, dad, and dog. I am going to be a Junior in high school next year. I am very passionate about the arts and I love volunteering at my church.

  11. Beverley says:

    I was so touched by your words today. I have found the same thing to be true in nearly every church I’ve every been part of or even just visited. I agree that we as the Church need to love others as God loves us in a tangible way. I am happy to say that the church I belong to now is just like that dance club experience you described. The very first Sunday my husband and I visited, so many people came up to us after the service and asked us questions about ourselves and showed us the love of God in their words. We stood and talked for thirty minutes afterward. I’ve never found anything like that welcome anywhere. A group of my friends visited our church a few months later and were welcomed in the same way. The people there show their love of God in many other ways too. Our church truly acts like a family. We are so blessed to be part of it.

  12. Vickie says:

    I am a soon to be 69 year old woman who transplanted to Myrtle Beach two years ago after the death of my husband.
    My daughter in law’s family is from Myrtle Beach, and she and my son were actually marred at Pawley’s Island. God has taken what I believed to be the worst thing possible, and has definitely blessed and highly favored me since my husband’s death. Praises to Him!!

  13. CJ says:

    Several neighbor women and I are studying and praying through your book The Power of A Woman’s Words right now. We are moving into chapter 6 this week after a pretty powerful discussion on Chapter 5.

    I am 62 years old, married with two step daughters, one granddaughter and a grandson on the way. We live in TX and belong to a bible-teaching non-denominational church that is growing organically because everyone’s having babies!

    And, by the way, I believe we’ve been to CJ’s in South Carolina . . . I can picture it!

  14. Theresa says:

    I’m 51 and grew up a believer in Jesus Christ my savior. Over the last 14 years or so I have become more spiritual and relying on God. God has blessed me with two wonderful children, a daughter who is 21, and a son who is 18. Although I will be married 25 years in October, we struggle. He is not the spiritual leader of the home, doesn’t attend church, has been unfaithful in the past and I struggle with trusting him. I attend therapy and pray a lot. God will guide me.

  15. Tammy says:

    I am a voice over artist. I lived in Alaska for over 30 years. I was born again when I was 16. I strayed was broken and the Lord redeemed me. I’ve been married to a nonbeliever for 41 yrs and I am still praying.

  16. Tana says:

    I am a 52 year old woman after Gods own heart with a loving husband of 25 years and 2 teenage boys (one to be 20 soon). I loved your article because I’m living in an area where most people are “Christian”, but they aren’t loving or forgiving. I grew up in a loving home, but was emotionally and psychologically abused because my Mother was bi-polar and my Father wasn’t a Christian. My Mother taught me about Jesus and Christianity and took me to Churches wherever we lived and I had many Christian friends growing up all over the States. I met my husband at Regent U and we’ve moved and traveled a lot too. I think the South is more friendly as Churches go and my best friend still lives in Virginia. I live in rural Pa. and people are weary and sometimes fearful to open up here and make friends I think. They have their “own” crowd and don’t need new friends. I have felt very alone until the Pandemic and an old friend of my brothers reached out to me online! She invited me to be part of her Churches Marco Polo group (an App). I joined last Summer and now have a dozen Christian friends online who I pray for and with! I learn from them and share pain and healing. It is awesome how God uses the Internet for His Glory too!

  17. Sherry says:

    Hello
    My name is Sherry I go by Sharon. I will be 51 in August. I am greatly blessed by you Girlfriends in God post.
    I love reading God’s word
    I love trying to learn all about him that I can

    I try to improve my relationship with him daily
    I love the outdoors and enjoying the beautiful mountains and wonderful animals God gave to us to love and take care of

  18. Carrie says:

    5 things about me: I’ve lived in Michigan all of my 51 years, but I’d rather live in Santa Monica, CA. I’m a disabled, retired English teacher. And I’ve never ‘fit in’ at church because I couldn’t have kids of my own and never was blessed with a husband. Most women’s groups are centered around being a wife and a mother, so I appreciate GIG for often acknowledging that many of us weren’t fortunate enough to have a family.

  19. Pearl says:

    I am 82 years old and so thoroughly thankful that I came across the Dancing Church this morning! My first husband was a pastor. We were married 53 years when his body could no longer fight heart failure and diabetes. Last month I lost my second husband. God allowed us 10 good years together. My heart is drawn to doing what the Holy Spirit desires. I believe I’m to conduct a women’s Bible study in my home. I want to know more about your teaching material.

  20. Loralee says:

    It’s extremely difficult for me to open myself up to others; I rarely let people in that close.
    5 things about me?

    I’ll be 67 years this fall, and have lived alone with my precious kitty companions since my husband passed away 16 years ago.
    My past includes the failure of my first marriage of 25 years.
    I am blessed to still be working to support myself.
    My daughter has no children, so I have had to come to terms of not being a grandma.
    All I ever wanted growing up was to be a wife, mom and homemaker…. And boy, like certainly has not out that way! Loneliness is a frequent companion, but Jesus is my everything.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8