The Desert Sanctuary

Spirit * Soul * Body

Allow me to inatroduce you to one of my fellow Quoir authors.  His new book is called Shame: An UnConventional Memoir.   We talk about his book and how shame affected his life and how he eventually went of a journey of reconstruction and rebuilding of his emotional and spiritual life.

Find the book on Amazon!

Facebook for Josh Roggie


 

 


Oh wow, my book, Apparent Faith, got nominated for a Christian Indie Award in Theology for 2020!! This is quite humbling. Please help me out by voting and then spreading the word.

“Apparent Faith” under Theoloology

—>VOTE HERE<—

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If you still haven’t ordered the book, it’s still on sale and available in print, audible and Kindle version.

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Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support.

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

Brandon Vedder is an award winning documentary filmmaker. Brandon’s career began touring with and making films about musicians. His early days had him shooting for concert film’s like Pearl Jam: Live at the Garden. In 2013, alongside Transcendental Media, Brandon produced, edited and shot the acclaimed documentary La Source, narrated by Academy Award nominated actor, Don Cheadle. The award winning film had its World Premiere at AFI Docs and went on to play theatrically in NYC & LA. In 2015 Brandon directed, shot & edited A Certain Kind of Light, a documentary short that received six best short documentary awards and aired on PBS in 2017.

We got together to talk about his recent film “Strange Negotiations,” a documentary about David Bazan, formerly of Pedro and the Lion.  This film will give language to those wrestling with their faith and facing personal struggles and/or deconstructions.

Find Brandon at:  http://www.brandonvedder.com/ 

 


 

 


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Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support.

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

 

Elaine is a blogger and podcaster at The Prodigal Daughter , a place to encourage women to be bold, strong, brave, and fearless leaders.  Her mission is equipping women with the tools to to step out of the shadows and pursue their God-given callings and chase after their dreams.  She also co-hosts the Reckless Pursuit podcast with her husband, Cody.

Her website     *     Her Facebook     *     Her Instagram



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Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support.

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

Julie McVey is the author of the book, “Why I Left Church to Find Jesus: A Personal Odyssey.”  In her introduction to the book, she writes:

I wrote this odyssey as a snapshot of some of my most challenging and even ugly religious experiences in a fundamentalist megachurch in an effort to more fully embrace breaking free from an unhealthy authoritarian religious indoctrination and to process the grief that emerges from the religious shunning that sadly, but often inevitably, results from this kind of religious deconstruction. Christians, ex-Christians, and religious outcasts will relate to the heartache, confusion, and betrayal of not only a religion lost but, more painfully, of friendships lost. Such loss is often the catalyst for a much needed spiritual transformation and great healing, which is the fortunate outcome of this particular journey.

Check out her website at Julie View

And her Facebook Page.


 


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Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support.

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

Several months ago, when we stopped going to church, the most common injunction from people was, “Community is important.” As I said before, “I couldn’t agree more.” The best way I can answer this issue is to describe my current communities. That’s right, it’s plural. I don’t think any of us just have one community.

At the current moment, every day I drive to work at a large hardware store. I do a very physical job where we make sure the professional contractors get what they need. I drive forklifts and physically load products and basically make sure that person has another person to talk to. It’s a little like church – I greet them coming in and help them, then I send them on their way with “have a nice day.” My partner, Kenny and I, do the grumpy old man routine and usually bring a smile to people’s faces when we poke fun at each other – kind like the old guys in the Muppet Show. It’s not what I want to do forever, but right now it’s part of my community.

Another part of my community is a group of podcasters and authors. My publisher is Quoir and I couldn’t be happier to be associated with them. We all try to help promote each other’s books and it’s just a place where we all are in about the same boat and understand each other’s struggles. The other podcasters and bloggers that I meet online have some similar interests and discuss things that we are struggling with. I would encourage someone who doesn’t think that the online experience can provide community to host a podcast and interview someone for 45 minutes. It is impossible not to be closer to someone after you truly listen to them for that length of time – I hear Laura saying, “Amen!” in the background. My friend, Jason Elam, says, “This is my church—these are my people!” I agree with him.

Another part of my community is the Heart Connexion community. Laura and I have participated in the Breakthrough seminars at critical points in our lives. Dr. Paul and Susanna Fitzgerald have been consistent beacons in our lives to guide us back to true North. It’s not uncommon to reach out to them as I navigate the path that I’m on. Several members of this community provide support and encouragement at various points in our life. They are part of our community.

The most interesting part of my community is my family. Our three children and their families are one of the most comforting parts of my life. When they are here visiting, I experience a peace that must be from God or if it isn’t, don’t tell me different. My brothers and sisters and my mother are eternal to me. I will always love them, but we live different lives in different places. If they arrived at my door, I would do whatever they need me to do. If I found out they had committed an egregious crime, I would still love them and support them because they are a part of me. The great thing about good family is that you don’t have to reprove that love at certain intervals – it’s just true! They are part of my community in one of the most special ways.

Some people say their spouse is their best friend – I don’t say that! I would just say that Laura is primary. For over 30 years, there has been nothing that mattered more than her! So, take that for what’s it’s worth. You could probably feel compassion for her, because she accepted me in my broken state and she endured all of the transitions, for better or for worse. My image of God is evolving but my image of Laura growing! Every year that passes, I appreciate her more! Whatever I say about her only diminishes what I feel about her; so may I just say that she is the primary member of my community – she is not the boss and she is not the slave – but make no mistake about it – she is first! In the words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that right now.”

How to Join a Community

As a final word about community, let me just give a couple of suggestions that were given to me by a moderator of an online community. He suggested that I ask more questions instead of giving advice. In general, he suggested that I should give more than I take. I think that’s great advice for joining a community. I often focus on the perfect post, instead of contributing to a post that is already there. The world doesn’t always need a new community, but we can make any community better by giving our best to that community.

A Note from Laura.

The definition of community is, “A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”

I’m just curious why the biggest argument I get from people about not attending an organized worship service (church) is this idea of community. If I am looking at the above definition, from the dictionary, I interpret that to mean you can find community anywhere! I have community at my work. I have community within my family. I have community by myself, if I truly believe the Divine is within me.

We both hope you find the community you need…it’s really as simple as that. We don’t have all the answers, but we can’t assume the community is necessarily inside organized church and we can’t assume our formula will work for everyone. But we do believe you can find your community and we are rooting for you!

Namaste,

Karl and Laura

Check out the other two episodes on Community

The Need for Community (1 of 3)

The Dangers of Community (2 of 3)


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Support us on Patreon!

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If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support.

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

Yesterday, I started talking about the need for community. If you haven’t had a chance, you might read it first. Community is not just within organizations and it is not without pitfalls. Today, I wanted to look a few of the dangers in joining a community, formal or otherwise.

The most obvious danger in community is abuse. This happens when people take advantage of the loyalty and trust that a group offers. Communities thrive on a certain amount of trust. We open up and give people our trust so that they can help and support us. It’s absolutely necessary to risk in order to love. Love makes us vulnerable. Bravery puts us at risk of getting hurt no mater what the context. When people take advantage of our vulnerability, they are abusing the trust we have given them. It is not that religious systems promote abuse, but they sometimes give abusers a cloak under which to operate. Families often have the same vulnerable relationships than can hide similar instances of abuse.

As a pastor, I have dealt with the fallout of abuse. In my humble opinion, the biggest issue with resolving these types of issues is spiritual bypassing. We want easy answers and catch phrases and simple resolutions. But rebuilding trust takes time and energy and understanding. It’s an incremental journey not a miraculous transformation. I am sure God can change our attitude in an instant, but years of pain and neglect and abuse takes even longer to rebuild. People must be seen with eyes of grace and find graceful, loving people that restore them slowly.

Between our second and third church, we took a couple of years off before planting another church. We found the best place to hide out religiously was in the third row of church. We file into church at the right time and file out at the right time, and if we want to, avoid all human contact. Any thing personal we did was when we chose to do it—there were no inconveniences, no impositions, no painful struggle with other people—no community! When I lived in a small town, I couldn’t avoid the town folk – they knew everything about me including when I got the mail. Communities can be places of where my gifts and talents are expressed or they can be places where I blend in to the point of anonymity.

One of the unfortunate draws of community is what Brene’ Brown calls “Common Enemy Intimacy.” She explains:

“Common Enemy Intimacy is counterfeit connection and the opposite of true belonging. If the bond we share with others is simply that we hate the same people, the intimacy we experience is often intense, immediately gratifying, and an easy way to discharge outrage and pain. It is not, however, fuel for real connection.”[1]

Community becomes very simple when we get together to talk about who we don’t like. American politics facilitates this “us verses them” mentality. But, as Brene’ stresses, “hating the same people” is really “counterfeit connection” and not really what we truly need from communities. It may make us feel good, but it’s not real community. It’s easier to talk about what we are against, but it’s much more noble to talk about what we are for.

Another subtle danger in community might be loosely connected with the “main thing.” Often corporate goals in a community like church (we call them mission statements), can cause us to run past people’s individual challenges. Sometimes communities and churches don’t have time for us to express our pain and not be “okay.” Spiritual bypassing tempts us to find easy solutions for people pain and catchphrases to pacify the hurting. In true community, it has to be okay for people not to be okay for a season. When I lead a contemplative group, I have to keep reminding them not fix people’s problems, just them be where they are.

Even if our community is a great community, there needs to be a chance for people to take some time off. If it’s not okay to leave, then we need to ask the question “why?” Are we afraid that we can’t control people after they get outside the immediate influence of the group? The things we really love, we set free (metaphorically or actually) and let them see us from the outside. True community is not controlling and should allow us some room to breathe occasionally. When I felt better being outside of them, it was probably a good indication to keep going. When I miss them, maybe I could go back some day.

When people resist organized religion, sometimes there is a very good reason. It is best not to try to shame them into coming back, especially if they have been hurt.

We’re not done…tomorrow..How to Find Community

Karl and Laura Forehand

See the other episodes

Part 1 – The Need for Community (1 of 3)

Part 3 – Finding Community

[1] Brown, Brene’, Braving the Wilderness, p. 136



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Support us on Patreon!

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https://www.patreon.com/karlscoaching

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!