10.28.2008

Legalistic Politics

It can be a very confusing time for a christian who has always stood behind their party simply because that is all they have ever known to do. It has been almost frightening for me to make up my mind in this season's election. I have always voted republican simply because that is what I always did and it was the christian thing to do (at least in the south it is :)). Along with deconstructing my faith over the last few years, I also question why I do things in other areas of my life. I dont ever want to be that person who just votes republican simply because it is what I have always been taught to do. That is political legalism. God has changed me in many ways over the last few years. Despite the many rash judgments will be made, the truth is, God is transforming me. I am a different person now from then, and I hope to be a different person in 5, 10, 15 years than I am now. I have different views on political issues such as war, poverty,how to approach the issue of abortion, etc...all of which are a result of this passionate, spiritual journey I have been on. Its not me trying to be trendy with my political position. I have prayed about it and done my research.
I recently came across this website of Jesus Followers who have made it their mission to bring political legalists' to light. They have set my record straight on several issues. I would encourage anyone who reads this to read it in full, click on the links and check out the ads.
I have never spoken out on politics, but hope this takes some raised eyebrows back to their normal position. It did mine.

http://www.matthew25.org

10.15.2008

adventures in babies and ministry

I know it has been awhile since I last posted.  My laptop is out of commission and Tommy is always on the macbook since he works from home, so it is hard for me to have access to it at the moments I am inspired to write. 
Much has happened over the last month.
Tommy turned 28 and of course it isnt just a birthDAY- but rather a birthMONTH- which he is milking for all its worth :) 
We are becoming very well acquainted with our new niece, Emmercyn- 3 months young now! She is beautiful and precious and it is so cool to see her sort out her emotions in her head. I am so very excited to become a mommy! I am nesting like crazy and getting extremely organized and cleaning everything out. Being a designer, I am chomping at the bit to get my nursery set up! I am already taking my guest bedroom apart and rearranging things so that our home is baby-ready, come March 1! I am 21 weeks along now and that marks the halfway point! We went to have our 2nd trimester ultrasound and....ITS A BOY! We are so stoked and it is Tommy's birthday wish come true. He wanted a boy so bad and now I will have 2 little Tommy's in my life!  I couldn't be more happy- I just hope he is just like his daddy! Look at his little tommy-nose! Cute!
We have seen amazing things happening in ministry. We are very encouraged to see how God is at work. I guess this month is pastor appreciation month and our church has really bent over backwards to make us feel appreciated. We have received about 20 heartfelt cards in the mail expressing how our ministry has affected them on a personal level. The other day I walked out my front door to find a very cool basket filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. And many have given us gift cards and dropped by bags of groceries. Some of our leadership team/ dear friends brought us a home cooked meal the other day. And on Sunday we were presented a very generous gift card for groceries from our church. We were so encouraged to the point of tears. God is not only ministering to us but is very evidently at work in the lives around us. People are coming to Jesus in a way that is very beautiful and organic. He is THE reason we exist as a church. Some would disagree since our approach to coming to jesus is not in an alter call and since we dont pray "the prayer" at the end of each sermon so people can leave believing they have said some magic words that will get them to heaven one day. We meet people where they are. Jesus is the goal across the board- with believers and with non-believers. It is our prayer that the spirit will bring them to a saving knowledge of who He is and that he would use us as his instrument if he chooses. We take the approach of building relationships with people and sharing Christ and engaging in discussion as opportunities arise. We hope to BE the gospel every day along with presenting the gospel through the teachings on Sundays and in our house churches.  Our friendship to the lost sub-culture of our city is not an agenda to "save" them. It has been amazing to see our little church of misfits not only come to a saving understanding of who Jesus is, but to learn what it is to embrace culture and Jesus with the same arms. To really be and see Jesus in every aspect of life. I have had some very encouraging conversations with individuals  that have come to this understanding and there are of course others that "know" these things, but dont KNOW Jesus. We have many that come to Watermark because it is a safe place to ask questions or because they can come truly just as they are. We have many that are there for the wrong reasons- to make connections with musicians or artists or to hook up. We have many that are extremely critical of us and how we do things and we have others who are blatently not followers of Jesus who are just checking things out-sometimes they are the ones who are most faithful. Regardless of any of these human tendencies, we have come to a place of total dependancy on God. We say "here am I Lord, use me!" We have no idea how our church turned into what it is. But we trust God with it as something that is very special, unique, quirky and unorganized and is what our entire lives are wrapped up in and I look at it as the greatest blessing in my life apart from my marriage to God and to my husband. Aside from all the hokey labels people come up for us, we choose to be orthodox in teaching- not seeker-sensitive; to be emerging in our faith-not emergent; and make it our own- not trying to be relevant! I anticipate and look forward to seeing what God is going to do and how he will choose to bring people to himself each week.