the weblog of Alan Knox

Connecting… on a real life level

Posted by on Apr 8, 2008 in community, fellowship, guest blogger | 5 comments

Last year, I had the opportunity to post several “guest blogger” posts. These posts were written by other people, usually sent to me in emails. I would get their permission and post them here in hopes that the guest posts would be an encouragement to my readers, and that my readers would be able to encourage the guest bloggers.

In November 2007, I posted a guest blog called “Searching for fellowship“. The author (Teresa) has stayed in email contact with me. I asked if I could publish this latest email that demonstrates how God is bringing true fellowship and community into her life. Please feel free to interact with this post in the comments as you would with other posts. You can address your comments to Teresa or to me.

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Here is an update from my letter that I had written to you in November.

At the time I had written to you, I was questioning what the following scripture meant to me: “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:24-25 NASB)

The reason that I was questioning this is because I am a soul that has been “in church” every single Sunday since the 2nd grade. Then about 4 years ago I suddenly found myself not attending church at all after our church had a traumatic split. We were devastated by what had happened, meaning- how people had behaved toward us and toward each other.

The process has been difficult and painful. But God has been faithful to who He is. He is good and he never changes! No matter our circumstance. So, through this painful season we have learned alot about ourselves, alot about our God, alot about people, and about church as an institution. Our pain kept us from attending any churches in the beginning, but our understanding is what has been showing us the real reason we do not desire to walk through the sanctuary doors as we once had. We desire more than programs and religion. We desire connecting with people on a real life level wrapped in the understanding of our identity in Christ and the Grace of God.

Since the time I had first written to you, I have made some wonderful connections with a few dear people online. I hope to meet each of them in person someday soon! My husband had the opportunity to travel to Europe to be a part of a conference in Bulgaria. The conference spoke to Pastors there about the message of Grace. I surprisingly have made a connection with a woman there who had been an attender of a conference. I have been enjoying connections God has provided with people in many different places. I feel that through these connections I have been able to live the scripture of Heb. 10:24-25. Of course it does not look like what we are accustomed to in traditional church. But the result is that there is an assembling and encouragement taking place.

We are also looking into an opportunity of hosting and facilitating grace walk groups through the ministry of Steve McVey. We hope in this opportunity we will make more tangible connections with people in our community.

Last week we had attended a funeral in which many people from our past church were at. We were welcomed by some, and to our expectation, shunned by others. God did a lot in our hearts through that day. And I realized that I am walking on the path of healing with a hope and a future. There are some who will never choose that path because holding on to the past is where they seem to find their life. But for those who do choose a path of healing and restoration we welcome them by our side.

I believe we have crawled out of the “rut” and are walking ahead on the other side. Resting in Jesus is what brings us comfort and HOPE. We know He is in control and that He is GOOD! We are excited for all the things to come as our God lays out our future for us.

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers through this journey.

Peace,
Teresa
(formerly, anonymous child of God)


5 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 4-8-2008

    I like this statement that Teresa wrote:

    “We desire more than programs and religion. We desire connecting with people on a real life level wrapped in the understanding of our identity in Christ and the Grace of God.”

    That is what I have been looking for. I have not attended church in sometime. I struggle with that everyday. I have struggled with so many questions of what church really is and I ended up distancing myself from it. I think deep down I just don’t feel like I belong. I have not been able to connect with anyone outside of the Sunday service. How can we build relationships if we only keep our connections limited to a few hours on Sundays? I just don’t understand that. How I wish I could make some connections.

  2. 4-8-2008

    anonymous,

    I loved that statement as well. That’s why I picked part of that sentence as the title of this post.

    I think all believers long for real community with others because God creates all people for community, and because the Holy Spirit specifically draws his children toward one another. I do not think you are alone in struggling to find that kind of community. It is possible to find community among the people of an organizational church, although many times the organization gets in the way. As Teresa has found, there are other ways to begin to fellowship with other believers as well. I pray that God will bring more of his children into your life, that he reveals who those people are, and that you soon find yourself sharing your life with other brothers and sisters.

    If you want to talk more about this, feel free to send me an email at the email address in the sidebar of this blog.

    -Alan

  3. 4-9-2008

    It’s great to see that there are others who have been through issues like this. I believe this is an indication of the Holy Spirit at work in the Bride of Christ calling her to preparation for the wedding. When I was younger, everyone talked about how to construct a church that modeled as closely as possible the early Church as seen in Acts. Now what I see is the Spirit creating such a Church without direct effort toward that goal on our part. When He does it, it succeeds.

  4. 4-9-2008

    Larry,

    Thanks for the comment. You said, “Now what I see is the Spirit creating such a Church without direct effort toward that goal on our part.” I agree completely that God creates community through the work of his Spirit. Unfortunately, I think we have very few examples of Spirit-created community, so either 1) we try to create something on our own that ends up being artificial, or 2) we don’t recognize the community that the Spirit is creating because of several different factors. (There may be other options.)

    -Alan

  5. 12-3-2012

    “All the material to build a home is within the walls of a Home Depot, you just can’t build a home inside building” Jamal Jivanjee