Confessions of a Church Avoider

Confessions of a Church Avoider http://wp.me/p2UZoK-Cw via @blestbutstrestI tried to explain to someone the other day why I prefer Thursday nights at a twitter party to regular church attendance. I’m afraid I just sounded sacrilegious. I didn’t mean to sound that way at all.

My rationale goes something like this. Over the past year I’ve participated in a flash mob of writers that meets on Thursday nights for “Five Minute Fridays” (I like the quirkiness of that).

We wait for the leader (when I first started participating, it was Lisa Jo Baker, the originator of the Five Minute Friday idea, but she’s passed on the baton to Kate Motaung) to post a prompt, and then we all write for five minutes, vomiting words all over the page, composing in our heads so that we don’t backspace or self-edit (too much), and then we hit the post button.

The writing exercise provides practice in writing and getting over our second-guessing-what-if-nobody-likes-this-stuff attitude. After all, we visit each other’s posts and leave encouraging comments (we all play by the rules).

But the real meat happens during the twitter party. For me, it’s like meeting with my friends in the church lobby after the service (or maybe before). We serve each other ‘virtual’ coffee, cookies and brownies (all calorie-free). We know about each other’s woes and hand off prayer requests—sometimes to the entire group, some times as messages.

But we know, without a doubt, that we have dear friends who pray for us. (tweet this) They fist pump our victories and hug us when we feel blue…or devastated.

In doing a quick search for Bible verses with the word ‘dear’ in them (this week’s prompt), I discovered that Paul sends a lot of greetings to ‘dear’ friends who are flung all over the Roman Empire. If Paul lived today, would he tweet things like:

#Dear Eutychus is alive! #MaybeIpreachedtoolong.
Visiting dear friends in #Tyre. Headed to #Jerusalem.
Mobbed outside of temple. #NoGreekswithme.
#Arrested. Dear Friends, please pray.

Due to technology, friendship crosses boundaries it never crossed before. (tweet this)

I can find women (sometimes ones who live on the other side of the world) who understand me and my wacky sense of humor. My dear blogging friends make me laugh, think and sometimes even cry (mostly when I read the beautiful words they write). It’s like knowing the pastor’s heart before he preaches the sermon—their words just mean so much more because we’ve chatted and prayed for each other before hand.

And so, yes. I prefer Thursday nights to midweek services or actual church. Call me a heretic if you must, but my dear friends get me. One day, I hope to meet more of them in real life.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • This is beautiful. I am so thankful for this dear community. It’s my tribe!
    Tara recently posted…Some of My Favorite Things (Christmas Music Edition)My Profile

    • All of these friends are pretty awesome, aren’t they? I’m working on my church attitude ;).

  • Oh Anita, you put into words to sentiments I cherish for all these dear #fmfparty friends. And I DO hope we meet in real life some day! If not here, then I’m looking forward to a grand #fmfparty reunion in heaven! 🙂
    Asheritah recently posted…The Best Lesson My One-Year-Old Taught MeMy Profile

  • Oh, how I’ve missed y’all these past few weeks! Such sweet words tonight, Anita. Much needed!
    Kristin recently posted…Miss E Turns FourMy Profile

    • So good to see you back! Parenting little ones and keeping up with a blog and life must be exhausting!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Something for NothingMy Profile

  • Lovely, lovely, lovely! You bet I get you… I’m finding more and more how much we are alike! And… we used the same scripture in our posts, and we each referenced Paul in how he addressed his friends! Love your post, friend. It might just be my favorite for the week! Beautiful writing from a beautiful heart. Much love to you!
    Julie Lefebure recently posted…Five Minute Friday – DearMy Profile

    • One of these days, we’ll have to arrange to meet up in real life ;). I got to meet Holly Barrett this summer, and it was so much fun! I hope you’re having a lovely week!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Something for NothingMy Profile

  • Thanks for sharing! I love Thursday evenings, too…although I keep myself (and sometimes hubby – like tonight) up too late so I can finish my post before midnight!! Mine tonight is not the usual “Dear” or letter…but felt the need to share. Sorry that I don’t use twitter or I’d join you for the after – twitter party! But, I’m here for the sharing! I may have to finish reading tomorrow!
    Barbara recently posted…FMF – DEARMy Profile

  • I love this! I feel like so many do not get this “blogging hobby” as a real, authentic dream turned into reality. Its the way I’ve connected with others through words and wrap around one another across the globe. Its SO much bigger than our little blog, our little tweet, our little post…even our little dream. It’s so many littles coming together to do something much bigger than anyone imagined. I am in love. (And that is a much longer comment than what I originally intended!).
    Bethany Boring recently posted…Dear Christmas TreeMy Profile

    • Like this, Bethany, and I agree completely.
      Susan Shipe recently posted…five minute friday: dearMy Profile

    • I totally get it! When I first started blogging, it was simply because the books I’d read on getting a non-fiction book published said I needed a blog. But now…now I’ve joined a community! (and I’m so glad you’re part of it!)
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…A Holiday Gift Exchange…Um, Giveaway!My Profile

  • I’ve not attended the Twitter party. Twitter confuses me mostly. But I appreciate your words here….
    Paula recently posted…Throwback ThursdayMy Profile

  • Thank you, Anita! Beautiful words and so true! I am not on twitter, but I still enjoy connecting with other bloggers through comments and FB. So many great writers and encouragers out there!
    The word dear is really special, I miss having it in German…
    Happy Friday to you!
    Katha recently posted…[Five Minute Friday] DearMy Profile

    • 🙂 So Germans don’t have a word for ‘dear’? Knowing more than one language gives me pause at times because I know the perfect word in Spanish, but seem at a loss because we don’t have the same word in English! It’s a good thing God speak and understands them all!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Something for NothingMy Profile

  • Thursday evening Twitter parties? Didn’t know they existed, but I’m thinking they are past my bedtime. I love the Friday posts, though. I’ve met some wonderful people! You and I were on a bit of the same track with our posts today. Blessings to you, Anita.
    Leah Adams recently posted…Five Minute Friday ~ DearMy Profile

    • YES! Twitter parties! I usually start hanging around twitter at 6 or so on Thursday nights–hoping that there might be someone on early, too. We use the hashtag #fmfparty and tweet chat or tweet deck to keep track of the wild conversations that erupt about 7 ;). Hugs to you, my friend!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…A Holiday Gift Exchange…Um, Giveaway!My Profile

  • Anita- you so beautifully expressed the power of community in my life, also. Thanks for sharing yourself and your gift. I’m always blessed by your words. Loved this!

  • Well, I love this. I am so not a night person and I’m usually in REM sleep by 10 p.m. EST! I have never participated in the #FMFPARTY. Now, more than ever, I want to. What should I do? Drink coffee with dinner? Yikes…I’m going to venture out and try going to this party. Better than church? I can relate! xo I’ve loved getting to know YOU, dear friend.
    Susan Shipe recently posted…five minute friday: dearMy Profile

    • Hum…I can’t recommend drinking coffee late at night ;). But there’s usually some of us that come early–say, by 6 Mountain time! Hop on twitter this Thursday at 6 and see if anyone is there! We’d love to chat a bit!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Something for NothingMy Profile

  • Anita 🙂 you words always make me smile 🙂
    Somer recently posted…Five Minute Fridays “Dear”My Profile

  • Sandra

    Me encantaron tus palabras! Mucho de lo que leemos aquí en FMF nos inspira, nos hace recordar nuestros deberes hacia Dios y nos acerca a El. Gracias por compartirlo y sigamos disfrutando de nuestra FMFparty!!!

  • Oh how I love this beautiful commuity just for the honest reasons you shared. Like Bethany said so many of my local face to face friends don’t get this blogging thing. It has become such a part of my life I can’t even think of not having you all to share it with.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted…Dear – Five Minute FridayMy Profile

    • 🙂 It’s good that we have each other, isn’t it? God has blessed us indeed!

  • You aren’t the only one, dear Anita! And you know what? The FMFParty community helped me find the courage to find a new church community. Because y’all are so amazing, and I need more of that in RL. 🙂
    Jen @ Growing in Faith recently posted…Five Minute Friday: DearMy Profile

    • I’m so glad you found a new church community, Jen!

  • Oh Amen, my friend! (And Oh My Goodness… we could totally make that Paul Hashtags a THING! You know how I love me some hashtags!) xoxo
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…Dear Girlie of Mine – a Five Minute Friday postMy Profile

    • Ha! I love hanging out with people who get hashtags ;). Pop culture assumes that everyone is on twitter–but I only have a few real life friends who know what it is–and maybe only one who uses it!

      • Don

        I love Hashtag Browns with eggs for breakfast!

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