Sunday, November 28, 2010

open and honest communication with GOD

i haven't felt much like blogging lately with all the essays and assignments i've had for school. sorry about that.

i was clearing out some emails this evening, and i came across a blog post from one of my heroes. she goes to therapy. good for her. i've wondered if i should, too, sometimes. trying to heal from my past and deal with junk as it comes becomes a bit of a daunting task at times. anyway, she wrote something that kind of hit me hard...she's decided to be honest in her sessions even if she sounds like a jerk. i love her honesty and real-ness.

i think i've not been so honest with GOD lately in my relationship and in my talks with him. i'm feeling like i'm holding back because i don't want to give him the junk in my life. as i read the blog tonight, i had a thought...how stupid is it to withhold who i really am and what i'm really feeling from the one who knows it all?

so, this week, i'm determined to be more open and honest in my communication with him. as i've said countless times over the years...GOD already knows what's in my heart; he's just waiting for me to be honest with myself. so, GOD...ready or not...here it comes!..even if i sound like a jerk...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

what i love about my church

church should be a place where a person can be himself/herself. a place where the honesty, acceptance, love and real-ness just melts away everything plastic, everything artificial about us. i smile every time i start to walk into my church, avalon church, in mcdonough, georgia.

though everything they do for the service on sunday morning is done with more excellence than i've ever seen at a church before, it's obvious that the sunday morning service is not the sum of all they do at avalon. it's a part of the whole. and it makes me feel good knowing that church there is more than one meeting a week. it's about who we are. we are the church, and worshiping and serving GOD is something we do all the time, not just on sunday mornings or in a small group.

i love that my pastor is not the only preacher (although he's a very good one). i love that outreach is part of the ethos. i love that we can speak frankly, that we can come as we are, that creativity and excellence are what's normal. i love that i'm encouraged to be part of something greater than myself. i love that i'm greeted by people who seem to genuinely love, who are happy to be there, who are happy that i'm there.

i'm proud to say that avalon is my church, and for those who know my struggles with the institution of church, that's a pretty major thing. =)

http://www.avalonchurch.net/   check it out! and come join us!

Monday, November 8, 2010

young people know it all...what a relief!

i love college. i really do. i love meeting new people. i love being challenged intellectually. it's a great experience. but there are a few things i'm not fond of. for starters, twenty-year-old snots giving me lectures about the "real world" and their idea that somehow they are intellectually superior as well. i've been a stay-at-home mom for years. i'll admit that i don't have much paid work experience, but that doesn't mean i'm stupid. the majority of stay-at-home moms don't have time to sit in front of the tv all day watching soap operas. we volunteer, we manage households, we become experts in time management, we chauffeur children back and forth, we make appointments, we teach our children, we diagnose ailments, we stay up late working on school projects, we organize activities, we create meals, we purchase goods, we work with other moms and groups of people, and much, much more. we may not get paid, but we certainly aren't stupid. well, guess what...this mom has better grades than you! ha!

call me a goody-goody because i value honesty and reliability. in the real world, i get to keep my job and credibility. call me a suck-up (language cleaned up due to young readers) because i'm nice and respectful to others. in the real world, that behavior gets me respected and furthers my career if i'm sincere, which i am. you may think you know it all, but here's the thing. i got married about the time you were born. i think i have a clue about this real world of which you speak. don't worry about me. i'll be just fine. and when you wonder why i have a smile on my face when you're trying to teach me about the real world, it's because i'm laughing at you on the inside and wondering what adults thought of me when i, too, knew it all.

Monday, November 1, 2010

so... what if you're wrong?

why are we so quick to assume that we are right  and everyone else is wrong? why do we act like we have cornered the market on what is true? why do we think our interpretation is the correct one or better yet, the only one? why do we demonize those with differing opinions?

here's a question...

what if we're wrong?

seriously...what if WE are wrong? what if there are many ways to look at a situation? what if what we thought was black and white turns out to be a beautiful shade of gray? what if there are multiple interpretations of the same text? what if those people who have different opinions are not evil, angry people with agendas?

WHAT IF WE LISTENED TO EACH OTHER AND TOOK TIME TO ASK THE QUESTION: COULD I BE WRONG?

according to research by dave kinneman and gabe lyons in unchristian, christians have an image problem. i'm not surprised by this. i've known it for quite some time. outsiders to christianity between the ages of 16 and 29 were asked about their perceptions of christianity and its followers. here's what they found:

91% see christians as anti-homosexual.
87% see christians as judgmental
85% see christians as hypocritical
78% see christians as sheltered (old-fashioned, out of touch with reality)
75% see christians as too political
70% see christians as proselytizers (insensitive to others, not genuiune)

surprised at how we're perceived?

the one i want to concentrate on is the stat about christians being judgmental. it doesn't surprise me. i used to be very judgmental. i was taught to be. it was considered  a christian virtue in the legalistic circles in which i operated.

and then one day, i had a moment. perhaps it was my own version of the damascus experience that the apostle paul had. WHAT IF I'M WRONG? my whole perspective changed. i began to question everything.  i realized that i had judged people unfairly. i realized that i taken on an attitude that i was somehow superior to others because of what i didn't do, because of what i considered sin. i realized that i didn't hold a monopoly on truth.

i could curse those who believe differently from myself.  why not ask questions and learn from them instead?

i could state emphatically that what i believe is correct and that others' interpretations are in error. why not listen to the opinions of others? why not be open to the fact that i could be wrong or that they could have a valid point?

i could demonize others for pointing out that what i've believed all along has fallacies. why not thank them for their courage to challenge the status quo?

here's the point...we need to listen more and judge less. we need to celebrate our diversity. diversity is beautiful. we need to respect each other more. i've heard it almost a million times it seems...people don't care how much we know until they know how much we care. we earn the right to share our opinions when first we've listened and respectfully acknowledged the opinions of others.

so...what if you're wrong?