Thinking About Rural Church

A cooler day in on the northern plains. It stayed in the sixties and I wore a denim jacket while swathing a ten acre field of oats this afternoon. Its extremely busy around here but there’s always a moment to jot something down on the blog. Thinking, always thinking, mostly about what to speak in church next week and its coming together nicely, about the anointing. A feller can go a long ways on that subject! I don’t know what’s different about today but I’m so upbeat, even with a ton of work looking me in the face, such as grain harvest, allot of second crop haymaking, regular cow work, etc. Life is good out in the countryside!

Gotta get ready for tomorrow night’s Children’s Church also, no big deal there, most of the time we go so far off track of the lessons that sometimes it takes a couple of months to even get through a one hour lesson. No Dairy Queen cake this week though, sweet memories from last week can linger on for a while longer! Today though, while working, I was reviewing life in a small town rural church. Maybe that’s why I’m so upbeat tonight! Years ago whether it was no church at all or just Sunday morning get it over with type of services, life really had no meaning at all. The last four years life got totally turned upside down, a feller got a good shaking, and still get a good shaking every once in a while, and there’s purpose to life now, especially from a family standpoint. Always something going on,a person doesn’t have to search the world for something to do outside the normal daily routine. New friends, solid friends, friends a person can talk about the Lord and faith with.  Life is different, very different.

A burning desire to do the Lord’s work, a hunger that never, ever goes away. A place where one can go to get recharged after facing all the world throws at a Bible believing Christian. The discoveries that one doesn’t have to follow the American Christianity based on gaining more materialism. The appreciation of the simple God given things. The realization that almost our whole life revolves around all the different events that a small group of believers do together. Amen!

I said I was putting things together about the anointing, about an hours worth. From past experience I only get through about one half or so of what I put together for a talk, we’ll see this time. Now I was talking about the small rural church, I guess this could be translated to any church, although how a huge “super church” gets by is beyond me. Durn, I just thought, all my stuff is upstairs, the different Bible verses and stuff and I’m too lazy to go up there and get it so I’ll just shoot from the hip with some of this. The Bible says all believers receive the anointing, or an anointing. OK. So as I put this together the importance of the small rural church explodes out at me. I don’t have the same anointing as anyone else in church, we all have different anointings. The thing about the anointing we carry, its never for us, even though its our anointing. Getting this? Its for others, through us. The power of God working through us to do the works of the Lord for others. Might not be exactly theologically correct but I ain’t worried about that.

So if I say I’m anointed and figure I can live off my anointing, that it’ll carry me through the valleys of life, well, I’m badly mistaken. The anointing or anointings that I have are not for me, simple. They are for others. Take someone that is anointed in music. Those songs they sing might be great for them, fun to sing, help them worship, but you can bet through the anointing those songs being sung are changing others  as they enter into the music. That happened to me years ago, during a song the praise team thought they botched, during that song was when I received the “call”.  The anointing hit me head on, and maybe a few others in different ways than me, but God’s power flowing through the anointed praise team accomplished its purpose.

I have to be around other believers regularly in order to power up for the world out there. If I stayed at home,or just read books,listened to faith CDs and such I probably would be getting head knowledge, and maybe pick up small amounts of the power of God here and there but without the actual physical transfer taking place because of not being by anointed believers, I’d be slowly going backwards. Thus the small rural church does its job! I have noticed there’s folks that after one has been around them I can just feel the lift spiritually. And these are the ones I try to be around a little bit at least every time.

But then there’s the opposite side, instead of going for some anointed fellowship and prayer and what have you, there’s the responsibility of the believer to fellowship with the unpopular, the down and out, those feeling low. Because if we are carrying God’s power its our responsibility to spread it around! And God’s power, the anointing, is very real, both physically and spiritually. The small church has a huge advantage over a large one when a person thinks about this. The disadvantages are the small church is like a close family and can get into some pretty rough family quarrels. But I’d take a quarreling small rural church any day of the week than those bigger churches where everything is just a man made production anyhow! Oh Lord, am I thankful tonight, am I happy tonight. When a person understands how Biblical those little small town rural churches really are. Problems yes, but show me one church that doesn’t have problems and I’d say we crossed the line and have entered heaven!


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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good Morning Tom!!

    “But then there’s the opposite side, instead of going for some anointed fellowship and prayer and what have you, there’s the responsibility of the believer to fellowship with the unpopular, the down and out, those feeling low.”

    Now sir, you have hit on something that pains me to no end. This is THE one thing I need to do better. Its always good to see friends and things in church, but walking up to the people you describe is always hard for me. I’ll take this to heart though and give it a try again tonight. 🙂

    Well, things are going like wildfire here. I have an appointment with the preacher tonight before bible study to talk about the upcoming marriage (Gulp!!). I think he wants to see where my beliefs are…. I think mine are pretty close to a Northern fellers I happen to know… I sure hope it aligns with the Baptists…

    I finished cleaning out the attics last night. I’ve got about two pickup loads for the church rummage sale. I’ll tell you what. Its kinda hard on a feller to sort through the last 25 years of his life and give all that stuff away. I made it though… With the help of our loving God.

    We were supposed to close on our new house yesterday, but it seems this fella that we are buying it from decided last weekend was the weekend to tell his ex wife what he really thought of her. Well, come to find out, the ex needed to sign some papers in order for him to sell the place. I am so glad I don’t buy a house but every 20 years…. This thing is puttin grey hairs on my gray hair!! 🙂

    Well, the last couple of nights, I’ve been able to get back into being PC (Peter Cartwright….) He touched on my two favorite stories… The possesed woman, and the wagon full of those young ones who were teasing him. I sure do like him. I believe that I would have had that kind of vinegar too if I was in his situation…. I can sure see why those country folk respected him. I’m in the camp rowdy chapter now….. I can hardly wait!!

    Well… Time for my cup of coffee and granola mmmmmmm….. I sure do hope your enjoyin your bacon!! When my blood pressure gets back to where its supposed to, I think I’ll join you in some…..

    Have a GREAT day,


  2. Morning Brad!
    Cool this morning here, mid forties. Ain’t no corn growing overnight last night I tell you! But all is well up here.

    Was working last evening till bed time on the anointing message, things are coming together. Make an outline and then insert little references like “King David”. That’s all it takes to burn 15 minutes. That’s preaching time. Then more references, like Jesus and the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5, an old stand by if there ever was one!

    So today, I don’t know, maybe haul manure for something to do. That’s always a spiritual job, (cough), cause its a no brainer and I can keep working on the message.

    I was going to tell you to use me for a reference with the Baptist pastor down there but refigured my thoughts here a bit 🙂 He might give you the boot if he finds out about me or else he’d try and purge you of this blog and hold you under for a long, long time once he gets you into the water 🙂 Seriously though, we’re fairly close, I love many a Baptist and consider them my brothers and sisters in Christ!

    I know every Cartwright story you mention.I was reading in that book, Apostle Cowboy Style about similar stuff. About some of the modern day cowboy preachers that when confronted by rowdies, let em have it with a knuckle sandwich! I kind tend to agree with that camp!

    OK, I gotta finish up with my bacon and hash browns and all sorts of other stuff here and get outside. Running late this morning, but ain’t feeling guilty one bit! Gotta run!

    God Bless!

    Edit: I wrote this two hours ago but the internet all of a sudden wasn’t working, so being the expert 🙂 that I am with all of this I copied it so I could save some typing and grumbling later! 🙂

  3. Morning Sir!!

    Well, the good news is I passed (I think….). I’ll tell ya.. I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin chairs…. That preacher didn’t make it any easier either!! He kept asking me if I was saved… You know, I know I am, but the baptists have words a whole lot different than my plain talk is used to. He was asking me about if I was convicted or not… and I’m tellin him I got a couple of speedin tickets, that was about it… 🙂 Anyway, he’s still not convinced I’m saved, but I am and if the Lord and I are on the same page, I do believe thats all that matters!! He did make me do some thinking and some extra bible reading last night though. I do like tough questions, they make you think…..

    Other than that, things are going well. I still think I’m closin on my new house tonight. I’ll end up with 10 more acres than before, so I guess I’ll be lookin for a couple of goats to keep the place clean again and keep my bulls company. It seems I never learn about them goats do I??

    Well, here’s hopin you got those young uns educated last night. I know you did…. You didn’t try any of that anointin stuff on them did ya? 🙂

    Have a GREAT day!!,


  4. Morning Brad!

    Man, am I ever tired out this morning! Had a big crowd last evening in Children’s Church with a couple of tough boys that were there for the first time in a long time. Kinda disruptive batch, so I did the only thing a feller could do.make em teach 🙂 Yup, that cut em down a notch or two and when we were done they were as gentle as little kitties 🙂 Musta been my leadership anointing that pops up when a feller’s in a tight jam such as last evening 🙂

    So today I’m all tired out, couldn’t sleep last night worth a lick. Figure I’ll bring the combine out of the shed today and get er ready somewhat, get the grain auger pulled out of the weeds, get the gravity boxes pulled out of the old machine shed and just generally get ready for the harvest.

    If’n I’m ever a big time local church preacher that’d be kinda fun to put people wanting to get married on the hotseat 🙂 From my experiences of being highly manipulative in Children’s Church with people’s brains I think I’d have a field day! Hmm, your giving me ideas….

    You do have an extreme advantage nowadays even if the preacher is rough on you, you ain’t no young teenager that is totally subject to his every whim. You got options! Also a thing called a knuckle sandwich anointing when things get a little to hot :)That could possibly get you convicted for sure 🙂
    Lucky you, I don’t even charge for such anointed advice 🙂

    Durn Tom, what’s come over you this morning, you ain’t acting like some highly sanctified preacher!!?? Oh well, I’m just a clod hopping dirt farmer with more beef cattle than he knows what to do with 🙂 One that got chosen to preach in season, (even right during busy harvest season), and out of season. You know the way its going here this morning I had better quit writing cause I’ll probably end up digging myself in deeper and deeper! Must been the mention of you getting goats again that set me off 🙂

    God Bless!

  5. My fav kids to teach are 5th -7th grade boys. Yup dem boys. Scared the feathers out of me at first but after I figured them out they were a joy. You hit the nail on the head with your boys!!!! Have had company for the last few weeks not much time on the PC. Glad to see things are moving along well up north!

  6. Hi Patti!

    Well I tell you, sometimes it can sure be trying 🙂 They always say, you want a ministry training ground, head to children’s church and you’ll get er! Sometimes I’m ready to fall over when its done. I’m hopping and going back and forth,keeping an eye on each and every one! But I love it and when I’m called to miss a Wednesday evening to preach in the big church or something I kinda miss the action out in the old doublewide.
    Take care with all that company you’ve been having!

    God Bless!

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