Living with “the manual” instead of each other


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We are currently making plans to revamp the ground floor of our home.  And like many such plans – this began life as the seed of an idea and a conversation.  Then asking someone to quote and another conversation with “Why not do this?”  And another quote and then another builder and another conversation and another “Why not do that that is way?”  And so it goes on – each conversation and each builder bringing their own thoughts to the table.

Some “ballpark quotes” are high – and some never follow-up at all – and some drop us with “Sorry – we are busy until the middle of next year”.  After ten weeks we are still talking – and still not a final quote – nor any work done.

But it is changing us.

How we look at our home – how we could change our home – how our home could be a better place to live …  Because this conversation is focusing us not only on the pot of finance we took out – but also the context of that pot and why we are doing this … On the present and the future … On our preferred lifestyle as well as just “home improvements”.

AND on not backing-down with each other AND not going for a win over the other’s ideas either.

This “project” is big for us.   So neither of us imposes decision-making on the other.  We seek unity.  We seek safety.  We seek love.

We seek to be “grown-up”.

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“You simply need to find the right church.”

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How different that approach.  An approach less welcoming.

Where different ideas and ways of doing things are never “All Are Welcome” (not really).  Where unity is found in the past rather than the future.  Where the present is more about not rocking the boat.

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What we have found in our conversation around this home improvement project is that  there is NO “correct way” of doing things.  Even though there are some obvious “not correct” ways …

We had one builder suggest something that was going to save a ton of cash and make a space we had written off.  But “we knew” it was a little dodgy i.e. to the long-term safety of our home.   And much as it was an attractive “solution” … what else (that was less than “safe” – even if not illegal) might be going-on if had we agreed?  We don’t need a manual of building regulations to back-away – no matter how many builds we were assured had been done this way.

So too the “correct biblical and scriptural” approach.

An approach that takes some preferred “regulations” but ignores others.  An approach that requires those qualified-in-God to determine what is acceptable and what is not …  Which is an interesting approach.  Because even the “regulations” (we call The Bible) are full of “challenges” to the biblically and scriptually correct teachings …

The “You have seen it written but I say” challenges.
The “Be Attitudes” challenges.
The “First shall be last and the last first” challenges

The whole damn thing in fact – the bible challenges and challenges our “correct” teachings – our “scripturally correct” way of living WITH the manual INSTEAD of each other (and ourselves).

We don’t have a volume or ten of building regulations.  But we have done enough googling to know there are some key do’s and don’ts in planning this project.  We have enough savvy to try and avoid employing the false teachers builders. BUT…

We have gone out of our way to talk with all … to welcome all into our home … to explain AND to  listen AND to be kind.

(and if you need a reason to be kind)

It is only by being kind that we really listen to those who are NOT like us – who DON’T think like us – who DO live differently – who ARE different …

And it is ONLY because of that “kindness” that we are finding a better way for us to live AND build.

“You simply need to find the right church.”

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Or the church “simply” needs to find a better way of embracing challenge and change.

Because “the manual” is stuffed full of challenge and change.

I think it is NOT actively seeking and embracing those “challenges” that we the church STILL struggles with.

(and I don’t think that is biblically OR scripturally correct at all)

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