Real Connection

When do you begin to connect? After you enter a new place, when do you begin to connect with that place?

Some don’t–they drift from place to place, rootless, friendless, and busy, but alone.  Others enter into transition, settle there, but wonder: when will I really connect?  Will it happen as I drive the streets, or walk the paths, or taste the bounty, or breathe the air, or see the beauty?  We all transition–each day, but not everyone connects to the place God has planted them.

I grew up re-connecting.   Before I reached my teens, I lived in six states from Alaska to New York to Florida to Tennessee to Illinois to Washington.  It’s been a great ride thanks to my amazing parents who found ways to make our transitions an adventure.  Because of their sense of adventure and their love, I have always loved new experiences.  And I love to connect.

For me, connection happens when I open my eyes and open my heart as I walk the streets, talk with people, pray to God, and engage in worship.  It happens, like it did today, as my beautiful wife and I drove to the coast, enjoyed some amazing bread, hiked along the coast, saw it’s rugged beauty, and listened it’s powerful push of waves breaking on shore.  Connection also happened to me this last week as I worked alongside ministry partners who are seeking to catch the wind of a vision that God is breathing among us, and who are bracing to set sail.  And after just two weeks, I have to say that we are off to an amazing start.  But our transition will take time.  And your prayers will be vitally important for the journey.  Please pray that our propulsion into the next stage be driven and directed by God’s breath and wind, the Spirit.  Life is just too short for less of an adventure.

I digress.  To point: connection for me happens in all kinds of experience, but it especially happens when I listen to stories, see faces, and catch the currents of God’s Spirit alive in the place God has called me to live.  One strong current at my new church is Open Closet, Sonoma’s second largest food distribution delivered by Redwood to our hungry neighbors.  This amazing ministry feeds many, and it’s one way one church is following Jesus into the world God loves.  And that’s a clue to the connection that God desires for us.

I believe that the connection we all long for–with God and one another—will be experienced as people connect as friends, grow as followers of Jesus, and seek to serve others in the name of Jesus.  It’s that simple and it’s that challenging, and it will take time.

So I’m praying.  I praying that Redwood Covenant will be guided by God.  I’m praying that we find ways to help those who are spiritually thirsty associate the life they want with the life Jesus gives.   And I’m praying that we will keep in step with the Spirit’s direction to share God’s love with our neighbors in the many neighborhoods that God has planted us.

I’m praying along those lines because I believe the connection we all long for happens with God and His friends who are growing together as disciples of Jesus, on a mission to serve others in the name of Jesus.

God will answer prayers along those lines, and I invite you to pray with me along those lines over the next few weeks.  As we join together in prayer, we will be connecting.  Oh yes.

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About chris breuninger

I love life, my family, and Jesus. I enjoy live music, rigorous exercise, thoughtful movies, and strong coffee. I study scripture, wine, and people. I get frustrated with narrow minds, Christian stereotypes, and gardening. My vocation is pastor, but I’m hesitant to admit that, and I’m happy when people are surprised by that.
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5 Responses to Real Connection

  1. Doug Richardson says:

    We moved here two years ago and unlike you, Chris, had never moved to an area other than where I had lived my entire life. What I discovered was that I needed to experience disconnection in order to freshly experience connection. I had gotten incredibly comfortable (in the lazy, resistant sense of the term) in life and needed some disconnection. A lot of stuff came up for me. Much was revealed that I didn’t know I didn’t know. All a necessary part of experiencing a fresh connection with God, others and even myself.

  2. Cathi says:

    Chris,
    I love your writing, the way you express your thoughts and feelings.
    About Connection – I’ve grown up here in Sonoma County, in a very large, close extended family. Much of my life I’ve tried to find ways to leave, and have left for periods of time, living in other states and in different periods of my life.
    This February it will be 19 years since I moved back to Sonoma County, leaving a marriage that existed in a fog and haze of alcohol and deceit, and as a soon-to-be single mother. I moved in with my mother, through her grace and love of letting me move back home.
    My now 18 year old daughter and I live next door to my mom, now 82, and we eat together every day and share much of our lives. My ex-husband moved here just after I did19 years ago, but has little contact with our daughter.
    Most of the last 19 years, my urge has been to disconnect from my family and Sonoma County. Its only been the last two years or so, after finding my church home at RCC and being involved in Alpha, the Welcome Ministry, and various other groups at RCC, that connecting with my family is something I choose to do.
    Through prayer and learning at RCC, I’ve learned that connecting doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing experience. I can connect with my family in ways that support good emotional health and offer prayers of well-being for those that challenge my life with God. In fact, I’m starting a prayer group in my family and have had 5 or 6 so far that want to join in.
    I believe its partnering and giving my life again to Jesus that turned my around on connecting with my family.
    Thanks for your blog, your thoughts, and how your respond to God’s call,
    Cathi

  3. Patrick Donohue says:

    Pastor Chris,

    It sounds like you got to experience the bakery in Freestone (corner of Bodega Highway and Bohemian Highway)? If so, that place rocks!

    Anyway, it’s ironic that your post was on connection, because I felt more connected to my home group last night than ever before, as we dug into the things that really worry us and the scriptures he gives us to inform and energize our heartfelt trust.

    It’s hard not to feel that God is doing something really fresh in our midst. Since you are a hiker I think it’s safe to say “thanks for being the lead climber,” tied in to the group, but going on up the hill and beckoning us forward to see the wonder of the view at the top.

    Looking forward to worship tomorrow!

    Patrick Donohue

  4. Kim Amrine says:

    Hi Chris – I’m enjoying reading your reflections, and this one struck me as I thought of what real connection meant in my life. To me, it means being transparent with my shortcomings, challenges and struggles and being willing to take the risk of not knowing how it will be received by others….Most of the time, in a safe group, I am accepted and loved by others, and this then allows me better accept all parts of myself, and further to see how Jesus loves me–not in my perfection or my attempts to show my better parts, but also around the distorted thinking and actions that send me sideways or backward…And it also invites others sharing their own stuff, so I can see them more as Jesus sees them…..to me, this is the fruit of real connection in my life.
    I’m grateful to read your reflections -kind of like having your here—-sounds like you are making a great transition into your new church…..take care – Kim

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