Monday, August 27, 2007

Walking in step

"The LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction,” Psalm 1:6

Many years ago when the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was a wilderness, two men set out on foot to reach a mining camp in the dead of winter. After walking some distance, it began to snow heavily, and the path was covered. They kept going, and with a sigh of relief they came upon footprints showing that they must be near their destination. Fortunately a Native American approached and told them they were walking in what he called the “death track”; they’d been walking in a circle.

God watches over the path of the godly, but the ungodly--those who distance themselves from God--have placed themselves outside of the reach of divine guidance and protection. The deeds of the righteous will have eternal significance, because living for God is their aim in life. Their deeds are carved in stone, while the achievements of the wicked are written in the sand. “Just one life, twill soon be past; only what’s done for God will last.”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why people leave church

1. Their church doesn’t “meet their needs”. What were they expecting? Answers to all of life’s mysteries? A simple formula for a life free of pain? Entertainment?

2. They’ve gotten out of the habit, maybe even lazy, a lack of discipline and priorities. How God feels about this is maybe worth consideration.

3. Someone in the church angered or disappointed them—so who do they punish? Themselves! It’s like deciding to stop eating.

4. They don’t agree with what their church is teaching. Hopefully their church has been clear about communicating its positions. Is it a major issue or something we can agree to disagree on?

5. Competing activities—sports, shopping, brunch, sleeping-in, and that extra-big Sunday newspaper. It’s a matter of priorities. If work is the reason, employers ought to make some accommodation.

6. Some men think only women and children need church; they don’t have the guts to encounter God themselves.

7. They think they don’t need church, yet church can well be the most valuable resource of their lives.

8. They had a bad experience. I tell people I had a bad experience at a restaurant and now I don’t eat out anymore! My point: find another church if you can’t resolve your problem.

9. They just don’t care. I suppose some people are apathetic, which is often the outcome of a comfortable life which lulls and deceives people into thinking they don’t need God. Do they demand proof God exists? No—they’re not interested.

10. Lack of faith. If you’re an unbeliever, church probably makes little sense. But give it a chance and be open to what you might receive.

Ultimately, people who stay away from church fail to realize that God deserves our praise, and that church has a lot to offer.

When I pass my little church, I stop in for a visit, so when I die and go up there the Lord won’t ask, “Who is it?”

Pastor Bob's thoughts

Welcome to my blog! I hope to post articles and sermons and thoughts here, and hopefully some photos. I'm new to blogging, so bear with me as I learn my way.