The Shack

Just a quick note to say that this is a great book. It really confronts the issue of where is God during life’s tragedies. Not sure all the questions are answered, but certainly a new perspective is posited. Enjoy!!!

http://www.theshackbook.com

Ps 37:25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.

This text was raised in house church last Sun PM. I said that I didn’t believe that this passage holds for Christians today. I believe that the Psalmist wrote in the context/expectation of a person with a physical well-being contract with God (i.e. and Israelite under the old law). 

Dt 6:3 speaks to this health-and-wealth arrangement between God and Israel

be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey

Christians are told

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 

 (1 Pet 4:12ff)

The ONE righteous human ever to live did experience forsakeness. “”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mt 27:46.

My brother, Alan, made an amazingly poignant statement in a Bible study four or five months ago. A statement that has taken on a life of its own in my reconsideration of God’s will for me and the rest of mankind. I thought I’d title it Yeldell’s Axiom of Obvious Omission. So here it is…

If it were so important to God, why didn’t He just spell it out in clear terms?

I forget the point of disagreement, but it was something about the frequency, content, or practice of the Lord’s Supper. Wouldn’t this work nicely on other doubtful disputations like transubstantiation, instrumental music, the continuation of supernatural gifts, and infant baptism. So next time you feel compelled to take a point too far, remember Alan Yeldell’s Axiom of Obvious Omission and move on to the more important practice of faith and love.

My 10 year old son, Colton, is working on his scout badges. One of the requirements is to remember the “Scout Law” which is a commitment to 12 virtues.

TRUSTWORTHY
LOYAL
HELPFUL
FRIENDLY
COURTEOUS
KIND
OBEDIENT
CHEERFUL
THRIFTY
BRAVE
CLEAN
REVERENT
Who can argue with this as a firm foundation for youth (and adults) of all generations? Nonetheless, we find Paul in Romans 7 admitting that we are powerless to keep the law or perhaps even the scout law without some supernatural help.

In a recent interview, Frank Viola noted this typical problem with “house churches”…

In my observation, many house churches are little more than glamorized Bible studies. And most perform the same ritual every week. I’d like to see more house churches hunger and thirst for an experience of Jesus Christ and who would seek for ways to make Him central, supreme, and preeminent in their house church experience. By my lights, there is a great deal of room to grow in this area.

Another concern he expressed in his book So You Want to Start a House Church? is that some house churches are little more than coffee house discussion groups where people get together to catch up with one another. I guess these are concerns of mine too. Being in a house doesn’t necessarily make a gathering more genuine, nurturing, accountable, etc. I think we are creatures of habit and it takes effort to change things up, to think about what to do week-by-week.

In the two house churches that I meet with, we have drifted into a repeating pattern. Nonetheless, I feel like we are asking the right questions. “What is Jesus doing in your life? How have you been Jesus to those around you? Where is the Lord leading you? What are you studying this week? What difference is it making in your life?”

 We do change up when a special need arises. Sometimes in Allen, we simply go out to eat together. When one of us have had a bad day, we can stop and talk/pray through it. When we have a Halloween carnival to go to, we can have a short service. So perhaps we aren’t so rigid…. yet.

Is Jesus at the center? Supreme? Preeminent? That’s a great goal to work toward.

Had a great time at house church tonight. We discussed how one of Jesus’ big deals is finding/having life.

I naturally question whether this effort is “of God”, but feeling more confident week by week that God is moving in our little fellowship.

God put on my heart this passage from Ecclesiastes 11:

1 Cast your bread upon the waters,
       for after many days you will find it again.

 4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
       whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

 5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
       or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
       so you cannot understand the work of God,
       the Maker of all things.

 6 Sow your seed in the morning,
       and at evening let not your hands be idle,
       for you do not know which will succeed,
       whether this or that,
       or whether both will do equally well.
I can’t know for certainty where God will take this effort, but as I see simple and first fruits coming from our time together, I am more confident of His leading.

It’s been a wonderful thing to share spiritual conversations with Ron and Barbara. Even though they are close family, we are only now finding regular opportunity to discuss how God is working in our life.

Dan, Diana, Everett, and Justus Wenzel have been a God-send to our group. They have a deep commitment to God and living their relationship out in their lives. Their example has encouraged me to be even more intentional about sharing God and his ways with the kids.

We resolved to invite others to join in our time together as believers. Hoping that unchurched believers will find a safe place to find God and His will in their lives. Please join us in prayer that God will lead us to the people He has prepared for this invitation.  We “cannot understand the work of God”, but if we “watch the wind”, we “will not plant”.

We had our first meeting of the Moss Farm House Church… We had

  • 8 adults, 4 kids
  • a lite supper
  • a time of sharing our spiritual journey (each shared as they desired)
  • a time of prayer
  • a study of “kingdom” arrival in Matt 3
  • a time for Q&A

Thanks for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for the unchurched in our area, that God will help us find them and vice-versa.