Archive for November, 2014

No Sense of Urgency

Posted on: November 24th, 2014 by Wayne Jacobsen No Comments

fcdroidsI did an interview this morning with Chicago3Media about Finding Church with a host that really enjoyed the material. You can hear it here.

And I got this email from Diane in Ireland an so hope that what she describes is true of most of its readers:

I have been reading your new book on kindle and can’t wait to get some paper copies to give to friends who are asking questions about their journeys. The book really has the fragrance of Jesus about it! I love how you manage to explain the things I feel in my heart but can’t always put into words.

What I enjoy most about the book is that there is no urgency about it – we don’t feel the need to convince everyone that we’re right and that they must change and follow “Wayne”. There is so much freedom in this message that it has to be from Jesus. It’s up to us to choose and he’ll love us no matter what. But we can have a better journey. Our time with (others on this journey) is a true taste of heaven on earth and after being with them nothing else can compare. When we get together with them we feel accepted straight away as “equals”, no cliques, no pecking order, just love and acceptance. What a joy!

And I received a new piece of artwork that others might find useful when sharing from this book on their social media outlets. I love the Star Wars vibe with it…

finding-church-sticky2

The Oppressive Lie

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by Wayne Jacobsen 3 Comments

bridedancethmbOver the weekend I received a fabulous message from someone I’ve known for a long time:

On Thursday, my daughter-in-law told me she was reading this amazing book given to her by a friend. I asked her about it since she and my son have walked away from the organized church, but have not abandoned their faith. The book is titled Finding Church!

Thanks again for being in our lives in a unique way! My daughter-in-law said that your book is the first thing she has read that put down in writing what she and Josh have been feeling and living. She has been ostracized by her two Baptist brothers and their wives for not being “under submission of elders and a pastor”.

I love that this book has encouraged them in the very difficult place of having family reject them for following the Lamb however he lead them. How can you not admire people who follow their hearts even when it risks the judgment and rejection of their own family?

On the other hand, my heart sinks whenever I hear this ungodly idea that to belong to Christ you must be under the covering of a pastor or group of elders. It is the most oppressive lie ever perpetuated among Jesus’ family and it divides people and families when anyone dares to confront it. Scripture makes no such claim that you need any covering other than Jesus himself. Those who say otherwise are teaching a false submission so they can abuse the bride of Christ for their own desires.

When did the covering of a man become a safer place than the arms of our Beloved? You belong to Christ alone and he will always keep you safe in his care.

Psst… Pass it on. Isn’t it time we confront this lie wherever it still exists?

bridedance

Looking Into a Wider World

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by Wayne Jacobsen 3 Comments

openwindowHere’s a recent email exchange between myself and someone named Julie. I thought others of you would find it helpful.

Julie: My husband and I have been reading your new book. We just finished chapter 3. It is leading us to conversations. Back in 2009 we read So You Don’t Want to Go To Church Anymore. We were in a church that was quickly dying after part of the group packed up, headed out and started another gathering. David was an elder at the time. We were burned out with the “church experience”. I had been in church since I was born, 52 years, at the time. As we read your book it became clear to us that it was time to step away from the organization called the church… so we did. That was 6 years ago.

There is a longing to be with others to share life. We haven’t really had that since we walked away.. Truth is we don’t know where to find people. The only place we knew was in the institution. I just wanted you to know that we’re only in chapter 3 and things are stirring.. longings are rising up once again to be expressed. We look forward to reading the rest of the book.

Wayne: I love hearing that, Julie. I received this email earlier today that from someone that had an interesting discovery:

I was given Finding Church 3 weeks ago and it has taken me that long to read and process it. My “wilderness” has been 17 years of not fitting in to an organization/local congregation. Upon reading the book, I realize I have been a part of God’s church as I have been in regular contact with two close friends (both pastors who no longer are associated with organized religion either). Thank you for removing my guilt. I have felt so alone except for these people. Strangely, my relationship with the two has grown since reading the book. I can view them as family not just a life buoy to someone so estranged. Thank you. I’m tearing up now.

I love that this book is opening a window into a wider world…

Julie: Wayne, thank you for sharing that email with me. At times I can get discouraged as we desperately want people in our lives yet struggle to know where to connect without organized religion. The other day my husband said, “maybe we should go to a bar and hang out for a while, you never know who you will meet in a bar.” it’s sad when you don’t know where to go in your virtually new town to meet people on the journey. This email plus the book are stirring the desire up even more. I wonder what else we will see as we continue our reading.

Wayne: Your husband may be on to something…. I think it helps not to look for people on this journey, but simply people who need to be loved. Soon they will end up on this journey…

Julie: That is a perfect thing to say, Wayne! Thank you! That changes my perspective completely! Wow!

Where Are You Reading Finding Church?

Posted on: November 17th, 2014 by Wayne Jacobsen 1 Comment

FCrustyGot this email from Jack the other day:

I am finding difficulty reading it. The coffee stains are already bad enough that I won’t be able to give my copy away and the fluorescent orange highlights would indicate stops and starts that indeed added to the aforementioned coffee stains.
My difficulty is a good one, you have some one-liners that literally make me put the book down, look out the window and hold my breath. Almost as if I am letting something go that has held me back. I am so encouraged to read what I have felt in my gut and the “letting go” has nothing to do with the system but in my hope that a system, any system, would or could incubate or sustain LIFE.
So, page 68 you wrote, “I was caught between two world-the self-effort of performance based religion and the new creation growing inside of me. I didn’t know it at the time, but the two are incompatible.” How gut wrenchingly true that is. How hard it is to come to that reality if your hope has been in a Sunday system or for that matter, a teacher, preacher or anything man-made. It is still something that is sorting out in my heart. Best put by you, “learning to live alongside Jesus in the new creation.” Thank you for writing this book. I see the years of your sweat and tears that have gone into “finding church”. I believe, in another sense, we are finding Jesus, our life. Thank you for helping peel back the curtain of the Father’s love. Gosh, I wish you could see what was going on inside this heart of mine.

I love the pictures people are sending me showing where they are reading Finding Church. With apologies to Dr. Suess, it appears…

FCtreadmillsm
You can read it while you work out,
You can read it while you zone out.

FCrustysm
Enjoy it with a cup of coffee
Read it while you munch on toffee.

FCbeachsm
Take it with you to the beach.
Just keep it in easy reach.

FCgardensm
Relax with it in a garden green
Or while you wait to greet the queen.

You can read it in the air,
You can read it everywhere.

(Obviously we still have some artwork to fill in!)

I Didn’t Think I Could Feel This Way

Posted on: November 12th, 2014 by Wayne Jacobsen No Comments

FCSwirlthmbA special thanks to those of you who’ve written to me about your experience with Finding Church, and for those who’ve posted reviews on Amazon.com. I’m really blessed to hear how this book is resonating with your journey.

Here’s a sampling from last week:

Gary:

I didn’t think I could feel this way about a “Christian” book anymore. Definition without dogma, so difficult to do! I can’t read it in one setting; it’s too far reaching. Spectacular comes to mind. Invigorating.

Anne:

This is what the world is hungry for, desperate for, a depth of reality and truth that when they scratch the surface they find more and not less, they find a compassionate, broken yet whole Church who know what it is to be LOVED, and without agenda or arrogance spread the fragrance of the One who makes it possible. So the journey is on, from the desert to the City whose builder is God, You have marked the path with Finding Church. More than breadcrumbs, it is a clearly marked less traveled road.

Harvey:

I just finished reading Finding Church. I love how His truths become clearer over time as we simply walk with Him in what we do understand. This is new space and I am treading softly in it but enjoying it immensely!!!! Your book has resonated so deeply with me and the Journey I am on I can hardly believe we just met and I have only heard about you for about a year now.

You have written of things I have seen in visions and dreams and heard from the Father in private and yet it is being broadcast all over the world!!! My heart can hardly contain the joy this brings to me! There is no doubt His Kingdom has expanded because of this book. The aroma of the Father I am coming to know wafts from the pages! It was like taking all the best from all of your books and putting it into a story that unveils His bride in a way I have never seen done with words!

Thank you for the great work of love it took to complete and publish it! I am looking forward to a second read to glean what I overlooked this time around!

There Is a City Whose Builder Is God

Posted on: November 8th, 2014 by Wayne Jacobsen 1 Comment

cityonhillI am incredibly blessed to read every morning how people are being touched by Finding Church. Anne sent me this the other day:

This is what the world is hungry for, desperate for, a depth of reality and truth that when they scratch the surface they find more and not less, they find a compassionate, broken yet whole Church who know what it is to be LOVED, and without agenda or arrogance spread the fragrance of the One who makes it possible. So the journey is on, from the desert to the City whose builder is God, You have marked the path with Finding Church. More than breadcrumbs, it is a clearly marked less-traveled road.

I’m so grateful to see how this book is resonating with people who are looking to live in the fullness of God’s life and are willing to look beyond church-as-usual. Here’s what she sent me after reading the first chapter. And please, spend some time with her journal entry about the City whose builder is God. It really touched me with that same exhilaration at the work he is doing:

I just started reading this morning. Already feeling the thrill, after just the first chapter, that there is indeed something going on that is not obvious and loud but something deep and utterly profound as He builds his Church on a foundation that cannot be shaken. Built of bricks stronger than steel because they know what it is to be broken and vulnerable and to be loved. I haven’t written for years but have felt a keening almost, for something more, and over the past many months have been journaling that. I wanted to share the below from last week because it echoed my heart and seemed to resonate with something in the first chapter of your book:

If I know anything at all in this journey, it is that in reality I know nothing. Because it is mystery, but I think I know this, that love is the key. The more I read the more I see this. That the opportunity to love and be loved as he did is the prize, it is the THAT for which Christ called us. Anything else is desert. Of the very little I know, I hope I am beginning to know this.

What do we do when we KNOW we see a city built without hands in the distance,
Our eyes can see its towers and gates, its windows shining in the sun
Yet we are in the desert miles away
Part of us thinks it is a mirage and we get on with surviving in the desert
But every time we look up it is still there,
The little child is filled with wonder and excitement and wants to be THERE, but The Adult ruthlessly quiets her voice, being pinned in the world of sand while furiously digging for water
A desert full of the millions of grains of shoulds and musts and have to do’s.
Of busy busy busy and speed and bustle and occupation.
So one day we don’t look up anymore.
BUT
There IS a city, whose builder and maker is God
A place of transparency and light and deep calling to deep
Where Love is the beginning and Love is the end
filling everything in between
Love flows like rivers from a throne of brightness and we know as we are known
This City has Love is its rooting and grounding, its habitat its place of being.
Here we love without judgement without regard for our own self or agenda
Here we LOVE and are LOVED
And are filled to the measure of all the fullness of God
Here Grace saturates the air we breath
and we see each day as coming from the hand of Love, the hand of God
Here we see each other through the eyes of the one who inhabits us
The one who calls all of us BELOVED
BE LOVED
For he is the One who IS love
Here we find the rest that was promised and are safe
Here is a Kingdom filled with a body of people and He is the head.
He, the image of the invisible God
He, The firstborn of all creation,
He, whom all things were created in, through and for,
He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
He is the beginning and the first born from the dead
All the fullness of God dwells in Him
Lover, Bridegroom, King.
There is a city, there is!
It is made without hands, and its architect and builder is God.
It is not a mirage; its a promise, and the flag will take us through the gates

Ann has posted this and other of her musings on a Facebook page: Papa Chronicles

Chapter 6: Is Exclusivity a Danger?

Posted on: November 4th, 2014 by Wayne Jacobsen No Comments

questionmarkFrom Kendall:

In Chapter 6 you write, “The way to share this life together is to connect with people who are awakening in the new creation as well, so don’t look for another system to follow.” I agree with your statement, especially not looking for another system to follow. Please clarify for me, is there danger that we may become “exclusive” by looking for people who are awakening in the new creation? Is there danger we may start judging people on the basis of awakening in the new creation, rather than on the basis of fruitfulness, love, etc?

Great question, Kendall. Of course any one of us on any given day can start living out of our flesh and only seek out people who are like-minded or who benefit us. That’s always a danger. But that wouldn’t be the part of us that is awakening in the new creation. There were so many thing I used to do as a pastor because I was afraid people wouldn’t want to grow in Christ, or wouldn’t be generous in relationships. But none of those worked. The harder we tried to get people to do what we thought best the less their hearts were in it.

Though is often a time early in this journey where we feel so fragile and isolated that we lock on to any conversation that encourages his new creation in us, but that very quickly yields to a more generous loving that seeks to share his life with others who don’t have it as it is to find it in those who do. Those awakening in the reality of a Father’s love become very generous in their relationships. They won’t just seek out the like-minded, but discover the joy of loving people wherever they are on this journey, even if they have yet to awaken to the reality of God’s life and love in the world. They don’t limit their relationships to people of the new creation and will instead grow in their capacity to love all kinds of people.

So I think the danger you address is mitigated by the fact that the new creation stirring in us won’t allow us to be come exclusive. And where we become exclusive we’ll find the joy of those relationships drying up because the focus will be more inward. As we grow in his love our loving others will take on a pretty broad reach because we find themselves caring about all kinds of people. In in the end, it really isn’t about judging whether someone is a new creation or old creation person, but loving them right where they are and seeing how the new creation can find a place in their heart too.

So we can take not of those people with whom we have the conversations of life that stir the new creation in our hearts, we won’t limit ourselves to those conversations alone. It is as much fun to share that life with others who aren’t seeing it yet as it is to celebrate it with those who are.