Friday, June 20, 2008

the gauntlet

I had a quiet stand off at last night's mid week home fellowship; this is not the first of these-let me explain.
Do you ever sense that someone is throwing down a challenge to your name as a Christian? Demanding that you give them something or do something for them, with a silent threat: 'you call your self a Christian, so you can't deny me this'?
I've had people come up to me at a church service, spit out some financial trouble they are having, and ask me, on the spot, to give them money out of the offering. All the while there is this bossy, demanding vibe that, If we really are Christians, than we can't deny them.
Well, I have news for you all; Church is not an ATM.
You don't work, you don't eat; ever read that one?

Anyway, last night, a person approached me and asked if she could get together with my husband and I for a special meeting, just the three of us.
Curious, I asked what we needed to discuss.
"Oh no...just for us to get to know each other better, one on one," was her reply.
(Folks, I have a new policy....)
"GREAT!" I answered, "You are in just the right place to do that, right now! In fact, between Thursday Nights, Saturday evening prayer and Sundays, you can hang out with us three days a week!"
Well, you could have chipped ICE off of her eyes. The waves of outrage almost blew me back a few feet. Did she really give a crap about getting to know US at ALL? I think not. I smell a power hungry attention hog who believes there is some special ju-ju hanging out with the pastor.
Here's the deal. If you want to demand special one-on-one time with us, my first question is this: are you at worship? Are you at prayer? home fellowship? If the answer to that is yes, than let's make dinner plans.
Otherwise, you just don't understand the mission.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

social graces

After recently having the combined realization that practicing 'sabbath' is still in the Big Ten (up there with not murdering and stuff), AND that we are going to both have seizures if we don't slow down, we've decided to fail to attend our district church meeting this morning in favor of sleeping in.

On another note, I ran into a very very old friend this week while shopping: one of the pastor's daughters from my church growing up. The funny thing is that our conversation was perfectly awkward, and for ONCE, not because of me. She kept stopping mid stream during the perfunctory catch up Q&A to explain that she'd rather not pry. She made reference repeatedly to a book she's read about social graces, which had taught her to avoid such topics of 'do you think you'll have any more children' etc.
The only reason I mention it is that I think that is an awful way to live. If you assume you are constantly offending other people, you must be giving yourself license to take offense at everyone else, too.
If you accept a code that equates even the mildest of prying to offensive behavior, I think you'd end up the most friendless and angry person.
Just a thought.
That level of supposed caution seems at odds with the idea of assuming the best.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss compared to living in a world where everyone is taking things the worst possible way. I used to live like that, but these days I'm tired of being a cynic. It's no way to survive and have a happy life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Confessions of a New England Pastor's Wife

Here are my thoughts, my stories, my rants and raves.
Contrary to the ideal of my role as a Pastor's wife, I do not know everything, am not close to perfect, and am open to having my mind changed.
My only appeal to you; I measure all that I trust up against the words of the Bible, so if you want to convince me, you'll have to start there.

I'll kick this blog off with this:

I've just read the first 3 commandments in Deuteronomy. Listen to ch5v:12-15(NIV)
"Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, not your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates so that your manservant and maidservant rest, as do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day."

Why is it so hard for me to stop working?
Am I living like a slave? I never noticed God making a point to say "you WERE slaves, so now, live like THIS INSTEAD."
This is New England after all, the frenzied, busy, production capitol of the nation, so to speak. The staunch self reliant boot strap crew who won't even take a free coffee (believe me, I've tried it as a 'random act of kindness' at a few Dunkin Donuts; you'd think I offered them cyanide.)
But here I am, barely taking a Sabbath; sneaking in a few ebay posts here and there, constantly thinking about "production...production...production."
Why is it so hard for me to do nothing? Or just ONE thing, for that matter?
I must LOVE being busy. I must believe it's righteous and worthy and the only way to get things done. But now I'm thinking that I'm living like a Slave.