Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Christianity Today's blog

Just below, you'll find my response to a blog I found just this afternoon on Christianity today. Please read it first before you go on by clicking here.

After you read my response, I am interested in what your thoughts are as well (so please share, comment, email me, call me...send a dogsled after me with a stone-engraved message...)

Thanks for sharing the simple truths of what it means to be a part of a church in transition. My favorite part was the conjuring up of the Charlie-Brown rag-tag Christmas play image, that is now stuck in my head with the theme song played by Silas who is sitting in the back left corner of my mind (blankie placed "just so" across his lap), and Snoopy dancing with his nose pointed to the sky moving back and forth to the music.

My girlfriends and I have found ourselves looking for the place where we call our church home. As we have met weekly to check out each new place, time has taken its toll as each gathering hasn't quite been what we are looking for. One person is more conservative than the other, or the preaching is too something-or-other to quite fit the tall list that I think grows excessively large each time we get out there again.

I appreciate the normal every day occurrences that happen in a church without a building. Do you ever find that you are doing too much? I ask that because I have been an active member of a "homeless" church once, and found that I ended up in leadership for much more than I had bargained- from youth group, to women's luncheons, and then at last to worship- all at the very same time. It exhausted me, and as I slowly stepped down from different areas of leadership, I also took a step back to look at the church and saw things that I had been blinded to because I had worked so much. Ultimately, I ended up leaving there in search of a place where I could call home- a place where the whole church worked together to achieve the same good. In response to that experience however, I found myself more likely to shie away from the churches that met in small places and were a bit less established, for fear of allowing myself to be put back in that situation. So, this is a long way in asking- how do you avoid that?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On Prayer

Last night at TNL, the sermon was on "My Prayer Life." Now, I like to think that I can pray well. I mean, c'mon, I was one of two 14-year olds chosen in all of New England to join in on the monthly Concerts of Prayer! I think that may have had a bit to do with the impartiality of my friend's father towards the two of us, but that's another matter.

This morning when I woke up, I was struck with the whole idea of prayer. Seriously folks, think about it. If our God already knows what we are going to say before we say it, then why pray? I had considered this when I was in my late teens and early twenties, and as a result, my prayer life at that time stunk. I stopped praying for wisdom on decisions, and instead I just started having a constant internal monologue in my head where God was just included by default.

Before I go further, let me state that it is not wrong to constantly "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonian 5:17), which was my original purpose of having the constant monologue. The problem was that I was monologuing rather than dialoguing, which meant that the conversation was only going one way.

I have more to say on this subject, but I am interested in your initial thoughts on this. What does prayer mean to you? How do you pray? Are you comfortable praying alone, in groups, out loud, in silence or in verse and song? How has prayer impacted your life?

I can't wait to hear your responses! Until later....