We tried a different church Sunday in our attempt to get connected somewhere.  I won't belabor you with all of my feelings regarding church.  You might wag your finger, pass judgment, or better yet, agree with me!

I bracket all I say in this; Church is made of people who are human.  That is the point of church - knowing we are human and needing something beyond ourselves.  Our humanness is a tie to each other and a curse at other times.  Our humanness, even in its finest hour, puts our human touches into God's church - that is in inevitable, somewhat unavoidable and understood.  Bracket completed - thoughts begin....

My search for the best fit church for me is a bit familiar - like when I get hungry for something and I just can't place what it is exactly I want.  I might nibble a few things, but nothing hits the spot.   Maybe this quest is unattainable because of my expectation, my desire, and my background.  I too am human and add my own brand of humanness to a church.  Right there, in and of itself, I have dirtied any church I connect to:)

It was a "hip" church, if you know what I mean.  There was a coffee cafĂ©, an outdoor seating area to veg and meditate and fellowship and bond with others at will.  There were no pews, but big fat padded connected chairs in rows that did not hurt your backside one bit.  The room was painted black.  Two screens hung on either side of the platform declaring church announcements made in video form and flashing the lyrics to the songs we sang.  There were the typical members of the worship band; lead singer with lead acoustic guitar, electric guitarist, bass guitarist, keyboardist, drummer and a lady back up singer.  It followed suite with the trends in worship over the past 8-10 years.

It had on staff a team of pastors who shared the preaching - tag teaming the weeks to mix it up.  Since I had never been there I wasn't sure if the guy preaching was the lead pastor or a staff pastor.  Pretty sure though I was that he was the lead pastor.  He had been a free lance comedy writer in California, done a bit of writing for Jay Leno and somehow, as comedy and God would see fit, ended up in the pastorate.  

He wore what "hip" pastors of cool churches wear - jeans and a trendy untucked shirt.  It's the non-Catholic school boy/pastor uniform of media driven churches.  I couldn't tell for sure from where I sat [far too vain to wear my glasses which inconveniently stay in the car glove box ready to be whipped on when I get stopped for speeding as my license shows a restriction], but I think he had a small ear ring.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any of what I have just described to you.  It is just a familiar backdrop of the hip church now.

We prayed 42 million times.  In fact, at one point one person on the platform prayed and immediately after the amen in that prayer the worship  leader said, "Let's pray." ... and we did - two prayers back to back that weren't really much different from each other.  It made me smile and hope that God is not as impatient with redundancy as I am:)  

The worship team was musically good.  They played more modern songs than the last church we tried for which I was thankful. I did though want them to cut loose a bit more - it seemed held back.  I wanted to see the drummer go a bit wild like Animal from the Muppet's did when he played drums:)

The pastor spoke about getting wisdom and how that really looks played out in real life.  He used pictures of people who had made a lasting impact on him in the areas of wisdom - very fitting for Father's Day.  His summation was that real wisdom invests into the lives of other people because that's exactly what God does in us - invests in our lives.  He was a great communicator probably gifted that way and learned through his background.  I would definitely listen to him again.

I hated the black interior of this pole building though.  It seemed not a match for the God of light.  We live in beautiful Arizona with blue skies and sun and yet we were holed up in a black cave to sing and praise to the God of all light.  That too seems to be a church trend - darken up the sanctuary.  Why, I don't know!  I can though say that I am not a big fan of that trendy-paint-the sanctuary-interior-walls-black AND have-no- window-look-and-feel.

At the close of the service they opened overhead doors on the side of the sanctuary and beautiful sunlight and a breeze filled the room.  It was then that I felt more of God than I could in that darkly painted black sanctuary.  God abides everywhere - I get that.  I just feel closer to Him in tons of natural light.  Hawaiian churches do it right.  They usually have some sort of big sliding glass panels on the sides of their sanctuaries.  They open them up to the natural beauty of where they are at and still use over head screens!

Windows though can be distracting at times in a church. The church I went to in my younger years had windows on both sides of the sanctuary which overlooked hilly pastures of black Angus cows munching and roaming.  That scenery was beautiful and appropriately highlighted the natural beauty that God created.  It was also far more uplifting than pole building black sprayed windowless walls.  I really don't need the interior
of my church to make me feel like I am at a rock concert - maybe just the music. 

When have black walls ever been inviting?:)

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