(I’m on the right, in purple, and my friend is the one not on the right or in purple)
14/11/07, 11:45 PM
u still chillaxin?
yes, i still am chillaxin’
i thought you’d be asleep by now
are you back from work?
we closed a bit earlier than 10 so i was home by 10:30
so, what do u do when you have a little bit of extra time?
how do u spend it?
right now? online
i also read and watch the west wing, private practice, house, grey’s anatomy, and the office… all downloaded shows i watch on my laptop
no, i mean, when u have “you” time, what do u usually do?
that’s what i do
if i’m out, i get coffee and read
yea, u r a reader
and i write every now and then, too
can’t live without books
i like ur blogs
looks like i’m about to get a whole new design and i’m STOKED!!!
i thought i’d have a great time at youth tonite
i got up early this morning
had a great meeting
and not so much?
had an inspired moment
wrote down what i thought would be a great message
was very excited about it
yeah my blog site is really generic… i’m gonna pay to have it overhauled by a pro with an original design, etc.
came together pretty good
wrote it all down
prayed about it
and by the end it felt like junk
it just didn’t feel right
it felt like it sucked
so did you switch it up?
i hate that
i was very confident all the way until i actually begin to deliver it
and because i thought it was very good
i tried to deliver it all
but as i was sharing it it didn’t make sense
i mean, crap!
shit!!!! u r funny
i love your “realness”
i love that i discovered the edginess of swearing at the right moments
u r funny
u r right
r u chatting with a thousand other people?
and looking into buying a book
and emailing the blog designer
No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog
u r a nerd!!!!!!!!
but this blog thing is important to me
and i want it to be a truth destination
yeah, i can see that
not just a journal about what i’m having for lunch!
i admire it
i wanna inspire people to be more honest
which is a challenge for me ’cause it means i have to be really honest with myself
well, to be honest
u do inspire me
well right on!
i am inspired to be honest with myself too
and working on being more honest with people
and to be honest, i am not doing the best lately
being in the US right now has taken the life out of me
i do not feel alive
like my regular self
for me, i think it’s living outside of YWAM
i love God so much
but i feel like an alien here
i feel like an alien outside of YWAM.
i don’t know
life is just different
could it be part of that yearning for heaven thing?
feeling lonely ’cause we need more of God?
i think so
being heaven bound
or maybe part of the church culture that exhausts you?
i really just can’t stand it all
i mean, church, en si*, is good!!
it just always feels like you are the odd one around
but it’s just how we’ve come to do it that eats the life out of people!
just read a really interesting and truth-full book called So You Don’t Want to go to Church Anymore by jake Colsen
it’s the fictional story of Jake and how he meets a man named John who seems to have known Jesus in person, that’s how much he has the truth of God deep inside of him
each chapter is about a different conversation Jake has with John and how John helps Jake find God’s truth for himself, which happened outside of a church building
but it’s very clear that it’s not anti-church or anything
that sounds like an interesting book to read
yeah, i know
just talks about how we’ve made church into a self-serving institution
that teaches people how to fail, pretty much
it’s so hard to look at church and see what is wrong with it without being negative
free-thinking is frowned upon
programs are emphasized, etc.
anyway, it was very enlightening and an easy read… pick it up if you can!
i have had a hard time trying to figure out what is worth saying and what is not at youth group
hmm yeah i have the same struggle with youth people themselves
i have a study group that’s me, a 25-year-old guy who was raised catholic and has been reading the bible and discovering faith for a year
then a handful of 16-18 year-olds
some of whom grew up entrenched in the pentecostal church
and another who only recently “got saved”
and knows virtually nothing about “christianity”
well she uses that term now because that’s how all the pentecostals called it
but i personally don’t love it
and i’m afraid she’s already getting a stilted view of what faith is, just like her christian youth group friends have grown up with
it’s a very crazy mix… me growing up one way and then almost flipping over to have a faith that looks SO different!
i feel like a doctor in theology with them
anyway, i talk to them about faith and church, and i really have to try hard not to diss the church that most of them attend
because that’s their reality!
i struggle with the same things
but i try to talk about other perspectives and point out ways that could be better to do things, and how i have my own personal opinions, and some things work better for other people
like we do not think we are better
but i DO think their (recently it was mine, too) church is sick and i’m actually scared of what they might learn there
just more aware, maybe, of the futility of this life and are longing for that “more” in Jesus
well, and the freedom that comes when faith doesn’t have to take the rigid shape of sundays and wednesdays, tithes and small groups!
that is where i am, at least
where people desire to gather and they do, spontaneously, and God-conversation happens over meals because poeple are hungry for him, not because you’re striving, planning to have people to gather because that’s what christians DO!
but u feel so odd because everyone else thinks u r a heretic, a crazy son of a gun
sorry – i’m passionate about this, as you can tell
and i have to work on the balance of not hating on the entire church as a whole!!
well, i need to hear it and share it too
recently i heard that the vast majority of north american churches are gaining people only because people are switching churches from “dead” ones
few new converts come in and few churches are being planted
i had heard that
most of the growth is people switching chrches
there is really no outreach mentality
it’s all programs
grrr it makes me just… i don’t know… it makes me feel gross!!!
and religious institutional shit
haha there you go!!!
um. I’M not offended!
i am just laughing hard right now
it’s cool to have a friend like you
one of the things that turned me off most about my church is what i call the Superficial Bullshit that hits you in the face as soon as you walk in the door
i am so glad we can talk about this
superficial “hey, how are you?!” ‘s when people don’t know ANYTHING about you besides who your mother is and where you work
like feeling the need to say “God bless you” to every person you see… because that’s the loving thing to do
what does that even mean?
i feel so bad because there are people in church who really need God
i mean, i know God can and does bless people, and isn’t it sweet to wish that for someone, but is it actually heartfelt??
and yet, we are so burnt out doing the “other things”
i found such a lack of deep relationship, hardly any pursuit of friendship outside the doors of the church, a group of people who don’t KNOW each other, they just know about each other
that we do not have the energy to give any more because we are spent by everything else
yeah, so burnt out trying to keep people in our churches!
imagine if we weren’t so close-fisted about our buildings and our schedules and our rituals
i think this is the longest chat conversation i’ve ever had
haha you don’t hang with me often enough!
continuing on…. imagine if we didn’t try to make sure our financial butt was covered, if the majority of a church’s finances weren’t focused inward
imagine if our kids could ask “why” questions about God and faith
i think for me the most riddling thing is why leadership is so concerned about image
and what things might look like
and the lack of communication and trust
and the lack of confidence and team work
yeah. HATE the image bit!!
right now at our church no one seems to be enjoying working together
brandon** left already
wow! didn’t know that.
nancy**, (one of the staff members with the longest tenure) and one of the most faithful is thinking of leaving too
and why are they leaving?
the new pastor is just basically calling the shots and not communicating real well with anyone
and anytime one of us shares an idea or even points out a few things about his ideas, he basically shuts them down
classic for practically sending people running from your church!
i see why you don’t work at your office!
like, my wife and i have gone a few times into his office to share with him how we feel and stuff, without complaining (or trying not to) and just wanting some communication or feedback, but none was given
i feel bad
cause i feel like i do not really like him
and i am praying that i learn to love him anyways
but you work for him
and you’re supposed to like him, he’s your pastor
God is good
and he is really, really faithful
we are here, and we won’t give up until our work is finished
but man, it just seems to get harder every week
sort of heavy, huh?
but, oh well
life wasn’t meant to be a joyride
specially in the ministry
no, but we were meant to have freedom in Christ
we know that
you do have a purpose there, i’m sure
and we all have to sacrifice
even though at times is hard to see
but you can still live in freedom
from the things that bind many “christians”
yeah, like drinking a beer tonite
and hopefully others will be inspired
hey i’m thinking of putting some of this conversation on my blog site, edited, of course… would you mind?
i’d be honored
hey girl, and friend, i gotta go
okay. buenas noches
Edited for spelling, clarity, and anonymity.
* “en si” – in and of itself
** Not their real names