In late summer of 2011, I read a book that changed my life. “Your God is Too Safe” by Mark Buchanan. The theme is basically that most church members stick to their comfort zones (border land) rather than taking risks that lead them into the “holy wild.” A sentence on page 112 changed my life, “The risks are that we never leave borderland, but sit there caressing our too-safe god who kisses us with comfort until we feel precisely nothing.” So I took a risk; I resigned a job I loved, gave up my “church” routine and set out to see what might be in the holy wild. I expected to be stretched but I didn’t expect God himself to do the stretching. I’ve walked a crises of faith, faced disappointments, and felt like a failure deluxe, but somehow I believe I am better prepared for the holy wild. He is a precious father but I don’t want to be a fat baby; break me, mold me, make me, I pray. Sanctify me to your service, Holy Consuming God, as I enter into a new lease on life.


I wrote the post above for FaceBook in 2013, two years after I cut loose from many moorings.  After I wrote that, I had the serious health crises with the near death experience.  I had no idea that would be one of my “holy wild” experiences.  Most of you have read my account of that issue, but I have new readers who might be interested.  You can find it here.  I have had many negative issues the last three years but I’ve found Jesus faithful as I walk un-trodden paths for me!

Another of my “holy wild” experiences has been this blogging venture.  My series on “hell” was very hard for me to do; the present posts I am dealing with regarding abortion and other sexual matters are definitely in new territory for me.  Maybe God needs me right where he has brought me.  I hope so.

 An additional blessing has been my relationship with you all, dear friends, some I know, others I don’t know.  I have readers who do not identify themselves.  Thanks for reading. You all have a warm and loving place in my heart.

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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6 Responses to THE “HOLY WILD”

  1. shoreacres says:

    I love this post. And the quotation reminded me of one of my favorite passages from Annie Dillard’s book, Holy the Firm. You may enjoy it, too. I think it has some of the same spirit.

    “The higher Christian churches – where, if anywhere, I belong – come at God with an unwarranted air of professionalism, with authority and pomp, as though they knew what they were doing, as though people in themselves were an appropriate set of creatures to have dealings with God.

    I often think of the set pieces of liturgy as certain words which people have successfully addressed to God without their getting killed. In the high churches they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a strand of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it any minute. This is the beginning of wisdom.”

    • oneta hayes says:

      That’s where I had the “laundromat” experience. ttps:// Thanks for added wisdom. You always enlarge my thoughts. (That reminds me of a lesson I have prepared for tomorrow. It includes the prophesies Noah made to his sons. “May God enlarge Japheth…” (Gen. 9:27). According to my study that means Japheth’s line would be enlarged intellectually and in the genre of knowledge. Ham’s was earthy, related to physical needs like service, health and technology. Shem’s was fulfilling spiritual needs. Maybe that is “more, more, so much more- more than you wanted from me.) 😀

  2. Faye says:

    Dear Oneta, I believe absolutely what you have written. I understand. It was the severe health issues where it was only Christ and I to bring about a good outcome did I find the courage to get ”out of the box”‘ of comfortable Christian living and truly be as the Lord leads and guides both in writing, living, speaking and certainly in the bigger spectrum of public space. Oh Wow.. I like your term Holy Wild. I am a passionate creative Christian and under that banner I must be totally for HIM and not bound by political correctness. Holy Truth! Keep blogging dear. Wow!

    • oneta hayes says:

      The term “holy wild” was Buchanan’s term. I got it from the book. It did shake me out of the comfortable rather prestigious spot I had settled into. I still am very “churchy.” I believe that the church is the best way to disciple new Christians and perhaps also to win sinners. But my church had moved in ways I could not go partly because of age. I found I am more “useful” other places. I don’t want an attitude that comforts me about how much I am loved by God and there is nothing I can do to make him love me more. I want to do because he wants me to partner with him to do something he needs done. I understand your excitement in living “outside the box.” 😀

  3. Dawn Marie says:

    “I’ve walked a crises of faith, faced disappointments, and felt like a failure deluxe, but somehow I believe I am better prepared for the holy wild”. I believe it is the wisdom of God that weaves our lives together so beautifully with those who “understand” us so well, because they have walked a similar path. Your personal sharing draws even more clarity as to why He has crossed our paths with one another. Thank you for helping me to find the Words to best describe these past three years..Holy Wild. Such a gift to finally claim it by name. 🤗 HUGS!!

    • oneta hayes says:

      The words originated with Buchanan, but I’m sure he is glad to let them be a “motto” for ourselves. I’ve claimed them. Taking a risk with Jesus is really no risk at all; he takes the risk out as he leads us into new adventures – adventures we would never choose for ourselves! That’s part of the adventure.

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