Sunday, October 2, 2011

the post that will never be and spilling beans

most of my {favorite} online communication often comes through email.  there, it can be made more personal.

remember quite a while back, i mentioned posting a Q & A regarding the emails i'd received from people related to ministry?? institutional church ministry, to be exact?   i know.  it's been a while.  it's okay if you don't remember.  honestly, i was hoping you'd forgotten. ;)

truth is, i just haven't been able to put words to the heart of this matter.  it's a delicate dance, this subject of church.

truth is, while i do my best to share words of comfort with those who've been wounded by the institutional church, {hear come the beans...} it's not the reason our family has not regularly attended a church in nearly three years.

i heard that *gasp*.

it's okay.  just a handful of years ago, i would have gasped, too.

truth is, we are all at different places, asking questions, and making sense of theology passed down.  many have their own interpretation of biblical standards.  i'm not here to say who's right and who's wrong.  only... i'm there, too, asking questions.  we only know that what we do {after 20 yrs of institutional church ministry} works for our family.

besides... sometimes, i wonder if the lord must grieve or giggle at our seemingly elementary theologies and judgmental thoughts {sometimes... backed with criticism}.

{to know me is to know that a critical conversation tires me more than doing a full afternoon of laundry.  i'm pretty sure, anyway.  let's not test that for the sake of this post, mkay?  ;)  you know... we shouldn't call out the toothpick in someone's eye when there's a 2x4 in our own.  agree?}

the older i get... *ehem*  in all of my studies, and more importantly, in listening to my heart, the theology that makes the most sense to me is that god is a god of love.  we've barely begun to scratch the surface of his unfathomable love.  and for that, i am eternally grateful.  {a scene from toy story just popped in my head. sorry.}

living love is more powerful than a sermon.

{the following video is not suitable for young viewers...}

may i always be willing to see people with {unconditional} love.  loving people where they are and not where i think they should be.

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
Mother Teresa


still gonna be my friend?  ;)

{oh... recently, i deleted my personal facebook account.  *heartpalpitations*  it was my last connection with several people we knew from our days of pastoring.   it was time.  but... i opened another one under my blog name.  *nevermind. i just deleted it*  you can  visit me on twitter.   twitter friends are better than google search.  just sayin'.}


  1. I, for one, respect your decision. I believe in a God of love too. Didn't Jesus tell us that the most important commandment was to love one another as he loved us and by showing that love the world would know we are Christian? He didn't say pass judgment and look for messages in my word that will allow you to condemn?

    Now I am going to email you ;-)

  2. As a former Southern Baptist I do know exactly how institutional church can wound. What I love about the Episcopal church is that everyone is welcome to the table. Everyone. That, in the end, was more important to me than theological differences (infant Baptism - yikes!).

    But I struggle even there. If I didn't love to sing I might make the same choice you have. Well, and I know myself well enought to know that I wouldn't really challenge myself spiritually if I didn't have it in my face every Sunday morning :)

  3. I am still your friend too! I agree with so much you said. In fact I didn't go regularly to church until I found Epic. It has changed my life. I love that video. I watched the entire thing nodded in agreement. :) I am thinking of deleting my FB account too. Too much drama for this Mama.

  4. no facebook! ah! :) I totally respect your decision and in some ways envy it. to shut everything off and close that window into our lives. (as pastors ourselves, people are always looking in) Have you heard of Mark Batterson? In my times of reflecting and questioning and searching, his books (Primal and Soulprint) BOTH really helped me. I'm reading Not a Fan right now and loving the simple truths that it reminds me of for our lives and how we should live out our walk with God. Thankful for your blog and for your story.

  5. I still love ya!! :) As long as you have Jesus in your heart, it doesn't matter where or if you go to church. Maybe someday you'll find a new place. And maybe not.

  6. OK...great post, thank you. I just got a twitter account, not exactly sure why, but I'll add you and see what happens.

  7. Absolutely still love you! And I totally understand. We're struggling with issues involving institutional church right now too. We've been out of church ministry for over a year now, and I think we still have more questions than answers!

  8. Ha! You can't get rid of me that easy. This sweet girl hadn't set foot in a church in years because of her physical condition. Yet she touched more people with the heart of Jesus than anyone else I know. Today, she is resting in His loving arms and still reaching people for Him. It's not about where you go. It's about who you are in Him. Love you! Blessings, SusanD

    PS you can email me any time. :)

  9. After reading this, I feel badly. I don't think the church was ever meant to be "institutionalized", but I do understand what you mean. A true church is a body of believers living the Gospel in and out of every aspect of life--which is love!
    We're experiencing a huge amount of growth at our church because of people hurt in the past wanting to come together and live in a body of believers that love and show Christ to people--alike or different from us! It really is our job to love people and let Christ do the work of change in their lives. My husband is far better at this than me!
    I know you are doing what works for your family, but I want you to know you do have a body of believers who love and care about you all right here on your little bloggy blog!

  10. I also have recently untangled myself from the facebook octupus and I'm amazed at how many other things I'm getting done. Funny how that works.=) I'm a Mormon, but I feel the same way you do about discussing religion, probably because I prefer to focus on what we all have in common instead of those things that divide us. I have enjoyed and learned from my friends of all faiths. As always, I enjoyed reading your post. Have a great week.


I always enjoy reading what you have to say... It makes my day! ;)

{If you have a question, I will do my best to respond here, on your site, or via email.}