Saturday, July 09, 2005

A piece of me

I feel it would be good to share some of my spiritual journey. I will start 10 years ago (don't worry I'm not long winded) In 1995 my wife and I were attending a Vineyard church in Calgary, Alberta. It was amazing. We experienced family, great moves of God that I didn't know existed. things like God's healing, speaking and gifts of the spirit to name a few. I was on cloud nine.
A young couple announced that they felt it in thier heart to return to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to plant a church there. When they said that, something inside my wife and I clicked and we knew we were going to be involved in that. So we moved with them in the fall of that year. I was very young and foolish at the time and did things that many people would shake thier head at.

We walked very closely with that couple for probably three years. Over that time we were released to be in charge of evangelism. That was great, we enjoyed that, but there felt like something was missing. My entire focus was ministering to the poor. In the winter of 1999 I visited a retreat center outside of town, as I had heard that they had a food ministry and wanted to see how we coud work together. They were also looking for a full time driver to drive the van for that specific ministry.

I brought my wife out there about a week later and we visited some more. We talked more about this ministry opportunity with them, but my wife and I expressed that we could not commit to a full time ministry position, while holding onto a townhouse (rented through low income housing) and providing the basics for our ever growing family (two 1/2 at that point) They then invited us to move out there with them and live in thier lodge. We were excited, but still wanted to run it by our pastor and those that we felt could provide sound counsel. Our church had their Christmas party out there and while out there we all prayed about it and at the end they commisioned us to go.

So Jan 1999 we moved out there. It was great I felt that I had got the ticket to heaven's door. I got to do the very thing that I dreamt about day and night...and full time to boot. We started to see that there was a huge emphasis on submission and authority there. They would explain that it was training ground for being obedient to God. It got to the point where we had to ask "permission" to go into the city. Pretty much anything that we did we had to get permission for. We were really believing the lie that was being set before us. About three months later, We had the opportunity to go to Calgary to see our family, and I can remember lying in bed with my wife with a broken heart. We were crying out to God to reveal his truth to us. As we were preparing to go home we were almost sick with anxiety about going home. So we decided to go and spill the beans with my best friend. After several cups of coffee and pouring out our hearts we had decided that we were going to leave when we returned.

We got back on Monday and by Friday we were in an apartment that was offered to us for free, and that day I started a full time job. Talk about God moving quick.
For the next month we were numb, broken and confused. I wrestled with failure, doubt anger, fear, rejection, you name it I felt it that month. Coming from Calgary, we had expected a family welcome when we returned to our church. However we neglected to seek the care we desired so instead of healing we grew bitter. That ended in us leaving the Vineyard as we could not be somewhere where we were abandoned. I now realize that they were there for us but in our pain we didn't see it. We stopped going to church all together as we figured that we could do church better on our own, outside of the walls of politics. We would meet weekly with other "wounded" souls and we would lick each others wounds, so to speak. It was good for the time though as we still had fellowship. There was still that empty feeling that I have carried for years in my heart. I remember crying out for God to send me someone that could father me spiritually. We church shopped for quite some time before coming to Hope Fellowship during Easter. I will never forget that day. At the break,the pastor there came straight for us and embraced us and offered his assistance in any way he could. My wife and I talked later and both felt that it was home. Yikes this is getting long...sorry. :)

For three years I would watch from a distance, not getting involved, I would literally set myself apart. The church would go one way and I would go another. I would challenge leadership with concerns, words spoken etc. Then two years ago my pastor approached me and mentioned that he wanted to start discipling me. I always liked him but I couldn't trust him due to my past experiences. I willingly agreed and I am very glad that I did that. We have been working through a discipleship path book that goes through the foundations of the Christians life. I can remember when we got to the Holy Spirit part of the book, I was very sceptical about where he would go with it and to my surpirise, he accually agreed with me that I was on the right path. Since that time I have grown to love him and totally trust him. Not because he is perfect, but because he saw something in me and drew it out of me. This was the very thing that I had been asking and praying about for years. Now I am getting together with an elder in our church so there are two great influences in my life.

So when you read my post's on authority. Please see that I have been in the place of negative authority, and now I am experiencing a life changing transformation as I learn to submit myself under my pastors Christ...not over me.
I will share in another post, what this looks like for me but for now I will be silent.I have never felt so peaceful, and I am fitting into the family much better now that I am in propper relationship with the greater spiritual family. Be blessed.

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