Archive for October, 2003

I crave true, deep, lasting friendships. I also find myself afraid that I will be rejected. I want to be hospitable to my friends but I am afraid that if they come over and see my messy house they will be repelled by me. I want to share the secrets of my heart but I am truly convinced that some secrets should stay secret to protect people’s feelings. I saw a quote on Alan Hartung’s (sp.?) comment page that said something like….Sometimes authenticity crosses over into too much information. I think that is true.

We had a good discussion about community last night (Thursday) at Mark and Barb’s house but I think I need to have a better understanding of community and how it is supposed to work out. I grew up in a pretty closed family. Not many visitor’s over, not many friends for any of us. It’s sad really but I am raising my kids in a similar way.

I will add more on this topic later I think. I have to go now. We are going to our friends house for dinner as a matter of fact. We are building friendships and community with some people but I feel like we have a long way to go to have true Christian community that becomes authentic and transforming to all who are in it.

Any comments? Maybe it’s just me that feels awkward about all this.

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This past weekend Jason, Mark, Barb and I got to spend time at Jason and Brooke Evans’ home. They are both very welcoming and comfortable to be around. I hope to practice hospitality more so that it comes as naturally and beautifully out of me as it does out of them. The big deal is… they weren’t just inviting in the four of us… there were thirty to forty people in and out of their home throughout the weekend. They also had some of the out of towners sleeping over at their house. Wow! Suffice it to say, I was glad to have met them. Thank you Jason and Brooke! God bless you!

This weekend was set up as a kind of forum for people that are starting Home churches and missional communities and such to get together and talk and network. We were talking about what to do with our children since they are not in Sunday school anymore. We were talking about our stories and why we are doing what we are doing…

We talked about a lot of things…it is honestly becoming a blur. But what I do remember clearly is a feeling. The feeling I got was caused by the obvious diversity of people in attendance. There were older people…like me and Jason 🙂 and older people than that. There were young guys with tattoos and big ear disks in their earlobes. There was a Mennonite leader and a woman who is a Lutheran pastor. There was a couple that reminded me of Jeff and Susie who have been doing this kind of a home church for about 10 years. There was a young youth pastor (who self-proclaimedly resembles the Elf from the Rudolf the Rednosed reindeer cartoon, that wants to be a dentist instead of a toymaker) It was fun to talk to him. We were giving him advice that he didn’t really ask for. It was bordering on terrorism. Sorry brother! I hope you can forgive us. Thanks for letting us have a little fun with you.

Okay back to the feeling I was having… I was looking around at this diverse group and thinking we are all “like living stones that are being built together into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood,” …These words come from 1 Peter 2:5 It goes on to say “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

The mercy of God sees past denominational walls. The mercy of God sees past marks on the skin and scars on the heart. The mercy of God brings together people, who were not a people and unifies us, to bring praises to his name. We must show that same mercy and see past the walls that we have made up in our own minds. We must show that same mercy; and love and love and forgive and forgive until we breathe our last breath in this mortal body. But we have to remember that we are not building the church and we do not have it in us to love and forgive unconditionally. For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13) And “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. (Psalm 127: 1)

I guess what I learned this weekend was that God is building his church and it is going to look different and include a lot more and varied people than we at first imagined. Sounds good to me.

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