My husband and I were having an interesting conversation today about "fitting in" with a church, and feeling a part of it. With the fast-paced world we live in, it’s hard to develop close friendships. At least it is for my husband and me. Add that to the fact that we are very unique individuals that don’t seem to fit in anywhere. In some circles, that means strange or weird. When I say unique (or strange or weird), I don’t mean the public school crowd look at us and think we are weird. I mean that fellow Christians think we are weird, homeschoolers think we are weird, Christian homeschoolers think we are weird. I can honestly say that God definitely broke the mold after creating us. I relish in being me. My husband relishes being him. We aren’t at all afraid of being different. We take the command of being a peculiar people to a new height. LOL. We have met very few like-minded individuals where we live. We don’t fit the "cookie cutter Christian" facade that so many others do. We don’t want to be like the world, or even "cookie cutters". We want to be ourselves because we know that God loves us the way we are. However, being ourselves makes us a bit lonely. Not that we want to be with other people all the time, but it would be nice if people didn’t try to give us a large berth at church. We find more acceptance from Pagans. That’s weird because we aren’t one bit Pagan. We are Bible-believing, Christ-loving people. We believe in the females of the family having long hair, and that dresses aren’t dresses unless they go down past the knee, or down to the ankle. We believe in modesty. We believe that the Bible, in its entirety, is the spoken Word of God. We believe that God created the universe in 6 literal days. We believe that God is a creative God, and that because we are made in His image, that we should be creative in the arts. We don’t believe in copying society. That includes what we watch, what we wear, and what we do.
I realize that we don’t go to church to make friends, but to worship the LORD. However, wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a church that welcomed us, accepted us, and befriended us–but at the same time, wasn’t watering down the Word of God, or being completely heretical? I guess that’s where we are now: pick a church that believes and preaches the Word of God unadulterated, or go somewhere that completely accepts us. That’s an easy choice for us, but one that leaves us a bit "unfellowshipped".
Valerie the Weirdo Who Is Tired of Being Hurt by Fellow Laborers
Our church recently started reading the Bible in a year, using Daily Audio Bible. The challenge is to start listening (or reading) the Bible, and sticking with it until December 31st. I've read the Bible in a year before, but it's been a while. I know that the times that I actually did that, I was really blessed. This year, I go into it with great optimism that my life will be radically and unapologetically transformed from the inside out. I have to say that I get a lot out of hearing the word rather than just reading it. However, this morning I listened to it as I read along today, and that helps me concentrate on it. My plan, initially, was to listen to it on my way to work on my iPhone. However, I think it will work better if I listen to it in the morning while I read along.
Today's reading in Genesis related the events of Joseph telling Pharaoh the meaning of Pharaoh's dreams, Joseph being put in charge of Egypt, only below Pharaoh himself, and seeing his brothers come to ask for grain. I'm always amazed when I read this account. From the outside, it looked pretty bleak for Joseph. He's sold into slavery by his brothers. He becomes great in a high ranking Egyptian's household, but is sent into prison under a false accusation by simply rejecting something sinful. He asks a prisoner to remember him when he goes back into the Pharaoh's household, but the ex-prisoner completely forgets. Another TWO years is spent in prison before he has the opportunity to get out.
When we talk about prison, I can't imagine that it's anything like the prisons of today with three square meals a day, clean surroundings, or things to do. We are not talking about easy times. We are talking about appalling conditions. God had his hand on Jacob. There is no doubt about that. However, Jacob's life was not flower gardens and pink unicorns. He had it rough. God used all of the events to bring the children of Israel out of famine, and into Egypt. He had a great plan. Yes, God could have prevented Jacob from being sold off as a slave, Potiphar's wife from lusting after him, and even the famine. However, that's not what He chose to do, because He knew that one day the Nation of Israel would be a picture of God rescuing us out of the bondage of sin. Just because God has His hand on us does not mean that bad things won't happen to us. However, we need to look at bad times with the hope that God will do great things with those events in our lives and the lives of others. That's my hope.