Swinging from the Vine / 765 posts / 2,629 comments / feed / comments feed

2 years of stirring things up

this is my profile pic from my xanga blog taken in 05 I think

I have been blogging in this capacity now for 2 years. Actually, I have been blogging since June of 2004 but back then it was a family, parenting, mom blog with a few spiritual thoughts tossed in. In fact, I think I dabbled a bit at blogger in 03 for a few posts because I remember writing about Shayel as an 18 month old… but I really cranked it out when I moved to xanga. If you are ever INCREDIBLY BORED and would like to see what the “new mom conservative evangelical mostly complimentarian charismatic messianic” looked like, check me out over at xanga.com/mamafish. It’s rather humorous … and painful … like looking through my diary I kept when I was in Junior High. But it’s a testament to how much a person can change in a short time and how much grace I need to be able to extend to those with whom I disagree…esp. people much younger than me because I was just as young and stupid like most people under the age of 50 hehe which I guess makes me STILL young and stupid ;) .

In January 2006 I started blogging regularly over at blogger - my blog was called In His Courts. I was not very familiar with the blogging world but I dove in with confidence, as I do with most things. I blogged there until Dec. 06 when I moved my blog to wordpress because of the people I was pissing off in my old church. I wrote a series about sex, a post questioning our ideas about church structure and leadership and another stating that I wanted “I” to pass (partnership rights - primarily for same sex couples but also to protect others who lived together and cared for one another) - those three combined started the firestorm in our old church so I decided to shut down In His Courts.

But I couldn’t stay away so I started a protected blog over here at wordpress then went public under a pseudonym. Someone ratted me out, and people in my church started tracking me all over the internet, printing out hundreds of pages of things I (and a bit from David) had said in comments or on my blog, presenting it to our senior pastor … all of this leading to us being “resigned” from our leadership position and our family choosing to leave the church and start Revolution as it’s own “church plant”.

It’s hard for me to recall those events. It’s painful to recall the words like heresy hissed out between gritted teeth by people we thought we knew, people we thought we trusted (and I’m sure they feel the same pain of thinking that they knew us and trusted us). It still makes me angry to think of all my poor husband had to endure because of the blog posts I wrote but that he had to answer for because as the woman I wasn’t technically the leader and ultimately as the man, my husband was responsible for what was going on. I still remember being physically sick for months and incapacitated by anxiety.

But it’s also been a fun and challenging 2 years. Filled with wonderful friendships that exist to this day, words of encouragement, IM conversations pages and pages long with people like Robbie Mac who had been down a similar path long before us. It’s been 2 years filled with thoughts scattered on a blog, agreed with, challenged and debated by people from all over the globe.

It’s been a bizarre 2 years - 2 years ago I was just discovering emerging and I thought Mark Driscoll was an ok guy … that was before I heard his views on women and found out he’s basically a hard line fundamentalist in jeans holding a beer stein…God love him. In 2 years I have traversed church territory I didn’t even know existed. Some of it I have embraced and made my own, some I have left behind (not in the Kirk Cameron kind of way).

When the dust settled and we didn’t have to answer to our old church anymore, I created my own domain in my own account and swingingfromthevine.com was born - I imported most of my old stuff and voila. Wow.

So Happy blog birthday to me! May this year prove to be less painful, just as challenging and more joy-filled than ever. And a big thank you to those of you who knew me when I was an anonymous rabble rouser and stuck with me through it all. Happy blog birthday to us all!

** by the way and for the record - our pastor throughout the whole ordeal at our church worked very hard to be loving and supportive of us in spite of the few loud voices that were not. He ended up doing the only thing he could reasonably do within the structure they had created for the church. I blame our church for what happened no more than I blame myself. And it was really for the best anyway. The pain comes more from the events leading up to our being “resigned” than it does the actual outcome. And the pain was inflicted primarily by a few people other than the senior pastor. I want to make it clear that while there is pain and frustration over what happened, there isn’t blame and while I cannot say I have forgiven everyone involved, I am working on it. **


  1. Lori — January 10, 2008 #

    It’s interesting the words that are spewed from the mouths of Christians when they feel threatened. We heard alot of: Rebellious, not a team player, and one of our friends was called a pimp, and people who “aligned” themselves with him were called his whores! It makes me sad, angry, confused and I don’t understand why it is wrong in the minds of some to ask questions things, or have a difference of opinion.

  2. sonja — January 10, 2008 #

    Aye … it’s a hard and rocky road we travel sometimes. Here’s to sunshine that dries us off, shoulders for our wet eyes, and hands to clasp in the steep places.

    Love to all of you …

  3. Elizabeth — January 10, 2008 #

    Happy “blog birthday” to you! :) I think I’ve been with you from the beginning, though I lost you for a bit and now reading your history I understand why. Also I was vaguely aware that you had issues with your church, thanks for filling in those details. I’m sorry that happened.

    Anyway, here’s to many more years of blogging for you. (I have a new blog, btw, though I’m still struggling to find my blogging “voice.”)

    Oh, I wanted to mention you were someone who influenced me in wanting to blog, though like I said I’m still not sure what my goals are. However, you also got me hooked on digital scrapbooking which I’m still going strong with. :) And I don’t think you do that any more, right?

  4. Mak — January 10, 2008 #

    Hey Elizabeth - high compliments there :) yeah, you have been with me from the beginning - - way way back. cool. I digiscrapped Shayel’s baby book when I was preggers with Aliyah and I still do it a bit but no, I do mostly small book scrapbooking with 8.5×11s so I do a combo of digital and traditional. I saw how schnazzy your stuff is - good for you! Have you tried wordpress? it’s free forever.

    thank you sonja

    lori - *sigh* yes, it’s not news unfortunately. It’s fear and a false sense of priorities in most cases I think.

  5. josh — January 10, 2008 #

    congratulations! you’re half way to tenure.

  6. Mak — January 10, 2008 #

    yahoo! now if I could get paid as if I were tenured ;)

  7. LauraHD — January 11, 2008 #

    Just wanted to say hi as someone who’s read from afar for a while, and seen you on lots of other blogs I read. Wishing you peace for 2008.

  8. Mak — January 11, 2008 #

    Hi Laura - I have sanctus in my feed reader :)

  9. Amy — January 11, 2008 #

    Makeesha, I found you over here through somebody else’s blog, and I wanted to say “Happy Blog Birthday,” too! I am from the Gentle Christian Mothers message board and remember you well….have missed your posts over the years, too, as I was inspired both by your honesty and your ability to articulate your thoughts. You’ve been through an amazing lot of stuff. It seems I keep running into people who are on some kind of wild journey related to church in one way or another. I couldn’t pass through your blog without saying something. May God be with you as you embark on another year of blogging & what sounds like some new wonderful ministry opportunities!

  10. Mak — January 11, 2008 #

    hi Amy, thanks :)

  11. Chris Jones — January 11, 2008 #

    Wow 2 years of blogging. I didn’t even know what a blog was two years ago! Nice site by the way!

  12. Don — January 13, 2008 #

    I’m obviously new to following your blog — but I wish you many blessings in your blogging future. Thank you for recapping your blog and church history. Far too often we share experiences such as yours. I’m often amazed how willing we are to abandon Jesus’ message when we disagree with our Christian family. The truth is that we don’t have all the answers when it comes to the truth. We really need to be gentle with each other — humbly — with the full knowledge that we are all sinners. I can’t think of a single valid reason why a church should ‘resign’ a member. Even with issues of health & safety, members should always be welcome in some way. I’m glad to know that you are in a safe place — living a life in Christ. God bless you!

  13. Mak — January 13, 2008 #

    Thank you Don :)

    We were actually resigned as leaders not kicked out of the church as members - I don’t say “fired” because we weren’t paid. We were leading Revolution as a “church within a church” that started as the college/young adult ministry. We were told that we had to step down and were encouraged to stay at the church and work with the leadership to determine if we could take the position up again at some point (in other words - if we could conform they’d put us back in leadership). A fair proposition I suppose but we chose to leave because we had people who were going to Revolution who were too much on the brink of abandoning faith all together - they were only coming to Revolution as a last resort because of what it was, what it meant to them. If we stepped down we knew they’d leave and we didn’t feel it would be responsible for us to do that. Plus, we knew we could never conform anyway.

  14. Paul — January 13, 2008 #

    Keep on stirring the pot :) I really appreciate your thinking, your writing and what you serve up around here :)

    surely Mark still is an ok guy??? ;)

  15. Mak — January 13, 2008 #

    of course Mark is an ok guy…as far as I know. However, I know more than one therapist who is concerned about him…but that’s a conversation for another day.

  16. Molly — January 15, 2008 #

    WHAT A GREAT POST>>>>>>>>>>!!!!!!!!!!

    Happy bloggy-b-day to you, Mak. I’m glad you’re here. :)

  17. Ariah Fine — January 16, 2008 #

    I think I can join with everyone in saying I’m glad your a bloggin’

  18. Jeromy — January 28, 2008 #

    Hearing you recall your story makes me cringe. It is one of those things that people who have been in official-church-ministry (whatever that is) just nod and say, “Say no more…I understand.” I have posted some of my story here: http://mendingshift.wordpress.com/about/my-stories/

    We were laid-off by a church (I have my suspicions that there was more too it than just money…hehe [as you say]). In addition to that, let’s just say that during this season of “transition” and discovery, we have been rejected by more than our share of churches, a few of whom we had gotten down to the final interview before they discovered our “dirty-little-secret” as emerging sympathizers. But, as the dust settles, and we embrace who God is making us into (and calling us to be), we see God at work creating something new and Re-Formed. That said, it is still hard to be pissed on as a “heretic”.


  19. Mak — January 28, 2008 #

    it is hard, but it’s getting easier since I don’t rely on the institution to approve anymore. I actually get more annoyed with people who keep pushing the “stay in and fight” line - - no thank you, I’m out…and happy about it.

  20. Jeromy — January 29, 2008 #

    I agree. I have found that the amount of reform that is happening (or needed) needs a new birthing ground…it cannot happed from within. It’s like McDonalds trying to change into a Ruth’s Steakhouse—from within. It is not going to happen. The fast-food system of McDonalds is too embedded into its DNA to change into a 5 star restaurant. So, I have experienced (and you), it is with the church. You want Ruth’s?…you have to create it outside of the walls of Mickie’Ds. To do it from within would destroy them and you both.

  21. Mak — January 29, 2008 #

    that’s a good way of putting in jeromy.

    and don’t get me wrong, I know there are those called to stay in and push on…I’m just not one of them.

  22. Jeromy — January 29, 2008 #

    I agree about those being called to stay in. Ultimately, we have to follow his leading in our life; whether that is to stay or birth elsewhere. If they stay, they have to realize that the system will really only allow small, incremental changes; to expect more is to be ‘resigned’–in most cases; I’m sure there are exceptions.

  23. Pingback - Swinging from the Vine » Blog Archive » I’m catching up — June 16, 2008 #

    [...] in awe about how different my life is now than when I started blogging way back in 2003 but since I already ruminated about that recently I’ll spare you I will link you to a “best of” list I compiled in lieu of new [...]

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