De-churched person visits a church – the uncut blow-by-blow commentary

Pre-service
Where’s the toilet? Oh OK thanks.

Getting seated
Open, determined to be open.

The Music
Dont feel the need to be above anyone here
I have some cynical thoughts, but I’m not frothing at the mouth.

I think I’ve evened out a lot, not a sense of desperation. Or emotionalism.

Thoughts of making worship a human experience – not sure what i mean by that. But music is a great access into people.

Limitations to big group of people who worship. It is song. My preference is smaller.

“You’re never gonna let me down.” An expression of faith and truth for those in that faith, but at the core of us as people is the idea that life/God has let us down.
How do we bring this truth in? – The acknowledgement that the fairy tale isn’t real.
The proclamation of faith is made more real by its context of truth of circumstance.

What I believe and where my belief is, is enough.

Can’t mock someone’s real expression. Find respect in my heart for these people.

A Talking Bit
Hard not to acknowlegde the truth of a testimony – but how is it framed? How we tell a testimony is important. We need the truth that connects.

People are impressed by strength but they connect with vulnerability.

How much of church is about connecting or impressing?

Noticing the pretty ladies
Some weapons here though, Jeeeeez.

The Money Bit
There is an element of celebrity to it, but is it noteriety?

That guy is 33 tomorrow. Look at him. And I know thay could be me. But im happy with where I am. With who I am. With my life.

Own your life.

Then theres the bible which we clearly interpret, but are we saying we do?

Concieve of your life as yours. Its hard for church people to concieve as someones life as their own, as they are responsible for it.

Is there a fixation on community which neglects the raw reality that we need to develop as individuals? (Thus enriching the community experience.)

Do groupthink and social loafing make community the default cruise mode? Does the sensation of growth in groupthink numb the sensation of individual struggle/growth?

If God’s love is personal, if we are individuals made very uniquely then we must also be responsible for our lives. For the creation of our lives – for the best stewardship of who we are.

Am convinced that God is working thru all creativity. He is in expressions of himself. Can’t shake it theologically and observationally.

Light.

Garden was a place where God met with humanity. Gardens.

Profoundly impressed by the communication of the message. Not a sermon, but a TV show. Real thought into the structure and communication of this message. Very impressive.

The power of a testimony. Bikie guy.

Tired of that life. Tired. In the presence of my Creator.

Immersed in it. Forget myself and become de-interested in all other things. Church services can be too much of an immersive experience, do we help people lose themselves? Is this real? Is it too much of a highlight?

How do we do church and normalcy? Testimony of LIFE… the dreary hum drum day in day out. He is in it! Just as much as everywhere else.

It does take time to connect with people and gain friends. Be at peace, it takes time. It takes time. Be where you are.

Isolated and depressed well ive been used to this all my life – known in a community, knowing people. Known as a part of something. Im used to it. I found myself in it.

When I put that aside, by my choice, no wonder I became isolated. Slowly it happened slowly but it is not bad, because I’ve met myself. No accidents. Leaving it as a community wasn’t a bad thing.

I met myself. Accepting myself.

Patience. It takes time. Be patient. What if its about being patient about the good things? Love is patient. If you love yourself, you’ll be patient with yourself. Kind to yourself.

In the quiet place.

The End Bit
Chile Con Carne for $7 very decent… the smell lured me!

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Sunday night salves

The temptation was to gloss over it.

Drown it with alcohol. Mute it with busyness.

But he promised himself he wouldn’t.

The flatness overtook him like darkness on the lee-side. The strong coffee and caramel-sauced waffle in his stomach was his attempt to retrieve a mite of motivation. If it weren’t for them he would continue driving aimlessly through familiar streets, marking time.

He began to realise the descent on a Sunday night from having two zesty and joyful children for four days was critical to manage. Successful Sunday evening self-management was becoming instructive to how effective his evening, indeed next few days, would be. For it would only be three until he had his children again.

The presence of any noun which demands micro-management is a wonderful panacea to an underdeveloped self. Be reminded that many have children, yet are not committed to them in such a manner as to care or be personally inconvenienced by them. (Perhaps these parents are the smart ones.)

He had vowed, upon conception, to be an involved parent; as an actual person to his children. The speed of his 20s and the tendency to look outward for personal validation had led him to this place. A place where he knew intimately the needs of those close, but was dim to his own.

How is it, he regularly questioned, that a life spent in the dimensions of modern Christianity meant he was dim to his own needs? Without pointing the finger, he knew a terrible misstep had occurred.

The class on self-esteem had been postponed, replaced by the class on just-about-everything-else. He could recall years when he had explored the dimensions of faith, denied the doldrums or simply cultivated a frenzied optimism, falsely labelled faith, to deal with any dark diversion of mood. It may have worked. But now he didn’t want it to.

He had vowed, a few months ago, to experience things directly. Be it positive or negative.

In a bid to be himself, he would not seek a salve for any mournful moment, or cap a high feeling.

If it was alcohol, then the bottom of the bottle was his limit. If it was exercise, the breathless retching would halt him. If television, the dawn of new day would signal a night poorly spent peering at meaningless info-mercials.

Experience things directly, he told himself, as he sat at the computer.