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Can You Hear Me Now?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Big Brother

My big brother called last night. Apparently my mom let him know I hadn't been attending church and was struggling a bit with religion altogether. You know how our moms are always looking out for us...no matter how full-grown the 'babies' are.

I'm not sure what she thought my brother could offer...besides comic relief. He's an ordained pastor who is now working with a company that educates seniors (not 12th graders...elderly seniors) on Internet use. He also rebuilds computers.

I guess he probably does know a thing or two about organized religion and he truly did make me smile and laugh a bit. He offered me the 'older brother advice', which amounted to what I know...be honest about my expectations, realizing they will NOT be met, but being up front about what I can and cannot accept.

He suffers some of the same bad memories of our childhood church and has been denominationally challenged most of his life as well. Ironic he chose that field...that denomination...as a career for many years. He's a wonderful evangelist and I imagine he's a strong pastor; he just has too much passion for truth to 'settle', and that resulted in stepping on some mighty big toes.

The thing he reminded me is to try things that I haven't tried in the past. Try new denominations. Try new environments. Try new 'types' of churches. Give it a chance...you don't have to give it your all...but give it a chance.

I can do that...I think.

I'm probably going to use this space to truly 'work through' what I find in this search. I've already got a list going of places I want to visit and it's always interesting being the 'newbies' for a while.

I still don't know the outcome of this part of my journey, except to say I'm willing to try...I'm just not fully convinced...I guess this is the part where I leave it up to God. He hasn't let me down yet (literally or figuratively), and I already feel this pull towards Him as I stand on the edge of this new horizon.

I also want to thank each of you who commented and encouraged and spoke from the heart. It's always reaffirming to hear others' stories.

I pray your Friday is fully blessed!

7 comments:

Tam said...

Oh how I yearn for us to be closer and to be in a Home church together worshipping God, learning from Jesus and relying on Holy Spirit for each and every gift He has for us at each moment!

Plus I would hug you and pray for you earnestly my friend!

Grafted Branch said...

Long time no comment, Kim. Hi! I'm sorry to read that you're in this place of limbo. It's never fun. We've been there more than we like to remember, too.

My first thought though, is: Where does your husband stand in all this? Newer believer or not, it can certainly be a relief when we (the wives -- the help-meets) release the search, the decisions, the headship of the house to its rightful place.

aggiejenn said...

I pray that your search teaches you a lot, and I look forward to your thinking out loud about your experiences. I think that is a great idea from your brother, to try different denominations and churches than you might have in the past. I grew up in a VERY conservative, legalistic, stifling church where grace and a personal relationship with God were not part of our vocabulary, but, by the grace of God, He brought me to a place where I could look beyond what I had always known and find something really amazing. I pray that for you, too.

angeleyes Blue said...

Fly in the ointment here--Have you ever thought about Church of Religious Science? It incorporates all faiths and pairs them with science. In our sanctuary we have several stained glass windows--one incorporating Christianity, one incorporating the Jewish faith as well as one incorporating Buddha.

The first time I stepped into this church I felt like I was home. It is worth a look at.

Dawn said...

Thanks for stopping by yesterday. Check out the post I wrote later in the evening. You'll really be able to relate.

The comment above really freaked me out! Sorry!

Dawn said...

Kevin and I have finished Part VII, just in time for me to go pack for the trip to Georgia. See you later!!

Becky Wolfe said...

Interesting to stumble upon your blog today on the CWO ring. I find myself to be a VERY picky judge of churches to the point where I just stopped going for a couple years also. I feel denomination is such a big separater of what is supposed to be The Church, not a building, not a denomination but the people who call themselves Christians.

So, hubby & I found a 'church program' online that we enjoyed watching & we slotted it for Sunday mornings so it felt like "chuch time". But I was finally feeling the desire to actually 'fellowship' with other Christians & God plopped another Christian woman in my life in this small town that repeatedly invited us to their tiny church & we finally went.

It isn't quite "everything I've looked for in a church" so I can relate to that feeling. But it is passionate & feels genuine and so I'm going to try & give it a chance. Its already passed two of my very-harsh church judging trials (the music & the preaching) so hopefully we can find a way to fit into its groove without too much more judgement or discomfort. (cuz in this tiny town, we're running out of choices)

So, I encourage you by saying this, you're not the only one that goes thru these struggles and that I hope & pray you find what you're looking for that meets your most important criterias but maybe not all without too much frustration or discouragement. Like you, I try to see the bigger picture of The Church as we are supposed to be, not the denomination or the building, but the people of God. And us people will let eachother down time & time again, so beyond that, look at the heart of the people to see if God is there & then there can be room for grace.