Being In A Good And Bad Spiritual Place At The Same Time

Sometimes in our Christian walk we have to learn when to shake the dust off our sandals and move on. I had to do that as far as Kairos at USP Pollock. With restrictive regulations, limited training opportunities for volunteers, and six inmate deaths in the last year resulting in the institution being locked down half the time, I had to move on. I’m back ministering at Winn Correctional, a medium security state prison. It is good, as well. Even though Winn #28 hasn’t happened yet, I went to a Wednesday prayer and share last night, and God had work for me to do in talking with a few different men.

Yet, I sit here with trouble on my brow about what am I to be about in the Episcopal Church. Am I to be a reconciler, a partisan for Jesus Christ in territory occupied by the enemy, or am I, after much consternation and prayer, to finally shake dust off my feet?

As I sit here tonight, I am faced with all three paths at a crossroads.

Interestingly enough, God is challenging me to do all three. I just don’t know how to do it. I know from what I have been through I am to do all three, as I’ve done them at different times and different places. I just don’t know how to do all three at the same time in the situation I am in.

I do know this. I am gifted by the Lord in reconciliation and partisanship. Shaking the dust of my feet is the hardest, but perhaps it should be that way. To give up on people should always be a gut wrenching decision, much as it was for Jesus with Judas.

I once had the vainglory of telling the good Lord I would follow him into the breach and would stand in the toughest of situations – much as Peter told the Lord. I can’t help but feel I’ve denied my Lord many more than three times – in not reaching out to others, in not standing up to others, and in not walking away when I should and compromising where I should not.

Lord, I just can’t stand here. I know I said I could. But I just can’t.

And the Lord replies, Brad, do you love me? I say yes. He says feed my sheep, and that someone will take me where I don’t want to go.

10 Responses to “Being In A Good And Bad Spiritual Place At The Same Time”

  1. 1 Tom (St. Louis) April 11, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Hang in there, Jesus has great things in mind for you. I won’t go into lots of detail because we travel different paths, but I came to the conclusion that I have to move on (from tec) for the health of my soul and my families.

  2. 2 Rob Eaton+ April 11, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Thanks, Brad.

  3. 3 R. Scott Purdy April 11, 2008 at 3:14 am

    You can shake the dust of the organization from your feet, yet continue in service and passionate witness to the souls. Such is my personal experience.
    Call if you wish.

  4. 4 Timothy Fountain April 11, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Musing on your strong identification with Peter. Might be good (like you have all kinds of time, right?) to look up as many Bible passages about him as you can. Perhaps God has a message for you through Peter’s example. A few things that come to mind:

    In Luke’s account of the Last Supper, Peter is warned that Satan will “sift all of the disciples like wheat”, but also encouraged to “come back and strengthen the others” after Satan has done his work.

    Both letters of Peter are about trusting the revealed faith and hanging in there under persecution.

    Peter is believed to be Mark’s primary source, and Mark is certainly the most edgy Gospel, with the disciples frequently bewildered.

    Well, those three examples leave you right where you are in the middle of our TEC muddle.,,but do read up on Peter and see where God takes you.

  5. 5 David+ April 11, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Brad, you will be in my prayers – especially for the gift of wisdom. That is one of the most difficult gifts to exercise as more often than not we do not realize we are exercising it until hindsight tells us we were in God’s will at the time. Do know, and I am sure you do, you are not alone in your struggles.

  6. 6 John in the Middle April 12, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Sometimes I get a little perspective by visiting other churches. I have to say that I love the children’s programs at the Baptist Church.

  7. 7 left coast priest April 14, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Selfishly, I hope you hang in there. On top of the encouragement you provide for others in the Episcopal Church, I’d hate to miss out on seeing you in Anaheim. More importantly, do what’s best for your kids. God bless you and your family.

  8. 8 Bob Maxwell+ April 14, 2008 at 1:42 am

    You captured feelings that went through me these last three days as I served as a table leader at an Episcopal Cursillo Leaders Workshop.

    I will never turn aside from an opportunity to equip apostles to equip apostles.

    I also face different opportunities and places where this might be in the future. . . with less dust or more? That is the question.

    You remain in my prayers.

  9. 9 mithrax April 15, 2008 at 12:05 am


    You told me to stay the course, so I am doing the same thing. You’re needed.

  10. 10 health June 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I am in fact delighted to glance at this web site posts which consists of plenty of useful information,
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