Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm a Pioneer

Labor Day weekend was spent in San Antonio...we got to see lots of interesting things and visited the historic Alamo.

Of course most everyone knows the story of the battle for Texas independence that took place there and the sacrifice made by almost 200 men for the cause of liberty. The total annihilation of those brave men spurred the rest of Texas on to eventually win their independence from Mexico and to go on to become a state in our great nation. Their brave actions have never been forgotten nor should they be for Texas as a state and we as a nation stand on the shoulders of these and a host of other amazing men and women across our country. Our nation's pioneers, men, women and children all, struggled to explore, claim and conquer this great land of ours. They risked much and the cost was often everything but they willing paid the price so that others could go farther than that their children and grandchildren could experience a better life, a life of freedom.

Yes, the frontier was an exotic and intoxicating place. It was wide open where men could roam wild and was lush and beautiful...the land of milk and honey where all your dreams could come true... So incredible and wonderful that it was well worth the risks involved...or so it seemed until they were upon you, I'm sure. Then it became very clear...the frontier could be a dangerous and terrifying place as well. I often wonder if those pioneers second guessed themselves as the rain refused to fall on crops or Indians raided their farms, as sickness or loneliness overwhelmed or as Santa Anna descended upon the Alamo...would they have given anything to be back in the arms of civilization? I'm sure they were just as human as the rest of us and most certainly would have wished it so....but given the option...many, many of them, and not only those at the Alamo but on every American frontier, chose...yes chose, certain death rather than surrender. Their freedom, their right to pursue freedom and the future freedoms of their children depended on gaining and holding new ground. Because of these brave, possibly naive, undoubtedly idealistic pioneers...our nation stands today.

Two sentences jumped out at me when we were touring the Alamo. Sentences that resonated somewhere deep inside of me and I knew in an instant that this was the voice of the Holy Spirit reminding me of who I am and what my calling is about. Reminding me of the place in Christ's body He has called me to.

The first was this:

"Life on the Frontier"
A frontier is both a line between cultures and a place where cultures overlap.

If you read my "Traditional" post you must realize that I am a part of a small segment of Christian society...a tiny portion who cannot subject themselves to the traditions of men when it comes to life in Christ's body, who finds themselves distracted, frustrated, and unfulfilled in a traditional environment. Perhaps I'm a bit of a rebel, perhaps civilization makes me uncomfortable and leaves me feeling confined. All I know is that my spirit longs for the lush and wild freedom of open spaces... so every time I visit civilization(translates traditional church) I find I can only handle it for so long til once again I'm heading out to the frontier....some place where I am free to roam and explore and conquer new land in Him....this is my natural is who He has made me to be since before time... and though I may be idealistic and naive...I believe this land still exists and can be mine for the taking.......I'm most at home living on that frontier line.

Oh I've lived long enough now to know that this freedom doesn't come without a cost and though the land is free, the freedom isn't. Still somehow He gives the grace to keep on keeping on.

Life on the frontier has been costly for me so far and often I have longed for the comparable safety of civilization...but given the option, just as so many of those pioneers before me...I can't seem to go back...I can't chose that safety in exchange for the rewards of frontier life even with the isolation and danger I realize exists and almost certainly await me.

The freedom of the Christian world and of my children's children depends on if necessary, giving all to gain Christ....and though this may sound arrogant to some, to me it is reasonable and a matter of responsibility.... given that option, and I have been...I chose freedom, abundance, depth of spirit and an enduring connection to others of like passion alongside certain difficulty and sacrifice, ...perhaps even death in the wilderness... if it means a greater future of liberty for the body of Christ. It is my gift to Christ for His Bride, the least I can do.

So this is where I willingly live...on the frontier...that line between cultures..and where cultures overlap...between the traditional church and the non traditional...between religion and freedom..between God's last move and His next one...a no man's land if you will. It is a frightening and dangerous place to be yet awesomely beautiful and Christ filled. I am reminded that no land is gained unless someone goes out there past the current line of civilization to take a stand.

and the second sentence was this, in speaking of the defenders of the Alamo specifically:

All behaved with the bravery peculiar to free men and with a decision becoming of the sacred cause of liberty.

What m
ore needs be said....Lord!...that I may behave with that same bravery...that kind peculiar to free men and women...who willingly give all that others may experience that liberty.

I am them...they are me...or at least very like me as I am inside.....the me He has called me to be....I am a pioneer living on the frontier of Christianity....naive, perhaps...idealistic, most likely....but free, free to roam His realm, free to know Christ in the power of His resurrection...and just possibly participating in pushing the frontier out a little bit farther to a greater freedom for all.


everydayRANDOM said...

You have blown my mind today...

First, I am not sure I didn't recognize my own self as a pioneer and not sure what to do with it. As you continued to define, it felt more and more like home - and it frightened me because I have been "safe in camp" and miserable.

Your post has given me much to think about - I will have to let it sink in. I am going to put this post in my office to refer to. Thank you my friend for sharing the free open spaces and making us make some hard choices when deep down, I already know the answers. I love you, man...

Anonymous said...

Big Amen!!

Mrs. Mac said...

Our freedoms were purchased by a very high price. One we can not take lightly and must teach our children ... whether we physically fight the new frontier or spiritually battle Satan's realm, freedom has a cost. Hurray for God's armor!

jayjay said...

WOW, Cheryl, you truly answered from the depths, and from those same depths I respond with my whole heart. Amen and Amen!! Thank you for outlining it so clearly for one who is not an American, but who recognises the cost in walking on the border and in taking new ground. Thank God for those examples we have before and behind us.

BekABoo said...

that was such a moving place. I wanna cry thinking about being inside that long barrack. Such courage and determination in those men. I think those people still exist...people who are willing to die defending what they believe is right. People who don't back down, who don't surrender. I think many have forgotten it is in them. This is kind of interesting timing..I just read an email about the 2 people who have volunteered their lives for you...Jesus Christ and the American Soldier, and both died for your freedom.

Pat said...

You are indeed a pioneer Cheryl, you step out and serve God where you are and I love the way you "live" your church without being inside of a church. How great it would be if more could see that church is within us - we are the church - instead of us being inside a building.
Is so awesome to go the the Alamo and take away so much...way to go sista!

Christo Swanepoel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christo Swanepoel said...

Thank you Cheryl, may God push forward even more :-)

Margie said...


Joni said...

"What more needs be said....Lord!...that I may behave with that same bravery...that kind peculiar to free men and women...who willingly give all that others may experience that liberty."


Deb said...

You are a Christ follower.
That's all you need to be.
I just left a "traditional" church because God said 'go'. The frontier awaits!

Vicki said...

God is calling me to more relational living, rather than institutional religious living--and that almost looks rebellious to the onlooker. But it's FREEDOM in Christ, not rebellion.

You go, girl

Amydeanne said...

wow. What an interesting post! It gives me lots to chew on where I fit! Thanks!

Deborah and Sally said...

May the Lord give us the bravery and endurance to continually persue that freedom !:)

Great post, it really touched my Spirit Cheryl thanks for sharing !