Sunday, June 29, 2014

THE THEOLOGY OF LINUS

MY FAVORITE PEANUTS CHARACTER IS LINUS. He is the resident theologian pointing out the deeper truths of life to Charlie Brown as they lean against the wall watching life pass by.

Of all of Linus’ theological permutations, the one that resonates best with me is, “I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand!” I realize that my agreement with Linus’ statement might not sound good coming from a pastor, but truth-be-told, I have sometimes thought that the church would be a great place if it were just me and the Lord. But of course, Jesus doesn’t quite see it that way.

In fact, the church is truly nothing if we don’t have each other. It’s mighty difficult to be a body without a body. A bunch of hands flopping around on the ground is nothing more than the ending of a bad zombie movie, not the picture of a vibrant living organism of which we are called to be a part and of which Jesus Christ is the Head.

Whether we like it or not, the person sitting next to you in church is of vital importance to you. You need them, and yes, they need you! Here’s the deeper truth; as we respond to each other with sincere love and generous acts of kindness the world outside the Body of Christ, cannot help but sit up and take notice.

Our culture is longing for a true example of community, it is in desperate need of it, and the church of Jesus Christ is in prime position to live out that much needed example. Yes, we are called to love mankind, but that love must start at home. So, in the words of the words of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, “Love the One You’re With.”

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A PLOPPABLE HOME

A FEW WEEKS AGO Linda and I had the opportunity to visit a number of our friends in the Pacific Northwest. Each family we visited lived in quite different homes from each other. One filled with the sound of laughing children and another with a  great view of the Puget Sound. One tucked away in an established neighborhood and another seemingly perched on the last strand of beach of the Olympic Peninsula. One night we slept in a comfy cabin amongst the fir trees and another meeting settled us in a dear friend’s restaurant with a view of Vancouver Island in the  distance. Each gathering was unique  . . .  except for one common factor: Ploppability.


Yes, ploppability is a word. It means a place that makes you just want to plop down and be at home. Each of the places displayed that kind of atmosphere. When you walked in the door, whether the place was fancy or not didn’t matter, you just felt at home.  It was a place where you could kick your shoes off and plop down on the couch and know that you were welcome; a feeling that you were part of the family. It’s a great feeling! I think we should all work at having ploppable homes.

Our Vision here at Felton Bible Church is to be A Place to Call Home, and it was also our theme for last week’s Vacation Bible School. I believe it’s the very thing that God desires for all us to find in our relationship with Him. He wants us to know that in Him we can have a place to call home, not just some day in the sweet-by-and-by, but right here, right now.

God wants us to know that He calls us, through Jesus Christ, to live in a ploppable relationship with Him. He welcomes us into a relationship where we can take our shoes off and feel safe and secure in His holy presence.

If you’re looking for such a place, we’d love to extend to you His invitation to come on home.

Monday, June 16, 2014

I AM PATIENTLY WAITING!

I AM BLESSED to have two grandsons and soon-to-be-born granddaughter. Other grandparents told me it would be different than having your own kids. Something about all the fun without all the responsibility, well I don’t know about none of the responsibility part, but I am learning about the fun part.


Yet, there is one thing for which I am patiently waiting, that is when I enter the house and I hear those delicious words, lovingly declared, “Grandpa!” I am sure my heart will skip a beat of joy when that name joyfully resounds through the house.

Oh, I do remember when my children first said, “Da-Da” with some sense of recognition, and the joy it brought to my heart and not to diminish those days, but I still can’t wait to hear a new voice of recognition. It will come soon enough, and I doubt I will ever tire of hearing it.

Jesus showed His followers not only that God their Sovereign Creator and heavenly Father, but even more amazingly He could be referred to as Abba, a term of endearment much like our word “Dad.”

The Apostle Paul reminds us, “For you didn't receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15) and again, “And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!" (Galatians 4:6)

Therefore, on this day in which we recognize the dads amongst us, let us be sure to take time to call out to our Abba God who is patiently waiting to hear our voice.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

WELCOMING JESUS

LAST SUNDAY I RECEIVED many warm welcomes: many kind words and generous hugs, but one stood out above the others; one which gave me a glimpse of what simple eschatological joy may be like. This hug came from little Anna.

I entered the sanctuary just prior to the beginning of our worship service. Anna was at the front pew with her back to me. I went up and gently tapped her on the shoulder. She quickly turned around her gaze at my shoes slowly moving upward to see who had touched her, and upon seeing my face exclaimed with childlike joy, “Oh!” and preceded to give me a big hug.  My heart was warmed, first by being recognized and remembered by such a special little one and second by receiving an immediate and gracious hug that only a child can truly give.

Later, as I sat silently contemplating the Communion cup in my hand, my thoughts returned to Anna’s greeting. I was encompassed by the thought that our encounter may be like our first face-to-face encounter with Jesus, whether at our passing or at the Rapture. He shall touch us gently upon the shoulder, we shall turn and gaze into His eyes and exclaim, “Oh!”

It was wonderful to receive such a welcome and as I held the cup I wondered, “Have I welcomed Jesus that way today?”  From a position of prayerfulness did I raise my eyes heavenward as we sang “10,000 Reasons” and with childlike faith and love exclaim, “Oh!” It should be our response each day, which prepares us for The Day when we shall see Him, face-to-face.

Will you welcome Him today?
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