Well I can't sleep but what else is new. I either fall asleep at the beginning of my night while putting Audrey down and then wake up and can't go back to sleep or I am awake until the wee hours of the morning and then catch the last 2-4 hours before Audrey wakes up. Collin laughed the other day when I said, "I don't know why I am so tired today, I actually got 5 maybe 6 hours of sleep last night!" That is a lot for me these days. But it has been this way since late December early January so I have gotten used to it. I guess I just have a lot going on in my head, in my life.
Last night at the gym I didn't even really realize what music was booming through my headphones because I was distracted about several different things. One is the idea about adopting here in Korea. A lot of people have issues with that. A lot of Americans ask why would you adopt outside of the US when we have so many needy children right here who are desperate for good loving homes. My answer to that used to be a couple things. One was and still is my heart. Since I was originally told I would never have kids I have always thought about adopting internationally. It wasn't one thing that triggered this and I can't explain it but it was always there. The second was because it cost less and you don't have to pay so much all at once. Well After getting home from the gym I realized my first answer is really the only one that stands. Adoption in S. Korea is just about the same price now for a US resident as it is in the states. In fact the S. Korean Government is pulling back on the number of children who are allowed to get adopted through the US. It used to be that Americans adopted around 1100-1700 almost yearly and in the recent years those numbers have been cut in half due to the government pulling back. It used to be harder to adopt in the US from what I learned, now it seems harder in Korea for the normal US Citizen. Although with us currently living here we are cutting cost a great deal by not having to travel here and stay for periods of time, so I guess for our family it still might be cheaper. Anyway that is a debate for another time.
Another distraction is caused by a blog I stumbled a crossed. I guess I just don't understand this gentleman's point of view. So I am asking whoever would like to comment please do, comment on here or send me an email either way I would love to hear what others think.
The title of this particular blog was 5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church. The authors first bad reason was "I am not being fed" I disagree 100% with this. I believe being spiritually fed is very important in the Church. Keep in mind the author is a pastor and I understand we are all entitled to our beliefs but here are my arguing points. Right off the bat he says, (and I will paraphrase here) that yes Pastors have an responsibility to care for the spirituality of the Church but that can easily be overlooked because, Pastors are so busy trying to manage staff, meet needs, put out fires and develop leaders, with this they still have to manage seeing the vision of the church.
He also goes on to say that many of us have access to a smart phone, home computer, or even a library card so we can access and gain our spiritual needs through different outlets of the media if not within in the Church.
I agree that we do have these outlets and we can read The Bible through many of these outlets, (including the regular turn page, in hand Bible that seems to be fading away) listen to pastors online, and even have online Bible studies all at the palm of your hand. I also believe that the Church is for spiritual feeding. I have attended Churches in the past where I asked myself why I was getting up early in the AM to go to church when I could have something just as meaningful if not more by spending time in prayer on my own, listening to worship music on my own, listening to a different church service online on my own. I do think though that the things I just mentioned are our strengthening tools, if you will. Let me put it in my way of thinking as I am about to go back to school. The professor can teach a student the best they know how, some are better teachers for different learning styles. Just as one might teach in an oral manner and another might teach in a more visual manner. Just like one Pastor may read scripture straight from the book and that is his teaching and another might read but also go on with examples. A student goes to a classroom with the knowledge of the text book but maybe not fully understanding how it all works together. The professor is there to further explain go in deeper and help you understand and show you a new meaning then just the black and white words in your book. Without gathering together with others reading the same thing and discussing it or hearing the professor speak in depth you just may not get it.
And the blog goes on to say ....."To leave a church because you’re not getting "enough" is a cop out. Your primary call in the church is to contribute, not just to consume" Ok, here is where I started to scratch my head. Every church has needs. They need leaders, they need the children of God to show his Grace and Love through volunteering with the children's church, to be a greeter, to be an usher, to work on the praise team. But if I am not being fed I believe my focus is the teaching, learning how it all fits together. I believe our primary call is to listen to the word to grow and be challenged so that we can then go out and teach the good Word. He also goes on to say (and I am paraphrasing again) that we shouldn't need spoon fed our whole lives and soon we need to be able to feed ourselves.......we are not just to be disciples but to make disciples. Again I get what he is saying here. God gave a gift to the appointed men and woman of the Church. Pastors have gone to through some sort of schooling so that they could grow and teach us more than what most of us can gather on our own. That is why they are the ones doing the teaching. God has trained them up to feed his people. If I am in a Church and not being fed how deep can my spiritual walk go. Another example... 2 weeks ago the Pastor of my current church taught on the Prodigal Son. Now I have heard this story time and time again. My first thought was no not this again. But through the teaching I realized that God was teaching me something new. Our pastor went on describing about how the father continued to search for his son and how the "good" son couldn't understand why he could miss the "bad"son so much. When the Prodigal son returned the father was so happy and celebrated his lost child's homecoming. But what I never saw from this story was how the son who stayed home reacted. He was at home doing right by his father on earth but he was not captured by the Grace and Blessings of the Almighty Father and angered that his brother could receive so much love from his father after leaving home. I never saw that side of the story and yes I know that good acts don't get us into Heaven, but just when I thought I was "filled up" on this story God revealed a new outlook through the Pastor and I was continually fed.
I can help out in the Church as much as I can, I can go on trips with the church to feed the hungry, I can do every good deed there is to do within the church but if I am not being fed then I feel I am risking my spiritual walk to go stale.
His 4th point and I promise to make this one shorter was "My Needs Aren't Being Met" I think this goes along with #1 in saying that I have a great need to be fed. Some people have the need for that deep spiritual prayer, or that extra push for worship, or on a much smaller scale what about a need for nursery or children's Church? If your child will not sit through an entire service then it becomes very distracting to you to listen to what is being taught. Or if someone else has a small child that child can easily distract the rest of the Church. One of my needs for Church is explanation. I need the message to be taught to me, not just read. I can go home and re read it and really think on it but I need someone to go into deeper depths of the scripture, which I know, leads back to being fed. Another one of mine is a nursery. Most Churches here in Korea have a cry room or a room where the kids can go have a "party". I have noticed this in a few different Churches out in the economy of Korea and have heard many others say that yes their Church is the same way. Most cry rooms are to take your child who can't sit through church and stay with them. I do not need that on Sundays. My need is to be able to drop my child off with similar aged children so that I don't have to worry about her. I don't have to worry about her being trampled on because the cry room is available for older kids who can run and push over a tower of blocks and might not notice my daughters little fingers. This is a need for me. I know because I have experienced the different options.
My family has left different Churches because our need wasn't being met and that need reflected on us being fed and I believe that being fed in the Church is a #1 priority. We have never left a church because we don't like the people, or because we don't agree on a teaching every once in awhile or because it is too big or too small. We left because we as Christians are all wired different and we all have different reasons to seek out a new path to become the Disciples of God! After all we need to be disciplined disciples if we are going to go out and help other grow to become disciplined in God's word!
Maybe I am totally off base with all this. But this blog really bothered me. And yes maybe I am justs over sensitive, or so some have said ;) Some of you probably have read this blog most probably not, I am not trying to cause debate or upset anyone I am more or less asking for opinions. I thought I was on the same track as most Christians but after seeing comments attached to this blog I am realizing that maybe I just have a different way of thinking. My way of thinking though has grown me closer and closer to God and I think I will keep it that way!
my experiences mentioned are not about any one Church it is experiences from different Churches from different parts of the US and S. Korea.
On that note have a terrific week :)