A Gaggle of Grace

For more than two years six months Sam Buick and I with 3 or 4 others (Perry, Claude, Paul, Richard) would meet early every Sunday morning at a coffee shop.

There we learned together to relish the eager search of scriptures and the trustworthy faithful exchanges of Brothers in confidence. The Holy Spirit led us. No agenda brought in by man. We had all tasted  house churches. We watched with regret the many who were “doing church” but not “being Church”. We saw how programs of men and self-congratulation had set in to a dangerous degree in the conventional assemblies.

They just wanted us quietly sitting there on our hands, doing very little except adding to their number and dropping cheques in the plate.

Meanwhile we connected men ventured, whatever the weather, to share burdens and victories,  scripture questions and themes, news of the week, brotherhood. Occasionally there would be shared meals with families.

Sam has been a prolific poster on Facebook, but he has tired of the lewdness, hostility, politics and insensitivity of most of the articles. He discovered the alternative of Face Social and shared it with me. Happy that he did.

Months after we stopped our Sunday mornings, I met a man from the coffee shop. He asked, “where did you guys go. I used to enjoy eavesdropping on your conversations. They contained trust, truth and hope openly shared. Not sports or movies or macho moments or acquisitions or boasting. They impacted me. Otherwise it would have been my crossword once again (sigh).

The One Strategy Worthwhile

I have joined a Christian group online. In posts I see much writing about strategies to foil the Devil’s twists, turns and lies.

The yearning for power appears to have arrested much of the evangelical church. Watch out! This can become dangerous self improvement. And it can take the place of yearning for Christ and His understanding.

The erosion in the pulpit is almost indiscernible at first. Fewer sermons from the four Gospels. Lectures on “learning” spiritual gifts. Fascination with deliverance practices. Less naming of the name of Jesus (Acts 4).

One-time comedian Flip Wilson often portrayed a feisty church woman named Geraldine. She was often reciting “the Devil made me do it” and then flipping her handkerchief. This becomes a diversion from real spiritual power.

The anointing to serve and to stay clean comes from humility, obedience and compassion. “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” (John14)

And just like good old Boaz in the story of Ruth, our Lover is all-sufficient , protecting and good for all of His promises. We are wedded to Him and destined to reproduce. Read also Psalm 45, the wedding psalm.

Mega?

You tune him in

Impressive auditorium

Large excited gathering

Convincing baritone announcer.

Books and DVD’s without number.

But…

Your spirit quietly looks for meekness

They, the meek will inherit earth

They, the ones like Moses and Jesus.

The guy on the screen not so much.

He declares this and that

With presumed authority.

Stays mostly in jolly territory

His use of scripture

First base stuff.

But still numbers

Seek his endorsement

Lust to share their testimony

Sing their song.

Caress the crowd.

All saddening the hidden man of the heart*

Follow your spirit Brother…Sister

At this spot you are

Nowhere near Beulah Land.

 

(* 1 Peter 3:4)

Graciously Taking It on the Chin

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Just to pause here

Persecution

Others doubt

Your call of God

Here some doctrine

There a seer

Speaking gainst

What Heaven wrought

Did you hear Him?

Must you serve Him?

Though the arrows

Come so near

There will be

More tender whispers

Verifying all you hear.

Nothing beats such

Affirmation

Worth the stones and jeers

My Friend.

Just stick close

With scriptures handy.

You will see

A victory’s end.