October 8, 2008

Leaving was like death of a close person

Unfortunately at least some feelings we had were similar:


"There is a grieving process to pass through. Whereas most people understand that a person must grieve after a death etc, they find it difficult to understand the same applies in this situation. There is no instant cure for the grief, confusion and pain. Like all grieving periods, time is the healer.

Some feel guilty, or wrong about this grief. They shouldn't -- It IS normal. It is NOT wrong to feel confused, uncertain, disillusioned, guilty, angry, untrusting -- these are all part of the process. In time the negative feelings will be replaced with clear thinking, joy, peace, and trust."

August 30, 2008

Place for everybody in the car

Why do little things sometimes hurt so nastily?
I liked to belong to the community as into a big family. We were together our daily free time, we shared our lives with each other, belonged together. We met brothers from other towns at weekends. In winter we often rented some classrooms in a schoolhouse for this. Sunday evening we packed our things, made order after ourselves and drove home. There was a place for everyone in the vans.
Not all was in a good balance there, but I miss especially this belonging into a big family. Everybody was waited to the meetings, everybody was called to take responsibility for our common life and mission, an everyone did it more or less. There was time to talk personally.
Well, this year I have already the second time am frustrated after a period of daily meetings. There was a week-long conference and a two-week course where I was daily together with some people. And after this time, the world outside of our community seems especially individualistic and cold. Everyone returns to his den to his private life or other friends. And I'm again only in two in my immediate family.
Both times, it seems, I expected something according my community's standards. To be a bit longer together, to share still something before the departure.. I forgot I was not any more in the community where knowing each other and sharing is a value in itself..
So this time, the last day of the course we made order in the school we had rented. I had joy to play a bit with a child who felt boring. According to our community, I thought it must be good in the eyes of his parents. As it was the last day, we finished later than usually, I was a bit anxious about an expected meeting with my boss the next day, and hoping to get a lift with the car as it had happened rather often. But it turned out there were six of us for a car with 5 places. And a person who lives nearer to the school than we was invited to the car. Without any explanation for such a choice. My disappointment must have been very clear from my face.. I don't know if they noticed it, but even if they noticed - there was not enough space in the car for all of us. (and it wouldn't have been very nice to let that person alone neither) This was a too sudden end for the two-week work together..
Well, it's their car, not a common van as in the community. Perhaps we even don't win much in time comparing to taking bus. It's matter of relationships, of belonging together, of being attentive to each other. If they had at least given an understandable reason for the choice in the very situation, it could have been easier. I cannot blame them really, it's a clash of different sub-cultures. In the community the vans united us, enabling us to meet brothers in other towns, but outside, cars tend to separate, because there is often not enought space for everyone who might join. :(

February 22, 2008

Touch no unclean

Isaiah 52 : 11 Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. 12 But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

We liked to use the quotation of this verse in the New Testament to invite to come out from the world and avoid unclean, to avoid sinners. But here the next verse sais, "But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you". So we needn't be too much afraid of contacts with unbelievers. The Lord is with his own to guard.

January 4, 2008

"Religion is treated as branch of the arts"

http://followchrist.info/ What Shall We Do? writes:
"The majority of people hold the opinion that there is no absolute truth. In our society, the view that the truth is relative is the predominating ideology. Many people have become accustomed to this stream of thought and think that one's idea of truth is relative and has no validity for others: "What seems good to me is what is right for me!" However, if everything has the same validity, then in the end nothing matters. The standard according to which good and bad, right and wrong are measured is completely missing. Everyone can find something to suit his own personal taste and needs. People paint their own picture of heaven, choosing the colours from a palette of their own desires and wishes, creating their own religion, which seems to fit well enough for the time being... In fact, religion is widely treated as yet another branch of the arts, like the world of fashion in which people shape trends and trends, in turn, shape people. However, God's way is different... "

It is justified to talk against the thinking that everything is subjective. There is God's way to the Heaven and other ways leading elsewhere.
But a problem is that there is a great number of communities who say that just they know the right way and others are in error. Every such congregation emphasizes some aspects of Jesus's teaching (or even the Old Testament teaching) and neglets some other aspects. Usually they procaim and publish what they follow and see important, and they try to hide or whitewash their teachings/practices that are not commonly understood as good.
They may critisize something wrong in other denominations and may give a better example in it themselves - and it is worthy to learn from them. But they may decline to the other extreme of that teaching and this is not good any more. They may also be unaware, unexperienced that some people may get free from a sin easily, other may need to fight for years before final freedom from the same sin. This can cause lack of mercy and patience towards the latter, and they may give up the fight as hopeless too quickly.

Let's read further:
"...He wants to set us free from selfish desires and sexual sins, from vanity and envy, from the feeling of inferiority and pride, from arrogance and the urge to win the favour of other people.
Jesus also wants to set us free from all kinds of deceptive teachings which lead people to concentrate on themselves even more in the effort to save themselves. But He also wants to set us free from wrong ideas which people call Christianity, where people devote vast amounts of time and energy to the cause of social justice but neglect the spiritual fight against sin."
It was good and had some effect to fight against sin, but sometimes we were too much focused on sins and thought too little about social aspects of life.

"Jesus wants to free us from teachings which provide an assurance of God's forgiveness but forget that discipleship is all about following Jesus. He wants to liberate us from doctrines which promise God's grace, but renounce obedience as legalistic. For this reason we seek the truth, searching for God's will in both our lives and teaching."
But it wasn't enough conscious that in spite of the need of obedience, we are forgiven by grace.