Bringing Church

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash


Our pastor came to visit the other day. He said that at my advanced age I should be thinking of the hereafter. I told him, “Oh, I do it all the time.” 
“No matter where I am – in the living room, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement, I am always asking myself: ‘Now, what am I here after?'”

The Bible does reveal to us quite a bit about what we should be here after. When it comes to where it is, we often assume it’s found between four particular walls. However, as they say, “It ain’t necessarily so.”

“Many come to bring their clothes to church rather than themselves.”
Thomas Fuller

Now, if you think I’m getting ready to advocate for not going to church because you don’t have to go to a church building, you’re only partially right. We absolutely should be part of a church body that regularly meets together. The Bible says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 NLT But that’s only part of the story, isn’t it? Although we should do all we can to strengthen our traditional church body, we need to make sure we aren’t leaving it in the building we visit on Sunday, and if we are to have any hope of bringing Christ to a world starving for Him, we have to exploit every opportunity to do that. That means bringing church with us. Whether we like it or not, we’re all in the advertising business. If God has used your local body of believers to make a positive change in your life, isn’t that worth sharing? Yes! Also, if you can bring church with you by being a positive influence where you work or having coffee with a friend and sharing their burden, shouldn’t you do that too? Expand your ideas about what church can mean in your life and all the lives of those within your sphere of influence. Recognize that while, in truth, God may not need our hands, feet, and voice, He both desires our service and has all authority to direct our path.
That includes, in all its various manifestations, “bringing church.”

“I tell people, and it’s the truth, I could sit in my garage for a week and it won’t make me a car. And you can sit in church till your bottom is flat and that won’t make you a servant of Christ.”
Joyce Meyer

Bring church, yes,
the scriptures memorized,
but more, the principals
behind them.


Bring church
when you’re tired,
it’s inconvenient,
and you’d rather
take a nap.

Bring church
when everyone
and their dog
takes one fork in the road,
and God tells you to take the other.


Bring church
when all the person in front of you
needs
is a smile, a sincere word of encouragement,
and a genuine attempt to understand.

Bring church
even when you’re discouraged
with the state of the world
and any effort you make
seems like bringing a squirt gun to a forest fire.


Bring church…
because, in the final analysis,
God told you to,
and He’s kept His promises.
So, now, it’s time to keep yours.



 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV


©Joel Tipple 2/9/2020








My Condition

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My condition,
conditional faith.
My condition,
conditional prayer.
My condition,
conditional belief, as though,
I could choose
whether God is, or isn’t there.

But no matter how high I built my castle walls,
protecting treasure that was only fantasy,
God broke them down with love and a pardon.
Blessed reality.

My condition,
conditional service.
My condition,
conditional love.
My condition
seemed incurable until God healed me…
He made me whole by his mercy.

The birds of the air do not sow reap or store,
yet our Father keeps them all fed.
So why do we worry?
Why do we bury
ourselves in possessions
while we lust for more?

Our condition without Christ was lost,
but praise Him, we are found.
God’s will is not for some,
but all of our devotion.
By the light His word gives me
I am my heavenly father’s child,
unconditionally.

© Joel Tipple
#21/14

Memorial Day

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This coming Monday in the United States we celebrate Memorial Day. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was started as a way to remember all those combatants who died in battle during the Civil War. Since then it has come to include all those who have died in U.S. military service.

That photograph you’re looking at,
the young man with the grin.
There’s a sparkle in his eye that hints at
the joy and light within.
He didn’t live to become an old man,
but I remember him.

Then there’s the portrait of the nurse following
graduation with her class. She served in the
Pacific during WW II. You could tell her she helped
so many, but to her it would always be too few.
I remember her.

For those who died in the heat,
for the ones who passed in the cold,
holding tightly letters in weary hands
that spoke of work, family, home.

Some brought courage with them.
Some found courage there.
Some found courage with hands firmly clasped
and lips uttering prayer.

Whether young or old,
timid or bold,
we honor them all
as their stories are told
and we gather near the flame
lit in their memory.
We tell their stories,
and we remember.