Jan 3, 2009

Resolutions and Changes - Beware This Is Longer Than Usual

I don't really take resolutions terribly seriously beyond Day 2, but thought I'd go ahead and do a few anyway. Because these are resolutions near and dear to me, so I MUST do them!

1) Show more kindness and compassion for my immediate family when they do something I don't like. And all the time.

2) This goes with #1, but it's on a playing field all on its own: aside from God, my family's needs need to come before all others in my life. I'm terrible at letting them down and I know I can do better.

3) Lose the dang muffin top! I went from mini muffin to an Otis Spunkmeyer muffin and I'm not okay with that. I've already begun the process, but I resolve to see it through this year.

4) Get outside much more than I do.

5) Think of others more than I do--it's not that I don't love my friends, I do. I'm terrible at saying 'how are you?' and 'Happy Birthday!' and all the other things normal people do. I feel I'm living in a fog most days and I just don't do what I need to do!

Okay that's good enough for now! I'd put read my One Year Bible because I'm on Day 3 and intend to finish it, but I've tried this three times now and failed. I could use a little prayer and support with this. Anyone?

This week has been very difficult for my family--we have lost our church home and I am torn up about it. It's a very long story, but things came to a head last week (we weren't even there, but we heard the 'sermon' online) and the church has had a little implosion from within. John and I are not able to resolve our differences in setting doctrine aside and reading books rather than the Bible. There is only one book we will find our hope from and The Shack among others is not one of them. So.....with great sadness, we have made our decision. Last night was our last Small Group Friday--and I felt like I left my family behind forever when we walked out the door. Many families have left along with us, but it doesn't give me much comfort. I will always be grateful for the fellowship I had at our church--they were family to me when I needed them.

Where will we go? Well...not sure. We will be attending the first service in a start-up church a dear friend from our church is having next Sunday evening. We will pray God's voice is clear to us and we will certainly be part of this church (where the Bible will be read each week) if that's where we are called. John and I are prayerful we can make this transition without any of the 'drama' that sometimes goes along with church divisions such as this.

I have to say, though, at risk of offending anyone from my church who might read this: research emergent churches--arm yourself with that knowledge. And take action if you find your church is moving that direction. This is very scary--we've been moving this way for quite awhile and I had no idea! Your church may even say that's not where they're going; but if you feel something is amiss, that may be God tugging at you. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck. A big yellow duck with mud all over his little wings.

17 Comments:

Mrs. C said...

"However, in their attempt to reach this postmodern generation, they have become postmodern themselves and have changed the message. As the gospel is fixed upon the Scriptures, the gospel cannot change, unless of course it becomes another gospel. I believe this is what is happening in the Emerging Church."

Well, I don't know what's been going on at your old church, but I do see this happening almost everywhere. Maybe it's just me and being old-fashioned, but when the youth department drags out a "Halo" video game to "reach the lost" with the idea that you can't preach to them unless they show up... we've gone too far.

And I haven't been to places that deny the Bible as the truth, but I think slowly it would come to that.

I guess I can't "judge" you if you have Halo in your home, but can we agree this isn't appropriate for youth ministry? Good grief.

AND

The other thing I wanted to do was thank you for this honest post. Too often we focus on looking nice for other people and not what our family needs.

AND

I done got me a whoooole dozen muffins, bayybeee. Aiming to lose 25 more pounds this year. I'll ask you in February how you're doin' ok? And you pop by and ask me.

D... said...

{{{Stacey}}} Thanks for the honest post. I am so sorry. I understand your fear of the emergent church and the sadness of leaving your church family. Prayers out to you!

Visiting different churches, I see this one a lot: "God’s Word, especially concepts like hell, sin and repentance, is eventually downplayed so the unbeliever is not offended." Just because it feels good doesn't mean we should do it. We have to know there are consequences to our actions. I want a meaty sermon sometimes, not a feel good sermon every week. If that means I'm held accountable, I'm not offended.

Ah, the dreaded muffin top. I sport one too, my friend.

Tammy said...

Happy New Year my friend! May all your hopes and dreams come true in 2009!

Memarie Lane said...

We just left our church too. I was really upset about it, but Brad refused to go back. They had put our kids into a database and it felt very big brother to him. But in every other way it was the perfect church for us! No other church out here seems to even approach what we're looking for. They're all Pentacostal, and having been raised that way I refuse to put my kids through that awful experience. I'd rather go to no church than a Pentacostal one.

Bubba's Sis said...

{{{Stacey}}} I am both sad for you and proud of you at the same time. God will lead you in the right direction, I know. Good for you for not just sitting there and doing nothing when you knew something wasn't right. There's a major church here in Houston that preaches a "feel good" gospel and I am so turned off by it - there is nothing Biblical in their services, and their leader didn't even go to seminary. THAT is concerning.

Our church is focusing on becoming a more Biblical church in the new year - I think it's great, and can't wait to see the direction we are headed (wanna come to my church?). :-)

Stacey said...

Wow, Mrs. C--our youth pastor brought that into our church too--weird! It's almost like a plan that's been laid out and we're the dummies who follow the leader.

Donna said...

I hate it when something goes wrong with the Church I love. In fact, I've been rather unsettled for several years now, not feeling at home in any group of worshipers.

But I have hope.

Mrs. C said...

Stacey, was it by chance a Baptist church? B/c that's the church we left last time. Shame.

I can't say there weren't some good things about it, though. No church is perfect, etc. specially since I join with my family.

Am having a very hard time in this department but realizing that most of the problems are with me and my family. Not many people have three autistic kids. AND to be even more honest, they didn't get that way because mom and dad are perfectly neurotypical either, yk? So... we all have problems and don't do the "advocating" and "interpersonal relationship" thing very well. Which doesn't work well when someone's needs aren't being met.

ANYWAY. The church I go to preaches the gospel, but I think is striking pretty close to the right balance between "everything's ok no matter what" and "you're going to Hell for that thought you thought last week."

If you know what I mean.

But I'm finding the problem is in me. I think I'm on the last stop.

:[

OK thanks for listening. If you want to go out to the place where I go email me. Or if ya just want to visit just once just because.

UM, or if you just want to plain old get together and forget about church we just have to do that ok?? I mean we have to get together!! :] New year's resolution, ok?

Jim and Jami said...

I will continue to keep you in my prayers......

Hay PS, I noticed that you listed Salt and Chocolate, I will try to be better about posting new and yummy stuff there....love ya!

Anonymous said...

Hey Stacey! Praying for you as you search for a new church!

Love you much!
Debbie (your sil!!)

Misty Dawn said...

(((Stacey))) I'm praying that God will show you where you need to go. What's most important is that you have him in your heart, no matter where you are physically.
I love ya Girl!

Sharon said...

Stacey, bless you for such a wonderful and transparent post. It's so hard to leave your church home - we too have been there. We're now in a Bible-believing church that would like to have more members but is focused on God's word. We may be small but we are all committed to love God fiercely, love each other unconditionally and rescue the captives. When you visit you'll see :-)

And Stacey - I think you are a fabulous friend and I'm so grateful to know you.

Hugs and Kisses from the frozen north....Sharon

jennyonthespot said...

Oh girl... what difficult time. We went through something like that about 6 years ago. It was so hard. I'll be praying for you and your family... and the surrounding relationships. Big hugs to you...

Jenny 867-5309 said...

Good for you, Stacey!! I wondered if John had talked with Chuck or not. I think that's great that you guys are listening to the right voice.

Signed,
Your Pentecostal friend (hope I don't get flogged!)

P.S. So guess where I'm going on the b-day weekend??? Are you ready??

Angela Williams Duea said...

Oh Stacey, I know how it hurts to lose a church family, but I am so proud of you for putting your beliefs first. There's far too much "feel-good" Christianity out there.

God will lead you to the place where you will be blessed.

kailani said...

I think we could all do better at being nicer to our friends and family. It doesn't have to be anything dramatic. Sometimes it's the simple things that mean the most.

Sandi McBride said...

I make myself promises, finding them easier to address than resolutions..I can break a resolution in a skinny minute, but promises...I can't break a promise and I can keep a secret til death...then I won't even tell the ferryman!
Hope you keep them all, though, Stacey!
hugs
Sandi