… so I will not check to see if Photoshop had a role.
Click the picture to find the backstory…
See, Frank Turk put it to us to write parables. He says they are easy, peasy, Japanesey… my last effort was rightly panned. So here is #2:
There were the greeters. I see them from the parking lot, vested keepers of the door, waiting to welcome the world to rest. They had bulletins in hand and hearty Good Morning on their lips. They were greeters; they greeted and their nametags declared them.
Once past the gates the nametags disappear as do the greetings. I move to the angled pews, passing clusters of chatterers on the way. Nodding to those who smile at me, both of them, I make it to the center pew. I sit and join my fellow saints in meditation over the tri-fold, full color order-of-service-announcement-kids activity brochure.
Pastor Gregg came on stage as the band plays softly in the background. I wait for the house lights to dim – they remain bright. Gregg, dropping the ‘pastor’ as a barrier to fellowship, welcomes us all and asks us to welcome one another. 360 degrees of handshakes and side hugs follow and I enjoy the press of the Saints. It ends too quickly as Gregg calls us to attention. The lights finally dim.
There is a serious passion with Gregg as he extols the congregation for their hospitality and love for the brethren. There are camps planned, suppers for only $5.00 a head, cheerleading, and basketball – out reach and in-gathering. He brings up Jesus and tells us he was hospitable too. We should be like Him. The lights come up and worship is clearly over.
I sit undisturbed and complete the tear out comment card in the tri-fold. ”Were you greeted upon your arrival”, the Deacon Board wants to know? Thinking of the vested ones, I put a check in the box and pack up to leave.
I make my way to the back of the auditorium and the chatterers politely move to the side, letting me pass. The greeters are busy welcoming the second service crowd and I get scant attention as I head to the parking lot. Sunday morning is past. I head out for lunch alone.
This evening I stare at the front door of a building housing the Church of God. It is a mile from this morning’s service. Small group, heck its evening, but I am met in the parking lot by a young man getting off of a motorcycle. He sticks his hand out and tells me his name is Mike.
Mike seems genuinely glad to see me and begins introducing me around. His pastor, his friends, his wife are all a delight; asking me my name and finding out from whence I hail. I cannot speak to everyone, but it is probably just a time issue. The pastor calls us to order.
Bible study, Psalms and spiritual songs follow. Standard fare as far as Sunday evening bible study goes, but at the end Mike invites me out for ice-cream with him and his wife.
He gets my phone number and promises to call.
He is as good as his word and he invites me for lunch after next Sunday’s service, which ends with communion.
I never did fill out a card at that second church, but man was I greeted.
… a guy we like… for a couple of reasons:
It is rumored that he pulled a fire alarm at a CREC fellowship in Mobile. And if James Jordan is the godfather of the Federal Vision, Steven is the precocious nephew.
Take a look at his blog (linked under “A New Blog or Two” to the right) and let me know if he deserves a place among the immortals guys we read. I for one think he does.
John Barach over at Kata Iwannhn posted a thoughtful piece about how the church perpetuates immaturity, especially in her young men. We need to sit up and listen. Check it out here.
My name is Alan Brown Stout Jr. My paternal grandmother was born Mary Brown in 1912 in the town of North Berwick Scotland into the proud Clan MacMillan. She immigrated here with her parents when she was a young girl. She married my grandfather, English bloodlines, long settled in America. They were the personification of the Acts of 1707.
The diverse folks at MereComments (link to the right) have tipped me off to the possible dissolution of said Acts. Long live Scotland! FREEDOM! (No disrespect to Poppy)
The folks at TeamPyro are taking a break. Phil, may I offer you a bit of Puritan Poetry to calm those frayed nerves?
What Love is this of thine, that Cannot bee
In thine Infinity, O Lord, Confinde,
Unless it in thy very Person see,
Infinity, and Finity Conjoyn’d?
What hath thy Godhead, as not satisfide
Marri’de our Manhood, making it its Bride?
Oh, Matchless Love! filling Heaven to the brim!
O’re running it: all running o’re beside
This World! Nay Overflowing Hell; wherein
For thine Elect, there rose a mighty Tide!
That there our Veans might through thy Person bleed,
To quench those flames, that else would on us feed.
Oh! that thy Love might overflow my Heart!
To fire the same with Love: for Love I would.
But oh! my streight’ned Breast! my Lifeless Sparke!
My Fireless Flame! What Chilly Love, and Cold?
In measure small! In Manner Chilly! See.
Lord blow the Coal: Thy Love Enflame in mee.