Memphis sure seems quiet since the Outlaws left!!

Yesterday I spent all day running around Memphis finishing up business for the Outlaw Preachers (re)Union.  I went to the bank and got money to pay Pilgram House Retreat Center, spent time at First Congregational hearing loads of compliments from the pastor and facilities manager about what a joy it had been to host the Outlaws.  I ran into Tom in the hall on the way up to check on a few lost items, none of which I could find…but he was glad to see me and smiled broadly remembering the business of the weekend.  I decided to run down to the meeting rooms and just take a spin through them to check and found the halls so still and quiet…images of hugging and laughing swirling in my head, weaving through a hall that seems way too narrow now seemed wide and empty.  When we began planning this I thought it would be so easy to plan in my home town, I know this place and knew things would logistically work, what I didn’t expect was the feeling of emptiness that I would have when everyone left! The ghosts of Outlaw Preachers swirl around the places they frequented like the ghosts of Christmas past and I have to return to my daily life of work and ministry. 

Also while I was wrapping up some of the business end of #op10 I bagan to reflect on the Transfiguration in Luke 9:28-36 That mountain top experience that Peter didn’t want to leave…and then I read on to verses 37 and 38 which say “On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; this is my only child….” The story continues with Jesus seemingly getting frustrated with the crowd Jesus says in verse 41 “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son to me”  Maybe it wasn’t just Peter who would have liked to have stayed on that mountain!! Maybe Jesus too longed to stay in the company of God on the mountain, yet he chose to continue the always demanding, sometimes frustrating work of being present for people in need of healing.  I am trying really hard to process all the blessings of this weekend while acknowledging the quietness I am experiencing that translates more into aloneness while also being available to those whom God has placed in my path to be ministered too…the whole point of this for me is, the journey continues but I go forward with the knowledge that I have seen a glimpse of what the Kingdom is and it will sustain me and encourage me until I see it again. 

Thank you to all who attended #op10, to those who joined us online and to all those who wished they could have attended but even in the disappointment of not being present lifted us up in prayer for this experience.  God is doing a new thing, I am not sure what it is, but I am sure that God is faithful to those who are willing to be available to God’s call.  We continue to journey together, to decern our individual paths that weave together to create a blanket of care for those who feel they are alone, uncared for, not good enough, unwanted, unclean, unloved and misfits, we recognize in them our own feelings and seek to give them directions to the mountain top where that all changed.

The Lord continue to Bless you all until we gather again!

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3 responses to “Memphis sure seems quiet since the Outlaws left!!

  1. Pingback: All’s Quiet in Memphis « A Third Way

  2. Hi Connie, I left my church about three weeks ago. I couldn’t take another sermon describing the fires of hell, God finally after much prayer revealed to me by waking me at night at just the moment the narrator of the bible on my iPod I was listening to spoke one of what I’ve come to refer to as the “all” scriptures. I believe He will save all. Including my gay 33 year old son. My son has multiple sclerosis. I was saved only 7 years ago, I’m now 55. Beautiful, but excruciatingly painful journey due to my, for a duration belief he would go to hell. He had not believed in any god since he came out at 16 and experienced the hatred from God loving Christians. I came to feel I was betraying him by believing and standing with the people who hated him in the name of love. I had no idea there had been any movement at all with regards to people leaving the IC. I’ve only been in contact with other Christians online since leaving. Amazing the doors God has opened this way, I keep falling upon incredible people one by one. I heard you on the outlaw preacher podcast. I played it over and over. The joy in knowing, really knowing that God is doing a new thing. To hear my thoughts spoken, thoughts I believed only I had. Your joy and laughter are infectious. Any advice, blogs, books, places people or churches in Georgia, ( I’m moving there in the next few months from Cape Cod, Mass.) I’d be grateful for. My son is with me now. Religion almost had me believe I had to choose, only almost! Thank you Jesus! I was among Pharisees and became one. I’m a recovering Pharisee! Sorry for my babble! Thank you Connie. God Bless Kim

  3. Kim, Blessings to you and your precious son. Your story is so touching, I am honored that God has lead you to a place where my words have helped to bring you towards wholeness and God’s love and grace. Please feel free to contact me at conniejoh2o@outlawpreachers.com and I will do all I can to get you in contact with other followers of Christ who may be able to help you find true community.

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