Monday, August 19, 2013

Sundays and Church

Our Sundays generally begin more slowly than the other six days of the week.  I slept in until 7:30!

We had a simple breakfast of oatmeal and corn muffins because Mike also had to get down to the farm to pick up some raw milk
and a couple of errands as Thomas had requested the use of our one car immediately after church for the day.

Church...I wasn't going to to blog about this but it is something that has been on my heart.  This is my own personal take on it, my own walk with the Lord. 
 I am not judging others, just my own thoughts as I sort out why I don't look
forward to going to church every Sunday morning.

As I get ready for church I find my vanity creeping in as it does each Sunday morning.  Better bring the scrub brush in to the shower and get the summer black off the bottoms of my feet (although it doesn't all come off).  Make sure our clothes are ironed, everyone's hair is brushed and neat.  I surely wouldn't want anyone to think we were poor or didn't take good care of our children.

Then church itself.  This is something I don't have the easiest time with, never have felt comfortable with many kinds or organized groups.  
I felt most at peace with Quaker meetings but realized they weren't what the rest of my family needed. 

So, we go to a local, growing, thriving, Christian Bible based church and I usually volunteer 
to care for the little ones which makes up the second half of the service.  My spiritual needs are met through reading the Bible and supportive books, and most of all through some quiet moments I savor each day.  

I feel closest to God in other ways such as when I have my family around me at the dinner table and when I am walking outside picking the night's supper, for example.

I understand the benefits of church and am thankful that that many in our small church alone have come to know the Lord.  

I just see sometimes that church seems to get in the way of or be a substitute for the real work that Jesus calls us to do - such as caring for the those that need to be cared for whether they be hungry children in far away countries or right in our back yard or caring for the earth, or truly loving those that you don't feel like loving, practicing forgiveness and most of all promoting peace.

Sometimes I think if everyone stopped worrying
about themselves and just started serving that there would be much less depression, loneliness, and greed. 

 I just don't see church, at least
our church, teaching these things.

Not sure what my "perfect" church would look like but I do know that it would never exist because there is no such thing as perfection
here on earth but at the same time I think we are to continually strive to do better and to improve.

As Jesus taught in the Lord's Prayer -
"thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven"

We weren't but on this earth to just stay out our time until we can go to heaven. Oh no - God would not have wasted His time in creating
human beings, each with unique and amazing gifts, only to live to die.  


  1. so good. i am totally with you.

  2. I find your honesty very refreshing! I just posted a blog post a week ago about Sundays, also, though it was a little different. But I agree--not everyone can feel closest to God in church. I also feel very close to Him when I'm outside. :)

    I think what is happening (in my own, little opinion) is that long ago, people gathered together to worship the Lord on one set day a week. They didn't do anything else. The whole day was for the Lord. Now, the church has morphed into something else to DO, like you're saying. People don't set aside worship time; they go because they're "supposed" to. (Not everyone, of course, so please people, don't be angry at me.) It has become more about the action than about the worship. And those reasons are wrong. So...I agree with you that it's got to be about serving the Lord and being in His presence, rather than doing acts. Acts don't get us into Heaven!

    It makes me sad that this is what the church has become. I find it to be stressful, as well, and that just isn't right. I've been praying for a different church for this very reason. If I'm comparing myself to others in the church, getting too stressed to hear the message, etc., then it's just not right.

    Sorry to steal your post. I just wanted you to know you're not alone and I appreciate your thoughts. :)

  3. Oh, you hit a cord with me this morning. We have been struggling with our church, not because we don't love our church family or enjoy the fellowship, but because of what our church doesn't teach. While I've never heard anything un-Biblical at our church, I have to say that a lot of the Bible seems to be ignored and not preached. (After all, we wouldn't want to step on anyone's toes and upset them.)
    Plus, I believe that the vision that they have for the church's future conflicts with our vision for our family.

    We are in search of a new church but I have to say that what I think our "ideal church" may look like, does not exist in our area. We're willing to compromise on some issues but certainly stand strong on others.

    Anyway, I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    1. I agree! There are so many more parts of the Bible other than just "love one another" and such. Not that those are bad things...but what about the rest?

  4. This is so beautiful,Tonya- and I am sure not easy to write. Thank you for sharing. HUGS

  5. Thanks for your honesty. I appreciate that. People are the church, not the building. The building and all that goes on there is a business. Keep on loving God and loving people. You can not go wrong with these two greatest commandments.


  6. I appreciated reading your thoughts here - I have been away from church from quite some time now and it is just this that continues each week to prevent me to go back :/

  7. Enjoyed your post and honesty Tonya. The church is an active living organism...we are the church. Church like you said isn't something we "do" on a certain day, but certainly a lifestyle. How we live every day. Walking with Him, speaking with Him, Him loving others through us, doing what He has called us to do through our gifts and abilities He has given us! Laying down our lives for others...our family, friends, neighbors.
    Blessings to you and your family for just wanting more of Him!
    This must be a hot topic, I just posted about some of what we do for worship. :)

  8. I totally agree with this post and we have opted out of church for the past two years. I do lots of self study to fill my spiritual needs and we teach our children from the bible and other appropriate spiritual texts. This works so much better for us! But if I see that my children need more then I will certainly give them other options to explore their faith.

  9. I've read your blog for quite a while but never commented before. I can feel the love you have for the Lord in this post and understand the conflict you feel with finding the right community of people with which to learn and share this love. I, too, struggled with this for many years, "church-hopping" from one place to another never feeling that anyone was exactly right. Then, my husband's second cousin, who is a Presbyterian minister, made me think of it in a new way. She suggested I look for a church based on what I could do for them instead of what they could do for me (kind of like JFK's famous speech.) That thought plus some other factors lead me to the church we now attend and we are very happy there primarily because of its very active and strong outreach program. I can see the difference my fellow parishioners make in our community every day and now that there is a little less suffering going on because of that which is the whole purpose of a group of like-minded people coming together, I think. The trouble we are having right now with church is just the age of our boys - 2 and 15 months. Not an age which can or should sit still for long at all but I am not comfortable putting them in the nursery. To me, church is a family thing and if the family is split up in different locations, what's the point? Plus, my boys LOVE the music so much, I hate for them to miss that part or the weekly communion (which is an important part of the service to me - that weekly reminder of Jesus' sacrifice for me.) I would love it if we had a shorter, more child-oriented service (which we do have at Christmas) more often but understand our clergy are so stretched thin at it is that this may not be possible. There are worse problems to have! I agree with you that I have always felt most close to God in nature. If a barn was good enough for His son's Earthly birth, than its good enough for me! Thank you for this and all your lovely posts. Blessings!

  10. I, too, have always felt closest to God in nature and when with our animals. If a barn was good enough for the birth of His son, it's good enough for me! However, I do enjoy the community a church can provide and chose our church primarily based on its strong outreach program. On a daily basis, I can see the difference my fellow parishioners make in our community and that is the best benefit of a church group I think - so much can be accomplished that would be difficult or impossible to do alone. Our current issue with church has to do with the age of our boys - 15 months and 2 years. It is just not realistic nor healthy to expect them to sit through the entire service so we get up and leave the sanctuary as needed. My husband feels it is almost not worth the effort of going (like you say, it is a lot of effort for us to get all of our animals fed and all of us clean and to church on time) if we miss a large portion of the service. I think it is worth it to be there for whatever community and message we can get out of it even if only for communion and the music, both of which my boys seem to love. But, even I do not like the rush required to get there on time which is such a marked difference to how the rest of our lives go as we make a concerted effort not to hurry the boys or ourselves. Our church has a wonderful 30-45 minute service for children at Christmas which I would love for them to carry on throughout the year. However, I know our clergy is stretched so thin that this is not likely. I suppose there are worse problems to have. Most important is I know God is with me wherever I am and I take great comfort in that fact. Thank you for this and all your lovely posts!

  11. I agree Tonya, with all of your post. It's hard to say it aloud sometimes. I've stopped going to organised church recently, and feel closer to God since then; is it related?! Possibly; I often felt like I had done my part by attending church, whereas by not going I'm more mindful of living my faith every day within my family and outside.
    With love & blessings,

  12. Thank you for posting this. I really enjoyed reading it and have some of the same feelings you do. We do go to church, but lately it is hard because we are stationed out of the country with the Navy. I do not like the church on the base, and would be pointless to go off base due to the language barrier. It is a struggle, and we are working to find a balance and our place. I found great comfort in your words today!

  13. Our church simply meets in the home as was taught in the New Testament, and the values taught seem to be in line with is world wide, so while I am not sure where you live there is probably some nearby. There is a lot of wisdom in your words.