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Bob Young

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Thanks for visiting our website! Picture of the Month: sharing the word in Pilanqui, Ibarra, Ecuador; a view of part of the crowd, two baptisms. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Preaching in Pilanqui

Ministry is always a team effort--Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 48+ years! Countless others have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. My favorite breakfast is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of quality coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to serve and share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature in Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!

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Archive for August, 2008

A “Thank You”, a Request, and a Blessing

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

The “thank you” is first!  In the third full month of taking the new website and blog public, we have surpassed 4000 monthly visits!  Through 30 days of August, visitors to the site represent 61 countries.  I say “Thank You” to every visitor and regular reader for the encouragement you provide.  By your visits and involvement, you say that this is worth doing!

My request is that you share feedback and reactions and let other readers know what you think.

May God bless you today and may you know his presence in your life as we seek to fulfill his will for us.

When the AC goes out….

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The air conditioning went out on my car Tuesday afternoon.  Since the outside temperatures were in the mid-90s, I felt fortunate that I was only about 90 miles from my destination.

Because I am currently a one-car family (Jan has her car in Colorado where she is engaged in grandmothering chores for our new granddaughter) and I need my car every day, I have not yet gotten it fixed.

Since I now drive with the car windows down, I hear the birds in the early morning drive through the countryside to my office.  I smell the new-mown hay.  I also smell the “road kill”–and the “stink gas” from the oil and gas exploration sites.  I hear children laughing and playing when I drive by the park.  I feel the coolness of the breeze in the early morning, In the afternoon I remember the in-car “sauna” from childhood days before many cars had air conditioning.

All of this has caused me to think again about an important lesson.  Most of the time, I drive with the air conditioning on and the windows up.  I am in the world in one sense, but not really in the world.  In the midst of a stimulating and varied world, I remain secluded with my air conditioning and radio.  Now that I am forced to operate (at least temporarily) without air conditioning, I have a renewed sense of being in the world. 

I am reminded that two options are before us as Christians.  #1–We can be in the world and not of the world, living our lives in total isolation in our own little worlds, little touched and touching little.  #2–We can be in the world and not of the world, smelling and hearing and touching the world, feeling the hurts and struggles, and caring about the people around us.  God is calling us to #2.  Isolationism is not the Christian way.

The church and humanism

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Patch Adams was in McAlester recently. Lots of folks went to hear him. He is interesting and funny. He supports a lot of worthwhile causes at the Gesundheit Institute and seeks to improve health care in our nation. All well and good–but….

Patch Adams is a humanist. A seminar offered at the Institute next month is entitled “Humanistic Medicine: Constructing Your Humanism.” His is basically an anti-God message. His formula for health and wellness does not include God.

This article is not about Patch Adams–it is about church. Adams was hosted at a local denominational church. Did the church leaders not know the nature of his message? Did they not care? Is the goal to attract as many as possible to our buildings regardless of what compromises are required? Some may think these the questions of a nay-sayer. So be it.  The relationship the church has with false theological systems (like humanism) is important! Will we never heed the warnings of God?

Patch may not know better.  Those who claim to speak for God and represent God’s kingdom cause should!

Morgan Jayne

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Yesterday Jan and I were blessed by the birth of another grandchild!  Morgan Jayne is our third granddaughter.  I haven’t see her, but I know she is beautiful.

Jan is in Colorado doing the grandmotherly thing and spending lots of time with big brother Joseph.  God marvelously blesses us when he gives us time for the people in our lives.

I praise God today for his goodness and love.  I pray for parents and children everywhere.  I ask you to join me in that prayer on this day.

Stars to Steer By: Living Until You Die

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

“A person is really fortunate if they live until they die.”

Read yesterday’s blog to get the full story on this quote.

Carl Capers: A Tribute

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Births are part of life.  This week Jan and I are anticipating the birth of another granddaughter.  Funerals are equally part of life.  Many in our society seek insulation and isolation from death.  I am amazed at how many young people have never attended a funeral.  I am on the “call list” for a local funeral home–a minister on call when a family does not have a minister.  I am amazed at how many families are unconnected spiritually (unchurched).

The first place I preached full-time, I did 27 funerals in 27 months.  Yesterday found another funeral on my calendar.  Funerals are interesting.  Ministers do not preach funerals.  Every person preaches their own funeral.  Ministers only give structure to the memories.   This was a “good” funeral.  Carl Capers preached his own funeral.  His love for people, his love for his family, and his love for the church were obvious.  He was a servant.  He was dependable.  He was generous.  He was special.

In the last days of his life as his health waned, I saw parts of Carl I had not seen before.  He had a sense of humor.  He said to Edna, “You’re probably the best wife I’ve ever had.”  Carl was a philosopher.  As this brother who had been active all of his life became bedridden, he sagely observed:  “A man is real fortunate if he gets to live until he dies.”

Thank you, Lord, for the reminder that I am preaching my own funeral.  Thank you that I knew Carl.  Thank you for his example of faithful service.  A man is real fortunate if he gets to live until he dies.  So he is–and Carl did.

How Should We “Do” Church? (4): Worship and Preaching

Monday, August 18th, 2008

WORSHIP AND PREACHING: DO WE REALLY KNOW HOW TO DO CHURCH?

[Note: you can link to previous blogs in this series: (April 20, April 27, May 4) .]

Recently, I was visiting with a friend. He shared an observation from an acquaintance outside the churches of Christ: “You guys have the best preaching around but you just don’t know how to do church.” I do not take that as a blanket affirmation that every sermon I preach is great, but I also believe that we in churches of Christ generally have very good preaching. We respect the word, we wrestle with the word, and in the struggle we learn and grow and apply the word of God to real life situations.

Of more interest to me is the second part of the statement—you just don’t know how to do church. When I shared this statement with a sister in Christ recently, she asked, “What do think that means?” Let me suggest some possible answers.

Most of our churches are stuck in a relatively unchangeable pattern of worship activities that can be little changed without major disruption. Those who have fresh ideas and applications are usually disempowered by our leadership models. Our church dynamics are flawed–we do most things for ourselves. We seem to have little awareness of how spiritual realities and activities might be designed to appeal to visitors. Many churches around us have sold out to attracting visitors with entertainment, stunts, and the spectacular. We must seek to discover how spiritual meaning is communicated to those unfamiliar with the word of God and spiritual realities. If we have great preaching, I would say it is mostly for us, and that we have little idea about how to preach the gospel in today’s post-modern world. We are embarrassed to offer the invitation, do not know what we want our hearers to do as a result of the sermon, and are equally embarrassed at times about God’s desire for a specific kind of response. We are not committed to using people according to their gifts.

We need to sharpen our understanding of the essential nature of baptism so that people do not delay until it is convenient. I believe we are more and more in churches of Christ baptizing for church membership rather than as a clear indication that salvation has come to another soul.

In most places, we need to work on making the worship experience meaningful and rich and spiritual. There is little reason to greet people well if they will leave disillusioned as a result of other aspects of their visit with us.

Life is not easy, but our compromised positions do not help us do church effectively, maintaining high commitment demands. I know I am idealistic, and it takes a long time to move a large ship, but sometimes when I visit in sister congregations, I feel as though I have stepped back in my spiritual life 20-25 years.

May God help us find fresh faith and vitality in our shared worship as we seek to shine as lights in a world of darkness.

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