Jesus is an attachment parent

I haven’t been in a great space lately. My head is swimming and I’m having a hard time getting coherent thoughts out – especially into blogland. It’s a combination of all sorts of things, but mostly, I think, a lot of growing pains.

This subject, though, is one that took me by surprise. It might be shocking to some of you that it’s been over 2 years since Brad and I have been to church with any regularity. We were part of a church that we loved and moved into an intentional community with people we felt drawn to and then, well … and then we had Gwen. She turned our entire church experience upside down and that, coupled with some other stuff, has left us not attending church regularly. That’s not to say that I don’t think about faith and God much – I do. I think about that stuff a LOT. But, sharing my space with a toddler and a (very busy) baby all day means that when I do think about anything, it’s gone just as quickly as it came.

Again, this subject just keeps coming to the front of my brain … and I thought, “Hey. Maybe I should blog about it.”

So, here I am. And here’s my crazy thought process. Read the rest of this entry »

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If it feels good, do it!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and not a lot of writing these days. It seems like mostly my brain is busy: not too busy to think, but too busy to get it out of my brain.

I’ve been dealing with a bit of depression, I think, which has been really hard for me. I’m normally a pretty up-beat, energetic, happy person and lately I’ve felt anything but those things. I haven’t been a good friend, I haven’t been a loving wife, and I’ve been a rotten mother. Somewhere in the last few months, I’ve lost my happy and it’s been replaced with sad, unhappy, frustrated, angry. I’ve been trying to eat better and keep on top of taking my supplements (vitamins and fish oils) and have noticed a bit of a difference. It also helps when I spend time with people.

Well. I wasn’t meaning to write that in this post, but there it is. I’ll now move on to what I was meaning to write about!

I was thinking today while I was putting together my lunch (leftover tacos, if you must know!). I’ve subscribed to The Daily Groove, a daily parenting email whose intent is to help you enjoy parenting. The author talks a lot about our ‘authentic selves’ and our ‘inner guidance’, or intuition. And he often writes about the ‘if it feels good, do it’ concept. I’ve struggled with the ‘if it feels good, do it’ concept for a long time. It seems hedonistic. It seems wrong when held up beside the Christian ideals of self-sacrifice and martyrdom.

But then I was thinking today:

Anger doesn’t feel good – love does. Hate doesn’t feel good – love does. Conflict doesn’t feel good – love does. Frustration doesn’t feel good – love does.

So when it comes down to it, love feels good. Jesus says ‘love’! Yes, we are asked to put ourselves last and others first, but if you’re not doing it for the right reason (LOVE), then it’s not going to feel good – it’s going to feel like martyrdom.

‘If it feels good, do it,’ in the context of hedonism, says, “I’ll do whatever I want! Screw everyone else! I don’t care if it hurts you – I want to do it and it feels good to me, and that’s all that matters!”.

‘If it feels good, do it,’ in the context of Christianity, says, “It doesn’t feel good to hurt others, so if I want to do something, I need to make sure that it’s not going to hurt someone else first. And I also need to make sure that I’m thinking this through to see if it’s still going to feel good after I’ve done it – guilt sure doesn’t feel good!”

I’m glad I’ve finally reconciled these two ideas in my head. ‘If it feels good, do it’ seems so biologically normal – eating, procreation, dancing, singing – that I was having a hard time with why Christians seem so against it. After all, don’t we all want to have more joy?

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Book Review: Reimagining Church

Can we please be daring enough and creative enough to change this five-hundred-year-old ritual – which incidentally doesn’t have a shred of biblical warrant to justify it? Can we accept the challenge to equip God’s people to function under the headship of Christ without human control? And if we don’t know how to do this, can we please be humble enough to bring in someone who can and see what happens? (Reimagining Church, p. 266)

What a fantastic book! While Pagan Christianity exposes the non-scriptural nature of most of our church practices, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity discusses what church would look like without them – and challenges its readers to act on their new knowledge. Author Frank Viola walks the reader through reimagining the following:

  • the church as an organism
  • the church meeting
  • the Lord’s Supper
  • where church is held
  • the family of God
  • church unity
  • leadership
  • oversight
  • decision-making
  • “spiritual covering”
  • authority and submission
  • denominations
  • apostolic tradition

This book packs a big punch and led me, for one, to see what church could look like done in the tradition of the apostles and the first century Christians – truly a Christianity of which I would be unashamed to be a member, and Christianity for which my soul cries out!

The biggest things that stood out to me is that being a passive spectator to a once-weekly ritual is waaaaaay easier than being in real relationship with other Christians. Consider the following quote:

“There’s a price to pay in responding to the Lord’s will for His church … You’ll bear the marks of the cross and die a thousand deaths in the process of being built together with other believers in a close-knit community. You’ll have to endure the messiness that’s part and parcel of relational Christianity – forever abandoning the artificial neatness afforded by the organized church. You’ll no longer share the comforts of being a passive spectator. Instead, you’ll learn the self-emptying lessons of becoming a responsible, serving member of a functioning body … And you’ll incite the severest assaults of the Adversary in his attempt to snuff out that which represents a living testimony of Jesus.” (Reimagining Church, p. 278)

Interestingly, while my intellect shudders at that description, my spirit jumps with joy – or perhaps it is His Spirit within me? Either way, I’m excited – excited that perhaps I’m not crazy. That I’m not alone in feeling that if Jesus were here on Earth today, He wouldn’t exactly be thrilled with the way we “do church”.

I’m not sure where to go from here. I’ve signed up to a forum for organic churches and have been invited to a conference event to hook up people looking for organic church. I don’t think that there are any organic churches in our area – not that I’ve been able to find. So what do we do? Wait for someone else to plant a church? Pursue planting one ourselves? Do we even know enough people passionate about this type of Christian living to make this a reality?

Questions, questions. I’m hoping to purchase Finding Organic Church. It is apparently a very good book – discussing finding, planting, and sustaining organic churches.

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Book Review: Pagan Christianity

I was lucky enough to piggy-back on an order that Brad put in for some programming books a few weeks ago. He ordered me The Birth of Hathor (which took me completely by surprise!), Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, Pagan Christianity, and Reimagining Church. I quickly dug into Pagan Christianity and would like to offer a short review here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Christmas Deception?

Check out this fantastic post by my friend Kathryn @ Home Spun SoulChristmas Competition. Here’s the comment I left:

TWO HUGE THUMBS UP!!!

It disturbs me how much emphasis is placed on Santa. Our children will know that Santa is a fairy tale based on a true story and adults like to pretend he’s real and many kids therefore think he’s real too. I don’t plan on getting their picture taken with Santa or “doing Santa” in our house, although I think the spirit of the idea can be fun :)

What do you think about the Santa debate?

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Encouraging Our Kids to Walk With God

My friend Tammy is hosting a Mom 2 Mom Carnival on encouraging our kids’ relationship with Jesus.

If I’m going to be brutally honest, I’m not entirely sure how we’re going to go about helping our kids build a relationship with God!

One thing we currently do is pray before dinner each night. We try to pray for specific things and for specific people instead of saying a generic prayer. One thing I remember about growing up is that we generally only saud prayers by rote (ie. “Now I lay me down to sleep …”) so I was very uncomfortable actually praying out loud around other people since I’d had so little practice. I want to give Gwen the opportunity to pray out loud her own prayers in our home so that she becomes used to using her own words to express herself to God.

Another thing we hope to do is family Bible reading. I don’t yet know how best to do this and not make it a chore and boring, though, as that was most of Brad’s experience regarding family devotions as a kid!

I hope, also, to expose our kids to other Christian adults. Living in an intentional community in which we have deep relationships and intentional get-togethers (ie. weekly potlucks and weekly morning prayer) is a wonderful way to show our children the love of God through others. I think having positive adult role models who talk about their faith, their relationship with God and their walk with God is an awesome thing for kids to have!

All in all, I think the number one thing to do to encourage kids to have a relationship with God is walk with God yourself. Kids learn the most from what they see, and if all they ever see is a ‘Sunday Christian’, how can we ever expect them to move beyond that? That means that both Brad and I have a lot of work to do in how we live our lives and ‘walk the walk’. I hope, and pray, that we can rise to the occasion.

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So wrong it’s not even funny.


Pro Kids from Faith Promise Church on Vimeo.

Wow.

Anyone else see some serious flaws to this? Anyone else confused as to how their child has doomed someone to hell by waving at them during a church service?

Anyone else be outta that church so fast that man’s head would be spinning?

Wow.

My friend Sandy wrote about this over at The Daily Poop – check out her post. This was the comment I left there:

Holy. Crap.

I think you about summed up my thoughts on this ridiculous policy.

I think my favourite thing is that at the beginning of the clip, he said it was because the sanctuary (ummm … Holy? Whatever happened to the sanctuary being a holy place?) is a war zone. And from there it became – because it’s not relevant, because we’ve spent millions of dollars on other things for them, because they’re too distracting. Um, yeah. Is it because you’re concerned for their spiritual health (would you bring a baby into a warzone …) or because they’re irritating?

U.R.G.

I don’t think my keyboard can contain my venom :)

(Oh, and p.s. Pastor Chris? If the sanctuary isn’t a relevant environment, can you tell me how it’s healthy that a room off to the side with recliners and big-screen TVs IS??? Or is that part not the warzone? 😉

I wanna hear your thoughts, my dear readers! Ready, set, GO!

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Twelfth Night

On January 5, the Kirkendall Cluster – as we affectionately call ourselves – had our first commitment ceremony. After a lovely meal, we shared a liturgy and committed ourselves to the community and to one another with vows (and the lighting of candles!). Read the rest of this entry »

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