Friday, February 15, 2013

Dear fellow Christ Followers,

Can we please place a moratorium on assuming that we know the depths of another person's faith?  Can we please stop making pronouncements on places such as blogs and "spacehook" and comments on newspaper articles or magazine articles that basically say that no matter what a person may SAY about their beliefs, we will not believe them because they don't operate the way we think the should operate.  Or they don't say the things we think they should say if they truly do profess faith and so we say things to discount their faith.

It's tiring, it's belittling and it says a whole heck of a lot more about our lack of faith in a really big God who can do amazingly big things to say that someone whose ideals look different than ours isn't a Christ follower.  Instead of talking with someone, getting to know them, spending time with them, investing in their life, many times we sit on the sidelines, judging from afar, never really interacting with another person and really getting to know where they are in the matter of belief and faith.

This tendency is magnified a million times over when the person we are sitting in judgment of is a celebrity or someone in the media spotlight.  So, until I sit down in a conversation with the President of the United States, the Queen of England or any other person in power or in the celebrity spotlight, I will take them at their word in regards to their beliefs in a higher power.  I refuse to be one of those Christ Followers who sits in judgment of another persons faith without really knowing that person...and yes, while you are judging others for this very reason, I will be judging you for judging them. 


Really not perfect, unjustly judgmental (at times) and willing to admit it Brittany

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ministry for the moment

For the last year and a half I have been wondering what my place is within the church. Changing churches has made the question even more pronounced. While I knew people at New church, they had no real idea about my gifts or talents. They welcomed me in, and I have enjoyed being a pew "sitter".

Friday afternoon I was thinking about the weekend and the thought ran through my head, "On Sunday I am sitting in the balcony at church."  Most Sunday's Yo Momma and I sit on the comfy but creaky chairs on the main floor.  Yo Momma is an extrovert and she likes the interaction with people. I am definitely an introvert and I like to hide. Yo Momma has been out of town, so the balcony was beckoning.

Then the phone rang.

A couple of weeks ago the phone rang at 3:30pm on Saturday. On the other end was the piano player for the first service...the guitar player and leader was sick, could I fill in?  It was either say yes or don't go to church (that Sunday was a combined service.)  I said yes.

Friday afternoon was at least 24 hours more notice than the time.  So much for sitting in  balcony.

After church (everything went well) I was talking with someone about the opportunities for ministry that we either ignore or follow God's leading.  I suddenly realized this is my ministry, for the moment.  I am the back-up worship leader.  Most Sunday's I will sit in the pews and participate from there.  Every once in a while, though, I will respond to the last minute call or even those a couple weeks with advance notice.

My ministry is to be a support to those in the spotlight all the time, to give them a week off every so often and to fill in at the last minute when life happens.

So in two weeks I will fill in for the first service and two weeks after that I will fill in at the church around the corner and after that, well I will just wait and see where I am asked to go next.

Just call me the worship leader substitute.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I am a rule girl.  I follow the rules.  Yes, there are times when I like to push the boundaries of the rules (especially, these days, when it comes to understanding God, the Bible and Christianity) but I am a hard wired, follow the rules kinda girl.

One rule that I have been told all my life, and that has spawned many a fantastic sitcom episode, is that tasting food in the supermarket is forbidden.  You cannot pick up a bag of grapes, open the bag and taste one and then not buy the bag of grapes.  There is no taste testing in supermarkets...

Except yesterday, I was in the supermarket and I was looking at the grapes, and the lady working in the produce section looked at me and said, "taste one before you buy it."  WHAT?!?!  I know my face showed my complete lack of disbelief as I said "Are you serious?"  "Absolutely," she replied,   "we want you to. In fact, if you want to taste an orange, I'll go over and cut one open for you."  I looked around for the candid camera.  Not kidding.  I thought maybe an alarm would go off and the produce police would come out and fine me but I reached into the bag of grapes, with the produce person watching and tasted a grape.  No alarm bells, no produce police and no grapes.  They were sour, even the red ones.

I'm not sure how I feel about this change in rules and I honestly don't know if it's all supermarkets or just this one in town that wants us to taste test the produce before purchasing but I'll tell you what, I certainly appreciated not spending $4 on sour grapes yesterday.  As for the orange, well, I don't really like them anyway so I didn't take her up on the offer.  It is nice to know, though, that some rules are made to be broken.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The car phenomenon redux

When I was in youth ministry I used to be amazed at the power held by the front seat of the car.  Not just those annoying squabbles that would start the moment the car came into view about who got "shot gun" but the power the front seat had to turn the quietest kid into a veritable fountain of words. It was not the wisest decision to drive teens places by myself, I recognize my naivete looking back, but those moments driving kids home were precious and so important.

Of course, the car phenomenon also occurred when other teens were in the car but it took on a different twist.  The adult driver, whoever they were, ceased to be a person with ears listening to the conversation.  I learned more about the youth in the youth group I was leading driving on a 2 hour car trips than I did at youth group nights for two months.   Only the shrewdest of youth members would remember that I was driving the car, but usually it was like I wasn't in there or suddenly couldn't understand their language, the fountain of words would just flow.  I would  pipe in from time to time with a comment, especially when the conversation got a little too iffy for a youth group trip, or burst out laughing at the most absurd parts of the conversation just because I could not contain the laughter any more.  Those conversations are why we had monthly youth group excursions to places at least a half hour away.

A few former youth members, whom I now call friends, and I headed out to the Big City this past weekend.  It was about an hour and a half car ride.  The topics of discussion were varied and fun and we reminisced about the days of long youth group car trips.  They are at a point now where they are the adults taking youth group members places and they experience what I experienced.  It was awesome.

But the moment that clinched the whole day for me came in the 10 minute car ride from dropping one person off to the other persons house.  I was driving, they were in the back seat (too tired to move) and the power of the back seat was immense.  The fountain of words began to flow, so much so that we sat in their driveway for 10 minutes just talking.  I looked in the rear view mirror at this former youth member, who I now call friend, and tried really hard not to cry.  For sitting looking back at me was an adult, but also a teenager I had shuttled home for years, and there I was listening to them share their heart all these years later.

While much has changed, the phenomenon of the car remains.