My wife says she thinks we will get a reputation for church-hopping. We’ve recently left a congregation we’d associated with for about the past nine years and where I’d served as a Sunday School teacher, elder and sort of co-pastor, and where my wife had played keyboard. Before that, we’d been part of another congregation where my wife and I had both taught Sunday School and where I’d served as a deacon. Dunno, maybe anything shy of 20 years with the same congregation indicates instability vis-a-vis ability to build and maintain relationships with other members of a congregation as well as relative to congregational authority and government. I can see a case for that.
On the other hand, there’s discernment and a freedom, within the Body of Christ, to exercise discernment in regard to leadership trends and changes in what’s considered acceptable. Also, there’re choices mandated by conscience as one develops biblical categories to make sense of behaviors, statements, trends, and other circumstances or conceptual “currents” that may push against and enswirl Christians in a local congregation.
Something I try to teach those of my clients who are more artistically minded is this:
If you’re going to color inside the lines, try to ensure
they’re lines you’ve drawn, yourself, or
they’re lines that make rational sense to you.
Too often within a religious context we fail to exercise our competence to make sense of what we see, what we hear and what we experience. The “wolves” the scriptures warn about take advantage of that tendency and often succeed in bringing the local congregation under their own authority creating categories of behavior and contribution to the wolf’s own well-being that are substituted for scripturally grounded Christian faith and practice. That, in spite of the fact that the scriptures of Old and New Testament never once adjure the elect to pretend about anything. It was Christ who said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
Back to the Christov-Tenn church-hopping family – during the past several weeks, we’ve visited with four different congregations. One of them, last week, I attended solo as my wife and son were out of town. My wife told me, “You can visit that one by yourself.” Turns out she was right about that one. Today, we plan to return to a nearby church we’ve already been to and see what their Sunday School classes are like. After this congregation, we’ve got one other we plan to visit with. And who knows? Maybe we will become aware of some others we should also visit.
This week I had contact through Facebook with an old friend I haven’t heard from in close to ten years. I was delighted, and sent a friend request that was accepted. It will be pleasant to be able to see photographs from her life, and hopefully she will not be horrified by photographic documentation of my own life on earth.
I make it a rule to “friend” only those people I would be willing to spend free time with in person, to invite over to the house for coffee, lunch, or dinner.
This morning the Facebook “home” page presented me with the suggestion that I “friend” somebody I knew years before I reached my majority on the basis of the fact that we have (now had) two “friends” in common. I looked at the individual’s visible profile and list of friends, and realized they were not people with whom I’d choose to associate, although a number of them were known to me from my less than idyllic youth. And I realized that one of those two “friends” in common was somebody I wouldn’t make the effort to call or otherwise contact if I were in that person’s city of residence on a visit. In order to better conform my electronic circumstances with the reality I inhabit, I “unfriended” the individual.
Simple truth set me free to act in a reasonable manner.
Last week bought a Sony Handycam with 60gb harddrive and a memory card slot so that Caution-Lady can record the vidworthy antics of little 76. It arrived yesterday, so maybe I’ll try it out today and post some video of my now much-faded Campsis Radicans – a name no longer matching the kayak’s deck color.
First assembly of E68 in September, 2005.
Yesterday I bought a replacement skin for the E68 that will, I hope, likewise confuse, due to the brightness of its red, those expecting the boat to somehow match its botanical name. I’m ordering some 303 Aerospace Protectant to evit future fading.
Compare the photo above with the photo a couple of posts below taken Monday 30 June 2008. That’s quite a bit of fade in a little less than three years of use, especially in light of the fact the boat’s been stored, for the most part, disassembled in its bags in a clean, dry boatshed. Here’s a video I took late this morning with the Sony illustrating the deck’s current fade:
When the new (slightly used, actually) skin arrives, I’ll photograph it next to the old and post the picture here. The replacement skin will have a hatch on the foredeck I plan to make use of for a couple of small drybags and lunch, thereby reducing deck-clutter.
Why am I writing this stuff instead of paddling today, Independence Day 4 July 2008? I guess I want to finish reading a novel, lift, do some housework, wash the car, instead. Freedom, ain’t it grand?