Monday, November 25, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


"God saw the wickedness...and it broke His heart."

Genesis 6:5-6



    Because our family of faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois is growing up, I skip a Sunday every now and then to release charismata and not feed the kinda pagan idolatries that poison and paralyze churches in a Matthew 15 and 23 kinda way.


    To really enable the second clause of that first sentence-paragraph, we don't mention/announce/broadcast or even Facebook when the old man ain't in town; and if anyone dares ask why, well, uh, if I gotta explain that to ya, it means ya wouldn't get it/Him/His anyhows.

    I don't skip worship with the body; as I worship where He leads and then listen to what I won't miss back home via

    I praise the Lord for Him compelling me to unleash our gifted messengers for the glory, praise, and laud of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and praise Him for the opportunity to worship with our extended family if you know what He means in a John 17 kinda way.


    Anyway, I skipped last Sunday.

    I went to the "traditional" service - Ever wonder how He feels about our idiotically navel-gazing classifications of worship as "traditional" or "contemporary" or "emerged" or "submerged" or whatever as if He didn't inspire all music that honors Him and helps align hearts with Him and His?  Who do we think we are to diss what He has designed/created?  Dang, we can be sooooooo arrogant! - of a really, really, really fabulously well-to-do-heavily-endowed big high steeple cathedral in a bigger city.

    The bulletins were perfect.

    The pipe organ was enormous; and the music was exquisitely gothic in a classical kinda way.

    The pastor wore beautifully costly vestments.

    He looked soooooo pretty.

    Shined shoes.

    Everybody who helped lead the liturgy looked like ads for Brooks Brothers or Banks or Taylor buuuuuuut not Target or WalMart or, gasp, ugh, Goodwill, SA, or...

    No ink.

    No jeans.

    No Ts.

    No piercings.
    No funkily colored hair.

    No children.

    No one under 125 years of age; except, uh, for me and the pulpiteer.

    Annnnnnnnd not more than 25, including platformers, in the cavernous sanctuary built for 500 or so.

    I didn't ask; but wondered if they, uh, like it, uh, their way.


    I think they do.


    I think lots of churches are like them/that.

    The message was really good.

    He tried.

    Touching on Psalm 100 every now and then, he talked about traditions that are good and worth preserving and traditions that are worn and tired and should be discarded as inefficacious to attracting, uh, younger generations to Jesus.

    Everybody smiled and giggled when he talked about traditions to keep.

    They felt sooooooo warmed.

    Nobody smiled or giggled when he talked about traditions to...

    A few squirmed while most tuned out.

    Nobody looked around, I guess, for there was nobody, uh, really to, uh, see...except for themselves.

    Jesus must have been joking in those quotes attributed to Him about...inviting, welcoming, including, loving, uh, everybody without respect to...the idiotically navel-gazing...

    But, of course, just like what He said to the rich young ruler of Matthew 19 juxtaposed to Matthew 25, He didn't really mean it...

    Or did He?

    From what I saw on Sunday and what I see..., nah!


    We break His heart when we don't invite everybody, welcome everybody, include everybody, and love everybody.

    The Bible is bigger than our favorite parts.

    He said to invite, welcome, include, and love everybody with no discriminations of color, class, or culture.

    That's why Hans wants us to reclaim rainbows!

    We break His heart when we separate and segregate.

    We break His heart when we are poster children for contradicting 1 Corinthians 13.

    We break His heart when we break fellowship over anything other than esteeming His saving Lordship in Jesus by the book.

    We break His heart when our attitudes express ingratitude manifested by our traditional exclusions that thinly veil a selfishness that contradicts everything exemplified by Jesus and explained in Holy Scripture.

    Truth is too many of today's churches are attitudes of ingratitude by their meaningless motions only coincidentally related to what He said shows signs of getting it/Him.

    He died for everybody!

    He rose for everybody!

    He reigns for everybody!

    Who do we think we are to...?


    Quickly, let's reverse fields!

    A young Mexican woman told me how thankful she is to know Someone who completely loves her and doesn't want to exclude her.

    She kept repeating Psalm 103...

    She's so thankful to know Jesus loves and now and hereafter...

    She's so thankful to know people who really know Jesus who love and now and always...

    She's so thankful to live in America and wants everybody to enjoy the kinda benefits that Americans enjoy...

    She's so thankful to God for all of His blessings in her life that she's compelled to invite, welcome, include, and love...everybody...into those benefits...

    She has an attitude of gratitude.

    She understands that really thankful people express their thanksgiving by inviting, welcoming, including, and loving...Jesus by loving like Jesus!

    She gets the true meaning of Thanksgiving.


    To all who get it/Him, Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    If not, not.

    Maybe that's what Black Friday is really all about.


Blessings and Love!


Ella Jane said...

Amen, I believe gratitude is the key that opens up the blessings of God! Thank you my dear friend and may God bless you and your family on this Thanksgiving holidays! Love you

Rev RJA said...

I was in Natchotoches Louisiana and went Southern Baptist -- three baptisms even -- pleasant, packed, pious -- despite me being a preacher I actually tried to worship -- though I did slip every now and then and pick up ideas or critique theirs (its a curse)

observations -

- didn't like singing verses from a wall screen -- found I missed the hymnal and seeing the verses in context with the page, notes, other verses -- like looking at a painting through a paper tube

- didn't get invited to come to Sunday school -- have to remember for our folks to do that

- big thing that I found interesting, especially in light of re-reading my Brother to a Dragonfly by Will Campbell (man, he keeps me focused), was their mission statement: Guiding everyone we meet to the Life-Giving Light of the World. Thought about that. Well-intentioned. Nice. But it sounds a bit like they got the inside secret and wouldn't it be nice if we could show you what we know. Kind of wish they had written instead: Walking Together to Discover and Follow Him Together

peace brother and keep plying the trade

Bruce said...

Thoughtful and thought provoking.