Category Archives: Everyday Life

Wow! Look at the Traffic!

traffic

Looks like today has been a busy day on this lil’ ol’ blog!  Maybe not quite like the photo accompanying this (probably more like Main Street in Kooskia, Idaho where I graduated from high school).  But thanks to all who have dropped by!

I hope that life will get to the point that I can post here more often, but that might just be wishful thinking.  Currently, I am in the middle of reading Rosaria Champlain Butterfield’s latest book Openness Unhindered:  Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ.   Maybe I will have the time and work up the courage to write an actual review of the book, once I’ve read it.  Who knows?  It could happen.

If you are not familiar with Butterfield’s story, I recommend her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. It’s an amazing story of Christ’s redemptive power in justification and sanctification!  I think you will find Butterfield’s writing easy to read–she is a masterful story teller!

So, check back here over the next few weeks.  You might just find something new.

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Thanksgiving Train

images

I haven’t posted in a while, and probably shouldn’t post this as it needs some polishing, but I have decided to take you on a rambling ride on my train of thought.  Please keep your hands, arms, and other body parts inside the vehicle—this train’s engine could get difficult to follow.

I was thinking about thankfulness today (I know, odd, given the day and all).  I have seen posts online all month where people describe the things for which they are thankful—their family, homes, jobs, salvation, grace, etc.  Some have even included to whom this thankfulness belongs—God. This then got me pondering that we give thanks to God with our words for those things for which we are grateful, but how do we show our thanks?

My thought train went on to Sunday morning worship and stopped at that station for a bit.  When the Church meets with God to worship Him, how is our thanks shown?  Do we have a casual or cavalier attitude?  Do we think more about what we will get out of the service than the worship we bring?   Do we think more about how the songs make us feel than what the words are saying back to our King?  Are we more concerned with the lunch we will partake of after the service or the football game that will be on the TV instead of what God is saying through the minister of His Word?

The thought train went further down the track.  Even though, I think we all know the answers to the questions I just posed would not be positive most of the time (if we are being honest with ourselves), God still loves his bride!  He loves us despite the fact that we don’t approach Him with the reverence and awe that He deserves!

Finally, the train that is my rambling thoughts jumped the track to Derek Webb’s song “Wedding Dress” (lyrics below) and that is where it has stopped for now.

If you could love me as a wife
And for my wedding gift your life
Should that be all I’ll ever need
Or is there more I’m looking for

And should I read between the lines
And look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich and wise
Is that really what you want

‘Cause I am a whore, I do confess
I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle

Or I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle to you

So could you love this bastard child
Though I don’t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
And with the other in your side

‘Cause I am so easily satisfied
By the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood

‘Cause I am a whore, I do confess
But I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle

Or I’m a prodigal with no way home
But I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle to you

Because money cannot buy
A husbands jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

So I am a whore, I do confess
But I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle

Or I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle

Or I am a whore, I do confess
But I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle

Or I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle to you
To you

“Getting to know you / Getting to know all about you”

getting to know you

I have attended the same church for about 2 years, after several years of non-attendance.1 I have been a member of this body for about a year now.  Yet, I still have not made any real connections, or developed any real relationships with the other members.  There are several barriers that I contribute to this.  Now, someone might say that these are excuses and not barriers, but I prefer the previous term, because it is my hope that by laying these out there, that work can be done (on both sides) to make these barriers easier to overcome.

To start off with, I am an introvert.2 To most people, this means I am shy, but being shy really has little to do with being an introvert.  For those of you who know me, you know I really don’t fit the definition of shy—I have few reservations about telling you what I think when the opportunity is right (which is part of the reason I started a blog, because I have lots of things I would like to get out there).  No, I am an introvert—a person who is energized by having time alone, a person whose energy is depleted by being around others.  I tend not to approach someone; instead I often wait to be approached to avoid the drain on my emotional and mental energy. Because of this, it is really hard for me to get to know others unless I spend a lot of time around them.  And this, in turn, can make it difficult for others to get to know me—especially extreme extroverts, who just can’t relate to my need for time and space before I am willing to share with them anything, let alone the deepest issues of my heart (if I ever get to that point at all).

Next, I have trouble relating to many women in the church.   Some of this might be attributed to my feelings of not fitting into this church’s definition of womanhood (or at least my perception of their definition).  I am not a stay-at-home mother; instead, I work full-time outside the home in a higher-level management position.  I don’t enjoy things like sewing or knitting, or small-talk over coffee or many other activities that are seen stereotypically as women’s interests.3 Most activities focused at the women of the church are just variations on these types of themes.  I love to read and to study issues of theology and doctrine, which many churches still focus toward the men (if they focus on it at all).  Because of my past struggles with SSA, I find I sometimes put up walls and shy away from deep friendships with women, in an effort to avoid situations where temptation may creep in.  Obviously, with these issues, it is hard to develop the intimate friendships that other women have and make look so easy.

Finally, I am used to being part of very small churches (an average of about 10 families or so) where you get to know everyone very well over the course of time.  I am still somewhat intimidated by the size of this congregation, which if I had to guess would say averages 150-175 at the weekly Sunday morning worship service (I know, really not very big by others’ standards), where I will never get to know everyone, no matter how long we attend there.

There is a quote from Rosaria Champagne Butterfield in her book The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith that says, “I think that churches would be places of greater intimacy and growth in Christ if people stopped lying about what we need, what we fear, where we fail, and how we sin.”  This is what I would like to see and what I would like to be a part of, this is what I want for me and others in the church—that we would be people who know each other well enough that we can honestly talk about the things in our lives and pray for each other and grow in our love for each other and for Christ.   I ask those of you who claim the name of Christ to pray with me and for me in this regard—that God would work on my heart and the hearts of others to break down our barriers so that this can be accomplished.

1. There are a few long stories related to the reasons for our non-attendance that I may or may not broach in future blog posts.

2. For those of you who understand MBTI-speak, I am actually an INTJ, which will tell you even more about me.

3.  Providentially, my love for the game of softball has been beneficial to me getting to superficially know a few of the other members as I have joined a team from the church that plays as part of a local inter-church league.

Welcome!

welcome

For quite some time now, I have had the desire to start this blog, but for various and sundry reasons and commitments, I haven’t done it.  Well, I guess as of today, I am finally taking that plunge and posting something here.  And if you have found yourself reading this, for some odd reason, you have at least an inkling of a desire to read what I have to say.

I have several goals or purposes I would like to see for this blog.  The first would be to have a place where I can write about what I am learning about God.  Many people shy away from the word theology thinking that it is only for their pastor or elders or the “super-religious.”  And I have found that especially among women this tends to be the case.  But theology literally means the study of God.  I can’t imagine being a Christian who does not want to learn more about the God I serve.  I hope I can be a resource for others, but especially women, who want to learn more than just mere sentiments when it comes to God.

As a second goal or purpose, I want this blog to be a place where I can lovingly engage those in the LGBT community and especially help Christians who experience same-sex attraction (SSA).  This is a subject that is near and dear to me, because I am a Christian who has experienced and struggled with SSA.  I want this to be a safe place to discuss this issue, but under the framework of the traditional Biblical understanding of sex and marriage (i.e., marriage is between a man and a woman and sexual relations are meant for marriage).

Finally, I hope this blog can be a place where I can discuss the ordinary and every day things that happen as I live out my life and identity in Christ, endeavoring to walk in all good conscience before Him.  I might talk about some work of fiction I am reading, some new recipe I want to try, the new Hollywood blockbuster I saw last weekend, or some new beer I ordered.

So, feel welcome to drop by and read things as I post them.  I would welcome any comments, thoughts, and to dialog with any of you if you find that a topic I have written about piques your interest!