Monday Morning Confessional

I confess that I make my confessions with a heavy heart today because my friend Bob Starkey died yesterday. Actually, we’re not sure when he died. He was found yesterday when he didn’t show up for church and some folks from RC got worried and went to check on him. I confess that Bob’s sobriety, after years of homelessness cause primarily by his drinking, gave me hope. Bob was such an important part of our church community that I cannot imagine worshiping every week without him. I confess that I will be sad to have to mourn the loss of my friend, but I am grateful to have known him, thankful that he is in the arms of a loving God now, and that he’ll be made whole again.

I confess that I am overwhelmed with gratitude and joy that our crazy little church continues to love the unlovable and accept the unacceptable in the name of Jesus. You are the real thing, Redemption Church. I am so fortunate to be a part of this rag-tag bunch of Christians.

I confess that for two weeks in a row, KC has been hit with a major snowstorm. At my house we’ve had around 2 feet of snow in that time. I confess that I’m wishing there was a way to make it three weeks in a row. Snowed in = happy family. I love winter.

I confess that I’m about to jump into Alister McGrath’s new biography on C.S. Lewis and I cannot wait. From what I can tell it looks as though it will give much more of his childhood background than the other Lewis biographies I’ve read. This is going to be good.

I confess that the pastor’s path to Easter is a steady crescendo of activity, preparation, and intensity. I confess that I’m pressing on toward Holy Week with a bit of trepidation, hoping not to slide into a daily rhythm that I will have to try and recover from when it is over.

I confess that in response to an article I wrote for The Huffington Post last week, I received the normal amount of comments and emails in which civility was, let’s just say, “lacking.”  The literally hundreds of sniping, snarky, critiques (553 at last count), honestly don’t bother me much. I’m used to it and I can actually enjoy engaging with those who are serious, and ignore those who are just trying to be mean. However, I confess that – and this is my true confession – that I also got a few phone calls from people I don’t know who demanded an explanation for what I was saying, or just wanted to go off on me about how I was a horrible human being and shouldn’t be allowed to be a pastor. I confess that it feels unnerving that people I’ve never met or heard of, folks I have no relational connection to, could just cyber-stalk me, get my phone number, call me, and lay into me about something I’ve written.

I confess that there is something fishy going on with my car. I confess that I’m not a car guy at all; I can’t even change my oil. But for the past few weeks my car has smelled bad & when I investigated I discovered that my passenger floor boards were wet. I dried everything out, but I have been told that there is either something wrong with my heater (cha-ching), or a clogged reservoir drain from the sun-roof or the windshield well (easy fix). Took it in, but nothing decisive was found. Problem is? It still smells… ugh. I confess that car trouble is depressing.

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • Josiah H

    I confess that I didn’t know Bob well and I hurt more for the people I know that are hurting from the loss. I also confess that seeing the death of someone who by every worldly standard was worthless hit a church full of Johnson county dwellers so hard is heart warming cause in this time of pain and celebration I have seen the love of God. Redemption church is in that wonderfully messy battle field where we can meet God!
    On another note this lent has been very good for me as I feel God meet me in both the breaking of an addiction Ave the building up of new good habits.

  • Jodi B

    I confess that after reading the comments on your awesome article, I lost a little bit of faith in humanity. I confess it makes me angry when people attack someone I love, respect and know leads well. But, given the message on self-righteous anger yesterday, I confess that I need to chill out.

  • http://www.j-hall.net J. Hall

    I confess that i am in a real crap mood this morning for no real reason. I feel like i need to smash something. I confess that i’ve received what i’ve asked for, and i’m not sure it’s what i want anymore. Today, self-employment just sucks. I find people (the ones i’m stuck with in a small room for weeks on end) to have limited vision. they act like they are geniuses, but in reality, they beg, borrow and down right steal from all those “ahead” of them.

    I confess that my assistant is leaving for tour in a few days, and while i’ve done my job alone for 14 years, i’m not sure what to do without him. maybe i’ll sleep, and try to dream of a better mood.

  • http://www.Yeshua21.com/ Wayne

    So good to hear that your Huff-Post article was not ignored… I confess that I enjoyed the article and just shared it in the “Celebrating Creation through Natural Selection” Facebook group under the following caption: “Natural Selection in the Evolution of the Church: The Case for Theological Diversity”

    So sorry to hear about your friend’s passing. I confess that I think “hope” is a very problematic, confusing, and misleading concept. On the one hand, life is intrinsically fresh and new every moment, so there is no reason to despair. On the other hand, much that goes by the name of hope is merely despair in disguise. How much unecessary pressure does our attachment to this kind of “hope” put on ourselves and others? To what extent does an emphasis on “hope” lead to the very kind of scenarios that you were lamenting on Feb.28:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paperbacktheology/2013/02/lenten-question-of-the-week-what-distractionsaddictions-are-keeping-you-from-god.html

    Hopelessness should not be equated with despair. Sometimes, we grieve as we and/or those we love are crucified. Sometimes we dance, as new growth springs to life. Through it all, we have, in Christ, an inner peace and satisfaction which is unshakable, whatever the turn of events. But only if (and insofar as) we are willing to take up our cross and walk in the light as he is in the light.

    I confess that I’ve been thinking a lot about “narrative” lately and have been fantasizing about a book or essay entitled: “From Narrative to Faith”. Suffice it to say, for now, that “the best stories are true, whether they happened or not” (John Steinbeck) precisely because (and insofar as) they teach us not to take our personal stories too seriously. Self-actualization is here & now, in Christ–not in some imagined future where the story of me is finally resolved. Indeed, the story of “me” can only be resolved on the cross. But watch out! The ressurection and the life is totally unpredicatable and does not generally conform to our hopes or expectations.

    http://jeshua21.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/peter-what-god-has-made-clean/

  • Sara Kline

    I confess that I failed last week in many of my lent practices. And, for no good reason, other than I lack discipline. I confess that I will miss church for three weeks in a row and already feel a heavy heart over it. It feels like a piece of me isn’t quite the same when I am not there. I confess that I have been short with my kids for no reason and have found myself wanting some space. On a lighter note, I confess that I think I am needing to give up coffee altogether but am not sure how I will go on when I can’t drink coffee or Diet Coke.


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