What A Privilege!
by Wendy Exhorter
I am 50, born 1966. My mom's parents were what was called "old school". One of the key phrases I think represented my grandparents generation was "spare the rod spoil the child." It seems somehow the devil got Christians to believe it was ok to physically and mentally beat their children in the name of Jesus.
My mom's generation was the one that embraced Dr. Spock's notions of being kind and affectionate to your children. It seems the world needed to rebel against the Church to get something right! I grew up under the same angry God, by the time I came along it wasn't ok to beat your children in the name of Jesus, but the angry God has stuck even now in most churches.
As God was awakening my heart I came across Psalm 23 and remember thinking well David was a shepherd and he found the "rod" comforting! I concluded that when we use human fallen logic to interpret the Bible we come out with a view of God that doesn't even resemble who he is.
As I look through American history it is easy for me to see a syncretism take place between post modernism and Christianity which formed a new religion that I call Americanism.
The basic tenets being; what is American is Christian, the supernatural is for after we die, individualism, and the best way to govern the church is in the pattern of a business.
The abundance of lies that flowed are phenomenal, creating a being called the Church that couldn't be further from the Kingdom if it tried. I remember the first time I had the thought, "Hmm, individualism doesn't exist in the Bible! We are meant to be ONE Person, One Body, a new creation called The Bride. I am an I, but I am also a we."
There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't have to rid myself of another lie that I believed about God, myself and his Kingdom! Skip ahead and I am the 'leader' of a little group called Norfolk House of Prayer. We have become family. A little group of what we call 'misfit toys' that God loves and cherishes. We are just what you describe.
Each meeting is different. Sometimes we sit quietly and listen to music, sometimes we talk the whole time, sometimes we share something we are reading, we have even spent so many hours together most of us have fallen asleep just being together in God's Presence and we pray....there is no preplan and no one really leads.
We have come through a great deal together. We are learning the extreme joy of walking by faith, leaping for joy when hated and just chilling out and trusting God! We are learning to let ourselves feel that sense of 'tilt' as a normal thing as we learn new stuff about God daily, weekly!
We laugh, we cry, we dance, we sit quietly, I am in love with these people. We have had days when we just want to be together so we start at 10:30 am for 'church' and stay together till 7:00 at night. We can go hours being in the same room and not talking, not on electronics, not eating or drinking, literally just being. I had no idea that God is not flashy at all. He gives peace, rest, restoration. We are a story unfolding together. What a privilege.