Update 1: Email notification
Okay I am still having difficulty getting the email notification on the blog. Does anyone know how you do it? Andrew thought he knew but he doesn't?
Update 2: Andrew and I have been on some amazing travels
Andrew and I just recently returned from an amazing trip. We visited with friends in Geneva, Switzerland and Cessy, France. We also took a mini get away to this amazing little village called Annecy, France. The purpose of the trip was to continue the dialogue and conversation to living a more authentic Christ centered life, what that looks like, how we do it, how do we begin to change the perception of the conservative faith, and how do we bridge the gaps between organizations and the church. The conversations were amazing and there were times I had to ask Andrew to pinch me because there was no reason why we should even have the opportunity to speak with all of the people we had conversations. I know I am being a bit vague but for privacy purposes and upon request from those we met with I am only going to speak in general terms.
I was challenged from a much broader and global perspective while Andrew and I were in Geneva and France. There is such a desire and longing to be authentic and to see examples of people living truly authentic Christ centered lives. There was so much distrust and anger with regards to the institutionalized church with in many of the circles we spoke with. To give an example we spoke with aid groups, NGOs, health groups, and global church groups. Each of them explained how the institutionalized church had come in with good intentions but left a very negative legacy. Many of the conversations with Andrew and I were about trying to find the bridge between the broader conservative world and the world which feels betrayed and let down by their promises of greatness. A world that does not trust the "god" presented by these institutions or the people who represent these institutions.
By the end of many of our conversations I left feeling empty because I don't know if Andrew or I were able to leave a different and lasting impression. I am hoping they could see within our lives the desire to live a life that is different, a life that is centered on the teachings of Jesus, and is about love and transformation.
I am challenged everyday by people's stories desiring to know that God hears them, desiring to know that they too could possibly be a part of the Kingdom. Why with so many churches and denominations do people feel so left out and out of place? Why do so many people in the global world feel so betrayed and angered by the broader church?
We in the United States have an amazing legacy of being a nation which still (maybe loosely) holds onto a very belief/faith centered existence. We as a majority have been raised in a faith setting. Yes, there are many of us who have been hurt desperately by that faith up bringing, but we have an understanding of a Heavenly Father and we must bound together to show a different way. But what if we were raised in a place were faith and belief were so taboo and not a part of your life and discovery... Many we spoke with are searching and we need to provide them with a better example...
How do we be, as Andrew says, the lightning rod for difference, amongst what people believe Christians/ Evangelical Christians are supposed to be like. I don't know if Andrew and I changed any view points, but I hope we did...