It’s Twitterific Thursday. I write about something in 140 words or less.
I’m going to take a hiatus. It won’t be long. Today’s post will be the last one you see for a few days. To my loyal readers, though, I promise I will be back. In fact, I will be back next Thursday, September 1.
Don’t worry that I’ve run out of ideas. In anything, I have more. I actually have a backlog. I have about twenty-five posts that I need to write. I’m going to catch up on these during my break, so don’t worry. I will still be writing. I thought about doing some re-runs from some of my former blogs, but I’m just going “radio silent” for the next week. I’m going to recharge and regroup. I’m going to come back fresh and better than ever. Well, at least that’s the plan. Five, four, three, two, one. I’m out.
I don’t know what generation you belong to, but my generation will remember the Dr Pepper commercials of the 1970′s. A young man would walk and dance his way through crowds of people singing “I’m a Pepper, You’re a Pepper, Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?” Of course, as a kid, I wanted to be a Pepper. There was just one problem.
I didn’t like Dr Pepper. I couldn’t stand it. I still don’t. I understand that it is one of the oldest soft drinks and even precedes Coca Cola. I just never have liked it, or it’s imitator Mr. Pibb. I can’t really even tell you what it tastes like. I doubt anyone else can either. It just tastes like Dr Pepper.
I don’t really want to talk about Dr Pepper, though. What I want to talk about are deacons. You probably know what deacons are. However, if I asked everyone that reads this to define them, I would probably get a unique answer from everyone. Some might say that they are the leaders of the church. Some might say servants. Some might refer to them as the “board” of the church. Some might say that they are the pastor’s helpers. Still yet, someone might say they are the guys that yell, “Amen!!!” to the pastors especially good points.
The word deacon means servant. That should give us a hint as to what a deacon should be and do. A deacon should serve. Even when the first deacons are chosen it was so that the apostles do the ministry of the word and prayer and not have to worry about waiting tables. They served. I won’t get into the controversy over whether women can be deacons. That can be dealt with in some other post.
The bottom line is that all believers and followers of Christ should be deacons. We should all be servants. The way we each serve may be different, but we should all use the talents we were born with and the spiritual gifts we received with the new birth to serve the Lord and each other.
I’m a deacon. You’re a deacon. Wouldn’t you like to be a deacon, too?
I need a new pair of glasses. I haven’t had a new pair of glasses in, well, it’s been so long that I don’t remember. Don’t worry. I can see.
I wear contacts. It’s just that I’ve not broken down and bought a new pair of glasses. And do you know why?
I’m afraid it might make me an Universalist.
I know what you’re thinking. How could buying a new pair of glasses make me an Universalist. Let me explain.
The only glasses I see people getting today are those really cool, hip glasses. I’m afraid that if I get some of those, I will end up looking like Rob Bell. You know what I mean, really cool and hip.
If that happens then I might start reading weird books like Velvet Elvis and SexGod. I might start watching Nooma videos.
Know what else? I might read Love Wins. I might begin to doubt the existence of Hell.
I may believe that everyone will end up in Heaven no matter what.
I may end up being an Universalist.
All because I needed a new pair of glasses.
Nope. Not gonna’ do it. No new glasses for me.
How about you? Do you believe that your faith could be that easily shaken?
If you read my blog regularly you know that much of the time I think and write about church. I guess you could say the church is a passion of mine. I came across something that smacked me upside the head as I read it the other day.
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle we call Philemon to more than one person. He wrote it to Philemon, who he described as “our beloved brother and fellow worker.” Another recipient was “Apphia our sister.” The last individual he mentions was “Archippus our fellow soldier.” The final addressees he mentions was the “church in your house.”
There it is, what delivered the blow to my mind when I read it. The “church in your house.” Of course, back then there were not huge church buildings built in each city for the church or churches to meet in. In fact, there were not small church building built in each city. The church met in houses. Obviously, this church met in Philemon’s house. A group of believers met in a home provided by Philemon. Apphia may have been his wife and Archippus may have been another leader in this particular group. Regardless, the church met in his house as it met in other’s houses in other cities and locations.
Today, this happens, but it isn’t the standard, is it? Most churches build buildings. A few will buy a building. Most will have Sunday school, or if they are more modern, Bible Study Groups. One local church in my area just bought a bowling alley and meet there. Another meets in a former furniture store. Some of these churches then meet in homes for bible study and cell groups or life groups or whatever you want to call them. In other words, the church meets in houses.
As I’ve thought about this, I believe this should be the standard. The church should be meeting in homes and houses. It should be meeting in ways that everyone in the church should be involved in each other’s lives. I don’t mean churches have to do away with their Sunday schools or bible study groups that meet on Sunday mornings. However, what differences and changes will happen when the church meets in someone’s house or houses?
I want to be honest. I’ve failed at this most of my life. I’ve been content to go to church on Sunday and Wednesday most of my adult church life. As I’ve grown and as I continue to pursue Christ, this pattern has caused me to grow more and more frustrated. Why? Because I don’t believe that I’m being the church that Christ wants me to be. Yes, I said that right. The church Christ wants me to be. I am the church. If you follow Christ, so are you.
If I was searching for a new church today, I would compose a list of questions to ask the pastor and people of that church. One of them would be, “Does the church meet in homes and houses regularly and intentionally?” How that questions was answered might affect whether I would consider joining that particular fellowship.
I heard someone mention today how people asked him about his church. He began describing the church where he is a member. They said that they weren’t interested in that church. No, they were interested in a church that cared about their community like he did. This person was not interested in going to an established church. What I heard was that perhaps they were interested in a church in someone’s house. Maybe his. Maybe mine. Who knows?
How about you? Is there a church in your house.
It’s 14 days. Two weeks until the start of UT’s football season. I’m biting at the bit like many UT fans. Recruiting has picked up. News from practice is out everyday.
Two weeks from today, I will be mowing my yard listening to Brown Squirrel Gameday All Day.
Jan will fix some Buffalo chicken dip.
Then I’ll watch the game on pay-per-view.
There are four things that got me through this past week.
One is Jan. If anything, she and I have drawn closer together this week. We’ve had too. We felt like all we had are each other.
The second is a note my son, Andrew, left for me on my desk last April. It reads:
Your son love you….You’re the best daddy.
Andrew Carter 4/18/11 5:25 pm
The third is a rock. It is a rock that I have had on my desk since 1998. My daughter, Lauren, painted and gave it too me when she was four.
The fourth is the Rock himself. He has listened patiently to me this week. He answered a major prayer that was connected with the events of the week. (I may even blog about that one later).
Things are better because of these four things.
It’s Twitterific Thursday and the Deuceology blog is back to regular scheduled programming. On Thursdays, I write 140 words or less about a subject.
Every morning just over the mountains to my east, I see the sun come up. It happens sometime just after 7 am this time of year. Even though I know better, I act as though the sun revolves around the earth. I live life as though earth is the center of the solar system.
Do I live any differently in my life with Christ? Do I proclaim Him Lord and live as though He revolves around me? Do I live as though He comes into my life at a certain point everyday and leaves at another? Do I live as though I am the center of the universe and Christ makes my life comfortable?
Or is Christ the Blazing Sun of my universe?
How about you?
I alway wonder why, on any given Sunday, why any of us are going to church. Before I get into why I am going to church today, let me share why I might have gone in the past.
Because my mom and dad made me.
Because I am supposed to go.
Because God wants me there
To teach Sunday school.
To make sure that I am seen and I don’t fall out of the thoughts of everyone.
Because the preacher will see me.
Because I’m a deacon
I’m sure that I could keep going. The problem with this list is that I honestly don’t think any of them are the right reason to attend church services. It also doesn’t contain the reason I go today.
So, why do I attend church on any given Sunday? I think the picture of the poster contains the answer.
Life is a contact sport. Going to church is an opportunity to worship and contact God while others are worshipping and contacting God. It’s an opportunity to do in a corporate setting what I should be doing individually on a daily basis. It’s easy to take my eyes off of this and come up with any other reason for going to church.
I go to church on any given Sunday so that I can worship with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I go to church because I want to .
So, why are you going to church any given Sunday?
We are down to three short weeks until football season. Today I’m going to quickly break down the season and basically make my prediction ons wins and losses for the coming year.
Montana. The only reason we are playing Montana is because North Texas backed out. That being said, I think this is good game for this team to open with. I think Tennessee wins going away. The score may not be as bad as it could be because I think Coach Dooley will play as many people as possible and try to keep key players from getting hurt.
Cincinnati. The Bearcats are picked near to finish in the bottom tier of the Big East. This will be a better test for the young UT squad and I should be leaving Neyland happy around 7 pm.
Florida. Is there a team Vol fans hate more than Florida? Old school fans may lean toward Alabama or Auburn. Those that were influenced by the General may even hate Vandy. But if you came of age during the 90′s, you hate Florida. I think for once we are catching Florida at the right time. I believe this could be Coach Dooley’s first signature win. Win this game and Vol fans will almost automatically agree to give you a pass on some other game. I think Tennessee wins this game.
Buffalo. Turner Gill isn’t the coach anymore. Not that it matters. We could have been playing North Carolina. Given what’s gone on in their program they might have proven as much of a test as Buffalo. We win this one going away.
Georgia. Now begins the toughest stretch of games of the year. Georgia is a sexy pick to finish near the top of the SEC East. In my best Lee Corso, I would say, “Not so fast, my friend.” Georgia does not have a proven running back or wide receiver. Their offensive line is suspect. They have issues and quite honestly, Georgia has not been meeting expectations. I think it’s a dog fight (forgive the pun) between UT, Florida and Georgia for that second spot in the SEC East this year. This game is at home. I’m picking Tennessee.
LSU. This is the second game of the year I know that I will be attending. Last year we played LSU even in Death Valley and won the game until we lost. No game was more maddening. No game caused me more heartbreak last year. LSU is one of my picks to contend for a national championship. I don’t think we win, but I think LSU knows they have been in a fight. I do hope, though, that 3rd and Chavis rises up and bites them on this day.
Alabama. Alabama is going to be strong, but they have new quarterbacks and they don’t have that go-to wide receiver. Trent Richardson should be the workhorse of their offense. They are going to have the usually strong defense. I think the score will be close, but Bama will control this game.
South Carolina. The Gamecocks have gotten strong since Steve Spurrier arrived in Columbia. Not old school Florida strong, but strong nonetheless. We have them at home. Stephen Garcia is a bit of a mess. I think Marcus Lattimore is good back, but he’s not Herschel or Bo good. He may not even be Mark Ingram good. Alshon Jeffery has not begun his gas pumping career yet. I think we compete well and an upset would not surprise me. But I’ll pick South Carolina to win by a nose.
Middle Tennessee. Homecoming. Tennessee Walking Horse at halftime. Win.
Arkansas. I’m not sure how the loss of Knile Davis will affect Bobby Petrino’s offense. We have better defensive backs this year. That’s good because I’m sure we will need them. I don’t think we get out of Fayetteville with a win.
Vanderbilt. Understand that when I say I hate a team, I don’t hate the individuals. I hate the entity they play for. And I hate Vanderbilt. Yes, I know we have dominated them and folks say I shouldn’t hate a team that we have only lost to twice in the last thirty years. Doesn’t matter. The General had one mandate when he became head coach in 1926. Beat Vanderbilt. If it was good enough for the General, it’s good enough for me. We win again.
Kentucky. I would like to make it to the Commonwealth to watch this game and being my own version of the Dixieland Delight tour (many thanks to Clay Travis for the idea and name). Tennessee has won twenty-six straight. Make it twenty-seven. The Space Cowboy, Joker Phillips, will not be able to prevent Tennessee from continuing The Streak.
There you have it. I believe that I just predicted an 8-4 season, 4-4 in the SEC. That should put us at second in the East. I will take that this year.
Do you have a love language? Mine is gifts. What I mean by that is that the best way to tell me that you love me is to give me a gift. It doesn’t have to be a lavish gift. My wife can give me a Diet Mountain Dew and a Hershey with Almonds or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and I’m a happy camper. If you are reading this from a link on Twitter or Facebook, message me and we can arrange you giving me some sort of gift.
Given that you now know my love language, it shouldn’t surprise you that spiritual gifts excite me. After all, God gave me a gift after I became a follower of His Son.
Unfortunately, I had the wrong idea of spiritual gifts.
I’ve thought way too often that He gave me my gift(s) so that I can preach or teach or write about Him.
Sure, I know that this gift was to be used to further His kingdom and for His glory. I’ve understood this.
Here is what I haven’t understood. The reason I have come to know this is because I’m getting ready to teach about spiritual gifts in my Sunday school class. So, I’ve been doing some study about them ahead of time.
One of the things I’ve found out is something Paul said in Romans 1:11-12. And to be honest, I didn’t get what Paul was saying to begin with.
The verse says this: “For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is , that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
At first I thought Paul was saying that he was giving the Roman Christians their spiritual gift. And that really didn’t make sense to me. Then after looking at it for a little bit, I think I figured it out.
I think what Paul was saying is that he was going to use his spiritual gift(s) to help them, encourage them and even be encouraged himself. So the spiritual gifts Paul had were to be used for building up other Christians.
I really had never thought of it that way.
Sure, I thought some people had the spiritual gift of encouragement and I liked being around those kind of people.
But now I’m getting my mind wrapped around the fact that I should use my gift(s) to encourage and build up my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Why? Because this is what glorifies God through His Son.
The gift isn’t for me.
The gift is for others.
I had the wrong idea.
How about you? Have you had the wrong idea about spiritual gifts?