Sunday Morning Struggles (and a little about my friend, Levi)

You wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed to the smell of pancakes in the making, jump in the shower (of course with your favorite tunes playing), manage to put on your Sunday best, AND even make it into the car before the horn honks three times.  You arrive at church greeted by smiling faces and welcoming hands as you find your way to your “unassigned assigned seat”.  You sit through a capturing sermon with just enough passion to hold you over for the week, pass the offering plate, and sing the closing hymn.  With a little extra pep in your step, you grab some coffee and maybe even a donut and head on your way.  No plans are in store for the rest of the day except some sweatpants and most likely a little nap.  What a perfect way to start out the week..

Only maybe yours looked more like groggy eyes in the morning as you hit snooze for the fourth time hoping for just 5 more minutes of shut eye.  Finally rolling out of bed as you throw yesterday’s hair up in a messy bun, splash some water on your face, and search for that wrinkly shirt amongst the pile of dirty clothes on the floor.  You search through your purse on the way with hopes that granola bar from last week is still there to quiet the grumblings loud enough for the person sitting next to you to hear. You quickly greet people on your way in with a forced cheer and grab a seat as the music is playing. 

I don’t know about you, but I’d love for my Sundays to look a lot more like the first and a little less like the second.  Only the truth of the matter is, it frequently looks quite a bit more like the second.  If I’m lucky, I actually make it to church on Saturday or Sunday morning.  Working nights, and still being fairly new I often work Fridays, or Saturday nights into Sunday mornings—and trust me, staying awake after work to make it to church is not a pleasant experience for probably anyone (been there, tried that).  Sleep screams louder and nothing sounds more desirable than my bed on the drive home. 

I’m not going to tell you that if you don’t make it to church on a regular basis that you’re a bad Christian, because obviously that’s not always the case for me either.   But because I do believe that churches are meant to serve as our earthly “home away from home”, and that there are few things better and more pleasing to God than serving and worshipping alongside fellow believers- I do think there are important alternative options. 

Maybe you travel often, work weekends, or just haven’t found a church home yet.  Either way, I’m gonna talk to you about a little solution I’ve found.  In today’s day and age there is this little thing called the internet, and many churches have recorded services that you can listen to online.  WHOA! Crazy! It’s as simple as that…well kinda.  I’ve found a little online church that I’ve fallen in love with and I want to share it with you. 

I came across pastor Levi Lusko first after reading his book “Through the Eyes of a Lion” (which is phenomenal btw) a little over a year ago.  Although I’ve never actually had a conversation with him, I like to think we’re pretty good buds 🙂  His teachings have brought me peace on rough days, accompanied me on long solo road trips, and encouraged me when I’ve needed it.  In his book he mentions a church that he and his wife have started up in Montana.  Fresh Life church began in one city and has now expanded to several across Montana and the northwest.  Levi pastors all of them, has written two books, and speaks at different events and church gatherings all over the US.  I started watching one of his sermons online and was immediately hooked.  He preached with a passion I’d never experienced before while drawing me in and making the content relatable.  For a guy who often wears trendy skinny jeans, has arms covered with several tattoos, and a pretty ‘hipster’ look, I was a bit unsure about him at first.  BUT YOU GUYS!  He serves the Lord in crazy ways, he’s got good jokes, and isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes.  I LOVE the way he loves Jesus, and have learned so much listening to him preach.  He shares his messages in ways that are weaved with scriptures and valuable lessons, while making them exciting and captivating. 

If I can’t make it to church for the week, I’ll pull up one of his sermons from the most recent series and watch online or listen to the podcast while I’m driving somewhere or doing a mindless task.  It’s a great way to be able to hear a message and snag a few take-aways for the week if you happened to miss your usual church service.  If you’re ever around me, you’ve probably heard me mention Levi or his family–I just love the way he shares the word.  Someday I’ll maybe even make it out to Montana to attend church in person!  

So I guess the point of this blog is to encourage you to find other ways to ‘make it to church’ when it doesn’t jam with your schedule on certain weeks.  Find a pastor you really like and listen to their church service online.  Perhaps the church you regularly attend has online services, or maybe you’d rather change it up every now and again.  If you’re looking for a church to watch online, check out Fresh Life Church and listen to one of Levi’s sermons.  You’ll be hooked—I’m tellin ya! So good (Also, just really need someone else to understand why I love listening to him so much 😉 ) 

Sitting on your couch in your PJs watching a sermon definitely isn’t a substitute for the community experience and fellowship you’ll gain from regularly attending and being involved in a church, but it can serve you well on the weeks you just can’t make it work.  There’s something encouraging and exciting about hearing the gospel preached in such a relevant and passionate way in today’s world. 

levi-lusko
Pastor Levi Lusko

“Levi Lusko is the author of the bestselling book “Through the Eyes of a Lion”, pastor of Fresh Life Church (a multisite church in Montana and Utah that he and his wife Jennie pioneered in 2007), and the founder of Skull Church and the O2 Experience. Levi travels around the world speaking about Jesus. He takes pleasure in small things, such as black coffee, new shoes, fast Internet, and falling asleep in the sun. He and his wife, Jennie, have four daughters: Alivia, Daisy, Clover, and Lenya, who is in heaven.”

If you want to check out Levi’s books, you can find the first here and the second here.  Both have rocked my world–I highly recommend them!  If you want to visit his church website or listen to a sermon, click here!  Curious about him, but don’t want to listen to a full sermon? Check out his instagram page @levilusko for short clips (and pictures of his super cute kids!)

Thanks so much for reading! If you have other favorite churches or pastors you listen to, I’d love to hear about it! 

–Natalie

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