Free Range Believers

Sorry it has been so long again. My life is pretty crazy at this point. Only had 11 days between a trip to the East Coast and turning around to make my third trip this year into Canada, this one to British Columbia. And it’s been busy since we’re trying to get out a new hardback version of The Shack, for those who have been asking for a more permanent copy for their libraries.

I also got a shocking package in the mail Friday from an old publisher of mine. Thomas Nelson sent me a new copy of a Portuguese translation of In My Father’s Vineyard) (pictured at left, which is no longer in print in English). I had no idea this was even in process. This is the beautiful coffee table book that is now out of print. They did a beautiful job on the book. I miss the fact that we no longer have that available in English. It brought back so many rich images of growing up on my dad’s vineyard.

I had a great time with some old friends in upstate New York and down in central Pennsylvania. This trip produced some interesting conversations, some newfound friends and even defined some new terms. And in Pennsylvania, I picked up a new term for believers on this journey that we discussed on the last podcast. In case you missed it, I’ll fill you in here.

Someone was talking about a wine list they saw at a restaurant that was offering “free-range wine.” They were asking me what that was, knowing I’d grown up on a vineyard. The term really tickled me. According to Wikipedia “Free range is a method of farming husbandry where the animals are permitted to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner. The principle is to allow the animals as much freedom as possible, to live out their instinctual behaviors in a reasonably natural way…” I don’t know how you apply that to vines. We never had to cage them up in our vineyard because they weren’t ever trying to get away.

But as we talked about it, we thought what a great term it was for believers who are no longer a committed part of Sunday morning institutions. We haven’t left Christ. We’ve not lost our passion for the body, but many of us have found it far easier to grow and help others grow without all the overhead, machinery and rituals of organized religion. To some of us it was a cage that did not promote healthy spiritual growth, but actually stifled it by all the personal expectations and political necessities of an institution. Now, I know not everyone feels that way and many continue to find great life and growth in such places. If it is helping you know God better and live more deeply in him, good on you! But it is also fabulous that others are finding more opportunities for growth in the freedom from some of the restrictive realities of many of those institutions.

‘Free-range believers’ is a good way to say it. Now don’t worry. I’m not coining a term to identify a new movement or exploit a new market. I just think it’s a wonderful way to express what many of us are finding to be true—maybe we all don’t have to grow up in the same environment. What may be a joy for some can become a prison for others. And yet we are all believers still in this marvelous journey. Free-ranger believer. That has all the overlays of freedom and not growing being hyped up through artificial nutrition. As many write me, it certainly is not an easier way to live, but for many it is more real and more life-transforming.

Now I’m on my way to Canada again. There are so many wonderful people up there on an incredible journey and I’ve got a slew of people on this trip that I’ll be meeting for the first time. I love it up there. Not only are the people awesome, but so is the chicken at Swiss Chalet and the chocolate dessert at Kelsey’s. (I know, it’s not the best for me, especially after my check-up at the docs last week. It’s time to get serious about a few dietary essentials. Bummer!

One last thing. If you want a bit more of The Shack, check out Willies blog from this weekend. It’s an awesome story in the same vain, and with the same poignant wisdom! You will thank me!

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32 Comments
  1. Melbourne Sue October 16, 2007 at 4:22 am

    Bakerk!

    (That’s the sound of a free range believer)

  2. Yah October 16, 2007 at 7:18 am

    How’s this for a tag line?…

    “Some prefer to be “couped” up with the chickens… but the “free range” prefer to soar with the eagles.”

  3. Melbourne Sue October 16, 2007 at 7:22 am

    Bakerk!

    (That’s the sound of a free range believer)

  4. Yah October 16, 2007 at 10:18 am

    How’s this for a tag line?…

    “Some prefer to be “couped” up with the chickens… but the “free range” prefer to soar with the eagles.”

  5. Tina Patterson October 16, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Yea, I like this….Free Range Christian – that’s me. I’m gonna start the movement in Tennessee!!!

  6. Tina Patterson October 16, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Yea, I like this….Free Range Christian – that’s me. I’m gonna start the movement in Tennessee!!!

  7. Peter October 16, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Let’s see. Free Range Believer or Feed Lot Christian? Hmmm.

    One has the freedom to live, eat, and breathe fresh air (RUACH) led by the Spirit while the other is living in its own filth, fed silage at the convenience of The System, and is susceptible to religiously transmitted diseases. I know which I’d prefer. 🙂

  8. Jon October 16, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Wayne, dessert at Kelsey’s??? It’s not a truly Canadian experience until you’ve been to Tim Horton’s. There is one within walking distance from our place. Looking forward to your visit Jon

  9. exdroid October 16, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    “Free range believer” – Great term !! I love it…..heaps!

    Just not gonna turn it into a movement like you say – eg like ‘the emergent movement’

  10. Peter October 16, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Let’s see. Free Range Believer or Feed Lot Christian? Hmmm.

    One has the freedom to live, eat, and breathe fresh air (RUACH) led by the Spirit while the other is living in its own filth, fed silage at the convenience of The System, and is susceptible to religiously transmitted diseases. I know which I’d prefer. 🙂

  11. Jon October 17, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Wayne, dessert at Kelsey’s??? It’s not a truly Canadian experience until you’ve been to Tim Horton’s. There is one within walking distance from our place. Looking forward to your visit Jon

  12. exdroid October 17, 2007 at 1:27 am

    “Free range believer” – Great term !! I love it…..heaps!

    Just not gonna turn it into a movement like you say – eg like ‘the emergent movement’

  13. Wayne October 17, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Jon,

    But you have to like coffee to enjoy Tim Horton’s. Not a coffee guy!

    Exdroid,

    Yes, I do hope the term can be used in positive ways about people who are growing in the freedom of Christ, not as a put-down to ‘caged believers’. That’s especially true if we think all people who attend a Sunday morning get-together are not free-range. I know many free-rangers there. It really is a statement of life, not a stick for poking others…

    Wayne

  14. Wayne October 17, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Jon,

    But you have to like coffee to enjoy Tim Horton’s. Not a coffee guy!

    Exdroid,

    Yes, I do hope the term can be used in positive ways about people who are growing in the freedom of Christ, not as a put-down to ‘caged believers’. That’s especially true if we think all people who attend a Sunday morning get-together are not free-range. I know many free-rangers there. It really is a statement of life, not a stick for poking others…

    Wayne

  15. rob lane October 17, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Hey Wayne,
    Go Packers!!!! Glad things are going well. Things here in Sacramento are good but interesting. Thanks for passing on the article written by Willie. What a blessing! Peace and grace.

  16. rob lane October 17, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Hey Wayne,
    Go Packers!!!! Glad things are going well. Things here in Sacramento are good but interesting. Thanks for passing on the article written by Willie. What a blessing! Peace and grace.

  17. The Other Pam October 17, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    As a free range believer who may live in what some may call a cage, be, dear brothers and sisters, cautious about making judgments about people. I have learned the hard way that things are not always as they seem . . . I think this is about living a life in freedom and love with our Father, not about being the right ones or being the healthy ones. Glad to see so many enjoy Him so much; let’s be gracious to those on another part of the journey.

    Thanks for you words Wayne!!

  18. Gerry October 17, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    ‘Nuther Free Ranger, anticipating Waynes visit to BC, Canada. Go Free Range!!

  19. The Other Pam October 17, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    As a free range believer who may live in what some may call a cage, be, dear brothers and sisters, cautious about making judgments about people. I have learned the hard way that things are not always as they seem . . . I think this is about living a life in freedom and love with our Father, not about being the right ones or being the healthy ones. Glad to see so many enjoy Him so much; let’s be gracious to those on another part of the journey.

    Thanks for you words Wayne!!

  20. Gerry October 18, 2007 at 12:06 am

    ‘Nuther Free Ranger, anticipating Waynes visit to BC, Canada. Go Free Range!!

  21. Curtis Wood October 22, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Where can I get the book…Na Vinha de Meu Pai? Thanks

  22. Wayne October 22, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Curtis and others,

    You can order the book from Casa Publicadora das Assembleias de Deus • Caixa Postal 331 20001-970, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil. http://www.cpad.com.br/

    If you’re in the U.S., I have three copies here I will let go for $12.00 + 3.50 shipping.

  23. Curtis Wood October 22, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Where can I get the book…Na Vinha de Meu Pai? Thanks

  24. Wayne October 22, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Curtis and others,

    You can order the book from Casa Publicadora das Assembleias de Deus • Caixa Postal 331 20001-970, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil. http://www.cpad.com.br/

    If you’re in the U.S., I have three copies here I will let go for $12.00 + 3.50 shipping.

  25. ari November 18, 2007 at 10:26 am

    i think one of the reasons chickens are healthier is they are foraging around for the many different types of food God has provided. They also don’t necessarily lay their eggs in one place…..? they are definitely more fit cause they don;t sit around in a cage all the time……mmmm – can u find any parallels to f.r.believers? love it…….

  26. ari November 18, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    i think one of the reasons chickens are healthier is they are foraging around for the many different types of food God has provided. They also don’t necessarily lay their eggs in one place…..? they are definitely more fit cause they don;t sit around in a cage all the time……mmmm – can u find any parallels to f.r.believers? love it…….

  27. Mikelyn Ilene September 23, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Happily I am moving to Free Range Planet with you guys…Mikelyn

  28. Mikelyn Ilene September 23, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Happily I am moving to Free Range Planet with you guys…Mikelyn

  29. Charleyn Moore September 28, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Mu sister gave me “The Shack” Friday, I have just finished it, could not put it down, it brought tears to my eyes many times. If anyone has read “Conversations With God” by Neale Walsch, it seems God is spreading his word to explain Himself to people who are confused. I thank the author of “The Shack” for his book and I will spread it to people who need the amazing message of forgiveness and belief. I cannot thank you enough.

  30. Charleyn Moore September 28, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Mu sister gave me “The Shack” Friday, I have just finished it, could not put it down, it brought tears to my eyes many times. If anyone has read “Conversations With God” by Neale Walsch, it seems God is spreading his word to explain Himself to people who are confused. I thank the author of “The Shack” for his book and I will spread it to people who need the amazing message of forgiveness and belief. I cannot thank you enough.

  31. Brad Nelson June 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    How do I get ahold of this potugeese version. My wife is from Brazil some I try to get her books when I can.

  32. Brad Nelson June 6, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    How do I get ahold of this potugeese version. My wife is from Brazil some I try to get her books when I can.

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