the weblog of Alan Knox

Have you signed my “Guest Book”?

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in personal | 7 comments

Have you signed my “Guest Book”?

Do you remember “guest books”? I’m not talking wedding guest books or funeral guest books. I’m talking about online guest books.

Back in the early days of the internet, during the heyday of AOL and do-it-yourself websites on various community type pages (such as angelfire or homepages) and before the growth and domination of blogs and social media, every site had a “guest book.”

There would be a huge icon someone on the site with the words “Sign my Guest Book.” The best sites, of course, had an animated GIF icon that would flash various colors or show a book opening and closing or a pen writing in the book. It was awesome…. if you like that kind of thing.

I never had guest books on any of my sites.

But, I’ve always enjoyed getting to know the people how spend time reading and interacting with what I write. In fact, several times over the last few years, I’ve written posts like that with one goal in mind: to allow you and other readers to introduce yourself.

So, this is your opportunity to “sign my guest book.” Please take a moment to tell us about yourself – whatever you feel comfortable sharing.

Also, on this blog, I primarily write about issues related to the church. So, if you are so inclined, I’d love to know a little about your own journey into church-related issues.

I look forward to “meeting” you!


7 Comments

  1. 1-14-2012

    Hi Alan. I’ve commented on a few of your posts but that’s not really an introduction, is it?

    Someone I know on Facebook has been sharing some of your posts and I am getting drawn in.

    I was raised outside of the regular (institutional) church and have spent most of my life outside of any church. I have had some Christian fellowship, particularly with my own family, but I hestitate to call all Christian contact “church” in the sense of those called out by God assembling for the purpose of mutual edification.

    Your recent post on unity and fellowship really strikes a nerve. In most of my childhood my family could not find enough unity to maintain fellowship. As I have tried things out on my own I have more often found too much fellowship without unity–a circle of friends, but not of servants, and without much honesty about the real differences between members.

    Church, in all its institutional and organic flavors, seems to be a contest between doctrines and good feelings. On the one side they insist on truth at all costs and forget that God loved us while we were his enemies; on the other side they insist on love at all costs and forget that love without truth is false love–treachery, really. If we neglect to admonish each other we are abandoning one another to our sins.

    A year ago I went to a Baptist Sunday school that was more concerned with Being Right and also to a home fellowship that was more concerned with Joy, Peace, and Encouragement. In June I moved and I haven’t gotten with any fellowship since. It is hard to even know how to look.

    I’ve been to the Searching Together conference in 2008, 2009, and 2011, which is nice to do once a year; but I feel the need to live the truth, love, and service where I am without yet knowing how.

  2. 1-15-2012

    Arlan,

    Thanks for kicking things off here. Nice to “meet” you. :)

    -Alan

  3. 1-15-2012

    Hi Alan,
    I’ve been enjoying your posts for a while now, and sharing them from time to time. I guess when you say something that I’ve been thinking the same way about, it feels safer to let you say it than for it to be just my opinion… You have a nice way of challenging our thinking from a perspective of humility.

    I have been a missionary in Guatemala for 14 years now, involved in different forms of ministry, and attending a megachurch. For the last three years or so I have been feeling more and more restless with that situation, studying both on my own and with the help of others like you, and coming to some disturbing conclusions about the current state of church in general.

    My challenge here is that Guatemala is highly evangelized. Sometimes I wonder why I stay here when the Gospel has been so widely preached, but in reality Christ-followers are difficult to find. There is a church on almost every block but mostly full of religion, legalism and man’s traditions. I feel that with the religious freedom here we have a wonderful opportunity to be a greenhouse, so to speak, to raise up missionaries to go to places where the need is greater but North Americans wouldn’t be so welcome.

    So when I read of missional communities, house church, simple church, organic church, etc. etc. I feel a longing for something like that but the culture here hasn’t seemed to be conducive to that sort of movement. People seem to be just fine with the way things are but I just can’t go on this way. So I feel like I’m longing for a home that I’ve never seen, and wrestling with the thoughts of whether I am to start something, keep looking for something already existing, or what. Somehow I know that I’m not the only one around here that feels this way.

    Didn’t mean to ramble so much, but maybe this explains why I enjoy your input so much. Any comments you might have would be appreciated! Keep it up, we need what God is giving us through you.

  4. 1-16-2012

    Bettie,

    Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us! Why do you think you feel a restlessness about “the way things are” while others seem to be fine with it?

    -Alan

  5. 1-16-2012

    Alan,
    The reason for my restlessness would be two-fold: personal, because I’ve caught a glimpse of how the Body of Christ can and should function, and I know that this concept of community is what has been lacking in my church experience, that will release me to be more fruitful in ministering both to the saints and outside.

    Secondly, on behalf of those around me in the church who largely have no idea that God’s eternal purpose is fellowship with man, uniting Jesus with His Bride. I see them chasing after details, frustrated, divided and directionless. If that makes my heart ache, I can only imagine how the Father feels.

  6. 1-16-2012

    Bettie,

    Did you notice my latest post here: “Longing for change while others are fine with the way things are“.

    -Alan

  7. 1-16-2012

    Alan,
    I am touched by the fact that you would post my comment, and encouraged that you have struggled with the same situation. I will be looking forward to reading more of the responses to the post. Thank you!

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