I am a Christian. I am also a member of the United Methodist Church. I am a Methodist by choice. Yes, I was brought up in the Methodist Church, but that is not the reason I am one today and choosing to raise my own children in the Methodist Church. There was a time, most of the years I was at McMurry actually, that I was completely lost. Searching for my place in this world, searching for something that was true and worthwhile. I remember one night in particular, kneeling on the floor of my tiny dorm room, pleading with God for answers. My last two years at McMurry was spent with me on a mission. I needed to find out what it was I believed. I researched, wrote papers on topics that were, at the time, mysteries to me, all the while trying to discern for myself what was real and what was not. I questioned all facets of religion, not just Christianity, starting with my beliefs on the very basics, starting my faith journey at the very beginning.
I can not pretend to have all the answers. What is truth for me may not be truth for someone else. That's okay. I have particular beliefs about certain issues which is why I am still a member of the United Methodist Church. The Methodist church best aligns with my own beliefs, once I decided what they were. I am fully comfortable raising my children in this tradition, but hopefully equipping them with the ability to one day discern for themselves what they believe to be truth.
I have been blessed to be able to teach Confirmation to 12 youth these past few weeks. I have learned alot myself. Last week we discussed a tool for discernment known in the Methodist tradition as "the Wesleyan Quadrilateral." For those of you unfamiliar with this, the quadrilateral is a way to prayerfully discern what God's will is for you by using scripture, tradition, reason and experience (the four sides of the quadrilateral). I earnestly want my youth and my own children to have the ability, the tools, and the maturity to go prayerfully into Scripture, and through what they already know through their own experiences and what they have been taught in their church tradition, use their God-given gift of reason to discern their own path in this world.
We have also been teaching that even though this is a tradition in which we have chosen to live our lives, it is not our place to judge what someone else believes. I may disagree, that is my right, but I may not judge.
I have blogged before about certain beliefs that I consider false prophecy. Though I do not judge those who may be misled (in my opinion) I do pray for them and encourage everyone to never believe something just because someone you trust tells you that is truth. Ask God for wisdom because wisdom is something He never withholds.
One last thing, there is a reason they call it a "Spiritual journey." We are forever learning, always questioning, always listening, and always teaching.
In other news Zach is spending his week in Denver with a crew of Wesley students doing mission work. Today they are painting a house. He texted me,"Caulking with college students is worse than with Jr. High kids." Having experienced caulking with junior high kids, I can only imagine. At least I know that they are enjoying themselves.
I am spending my week with my kids who are on their Spring Break. The weather has kept us indoors for the most part and we have a case of cabin fever that has resulted in lots of screaming, tears, and a mommy about ready to tear her hair out. Thankfully, my trusty weather man tells me the rest of the week is going to be beautiful so I hope to spend much of our time outdoors in the coming days.
I hope the rest of your week is overflowing with blessings of your own.
"I'll hold tight to what I know, You're here and I'm never alone" - Barlow Girls