My Feeble Attempt at a Blog

2007 Triangle Harvest—with Greg Laurie, Third Day, David Crowder Band, Toby Mac, Leeland, and more!


My Comfort; My Shelter

It's been a while since I've last posted. Life has been crazy, and even now as I stop to type this, I hesitate, knowing that there is a pile of work that still awaits me, even at 10 o'clock at night.

I said earlier today in a conversation that I longed for authenticity. And I guess for too long I've been a hypocrite in that. I haven't wanted to share my struggles on here for fear of what others may think; of what others may say. But I guess that's part of the journey, isn't it? That's why we need community. Why we need each other.

I'm no more perfect that any one of you. In fact, I often wonder how much less perfect I am. But together, in our common bond as imperfect people, somehow... somewhere... I still believe in a God that brings our imperfections together for His glory. The question is - where will we find it? Or will it find us?

Over last weekend, I had the opportunity to finish a book that I had been longing to read since I bought it. It's a book called, "Stumbling Toward Faith," by Renee Altson. Wow. Add that to my list of "must-reads" for anyone in ministry. I doubt if she'll ever read this, but... for Renee: thank you for allowing me to see that vulnerability in the life of the Christian is allowable. No, strike that - it's needed.

And because I can't say it as eloquently as she does... I'm going to include an excerpt from her book here.

Pray for me. Pray for our family. And Lord, I believe. Helpest thou my unbelief.

"as part of our connection with god, we read the following passage over and over:

“suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.does he not leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?and when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘rejoice with me; i have found my lost sheep.’ i tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

at one point the facilitator asked us to think and journal about what we felt, about what would happen, if we were the sheep waiting for the shepherd, and we saw him coming: what would he say?where were we?how would we react?

i sat in that church, sprawled on the floor, leaning against a sturdy pillar with my eyes closed, trying to imagine that moment, trying to be that sheep.

my mind showed me a dusty, dark place.i was alone, it was quiet.there was only the occasional moaning of the wind.there were no birds, there was no shade.

i heard the shepherd coming a long way off.he was whistling.

“hey,” he said to me. “i have missed you.i am so glad i found you.”

he extended a hand to wipe my tear-stained, dusty cheeks.

“come back with me,” he said.“come back to the others.”

i shook my head and pulled away.

“no,” i said.

he looked surprised, but it did not change the immense compassion on his face.

“no,” i said again.“i can’t go back.i don’t want to.i don’t trust the other 99.i don’t want to be hurt again.please don’t make me be hurt again.”

the shepherd sat down on the ground next to me.

“okay,” he said quietly.“i’ll just stay here with you then….”

the shepherd waited with me for a long time."

(From the book, "Stumbling Toward Faith: My longing to heal from the evil that God allowed," by Renee Altson. Published by Zondervan Publishers.)