A Tale of Three Churches

Post #406

I read this book one time and it was about 7 different churches and the people that attended them.  However my recent experiences says I can pare it down to three churches.   We returned home from vacation a few days ago and immediately attended a funeral.  A funeral of a friend from our prior church. SPOILER ALERT-If you’re anti-church, I would suggest you just go ahead and Google any other subject that warms your heart.  In our married years, we uprooted family and moved here or there, and as a result moved into different church homes.  It’s not easy to find a new church home, but it’s not impossible to make new friends in a new church.  Many people cringe at church change and would never leave their “home church” once they are rooted in one, friendship is more important to some rather than theology. Many people just don’t understand theology. So, let’s begin.

Church number 1:  This is the church we are currently attending.  It’s a big church. It’s hard on us, because have always been small church people.  We like closeness, involvement, action and the familiarity of small churches.  A big church usually instills unfamiliarity, separation and invisibleness.  Church #1  has big music presentations (not loud,  head thumping, headache producing, ear piercing, blow you out the back wall stuff) and there is mature, substantive sermon messages, 40 weekly small groups (with 400 people attending-that’s about half of the church),  events and retreats for youth and families. It’s an active church without the usual big church feel.

Church #2: This is our summer time church.  I’ll be critically honest here.  I’ve spent a lot of summers ignoring church.  But, recently there has been this personal need to stay connected in God’s word, other than merely enjoying His beauty presented each day on the lake.  True in the early church search days I just wanted to fill this personal commitment to go and get it over with (the fish were calling my name!!)–so I searched for an early service church so we could get back to the lake. It turned out the only church we liked, was small, had only one service and it began at 10:45!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  OK, OK, I’m here ALL summer I can ignore my desires and NOT focus on God’s lake on Sunday’s.  Well, I said this is a small church, in the summer time it’s pews swell.  There are about 50 summertime people in attendance and most of them are 10 years my senior and I’m beginning my 8th decade!!!  Its winter attendance must only be in the teens. I don’t know how this church survives.  In the last couple of years this church has lost about 15 to 20 members do to various illnesses.  It’s and aging church whose long term existence in my mind, is uncertain.

Church #3: This was our previous church, the one we just visited for the funeral. Not long ago its membership was about 300.  As of a couple of years ago, its membership was down to around 120.  One of the flags that caught our attention was how the young families were leaving. The families were leaving to attend Big Churches that had programs for youth, family retreats, Christian games, community courses and sporting events. I had hoped for and opted for a plan to generate new youth programs, when we were members, but was met with the proverbial “we’re too small to support programs beside what we did 30 years ago was good enough for us”.  My thought is/was, if it the technique was “good enough”, then where are your kids today?  As I looked around I could see that their children have grown up and either moved on to more active churches OR they have stayed and don’t participate at all.  Church #3 is about to slide into a Church #2.

It’s sad, the American citizen has such freedom to be able to attend any church without restriction and yet they turn away.  We are but one generation away from totally losing Christianity.   It’s that generation, who when bringing a young for dedication or watching a dedication gave a promise to “help” share the gospel with each child in attendance. It’s you who are missing.    John 3:16.

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Update on My “Marbles”

Post #405

On April 19, 2017, I wrote a blog entitled Marbles, which actually, was a follow-up to its previous story line entitled Tootles.  Marbles, Tootles

So, we came home from summer vacation and began looking at the many things around the ‘estate’ that either needed or were going to need attention. The second item on the list of priorities was the garage. We don’t have an attached garage.  We built a log cabin and this detached garage and this guy (yours truly) wanted the garage to look identical to the cabin, so it was made of wood, stained and treated with a sealer to be the same color as the house. Well, here it is about 12 years later and it’s REALLY time to consider refinishing.  An  identical finish would be an arduous job, so I decided a paint would be better. (Let me just say that I consider 12 years on one finish to be a superb result of the product.)  Be that as it may, I’m not getting much response on my project, the wife thinks I could probably do this myself. She’s even willing to scrape or wire brush!!!

By the way, this really isn’t a story about garage painting……  So, I power wash, wire brush, and scrape various parts of the garage (there are just some things better done by yourself, rather than your wife).  My wife begins making apple pies while I begin painting (an exceptional trade off) and find myself up the top of a 32 foot extension ladder (did I ever explain that I DON’T do heights??). I’m at the far end of the garage when the wife comes out and yells; “I found it!!  Any of you men who have been married for MORE than 5 years will attest to the fact that the only time your wife REALLY wants your attention is when your at the top of a 32 foot extension ladder or in the midst of some similar project!!

“WHAT????”  says I, immediately concerned that I’m going to be required to put my brush away and descend the ladder.  “I found the napkin” she says…  My light bulb comes on!  She says “it was in the middle of the flags”.  It seems a number of women believe that a homes’ decoration must include some sort of yard flag and there neatly folded amongst the flags was my long lost napkin.

You know what’s so great about this?????  We NOW know who the PERP was and more importantly, who the perp wasn’t for misplacing the napkin!!!!!!   HeHeHe……..

So, for all you asking over the last few months if the napkin had ever been found…..we now have your answer…….

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