Thursday, August 30, 2007

Journey West

Well, I want to share with everyone a little about the past month in my “Life in the Journey.” Last month, my family moved from Wake Forest to San Francisco for my husband, Ed, to begin work on his PhD. We lived in Wake Forest for three years, welcoming our first son into the family and being involved in an awesome church family.
We did have our reservations about moving away from our church family, but we had always been pretty open to change and thought it would be a fun adventure. We weighed the options of staying in Wake Forest or moving to San Francisco, and decided that we would move. I didn’t want Ed to regret not taking the chance to work on his PhD with a professor he really loved. Plus, if Ed wanted to pursue a career in teaching, he would need to get the degree.
It has been a month now since we moved, and we feel more homesick now than ever before. We are feeling very alone and isolated. There are other couples here on the campus, and we have gotten together with them. I’ve made a few friends. But I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I am so sad. We are both feeling it, and we talk daily about what we should do now that we are here and wishing we were back home.
I asked Ed if he thought we made a mistake in coming out here. We both agreed that it was the right thing to do. God had opened the doors for us to be out here, with Ed studying under the professor he really wanted. No, we don’t feel like we made a mistake in coming here. But should we stay? We don’t know.
As I pray about this, I’m reminded that I need to be asking, “What’s God teaching me in this?” I don’t want to miss out on how the Lord is leading me through this. The problem is, I don’t think we’ve figured it all out quite yet. Ed and I agreed that we have learned that our focus and our hearts’ desire is to be molded by Christ. We have felt a lot less emphasis on “what we’re going to do in life” and a lot greater desire to be the man/woman, father/mother, husband/wife that God desires us to be. And we’ve learned just how important family is to us. We miss our church family like crazy. And we miss my family as well.
I’m not sure what the future holds for us. And I guess we are learning that we have to continue to trust in the Lord for that. We are scared to “give up” and go home. Ed doesn’t want to feel like a failure, and I don’t want to let him down. But I know in my head that we shouldn’t be afraid of what people will think about us. God reminds me of the Scripture to “fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith.”
I don’t have any great conclusions, because I don’t feel like I’m at a point of conclusion in any of this. We’re definitely a work in progress. But I want to be transparent in what God is doing in our lives. We’ll keep you posted…

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Homosexuals and the Church

Many of you may have heard of High Point Church in Texas. They have made some headlines, because they refused to allow a homosexual's memorial service in their church. The American Family Association has linked to an article called, Texas church refuses to host memorial service that would have glorified homosexuality. Here is a link to the High Point Church statement regarding this issue, High Point Church Could Not Allow an Openly Homosexual Service in the Church.

A member of this group had an ill brother. When he passed away the Church offered the use of their building for a memorial service. They were in the process of putting together a video of the mans life when someone noticed some openly homosexual pictures. After alerting the pastor, they decided that they need to withdraw their initial offer. They could not allow them to use their facilities for a homosexual memorial service.

The statement reads, "The issue was not whether we would hold a memorial service for someone in a lifestyle of sin. We have assisted many families in this regard. The issue was whether we would allow an openly homosexual service that celebrated and emphasized homosexuality in our church. . . . We will not allow homosexuality to be glorified in this house of worship whether it is in a memorial or in a wedding."

But they did not leave the family high and dry, the statement continues, "To assist the family in securing another location, an alternative venue was paid for - which the family declined. We produced for the family the memorial video they requested without the inappropriate photos. We also prepared and delivered food for the family and one hundred relatives and friends."

After reading these articles I sense that the major issue was the building, not the man who had died. They could not allow a man who lived in open sin, and a service that promoted that sin, to exist inside of their "house of worship." They felt that this act would show that they condone homosexuality. Yet, they had no problem offering to pay for the use of another building for this man's memorial service.

Now, I believe that homosexuality is a sin but is it possible for an open homosexual to be a Christian?

Do you think they made wise decision by withdrawing their offer?
Do you think they made a wise decision by offering to pay for another building?

What do you think Jesus would have done in this situation?

Personally, I do not think Jesus would have owned a building, but he probably would have gone to the memorial service to teach, disciple, discipline, and heal.

Have we put the institution, the building, above the people?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Would you trade your life for someone else's life?

For those who have not heard, on Sunday, August 12, 2007, a gunman entered a church building, killed three people, wounded five others, and held several hostage until he finally surrendered to police. This is one account of what happened during the incident:

Witnesses told police that Saimon held a gun to one man's head and asked if anyone in the church was willing to trade their life for the man's, an investigator said. After no one stepped forward, the gunman shot the hostage, he said.
Now, this is a witness' report to police. Is this the way it happened? We don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. But, these two sentences have caused me to stop and consider a very important question: Would I trade my life for someone else's life?

As I talked about this with my family, we all agreed that there were some people that we would give our life in order to save. Of course, it is easy to say this when we are not staring down the barrel of an automatic handgun. I think Margaret's (my wife's) response was the best - and I have to admit that I did not think of it first. She said, "I especially hope that I would be willing to give my life for someone who is not saved."

But, what about you? Would you be willing to give your life in exchange for someone else's life? Is there someone - are there some people - who you would not sacrifice yourself to save?

If we are not willing to give our lives from someone (anyone), what does this say about our understanding of death, life, and love?