at small group on wednesday we spent some time talking about the life and vision of Journey – who we are as a community, who we want to be, etc. at the family meeting the night before there was lots of discussion as to “what must we maintain to keep our identity as Journey?” and “what can go and we still be who we are?” (all are very good questions i think all churches should spend some time reflecting upon – the answers would help direct how to address issues that seem to arise any time you get together a group of people with strong belief).

andrea made a great point in our “who are we” and “who do we want to be” discussion. she said a coworker who has attempted church a few times said, “why should i let the same people teach my daughter that go out to the lobby and gossip to one another after the service?” we agreed it’s a fair question. christians around the world and through time have struggled with the hypocracy issue.

the evening somehow ended on a political discussion. my poor husband, the staunch republican, really had to do some defending of his beliefs. he and i had a lively discussion on the way home about national health care and then the right to a free and public education. we argue well because we don’t hurt feelings anymore. but alas, this is not the point of my post.

in my belief, i am a liberal. i love what the word means. when you “apply liberally” it means you aren’t stingy. you give freely. spread it around. i really get behind that. i think that God has always watched out for those on the bottom of the pile, and as a follower of Jesus it’s our responsibility to do the same. my keyword of ’09 is generocity.

however, in my action, i am a conservative. i keep. i conserve. i reuse grocery sacks. wash out the salsa jars. use the tiny chips of soap in the shower. i regifted. we had 2 bags of mulch leftover this spring and jj said, “i didn’t account for the fact that you treat your mulch like you treat your money and make it go as far as possible.”

i think our “who do we want to be” should include the realizations similar to my politics. there’s always a gap between what we believe and the habits in which we live. and while it’s not so bad that i act as a conserve-atist (and make up words as i go), i need to realize that my hopes of living liberally are not realized. i can be ok with that. the question is how do i live in the gap and ask those around me – maybe even those who are following behind, just to see where i’m going as i’m following jesus – to give me a little grace as i figure it out. i can tell you want to be. i can tell you what i am. and i can tell you i’m not finished.

so how do we live unfinished and have the right to invite others along?

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