The Sanctuary

quillIt amazes me, awes me beyond my ability to appreciate, the fact that as beautiful as the sanctuary of God’s created universe is, we are now His sanctuary, His tabernacle, each of His disciples individually and collectively as his Church. How can that be?? And yet, He declares it to be so! (1 Corinthians 6:19,20) I don’t understand it, but who am I to argue?  Here is another beautiful Continue reading “The Sanctuary”

This Old House, the continuing saga…

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Our house is a hybrid of the do-it-yourself series, This Old House, and the hilarious movie from the 1980’s, The Money Pit.  Never mind that my kitchen is probably from the 1950’s; we are evidently concentrating on the outside for the time being.  At this writing, our fairly large free-standing garage is being resided to match the main house we re-sided not too long ago.  A few months ago we had a friend put in a brand new concrete front walk, which necessarily included two sets of steps (we live on a small slope.)  He’ll be out later for the back steps and the driveway.

Try cooking a Thanksgiving dinner in a 1950’s kitchen.  At least I Continue reading “This Old House, the continuing saga…”

That “essence of new car”

wood 2Don’t you just love that new car smell?  Or walking into a new house that still has that fresh clean fragrance of, well, prior to kids, dogs, and cats?  Not that I’ve ever had a new car or a new house; I’m a definite “second-hand Rose” (or third, or fourth…), but there is something about newness that makes you want to keep it that way as long as possible.

Until it’s no longer new, that is. 

There’s a truism that says “familiarity breeds confidence”.  The problem is that confidence can degrade into neglect, whether it’s a house or car, or a relationship, or even my own Continue reading “That “essence of new car””

Expecting bird poop

bird picmonkeyAt this writing, I’ve just come in from sitting on my patio before going to church on a beautiful Sunday morning.  I mean B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.   The sky has been swept clean (wish I could say that about my patio…), the birds are singing, the sun is coming up over the horizon, the trees are sporting their new greenery—I even have some new things planted in my garden.  And I had a special treat this morning—two Canada geese flew overhead!  Great!

We live in southern Missouri in what’s called a “fly-over zone”, so the geese are frequent residents in transit.  But we also have a Continue reading “Expecting bird poop”

The mouse in the house

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In terms of home ownership, the only good mouse is a dead mouse.  Unless, of course, the olfactory evidence informs you of the deceased, but you can’t locate the corresponding corpse.  There are various outcomes connected with this unfortunate demise:

The odor tends to encourage one to relocate to a different part of the house.  That’s not necessarily so bad if the size of one’s abode can accommodate such changes.  If, on the other hand, you live in an apartment, or a house full of other people, say, three or four children, that’s not quite so easy.

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The only kind of mice I tolerate in my house…

And/or we try to cover up the smell with other smells.  I would also tend to opt for opening the windows for that fresh air aroma, but this also is not so convenient in December or January.  So, instead, I get a mixture of holiday cinnamon with dead rodent, which will likely not do so well on the market next Christmas.

We also might avoid having Continue reading “The mouse in the house”

Gettin’ a little crowded in there

babyrobins 4Don’t you think it’s about time for these guys to start finding their own food??  I don’t think mom and dad are going to be able to keep sustaining them (and themselves) much longer, and they’re outgrowing the nest by more than a bit.  Dependence is a comfortable thing, however, and self-sufficiency is hard work, and somewhat dangerous at times.  Just look at what happened to the Israelites during the prophet Samuel’s time—

Backstory: because of the enemy occupation, there were no blacksmiths allowed in Israel.  To sharpen anything, God’s (wayward) people had to go the non-Israelite smithies to simply file an axe or other daily implements.  (As if my kitchen knives weren’t dull enough…)  This was a really smart ploy of the enemy—they were basically in control of the weaponry, which decidedly put the people of Yahweh at an uncomfortable disadvantage.

“So on the day of the battle none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan.”

Unfortunately, our Enemy employs the same tactic today when I allow myself to become dependent on church leadership and the pastoral staff/worship team/Sunday school teachers for my personal spiritual sustenance and the responsibility I have for the effect of the Gospel in my family and community.

Okay, that was a run-on sentence, and back in high school my comp teacher, Mrs. Rose, used to give my red ink for that.  So I’ll break it down.

Point #1:  Any church philosophy that encourages the people to become solely dependent on the leadership team is from the enemy camp.

When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?  After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News.

Point #2: Church leadership is not to keep us in the nest, but to prepare us to fly on our own.  That doesn’t preclude church affiliation (mustn’t take the analogy too far) as it is obvious God expects us to keep up our teamwork and fellowship.  There is, however, a specific call for the church to BE the church, not merely GO to church.

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” 

Even “dumb animals” like robins know when it’s time to grow up and feed themselves.

Or maybe they’re not so dumb after all…?

 

Samuel 13:22; I Corinthians 3: 4,5; Ephesian 4:11,12  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.