Great things of 2011 (part one)

Monday nights are spent with 4 other guys and me hashing out our problems.  We’re part of a thing we got at my Church called “Refuge”.  I’ve been going to Refuge since the summer of 2010, and it’s still both a joy and a challenge.  So what is Refuge?  I never know how to answer that, so I’ll just use what Imago Dei  –that is, My church–   has to say about Refuge:

“Imago Dei Refuge provides a safe place where people are able to grow spiritually and gain freedom from their hurts, destructive behaviors, and life struggles.  We offer support, education, and encouragement in the context of community, believing that God’s grace is fostered through the channels of relationship.  It is in these relationships that we are able to walk together through the messiness of life and encounter Christ as we journey together.”

We meet as a large group for a while –that’s when we do a number of things, sometimes group prayer, sometimes an activity, sometimes someone shares their story, sometimes we have a potluck meal.  Then we break into our small groups, wherein we talk confidentially about our struggles.  Typical support groups include Abuse, Addictions/Compulsions, Grief, Eating Issues, etc —you get the idea.

So, like i said, it’s a joy and a challenge.  As you can imagine, if you have any problems in your life that you try to hide, that you try to deny, that you are shameful of, it’s not a lot of fun to willingly go and talk them out with other people.   Life creates lots of scars, lots of brokenness that often needs to be mended, but it usually  just gets patched over, and we just try moving on with a limp.  Refuge asks us to open that wound, to scrub it clean, if possible, and to properly set that broken spot so it can heal.  No, that’s not pretty.  It’s messy.  I’ve got to push myself every monday to go.  Funny thing is, come 9pm, when Refuge is done for the night, I feel better.  Maybe just a little more poison got squeezed out.  Maybe my fellow refugees pulled me through.  Maybe their story gave me a little more hope.  Most mondays i leave feeling five pounds lighter.

So, Refuge is in the top 10 of great things of 2011, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be in 2012 either.  Really, I wrote this post with the idea of sharing a song by a band that is definitely in the top 10 of great things of 2011 (even though this album was put out in 2008).  The band’s name is MEANS, the album’s name, “To keep me from sinking”.

IMO, Their song “Refuge” beautifully describes the feeling of the Imago Dei Refuge Group.  We come into Refuge alone, fighting our hard battles in the shifting sand of this world and it’s difficulties that weigh us down.  We find strength in each other, strength in ourselves, strength in our Creator, in Refuge, this time in which we can feel authentically ourselves with others.



Step away
From the aching
Because one of us is fighting such a hard battle
So step away from the loneliness and the deceptions


And if we are strangers here
Then I wonder
Are we mislead
After looking night and day
Falling into shifting sand
To lift our eyes from the black and blue grave
We need a new perspective

We have to find our place
Where we seem to have no home
In this shifting sand

Each one of us is fighting such a hard battle
So I hold on to my life with an open hand
So we stay awake
We lie awake
That one day all these things will come to light
As they really are
Then we will ask
What do we have
That will not pass away?

We have to find our place
Where we seem to have no home
In this shifting sand

So let us be bold and deliberate
What remains is our breath escaping now
So we should protect these moments
These moments of authenticity
Like a remedy (if there is one for us)
To be bold and deliberate
With authenticity

—lyrics by MEANS—

Refuge on Grooveshark

Please Visit for this and other great Christian Hardcore bands.