Ever have one of those days/series of days, where it seems like you hear about the same thing from 10 different & totally unrelated sources? Me too. Last weeks accountability post was birthed out of a long series of interactions with people on the idea of 'men's ministry...' something that has been about as attractive to me as playing in a Sani-Hut - I've not identified in the slightest with the Promise Keepers type man events... & the very thought of going to a stereotypical 'men's meeting' has never appealed to me - & hasn't been something that I'd want to be a part of.
I know that there are those that think, "Hey, you're a pastor. You should (or at least your church should) have a Men's Ministry." I don't agree - doing something just because its expected or because "this is what churches do" isn't valid reasoning to me - if I didn't believe in it, why would I fake it?
Yesterday, I was given a book by a friend - called Samson & The Pirate Monks. I ended up finishing it last night, & I would heartily recommend it to you - esp. if you're a guy who hates (translation: isn't "INTO" mens stuff.) I think what the author has created & is living out is do-able & even transferable from location to location... & sounds like something that I would want to go to, to prioritize, to evangelize about...
Friendship is a two-way street... It used to bug me when it seemed like I was carrying both sides of a relationship.... & it never occurred to me that if I was the only one calling, writing, trying to get together/keep in touch, that maybe, just maybe what we had wasn't actual friendship. And when I came to that realization, rather than getting bugged or worked up, I had my epiphany & embraced it.
On that note, I'm 'reminiscing' about the Guy who came to our house for a College Group meeting... musta been about 5 years ago now. He came with his girl, & sat down at our kitchen table. He stood out because instead of facing the people in the room, he faced the wall. At least 3 people attempted to talk to him at various points in the meal, but its a hard thing to A) have a 1-way conversation, & B) to talk to someone who won't look at you & is facing the wall. It was weird.
We moved from the kitchen to the living room, & the Guy, with his girl, left. Walked out. Hmm. More strange things afoot at the Circle K, but hey, there are all kinds of people in the world, & I just met one.
After the meeting, I checked my email, & lo & behold! I had received an email from the Guy. It was a long one; so long that I printed it out to be able to read the whole thing. He was writing to upbraid me & our clique of 'so-called Christians' - because he hadn't been made to feel welcome. (Why it took 3 pages of vitriol & venom to say that, I don't know, but it did.) It fired me up - because I saw what had happened that evening... normally, I would have just let it go, let it lie, but not this time. I wrote back a short response - & told him that I had a different perception of that evening, of the people in attendance, & also the responsibility that every single one of us has to 'engage' at some level.
Its a hard thing to watch.
I think that the christianity that I grew up on doesn't reflect Biblical Christ-following, in that a large part of the emphasis has been on one's "personal relationship with God through Jesus," which has morphed into a "private" relationship with Jesus... as though we can work on & through a 'relationship with God & Jesus" apart from interacting with people.
In actuality, my relationship with Christ is SHOWN by how I interact with others - how I treat my family. The way I value & show respect to others, even when (especially when?) they don't agree with me. Its a farce to think that I can go read my Bible, pray, & then treat the humanity around me like crap, all the while thinking, "I'm growing as a christian."
I think there's a few posts in there.
My stomach hurts & I'm a little frustrated... or maybe disappointed. Not sure I can put a finger on it, or even if I need to.