Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stumbling Along the Journey

Doesn't it sometimes seem like our journey of faith resembles one of those "Life comes at you fast..." commercials? I guess, really, it mirrors the Israelites' 40 years of wandering. I can just hear the people muttering:

"We've seen this rock before, Moses."
"Isn't that the same pile of sand we saw last week?"
"I've seen this scorpion so many times, we're on a first-name basis!"
"Wow! Look! Manna again!" (Of course, you have to read the sarcasm into that one.)

Though, of course, Moses could have responded:

"Oh, surprise! Surprise! They're grumbling about the lack of water!"
"If I hear them complain about the manna just one more time..."

I don't know about you, but walking in circles in the desert for 40 years would make me a bit cranky, too. (Never mind that it was their own fault...)

In my personal journey, I seem to keep wandering back to those same old familiar places, too. Worry, doubt, fear, laziness, impatience, frustration, anger...I'd keep going, but you get the point!

The great thing about God is the reminders He gives us along the journey. For me, that comes in a few different forms. It could be a Scripture I memorized as a child. Or maybe it's a line from a favorite hymn or worship song. Something I heard in a sermon. Once in awhile, it's a quote from one of the saints. Sometimes, the memory of a conversation shared with a cherished friend. (My own advice comes back sometimes, too. That's always a zinger.) Or even (gasp!), something I read in a forwarded e-mail.

The most potent ones come from the lips of my own children. Who knew so much wisdom could be stored in the hearts of my mischievous sons? Though, I often wonder, too, if it's simply the Holy Spirit speaking, using my boys as His instruments of correction to my wandering feet.

And where am I going with all this? Just to say this: No matter how many times we've re-visited our particular sand dune, GOD IS FAITHFUL. He provides some great road signs to bring us back to the path He desires for us. God is faithful, even when my wayward steps take me in yet another circle. He draws me back to His "paths of righteousness for His name's sake." (Psalm 23)

I close on this thought with reflections from two beautiful Psalms:

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall
not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him
with His hand." (Psalm 37:23, 24, NKJV)

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken
and a contrite heart--these, O God, You will not
despise." (Psalm 51:17)

My prayer for you today is Philippians 1:6...until next time.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

An article to check out

I read this article on Christianity Today's website. Thought I'd pass it along. Let me know your thoughts. If the link doesn't work, try going to and search for the article, "A Call to An Ancient Evangelical Culture."

 Article Link

Friday, August 25, 2006

Steps Along the Journey

Okay. Before this blog becomes duller-than-dirt and my readers all get that glazed-over look, thinking, "She's going to just sit there day after day, and chronicle her life for us. Whoopee."...let me say, this is going to be the condensed version.

The main reasons I mention my time at college are twofold: first, I met my husband there. Very important part of life! Second, it was a time of great changes and formation in my spiritual life. I began as a music major, but ended up graduating with a degree in missions. I never intended to find myself a husband, either. But God gave me a very dear friend, who I fell in love with, and eventually married. I'm so blessed to be on this journey with him.

We spent the early years of our marriage in ministry of various forms. We ministered in the inner city of Detroit for awhile. We were youth pastors in a couple of churches. My husband worked on staff at a center for those with life-controlling problems (alcohol abuse, drug abuse, etc.). We ended up in a small church, pastoring a great group of people.

During this time, my husband began to wonder where he got his authority from, to teach the things he taught about Scripture. I mean, the bottom line is, ANYONE can say, "The Spirit told me to say such-and-such..." But where was the authority to say, "This is what the Church has always taught, and I am not the only one saying this."?? This led him to a study of the early Church Fathers: those who were discipled by the twelve Apostles and their disciples. Without going into a long, drawn out explanation, suffice to say, we needed to make some changes.

We left our pastorate, and became part of a communion of churches that were claiming just that: to be a part of the churches that taught the faith as handed down for centuries, beginning with the Apostles. Our journey had to continue from there, though. This was simply another group trying to say that the Church had made mistakes, and they were there to correct them. We were looking for the Church.

And now, we are attending a Roman Catholic Church. Wow. Not where I thought the journey would take us. As I said in my original post, it's a scary journey. I am learning things about the Catholic Church that I never thought were true. There are still lots of questions, but I think there always will be. That's how we grow in our faith.

And so the journey continues...I hope you can bear with me along the path.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Journey Begins

Even as a child, I knew about "knowing Christ". My parents raised me in a solid, godly home. Church was a natural part of that. Christ's teachings were the foundation of our family. My parents taught me to tithe at a young age. (Okay. My allowance was a dime...but still!) I never had any doubts about the true meaning of Christmas or Easter. My parents lived out their faith.

As I grew into preteen life, there became a bit more of an awareness of the need for a personal relationship with Christ. I began looking at the words of the hymns, realizing they were words to live by. I began reading my Bible. And even more as I became a teen, I saw with even more clarity the need for the Holy Spirit's work in me personally. I even began listening to sermons! And (gasp!) taking notes!

During my teens, I went on three missions trips to Central America. Those trips changed me forever. I will never again view the American lifestyle or even the American definition of Christianity in quite the same way. I was exposed to true poverty for the first time in my life. I saw people who had a shack with a dirt floor, with little food, and large families, with a Christianity that outshined anything I had ever known. Those trips caused me to look deep inside and wonder what Christ was asking of me--one who had been blessed with so, so much.

This is when the journey took me to Bible college...

And that, my friends, is a post for another day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The journey began as a child, in my heart desiring to "know Jesus" continued as I sought to know Him more, to live for went along as I followed His call on my I married, and had we ministered in various ways and places...

Today, our journey is leading us to a place I never thought it would take, and the path is a bit scary. (Okay, a LOT scary, at times!)

These are just the thoughts of a sojourner. You're welcome to come along.