Thursday, August 28, 2008

Leaving the Institutional Church

I am leaving the IC.
I need to say it, put it out there, confirm it. It's what God is doing in my heart, what He wants of me, not what I wanted in many ways. We had other plans but ultimately even these can't be fulfilled through the institutional church. Am I pursuing my own way? No. I'm walking out into the wilderness, sort of uncertain because I know a lot of misunderstanding will follow, maybe judgement... only God knows.
I need to count the cost and trust God will carry me if I need to walk alone (though I'm not really all alone) My husband is on the same page. He was never too excited about going back to the IC, but he supported me and the ways that I "served" in children's ministry and worship team. I stepped down from both of these, as much as I love music and kids, I needed a break anyway....
I think I get readers of all different walks so I think I need to define what I mean by the IC-- institutional church, just in case:
I define the IC as the system in which we do church that is not based on the heart of God in the scriptures. I don't mean the people, nor the body of Christ nor each individual member. I just think the way we "do" church gets in the way of "being" the church. There are just too many agendas and expected ways of doing things that prevent people from really experiencing fellowship and community, and using their gifts. It seems all too often only a designated few get to really share their gifts mostly because they are being paid to do so (especially in the context of the Sunday worship service which everything seems to revolve around). It's pretty backwards if you think about it. I know many people mean well and want to serve others and do. I know God can and does work through the system, but in my opinion, he works in spite of it (the IC system). Relationships can still be formed and people can maintain those and reach others if they chose. But all too often, people will only support each other if the other is also supporting the big "church" in some way-- supporting the big Sunday service, paying the tithe, or attending something whether or not you really need to be. It just runs too much like a business. God can still work through a business, but is that the way to do church? I really don't think so.
I realize parts of this may sounds blasphemous to some, because it's all they've ever known and haven't dared to question it.
I really believe it is not a sin to question the way we do things in light of the scriptures. I think we are called to do so. There comes a point when we have to be free to think for ourselves and do what the Holy Spirit is telling us whether or not a pastor, parent or leader agrees. Getting counsel is good, but we are only called to follow if it's what the Spirit is telling our own heart. No one else can replace the voice of the Spirit in our lives. I am thankful God showed me this earlier on as a new believer. This verse got imprinted it in my heart:
1 John 2:27
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
(it has helped in delivering me from a very cult-like congregation many years back, and all kinds of stuff). I just like how it says that His anointing teaches us about all things and that this anointing is's just pretty cool. (I'm aware this verse can also be twisted for evil purposes, as can any verse, unfortunately)

So there you have it. I'm leaving the IC and I I'm at peace with it. This is a decision I have made on my own with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I haven't been "badly" influenced by anybody. I have found some great like-minded people along the way who can probably explain things much better than I regarding all this and expound on it a lot more. I will include some of them on my sidebar. I'm not saying I agree 100% with anyone in particular, but I've found them very encouraging and walking much closer to what I believe is the heart of the gospel. And I also have some great blogger friends who are on this same path of wanting to live out their faith with no restraints, friends who are loving without restraints... and this is evidence that we are on the right path (whether attending an IC or not)

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.- Galatians 5

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ill health

Pray for me cyber friends. As many of you know, I struggle with chronic fatigue issues and have bad days once in a while (as I did today)... My daughter was actually sick too with a cold, so we weren't too lovely of a sight (she was way lovelier than me). Maybe it's a cold that's making me sick.... It's hard to tell, I really don't know... still feel weak and gross. My brain is kinda mushed, too. I hate how it affects my outlook and it's so challenging to care for a three year old when I feel this way!!... It's very frustrating. I shouldn't even try to think when I feel so yucky. Everything looks Tales-from-the-darkside-gloomy (that was the most disturbing show ever, that i watched when I was way too impressionable). Anyway, today we watched Winnie the Pooh (for like 2 hrs!) and I can confidently say that EEyore's outlook was definitely better than mine...
I did play piano and sing for a while and that was a bit of a release of some sort, even though It was like an out of body experience at times.
Ohh God, have mercy on me...
I don't feel too happy with myself when I can't do much. I think sometimes I have a hard time giving myself a break... plus I'll get pretty cranky (to put it nicely). So, yeah, say a few words to Papa on my behalf, if anything, for my daughter and husband's sake... God have mercy on them!!
Yeah, I'll drag myself to the doctor when I have the desire and energy, meaning I'll probably wait till I feel better... I know, what's the point, right? (I told you my attitude sucks) I am, though, having my husband refill my asthma inhaler BEFORE I have another attack without one (no, I'm not intentionally suicidal, I just have way too much other stuff on my mind. I do realize oxygen helps you think more clearly so I am taking action on that end)
Okay, I'm gonna go rest and try to not feel guilty about it :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On blogging, Satan, and blogging

Sometimes I don't want to blog. My questioning nature (sometimes bad attitude) says, this is stupid. What's the point? Am I having real relationships? Why am I doing it? I kinda like that I'm a questioner because I think it is important to want to know our motives for doing things. I also, though, believe Satan attacks my mind a lot with over-questioning myself and my motives sometimes, especially when I really need to do something that is good. He feeds on my perfectionism, which I'm in recovery of. He whispers things like," you have nothing worth while to say," "nobody cares," etc, etc. More and more I'm starting to recognise the ugly voice that tries to disguise itself as truth. It's very ugly, just puts you down. AND he's very persistent that's why I think God said--

1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour...

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness...

pray for each other...

Gosh, we ALL need encouragement and support. We are a body- One body and can't function alone, we can't. We crave that fellowship with our bros and sis in our wonderful Father, Son and Spirit and we want to shed off the things that hinder that. ( I don't think blogging has been any hindrance for me in this)

Yeah, about blogging. It has really been a total blessing and God-send. People will say, "oh, well it's not real relationship."My response to that is, blogging in and of itself is not relationship, duh. It's a tool for sharing, much like letter-writing was and is. God communicates to us through his letters/writings and we can have a deep relationship with Him, even though it's not in physical form. After all, isn't it the Spirit that unites us, in Him.
So, i think blogging is wonderful. I have been able to meet very cool people who I've fellowshipped with in depth and joy. It has led to conversations also via phone, e-mail, IM and even in person and I can only hope for this to grow.

And I don't have to be perfect about it all( get behind me Satan).... Somebody's got my back : )

Saturday, August 16, 2008

a rant and a prayer

I am SO sick of false religious bullshit-- fear, obligation, self-interest and rationalization- and using God to support man's twisted plans and agendas (even when they're "well-meaning" agendas). I am bone tired of all of it. I am shedding off any left-over residue in me, and shedding that whole yoke off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough- Galatians 5

Oh God, lead, in Your beauty and true strength
in your real love and grace
Let the Spirit lead. You are my teacher and friend
You alone are
It's not words that men say
it's a power that melts pride away
foolish pride melts away
I am your lover
You've loved me strongly, tenderly, and wiped off my wounds
There is no other
You alone are my teacher
my lover and friend

It's not just words on a page or words that men say
the words came alive
a power that melts the dark away

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Secrets and confessions

My friend Sue made a confession on her blog today and I responded with my secret:

Sometimes I spontaneously play that "....I will be right here waiting for you" song by B Adams on the piano- (and I just don't know why!)
Never consciously thought I liked it. But the subconscious has it's secrets that the conscious cannot betray, though it tries.
Another secret: I loved the song-- "I hope you dance" for quite a while...

Confession breeds confession, it's so therapeutic

I've been reading and devouring Scott Peck's-- The Road Less traveled. I think the man is a genius. I've read this before years ago and I just keep going back to it. I'm also reading A different drum by him (again, genius) He talks a lot about the subconscious and how it has secrets that it wants to tell, that we often run from. He says that mental "illness" symptoms (i.e depression, anxiety) can sometimes be a grace from God, to show us that all is not well and that we shouldn't be so quick to medicate ourselves to just get rid of the discomfort. (He shows a great personal example) We're all too much about comfort here in the west, aren't we?
Lately, I've been dealing with a lot of things from my past and even present and I've been trying not to numb the discomfort. I decided to fast sweets and TV (perhaps a wimpy fast) to distract myself less. Have found pain in my heart is there, but also hope and joy. Sometimes more pain.
Yesterday, I couldn't help but cry in front of my daughter about something. She really questioned me about it....I didn't wanna cry in front of her about this. I just told her about that song by Over the Rhine "I cry just a little bit everyday...Get by just a little bit that way... and how everybody cries and then I thought of the REM song that is such a God-send (I will link it below.) If you're ever depressed or feel alone, listen to it**

Anyway, this has been a ramble of many things I've been thinking about that I haven't had time to share, cause I'm a full-time mommy. I need to find a way to write more... I love my daughter but I need more breaks.
Okay, there's some more things, but I'll ramble about them later

Here's the REM song
(Michael Stype is a genius)