Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why I left the "church"

I stopped going to "church" over two years ago-----and I make NO apologies for that.  I was reared in a Methodist church and have attended non-denominational churches in my adulthood.  As I grow older, I realize they are not for me---at least not in the traditional form.  I am done with repeated liturgies...DONE....I am done with the bands and the flashing lights....DONE....I am done with the "entrapments".  Why do churches think they need all that "stuff"?  I surmise it is to draw members;  numbers seem to be what drives them these days.  For over two years I cooked for a homeless ministry on Sundays; now I carry on with one of those shut-ins in a poor area of town.

Think back to the church that Jesus founded.  How did He "do church"?  From what I recall, His church met in small groups in homes.  People communed together and did not exclude.  From my experience in too many churches, there are established cliques, and they exclude people; my personal experience as a divorced woman was that I was virtually always excluded.  The focus was always on "in-tact, traditional families".  Others were not valued.  Another example of an exclusionary process was the way bible school was done in the summer.  Kids could sign up to be in groups with their friends.  Whoa!  Where did that leave visitors and those without close ties in the church?  Left out, that's where.  The whole thing has left a bitter taste in my mouth for "church" as we know it.  I don't know that I will ever heal from the damage that was done. 

The way I spend my Sundays for Priscilla is far more important to God than sipping coffee or listening to the band warm up.  I would not go back to the old, "new" way of church. 

Go here to read why people are leaving church in the droves.  The writer is spot-on!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

God is on Facebook!

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel God is not listening, not watching.  At times He is soooo quiet.  I think it is in those times that He is actually working overtime, but He just chooses not to reveal that until "His" timing.  Back on July 20 when I wrote, I had no idea He was working.  While I don't feel it is appropriate that I reveal what He did here at this time, let's just say I (and my dear Priscilla) have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams....blessed via a "blast from my past".    With that blessing comes an unbelievable trust....a trust He has bestowed upon me.  Why me?  He uses the least of us to accomplish His goals.  Never, ever feel that if you are doing kingdom work, He does not see; He sees IT ALL and will honor you for your faithfulness.

P.S.  And HE used Facebook to do it!  Yes, God is on Facebook!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Engagement with the Creator

Because of, I have been pondering more what "engagement, " or a true relationship with God/Jesus means.  I have believed for some time that it is the "give and take" that my friend basically writes of above.  (You should truly read that post.)  What does that look like on a daily basis of walking with God?  Let me illustrate with a little vignette that just occurred to me.

For a few months now I have been working on a special online project that requires very specific computer capabilities.  While I can maneuver a computer for my job like a boss, the technical aspects of it are above my head---way above.  My personal laptop is 7 years old and very sluggish; its speed capabilities are limited, and it was showing with my online project.  I knew I needed to replace it.  I chose this weekend since it is tax-free in SC for back-to-school shopping.  Armed with the technical requirements I thought were comprehensive, I bought a new laptop at Staples.  I bought a year's worth of tech support and left it for a few hours for the technician to set it up.  When I got it home a few hours later, within 5 minutes I was up and running.  I was stoked!

Last night as I worked on my project, I realized my lovely, speedy new laptop did not have Microsoft Word, the one thing I forgot to write on my "technical essentials" list.  A year ago I would have panicked.  Instead, I said, "Lord, You have to make this right.  Help me."  He led me to a 30 day trial download of Word.  "This is great," I thought.  I have a month before I have to pay for it.  Later, it occurred to me that my real name was showing up in the comments I make on Word documents; for what I do online, that is a NO-NO!  Because this Word that is compatible with Windows 8 is slightly different from the one I am accustomed to, I couldn't figure out how to change my identity to "anonymous".  Instead of losing my mind, I simply went to bed at 1:30am and told God, "You can show me tomorrow."  This morning, on the way home from the grocery store at 7:30 am, I reminded Him, "Ok, God. I have a lot going on this morning.  Bring help to me in some form later."  That is what He did.  When I pulled out my new Toshiba, He guided me to what I had to do.  Now I am set for a month, until I have to buy Word.

So what can one glean from my little vignette?  Rely on God.  Engage with Him in your daily walk of life.  It is amazing what He will do when we walk with Him.  There are other times when I have looked for something I really needed but could not find for days-----and He came through and "showed" me where the item was.

Engagement does not just mean betrothel in the marriage sense; it is a sharing, a give-and-take relationship with the Creator.  Try it.  You will not be sorry.