Monday, February 13, 2017

Thinking On What The Church Can Be

Beware the trap of spending much time lamenting what the church is not. Instead, let's dwell upon what Christ's church can be.

I think we all agree that the church in this country has a multitude of problems. The shackles that the institution has placed upon the body of Christ are powerful. We can clearly see the lack of vitality within the church due to the man-made traditions that have been foisted upon it.

We need to sometimes point out the problems in order to discuss solutions. What we must avoid is spending much of our time only focusing on the problems. Instead, let's talk about both solutions and possibilities. After all, the church can be a powerful tool for good when it simply follows what God has told us in scripture.

My encouragement, therefore, to both you and me is to spend more time pondering what the family of God can be. After doing this, let's simply live it out. Some things we already know; we should be doing these things (and maybe already are). Let's ask God to show us how to live in a powerful way for Him, free from man's traditions and institutions. Let's also spend a little less time dwelling upon what the church is not. The institution isn't going away. It simply is what it is.

What can the church be? Led by the Holy Spirit and following scripture, the church can be a dynamic, mighty force for good in this world. Let's focus on being a part of that!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Hammering the Half


This past Saturday I competed in the half marathon portion of the Critz-Tybee Run Fest. That's me above in the red shirt. Although it looks like I'm in pain, I really wasn't at that point in the race. For some reason I always look like that when I run. Believe it or not, I really was having a blast.

My goal for the race was to break one hour and 35 minutes. I'm thrilled that despite the cold and wind I finished in 1:33:03. That's my fastest half marathon in fifteen years! Woo! Additionally, I finished first in my age group (45-49 years). Overall, I was 37th out of over 500 finishers. The best part of the race was that it took place on Tybee Island, which is basically Savannah's beach. While the race was all on asphalt, we did have some glimpses of the ocean. We also ran right past the lighthouse.

Another bonus is that this race was relatively easy for me. That gives me hope that next month I will be able to complete the Skidaway Marathon (all 26.2 miles) without too much trouble. That is one of my goals for 2017.

I have no idea whether or not you exercise. I highly encourage it. I choose to run because I love it, it's convenient, it's relatively inexpensive, and it makes me feel great. In fact, I think I'll go for a run right now.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Thank You Church!


On Friday January 27th our home was burglarized. Since that time the church has stepped in tremendously to support us. We are doing much better now than we were a week ago. Thank you brothers and sisters in Christ!

On the 27th, after the police left, my first concern was how we were going to secure our house that night. The front door and frame were both broken. After a few phone calls, a Christian brother showed up and spent a few hours securing the door. He gave up money and time to help us.

The next day another friend called us offering to both buy us a new door and install it. Wow! That was awesome. I hadn't even begun yet really thinking about how we were going to replace the old door. After a lot of work on Saturday and Sunday, the new door was in place. Our friend had freely sacrificed most of his weekend to help us.

On the night of the break-in some neighbors bought us supper. Other folks have helped around the house with clean up, etc.

A few days ago some of my wife's close friends gave us $250. We received a check from some family members for $150. These gifts are wonderful because although the insurance company has been helpful, we still have a typical deductible.

Countless other Christian folks have been praying for us and giving us words of encouragement.

First and foremost, I want to thank our Lord God for providing for and taking care of us. Secondarily, I want to thank His church for supporting us. Although this experience has been somewhat traumatic, it has not been nearly as bad as it could have been.

One additional fact worth noting: most of the Christians who helped us are folks we do not gather with regularly. This, of course, has to do with the fact that we do not meet with many people. However, it also shows that believers don't have to only help those who they meet with on Sundays.

Today we are installing a security system in our house. We've also taken a few other measures to make our home less inviting to would-be burglars.

Thank you for your prayers!