Posts Tagged: "faith"

The Great Stripping Away (or—how I lost some of my faith)

- - Life With God, Uncategorized

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Thankful Notes

I will always think of this past year as the Great Stripping Away. There were things I intentionally chose to remove from my life, there were things that just happened naturally and in their season, and there were things that felt more forceful, not in my control… more like a taking rather than a giving or letting go.

This past year…

We sold our big 3,000sf home of 10 years in the neighborhood where Ashah grew up

We gave away most of our furniture

I gave away 3/4 of my clothing

My dad started having memory problems

Ashah graduated / turned 18 / has boyfriend / is heading to college – including a study abroad program

We began a complete gut-and-remodel of our little lake house while living in it… which included no heat or water during the snow storm and power outage this winter

We had to move out for some days when the staircase was gutted (leaving no access to bedrooms and the only remaining usable bathroom)

The main level of our house had no walls, no insulation, no lights, etc. for a while

I slept on a cot in the construction zone for a month or two

We had no kitchen, no way to prepare food at home other than with a microwave

We ran out of money to pay contractors and had to borrow in order to keep going

We began a remodel on our rental house so we could sell it

We sold our rental house

We decided to close our Kent campus after some significant setbacks – the youth pastor left to work at another church and took much of the band and our workforce with him; at the same time, an elder/pastor left because of a pending divorce

The church I grew up in, now a multi-site megachurch in our community, hired our youth pastor without any prior contact or conversation with me. Our youth pastor left to work at one of their campuses and took… Read More

Advent Day 17: A Word About Doubt… The Struggle is a Sign of Life

Not long ago, a friend corresponded with me—asking some questions about faith and admitting that they, for a while, had been struggling with doubt. To the best of my ability, I tried answering the questions posed. Then I responded to the part about doubt… this is what I said:

Just a word concerning doubt and uncertainty… the struggle isn’t bad, the struggle is a sign of life. Faith without struggle, without resistance, without doubt isn’t really faith at all.

God can handle your doubts and your struggles.

Certainty isn’t the goal. God doesn’t fit neatly into our theological boxes (He never asked us to put him in there anyway). Those boxes leave no room for wonder or mystery or “I don’t know.” I’m happy to hear that you are alive, struggling, fighting… it’s… Read More

Hitting The Wall

Doubt, uncertainty, the “dark night of the soul,” finding yourself in unknown territory where the faith you’ve always known doesn’t seem to be working, hitting the wall…

Nobody wants to be there. And when we find ourselves there, we wish we could just cancel it, wipe it off the books entirely.

But hitting the wall is a necessary part of our growth and development.

In Brian Zahnd’s new book Water to Wine, he describes developmental psychologist James Fowler’s insights on the matter (I will paraphrase):

There are stages of spiritual development in… Read More

Some Shoutables (Serious – Ya Gotta Take A Minute Or Two And Read These Great Posts)

On Today’s Sunday Shout-Outs, here are a few shoutables…

 

sarah bessey guard your gates

This post, Guard Your Gates by Sarah Bessey. Here’s my favorite line: “So, no, I don’t guard my gates against simply terrible or scary things anymore. Instead, I want to guard my gates against what diminishes wholeness and holiness in me. I guard against the influences that make me the worst version of myself, the influences that feed my… Read More

I Wouldn’t Even Mind If You Read These Three Posts (They’re Not Mine)

I wouldn’t even mind if you read these three posts (they’re not mind). Actually, I’d love for you to read them. And I kinda think you will love reading them. Um, what are you waiting for???!!?!

 

benjamin coreyThis post, A Few Things I’ve Learned As A Christian Outsider, by Benjamin Corey. Here’s a brief sample: “Theological labels have a way of making us crazy– we allow them to define us, give us identity, give our lives meaning, and all kind of other things that ultimately take the place I’ve learned only Jesus can fill.”