Connecting With Others
It's been awhile since our last podcast so Wayne takes the opportunity to share where the last six weeks have led him and the wonderful joy of living a less public life for a season. It allowed some fresh creativity to arise which will take him on a different trajectory for the next few months. He also looks back at the extensive conversation that followed the last podcast as people were celebrating gracious connections they were having with other listeners and their hunger to connect more locally with others. Letters from listeners continue that discussion as we find healthy, non-controlling ways to share God's life with others and in doing so participate in the bride that is taking shape around the world.
The God Journey Forum
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Great sharing! What you related about people writing in about feeling alone just so hit the mark for me. We are not alone! In reality, we are really free to love the way God has called us to love. We faded from “organizational religion’ several years ago. There is always the temptation to ‘fall back in line’ with habits and thinking at times, but your answer of knowing God deeply in a relational way and loving others is so rich and satisfying and it is reality!
You reach a place in your inner journey with God, where you do not “need” human affirmation and human criticism feels like a baby throwing a tantrum. It is all irrelevant. Perceptions and perspectives change and in many ways it is a mystery because there is no reason.
You instinctively recognise what is peripheral and what is pivotal and many times, you listen to those whose views are pivotal to their existence but they are irrelevant in yours and the moment before you want to share your point of view, you realise they will not comprehend your point of view and suddenly you know it is not necessary to say anything. All that is required is to be the affirming voice in their lives because that is what they need.
As humans we are always seeking to build a tent for those we hold in high esteem so they can stay with us. It is human nature. Yet, when we heed the father’s voice, we often are told to dismantle the man-made structure regardless of its good intentions.
Every “church” is good and it has good intentions and many, many, many people have radically different lives as a consequence of these places. Yet when we move beyond the religious rule-bound lifestyle and come into intimate contact with Father, the scales fall off our eyes and we can behold the pretense bolstered up by ritual.
And here is the amazing thing, God’s love constrains us from deriding that which we now intrinsically recognise as empty and unfulfilling. I am reminded of the scripture where Jesus looked on the crowds and they were as lost sheep and he had compassion on them and it is so easy to love them even in your exasperation. Now there is a miracle. 🙂
And sometimes God guides us away from others, when we would become an idol in their life because after all, He is a jealous God and does not want us to have an intermediary. The seasons testify to a God that seeks drastic change to the point of causing death so that new life can come forth. Death is part of the cycle of life. If something does not die, new life cannot come about and sometimes that which needs to die, is beautiful and good.
We need to trust this God of seasons with our lives and the things in our lives…..Peter said, it is good to build a tent…..but Jesus did not concede. Tents symbolise anything that causes us to stagnate….even if it is beautiful and good…..
I am thankful for seasons in my life and for the people and insights that are a part of those seasons. I am okay with my life being seasonal. Everything in my life is or has been seasonal. Everyone in my life, except Jesus, is or has been seasonal. Some seasons last more than others.
A lot of the disfunction in my life has come from the belief…
“This is the way I’m going to do it because this is the way it has always been done. Who am I to change or disagree.”
I am thankful for the journey I have been on and the roads I have travelled. I have met a lot of people and more often than not, they have been a blessing and a compliment to my life. Some I am still in relationship with, some have travelled a different road than the one I am on.
I am thankful for this time in my life and I am thankful for what the God Journey has contributed to it. I don’t feel alone on this road. There are others that pass by me and offer understanding. That is priceless. I have learned to love and to receive love from those who don’t understand and that makes the journey beautiful as well.
I am choosing not to see people as boxed in anymore. The labels are not helpful in my relationships. People just have different journeys. When I put boxes around another person, it keeps me from entering their life. I know that when I put a box around myself… I keeps others out. I don’t like that.
I do have an avenue in my writing to vent my theological frustrations… because they still surface. I figure if I can restrict my frustrations to my blog they they don’t become a battle weapon with my loved ones. Gentleness really is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. I am learning it… albiet slow, but I am learning.
Thank you to everyone who has been out there and encouraged me in this season of my life. We really are not alone.
Ruby from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
What really struck me in this podcast is the bit (about 15 minutes from the end) about God treating us as friends and teaching us how to treat others as friends, not matter if they are “like-minded” or not… I recently shared about Abraham being God’s friend and God wanting us as friends (for a long time I beliefed that only the “special ones” get to be God’s friend, Abraham, Moses, David…) but somehow I never made the connection Wayne points out… Thank you, Wayne!
I like the picture Wayne has chosen to go with this podcast – I once read that if one bird gets ill and cannot fly, two or three others stay behind with it – if it recovers (or dies) they are still able to fly in formation and thus reach their destination they are unable to reach on their own (uses too much energy). Father knows we need one another and should we for some reason not have “other birds” around us let’s not forget that the Holy Spirit is both dove AND wind, well able to carry us where our own wings cannot take us.
Thanks for the new podcast. I have enjoyed the journey, who knows where you will be led. So, from me, thanks.
I was with my group this morning and shared the quotes from The Shack about “all roads lead to God. No, Mac, most roads don’t lead anywhere. But there isn’t a road i won’t travel down to get to you.” We were reading Ephesians Chapter 3 this morning. It related. Actually been tearing up all day thinking about that and what some of the guys are going through.
Some of the guys are struggling with serious issues. Wife has serious, painful, terminal cancer. Another’s spouse had a stroke and speech has been very slow in returning. Another had open heart surgery and things changed regarding his employment. Serious stuff and it was nice to share about the God who cares, who talks with us, who leads us. He never stops. We had a great time of sharing, praying, caring, laughing. Which we can do even in the midst of stuff. Someone started off with the names of towns, and I mentioned Athol, Idaho which I suggested was named by someone who had a lisp………. I have no idea where we will head when we start each Saturday, but entering my 22nd season with some of the guys it seems to work. By the way, politically & theologically we are all over the board. Very little commonality there. Our focus is Jesus.
Thanks again. Thanks for sharing. It has been wonderful and life changing.
Wayne, when I first heard this podcast, last Friday, I was immediately moved to comment, but I did not know what to say. Now, after listening again, I am still moved. So here goes.
M wife, this morning, shared a dream she had about a home we lived in, in Nebraska, quite a few years ago. It was one of several homes we have built in our various moves around this wonerful country.
Without going into all the details of this dream, I will just say she was standing in that home today, and it was in a very run down state due to years of neglect. At the end on this dream, the light of the rising sun came through the living room window and I, in the dream, commented that this home always had good light.
This poscast highlighted the fact that all things made with human hands will fail and decay without love. Though the light is ever present, the recipe must contain love for life to exist. Without it decay takes over and nothing remains.
A number of years ago, during a particularly difficult time in my life involving a job loss and 9 months of unemployment, God gave me a word through a very obedient woman. In this word, she told me I had a call to full time ministry on my life, something I already knew. She further went on to tell me “it is till there, but you are not to seek it. It will come in it’s own time.”
Through this podcast, God revealed that all of this pulling away from the existing church is part of this full time ministry. As a Human Resource manager for a major American corporation, I have been given a rare forum to share the love of Jesus without beating people with the religious message. I am blessed to be able to share the love of Jesus full time without worrying about an income stream.
Several years ago I stopped writing in my blog as a result of the pressure to keep getting something out there. Now I understand. It isn’t about performance; it is about serving and sharing the love of Jesus.
God bless you for all you and your wife to. If ever you are in Georgia, please let me know. We are about 2 hours south of Atlanta and I would love to have you spend some time in conversation with us and a few really close friends who are struggling with this same call away from the institution of church to serve Him.
Hey, wait a minute! Just listened again to the podcast. I had NO IDEA that you weren’t Presbyterians………….
Hi David. I may get to Atlanta some time in the not-so-distant future. Would love to see if it fit in for me to come hang out with some of you, but a long time ago I lost track of all the people I know, where they live, and who wants me to contact them when I’m planning a trip to their area. So, I have an email list that tracks all that for me now. If you’d like to be notified when I’m coming to your area you can sign up for Travel Notifications
on my website.
Excellent excellent podcast. So much of it resonated with me on many levels and many different seasons along the way. Especially enjoyed Christie’s letter and your subsequent thoughts. Being the former (10+ years ago) right hand man to a HC network cult leader I can say the observations shared were pretty accurate at least to my experience.
Looking forward to the book coming out and all the conversations that it will surely stir up.
When I heard “I wonder if there really is something more” it took me back to when I was confirmed at 14. I had that same thought and concluded “everyone’s doing it so this must be all there is.” It was only 3 years later that I found the “something more.” I asked the bishop why the church confirmed teenagers when there really was something more. I don’t think he had any idea what I was talking about. He replied that it kept them in the church.
Being lonely – I believed that Jesus would bring the body together outside of the Sunday meetings and it was hard to accept the fact that He wasn’t going to do that. I think we all have our own journey. Some have found real fellowship but mine seems to be in the world, just loving people. It’s been a big learning curve. I was so religious I didn’t know how to relate to nonbelievers, my religious friends ditched me the moment I left the services. They seem to be afraid of me as if I will contaminate them. Being able to connect on this site is a real blessing. I have found that Jesus is sufficient. The words that often come to me are “though none go with me I still will follow”. What is important is that Jesus led me out of the Sunday meetings and I continue to follow Him as I hear his voice. Leaving without hearing His voice is scary.
It is only this year that I have joined a non-religious women’s coffee group and have found some people to talk to. It is wonderful to have conversation. They don’t gossip and some are quite caring. I am learning to take an interest in them without manipulating the conversation around to Jesus. Some are church goers. Religion is a banned topic. Julie, try 22 years and there’s no way I would go back.
Language – I hear Wayne saying that some language is divisive and other inclusive. I thought your website was for those who were outside the box but now I know that we are a mixture and I need to be careful with my language. I understand what happens to people who leave the Sunday meetings. It can be devastating.
Wow Michelle! You have said it all so well. It used to seem to me that when I found a friend Jesus moved them away. I understand why now. I relied on them instead of Jesus.
Ruby said “I am thankful for seasons in my life and for the people and insights that are a part of those seasons. I am okay with my life being seasonal. Everything in my life is or has been seasonal. Everyone in my life, except Jesus, is or has been seasonal. Some seasons last more than others.”
After a struggle I am learning this.
“I am choosing not to see people as boxed in anymore. The labels are not helpful in my relationships. People just have different journeys. When I put boxes around another person, it keeps me from entering their life. I know that when I put a box around myself… It keeps others out. I don’t like that.”
This is something I need to learn.
Glad to see you are still around. Enjoy the coffee club. Sometimes I only had a friend or 2. Listen enjoy your new friendships. God will use them in your life. You are just beginning. Enjoy the trip. Mark.
Thanks Mark. I have really enjoyed our sharing here. Talk to you again.
From experience, it’s impossible to have friendships or any kind of close relationship with people who have a whole different belief system. You want to because you want to be “Loving” but you can’t. Believe me, I’ve tried. when Jesus opened my eyes to grace, the truth, a natural seperation happened between my family and I. It’s hard to give all of your self and have a close relationship with someone who doesn’t walk in truth as you do. You may try to force it but there will always be a seperation. Now I’m not saying you can’t talk to the person but it’s impossible to have a close relationship. I talk and laugh with people every day who aren’t in truth but it’s impossible for me to give all of my self to them and be close. Grace and Law can’t mix. Light and darkness can’t mix.
Wayne, You are such an encouragement to me because you share your journey in a very real way. i look forward to reading the book you’re working on.