Joshua Harris, First IFB Church Experience, My Best Friend, and Me

To take a break from the highly controversial post on the war between men and women, I thought it was time to continue on with my story. I know at this time, it seems extremely boring, and nothing really juicy like my ditching the jumpers post. But I promise you more juicy posts will be coming. 😉

This is necessary to give you a foundation, to show you how the events in my life shaped me to want to become a denim jumper follower. I know there are a vast different number of terms for this type of Christian ideology. During the time I was living this lifestyle, I didn’t see it as patriarchy…and recently only only learned what the term patriarchy meant. But I do believe it was the doctrine of patriarchy that fueled these ideas, and that it was the homeschooling movement that was used as the carrier to bring these extra-biblical doctrines to light in mainstream Christianity.

When I neared my “age of flowering” mom signed me up for Joshua Harris’ New Attitude Conference. Now keep in mind this was in the early to mid 90’s. Joshua was still unmarried, and at home for the most part.

I honestly cannot remember what the conference was about. In fact, I was down right bored, LOL! I do remember he did this cool thing with the audience that made it sound like it was raining. Looking back I was too young. The “raining” audience was more exciting to me than the subject at hand. I was still a prime candidate for VBS.  I was not a candidate for the meaty subjects of dating, and boys.

Mom was all into Joshua Harris. She thought he was cute too. She signed up for his “New Attitude Magazine”. Which was very new at the time. I think he only had two issues out when she signed me up for it.

She also signed me up for Focus on the Family’s Brio Magazine. I found this particular magazine to be extremely boring as well. It had some fun stuff in it, but for the most part it had beauty tips, fashion tips, and boy advice. Again, I wasn’t interested in such nonsense at 11 years old.

Around this time, my mom and dad felt it was time to look for a local church to call home. We visited an extremely cultic Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. We only went one time. The WHOLE time the guy screamed, (high-pitched) ranted and raved. I had no idea what he was talking about, because he was so loud, I couldn’t understand the words he was trying to form.  And I couldn’t doodle like I normally did in church because every time I did, his voice would pitch so high I would jump.

We walked out of the church and my parents asked me how I liked it, LOL! Looking back now, I believe they were just getting my perspective on it. I just said it was very loud.

We finally started to attend a very seeker friendly church. They had donuts and coffee at the start of the service. They played music with electric guitars, and drums. The church had modern relevent skits, and a lot of jokes mingled throughout the sermon.

This is where I met my best friend. I finally had a friend that was a kindred spirit! She was a girly girl, who liked to do girly things. She didn’t freak me out with ghost stories, she didn’t talk about boys non stop. She didn’t like M.C. Hammer, and Vanilla Ice. She liked Amy Grant and Micheal W. Smith.  And she went to public school. So not all public school girls were weird like my neighborhood girlfriends.

We were true kindred spirits. Much like Anne and Diana.

We did everything together. It seems we saw each other three or four times a week. Alternating spending the night at her house and my house.

She also brought the idea into my head that God was a real person. It was kind of strange. My mom and dad were defiantly born again. My homeschooling had a God centered curriculum….but my friend introduced me to the concept that God was more than real. He was a person involved in every aspect of life.

I remember waking up one morning and thinking, “Wow, I thought about God everyday this whole week.” I believe it was around this time, that God had awakened my spirit to seek *Him*.

This was the first time, that I also had experience with a youth group. Again, I found it to be extremely boring and tedious. My first youth meeting was about sex. And not only that, they had played basket ball before the “message”, and I just stood back and watched. All the boys got irritated with me that I would not play. When the youth pastor asked me why I did not play, I just stated simply, “I don’t like basket ball”, and one of the boys said, “We will have to make her like it then”

I didn’t go back to youth meetings much after that. Maybe for three months. I had more important and exciting things to accomplish and do than play basketball and talk about sex and boys, make up and hair.

My mom convinced my best friends mom that she too was capable of homeschooling. So my best friend was more available to me now! We even went to each other’s houses to do school work.

We formed “The Bookworm Club” at her house, where we would read a book and discuss it with each other. We had many adventures, and just enjoyed being kids. This was also one of the best times in my life since I had left Georgia. Despite the drama going on with my brother and his lunatic wife, I had a friend. And not only a friend, but a best friend. One who accepted me for who I was. One who loved me and my quirky ways. A true friend. One who pointed my eyes to the fact that God wasn’t just a man in the sky, but a very personal person who cared about every part of me.

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5 Responses to Joshua Harris, First IFB Church Experience, My Best Friend, and Me

  1. Love this post. =D I too have been blessed with kindred spirits throughout my life…God is gracious. ❤

  2. Debra Baker says:

    Just a word of caution with respect to Josh Harris’ denomination, um, “family of churches.”

    They are just as patriarchal as some of the worst denim jumper types, they just want their women in hip attire.

  3. Kathleen says:

    That’s funny that Josh Harris used the “rain” thing, because I know that his younger brothers have used that same thing for their Rebelution conferences. How different is what they do than what a pep rally is in a public school? Someone once coined the term for such endeavors as “businesstries”.

  4. Melissa says:

    I have never heard of this “rain” thing. I’m glad you finally had a friend who wasn’t into outlandish things. My sibling is like yours, in a older generation, and I think it makes a difference in growing up.

    I’m enjoying reading your life story. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Esther says:

    How wonderful that another girl your age led you to think about and seek God more! I am also enjoying reading your posts Heather:)

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