Monday, November 17, 2008

Church or Starbucks? Where do you want to go?

A friend of mine who works at my church sent me a link to a video that I found rather funny. Watch this

So what do you think? Is this what YOUR church is like? I have to confess, I have not been to my church in probably 2 years on a weekly consistent basis. A couple years ago, I was there several times a week. I do still lead my young women's group and I do still listen to several pastors on the internet and radio and do personal bible study so it's not like I've abandoned or neglected my church regimen or faith. But I just slowly found myself drifting away from the place I have called my 'church home' for 10 years now.

I don't know that you could place the blame on any one person, event or anyone other than myself ultimately. I still love that church...I love it's worship style and I love it's pastor and the way he teaches. I believe he is biblically sound and still loving while challenging others with the truth. But there are personal reasons why I have just let myself slip away from there.

It started mostly with my daughter's sports regimen and it's obtrusiveness on our Sunday mornings and weekends. Then after having to miss services for all-star softball and soccer games, I just let my daughter sleep in on Sundays and we began a regimen of NFL on Sunday mornings instead. That is totally my fault and I have been so lazy in getting disciplined again. But lately, my entire family (my mom, sister, boyfriend) have been talking about how we really all need to be back in church on a regular basis.

And then my friend sent me this video...and I wondered: Is THIS what I'm going to have to deal with if I go back to my old church or try to find a new one? I surely hope not...but more often than not, I have either seen it in action or have had friends tell me of their own horror stories similar to this.

Lord - Help us to actually be 'real' and not a building of fake Sunday morning living that doesn't permeate through our hearts and homes and help us to over come cliches and cliques in an effort to actually recognize each person for their place in your family and the contribution we can make to each others lives!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'll take that with a side of passion please...

I was thinking about a couple of conversations I've had with some of you via e-mail (which by the way, I'd love it if you feel free to post comments here because I think that a lot of you bring some interesting and challenging positions for all of us to ponder and think through). I thought it might be pertinent for me to just clarify something before I begin to possibly start spewing my thoughts out in this public arena:

I am EXTREMELY passionate in EVERYTHING in my life, but most certainly my faith.

For those of you who know me well, I have always been pretty outspoken and had no problem sharing my opinion on anything and everything. I have to preface that with acknowledging that I am a sinner. Therefore, my passion often gets me in trouble because I tend to react rather than respond to something I care deeply about.

I say all this to ask one thing of you - patience and understanding (ok, that's 2 things). If you think I have written something that comes across offending you (or anyone you know) or sounds closed minded or self-righteous or whatever, then just please give me the opportunity to explain myself better either on this blog, via one on one e-mail or over the phone/in person. The reason I even decided to blog about this is because I believe this is the very reason I felt led to start blogging...because I want to be able to start honest, open and respectful dialogues with people - and I know sometimes my conversation is not seasoned with salt and gracious as the Bible calls it to be.

I tell the young women in the weekly small group I lead that I don't care what they believe, where they stand on certain positions, or how they long as they are well-informed on their beliefs and can logically defend those positions. I believe we all need to be able to defend and give a reason for the hope (or beliefs) we proclaim and if you don't know how to have respectful, open minded conversations with passion AND intelligence, you won't be able to have any real authority in the lives of those you are blessed to be in relationship with.

So pardon my passion and let the discussions begin!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Did we just elect the Anti-Christ?

Now, now...don't get all riled up. I am NOT saying Obama is the anti-Christ. However, I have had several friends make this claim. And while listening to sermons on the internet, I came across an article by Jan Markell that David Hocking (my pastor at Calvary Santa Ana growing up) posted on his web site. I do find it somewhat interesting and it points out some things that some could say support the claim of BO as the AC. While I don't subscribe to the notion that these prove BO is the anti-Christ, I do believe (as I have said for years now) that we are most likely living in the age in which the end times will be ushered in. I also believe that the points made in this article are possible proof that our world is preparing for the things spoken of by Jesus that we should be on the watch for. I don't want to start getting into a theological debate of all that the Bible tells us of the end times and what they even are (even though I am pretty passionate about that) but rather just thought this an interesting read to share with all of you. Click here to read the article

On a side note, I have heard the news saying Obama will most likely appoint Rahm Emanuel as his new chief of staff and many in the news on both sides of the political spectrum have said negative things about him claiming he is somewhat harsh and not a good choice to support BO's claim that he wants to 'reach across the aisle' and bring 'hope to ALL Americans.' Yet, David Hocking's website also has an article on Mr. Emanuel that indicates he is an Israeli and shares his accomplishments under previous administrations...again, something interesting to ponder. You can read about that by clicking here.


:) Love and prayers - Stacey