I Want to be This Woman

When I grow up, I want to be this woman.

Well, er… not this woman. Or even any woman, for that matter.

But watch, and you’ll know exactly what I mean!

Losing Faith VII: Trading It In

This is the seventh post in a series called “Losing Faith”. All posts can be viewed HERE.

As mentioned in the first post of this series, it was a blogging friend who originally dispatched this train of thought for me. He observed how travel had played a part in the unraveling of a faith he once held.

I would echo that sentiment with an alternate angle.


farawayExposure to faraway lands and interactions with the folks of those places have led me to lose much of my faith as well—particularly faith in my culture, in popular Western thought, and more specifically in myself. However, those undoings only served to intensify my felt need for some form of Anchor, some Foundation upon which to construct.

There is a special pleasure to deconstruction. Who has ever carried a tool more fun than a sledgehammer? But at some point, there is need for some skilled builder to enter the scene. Creating rubble is fun, but it hardly provides a place to live.

This is my metaphor. others can grasp at their own well-fitted images. But for me, this is glove-like.

For I love to play the cynic more than most. To feign enlightenment through critique, this is the safe and satisfying life of the skeptic.

At least, it is until it isn’t.

Safe or satisfying.

My travel experiences and other life-tastes have at times fed that cynical, skeptical streak with a fresh spread of questions and rebukes toward the status quo that had both nurtured me and numbed me up to that point. Some of this caused me to grow; some just caused me to grump.

When it comes to religion, Christianity in particular, I often chuckle. I can recall a handful of conversations where speakers in attack mode unveiled their “faith-destroyers” to me. Typically, these “questions” ended with periods, rather than question marks. But punctuation aside, the tone carried a whiff of superiority silently declaring that the statement being made was surely news to me, and perhaps everyone else who ever “mindlessly” fallen into faith. In fact, it appeared certain to at least one in the room that surely no human in history had ever formulated this ground-breaking assessment of reality.

Feet in SeaNow to be sure, I learn things every day, from sources and angles of every sort. But these types of encounter cause my chuckle to rise because they suppose shallowness.  To discover that my feet touch the sand on the bottom hardly means that I’ve plumbed the depths of the sea.  It merely means I can touch where I am.  To crucify Christianity for its smallness when the “great big world” enlightens is one form of losing faith.  To move my feet in pursuit of deeper and purer waters was mine.

Though I didn’t foresee the amount of seawater I’d have to swallow along the way!


KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI can state with confidence that the faith I have lost along the way was a small faith.  Perhaps that is exactly why I lost it. It is easier to lose coins than cars.

In exchange for my feather-weight faith, heavy on its need for certainty and control, I am receiving a more substantial faith, rooted in dependence upon the eternal Spirit of God and a recognition of my need to keep step with Him.  This need is driven by neither fear nor threat, but by the simple recognition that moving out of rhythm with the beat that drives the universe is clumsy and costly.  I would rather sync myself to sink myself into the groove awaiting those whose stride is guided by the All-of-Life-Giver.


I hate losing things. Misplacing keys or phone drives me almost mad. Part of that is driven by the fact that I am typically very careful with my things, seldom losing track. So when I do, it cracks my composure. Losing my faith, even the small version, has felt like that. It had grown dear to me; it was worn and comfortable from years of use.

But it no longer fit.

Perhaps it never did.

Saturday Six-Pack (31)

Another weekend, another Six-Pack!

That sentence may be spoken with a couple different meanings as another work week ends. For the part of Wondering & Wandering, that phrase describes the latest serving of my web readings that I’ve deemed worth sharing.

As per usual, most articles are ministry-minded or faith-focused, with enough flexibility protected to cover some who-knows-what as well.

If six swamps you, start with my two *Picks of the Week*.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Why Are Churches of Christ Shrinking? (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
I am part of a currently shrinking fellowship; the statistics bear this out. Many theories exist, I am sure. This piece verbalized a number of my own fuzzy thoughts better than I have done myself. I also think there is much packed into the subtitle alone: “A Left-Brained Fellowship in a Right-Brained World”. The link above goes to part one of the article. The sequel post is HERE.  Thanks to James Nored at the Missional Outreach Network for sharing.

2) The New Tent-Makers
I am not currently a tent-maker pastor, but I have wondered often if far more ministry workers won’t be bi-vocational in the future, myself included. Leadership Journal follows two current church planters as examples of what it COULD look like.

3) Why Nice People Kill Churches
This week marked my first visit to the blog of Paul Alexander.  The piece that grabbed me is about staff movement which isn’t as much of a reality in my little church as in some larger congregations. More than anything, the title resonated with something I’ve long considered, and a few of the more specific points contain valuable insights if generalized just a bit.

4) How Minimum Targets Can Mean Maximum Impact
Trust Dumb Little Man to come up with something smart! If you’ve ever experienced frustration with your inability to meet goals or to chart progress, these four tips just might make the difference between another serving of failure and a fresh dose of success.

5) Uncommon Callings (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Skye Jethani is a writer that I find myself really blessed by recently. His book “With” is one of my best reads in the past couple years.  This Jethani offering breaks down the struggle many pastors have with really grasping the “work worlds” of their church members. Some great insights here for all who work in churches.

6) 12 Amazing Life Lessons You Can Learn Through Science
Here’s Dumb Little Man with his second offering of the week! Taking the discovery of penicillin as an illustration, here are a dozen encouraging tidbits that might provide you direction or inspiration on how to take a step upward and forward in whatever venture you’re currently part of.

Blessings on you, my friends.  May your weekend be refreshing in rest, play, and worship.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff above by making a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

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