Friday, October 21, 2016


In my earlier years I understood church to represent two basic elements: hypocrisy and boredom.  Oh, I didn't know any hypocrites personally; but I heard plenty about them by just passing through ordinary life.  The word was out.  Insincere.  Needy.  Useless.  I learned early on the ropes of why church wasn't a thing for me.

But the big distraction was my absolute boredom.  I'd take a stab at attendance hoping to get one of those public recognitions in front of the whole church for perfect attendance for three months straight.  I never got one ribbon; not one.  I couldn't take it.  My favorite part of church was when it ended.  What a relief; but I was still determined to try to get one of the ribbons...somehow.

So what changed?  Due to the influence of several others, I began to study the Bible.  I'd carried my Bible, but never really regarded it as anything that would mean much in my daily walk.  Basically, the Bible was something religious kids got for graduating from 8th grade and I was thanking God that I didn't get one.

But when I began to seriously study the Word, life began to make sense.  It took on meaning with an incredible retirement plan that was out of this world.  I learned to watch Jesus move through a community caring for rejects; ministering to the hurting as well as the ignored.  His Spirit began to call me into a deeper relationship of understanding both Father and neighbor.  There was a need in community to survive the inevitable; heavy discouragement.

Therefore, I speak to those who read these posts who, like me at one time, don't care for church and don't see the need for it.  I very much understand.  I would ask you, as did I, to reconsider.  God  isn't after you to go to church, sit  in rows, and endure the best you can for 90 minutes.  Are you kidding me?  Do you really think His Son died on the Cross simply to tie up half of your Sunday?

We are stranded.  We are stranded in sin so deeply that we can never do enough good to climb out on our own.  The time will come when you will want to say to a friend nearby or some distance away to explain to you the concept of starting life over...a real new beginning as.  The time will come when you will want to find out why you believe or disbelieve in God; rather than coasting through life with a smattering of criticisms here and there of people who have earned your disapproval.

Everyone is eventually headed for the cemetery.  But God is genius.  He knows full-well how to derail our eternal demise.  He calls each of us to go to a water-grave first via baptism that our sins would be washed away.  He was serious.  That's why He sent His Son; to learn what it was like to be a human with all of our frustrations and frailties.  God didn't call us to be the best we can be in hopes of going to heaven after we take our last breath.  He has more.  He wants us to bring our moody lives to an end while living that we might experience heaven's blessings while walking a new life.

Me?  I'm still dumbfounded that I love the church concept.  I didn't even want to go to church.  Now....I seem to be locked in!!!  God changes things because He changes people.  We can't escape earth's grinding us to eventual death except for One way out.  His Son.  We are to believe in Him, be buried in Him in baptism, and be elated that we can defy earth's discouraging days by focusing upon the invisible attributes of the Difference Maker who lives to operate from within each of

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