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Archive for March, 2008

A few years ago one of our dear friends Bob, suffered a heart attack.  He had been one of our pastors at the church we left.  After he was “let go” from his job there he and his wife joined the community Rickard and I were pastoring.  He was in the hospital for ten days before he died, and there was a constant prayer vigil at the hospital and Rickard and I were there everyday.

His family made the decision to have the memorial service at the church we had left.  They had also asked Rickard, another one of our friends who had also left the church, and the pastor of the church to speak.   The night before the service, we met with our friend and talked about our feelings about the service being at the church and agreed that it was not about us, but about our friend and his family, who we adored, and honoring our friend and celebrating his life.

As I walked into the church I was overcome with emotion.  It was as though we had come full circle.  We had left this church, hurt and angry, and the man we were there to honor was the one who blessed us and told us we were doing what God had called us to. 

Rickard spoke beautifully about Bob and how much he had meant to our family.  He spoke of how Bob had encouraged him to not be afraid to lead, to step boldly into what God had called him to do.  He spoke of how Bob had once been our pastor, and how he was patient and gracious as we tried clumsily to pastor him and others who were brave enough to let us. 

After the service, my friend and I were talking about how we felt about being there again and the pain associated with it.   At that moment, I had an epiphany of sorts.  I realized that I had felt like what we were doing, in regards to church, was not legitimate.  I don’t think that Rickard and I had felt like “real” pastors.  But, as I reflected over those past two weeks I felt like God was saying that we were not the illegitimate children that He was ashamed of, and that we had nothing to apologize for.  I knew in that moment, that over those two weeks, spending time praying, crying, laughing and reminiscing with this family we loved so much, we HAD become pastors.

I think that many of the Church outside of church feels this way.  We are on the fringes and have been made to feel like the bastard child.  But, I know now that I can walk with my head held high, knowing that I am right where the Father wants me and that I have nothing to apologize for.

  

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It is spring break for my kids this week, so I took the week off.  Good thing because I’m in a bit of a funk.  I feel like the many roads in my life have crashed.

I wrote in an earlier post that I work at a Christian daycare.  Lately I have had many issues.  One of the biggest issues is our discipline policy.  The other has to do with theology.  The daycare is the typical Baptist daycare.  I find myself questioning the things we are teaching the kids about God. 

For example: A few months ago we were going over the months lessons, and my boss said she wanted us to sing Jesus Loves the Little Children with the kids.  Ok no big deal, I sang it as a child, have taught it to dozens of children.  Until I started singing it in my head.  Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and White they are precious in his sight.  OMG, that is soooo racist.  Who are the red children, or the yellow?  Is it just me?  Then last week we were talking about Earth Day and what we were going to do for it.  I suggested we recycle, for one day, not for ever, but one day.  Somehow we got into a discussion about taking care of the earth and I said something to the fact that it is our responsibility as Christians to take care of the planet.  One of my co workers told me about a pastor who had said that we need to be more concerned with people than the earth.  What?  Apparently we need to be more concerned about the souls of people rather than taking care of the planet.  I agree in theory, however, as I said to her, if the Lord’s return isn’t for many more years isn’t it important to leave a clean earth.  How does it bode for people when a large portion of the world doesn’t have clean drinking water. Then last week we did a mini passover, and the symbolism we were teaching wasn’t even accurate. 

I also wrote in my last post that our son goes to a co-op at the church where we use to attend and where our friend was just let go from.  I have been able to keep the school and the church separate until now.  I have also had to tell my son that I don’t believe what I was teaching him.

So, here is where I am.  Should I work at a place where I have many things that I disagree with?  Can I continue to send my son to a school 2 days a week when I think that the church is continually damaging people?  I love what I do for work, I love my kids I teach.  If I worked at a secular daycare would this be an issue?  My son has flourished at this school.  It has been positive for him, but am I compromising keeping him there, am I, by keeping him there, condoning the church, or do I suck it up and keep him there?

I feel like I have my bosses ear regarding many issues.  I think that in many ways I can help to bring change.  She respects my opinion and is thinking through many things I have suggested.

I also feel that my sons needs have to out-way my own issues.  The truth is, he only goes to school 2 days a week and the rest of the time he is home-schooled, I control most of what he learns.

It will definitely be a week of much thought and consideration!

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Body Snatchers

So, it’s happened to another friend.  Went to the church where he worked and was told it was his last day. One minute you have a job, the next one you don’t. OUCH!!! I’m not even surprised anymore, it has happened to so many.  But, what gets me is that it is the norm.  Before we left the same church, I was under the delusion that I had a voice, that I could make a change.  I fought my husband about leaving, because we had given our lives to this church and we had to fight for change, but the reality was, we only had a voice if it was status quo.  In fact, before we left, my husband was talking to a friend who had been “let go” from the church, and my husband said, “when we leave the church there’s gonna be a huge hole because we are so involved”.  Our friend laughed and said “no, you will move out of the line and the line will close in and it will be like you were never there.”  He was right.  So, today as I dropped my son off at school (he goes to school at said church), and I was thinking about our friend, and how sad I was that I wouldn’t see him, I looked around at people mingling about, and a women who worked with our friend casually talking to a couple other women, and I was struck by the strangeness of it all.  It reminded me of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  There is a scene where the main character is trying not to react to what is happening around her, because if she does they will know she is not one of them.  It is like that in the church.  If you react to or against the status quo, then they will find out that you are not one of them, or at least perceive it that way.  As long as you don’t upset the apple cart, things are fine.   Honestly, it would be funny except for the fact that it is so damn sad!!!

Update: It’s all good cause it was just business!  Apparenty the church is a business, and letting people go is  not personal, but business.  Whew, what a relief.

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May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
– Against the snares of the evil one.

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!

May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.

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Something Amazing

This video is amazing.  These two guys raised this lion until it was too big.  They released him into the wild, and came back a year later and this is how the lion reacted.   Makes me want to go out and get a lion….almost.

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I work at a Christian daycare, and everyone that works there are Christians.  The following is a conversation I had with co-worker.  She is in her early twenties, and is a pastors kid.

Me: Do you have a roommate?

Co-worker: Yeah, (lowers voice) it’s a guy, did you know that?

Me: Oh, no I didn’t.

C/W: Yeah, it’s my friend____.  He’s the one who is struggling with homosexuality.  He’s a Christian, and has taken a vow of celibacy.

Me: Hmm, how does your dad feel about that?

C/W: Well, he worries about his reputation, you know, how people might judge how he raised me. 

Me: Oh, why?

C/W: Cause I am living with a guy.  I was taken off the worship team too.

Me: Well, I meant, how does your dad feel about your friend being a Christian and gay.  And, why were you taken off the worship team.

C/W: Well he’s OK with it, but my friend’s parents have dis-owned him.  You know, Lori he is really trying.  I was taken off the team cause I live with him, and it looks bad.

We then talked a little about his parents and where they went to church.

C/W: He went to talk with the pastor of his parents new church, and the pastor told him he thinks it would be better if he was a murderer in jail, then what he is.

We went on to talk about this, and how the church reacts to the subject of homosexuality.  She is hurt and confused by the reation she has recieved, and how her friend has been treated.  She went on to tell me how the worship leader informed her that she was a bad influence on the younger girls, and that is why she was removed.  She told me that she didn’t plan on living with her friend for ever, but that he needed her.  She said that he has people trying to pull him back into that lifestyle, and that she was an ancor for him in a way.

Ok, so I have many thoughts on this.  I was left stunned and heartbroken.  I think the Bible is clear on homosexuality, just as it is on lying, pride, audultery ect.  I have had very heated conversation with people who question if someone can be gay and be a Christian at the same time. OY!  I know that my friend from work was relieved to talked to someone who wasn’t judgmental.

I don’t understand that kind of thinking.  Why is homosexuality the unforgivable sin?  This young women is the only Christian who has not condemned him to hell.  How can parents disown a child?  How can a pastor tell someone who is struggling that it would be better if he were a murderer? My co-worker is confused by the way she has been treated as well.  Should she have been removed from the worship team because she lives with a guy.  Is it the appearance of evil?

I’m  interested in your thoughts…

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