On the Turning Away

Church started with Pink Floyd last Sunday. Technically it was Domino. With his iconic dreads and electric guitar, he sang, “On the Turning Away.” I saw it online, and I just happen to have a link. Next came Jeff Jones, he’s the senior pastor, and the current series is “Love Like Jesus.” Feel free to scroll on. I’m posting it believing someone might need to hear and will watch.

Jeff started out his sermon with some word associations: “If I said ______, you would say _____.” Eventually making it to his point. “If I said, ‘Christian,’ I don’t know what you would say, depending on what your experience is…”

I knew where Jeff was going. I knew what should go in the blank, but I’ll be honest, my first thought was not positive. Forgive me for going there. I know there are lots of good Christians, amazing humans who give generously of their time and resources and have an unbelievable level of grace for others. But I also know lots of people who won’t step foot into a church…who feel judged by Christians…who have had bad church experiences. Almost daily during my online scrolling and sometimes in overheard conversation, I hear and see Christians passing judgement. And I think—what would Jesus do? What would Jesus say? What would Jesus post?

Jeff continued, “…but I know what we should be able to say, what anybody in the world should be able to say whether they are Christian or not or believe anything about Jesus…the first thing they should think about when they think about ‘Christian’ is love…because that’s the one thing that Jesus said,…’Love like I love.’”  

The weekend before last Ryan Leak kicked off the series. He’s a teaching pastor and a professional speaker. And the strange thing is—I saw him for the first time preaching at a church in Houston about a year ago, and then suddenly he’s popping up at my home church back in Dallas. Throughout the pandemic, Chase Oaks Church is my go to for Sunday mornings. I find extra inspiration and hope here. The sermons are archived on their website if needed, and you can fast forward through the music—or not.

 

Anyway, I go to church each Sunday for my weekly attitude adjustment. I am far from perfect. FAR. But I try. On the day of this U.S. Presidential election, I might not be perfect. Despite results, I’m sure I’ll need to be back in church by Sunday.

Jesus knows we’re all messed up. He offers forgiveness as a gift. And because He would, I’m sending love and peace your way—no matter who or where you are, no matter what you’ve done or what you believe. ❤️

22 thoughts on “On the Turning Away

  1. I love how you are soft enough to apply these messages to your heart! So many others just look outward and think to themselves “so and so” needs to hear this message… So good on you! Keep staying soft and learning what God is speaking to you personally 😊
    As for me, I’m realizing more and more that I need a daily adjustment time with God to get me through all my issues. Waiting a week is no longer enough! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This blog post took me a long time to read as I watched some of the concert, wasted on me because of my hearing aids, but I liked the guitar anyway. Then I popped over to Chase Oaks and Looked around and likely will watch a live service friday or Sunday. The trouble with online services that are done so professionally for me is that they are just done so professionally. I miss the local amateurish humility.
    Just be yourself Crystal – no one can be you as well as you can.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the visit and for persevering through the long post, David. I was curious who might check out the whole thing, guessing it wouldn’t be many.

      I’m from a small town, so I didn’t grow up with anything like this, but I’ve always been drawn to non-denominational churches. One of my teacher friends invited me to Fellowship Bible Church North back in 1998. Jeff Jones was the associate pastor then. It was smallish but growing in a growing suburb. In 2008, they had officially outgrown the building and moved to a new building and became Chase Oaks Church. Since then they’ve had to renovate to expand seating. It just keeps growing, but the messages here keep me coming back. Even with a move, four hours away, and then especially now with the social distancing, it’s a little piece of home for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post. We can’t go to church because of the pandemic, but if I could I probably wouldn’t. My wife goes on line, but even then there’s too much judgment. Speaking down to people. To say I’ve been hurt would be a major understatement. Soooo, my favorite type of church now if I did go and I never thought I would say this…..is Catholic. I love the liturgy.

    Like

  4. Certainly, the Almighty has infinite means of touching willing hearts. In this church the Message has found yours.

    Within the congregation’s embrace you found warmth, comfort and happiness. And the Mission? It found a joyful vessel

    Well played, Crystal..

    Like

  5. I’m always happy and supportive of one’s beliefs if they practice caring and compassion. For me it’s not the belief it’s the thoughts and actions of the individual believer that matters. It takes so much courage to have the convictions of a belief and not just use it to present an artificial image. I really like this post, it cuts right down to it. Thanks you. Be well my friend.

    Like

      1. you are welcome, my words are only a reflection of what you presented. It was a pleasure to read and refreshing! Be well and continue to enlighten through your the gift that pours out from your heart!

        Like

  6. Thank you for sharing!!… before my late wife’s passing she were visited by a Chaplain… he asked her if she had a religion and she said “No”… he then ask her if she believed in the hereafter and she said “Yes”.. he said “Good, for it is what is in the heart that matters, not a name above a door”… one does not need to be a member of something to believe in something… 🙂

    I, myself, am not into religion, faith, etc., I simply follow my heart… 🙂

    Hope all is well in your part of the world and life is all that you wish for it to be… 🙂

    Like

    1. So speaking of Chase Oaks, once in 2010, I went to the front of the church for prayer. Completely desperate. Pre-diagnosis for my son, but something was clearly wrong. And this lovely woman prayed this lovely prayer. And she gave me this scripture: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

      A few years later, I ran into her again (it’s a big church). She remembered me and asked me for an update and told me, “God has his hands all over this.”

      Just to say—“Jesus always has our backs.” I love this. These are the things I always remember. Thank you, Cheryl.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s