Sunday, January 23, 2005

About painting, death and life

I've always believed if one has something important enough to say it must be written down. Our verbal words are soon enough forgotten, but written....well, there's a permanance to it. I like to think about what I want to express. Writing takes time. Anyone can talk...and usually we wind up saying a bunch of goofy stuff anyway.
I'm 47 years old...just lost my Dad to cancer last year. I took it pretty hard. We were close. I wound up in a deep introspective mode for quite a while...several months, as a matter of fact. I've come to some conclusions: 1. There is a God, 2. I'm not Him, 3. I have a purpose. Those are the 3 biggies, but there's been a lot of life changing decisions I have made, all for the better. I also picked up painting again after 20 years or so of letting my brushes rest. Painting is great therapy. I found out pretty quickly I needed to let my feelings out and I couldn't drown my depression with a bottle.
I've also decided (and acted upon) that I would go back to school and get my degree. I always thought I was smarter than everyone else and could do it on my own. I guess that's another realization... I am not really that smart and not having a degree has somewhat hindered me professionally and personally. I guess part of me has always felt guilty for not finishing college and it has held me back from some other things in my life. So I decided to do this for me. Just me. I just wish Dad was here to say "attaboy".
I intend to write about my thoughts and feelings and keep this as real as I know how to do. I start with the basic understanding that I am God's creation, created with a purpose. I'll keep this as "non-religious" as I can. Being a Christian is more about my relationship with God than it is about a religion. I don't attend a mainstream church. In fact, my belief is that the church is not a building. Instead, it is a community in relationship with each other because of God, and we meet in houses. We don't pay a pastor, but instead have a plurality of leadership: ordained men of God who function as elders and leaders who regularly seek God's direction and share a common vision. We have been meeting like this for over 12 years and found out one important thing: IT WORKS!
My spiritual growth is not hindered by "church business", budgets, or all the other BS that no one really cares about (except the ones who operate the church as a business). I have accountability to the other leaders and we regularly encourage everyone to lead in one way or another. We all have gifts and those gifts are what we lead with. Thank God He created us all with different gifts. I just can't subscribe to the idea that a pastor (or any church leader) can effectively operate with all the gifts necessary to have a vital church ministry. The "body of Christ" is not found in one person. It is found within the body of believers that meet together regularly.

No comments: