Periodically I will get on a roll and totally immerse myself in learning about something I’m interested in. When I get a day off and time to just do whatever I want, I love to go deep into exploration of some topic.
When I discovered The Meeting House when I heard Wayne Jacobson, one of the authors of the best selling book, THE SHACK, have a conversation with Bruxy Cavey, author of the best selling book, THE END OF RELIGION. I thoroughly enjoyed their interaction. It was so refreshing to hear the pastor of a successful and large church, The Meeting House, being able to be in so much alignment with Wayne.
I found THE SHACK when I did a google search about four years ago when I was in a kind of dark night of the soul, depressed and despairing for many reasons including the fact that I was physically and spiritually drained from spending twelve to sixteen hours a day on Ron Paul‘s campaign for the past four months. Having had a falling out with my fellowship because of the fact that I had doubts about the inerrancy of scriptures and a few other things, I was separated from my spiritual community. I was also not spending much time with my family because I believed that focusing on championing freedom was more important.
When I googled something like, “where are you God? I am so discouraged? I just don’t want to live any more. I need something. I don’t know what. Jesus, I need you.” I was lead to the book THE SHACK. I knew without a doubt that reading this book would help me, and I spent my last sixteen dollars purchasing the last copy of the book at Hastings.
Reading THE SHACK connected me with the love of God like nothing ever had. I came into a belief that God really did love me–and that this was a solid Biblical teaching. I felt inspired to deepen my walk with Jesus. My faith was stronger because of this book.
All that being said, I place a high value on Wayne Jacobson because he helped write THE SHACK. I listened to his podcasts, and listened to his great teachings on the Bible where I could see the bible as a love story for us. So when he invites a guest to be on his podcast, I am almost always very inspired. I think Bruxy was the most inspiring guest I ever heard.
The lovely thing about a podcast is that one can then go to a link to learn more about the guest. So I visited The Meeting House website, where Bruxy is teaching pastor. I was so impressed by how Bruxy taught the Bible–with humour often, but with great insight, compassion and scholarship. I have done a ton of research into Christian apologetics, and I think I can tell when someone knows what they are talking about. But what I valued the most is something I value about Wayne Jacobson–Bruxy and other teachers on the site just kept encouraging me to follow Jesus and develop a relationship with him.
Because my family is on vacation and I have the whole house to myself, just for this period I am able to watch anything I want while I get things done in the kitchen/living room/dining area. At first when I had the space, I was watching Burn Notice, a series on TV about a burned spy, and then I got hooked for four sessions of an English series about three nannies in eighteenth century England called Berkeley Square. . I had gotten a number of DVD’s from the library, but nothing was really jumping out at me.
Part of me felt justified to watch just whatever I wanted. After all, I was getting stuff done in the house. I had worked really hard non-stop for three weeks. I liked listening to Larry Crabb and his series about the Bible, but I felt resistant to watching or listening to spiritual stuff. I wanted to be distracted.
So when I discovered Bruxy, and started watching his sermons, I got hooked. I no longer was drawn by any other media. I wanted to get to know this man and this church so I could determine whether or not I would approach them with my ideas about community. I was looking to see if there were any red flags. But I only found more to love–like the fact that they are a peace church. I could never fully get behind peace churches because of various differences–so I had given up ever finding one that I could associate with. But this is a strong conviction I hold–of pacifism and non-violence.
When I would get home from work, as I made my dinner or did chores or ate my dinner, I would watch the current series, The Great Co-Mission. When I had a little extra time, I would check out things like The Round Table discussion podcasts for leadership so I could get a sense of how mentoring was happening.I was thrilled to listen to the authors the book, Climate for Change Andrew Farley and Katherine Hayhoe. I participated in a local book forum with this book and I was glad to hear that Bruxy and his wife were concerned about the environment.
Today was my first day off since I discovered Bruxy, and I have spent about nine hours re-listening to parts of sermons so that I could review them in this blog.I read all the papers Bruxy wrote about such controversial topics as gay marriage and divorce, remarriage, and leadership. I also reviewed some of these papers and added my own experience and insights. Getting this in depth look at the beliefs of the church gave me further confidence that I am in alignment with this group.
I also read all the beliefs of the denomination that The Meeting House belongs to, Brethren in Christ. . I felt drawn to watch a video, IN MEMORIAM, and tears ran down my cheeks as I listened to a beautiful song and looked at pictures of diseased pastors and leaders. Wow! Most of them lived a long time.
I read Bruxy’s blog which is way too short. I check out this great event called One Roof where all the home churches came together to fellowship and hear the mission for the next year as well as dance. I liked dancing along with the video. I learned about the mission for the next four years which is just so inspoiring and motivating.
You know, ever since I left the methodist Church when i was sixteen, Ihave been on a quest to fine my niche, my tribe. I was fortunate to have two two children who I am very close to. Eventhough I am no longer married to their fathers, I am also close to them. So I have a family. I have a place to fellowship with many friends who I have gone through hell and back over the pst decade. With my family I own 27 acres of land where I dream of having a community some day. I am truly blessed in many ways. But I have yet to find the group where I can feel in alignment with one hundred percent.
It was only about four months ago that I thought I found a church that I could belong to and pour my heart into. then I discovered through a series of extremely disappointing experiences that this church was in many ways cult-like. I saw how the leadership was secretive and how young people were in some ways seduced by a sense of community–but I knew the teachings were not based on scripture once I was able to free myself from the longing from the community that was offered. I thought I read everything on the website with objectivity, but looking back, I realize that the words were flat and lifeless.
What I love about The Meeting House website is that it is full of sermons that are delivered in an interesting, biblical way always leading to following Jesus. By listening, I get to not only get my chores done, but I get to know these people better. I know–I have gone through this before–on the surface everyone looks great–but then you get there, and the people are different. Okay, that might be true. But every word I hear, mannerism I experience, visuals seen, sounds of voices, screams out at me–these people are really committed to following Jesus.
But rather than me going there–although I would love to visit–I am hoping to draw some people to the potential community that I hope to have. I will be writing moe about that soon. very soon. But for now. I just wanted to express that I am so inspired by Bruxy and the Meeting house.
I started looking for some links so I could include them in this blog, and I discovered yet another video by ruxy that drew me in called I hate religion by I love Jesus. i haven’t finished this sermon–I really need to go to the laundry mat (will I make it?) but once again I just could not resist. I did love listening to this poem gone viral on youtube.
My biggest issue with getting acquainted with the folks at The Meeting House is that what I experience from a distance causes me to feel a hole in my heart t hat yearns for more community. Day to day community. I hope and pray I can write about it tonight. but what I am doing is filling this hole with food. fortunately, healthy food–but food none the less. I just ate four small baked potatoes with sour cream That is way too much food for me.
I am reminded that my dreams for community where we are living together in many ways like the early Christians is really possible. Yet I feel so sad parts of me tell me it will never be. But I believe it is possible that a group of folks from places like The Meeting House might want to be missionaries who live super simply and cheaply and who want to live together as community and come to help Living Springs, Madison county, Arkansas, and Northwest Arkansas become a place where the many people who are disillusioned with Christians and Christianity might be inspired by a worshipping, serving, loving community. It is possible, I just know it–for with God, nothing is impossible.
Okay, I am going to get that laundry done now. I can do it. I can drag myself away from this computer and watching Bruxy and The Meeting House related stuff. With
God, nothing is impossible.