Daily Archives: April 2, 2006

A couple of years ago I was looking for a new house.

The home that my kids and I were living in no longer "felt right". It was definitely too big, too chilly, to drafty.

We had lived there for 12 years, so moving was not an easy decision to take. It was our home. Yes, there were things that were wrong with it, but at least we knew what they were. There were things that were worse about it - things we couldn't change (money and time were both factors), but hey - how bad could it get?

The "kidlets" were not particularly happy about it (comfort and stability means a lot to teens), but they could see the need for change.

I began preparing to leave my home.

Part of the process was to begin packing. Packing was difficult. It meant parting with some things that I'd grown to love, giving up places that I'd grown to cherish. It meant going through memories - some were beautiful, some were very painful.

It meant preparing to walk away from one old, known home, into a new, unknown one.

It mean looking for a new home.

I knew the things that I needed in a home. Things like 3 bedrooms, plus a place for an office, being close to a bus route, having a small yard (not a big one). It meant having a paved driveway.

I don't remember the order, but I remember some of the "highlights" of the houses we looked at.

One house had children living there and there were signs of love all around. Photos, artwork done by the kids, toys. but...it had "level" problems. The foundation has slipped enough so that you could stand in the basement and see daylight between the cement basement wall and the joists on the floor above. Part of the back yard had fallen into the gully behind the house. There was lots of love, but the foundation had shifted.

Another house was smaller than the old one. It had not been lived in for a while, so there was that "quiet" feeling. There were just as many rooms, but they were way smaller rooms and they seemed to go around and around. The most irritating thing was that there was this wonderful little balconey on the back of the house - the room it was off of would have made a great master-suite. Ok - the irritating thing was that the door to the balconey was inoperable. There was this great area that you could see, but not get into.

Yet another house was very little. The ad said that the house had the right number of bedrooms, baths, etc. But we got there and there was nobody home and there was no keybox. And this nasty little dog had his nose to the picture window throwing an absolute tantrum - growling and carrying on.

Another I remember well. I actually tried to put a bid on it, but somebody beat me to it. There were things wrong with it that would have be solved before I moved there. There were two floors, plus a basement. Three levels, with a bedroom on each level. The furnace was between one of the bedrooms and the only egress. The only thing on the second floor was the master-bedroom area - and it had no door.

Then we came to see this house. The kitchen is "old-feeling", hardwood all over, just enough rooms, not too big, not too small. It's missing a couple of things I would have liked - a garage and a dishwasher. My son and I walked into it and "knew". Yes - for this house, I could live without a dishwasher. I've never in my adult life had a garage, so (while it would be nice) it's not a real issue now.

I put a bid almost immediately. This is our home.

(But What Does This All Mean????) - read on...


Don't worry, I'm not thinking I'm Jesus. I'm just thinking that after I wrote the previous post, you all are thinking "But what does this all mean?" and I'm reminded of the disciples wondering if there really is a message in all that story. (I changed the time stamp so the posts are in the "right" order)

Right now - I'm looking for a new church home. The church that my kids and I are attending no longer feels "right". It's too big (I didn't realize that before) and it's too drafty (things are being let in that shouldn't be in.)

The "kidlets" are not particularly happy about it (comfort and stability means a lot), and this time they don't see the need for a change, but they're willing to go along. The deal is - they still get to go to youth group and college group at the old church.

A while ago, before I even knew I would be looking, I think I was preparing to move.

We're preparing to walk away from one old, known home, into a new, unknown one.

We've visited a few churches (and for the sake of this post, I'm going way back.) I want to make the clear statement that all of these churches have their fans and their congregations that love them dearly. I'm only writing from the standpoint of "what it is that I am looking for" and "where is the church were I fit?"

Today, we visited a church that was like the first house I wrote about. There's lots of friendliness, even warmth. But the foundation is shaky. The message was sort of "devotiony", and although Jesus on the cross was talked about a lot, there was no mention of the WHY, which is the whole point. There was no mention of the "sin" word, no invitation to come to Him. They used "the Message". We had coffee and popcorn in the service and we called it "the Starbucks Church".
The second house reminds me of my previous church. There were a lot of little groups and some of them are very hard to get into. I was told early on that in order to be a part of the music ministry (other than being in the choir), a person has to (very unofficially) be a part of the "right" group. I wasn't a part of that group and I never was able to get into it. That's the balcony. The part you can see into but not get into.

I'm sure that a lot of folks can think of a church that reminds them of the little house with the little dog, protecting its territory. I won't go into that (and I really haven't had that experience in church hunting. But that is something I'm aware of.)

The fourth house brings to mind the church we visited last week. It was nice, I really liked the sermon. It would be ok to attend there. The only thing is...they don't have "their own space". Like the bedroom with no door, this is a church with no building. Again, many people feel very satisfied with this - it is just not what I'm looking for.

I'm still looking for the "right church". I know the things that I need in a church. Things like a choir or a singles group. Those are the "dishwasher" and "garage". They'd be nice, but if I sat through a service and felt "This is the one", I give those things up.

Point to the cross
Use the Bible (not the Message)

Those are the "musts"