Heavy, Deep & Real

with Tom Mann

About HDR


Like a lot of people, I went to church growing up. In fact, I went to a lot of churches – Lutheran, Assembly of God, Baptist, Four Square, and Catholic twice! Coming from a broken home, I was raised with relatives and in foster homes, each having their own denomination or none at all. After that experience, I left the church and did not go back for 25 years.

The reason was really two-fold. First, I found the things they were saying did not match the life I was living. God’s love for me didn’t resonate when I was being physically and emotionally abused. Second, as I watched the grown-ups, I was struck by the hypocrisy of the whole thing – people would go to church on Sunday and then act any way they wanted Monday through Saturday basically ignoring the church’s teachings. Church just didn’t do it for me.

I’m not saying I didn’t have a relationship with God. I did, and a very strong one. It was intense, and we talked about real stuff that mattered in my life – heavy, deep, and real stuff. The kind of stuff I never found in church.

Hitting middle age, I came back to the church and found it to be important, but still not quite meeting my need for deep relationship with God, the kind you find in scripture where the characters bare their emotions and soul to God, and where Jesus shows us what our relationship is supposed to be like. Don’t get me wrong, church tries really hard and it’s a very important part of our lives. But I personally just need more. I need deep conversation. I need to wrestle with God about things that matter in my life. I want those walking with me in my faith to burn for God the way I do.

But here’s what I learned about church-goers that I didn’t see as a kid – many are broken people with the kind of pain the tears through their soul and church is their only solace. And like me, they yearn for more, but where do they go to get it?

Well, here is where.

Heavy, Deep, and Real is about just that – talking about real life, not the sanitized version you find on Sunday mornings, but the ones we live Monday through Saturday. This blog is about being Christ-like and reaching out to those in pain and talking about what God can do about it if you let Him.

If I do my job right, you won’t read fluff. The goal is to talk about heavy, deep, and real stuff, even the stuff that is hard, potentially inappropriate, and even politically incorrect in today’s society and churchy circles.

I’ll admit, this blog is not for everyone, but if you’re like me and want more meat to your relationship with God, read on and engage me in an HDR.

8 thoughts on “About HDR

  1. Ok, Tom– I agree with you that church can and often does offer a “sanitized version” of what the Christian faith is, and what it means to be Christ-like in a secular society. Here is where I struggle. Shouldn’t it be our job, as followers of Christ that take the call to follow Christ seriously, to continue to push and stretch the church to do its job?? The reality is HDR should, and I say should, be taking place within the church community. In an ideal world, a site like HDR would be unnecessary. Or in a world where we, as serious followers of Jesus, should bring about change, HDR should be a temporary site until we have the freedom to do within the church community what we should have been doing all along. You wanted comments…lol…you got them 😛 All that being said I think the idea of this site is great (that is until the church becomes the church again).

  2. I would rather hope that in the future, as the church community, changes and can become more “HDR” within, that the walls that surround them will disappear, and instead they will boldly live their lives witnessing in an HDR-way to the world. -Lisa M

  3. I think you’re onto something Tom. We ‘Christians’ in America like to claim to be followers of Christ, but seldom discuss it.

    Imagine falling in love and getting married, then never discussing ANYTHING with your spouse. How long would such a marriage continue? Would it flourish?

    Great site, excellent concept.

  4. My dear friend. What a wonderful contribution you are making. I really admire how far you’ve come since we first met. I’ve read just 2 blogs so far — this one and the one before this — and find them to be inspirational and thought-provoking. May God continue to bless you, and bless us WITH you.

  5. This week a friend shared your blog on Truth and Grace. God is clearly working through you and I am grateful for your hard work and ministry. I share a similar childhood past. As a result, I have struggled to trust God as a father in my heart while I know in my mind He loves me more than the sparrows.

    — Thank you…Will

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