Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A breather........

Well, this post comes with a bit of boldness on my part, because I know how many people have a million reasons why they think I am possibly in a "dangerous" place. On the other hand I am finding and meeting more and more people with similar mindsets. What am I talking about? My family is on a hiatus from the organized church. We are not going to church, nor are we currently looking for one. Whew! There it's been said. 
To me what's currently important is my growing relationship with the Lord, my family and rest! 
Firstly, my relationship with the Lord has only been hindered in the past by attending church. It has not been fostered or fueled. My zeal to do things to impress God and others certainly was. At the time I was zealous I thought it was out of good intentions, but now I see things differently. My relationship with the Lord has only grown since I have come to realize how personal it is, between me and God. Getting a hold of his awesome love and grace for me has changed me more than anything any human, or tradition of man can or will. Additionally, the internet has made it possible to get amazing teaching all week long, instead of just on Sunday, as well as when it fits into your life. I have never been so eager to listen to preaching as I am these days!!
Does this mean I am against being a part of a local church body? Absolutely not! I simply am not in a place to commit myself to one specific church because it's some kind of requirement. I want to attend church in the future, but more than that I want to be a part of a community and fellowship that worships in Spirit and truth. As the Lord leads I am sure we will find somewhere to be. Right now though, we are taking a breather and we feel totally at peace with this! 
Our family has been through so much in the last few years. Now is a time of regrouping, of re-evaluating. We want to honor God in how we live as a family, how we raise our kids, but more importantly how we love each other! 
And the all important rest........!! Ultimately, I mean resting in Christ during this time of transition from old ways of thinking and learning how to live in our freedom in Christ! (in every area of our lives, detox the old ways of thinking and put on the new.)
I love this time, I love what God is doing in the world these days! I love hearing about the revival and watching it! I love learning from other churches that I wish I could go to but are nowhere near where I live! I love that we are living in a day where people are coming into true freedom in Christ all across the globe and on fire for God like never before! I just want to be doing whatever I see God doing in my life, like Jesus, he only did what he saw the Father doing! My heart's cry is ultimately to live so aware of God, to spend time in His Presence, to worship Him in Spirit and in truth and to be so filled with God that I overflow to others!! I think that's what it's all about and it starts with me or with you. The more I get saturated in the God's love for me, the more I can give away that love. We love Him because He first loved us! I think that's how we can influence the whole world! By HIS LOVE!  
My thoughts on this are far more lengthy than I care to write about here, it has been a journey that has taken me awhile to get to this part of.  I just really believe that God is going to use this time in our lives to prepare us for what He has in store for us next. 


jul said...

very well put, you heathen! Sadly legalism has so deeply penetrated the church that sometimes it's actually healthy to take a rest from it all and bask in God's grace for awhile. But God is raising up grace churches all over the world as we type, and he's raising one up for you guys! He'll lead you to it when the time is right.

Amy said...

i agree with you juls, GOd will prepare you for the perftect church in HIS timing need to rush into something that isn't his will out of man's pressure to conform or whatever...I love your heart for the Lord. You are one of the most on fire women I know for Jesus, so I know this will not hurt your walk with God and most likely will only make it stronger. Wish you could come to Life Center!!!! I pray God leads you guys by His Spirit....enjoy resting in His great love for you!

Joel B. said...

I haven't "been to church" in 1 1/2 years (except a couple of services at my dad's church when we visit them), and I've really been enjoying the freedom of not being caught up in the whole 'act' of pleasing people and thinking I'm pleasing God by my dutiful attendance of meetings and service 'in the church.' Like you, I'm not against the whole thing, but it's definitely not for me right now.

I like what Angel said:

"I have often felt stifled trying to make someone else's vision of church come true."

One of the problems, it seems, in many churches is that the 'leadership' tends to think that they are the ones who have the correct vision and everyone else is there to follow along and make the vision happen. So many people are missing out on being who they've been created to be because they're stuck being what someone else wants them to be.

Anyway, there are indeed many great churches that meet together for the purpose of mutual edification and encouragement, and to fulfill many of the "one anothers" of scripture, and if that's what God wants for you, He'll definitely provide it. If not, I think He'll keep you content just "being" and resting. :)

One thing that has truly been a great source of my contentment with not being a part of any particular "church" is the understanding that we are the church. I "have" church all the time (!) - because I'm part of a living organism (the church), not part of a building or a program (a church).

It's my opinion that the church of the past few centuries has gone wrong by focusing so heavily on the weekly (or more often) meeting, rather than focusing on the reality of 24/7 body life. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we are the body.

Amy said...

Hi Angel! Of course I remember you!! :) :) xxxxxx

lydia said...

Wow, Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and encouragements!!! I am throwing every hindrance aside ya know - right now I feel like the church is a hindrance to the path I think the Lord currently has me and my family on, and I say this with sadness in my heart!
Angel, thanks for opening up and sharing so much about your own struggles too! And for pointing out about the kids, fortunately we have found a group of believers that regularly meet, that is not a church, that we are getting to know slowly and the kids are benefitting from that! I honestly have a sense that this "breather" won't last too long, so I am not worried of any lasting negative impact it will have on the kids.
I feel very blessed with many relationships in the broader body of Christ and those relationships have been the ones that have been my fellowship, encouraged me, prayed for me and been there for me, so I do not feel lost or like I am forsaking the brothers. Just a breather from formalized church going......Much grace and peace to you all!!!

lydia said...

Oh and Angel, isn't Amy's blog wonderful.....!!!! She's such an inspiration!!!

lydia said...

Wow Angel, that stuff you shared is pretty scary and makes you wonder if they even love God!!!! By the way you can write and share as much as you like on here, no worries!
You are fed up for good reason, God wants relationship and he wants a bride for His Son and the traditional religious church often just doesn't get it!!

Aida said...

Lydia, I love how you share your heart here. Actually, I still go to the Sunday morning service but don't do all of the other stuff. That being said, the form of church meeting we see today is nowhere described in the Bible. Although it's okay to meet that way, I really don't believe it's necessary.

I believe Father places each person in the body exactly how he chooses and that may not be to participate in a local congregation. Although I raised my children in an institutional church so I can't talk from experience, there are many people who have raised their children outside of "church" and the children today are strong followers of Christ. Therefore, I don't think you can assume it will hurt your children spiritually.

I think it's exciting that people today are finding freedom to be the church in a variety of ways and I believe Father is pleased also.


lydia said...

Thanks Aida, for your encouragement!!

Don said...

So, are you off *all* meetings? Are you meeting with the HOGL folks?

lydia said...

No we are still hoping to get to those as much as possible, but remember they are not a church, ha! We may go to meetings at other churches too, we are just not in a hurry to settle on "a" church to call home.......does that make you feel better? I know you are asking in care.....thanks!!!

Don said...


silent wings said...

We're in a simular place....only our journey has been a little different. The past 4 years have been a journey into grace and out of the institutional church simulataneously. We have never attended a legalistic church (though I grew up with that bent) but there was plenty of the law/grace mixture....which has been far more confusing to shed (sigh) About 7 years ago I began to question the instituational practices that we called "church" and felt very frustrated when new christians would ask questions about why we did such and such when the bible says the opposite or is silent really tired of giving the religious answer. Anyway, came across a couple websites and books as the years passed that confirmed so much of my inner struggle and answered alot of questions....and yet we stayed. Then God began to unravel my own false identity and self-righteousness.... we stepped down from ministry and as of last year we also made the step to leave the organized church as we've known it. It's been both incredible and a couple lonely. Your thoughts are encouraging and refreshing Lydia.

I was so blessed to find Julie by accident and to find out she lives only an hour away! :)

Tracy Simmons said...

Lydia Joy, what a fun post to read. It brought me down memory lane, a bit into my own past. My hubby and I left the whole institutional church behind 11 years ago. We thought at first we were only taking a break, but we never went back. I've been to a few services over the past decade, but once you've been set free it can be hard to sit there through the typical "service." We meet with a small group in our homes every week and find such life there.

Well, I just wanted to pop my head in and tell you to enjoy the ride, wherever it takes you!

lydia said...

Hi Tracy,
Thanks for your encouragement!! I believe I have read your blog a bit, found you through Aida's blog....! Yeah, I know some folks who have a small group community and worship God together in their homes and God is blessing their socks off and setting them free!!
I am enjoying the's a little bumpy, but that keeps it interesting, ha.....

More joy and freedom to you!!