This may seem a little off topic but this blog is about my life and this is a very important part of my life.
By way of history, I've been hurt at more than one church by so-called religious people, and hypocrisy is just not my bag. So for years I have avoided organized religion and have not attended any church. I firmly believe that organized religion, no matter which, is made of man, not God. Randy has a friend, Dr. Gary McCraw, who works a retail job and also teaches classes at Phoenix Bible College, and Randy was auditing some classes in his own search for the truth as he was also disillusioned by organized religion. One class was called "Religion vs. Relationship" and that sounded like what I feel, so I went with him to that class, and it was great! I was very impressed by Dr. Gary as well, but I really didn't feel that classes geared toward people looking for a degree, and wanting to be pastors themselves, was the right place for me to be.
Randy had asked me a while back if it would be ok if he went to a men's bible study, as for years he and Gary had been discussing the possibility. I said sure and was kinda relieved that being a "men's bible study" he wouldn't be asking me to come along. Quite regularly he would call me and say he wasn't coming straight home as he needed to stop by the shop and talk to Gary, and admittedly I got quite frustrated sometimes because he got home so late. He could never really tell me what was so important to talk about, either!
Well he started going to a bible study on Wednesday nights and that was not a good night for me, first Wednesday of each month is my horse club meeting and second Wednesday I had been invited to join a bunco group in the neighborhood, which I thought would be a great opportunity to meet some more of my neighbors, but I told him I would go along with him when I could. It was a kind of "date night" because we would meet after work for dinner somewhere, and we really enjoyed the time to ourselves, and then we would go on to the bible study. I really liked it which surprised me, but then again, it was like no bible study I had ever attended before. In fact, it was decided early on that it would be called "Midweek Fellowship" for that very reason. Several times the discussion came up about how it got started and that's when I found out that it was God's idea that Randy go see Gary so many nights after work - because Randy kept getting the feeling that he really needed to go see Gary, and no matter what else they talked about, he always asked before he left about the "men's bible study"... Gary admitted that he had been putting it off for a long time and it was Randy "hounding" him that made him finally set something up. He kept saying it would only last a few weeks and then everyone would quit, and Randy's response was always 'well, hey, at least we'll have a few weeks - and then we can start another one!"
Gary's initial request to God was to send him the "angry young men" - people who had been hurt by organized religion, and were not attending church. Well he quickly found out that the "angry" was the important part, and that the "young" and the "men" were too limiting! There are people of all ages and a lot of couples as well - the group is growing slowly but surely and we all feel that this is something REALLY special, and REALLY important. In fact Midweek Fellowship has come to mean so much to me that I choose to attend every week, and I am no longer going to my monthly horse club meetings or bunco. This really surprised Randy, but like I said to him, I am being told that is where I need to be. He immediately said "no, I am not telling you that" and I said "not by you, honey, it's coming from inside me - it's GOD telling me!" No matter how much crap the rest of the world tries to deal us, we know we can handle it because: "We got Wednsedays!"
In fact the bunco group kinda went away over the holidays, but the gal who invited me said if she DID start it up again, it would NOT be on Wednesdays, because she wants to come to Midweek Fellowship too!
So if you live in the general Phoenix area and you want a relationship with God without organized religion getting in the way, you are welcome at Midweek Fellowship!