Monday, August 03, 2009

So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore

The last couple of days I've been feeling better physically. I got the laundry completely done on Saturday, and that felt so amazingly good! Today I took Molly into work, ran a ton of errands, and had time to take a nap this afternoon. After I'm done blogging, I'm going to tackle the bathroom. This sounds completely normal to most moms (minus the nap), but for me I count it as a blessing. I hate it when the pain is so bad that I can barely walk to the bathroom much less hang laundry on the clothesline or do the grocery shopping. So when I'm feeling well, I love getting the house clean!

I was not a kid whoever kept her bedroom clean, and anyone who knows me can tell you that my home would never win a Martha Stewart look-a-like contest. Some women were born with clean genes; I'm not one of them. One of the blessings or my RA is that now when I'm feeling well I do love to clean, it's changed how I view the chore. Before it was a chore, something to be avoided, dreaded, and hopefully passed off to someone else. Now I love doing it, because I'm serving my family! Isn't it funny how God can take a bad thing (my pain) and use it for good? Romans 8:28 (my birthverse) says And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. I believe it!

So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen & Dave Coleman is a thought-provoking book creating a conversation about Jesus and the church. Jake is facing major struggles in his church that are tearing his faith apart when he meets a stranger named John. John asks questions about what Jake is looking for that over the course of a four-year period profoundly change Jake's entire life. I have to admit that I was at first disappointed when I cracked open this book. I was expecting a non-fiction title that could tackle the hard questions I was having myself about church; however, because the authors frame the book as a fictional series of conversations, I found my questions were answered more thoroughly than they could have been in a non-fiction title. John emphasizes trusting in God rather than in the institution of church. Some churches have vibrant faith and the presence of the Spirit, but far more are about cultural acceptance. The church isn't a building of a certain denomination of believers. The church, as described within the Bible, is the entire body of believers from around the world and throughout history. It's a powerful indictment of what church has become. As someone who has recently been hurt deeply by two churches, I could relate to the authors' tale, not everyone else will, but the book has some terrific points about the troubles that can be found in church. I think it's a valuable book for everyone in hopes of revolutionizing the way we view faith and church.

Quick update: my dr called and gave me a schedule for tapering off of my meds. Yay!

I'm starting a new book contest today, and this one is sooo awesome! I'm giving away an autographed copy of Randy Singer's new novel The Justice Game. If you like John Grisham, you'll love Randy Singer! The book is a courtroom drama about a lawsuit involving guns: should gun manufacturers pay when one of their weapons is involved in a murder? To sign up to win, just send me an email before 10 pm on Tuesday, August 4th. I'll post the winner and review here on Wednesday before kicking off a new contest. Good luck!

Today's pix are from a impromptu photo session with Mia during one of the rainstorms while camping.


Matthew MacKenzie said...

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