Staying True to His Work In You

In response to my recent BodyLife article about “How Do I…” I got an email this week. It was very encouraging. This came from an old friend back east, and I am not reprinting it for the kind words he says about me, though they are greatly appreciated since I am in a very difficult season of being true to what God has invited me to do. I print it for the situation they find themselves in with elderly parents.

People who have been embedded in religion for most of their lives, don’t realize how captive they become to expectations and control. They almost make it impossible to love them because no matter what you do it is never enough.

I have been thinking about you quite a bit for the past several weeks especially since reading your March newsletter. I understand where you are coming from with the demands and all, and you have generated a lot of prayer on your behalf not only from us, but from those who know and love you as well.

I can’t begin to tell you how much your wisdom and writing is not only needed, but cherished as well, helping those you will probably never meet on this side. My wife and I were talking recently about the negative side of religion. Her folks (in their 90s) are living alone in their home, and now they need constant care, but having been taught from their childhood the necessity of control and expectations on all around them, we are up against it.

Sadly, they were never able to have an adult relationship with their kids and now it is impossible for my wife and her siblings to help in any way. No matter what they try to do it is wrong in their eyes, even though the decisions themselves are right. They will not give up control and it is tragic, especially when the kids are not respected for who they are. This is the old cause and effect religion.

I only tell you this (you’ve been through it) to encourage you to continue writing, and not to get bogged down with any of the other stuff. I had lunch Sunday with two couples who wanted to start “church”, and I encouraged them to read the book (So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore) again and go to your website and read everything. The message needs to be told and retold. Families literally hang in the balance with all that religion does to destroy them.

I cried when I read the newsletter, for the pain I know you feel from time to time. For what it’s worth, I felt I was reading what the apostle would be saying in the language of today. Hope you can just relax each day knowing how important you are to Father and us.

OK, that last part is a bit over-the-top, but I love what he says about religion and legalism making us controlling people. Instead of healing our fears, it passes them on to others by our need to control them by whatever means are at our disposal. That’s why religious people carry so many expectations and think nothing of expressing their disapproval when people don’t meet them. It’s all an attempt to control others around them. Wouldn’t it be better just to let Jesus transform us in the face of our fears, rather than trying to satisfy them by destroying our relationship with others?

I heard one time that the last thing a parent can do for their children is to die well—not to demand from them the care they think they need and to be grateful when they do their best to help out. I like that.

I first saw this email on my phone sitting on a plane in Jackson, MS. It made me tear up as the doors were closing. I love the relationships that develop over time with people who carry the same passion for God, grace and freedom that I do.

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14 Comments
  1. kent June 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I echo the things said in this email. You just being available to walk along side folks on this journey has been a great help to many. I want to believe had it not been you as that brother in my life, Father would have sent along someone else, but turns out it was you who was available and willing and I am forever grateful for the friendship.

    And as to the malforming effects of religion that is spoken of here in the email I also agree. I have some very similar on going situations in my life also with people so bound by the religious training they can’t get past it to even hear anything else. It’s like someone whose house is on fire and they keep turning away the people who are coming with buckets of water to help put out the fire.

    And yes, make sure you make the time to write. Even if it’s not something others will someday read. Just do it for you’re own health and growth.

  2. Theresa June 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Jay and I both amen that email, Wayne. You have been a special gift in our lives. More than once we’ve read something you’ve written and it will be just what we needed to hear. (Some of hardest critics and law keepers we have to over come is that one in between our ears.)

    Kent- good analogy. So very true.

  3. kent June 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I echo the things said in this email. You just being available to walk along side folks on this journey has been a great help to many. I want to believe had it not been you as that brother in my life, Father would have sent along someone else, but turns out it was you who was available and willing and I am forever grateful for the friendship.

    And as to the malforming effects of religion that is spoken of here in the email I also agree. I have some very similar on going situations in my life also with people so bound by the religious training they can’t get past it to even hear anything else. It’s like someone whose house is on fire and they keep turning away the people who are coming with buckets of water to help put out the fire.

    And yes, make sure you make the time to write. Even if it’s not something others will someday read. Just do it for you’re own health and growth.

  4. Theresa June 2, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Jay and I both amen that email, Wayne. You have been a special gift in our lives. More than once we’ve read something you’ve written and it will be just what we needed to hear. (Some of hardest critics and law keepers we have to over come is that one in between our ears.)

    Kent- good analogy. So very true.

  5. Charles Graham June 3, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Yes, please keep doing what Papa asks of you. Meeting you years ago helped keep me from going down some roads that would have been disappointing. Your writing and podcasts are like a breath of fresh air. They bring life and freedom when religion tries to step in and take it from us.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  6. mark brown June 3, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Nay brother, not over the top.

    When led by the Spirit, we do tend to write the Truth of the living Word… in differents words than scripture sometimes, but the same conceptual truths of freedom… “where the Spirit of the Lord is…”.

    Kaalbers@telus is often (always?) doing a new thing!

    MDB

  7. Charles Graham June 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Yes, please keep doing what Papa asks of you. Meeting you years ago helped keep me from going down some roads that would have been disappointing. Your writing and podcasts are like a breath of fresh air. They bring life and freedom when religion tries to step in and take it from us.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  8. mark brown June 3, 2010 at 11:46 am

    …sorry, static must have done some weird things!

    Your title reminded me of, “He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it…”.

    We are thankful to Papa for you and Sarah, that you both have been answering His call… whatever that is… only you will know, moment by moment, eh?

    Re: His call then, it seems Papa loves to “keep us on our toes”, and He keeps changing that old “life-calling” that we (our flesh) likes to latch onto for identity/vanity, eh?

    In the Truth, He just wants us to constantly wait on Him; listening to the call of Love… relationship.

    So, His calling is by His very nature dynamic (alive!). He is always doing a new thing. He can’t help it, He is the Almighty Creator!

    You are in my prayers brethren.
    MDB

  9. Kathy June 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Your books helped lead us out of a very legalistic and controling situation we can’t thank you enough. Also, taught us to put aside most, not all, but most of what we had learned and really get to know our savior and friend Jesus. My husband Pat is a semi-retired ecologist and is in the process of writing a book on ecology and creation. I have been watching this process for a couple of years, the research, the note taking, then trying to begin the rough draft. He is able to go for long stretches then bam he hits the wall, burn-out. He’s a flyfisherman and when burnout hits he needs to leave for a while, clear his mind and as he says just spend some time with Father. We really do care about you Wayne even though we have never met and probably won’t in this life please take care of yourself. You are in our thoughts and we’ve already had a talk with Father. Kathy and Pat

  10. Joyce June 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Wayne, I can not even begin to tell you just how far you have taken me on this wonderful journey, and continue to take me. Please continue to let Father speak through you, as He impacts the lives of so many. You have been so instumental in helping so many, as we meander down the road less traveled.

    Thank you for all the life giving truth and freedom that you have shared with all of us in what you have written and spoken. It is precisely in that truth and freedom that we love others, and many times, lives are forever changed.

    Thank you for always being open and aware of Papa’s life in you.

  11. mark brown June 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Nay brother, not over the top.

    When led by the Spirit, we do tend to write the Truth of the living Word… in differents words than scripture sometimes, but the same conceptual truths of freedom… “where the Spirit of the Lord is…”.

    Kaalbers@telus is often (always?) doing a new thing!

    MDB

  12. mark brown June 3, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    …sorry, static must have done some weird things!

    Your title reminded me of, “He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it…”.

    We are thankful to Papa for you and Sarah, that you both have been answering His call… whatever that is… only you will know, moment by moment, eh?

    Re: His call then, it seems Papa loves to “keep us on our toes”, and He keeps changing that old “life-calling” that we (our flesh) likes to latch onto for identity/vanity, eh?

    In the Truth, He just wants us to constantly wait on Him; listening to the call of Love… relationship.

    So, His calling is by His very nature dynamic (alive!). He is always doing a new thing. He can’t help it, He is the Almighty Creator!

    You are in my prayers brethren.
    MDB

  13. Kathy June 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Your books helped lead us out of a very legalistic and controling situation we can’t thank you enough. Also, taught us to put aside most, not all, but most of what we had learned and really get to know our savior and friend Jesus. My husband Pat is a semi-retired ecologist and is in the process of writing a book on ecology and creation. I have been watching this process for a couple of years, the research, the note taking, then trying to begin the rough draft. He is able to go for long stretches then bam he hits the wall, burn-out. He’s a flyfisherman and when burnout hits he needs to leave for a while, clear his mind and as he says just spend some time with Father. We really do care about you Wayne even though we have never met and probably won’t in this life please take care of yourself. You are in our thoughts and we’ve already had a talk with Father. Kathy and Pat

  14. Joyce June 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Wayne, I can not even begin to tell you just how far you have taken me on this wonderful journey, and continue to take me. Please continue to let Father speak through you, as He impacts the lives of so many. You have been so instumental in helping so many, as we meander down the road less traveled.

    Thank you for all the life giving truth and freedom that you have shared with all of us in what you have written and spoken. It is precisely in that truth and freedom that we love others, and many times, lives are forever changed.

    Thank you for always being open and aware of Papa’s life in you.

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