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Sometimes I Fear Being Transparent With Those I Love, Even With the Father in Heaven!

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

This last series of posts have taken me to the edge of my comfort level. Especially the one not yet posted, entiltled: A Life Fully Surrendered, a Journey Yet Unknown. I may save that one for my next book.

Having just read Frankl's, "Man's Search for Meaning," a book given to me this week by my sister-in-law, who somehow ended up with two copies. I often say that books seem to find me when I need them!

Not that my journey in any way compares to Frankl's, Bonhoeffer's and the many others who have suffered for their beliefs in such moments in the church's history. I feel that we are at a real tipping point in this country, I know that I am, relative to my sense of comfort when sharing my thoughts during these unusual days.

These last few weeks, I have spent the early hours of each day attempting to allow my heart to reveal itself in a fully transparent and deeply felt flow, based upon my life experience, one quite localized. The latter is my challenge as it is easy to assign names and places.

I am now approaching my last quarter (assuming the genetics of my 98 year-old dad) and working hard to capture and share my thoughts publicly. At times I find that quite troubling when I consider the full spectrum of opinions in our institutions of faith.

I love the Body of Christ, though more and more I find myself troubled by the static position of the Evangelical Church in which I was raised.

Remember, this is not someone who is fuming at the church, yet never studied nor poured their life out on behalf of the church and even walking out my faith deep in the community as well.

My concern is based on reading the same text, in multiple versions, processed in hours of prayer for 50 years, and I now more than ever I see a far more progressive, transformational gospel than the static, literal boxed-to-go version which I was first taught. Maybe I am just a late bloomer, if so why the amazing and often miraculous life moments experienced personally, both physical and financial. Yes, I am blessed!

Then comes the challenge faced when openly sharing those insights among the many with whom I have for most of my life found comfort, those no longer viewed as credible, but rather divisive, themselves even offering distain when the adjective "progressive" is used in sacred places, though living lives at the expense of those more secular progressive. In reality, there is no secular-sacred divide for the Kingdom of God is among us!

Jesus said "it is finished!" Likley

leaving our doctrinal trivialities in the dusk of the tomb!

Then in private one-on-one conversations, I am encouraged by the same individuals to be even more transparent, as it seems that my fellow believers realize that church as we have practiced in the past, is losing its influence. Let alone the missing "even greater things than these" moments recorded in her history and testified to by my own life experience.

Writing this is awkward for me but I continue each morning compelled to "do this in his name", as often as I drink the cup and eat the bread of his communion!

There seem progressive exceptions among local bodies of believers, or I would not be churched, yet the state of our nation tells another story, one backed by data. A book released just Monday is entitled, "The Great De-churching." I am hoping as I read, that the authors provide more than just another attempt at tweaking what is not working.

Meanwhile rather than change the way we do life as the church, we seem to comfort ourselves with a "last days" mentality. Even if that is so, would the love of God afford such political bias, the denominational differences, the deep dependance upon late stage capitalism, compounded by the fear of "others," all standing in the way of good news?

Sure we have upgraded our technology, installed sound systems for amping up our praise bands, made more casual our dress and still, attendance is in decline! There must be something we are missing given that "it is not God's will that any should perish!"

Since I am quoting so much scripture, if "perfect love casts out all fear," then why am I reluctant even fearful of loosing all personal influence, after 50 years of church, and decades of walking out what I have learned as best as I knew in the community? I think it's called being human!

As Kermit the Frog once said, "It ain't easy being green."

Again, I love the Christ and know that I am apart of the bridal party, but less and less sure I want to go where I am being led. That at times feels like fear, though God knows that obedience is my desire.

God, what is my problem?

Last night during our "conversation", I clearly heard, "You did not chose me, but I have chosen you." That to me was God pushing back on my thoughts that surely my thoughts are too heretic like, undeserving of my role as a Christ-follower.

Meanwhile, this has been one of the most affirming months of all times by way of unexpected conversations, even this morning several in a row, thus this blog. Numerous cabin talks have occurred, Christ centric marketplace discussions, and yes, even this afternoon a tearful disclosure with the editor of my next book!

Yet, still I am reluctant, if not fearful of how I might come across!

Just a few hours ago, I spoke with a dear sister, whom I trust as much as anyone in the faith, after she had read that yet to be posted blog, one in which I compressed a lifelong journey into a twenty minute read, actually a conversation with the Lord about my church experience since coming to Christ in 1973.

My friend's response was a candid encouragement to "let the chips fall where the may" and she fully knew that journey and those whom it might offend! Don't you hate it when you can't find a good "no" for what you are reluctant to do!

I then had this conversation with God:

-First, if Christ was God, who is love, and seen as perfect,

-and, if perfect love casts out fear,

-why then, if Christ is in me, do I struggle?

God's response was an immediate mental image of the Christ, the perfect love, crying out in Gethsemane, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me! Yet not as I will, but thy will be done!"

Was I witnessing the fully human Jesus (as depicted, fallen on his face in the image above), hesitant, even fearful, "shedding as it were great sweatdrops of blood", while the divine perfect love, the Christ in him, compelled him toward the cross?

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”

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