8.23.2010

Day 88, Your Church = Your Community.

The next time you are at your church take a good look around. Do a census in your head? What is the largest population in your church? Is it older people, middle age, or young? What would you say is the poorest family in your church? Who is the richest? What occupations do most people have? What common interest/hobbies are throughout the congregation? Does the spiritual maturity of the congregation move through all the levels or is focused primarily on one focus group, i.e. the 'old guy'? Do you have any ethnic groups in your church? Are there outsiders or rebellious looking people (tattoos, motorcycle, stereotypes) Has anyone in your church recovered from homosexuality, adultery or porn?

I asked this for a simple reason. If God has planted a church in a particular region of the country, shouldn't the church be a cross-section of the majority of the people in the culture?

Shouldn't you see the same people variety at your church as you would on a common trip to Wal-Mart?

We have such a tendency to group with people who look and feel like us. It's natural. I love being around reformed Chaplains/ministers. I love talking about Army deployments and my current video game crazy. I know I am drawn to people who are like me, but is that what I need to be pursuing?

Jesus ate with sinners. Does your church have room for these people?

Does my church in city X, look like a Saturday morning at Wal-mart?

8.07.2010

Day 87, The Waiting is Over.

After living out of a suitcase for the last 7 weeks, its official. I feel like I am home here in Texas, at least for right now.

Now, for the recap. On or about the 23rd of June, Jessica and I were contacted by the Chaplain Corp about a new assignment that I was getting here in Fort Hood Texas. I was quite surprised to find out that the Army's understanding of stability was moving from my overseas home in Germany to Fort Hood, and then deploying in about 30 days after getting settled in. Jessica and I held our breath and looked at the big picture. The big picture is: Chaplain's typically deploy only twice as a Captain, then we go school and wait until we get our Major before launching out again. Therefore, I will get the 2nd deployment completed and then prayerfully come home to enjoy about 2.5-3 years of non-deploying years.

After the news, we basically started saying our goodbyes and launched from Germany to Texas. Rented a house. Picked up our new dog, Major. Gave up the PC world and became a MAC family. Bought a guest bed as we wait for our furniture. Now sitting on a bed, A/C on...lab is asleep and Jessica is blogging beside me as well. (I feel home, and thus....THE WAIT IS OVER.)

Bottomline: I don't know how you define what 'home' is. But for the Army family...it truly is not bound to a location or particulars. Its a warm feeling of : "I just ate off of a real plate, and not plastic." ; "I just made it to Wal-mart or the PX w/o using the GPS."; "I know where my unit is."; "I just had a Starbucks and the cashier recognized me from the day before."; "We went to the same church twice, and we are no longer 'looking' for a church."; "Inprocessing is over."; or hear 4 people sing you happy birthday that you didn't know from Adam 2 weeks ago. --kind'a love this life.

These things make that , "I am home feeling" come to life.