Thoughts on Father’s Day

It’s a quiet, Sunday afternoon in our home. After breakfast, the children gave me some cards they had made for me. (In a digital age, I am so thankful that my wife has taught our children the dying art of handwriting letters and making cards for loved ones.) The rest of the morning was spent gathering with the saints, worshipping our Lord and Savior Jesus. As brothers led in prayer and song, our pastor shared a couple thoughts on our Heavenly Father. In Luke 15, Jesus shares 3 parables about the lost – the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Coin, and the Parable of the Lost Son (aka the prodigal son).

In each of these parables, Jesus reveals God’s heart to seek and save the lost. The man who lost 1 of his 100 sheep was not satisfied with most of them being safe. He left the others to search for the lost sheep and when it was found, “he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!

The woman who lost 1 of her 10 silver coins, likewise, lit a lamp, swept the house, and when she found her lost coin, called her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her.

But what always cuts me to the heart is the parable of the prodigal son. A son who had all the riches and happiness he could ever desire selfishly runs off to pursue fleeting lusts and foolishness. When he finally comes to his senses, in his mind, the son was already dead to his father. Crawling back with his tail between his legs after his rebellion, his only hope was to be allowed back in as a servant.

But our Heavenly Father stands waiting, seeking, hoping for us to turn back to Him. “But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” (v 20b) He runs to us as we’re just coming over the horizon.

There are many so-called Christians that have this view of a God who is angry, bitter, and ultimately disappointed in His children and our imperfections. They live in fear that somehow they’ll lose their salvation because they fail over and over, despite the fact that Christ died, shed His blood for us, and “entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:12)

These parables show a God who rejoices at our redemption. “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10). (Incidentally, our pastor pointed out that in this verse, it is GOD who is full of joy over the repentant sinner. The angels are simply there in His presence witnessing.) God doesn’t hold a grudge against us or take us back conditionally. To do so would imply we’ve somehow earned our salvation to begin with which is clearly heresy.

Our Father in Heaven is Holy. There’s no ambiguity or doubt that He will hold sinners accountable for every sin. Like our earthly fathers, our Heavenly Father also disciplines His children.  To teach us. Out of love, not anger or wrath. (Hebrews 12:3-11). Never forget that “The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” (Psalm 103:8) Matthew’s account of the Parable of the Lost Sheep adds – “Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14)

Salvation for the lost is freely available. It is the free gift given to all who believe on the Lord Jesus. Those who know Christ know the Father. And it is only through Christ that the Lost can be Found.

On this day when we celebrate our earthly fathers, do not forget your Father in Heaven who stands waiting, looking for you to come home, to run out to embrace you.

What Would You Say, Ya Do, Here?

Just a short thought prompted by an exchange I had recently on Facebook with a former student of mine. When it comes to Labor, there’s a difference between Value and Activity. In the free market, Value is determined by the Consumer. Whoever is buying decides if the good or service offered has enough Value to justify the price. As I’ve written before, in a free market, Price is simply the agreement of terms set by the Buyer and Seller. If the Buyer doesn’t see enough Value at a given price, he doesn’t buy. If the Seller doesn’t see an adequate return on his labor, she doesn’t sell.

The Free Market demands Producers give their best in order to attract the most Buyers. Now, a Seller could very well try to cut corners, use inferior materials, or cookie-cutter mass produce his goods to get them to market at the lowest price. And the Buyer might favor affordability over quality. Choice. That’s the magic of the Free Market.

Activity is also known as busy work. I’m sure you can identify someone with whom you’ve worked that seems to always be busy, but you can never really articulate what it is that they do or what their contribution to the organization might be. If you’re familiar with the movie Office Space, one of my favorite scenes is when Tom is meeting with the Bobs, trying to explain what did at Initech. People skills!

Now, this is not a rant against management or some Proletariat rallying cry for the Workers. Good managers absolutely add value to an organization. But the biggest culprit of Activity promotion is Government. Government thrives on pushing paper, filling out redundant forms, following arbitrary procedures and protocol, perpetuating outdated equipment, and generally making you wait. And the reason is simple. Government has very little accountability. They’re not measured on whether their Activity produces anything efficiently. They usually have no competition, so there’s little incentive to make any improvements to the status quo.

I remember seeing news stories of the Soviet Union where everyone was given Activities to perform. Someone might have been responsible for cutting pipes. Another person might have been instructed to produce the joints. Another made the valves. Turned out that the pipe cutters used ¾ inch pipes. The joint makers used ½ inch. The valve makers used 3/8 inch fittings. Because they each had an Activity to perform and no incentive to make sure their product was useful or compatible with others, they just kept making their daily quotas. And what happened? Well, if you were trying to build a house, you probably ended up using a lot of duct tape.

Only in the Free Market, where Producers are rewarded for Value they create and Consumers are empowered to choose the products and services that exactly fit their needs, can a nation thrive, overcome poverty, innovate and explore, and progress ahead. Government, almost universally, stands as the greatest inhibitor of progress. It is a parasite on the Free Market, rewarding Activity and not real Value creation.

Trigglypuffs, Toilets, and Tolerance

No shortage of news to discuss. If you care about the elections, which I don’t, every day there seems to be more finger pointing, name calling, skeletons coming out of the closet, and oh yeah, violence amongst the most rabid sycophants defending their leaders (or tearing down their opponents). I’m just as guilty I suppose (except for the violence). I do take more than a smidge of pleasure in poking fun at the loyalists and exposing just how completely irrational the 2 party system has become. Some people in the Liberty movement (I call it a movement because it’s definitely gaining widespread attraction and attention) get angry or advocate even more violence which I never understood.

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I’ve given up on voting because 1) we should have no other king but Christ, 2) the act of voting is pointless because the system is completely corrupt and bought, and 3) even without the corruption, I am no longer able to trust that the majority should be empowered to determine what is just or unjust simply because they outnumber the minority.

What’s interesting about Liberty is that once you get it, once you understand the most fundamental concept of the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), it’s very easy to navigate a seemingly complex world of moral tests. (Go Google the NAP or read some of my previous posts on it, but essentially, it comes down to Christ’s 2nd greatest commandment – love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it.)

Now, I can hear my Christian readers chomping at the bit accusing me of elevating the NAP to some sort of new New Testament and that couldn’t be further from the truth. God’s Word should always be the standard by which moral determinations are made. But I can think of very few examples where the NAP actually contradicts Scriptural truth. And in those rare cases, absolutely, the Bible is preeminent. If you’re still not convinced, I would turn your objection back on you who hold Americanism or American Christianity on a pedestal (aka the religion of how ‘Murica is awesome and everyone else sucks. You know, because God is American.)

I had a couple of interesting exchanges on Facebook, and it was abundantly clear that Liberty is not something that is universally accepted as a virtue. Maybe it was 20 – 30 years ago. If you asked the average person on the street whether Liberty was important or good back then, you’d probably be hard pressed to find someone that would disagree. Today, the question is more often than not met with “well, it depends” or just “no”.

And that’s a problem.

What’s ironic is that these people that fear and curse Liberty will oftentimes tell you it’s too dangerous to let men be completely free, that men need to be controlled or monitored or protected for their own good. By whom? Other men, of course.

If you don’t have school-aged children or haven’t been keeping up with college campuses (or even public school K-12), you’d probably be shocked to learn just how far this indoctrination has spread. Safe Zones, Trigger Warnings, and Cultural Appropriations Vigilantes have become part of the fabric of higher education. And this is not the Political Correctness we endured through the 80’s and 90’s. This is “don’t disagree with the liberal mob or we will cut you” thuggery. And it’s not just limited to the students. Who do you think is feeding this insanity?

Which brings me to my favorite example of this cancer of late. Brothers and sisters, I give you – Trigglypuff.


I don’t know anything about her other than what I’ve seen online when her rant went viral. Apparently, she’s a college student who came to protest some controversial guest speaker named Milo who has ticked off progressives around the globe. She’s also an outspoken critic of fat shamers (a critic of critics, if you will). The reason I bring up Trigglypuff is because her modus operandi is typical of many progressives today that oppose Liberty. They claim it’s their right to Freedom of Speech to protest haters, racists, and misogynists. Yet, their mission is to prevent others their same rights to speech. (The theatrics of her protest are just a hilarious bonus, exemplifying the crying, whining generation of cupcakes.)

If you embrace Liberty, how do you reconcile ugly speech, racism, and vulgarity? You realize that you don’t have to agree with someone’s verbal diarrhea in order to stand up for their rights to it. What’s the alternative? Simple. Keep censoring and someone will someday determine your voice needs to be suppressed or silenced because the mob doesn’t like what you have to say. That includes religious speech, scientific discovery, artistic expression, and political discourse to name a few.

J.K. Rowling, the author of all the Harry Potter books, gets it. I don’t care for her novels, but she’s absolutely right.

The other story that’s dominated the news, particularly in the Carolinas, has been the controversial toilet wars. Who can use which facilities seems to suddenly be on everyone’s minds. So much so that artists, performers, sports teams, and businesses have either canceled or threatened to back out of plans to do business in NC. I don’t want to dwell on the legal gymnastics because as you know, I don’t care about the system. The point I’d like to make on the whole fiasco is that this really comes down to Liberty and Property Rights. If a government entity comes in and arbitrarily decides your business MUST allow someone access to ___, you’ve already lost me. Doesn’t matter the issue. So when I hear about Obama or the governor or some dude wearing a dress telling a private business owner that they must bake a cake or perform a wedding or let anyone that wants into the bathroom, my response is basically – take a hike, not your concern or jurisdiction. That’s between me and my customers and no one else because my business is my property. It is not owned communally.

Again, what’s head scratching to me is the response from the celebrity progressives. They don’t like the law, so what do they do? They exercise their right to choose not to do business in the state of NC. In other words, they seem to completely miss the irony that they are doing exactly what businesses are seeking legal protection to do as well. If they were logically consistent, shouldn’t these artists be forced to provide their goods and services to NC despite their objections, in the name of fairness and tolerance? But why start being logically consistent now?

Which brings me to the overarching realization I’ve had. See, boomers and gen-Xers have been led to believe that Liberals / Progressives are supposed to be people of tolerance and acceptance. They might even remember a time where hippies stood for non-violence, embracing the ideals of people like Rosa Parks, Gandhi, or MLK. Those days are long gone. Progressive, entitled millennials are no longer the people of tolerance and non-violence. They are, in fact, a fascist hate group, completely intolerant of dissenting opinion and totally open to violence in the name of achieving their causes. The sad truth is, most of them can’t articulate what their cause actually is or how they plan to get there. They really haven’t thought it through because, well, they’re entitled. Someone else will probably figure it out for them, right?

So where does that leave the rest of us?

Fortunately, there’s still hope. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Liberty is catching on. More and more people who see the mirage progressives chasing today are realizing that the only sane, rational, consistent, and achievable road to progress is Liberty. People must be allowed to choose how to live, what to eat, where or whether to work, and to reap the benefits and consequences of their choices.

The same is true with the staunchest conservatives. More of them are recognizing the futility of throwing everyone in jail or bombing anyone that doesn’t agree with them, particularly when it comes to victimless crimes. They grow weary of endless wars and policing the entire world. But most importantly, they recognize (due in no small part to the ‘choices’ they are left with the elect come November) that morality transcends the broken system of government control we have in place today. There are other options. There are alternatives to falling behind party lines.

Stand up for Liberty. Justice, equality, compassion, and peace can only be achieved through Liberty. Without it, there can be none.

How Far Are You Willing to Compromise Your Integrity and Values?

Election fever has taken hold. A new generation of young voters will have their first chance to vote for the next President this November. The energy of the American dream will surge in the hearts of the masses. Like the groundhog that comes up once a year, the American voter will suddenly care about the issues, rules of engagement, democracy, laws, social contracts, and a bunch of -isms that divide into Us vs. Them, only to retreat into their safe zones and watering holes for another 4 years.

If social media is any kind of representation of reality, then I can tell you this election is going to get ugly. People are angry. People are pointing fingers. Everyone has an ax to grind and someone to blame.

And then there are our Leaders. The snake oil peddlers and soothsayers are drumming up the sheeple, feeding on their fears and hatred, and promising to care about them and solve their problems. Every one of them is peddling something at the cost of your liberty. Want better health care? You need to be taxed and pay for services you don’t want or need. Want secured borders? We need to have access to your private information. Want equality and protection from hate speech? We need to threaten you with incarceration for unsanctioned speech or expression. Want a greener planet? People in poorer countries might have to starve to get that done.

As of this moment, the 2 presidential front runners appear to be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I really hope they are the ones on the ballot. You might think I’m saying that because they represent polar opposites of the political spectrum and should find some common ground for most voters from which to choose, but that’s not the case. I find them to be more similar than not. The real reason I want to see them on the ballot is because I believe they are SO bad, that many honest, thoughtful people will have to do some deep, soul searching to motivate them to actually cast a vote for one over the other.

Now many die hard political party drones will simply vote along party lines. But I suspect if you’re out there reading this, and you have been bathing in the Bernie ether pond, and you see that he’s led in many primaries by popular vote, but lost because of the SuperMario insider caucus voters — then at some point, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that in the end, your precious grass roots movement meant nothing because money and power, within your own party, sold you out. And are you prepared to fall in line and cast your voice to support the system that chewed you up and vomited you out?

Similarly, if you are a professing Christian, and you’ve been pushing for Rubio or Cruz or Carson, fooling yourself into hoping that your guy will uphold Christian values (while bombing civilians in foreign countries or justifying police brutality and creating a nation held hostage by thugs with anger issues and badges) — and you’re left with a flamboyantly adulterous, pro-abortion, misogynist who has promised more govt regulation and more wars, are you comfortable standing before a Holy God someday and saying “but he was better than Hillary”?

Now some of you are going to say “you can still write in your candidate” and that is true. My question back to you is – do you honestly believe they are going to be any different? Is the government they run going use their power for good or for selfish gain? Are corruption and backroom dealings going to go away if we elect X instead of Y?

So I challenge all of you out there.

Don’t continue to support a corrupt system by casting a symbolic nod of approval. Let’s see voter turnout down to single digits this fall. If you want to stand for something, stand for integrity and your soul.

Stop worshipping the State and appointing your next slave master.

As for me and my household, we have but one King and that is Jesus the Christ. I owe allegiance to no one else. Go ahead with your silly fixed, 2 party race.

But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord . And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”

So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”

Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord . So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.”

And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”
I Samuel 8:6-22 NKJV

A Tale of Two Churches

Let’s get the housekeeping stuff out of the way.  Yes, it’s been ages since I’ve posted.  We’ve moved to South Carolina, so I’m trying to think of what to rename this blog.  Guess I could continue to be the TXFatherofSeven, but part of me wants to embrace our new surroundings.

I’ve also been working in my new job for the last 3 months.  Same company, but new manager, team and responsibilities.  It’s completely different from anything I’ve done previously in my career.  It’s exciting and different.  My personality type doesn’t necessarily go looking for change, but I do get bored if I feel like I’ve learned / accomplished all I’m going to get out of a particular team or job.  More on my job in a future post.

We’ve been able to find a buyer for our home in TX and should be closing within the next week if all goes as planned.  We’re currently renting in SC, but we’ve signed a contract to build our new home.  Amazingly, the builders are expecting to deliver in just over 4 months.  That’s unheard of in North Dallas where new construction is taking some of our friends up to 2 YEARS because of the crazy market demand.  That demand certainly helped fuel the rapid appreciation in the existing home market in TX.  I’m very pleased and grateful that we’ve been able to cash out on our 10-year investment.

The holidays have all but come and gone.  We celebrated Thanksgiving twice, had a bout of intense, but short lived, stomach flu, had both sets of parents come to visit us, enjoyed a very special Christmas Eve service and Christmas Day.  And of course, we were thrilled with the latest STAR WARS new release.  Thumbs up, J.J.

But what I was hoping to share in this post, as the title eludes to, was our experience in looking for a new church.  Firstly, our family is a non-denominational, Bible believing Christian household.  We believe that All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17).  Throughout our lives, my wife and I have attended dozens of different churches and denominations.  Some were very good in certain areas but lacking in others.  Sometimes, we’ve had to leave congregations because the Holy Spirit convicted me of Biblical principles that were being violated or ignored.  Other times, we’ve helped close the doors on dead or dying churches.

When we moved to SC, there were certainly many places of worship from which to choose.  There are huge mega churches, old churches that have been around for over a hundred years, smaller congregations meeting in rented office space or schools.  Thank goodness for the internet.  Can’t imagine having to go to each and every place of worship just to get some basic information.

On the Sunday morning the weekend before Veterans Day, we visited one Christian church that was meeting in what looked like a high school gymnasium.  There was a stage, folding chairs, and wall dividers separating the worship area from the dining tables.  As we walked in, we were greeted by several people.  Our large family always draws attention wherever we go.  In a whirlwind of handshakes and questions, I was told several times that we were in luck showing up on this particular Sunday because this was Pastor Appreciation Sunday, and they had a special lunch planned after service.  (I had never heard of Pastor Appreciation Sunday.)  One couple started telling me about the great scouting program they had on Wednesday nights for the kids.  Another was telling me about the Veterans outreach program they were supporting.

After all the excitement of greeting us, we finally made our way to our seats and prepared for worship.  A band took the stage and performed a couple modern praise type songs, though I can’t seem to recall if the name of Jesus was ever mentioned.

From there, the service turned quickly to the Veterans Appreciation time where a video glorifying the bravery of the American soldier, establishing freedom and democracy throughout the world, was played for all to oooh and aaaah.  A veteran who was there to speak on behalf of a local secular Support Center took the stage to thank the congregation for their financial support over the years.  He spoke of the bravery of the men, the shameful treatment of our soldiers by our government once they return home, the fact that he wasn’t proud of the ‘hard living choices’ he’s had to make since returning home and that he wouldn’t wish it on any of us.

Next, a guest speaker came up to transition quickly to the Pastor Appreciation portion of the service.  Can’t be certain, but I think he might have been an elder or deacon of the congregation.  Anyway, after reading a couple verses from the Easy-to-Read Translation of the Bible, (all 7 of my children simultaneously gave me a puzzled look when he began to read), he reminded us how hard a life their pastor had, in selfless dedication to his flock.

After the sermon?, the worship leader opened up the floor to anyone in the congregation that felt like sharing any memories, funny stories, or touching testimonies about their pastor.  Several people continued to laud praise and adoration over their pastor’s selflessness and dedication.

They closed the service by repeating one of the songs with which they had opened.

As soon as we were dismissed, I quickly grabbed up my family and all but ran for the door.  We were asked to stay for the Pastor Appreciation Lunch, but I could not stay in that place a minute longer.

If you could have witnessed the utter looks of confusion on my children’s faces when we got in the van . . .  I didn’t even have to say anything, but immediately they started asking questions.

“Dad, what’s the Easy-to-Read translation of the Bible?  Is that like the Children’s Bible Matthew reads?”

“Why were we watching army videos?”

“Do we have to come back again next week?”

But we all knew the most important questions on our minds – “Did we just worship Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, on the Lord’s Day?  Was His Name lifted up and given Glory and Honor and Praise?  Was the worship done in awe and with reverence?

After lunch, we went home and had a short time of worship ourselves.

The following Sunday, I took our children to another church which we had driven by during the week.  The building was of modest size.  There was ample parking.  And BIBLE was in its name, so that was a good sign.

When we walked in, our family was greeted by one of the elders.  He asked a couple of general questions like whether we were from around the area and where we had attended church previously.  Before I could go too far into our history, he gentled reassured me that “as long as you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you’re in the right place.”

That was it.

He explained that worship would begin in a few minutes with a time of the Lord’s Supper.

As we entered the main room, I noticed several Christians already quietly seated.  The ladies wore coverings on their heads.  Children sat with their parents.

After a few moments of silence, one man stood up and started reading verses from Scripture.  Another would lead the congregation in a hymn.  Yet another man would offer up a prayer.  The congregation joined along, singing praises to Lord Jesus, offering up the Amen, and bowing in times of prayer together.

After about 45 minutes, words and songs and prayers began to focus on the Lord’s Supper, on remembering the reason for the bread and the juice, and preparing our hearts to partake in a thoughtful, reverent manner.  An elder came up to break and distribute the bread.  Another came to pass the juice.  There was also a time to collect offerings afterward.

All along, there was no worship leader or program prescribing each and every action or spoken word.  The Holy Spirit was allowed to move in men’s hearts to lead this congregation into worship.  This was not a performance to observe.  This was an act of worship in which we had actively participated.

Afterward, there was a short time of refreshments and fellowship in another room.  I was able to meet several members of the church including the elders.  I learned that following the fellowship time would be a time of hearing the preaching of the Word by one of the elders.  I was told that my children would be invited to join a separate Children’s Church program if they would like or that they were welcome to stay and hear the preaching.  I chose the later.

We began the preaching portion of the service with a couple more songs, led by an elder playing guitar.  Another gentleman came up to lead a couple hymns along with piano accompaniment.  Finally, the elder came forward to share God’s Word.  And it just so happened that on this Sunday, they were beginning a new series in the Gospel according to John.  The elder commented that over the last 15 years, John would mark the very last book of the Bible to be studied.  He asked rhetorically what they would do after finishing John and answered “start all over”.

Put simply, the preaching was so refreshing.  I later explained to my children that there are basically 2 methods of preaching God’s Word – 1) Topical and 2) Expository.  Topical preaching involves selecting a particular theme or topic which the preacher feels is relevant or necessary.  He searches the Scriptures to find the relevant verses and tries to frame the subject in terms of God’s Word.  Expository preaching, on the other hand, usually involves starting at Chapter 1 verse 1 of a particular book of the Bible and going through it verse by verse.  The preacher should definitely cross reference other Scriptures to help explain any context or meaning necessary, but the road map is the book selected.

Neither is right or wrong, but my personal preference is Expository preaching.  It forces the preacher to examine every verse, not to skip over the difficult or challenging ones, and to humble himself to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

What was especially encouraging was when I looked over at my children.  I could tell that they were engaged, listening, learning, and understanding the sermon.  You know it’s a good sign when you wish you had a notebook and pen with you to take some notes.  (The following week, I bought notebooks for everyone.)

At the conclusion of the service, I gave my contact information to one of the elders and he asked if it was okay for him to call on me during the week.  I said I was looking forward to it.

When we got in the van, I turned around and asked my children “is there any doubt in any of your minds whether we spent this morning worshiping Jesus Christ?”  The answer was an enthusiastic and resounding “NO doubt!  We definitely worshiped this morning.”

When Christians preach the Word of God in spirit and in truth, when men take their prescribed roles to actively lead the corporate worship, when the Holy Spirit is given room to move in Men’s hearts rather than to take a back seat to our preferences and stylistic moods, when orderly worship is not mistaken for scripted empty ritual, and when the time of worship is approached with utmost reverence and awe – there’s no need for the glamour or glitz.  God’s Word stands on its own as it has for eternity past and will for eternity future.

In saying all that, you wonder why the walls aren’t bursting at the seams at this particular, modestly sized, congregation.  And once again, God’s Word gives us the answer.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:2-5)