Thursday, January 31, 2013

HUGE Losses

Paul Wilkinson from Thinking Out Loud wrote the following lament and I agree 100%.  Paul has been a Christian bookstore owner for years (and I was too).

I know that many readers will argue with me but my position remains firm and unchanging.  When a Christian bookstore closes its doors's HUGE loss.

Paul writes:

With electronic devices, the proliferation of online ordering, and a general lack of reading taking place, it’s easy to know the why of what happens when a community loses a Christian bookstore.

But in the process, the community also loses its Christian music store and its Christian DVD store and its Christian greeting card store and its Christian giftware store and its Christian apparel store and its outlet for tickets for Christian events and its church supplies store and its Bible store and its place to meet up with other Christ followers in a non church setting.

Instead: The church community loses a marketplace presence.

Instead: The community at large loses the effects of the church being in that marketplace.

Maybe, even though they don’t own the businesses in question, local churches should be standing side-by-side with the remaining stores and fighting for their survival.

Blessed Brokenness

When I saw this graphic, "God restores the broken" i knew I had to post it here on Pilgrim Scribblings.

How encouraging to know that the One who made us is ready and willing to "fix" us when we've been hurt, damaged or broken either by our own choices or by the instrumentality of others!

His grace is sufficient to meet our every need.

It's not "fun" being broken.  It's not the path I would choose.  But, when we find ourselves in that condition, the God of all grace can restore and use us again.  I'm so glad!

As the psalmist said, "Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." - Psalm 147:1,3 (NIV)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Football Faithful

Another excellent poem by my friend Greg Asimakoupoulos:

The Lord's Day vs. Game Day

A new look at Sunday worship

by Greg Asimakoupoulos - January 11, 2013

Every Sunday football's faithful
robed in sacred color schemes
chant their praises to the pigskin god on high.
In cathedrals (domed and open)
these devoted fans converge
raising arms (as if in worship) to the sky.

On the field a reenactment
of some ancient sacrifice
calls to mind the gladiator's brute and gore.
With vicarious allegiance
those who look-on feel the pain
as they pray the pigskin god will fix the score.

It's religion pure and simple.
There's a liturgy observed
by the priests with whistles clad in black-and-white.
And the banners they're unfurling
call to mind transgressions made
making clear the cost of penance in plain sight.

The conversion rate is stunning.
New believers fill the seats
as they flock each week to find community.
It's a fellowship like family
where nobody feels alone.
That is why it is their faith's identity.

What was once a fun amusement
has become idolatry.
Even pastors cancel church for play-off games.
Yes, the Lord's Day has been tackled
and then sidelined (left for dead)
and the worst part is it's happened without shame.