What Church People Really Need To Know About Once-Churched People

Constance, I give you the always on point words of my brother John.

Reader…I offer you this…from across that river which you by your own vow asserted you will not be crossing.

How does it feel to know that “the mission field” is a place you swore you would not go?

john pavlovitz

This message is for Church People.

It’s for those of you who are part of a faith community every week; a physical place  where you usually find yourself on Sundays. You come there willingly, expectantly, and in that place you receive encouragement and find community and feel acceptance, and where you regularly experience moments of challenge and inspiration and joy.

You feel at home there in that building, connected to those people, confident in the creeds you recite there, comforted by the songs you sing together. The sum total of what you find in that place makes you certain that God exists and makes that God feel close enough to touch. Your presence there on the inside of it all makes you better. It leaves you feeling lighter. It takes your faith deeper.

If that describes you, I celebrate what you’ve found and what you feel and what you have, because it is well worth celebrating.

But what you…

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When the object of your desires is a Cancer, flattery and frills won’t do the trick; in fact, these promise only to turn her off. Cancer women seek nothing less than true sincerity in love. A secure, dependable connection with a trustworthy partner is a requirement for this deeply emotional, sensitive and intuitive woman, so dishonest or unfaithful types need not apply.

The Cancer woman does want to be swept off her feet, but doing so can be tricky; one false move and you could send the sign of the Crab back into her self-protective shell. But show her that you’re family-oriented, a hard worker, and someone who will strive to provide for her physical and emotional needs, and she will open her heart to you, slowly but surely.

Great dates with the Crab include a picnic, a wedding or family reunion, or a tearjerker film that will tug at her heartstrings.tumblr_nqvc74Cmfx1r2rgtao1_540

Bickering On The Bike

“I’m dead” she said.

“Dead?” asked her honey?
“What do you mean?”

“I am slain at last
in the icy grip of
your death hand glare,
and solo icicle silences!”

She fairly dripped martyr blood
from every precisely chosen word
weighted just so and
freighted with layers…

“Ah” her honey replied, nodding.

They peddled on in silence
each one a universe of laughter
inside the heart they share.tumblr_mlmzwwh6nq1rc8sbto1_1280

So Shocked

There is a man I know of…very intelligent.  Studies lots of things, but most particularly studies things that can be used as tools to dismantle the faulty thinking or lack of thinking by people who are professed christians but likely are unable to articulate their faith and what it really means to them.

From the heights to the depths and the breadth of what he can conceive of in his mind, he sits, comfortable and relaxed, a man’splainin’ fool.  He can fight off any attack…he can account for anything encountered…

…inside the sphere he grants and allows.

But there is an outside.  And of this place no mind can conceive, and of the Being that inhabits this place that is no place, well…it is gonna be such a shock when we are given eyes to see, and faces to be seen…

It’s a good thing They are benevolent!


I am mindful of The Last Battle and the dwarves inside that dark shed who do not and cannot know of “an outside”.

Hey…I have glimmers only, but really I have NO IDEA what that outside is because the glimmers I have are by definition intelligible to me and thus derivative of my own interior experience.

But it’s there…and the stick fighting approach to encountering Them on That Day will be comically irrelevant.

So Shocked.tumblr_ns4smo9CMS1qg4kx9o1_1280

The Pharisee’s Corollary

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

The Pharisee has understood this corollary:

“To appear perfect, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

The Pharisee thinks holiness is a matter of doing…do these certain things…avoid doing these other things, and you will be holy.

But holiness is not something you do.  It is something you are, something imputed to you as a gift that you become…and once you have become that, you are that regardless of doing…just like your child is always your child whether they do certain things or don’t do certain things.

If you find yourself assessing your standing with God on the basis of what you have done, or refrained from doing?

Then you are living out the Pharisee’s corollary.16093935274_96411e2413_o