Sunday, July 18, 2010

"buildings are sacred places"

I had an opportunity to attend a gathering Saturday morning.  Thank the Lord it ended up being something different than what was planned!  A meeting and ideas for fund raising was planned.  But, it ended up being an opportunity to see what God is doing in other parts of the world.

I had the opportunity to meet Imir and Janette.  They are ministering in Imir's country.  Both Imir and Janette spoke eloquently about their ministry and their home, the newest country on the planet, Kosova.

The list of things that are different between their home country and mine is HUGE!  And I could pick any one of a number of them to blog about.  But Imir made a statement while discussing the need to purchase a building in one of the cities in Kosova.  He is currently leading a small group of Believers in a building that is not a church.  And that building is in much need of repair.  So they are looking to try to locate a building to purchase.  In his country, a church is really not taken seriously unless they have a permanent facility or building.  In his country, "buildings are sacred places."

There it was.  Did you catch it?  He said buildings are sacred places.

I thought about my church today and many of the churches that I have attended in recent years.  Some of them didn't even look like churches.  And I am not here to debate the relative merits of the "sanctunorium" or the multi-purpose building.  But I miss the days when you walked reverently into the sanctuary.  You didn't run inside the church and passing notes was the 8th deadly sin!

Do you think there is any connection between the informality of the new church and the lack of a deep abiding reverence for the Lord's House?  Again, I am not attacking the modern church.  But what "message" is being sent to the congregation when the pulpit has been replaced with a bar stool and a tall table?

Have we lost a sense for what is sacred?

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Grace and Peace

I have a lot of friends who use various closings in the signature blocks to their emails and blog posts.  Some of my favorites are:

* Respectfully (that's kinda old fashioned)
* Have a great day (that's a little wishful)
* Warm regards (that's a little stilted)
* All the best (that's a little optimistic)
* Blessings (that's a little out of my league to dispense)
* In Christ (that's where I want to be)
    They range from totally secular to completely sacred.

    My favorite is . . .

           Grace and Peace

    There is nothing wrong with any of the other ones.  I just like that one best.  I don't even use it myself in my email and blogging for fear of jumping onto their bandwagon. 

    But it speaks to me.  It reminds me that those two things are certainly things that I could use a little more of in my life each day.  I don't know about you, but I have never come to tough situation and thought there was too much grace applied.  I have never come home at the end of the day and thought, "Wow, today was just too peaceful!"

    So what about you?  Could you use a little more grace and peace in your life?

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    Monday, July 05, 2010

    There's no place like home

    I think it was Dorothy that spoke that line of dialog in the classic 1939 film, "The Wizard of Oz."  She was longing to go back home to Kansas.  Her wishes and dreams of traveling "Somewhere over the rainbow" had not turned out quite like she wanted.  And, although I haven't not traveled quite like she did, I have been away from home an awful lot lately.  My work has had me on the road about 75% of the time lately.  And like young Dorothy, I want to go home.

    I remember early in my career when I got to take a business trip or two.  What a thrill that was.  Stayed in a nice hotel.  Got a new rental car.  Ate whatever I wanted at whatever restaurant I chose.  That was the life!

    But lately it has been meeting here, negotiate there, meet over there.  Go to the big conference.  And every hotel room looks the same.  All I can think about while on the road is, "When will I get to go home and see my wife and my kids and grandson?"  All I think about is coming home.

    You know, heaven is like that for the Christian.  Maybe at this stage in your life it isn't all that you think about.  But, it is something that you should think about from time to time.  It helps keep things in perspective.  I can get through anything on the road because I know I am coming home soon.

    I think about it a lot more and more as I get older.  I've never been there.  But I know I want to go there.  I know that I will go there some day.  After all, it is my home.  It is my eternal home.

    And there's no place like home.

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