I was reminded this morning during a moment of prayer that I am to be contrite and not contrary. I was asking God to give me something worth saying on this blog site today. I am usually not short of words, but have wrestled with where to begin since receiving an invitation to join this experiment.
Quickly I knew the foundation of my posts would be centered in prayer and hospitality from the perspective of a follower of Jesus. More specifically, I sensed the purpose of my sharing in this endeavor is to be prayer and hospitality in the context of church planting with a disposition toward seeking the Kingdom of God.
Sometimes it seems I have so much to say that it’s hard to say anything at all. I have a rambling conversation going on in my head frequently. There’s a lot of talk going on inside of here. I think they call that internal conversation.
I talk to myself a lot.
I also talk with God.
So, this morning on a walk enveloped in prayer I asked God what I should say into the virtual space given to me.
I was reminded of how the invitation to post here came to be. I was introduced to Doug Pagitt by a pastor who gifted to me a copy of Doug’s book A Christianity Worth Believing: Hope-filled, open-armed, alive-and-well faith for the left out, left behind, and let down in us all. The title intrigued me upon receipt. The inscription the pastor personally penned in ink pissed me off.
“A gift to a God breathed contrarian of a story of another contrarian. Your voice needs to be heard, keep speaking.”
Re-reading those words today makes me smile. I’ve come a long way since my eyes originally tracked over them in 2008.
It took me 18 months to take Doug’s book off the shelf to read it. I read it in one sitting.
I quickly realized a need to consider a move from contrary to contrition.
Words of my childhood came back to me even without the beads,
“O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen”
I called the pastor and confessed my angst and sorrow. I thanked him. I think he laughed…in forgiveness.
That act led to an unexpected meeting of the book’s author.
And now…here I am.
I pray through this opportunity God will use me to encourage another in the ways of following Jesus as a leader of new community.
I vow to remain genuine and true to the call on my life with hope that many, many people will come to a growing faith in Jesus.
He is our hope. I believe.
I invite you to follow along and virtually join in the sharing of an adventure of a church planter named Maggie rooted and established in the love of Christ leading a baby church called Bull City Vineyard in the city of Durham, North Carolina.
I recently read, “Prayer often involves us in what sociologists call “unintended consequences.” I find those words to be hopeful.
Come along with me and together, I hope, we’ll find something we can smile about down the road.