Friday, July 14, 2006


Church should be like my Doctor visit...

I didn't want to go. It was a visit to my skin Doctor (actually my skin Nurse Practitioner), Lori Jones. I had to go because I had bump/spot/harmless nothing/hideous tumor come up on my face. Those of you who know me understand that I worried about it but didn't want to go check it out. Not bright, huh. Of course, it's not exactly like I have to worry about preserving my good looks. And then I waited to get in for TWO hours, even with an appointment. Evidently they lost my chart.

Then when I got in, Lori and her team were friendly, fun, and they fixed it (they froze it...many times).

It later dawned on me that I wish people would see our churches that way. They may wait a while to get there, and they may not think they want to be there, and they may have horrible things in their life. They may be worried, scared, angry, or anxious. And when they finally visit us, they find us friendly, fun, and we fix things.

In fact, that's pretty much my life...friendly, fun, and I fix people. And every one on those is directly tied to my relationship with Jesus.

I think this is not a bad thing to be known for: fun, friendly, and we fix people.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It' just not true...

I heard this illustration again today and decided its time to debunk this myth. One of our singles at Herald of Truth brought this up and almost everyone there had heard it. You have probably heard some version of this marriage myth. The first year of marriage you put a penny (or a bean or a rock) in a bowl every time you make love. Then beginning in year two you take one out every time. And the punch line is that you never empty the bowl. It seems good for laughs, and many mentoring couples may even believe it is a good dose of reality.

I think it is horrible. Who would want a marriage where sex was only good and exciting for one year. And why would we want to plant those thoughts in the mind of our young couples. I enjoy seeing couples older than us who are still in love, still cute, and still cuddly. And I hope that couples younger than us see that marriage is still exciting and thrilling after a lot of years.

I hope your wife still puts a sparkle in your eye, and I hope your husband is still the man of your dreams. So put another penny in the jar tonight. Don't ever take them out, but just get another jar...and another...and another.

Aren't you still glad you married your mate?

I am.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Thoughts on Unity...

I've been on the road the last three weeks- Santiago, Chile with a Herald of Truth campaign, Louisville with the Christian Church convention, and Nashville for the Lipscomb summer celebration. The Christian convention was interesting because one of their key themes was unity between the Christian church and the church of Christ. After all, we share a common heritage. Several thoughts struck about this emphasis on unity.

First, the independent Christian church believes in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They believe that we we respond to that by being immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of sins and to recieve the Holy Spirit. They believe that we celebrate that weekly by sharing the Lord's Supper together. I think that makes us brothers.

In listening to the talk about unity, it seems that many think the split in our fellowship was over instumental music. That may have been "the straw that broke the camel's back", but I don't believe that was the cause of our separation. I believe it was political more than theological. It was almost a clean North/South separation and the division recognized in 1906 actually began in the politics of the Civil War. There were economic factors at play even in the "theology" of the instrumental music question. So I believe the factors that contributed to the debate were first political, then economical, and then theological.

I do not believe instumental music is a salvation issue. It is not gospel. However, that does not mean that it is not important, or that there is not truth about this issue. And so it is clear that I believe some truth to be more important than other truth (after all, even Jesus believed there was a greatest commandment). How Christians worship is not as important as how you become a Christian.

I was able to worship with my brothers while an instument was being played. Just as was able to worship in Africa with my church family that believed men and women should not sit together in the assembly. And I have worshipped in settings where women preached. And in settings where a national flag was flown. I have worshipped where communion consisted of red wine, white wine, grape juice, grape Koolaide, and homemade wine. I have been in services where youth activities where honored, where Boy Scouts were recognized, and where soldiers were saluted.

Some of these practices don't matter to me, some I think are not appropriate, and some I think are wrong. But they are family issues, not family membership issues. And on some of these I may even be wrong. I don't think so, but further study and prayer may change my mind. Or not. I may share more of my thoughts later, but these are some of my initial reactions. What do you think?

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