Sunday, November 12, 2017
It has been quite a while since I have posted on this blog. The last year and half have been a whirlwind of activity and change. And right now I feel almost as if the slate before us is perfectly bare and we are starting a new chapter. And believe me when I say I am both grateful and extremely ready for something new and different. One of the things we are looking for that is different is a new church home. I have never left a church on good terms before, with no ill feelings, but for the first time ever have found this to be where I am. Our church wasn't bad. We aren't upset with anyone. We aren't opposed to what they preach or what their vision is. It just wasn't where we belong. We were growing stagnant, and there must be change, accountability, and responsibility to stimulate the type of growth Jake and I are hoping to attain. I personally don't think one church or one demonization is correct or has it all together and another is lacking. I think we are all different people and we have to plug in where we can be fed, and where we can be used. That is what we are hoping to find. This morning was the first new church we visited in respect to finding a new church home. And I was both scared and nervous when we arrived. I am kind of touchy about religion in general. I believe our spirituality and our relationship with God should be so much more than sitting in a pew once or twice a week. I am like everyone else and have struggled (and am struggling) through some MAJOR roadblocks in my own life. I think these things make us stronger. Make us more able to relate to and sympathize with others. In my case it brings about a much needed dose of humility and the inability to ever think because of Jesus I have it all together. I used to be one of THOSE Christians. I never wanted it to show, but inwardly I thought I was better than THOSE other people. You know the ones. The ones who smoke, or drink, or lie, or cheat. God forbid! I didn't seem to recognize that I judged, I was proud in my thinking, I reeked of sin worse than the ones most people wear outwardly. This is NOT the kind of church we want to be involved in. (Just for the record for the most part, our past church wasn't like that, it certainly wasn't their vision to be, but I have been involved in these type of groups before). So in short church shopping is scary! So we walk in this morning and it is very different than what we are accustomed to. People were nice and spoke to us, and the music was pretty good. Now it had a bit of a Pentecostal edge to it (and after sitting in a Baptist church for 8 years, I believe I have been converted). I now felt that uncomfortable twinge that I am sure most people feel in an environment that is a bit out of their comfort zone. To make matters worse, I notice on the bulletin that the sermon was going to be on finances, and there was a place to take notes. "Sweet baby Jesus, please don't let this be some prosperity doctrine church." I thought. Been there, done that, did NOT buy the T-shirt, and don't plan on ever doing it again. If my first pick was leading me backwards, Jake was going to do all the choosing from now on, or I will be sitting at home You-tubing Rob Bell every Sunday morning. And God knows I get all the praise and worship I need in my car to keep me motivated. Surprisingly the sermon was pretty good and I agreed with most all of it. The point of God getting us into a good financial position was all outward focused on increasing our ability to give into the lives of others. I believe this 100%. Jake is the most giving person I have ever known. If we had a choice in how to live we would be rich and give it all away. Do projects for those truly in need, bless the under privileged. Give our lives and work for something that matters. I would truly rather be a servant than be served and so would he. Now while this was probably NOT where we are going to land, it wasn't a bad start. If the prosperity doctrine had been preached, someone had laid hands on us, or no one had been kind or welcoming, my search for a place of spiritual growth and contribution may have ended this morning. After church we went to lunch and talked about what we are looking for, and what we need. We both have the same wants and needs, and we both realize we aren't going to find anything perfect. We just want to find where we need to be for this season. This time of change. I am just relieved I made it through step 1, and am still willing to go ahead and take another step.