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we’re all a mess

April 25, 2010

this weekend at church pastor tom shared something with us that surprised me, but also didnt surprise me at the same time.

apparently he has heard, as well as having been told by other leaders in the community, that our church, TRF, is a “messy church”.

dont you just love it?!

you can rest assured that when you walk thru the doors of table rock you can let your messy self all out.

no expectations. no heavy thumb. just come and be.

each time he shared this info in all four services there was collective laughter and amens!

i love that people know they can come as is but also know that they’ll be challenged to grow and be stretched.

iron sharpening iron, right?

as i wrote in our community prayer journal this week i was overwhelmed with the vulnerability of you all. the personal and painful admissions. the prayer requests im certain were written through many tears.

our messiness was exposed.

i feel that when a community, any community, can expose who they really are…they link arm and arm together – creating a bond that with each link becomes harder to break.

ultimately becoming a safe haven for authenticity.

i crave authentic company. realness breeds realness. it primes safe ground.

being honest with ourselves and others isnt only good for our own hearts but also for some who may need to know that others struggle too…that there are people out there who worry, who are scared, who are messy…giving them permission to link arms with people just like them.

and when we can create a mess together…we can help each other clean up the mess too…together.

what say you? are you a mess?


33 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2010 4:19 pm

    I’m definitely a mess, still here by the amazing grace that I have been saved by. I still can’t believe that I’m still here sometimes, and that He loves me so much. I can’t wait to be physically a part of the TRF family. It sounds so authentic. I can taste it through my screen. I’m so happy for the extension of my family online.

  2. Jennifer permalink
    April 25, 2010 4:24 pm

    I crave authenticity and realness. I used to think that I was someone who was real, but in the past few years I have quickly realized that I am like Fort Knox when it comes to people I let in. I look forward to seeing how the Lord stretches me in this area. I am a MESS!! I think for me, it is just that so often in the Christian community we hide our problems and issues from others, when all we really want is to know that others are like us, right?

  3. April 25, 2010 5:01 pm

    I’m absolutely a mess. It’s funny, I just started re-reading Messy Spirituality by Yaconelli. That book messed me up. Nice post.

  4. April 25, 2010 5:21 pm

    May GOD Bless!!! Mark

  5. April 25, 2010 5:23 pm

    No doubt here Tam, I am a real serious drippy slimy mess. I love that message, and that you have that reputation in your community. Our church is big where I go, and there is gossip about us too. it is too big to be personal, those people are just going to be entertained, it goes on and on. We are a mess, and we know it, and we love each other dearly, as I know your church does with you guys. God Bless

    • April 26, 2010 11:40 am

      yay! messy churches, unite 🙂

      yah, definitely not taking it personal as a church. in fact…its a perfect definition of us.

      messy, sloppy, let anyone in.


      love that your church, also, gets that we’re to love people.

  6. Heidi permalink
    April 25, 2010 6:33 pm

    You definately have a “mess”ed up sister here. We had a similar message.

    But I am VERY hopeful by a Joyce Meyer awhile ago: God turns your mess into a message.

    I am holding onto that. (just thinking out loud, imagine all the messages sitting next to me to be heard, WOW)

  7. April 25, 2010 7:22 pm

    I’m so messed up I’m a walking, talking version of Kitchen Nightmares.

  8. April 25, 2010 8:55 pm

    im a mess alright. especially now that the NBA playoff season started again 😉

  9. April 25, 2010 9:43 pm

    Yep. I’m a mess alright.
    I’ve never once shied away from my boys at work making messes because there is always something to learn amidst the mess, though. . .

  10. Randi permalink
    April 25, 2010 10:55 pm

    Definitely a mess.

    If all churches were defined that way: “let your messy self all out. No expectations. no heavy thumb. just come and be. be challenged to grow and be stretched.”

    Love it Tam.
    Thanks for opening this blog up to that type of community.

  11. TheNorEaster permalink
    April 26, 2010 2:37 am

    I am not a mess!

    Rather, I am a landfill.

  12. April 26, 2010 3:48 am

    Oh yes. For sure a mess.

  13. April 26, 2010 4:40 am

    I must confess, I am a mess.

    • April 26, 2010 11:38 am

      only you would manage to make your mess look pretty in words.

      i love it!

  14. April 26, 2010 6:15 am

    Everybody of us was a mess until He entered our heart and cleaned up all the mess we had done to our lives. I’m always grateful to His faithfulness to me!

    Relationship Advice for All

  15. April 26, 2010 6:47 am

    Checking the I am a mess box as we speak…

  16. April 26, 2010 9:55 am

    I don’t know if messy is a strong enough word…

    …that’s a yes from me.

    Praise God, He is a friend of sinners!!

  17. April 26, 2010 10:36 am

    mess? yep

  18. Heidi permalink
    April 26, 2010 11:09 am

    Now What?

    • April 26, 2010 11:37 am

      if youre asking…what do we all do now?

      well, we keep being real. striving for authenticity. knowing that even when its scary, its worth it.

      we simply dont give up.

      • Heidi permalink
        April 26, 2010 11:52 am

        I like that response.

        I heard not too long ago, on a radio program that alot of churches and some pastors say, suck it in and rather be fake because we would steer away or scare of potential new christians.

        I was bothered by that and looked at myself and refused to become that paper doll cut out that I played with 40 years ago.

        I think we are all attractive in our own sense, meaning that our “messes” are so incredibly different and our platforms are different. In example, one can speak about abortions, but I can’t.. But I can speak about verbal abusive marriages. You, she, he, me are going to attract, help, pray for, and encourage the others around us.

        Yeah messy lives…. but community is great!! yeah on that one.

  19. April 26, 2010 11:32 am

    i think this is why i have felt so encouraged with the blogging community i’ve stumbled into (of which you are a part too :))

    people share their “stuff” so it helps me to feel safer to share my stuff too. i can’t hide anymore. The impact of that is that as i share online, my friends in the real world are seeing me share, and learning more about me, and they have all been really encouraging… which is helping me open up more. its so cool 🙂

    and as I share online and people start to get a glimpse into my messiness, then they share too. and i’m realizing that in the real world i have friends that will talk about “asparagus pee” too and not be embarrased.

    Who knew!?!

    • April 26, 2010 11:35 am

      “asparagus pee”


      i love/hate that pee.


      i actually friends who eat asparagus and that has never happened to them. so they say. 😉

  20. April 26, 2010 11:58 am

    i am a fan of messes.
    i have a messy desk, car, living room and a messy heart.
    it is great to share it in a roomfull of messes….especially if that room happens to be a church.

  21. April 26, 2010 3:02 pm

    I am a mess.

    I think that might be a touch of an understatement really….my life is very very messy.

  22. April 26, 2010 3:56 pm

    I’m a hot mess. Not to be confused with a hott mess.

    Important distinction 🙂

  23. April 26, 2010 4:17 pm

    Oh, I’m a huge mess. In every area of my life, really. (Even my house. It’s messy, too!)

  24. April 26, 2010 5:32 pm

    You have gathered a huge “mess” of people with this post, Tam!

    Listening to Leeland & Brandon Heath singing “I give ALL myself”. That says it all! No matter the mess I’m in or the mess of a human I am. We give it ALL to God. And He accepts me! There is a song on Casting Crowns CD “Lifesong” called “Stained Glass Masquerade”. It’s that kind of “church” that rejects messy people. How can we reject ANYONE?? I don’t want to be that warm body that sits in the last row (pew). I want to be a “part of”. That’s all. The whole mess of me. 🙂

  25. July 12, 2010 4:35 am

    Messy seems hard. But the lie is that there is at one person out there who isn’t messy. You know, fear that one person throws off the bell curve for the rest. I’m trying to choose my weakness more. The truth is that messiness is reality. I wish there was more freedom to be messy. That’s what makes for rich community.

    • July 12, 2010 3:53 pm

      i agree.

      i often wonder at what point in life we started hiding our flaws. our mess.

      i suppose its because we’ve been hurt by the ones who give off the appearance of perfection.

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