Monday, March 7, 2011

7 of 31

Matthew 18:20 (The Message)

 18-20"Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there."

I've been praying for a while now that the Lord would lead my husband in leading us back into "Church". I have listened to person after person express concern for my family because we do not attend "Church". At first we had no desire to go back because of pain and a distaste with the institution of it. But something began to shift and it was no longer because of pain or past hurts. 

The more we talked about it, and the more we prayed about it, the more we realized God was doing something new and fresh in our family. Family Worship. Critics have a lot to say about this subject and how we have forsaken the body. I don't enjoy debates and I don't enjoy trying to convince others that we have heard from God and what we are doing is what we feel God has called us to. I don't write about this in hopes of opening up a discussion regarding church. Closed for discussion unless you and I are in a covenant.

Yesterday morning was a powerful morning because my husband, the priest of my home, led our family in Bible study, prayer, and then we worshipped through music. In the middle of Jeremy's lesson, I began to cry. I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was undeniable. Without any coaching from me, my husband began to tell the kids that Sunday morning would be a time of worship as a family. The kids were so excited! You see, this whole time I have been praying that God would lead Jeremy to lead his family back into church. As I prayed that prayer, the Holy Spirit began to show me that He was leading Jeremy but not in that direction. Yesterday morning, the soft whisper came. "Mandi, your prayer has been answered."

No one will understand unless they have been led to do the same, but what God is doing in our family is almost unexplainable. We are knitted together in a way that only GOD could do. He did this. I don't know if we will ever be a part of the Institution of church again. We will have community, we will serve others and we will worship the God Almighty, but it may not be with how the mainstream believer expects us to. 

Last week I watched a documentary about the Amish that really spoke to my heart. One of the things the Amish believe is that the most Holiest of Holy places is THE HOME. And I believe that is true for my family too. Questions fly our way constantly. How can we be held accountable? How will my husband hear the word of God? How can we find like minded people? The list goes on and on. I don't know the answers to all of those questions, but I do know that we hear God's voice. I know that my husband hears God's voice and I trust God with every fiber of my being. I don't have to defend myself. I just have to fall under my husband's authority and what God has called us to do right now.

This does not mean I believe those of you in "Church" are wrong. This does not mean I believe any of you should quit going. I have searched the scriptures and I don't feel like we are doing anything that sets itself up against the Word of God. This does create a weirdness for me and some of you. That is understandable. I do not feel called to go to your church building. I do not feel called to go overseas. I do not feel called to be a part of the mainstream way of Christianity anymore. There is a fire within me that is so powerful that it cannot be contained. The fire is FAMILY. I am a missionary for THE FAMILY. I will fight for the family. The Family has been forsaken. The family has been forgotten. 

Our family is in need of friends. I will be the first to admit that. Naturally when you back away from a formal church setting, you lose relationships. But we have been doing everything possible these days to remedy that issue. Cub Scouts have been a total God send. Ava Beth's Dance has been another incredible outlet for her and I both to have relationships. Tonight I am going to a HUGE Homeschool group for orientation and  Jeremy and I are diligently praying for men and women to come into our life to teach us. I don't know if we will ever go back to church as we knew it. When and if that time comes, we trust God to lead us to a family integrated church. Who knows, maybe He has us in this place for a reason. Well, of course he does. 

When I took this picture of the Bradford Pear tree in my front yard, I was reminded of the growth in my family. Once again, it is a new season. This bloom on my tree is proof of that.  (Isaiah 43)

I will say again. I am not against THE church. I do struggle with the Institution of it. This is the journey of my family, so please respect that. For those of you thriving in the local church, praise God! For those of you experiencing church at home as a family, I pray that God can use me to encourage you. People will quit being your friend over this and think you have lost your mind. You are not alone. If you are in a similar place or this post resonates with you, I have found this author and this site to be very helpful.

Please keep me in your prayers. Tonight I am going to a Homeschool Group Orientation and I am praying to find some wonderful friends!

Closing the comments because some of you will not be able to contain yourselves! :)

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