Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What's with this blog?

Today I am going to begin this blog as my own spiritual discipline. I am not doing this thinking that I have something special to say (or to write) that others need to read. I am beginning this blog as way for me to develop a daily discipline of noticing, focusing, and being intentional about my relationship with God and what it means to live each day with Jesus.

I pray that this can be a place where I can think deeply about what it means for me to live out my relationship with God and this blog would be a dialogue with other folks that want to stop pretending, stop hiding, and stop playing church. I pray that this will be a place that I and others can wrestle with the teachings of Jesus and the implications that they have for our lives if we are going to be the church and not play church. I don't want to just talk about following Jesus but I want to follow Jesus and share stories about the crazy stuff that following Jesus gets me into.

I pray that this blog will help me, and others, get real about who we are and who's we are. I pray that this blog will help me, and those who read it, get real about our love of God and our love of all God's people. I pray that this blog helps me and you connect to a real God and live out a real relationship with Christ.

You might ask, "Why I refuse to play church? Why get real?"

Over the past couple of years it seems that God has been speaking to me through multiple outlets about this notion of getting real. When I read the Bible and the account of creation and the fall it seems that when sin enters into the picture what us humans do is-- we hide. Adam and Eve take leaves and make clothes, they hide in the garden hoping that God won't see them on his morning walk. And ever since that time we continue to hide. We put on masks, we pretend that we are something that we are not. We wear smiles when we are hurting on the inside. We act like we have it all together when everything is falling apart. We try to be better than we are, smarter than we are, holier than we are. What it seems God is saying is stop hiding, stop pretending, just be who you are-- I love you! I believe that God want to make a difference in this live and not just in a live to come. I believe that as we come out of hiding, and get real about our lives our love and God it will transform our lives and the world. When we stop playing church and be the church than the teaching of Jesus impact our lives and the lives of others around us. I want to be real, and refusing to play church is drawing a line in the sand and saying "I am not going to pretend anymore, I refuse to hear the word and not allow it to impact the way that I live my life."

I don't know all the answers. I may not know any. But I want to intentionally seek out answers and I want to do that with a community of folks who are committed to living out their relationship with God in real and tangible ways. I certainly have not arrived yet. I am certainly still in the shadows, I still have my own masks, my own stuff that I try to hide, but I am yearning, I am seeking and I pray that daily I am growing. This blog is an invitation to walk with me, to walk together as we move from the darkness into the light as we all allow God to live in us and through us.

Keep it real.
Doug

8 comments:

tammyb said...

I agree we should be real, but when everything is falling apart or something is really troubling you, shouldn't we still smile and put on a happy face. When someone says "how are you today" they don't really want me to go into what my problem is today. So how do I be "real" but not be a downer to others? Most people never know when something is troubling me - unless I tell them, because I usually smile and go on. Is this not being real?

Anonymous said...

Catch phrases like "get real" and "play church" don't help me understand your ideas.

Do you think that this "message" is more appropriate for the under 50 people than for the over 50 ones? I think those who are over 50 have made peace with who they are.

Anonymous said...

This "get real" stuff sounds fine but it seemed to be a joke from the first day you preached about it. That very day you asked the people in the congregation to stand up and "smile, put on a happy face." What is that?? I agree with tammyb.

Doug Franklin said...

The focus is on becoming who God wants me to be and on transformation. What does it mean for our lives, my life, to follow Jesus and to love as Christ loves us. What are the implications of Jesus's teaching on the way that I live my life and who I am. In fact, I think that it could be more about coming to peace with who God says I am and what God calls me to do and to be than it is about coming to peace with the person that I am currently.

Being real, for me, is about understanding that I can't hide who I am from God and that God's power is made perfect in my weaknesses. I don't think that it means we air our dirty laundry to everyone all the time. However, I think we do need to have people who we can take our masks off with. We need people to laugh with us and cry with us. We need people that really know us and that we can really know, who will pray with us and for us. And we need to be people that love people no matter what. God's power is made perfect in our weaknesses, if we try to hide them than we miss out on the power of God to transform us and work in and through us.

Doug Franklin said...

Tammyb what you are saying is being real. It is not whether we are smiling or frowning that makes us real. It is that we are honest that there are times that we smile and on the inside we are hurrting. There are times that we are not fine but say that we are. We are not sure if people really want to know how we are doing or not. So we don't tell them how we are doing. That is real.

Anonymous said...

Tammyb what you are saying is being real. It is not whether we are smiling or frowning that makes us real. It is that we are honest that there are times that we smile and on the inside we are hurrting. There are times that we are not fine but say that we are. We are not sure if people really want to know how we are doing or not. So we don't tell them how we are doing. That is real.

I don't get it. If that's 'real' what's 'not real."?

Doug Franklin said...

Not real would be acting like the facial expression is everything. Thnking if I smile long enough or convince others that I am ok than I will be ok. Smiling or not smiling is not the issue. It is honesty with ourselves and with God. It is about not trying to fool ourselves. However, for us to be honest with ourselves and with God, we need somewhere/some people that we can be open and honest about what is going in inside. And as we grow in our relationship with God we should become people of grace that others can be open with. When we do are more vulnerable about our lives and our relationship with God it helps others to see that they are not alone and that God loves them too.

Renea Lynch said...

Being real is being who you are, good or bad habits included, who God created you to be. Not being anonymous. Weather others agree or disagree with your view or opinion, they are yours, claim them. God gave you that free will and mind to think with.

There are times, like Tammy, that I have hidden my hurts and feelings from others around me, but I take them to God and cry on his shoulder and ask His forgiveness or comfort when I need it. He is the one who brings the smile back to my face or gives me the strength to hold others up when I'm not feeling so great myself. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Thanks for the blog Doug. Just another one to add to my daily addiction. :)