Monthly Archives: July 2007

Update On Ann

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts everyone.  I am letting you know that, Lord willing, the doctors in Florence will remove the ventilator from her.  They contacted the doctors in B’ham and their doctors told them that they could not do any more for her than the doctors in Florence.  There will be a surgical team on standby to do an emergency tracheotomy if needed.  They may even have to re-vent her.  We just won’t know until they go in.

Please pray that she will be able to breathe on her own when they remove the ventilator.  Thanks again for your prayers blog family.

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Tough Few Days

I’m just writing to let you all know that I haven’t forgotten about my blog family.  The last few days have been a whirlwind for our family. 

Ellen’s mom, as you have seen in recent blogs, has a lot of health issues.  Last Wednesday, she fell getting out of bed, broke her ankle in three places, and went to the ER.  At the ER she was given morphine for pain.  They gave her too much.  She has since been on a ventilator in the ICU.  They went ahead and did the surgery on her ankle, but the seriousness of her problem is with her inability to breath without the machine.  She has an extremely small breathing tube due to a car accident over 40 years ago.

At present we are awaiting a CAT scan of her throat in order to determine if she can breath without the machine and without a permanent trachea implanted in her throat.  Please pray that she can breathe on her own and won’t need this apparatus.  I will try and keep you updated.


“Churchical”

There’s you a new word, “Churchical.”  I heard this word used in jest at a dinner I went to last night during Handy week in Florence.  As most of you probably know, Florence is home to W.C. Handy, the father of the blues.  During this week, there are lots of bands play all over the area.  In recent years, many places have begun using this week for benefit dinners and the such like.  Last night was such a night at Heritage Christian University.

 As the event began, a man got up to introduce the evening and kick things off.  He made the statement that “tonight is not church.”  I think this was said to let people know that it was, as he said, “meant for fun” and not worship.  He said we weren’t going to be “churchical.” The statement made me laugh because, though I know what he was doing, I think it ridiculous to think that we were not “church” during that night. 

The first group was a group from a church singing nothing but old gospel hymns.  Our group went next, singing “doo wap” fifties style music.  We were followed by the Mars Hill Jazz Band.  It was a great night of fun and the crowd was so great that I know they raised lots of money for the school.  Praise God!!  Or does that sound too “churchical.”

Isn’t the “Church” the people?  How can we be together and not be the church?  We have so compartmentalized our religion into what happens on Sunday AM that we can’t think of having fun on Sunday morning and having “church” anywhere else except in the building.  God help us understand family!!


Great Sunday!!

Today was a great day at Creekside.  God blessed us with a wonderful crowd and the Spirit of God moved amongst us.  That was evident through the singing, the words spoken and the spirit of love that exists within our family.

Our class was most interesting and I’ll just leave it at that.  Just pray for us that the spirit of love can continue like it did today.  Some of the things that came out in that class were very emotional, but were handled because love prevailed.  Praise God for that.

We had a special treat as well in the fact that our brother blogger, “The Puckster” was with us.  We were short a tenor singer for our praise team and he filled in on extremely short notice and did an awesome job.  God has blessed you my brother with a great singing voice.  Thanks for being with us.

We ended the day with one of my favorite treats–an ice cream supper.  We had lots of good ice cream and foods.  We played volley ball, board games, and just sat around and talked.  All in all it was a great Sunday.


Great Weekend and Sunday

We had an awesome weekend with our VBS and Neighborhood Cookout.  The numbers were great, but more than that, the spirit was wonderful.  We had lots of volunteer help with both events. 

Children are awesome.  I love to worship with them.  They have zero inhibitions when it comes to worship.  All they know is that they love Jesus and He is the focus of our lives and worship.  They are perfectly happy clapping, dancing, and laughing for God.  If worship could be that way all of the time, how wonderful it would be.

Our cookout for the community went great.  We had a great number from the community and the church, but again, it was not great simply because of the number.  We had a wonderful meal and when we started playing music, once again the children were the star of the show.  They all gathered up front next to the stage and danced all night long.  I know that sounds strange in a church building, but it was a blast.  Ithink the people got much more from the children than the band, but who cares, everyone had fun.

We met several people from the neighborhood and many of them came to he event.  One gentleman, Mr. Kidd, an elderly man who has been instrumental in getting the Jesus movie in our area was there.  He has been a missionary for Jesus in another denomination for many years.  He was a humble man with a great love for God.   He was kind enough to send a thank you note to our house thanking us for the whole thing. 

We received another note of thanks on behalf of an entire segment of the neighborhood from a Mr. Hinn.  He spoke of how much he enjoyed the food and the music.

I think that one of the things that draws people to these community events is the fact that we don’t charge and admission and that there are no strings attached.  It is a concern of mine that people view churches in general as having a hand out.  I wonder what kind of descriptions we would get if we went through the streets and asked people at random how they viewed “church” or “Christians.”  Wouldn’t it be great if the answers they gave first were answers that had Jesus’ name in them?  I hope that events like what we did this past weekend are things that will let people know that all we want to do is be there neigbor and that Jesus is the center of our lives.

I have to end this blog with praise and honor and glory aimed at our Father in heaven Who loves unconditionally and Jesus our Lord, Savior, who paid the ultimate price for our salvation and Holy Spirit our peace, comfort, wisdom, intercessor and counselor for any good that is done through us. 


VBS and Neighborhood Cookout

I am really excited about this afternoon at Creekside.  We are having Vacation Bible School from 1-5 for our community.  Following that is our second event that we specifically invited our neighborhood around the building to.  We are calling it a Neighborhood Cookout. 

Immediately after the VBS we will set up our tables and chairs for a dinner theatre style meal while our band performs on our stage.  We will play music of all kinds and just have a fun gathering for the community.

The last time we did this it was a breakfast.  We had about 50 people from the neighborhood and it was great.  I hope that this one will be even more successful because it’s in the afternoon.  It will be a free event for our neighbors and friends and we try and make people feel at home.  This is something we do with no particular ulterior motive other than being nice to people. 

Please pray that our guests will see Jesus living in us so that they will glorify our God who is awesome!!

More next week on interpretation.


Interpretation 5: Hermeneutics

Thusfar in this series on interpretation I have talked about and given some very basic principles for exegesis.  As we have noted, exegesis is the systematic study of the scriptures in order to find the original meaning of the text.   The key question that exegesis answers is, “What did the text mean to the original hearers?”

I now turn attention to hermeneutics.  The key question in hermeneutics is “What does the text mean for the here and now?”  In other words, by what means do we determine textual meaning for today’s hearer of the scriptures?

In my heritage I was raised to understand the scriptures based on three principles–Command, Example, and Inference.  I was taught that all of scripture could be understood by at least one of these three principles. 

Later the three words became small phrases. Direct Commands, Approved Examples, and Necessecary Inference.  The problems with this kind of system of learning about the scripture are much too numerous to name in this short blog, but I will tell some of the inconsistency that I have experienced.

1) Why do we have to say “approved” examples?  I think the main reason for the discriptive word “approved” is that we see many examples that we don’t consider salvation issues, therefore we must find out which ones we will believe.  Those are the issues we called “approved.

Fasting nearly always comes to mind when I talk about this.  We see many times in scripture “prayer and fasting” side by side in a phrase, yet while no one will deny that prayer is essential, many would question the act of fasting as a salvation issue.  It’s usually dismissed as cultural.

2) Why do we have to say an inference is “necessecary?”  I believe that it is because some things that are inferred by scripture as something a Christian ought to do or be is way out of our cultural comfort zones. 

For example, it is inferred (if not commanded) that Christians ought to greet one another with a holy kiss.  Why is that one not a necessary inference, when the inference that Acts 20:7 makes concerning the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week is taken as a command?  We’re not even sure if that was the communion and if it was, the Greek says that it was on Saturday night before midnight–another inference about when we ought to take it.

These are only two examples I know, but there is enough here for us to at least question how we view scripture–at least in my opinion.

It is an extrememly slow process for most people to break free from the way in which they have been taught in order to listen to new principles of hermeneutics.  In fact I believe that for some, this may be an impossible task. 

Fee and Stuart make the point that because of consistency (or the lack thereof) it is very difficult to draw up a blueprint for how to apply an ancient text like the Bible.  Therefore, they approach the scripture based on the various genre, exegete the passage, and then apply the general meaning to our time and culture.  This does not and will never always avoid questions and scrutiny.  I believe that as long as we have people, we will have arguments about the scripture.

The one governing principle that the Bible always has at the top of the list of principles is LOVE.  We must love people even when we disagree with their interpretation.  I’m sorry, but the message I got growing up was not one of love.  It was the idea that if you disagree with us, you must be wrong.  Even when we don’t mean to, we come across that way.  I pray that more and more we can open our hearts and minds to God’s meaning of His Word.  His heart is love His nature is love, therefore, we must use this as our guiding principle.