Tuesday, March 29, 2011



In a prior post I mentioned about my spirituality which labeled me as a messy follower who thought out of the box probably too much and really didn't fit in well with a conventional church. Well that is me. One messy follower of Christ, non pretentious, and seeking God. My ideology doesn't fit the mainstream church doctrine but I believe it does follow what Jesus was trying to say to His followers in the scriptures. OK, maybe I did put in a few beliefs of my own too. Hey ! I am not perfect in any stretch of the imagination but I have the desire to follow Christ despite my sinful nature. Thank God, He is a forgiving, loving, and graceful Jesus.

As you know Jesus mixed up things in His teachings and miracles that set the Pharisees into a tither and openly brought out their faults. What kind of religious teacher was he that kept friends from the unsavory crowd and made them disciples? Even an adulteress, a tax collector, and a thief were some of his followers. Quite a messy crowd don't you think?

In my wanderings through the desert I did run across a book by Mike Yaconelli on Messy Spirituality. The title did give me hope that I was not alone in my journey. Here is an excerpt from his book:

Messy spirituality is a description of the Christianity most of us live and that few of us admit. It is an attempt to break through the religious wall of secrecy and legitimize a faith which is unfinished, incomplete, and inexperienced. Messy spirituality is a celebration of a discipleship which is under construction.

Messy spirituality is the scandalous assertion that following Christ is any thing but tidy and neat, balanced and orderly. Far from it. Spirituality is complex, complicated, and perplexing- the disorderly, sloppy, chaotic look of authentic faith in the real world.

Spirituality is anything but a straight line; it is a mixed up, topsy turvey, helter skelter Godliness that turn our lives into an upside down toboggan ride full of unexpected turns, surprise bumps, and bone shattering crashes. In other words,messy spirituality is the delirious consequence of a life ruined by a Jesus who will love us right into His arms.

Christianity is not for people who think religion is a pleasant distraction, a nice alternative, or a positive influence. Messy Spirituality is a good term for the place where desperation meets Jesus. More often than not in Jesus' day, desperate people who tried to get to Jesus were surrounded by religious people who either ignored or rejected those who were seeking to have their hunger for God filled. Sadly, not much has changed over the years.

Desperate people don't do well in churches. They don't fit, and they don't cooperate in the furthering of their starvation ( yes I meant starvation). Church people often label desperate people as strange and unbalanced. When desperate people get a taste of God, they can't stay away from Him, no matter what everyone around them thinks.

The New Testament is filled with desperate people who barged into private dinners, screamed at Jesus until they had his attention or destroyed a roof of someones house to get to him. People who are desperate for spirituality very seldom worry about the mess they make on their way to be with Jesus.

In a way I guess this describes me to a point. Always reading and relishing in the words found in scripture and having a hunger for Jesus. It is interesting to note every time I read a section of the bible, I come up with a deeper meaning of what is being said. Some times it is just a soft reassurance and other times it jumps out of the pages at me. Other times as I am praying or thinking about Jesus, ( which is also prayer) I get a revelation. One time it was a soft spoken voice saying " bring the church to them" . It was a time in the desert when I was contemplating what I was supposed to be doing in serving God. Thus began my ministry in serving those that never set foot in a church. I had written about this in prior blogs.

Mike Yaconelli did give me a better understanding of what it meant to be a messy follower in Christ and that I was not entirely alone. Now I just have to work on thinking out side of the box to be sure it is spiritually led. Some times I think it is and other times I am not sure. When in doubt, I try to follow the scriptures or ask for understanding.

Yes indeed. I am a messy follower that is only a sinner forgiven in Jeus name.


Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I read that book nearly two years ago, it is a good one - I've kept it on my shelves. It makes sense our spirituality is messy and unkempt - so is the rest of life. Jesus certainly doesn't make us into robots (religion does).

Bill (cycleguy) said...

Larry: I absolutely loved Messy Spirituality. I have read it twice and can see me reading it again. Mike makes a great case...but when you think about it, we are all messy. Some maybe more so because of their background but because of sin we are all in need of grace. thanks for sharing a little more of yourself here. Praying for you.

photogr said...


The book certainly made me more asured of my messy position.It was like. Hey! So I do fit in some where.

photogr said...


Thanks for the prayers. I can use all the help I can get. I am paitently waiting to see what God has is store in my wandering adventures.

photogr said...
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