Archive for the ‘My Faves’ Category

I wrote this post in the middle of December and posted it in the midst of preparing for cancer surgery. It kind of got lost in the middle of the cancer stuff. Since it’s so important to me I’ve reposted it again. I think it’s probably one of the truest and most important posts I’ve ever written. Ken and I have challenges we face that makes it impossible for us to have a traditional marriage. I get grief about that sometimes from friends and people who don’t understand. Hopefully this will help a little…

Thursday, December 15, 2011 (1:52am)

Important Things I Learned From My Husband…

My husband and I have been married since the early 80′s. There has been a lot of living along the way. The last few weeks I’ve been looking back at my life and remembering. In the process it made me remember again just why I love my husband Ken so much, and how much I’ve learned from him over the years. Here are just a few of the highlights in no particular order…

There’s only one s in “sauce.”

Spelling has never been my strong suit. Scrabble was not the game for me. My mother’s reaction to my horrible spelling was to tell me to spell it like it sounds. She was from West Virginia though so with the thick accent it didn’t work well. Dog still sounded like dawgg to me. My Ken has always patiently helped me work through stuff like that.

When tying your shoes, the left shoestring needs to go over the right one.

I was an only child growing up in a home with a mentally ill mother. Her teaching style was to show me how to do something, scream at me or beat the crap out of me if I did it wrong. I missed the normal developmental things like effectively tying my shoes, or learning how to play games etc. I was an adult when my husband actually showed me how to tie my shoes so they stayed tied and faced the right direction. :) I was also clueless when it came to being a part of a family and making that work too. He has modeled for me what family looks like and has been my family all these years. That’s an even more important life lesson than how to tie my shoes.

If it’s sloppy, eat it over the sink.

Food and life gets messy sometimes. It’s always good to control the mess as much as possible. Drippy fruit is easier to contain leaning over the sink. Sometimes people’s lives are every bit as messy. For all these years our lives have been populated by a huge number of people. Many of them ended up at our house during times of stress or crisis. Ken is not a real “people person.” Both of us by nature would make great hermits. But in all these years with the diverse parade of humanity coming through our doors and sometimes sleeping on our couch, Ken has always been so supportive and willing to have them there. I’ve seen him be incredibly tender to some who’ve been so wounded. I’ve seen him be incredibly patient with people who could have driven almost anyone crazy. And every day he puts up with a steady parade of people coming in and out of the house for music lessons… all this from a man who doesn’t particularly care for music.

Real love is worth waiting for.

Ken and I met when I was probably 18 or 19. He’s 8 years older than me. He was a grown man who had been on his own for quite some time. I was still trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted. I was also still trying to work through the lingering effects of the abuse I experienced in child hood, that left me afraid to trust anyone with my heart. He fell in love with me when I still had a lot of baggage. In true photo-geek fashion he started buying compatible camera equipment before I was ready to even date him. He loved me while I was too afraid to love… until the love I felt for him grew larger than that fear. He loved me purely in a way that made me feel safe. Some of the other guys I dated before him loved me in spite myself. They were threatened by some of the very things that he found appealing. I am a strong woman, and a “handful” for sure. After all these years, even though I know I drive him nuts some times, I’ve never questioned his love or his acceptance of me. What an incredible gift for a husband to give his wife.

Sometimes real love is tough and requires sacrifice.

In my 20s I had a crazy work schedule that took a toll on my body and my social life. My sleep schedule was turned around for a long time. I was tired and exhausted a lot of the time when I wasn’t working. Ken was always so good to help pick up the slack and go out of his way to help and take care of me. There were a few years where I just physically didn’t have it in me to work full time, and he kept at it when I couldn’t. A few years ago his body said NO MORE to his crazy work schedule and the incredible stress he was under at work. He was able to do it a lot longer than I would have been able to under the same circumstances. These days he faces a lot of physical challenges. He keeps track of all the different medicines and all the things that keep his body regulated much better than I could ever do it. Even with the physical things he faces every day he manages to keep things going around the house and helps support me with my teaching business. In the process I get up everyday and put one foot in front of the other and keep working even when I’m exhausted because that’s what I need to do to make sure we have the medical care we need. It’s a tough gig with the current economy but we’re making it. It’s certainly not the life we dreamed of… but it is sooooo worth it. We have each other. We have an amazing group of people who are a part of our lives. I have amazing students. Would I love a life where we could rest and have less stress? You bet. Am I incredibly thankful that we’ve had each other in the midst of the crazy life we’ve led? YES. Sometimes life is just hard. But it’s all worth it. I feel like I’m just beginning to understand what real love really is.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011 (1:52am)

Important Things I Learned From My Husband…

My husband and I have been married since the early 80′s. There has been a lot of living along the way. The last few weeks I’ve been looking back at my life and remembering. In the process it made me remember again just why I love my husband Ken so much, and how much I’ve learned from him over the years. Here are just a few of the highlights in no particular order…

There’s only one s in “sauce.”

Spelling has never been my strong suit. Scrabble was not the game for me. My mother’s reaction to my horrible spelling was to tell me to spell it like it sounds. She was from West Virginia though so with the thick accent it didn’t work well. Dog still sounded like dawgg to me. My Ken has always patiently helped me work through stuff like that.

When tying your shoes, the left shoestring needs to go over the right one.

I was an only child growing up in a home with a mentally ill mother. Her teaching style was to show me how to do something, scream at me or beat the crap out of me if I did it wrong. I missed the normal developmental things like effectively tying my shoes, or learning how to play games etc. I was an adult when my husband actually showed me how to tie my shoes so they stayed tied and faced the right direction. :) I was also clueless when it came to being a part of a family and making that work too. He has modeled for me what family looks like and has been my family all these years. That’s an even more important life lesson than how to tie my shoes.

If it’s sloppy, eat it over the sink.

Food and life gets messy sometimes. It’s always good to control the mess as much as possible. Drippy fruit is easier to contain leaning over the sink. Sometimes people’s lives are every bit as messy. For all these years our lives have been populated by a huge number of people. Many of them ended up at our house during times of stress or crisis. Ken is not a real “people person.” Both of us by nature would make great hermits. But in all these years with the diverse parade of humanity coming through our doors and sometimes sleeping on our couch, Ken has always been so supportive and willing to have them there. I’ve seen him be incredibly tender to some who’ve been so wounded. I’ve seen him be incredibly patient with people who could have driven almost anyone crazy. And every day he puts up with a steady parade of people coming in and out of the house for music lessons… all this from a man who doesn’t particularly care for music.

Real love is worth waiting for.

Ken and I met when I was probably 19. He’s 8 years older than me. He was a grown man who had been on his own for quite some time. I was still trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted. I was also still trying to work through the lingering effects of the abuse I experienced in child hood, that left me afraid to trust anyone with my heart. He fell in love with me when I still had a lot of baggage. In true photo-geek fashion he started buying compatible camera equipment before I was ready to even date him. He loved me while I was too afraid to love… until the love I felt for him grew larger than that fear. He loved me purely in a way that made me feel safe. Some of the other guys I dated before him loved me in spite myself. They were threatened by some of the very things that he found appealing. And after all these years, even though I know I drive him nuts some times, I’ve never questioned his love or his acceptance of me. What an incredible gift for a husband to give his wife.

Sometimes real love is tough and requires sacrifice.

In my 20s I had a crazy work schedule that took a toll on my body and my social life. My sleep schedule was turned around for a long time. I was tired and exhausted a lot of the time when I wasn’t working. Ken was always so good to help pick up the slack and go out of his way to help and take care of me. There were a few years where I just physically didn’t have it in me to work full time, and he kept at it when I couldn’t. A few years ago his body said NO MORE to his crazy work schedule and the incredible stress he was under at work. He was able to do it a lot longer than I would have been able to under the same circumstances. These days he faces a lot of physical challenges. He keeps track of all the different medicines and all the things that keep his body regulated much better than I could ever do it. Even with the physical things he faces every day he manages to keep things going around the house and helps support me with my teaching business. In the process I get up everyday and put one foot in front of the other and keep working even when I’m exhausted because that’s what I need to do to make sure we have the medical care we need. It’s a tough gig with the current economy but we’re making it. It’s certainly not the life we dreamed of… but it is sooooo worth it. We have each other. We have an amazing group of people who are a part of our lives. I have amazing students. Would I love a life where we could rest and have less stress? You bet. Am I incredibly thankful that we have each other in the midst of the real life we lead? YES. Sometimes life is just hard. But it’s all worth it. I feel like I’m just beginning to understand what real love really is.

 

 1:35 am 6/8/11

This blog post was originally written several years ago. Since then I’ve become even more committed to really being a part of the body of Christ and taking “church” outside of the walls of the big American religious machine. One on one or a few at a time, real life and meaningful relationships can happen as we care for each other. Every week I enjoy the joy of fellowship in all sorts of unexpected places…

Sunday, June 17, 2007 (1:20 am)
The First Church Of Chuck E. Cheese

Current mood: contemplative Category: Religion and Philosophy

Yesterday I met one of my friends at Chuck E. Cheese. For the uninitiated, this is a pizza parlor/video game/play area designed to overstimulate anyone who walks through the door in less than 30 seconds… Not to mention the huge furry rodent mascot walking around like Micky Mouse at Disneyland. It would not be our normal hangout. We normally meet at a great Thai place. But she has 3 young sons, and since her ex-husband moved out of the area, we haven’t been able to work out the logistics of an adult only visit. I thought the kids might enjoy a chance to pig out on pizza and play games till their eyes glazed over. They did seem to have fun. They would come running over occasionally with a handful of tickets they won on one game or another.

In the mean time their mom and I talked about life, love, suffering, weird experiences we’ve had lately, growing relationships, and our current need to deal with the hurt from our past. We also talked about connecting with God, the state of the church in America, being reminded about what was important through unexpected circumstances. She had just received a study bible in the mail that her ex had left behind with a bunch of her other stuff, when they had to move. It contained her study notes from her time in Bible school. The person who had it found her parents address inside it and sent it back years later. It was very timely for her to get it back in this season of her life. We also talked about the qualities in a pastor that are wonderful when they have them. She made a great point about being in a few churches when she was young where she had a sense that the pastor really cared for the congregation and took his time preparing to speak to the congregation seriously… and he cared for the people in his care. In our modern Christian subculture of hipness and humongous religious machines, I think we’ve lost that sense of family and connectedness. We looked at some books I just picked up for a lending library, and picked out a couple for her to take home and enjoy. Four hours later, the kids had finally glazed over, their game tokens were gone and it was time to cash in their winning tickets for giant bugs and Tootsie rolls and get going. I left feeling like we had our very own church service. We were the body of Christ.

I spent a lot of years working in churches and was amazed at how we kept getting caught up in a bunch of useless religious activity which took up precious time and resources and drained any energy that we could have used to make a real difference in each other’s lives and in the community. That could be ranting for a whole different blog. But as I’ve been growing older I realize that we ARE the church. The big machine might not ever get it. (Although I will continue to be a painful thorn in the side of the machine.) But my life can make a difference to the people I encounter. And their lives can also help transform mine. The church might overlook the single mom… but I have a choice that I can make. In the long run, I want my friends kids to know that there are people who love Jesus who also love them, and who love their mommy and who are committed to walking through the world with her. In that journey I’m happy to worship with her at the first church of Chuck E. Cheese.

Thursday October 28, 2010 (4:23am)
 
Things I Think About Late at Night…

It’s the middle of the night. I was asleep for a few hours and now I’m awake again sitting here again in front of the computer. I am still such a night owl. I love this time of night. It’s so quiet and peaceful. My days are filled with so much noise and busyness. I love that too. I love getting the chance to spend my days with so many different people with so many different stories, one on one. There is a lot of learning to play music and learning to live life going on. At the end of each day they leave me with a lot to think about.

There are a lot of things I would like to blog about if I get the time and the energy. I would love to hear from others about some of the issues that keep coming up again and again when I talk to my students. I would love to tell some of their stories. There is so much to learn from them. I would like to talk about how the educational system is failing them and how the adults are failing them by not raising hell at their schools, with the school boards and at the national level to reclaim their chance for an education… about how “no child left behind” is destroying their education and at how much stress they are under. I’d like to talk about how as a generation we have over sheltered them from things that could have made them stronger and then left them to fend for themselves in areas when they really need us to step up and be the adults and the parents and care for them.

I would love to explore more how much having a creative outlet can be so healing for our lives. About art and faith and beauty and how they can go hand in hand. I would love to explore what we could do to encourage that creativity in each other.

I would love to have a deeper discussion about the huge cultural divide between the Christian community and the LGBTG community and what to really do with it… how to build bridges instead of walls.

I would love to look at why there are so many of us who have a passion for Jesus who feel so disenfranchised from the American church, and what we can do with that longing for something more real and authentic with each other.

It would be great to discuss what books and music have had a real impact on our lives. I can think of a list of several great books that have totally effected my life and faith that you’ll probably never see on the shelves of “Christian” bookstores. … and with that why it is that with so much music and so many books published every year, so little of it really has much substance or makes much impact.

Those are just a few of the things rattling around in my head. What about you guys? Are you interested in discussing any of those things? What do you think about late at night? Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of the discussion, and maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to sit down more often to write.

I am a fortunate woman. I get to do something I love for a living. More than that, I get to do it as a vocation. Every week I see an amazingly diverse group of people who show up at my door ready to learn how to play different instruments, or how to write songs, or lead worship, or a variety of other music related things. Each one of them is unique. Each one of them brings something different into my world… that’s for sure. It can be a noisey, messy, crazy time. It can also be aggravating at times challenging. But I still love it. I love watching kids eyes… their whole faces light up when they get something the first time. Anyway, enough yammering. In December, a bunch of my students… aged 6 – 60 played Smoke on the Water while I videotaped them. We edited all those together so everyone could get their 5 seconds of fame. I think you’ll enjoy it. Proving once again that music is a lot about just having a good time.

Hey gang it’s a looooong one, but it has some great news for me.
 
Sunday, June 8, 2008 (5:01pm)
The Space Between…

The older I get the more time seems to fly by. Part of that is due to my somewhat crazy work schedule. I get up every day and work at making it through. The next day I do the same. I try to really live in the moment while I’m there with each person I encounter. But still the months race by… the years race by. More and more I’m becoming convinced that time is the most precious commodity of anything we possess. To be continued.Sunday, June 29, 2008 (1:05am)
Ah… see what I mean. 21 days went by… in a heartbeat. For me, the lack of writing normally doesn’t mean “no news.” A lot of times it’s because there are so many things going on that are so meaningful, that I can’t figure out how to condense them into a few phrases. My private journal is considerably more full. Even there sometimes it’s hard to put into words the inner working of my warped brain, or my spirit. I looked back and realized that for the most part, since February, there’s been only silliness in my blog with the exception of a heartfelt prayer for peace and a remembrance of a dear friend.

I think we all have those things that occupy the space between. They make their presence known late at night when we can’t sleep, or we are weary… sometimes they are fleeting memories that show up in the midst of great joy. Sometimes for me they happen in one on one encounters here in my teaching room, late night at Barnes and Noble or out to eat with someone. Sometimes it’s triggered by reading someone else’s blog.

So many times lately I’ve had those kinds of people encounters where I wished that I had a video camera running to record the moment. Some of those moments I wish I could share with all of you. There are times when the things that come out of my students mouths (especially the young ones) take my breath away at how they see life… how they get what’s important about living and God and loving people.

There is one little boy whose father has to travel a lot for business. Most of the kids I teach like that are almost always angry at their fathers for their not being around. This little boy loves his dad though… and more than that, he knows how much his dad loves him. Every week he tells me about the stuff they do together and the trips they make together. I hear stories of his dad moving heaven and earth to get back early from business trips to make it to his talent shows and activities. I wish his dad could hear him talk, and I made a mental note to call his dad and thank him for being a great father and let him know I see it all over in the life of his son.

This time in the space between, something amazing has happened in my life. That’s what originally caused me to start this blog back on the eighth. Anyone who’s known me for any length of time knows my sketchy church history. I’m like the Typhoid Mary of Churchdom. I’ve been in more churches that have had horrible things going on… both dealt with and swept under the rug… with sin and corruption and pain and pastoral flameouts… you name it… I’ve been there right in the middle of it. At the end of the day, much more than being angry or bitter, it has left me on one hand with a lot of grief for all the brokenness and loss, and a sense of thankfulness on the other hand for the mercy of God and His ability to bring new life out of the pain.

There aren’t many things in my life that I deeply regret… but there was one that left a huge pool of grief for years. In the early 90’s, due to some circumstances out of either of our control, I felt like the best and most loving thing I could do was to step away from a relationship with one of my best friends, music partner, and also a partner in ministry, who happened to also be a pastor’s wife. For me, and other women in our close knit group, it was hard because we so wanted to be there for her and her son. Through all these years I’ve continued to pray for her and her family and I’ve missed her. I’ve missed having the chance to see her son grow up. Every time I’ve gone out to play, I’ve thought that she would have totally loved what we were doing. And for all these years I’ve hoped that one day there would be a way to make it right.

Recently, I heard that there were some major changes getting ready to happen in her life… and I knew that I knew that I knew that it was time to contact her again, although I had no idea how she would respond. When I called her, she called me right back… and on June 8th, at nine in the evening at Barnes and Noble, we saw each other for the first time since around 1993.

In all these years we never ran into each other. To me when I was contemplating calling her I was blown away by how long it had been when I stopped to do the math. For me the space between 98 when my husband became ill and now has been one huge blur of work and medical bills. It seemed like yesterday when I saw her last. It was like the years just melted away and we had a great time catching up on a lot of missing years. We are both older and grayer and more tired, and yet, even with everything I think we are both at a point of looking forward to this new season in our lives. Last night we went to dinner at a place I eat at all the time… and it turns out her son, who’s now in his twenties works there and I have talked to him before. I remember looking at him and almost asking him if he was her son.  Perhaps I’ll have a chance to spend some time with the young man I loved so much as a young boy. There’s so much more to the story, but it’s still in process… to be continued.

All of it though has made me really stop and think about a lot of things, including why we who are a part of the “Christian subculture” will allow things from pastors we would never allow from people who were just showing up on Sunday mornings. Pastors these days only get canned if they get caught in some heinous act. The last few weeks have made me think that maybe we should start with really looking at how they love and care for their families. If they can’t do that, then maybe it doesn’t matter what a “gifted speaker” they are. Perhaps instead of bowing out, I should have stayed at my friend’s side and become an even bigger pain in her husband’s back side. There’s no way of knowing for sure. But I did apologize to her for not being there. I know too that I need to write her son too and apologize for not finding a way to let him know what was going on and for disappearing out of his life… and to apologize too for all the crap he had to go through at the hands of the church.

I am so thankful for that opportunity. I’m happy to be able to see her reconnecting with other old friends. I know they are so glad to see her too. In the end, real church is about being family… and continuing to love.

So, I’ve rambled on long enough for now. There’s so much more I could say… and probably will somewhere down the line. Let me just say that I am one thankful girl. And such a weight has been lifted.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite portions of the Bible, that has been so true for me in Psalm 126…
1 When the LORD brought back the captives to
Zion, we were like men who dreamed.

2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

This was first posted on a strange Bible disussion group I have on myspace called Bible Blah Blah… it is quite the wacky group of people who participate This is a subject close to my heart though so I thought I would post it here too. I would love your feedback… thanks!

Sunday, February 17, 2008 (3:56pm)
FROM MY MYSPACE BLOG

What I Long For…
Hi everyone… this will be long… sorry about that… but if you can, please read it though and see what you think…

Here it is Sunday afternoon. I slept in this morning. Frankly, I didn’t have much choice. Sometimes the combo of the 60 -70 hour workweek and the exhaustion I have wins out over waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed to go to church. Exhaustion will do that to me. I was thinking today that it’s been who knows how many months since I’ve actually made it to the church that I call myself a part of. I like the people… heck I love some of the people a lot. The music guy I consider a good friend who’s like a little brother that I love and pray for, and try to help when I can. In the last few months there have been a precious few weeks where I woke up early enough feeling good enough to go. I even got ready… and I sat here and evaluated. When I really thought about it, I just couldn’t bring myself to go again to a big building, hike in from the parking lot, and sit there with a bunch of people listening to one guy talk and then leave again without any real human contact. Lest you think I’m just being some anti-social curmudgeon standing around waiting for someone to make the effort to talk to me Me ME… that’s no the case. Anyone who knows me knows that complete strangers tell me their whole life story on a regular basis and that I know half the people on the planet. There’s just not a lot of place for that to happen. There’s not a culture there that says that maybe we should really enjoy hanging out with each other.

One of our Bible blah blah gang named Laura wrote a great blog a little while ago about going off to church and ending up sitting somewhere listening to music and reading instead. Laura often writes blogs that are wonderfully raw and poignant at the same time. In her quest to connect with God in a more real way she manages to put her finger on so much of what’s been rattling around inside of me for a long time too. I’m thankful that sometimes she manages to give voice to something that is such a part of me but hard to communicate.

I think when it comes down to it, Laura and I, and probably some of you too are really longing for a sense of community… of family… of having some people that you can just be yourself with and talk about those things that really are going on in your soul. I have some friends I’ve known for years. Some of us have gone to hell and back together… horrible church experiences… normal life things… we’ve grown up together… we’ve suffered loss together… we have shared funny or bizarre experiences together. We’ve fallen flat on our faces… or even run away from God and/or each other… and yet there’s that bond that’s still there. It’s probably stronger because of all the crap. When I see their lives, I’m reminded of a good God who still holds on to both of us. I see the depth of their lives and our lives together because of all the good, the bad, the horribly painful, and the wonderful and crazy things we’ve shared.

That’s the way I feel about pretty much everyone here, except for the few of you who I haven’t had a chance to get to know yet. (And I’m sure that’s only a matter of time.) When I think of the church I think of that kind of group… that’s lived through so much together that they are more comfortable being with each other and being human. I love my friend that I know will love me regardless of how screwed up I am at any given moment and who, as it says in 1 Corinthians 13 “hopes the best” from me. I personally think you are all amazing people for a bunch of reasons. You’re bright and creative. Most of you have lived through a lot of stuff and still have amazingly good senses of humor. A lot of you, like me, have sort of a tenuous relationship with the traditional church at best. But all of us have a hunger… a desire to connect with God in a real way… and with other people as well.

I would like to propose that we ARE the church when we meet each other… whether it’s on each other’s myspace pages or late at night at a restaurant, or at Chuck E. Cheese with a giant rat running around, or in the parking lot after some get together, freezing out butts off but enjoying our conversation and laughing with each other… or on the phone… or via email… or… or… I would like to propose that here on the Bible blah blah page we can discuss anything that is stirring in our hearts or is troubling us. That can be stirred up by the Bible reading or not. As most of us talked about… I don’t expect any of us to be up on the reading, although we can always discuss that too. But I would love to be able to meet here and talk about the real concerns of our souls and to enjoy each other’s company.

So, what do you guys think? You up for that too? I just know that you guys would enjoy each other as much as I do. Anyone else feeling sort of adrift in the church department? I know that for me, when I do have that sense of connectedness with some people, it’s easier for me to brave the institutional church a little more too.

Many times my little music students will ask me what church I go to. I always find myself telling them about the church I go to. What I would really like to tell them is that I get to be a part of the church each week, here at my house with some of my students, online, etc…. Anyway, I would love to hear from you guys about all this too.

RESPONSES TO THE BLOG
 
LAURA POSTED
Hey Linda B – thx for the blog mention. 🙂 Raw and poignant – I’ll have to use that in my press release. 😉 Seriously, glad you dig it.I’ve joined Bible BLah Blah but have yet to make a contribution, I know. Be patient…I’ll get to “church” eventually…. 🙂 I am still working out my connectedness issues on many levels.

RHONDA POSTED…
This was Rhonda’s quote on the blah blah page:”Linda, I feel exactly as you do. I rarely go to the traditional church these days even though Dennis was a priest who served faithfully until his death. I find more Christian community in my online and in-person friends. For me as the token Anglo-Catholic of the group, my biggest reason for still going to the Big Building is to receive Eucharist. (It was easier when I was married to my own personal priest!… lol) But as for community, I don’t find that at all “in church.” Yesterday was Sunday, and I found myself at a jazz in the garden concert here in Phoenix. Some of the musicians are God-oriented and I found them weaving bits and pieces of hymns into sections of the music. Sitting outside, surrounded by nature, listening to people offer up the gift of their creativity to God, I felt like there was more heartfelt worship taking place in that setting than inside the Big Building.”I was thinking about how much I enjoy that kind of thing. I was thinking about the church I’m a part of. I love the music. I enjoy the sermons. I like the leaders. I think the leaders really want more interaction taking place too, and for people to connect more. Maybe it has to do with the culture we live in some and how we view large meetings. Also, because I go to a church that’s primarily gen-x, the whole way they do connectedness is different… they’ve grown up connecting via technology. I’ll see if maybe I can have my friend Jobey, the music director join in the discussion and see what he thinks.

BRIAN POSTED…
Linda,I agree that church is not only more than the music and sermon, I argue probably that it is NOT the music and sermon, but human interaction to spur us to interaction with a living God. That’s why I concur with you that we are the church no matter where we are. I do, however, believe that without some tangible human touch, we don’t stand a chance just to be the church ourselves. Where people can help us with our troubles, push the enemy of our soul away, and encourage us to engage in this life of enjoying our heavenly Dad. In this kind of interaction, we find many things probably too deep to discuss here right now. I don’t get to myspace that often, but I will try to throw my 2 cents worth in. Love you, Brian

MY RESPONSE TO BRIAN…
It’s true that we do need that tangible human touch too. There’s nothing better than being able to really talk and communicate… especially face to face… especially with people that you have a bunch of shared spiritual history with. There are some of my online buddies that I would love to be able to just sit with for hours and really discuss things… since the nature of blogging especially is limited to choppy communication. Although sometimes I do communicate better in written form, especially with topics that are raw or painful. The best of both worlds I guess is both.

ANA POSTED…
“longing for a sense of community”, “just be yourself” — YES!! and AMEN to that. that IS church. “we” ARE church, wherever we may be. but it’s definitely not what i’ve found in the buildings with the big signs out front. i’m walking right beside you in the “tenuous relationship with the traditional church”… i’m meeting up with more and more of us, and finding encouragement there. we are NOT alone, and i believe we are growing in numbers. the “business” of “church” and the status quo won’t hold up much longer. i’m believing in/for that, and looking forward to what is to come…

MY RESPONSE TO ANA…
I agree that there are a bunch of us who are all in that process of transitioning. For me too I think that it’s not even a matter of either or… I think there’s a place for a traditional gathering too. The thing that’s great that’s come out of people’s discontent with the status quo is that people are beginning to realize that they don’t have to wait for a church organization to structure some “program” for them to take responsibility to seek out real fellowship and connectedness that is more organic. I have real, heartfelt communication all the time here on the net and on the phone with people I’ve never even met face to face… but with some we’ve known each other for years and talk just about every day. With the expansion of the net and cheaper phone rates, our world has expanded. Our band of oddballs has grown and we’ve had more chance to find each other. I look at that as a great gift. 🙂

ANA POSTED…
it IS a GREAT gift! i’ve been more and more thankful to find that i am not alone in how i feel about it all, nor am i alone in the journey of discovering the balance. thanks, linda b…