I Do Everything I Can

When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.  I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:22-23

It was so windy out today that we scrapped chopping corn. No sense in letting the wind make fools of us, we can handle the fool making part pretty well ourselves. The weather is looking good for tomorrow though and we’ll hit er hard when the day comes. So tonight I’m around here,laying low as the wind blows. Today, this afternoon to be exact, I started the outdoor wood boiler cause there was a little chill settling into the house the last day. Everything is working good in that department and the chill will be beaten back as I write here.The verses on top were something that caught my eye today. In fact I could of, or maybe should of had more verses that go with it but figured I’d settle for this. Paul’s talking about how he just gets in with the folks.How he doesn’t come trying to hammer a religion into them. I figure there’s folks in this world that sure would get harmed reading these verses. The reason they caught my eye though was, I was doing a little research this afternoon on the internet. You know, country churches, cowboy churches, backwoods churches. The typical stuff that interests me and I came across this on a cowboy church website.

I don’t know what everyone’s feelings are about cowboy churches and it really doesn’t matter to me either way. More power to em I figure! If they’re spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ how dare I find fault with them. The same goes for any other kind of churches or gatherings in the mighty name of Jesus! Basically I’m a simple fella, or so it might look. Get teased a little for being a hillbilly and such by folks I know, of course these folks aren’t considering the thought patterns that it takes to farm all of this and also try and stay ahead of a few hundred beef critters who’s main reason for being is to outsmart their owner! The verses above and all the verses that go with them had me thinking today about how Jesus handled the situations that He was in too. I was reading the other night that the Gospel of Luke is sometimes called the Gospel of Outcasts and I tell you, that caught my eye for life!

So take a cowboy church, it might not be most everyone’s cup of tea, but it don’t matter to me one way or another as long as they are pointing to Jesus. It don’t matter to me if there’s a deep inner city ministry that would make some of us country folks gasp because of the different way they do things from mainstream Christianity in order to point people to Jesus. I was doing some self examining today. Mostly to see how much religious garbage I have clinging to me, and there is quite a bit. A little over a week ago we were involved with a Hispanic service in an area where there are no Hispanic churches to our north east. And I tell you, it was different from what I’m used to and the thing that struck me was how they were really worshiping God with all their hearts.

So am I on the narrow road yet or am I in a ditch? This was my question to myself. Am I satisfied with nice church services or do I want to see things get radical? You get into the Gospels and there’ll be an overload of radical when you read them with eyes to see and understand! So radical it got Jesus nailed to a cross! Amen? I want radical!

19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

OK, I just had to put a few more verses in there on this line of thought. And getting back to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus wasn’t going for the nice people of society that had it all together! I wonder what a person would think if we could actually see the Gospels as they happened. I’d bet we’d be totally thrown upside down. We’ve made a comfortable religion  where we are nice church folks, have nice churches, do and say all the right things, but we are a far cry from the Living Gospel.

In the countryside there’s a vast assortment of folks. From kinda high class suburbanite people that love their stuff to the poorest of the poor, there’s church folk everywhere and many of them fit in nicely with the new American religion of “I can live like an absolute heathen and still make it to heaven”.  The last place a person sees what I call “junk yard dogs” is in church. Then there are the dopers, the addicted. They’re everywhere. The abused families, the laid off folks. You name it. But church is always nice and churchy, and there’s churches everywhere around here. But mostly when I go into churches I have a hard time finding God there. And don’t you dare break a rule in some of them!

Old Paul, he became, he was able to fit in with the people he brought the Good News to. Not the other way around. And if a person reads the Gospels with open eyes we’ll see a Savior that never passed up an opportunity to stop and help the lowest members of that society. Many times causing heated debates with the “good folk”.  The more and more I dwell on all of this the conclusion is becoming clearer each day. To spread the Gospel as Jesus did, to spread it like Paul did! And it ain’t going to reach the folks that Jesus and Paul pulled from the grasp of hell if the only work is in the church building! If that’s the case and the church is where a person spends their ministry life there will not be a Gospel ministry.

Boy, am I long winded tonight! As folks know, I love church, no question about that. But the preaching of the Gospel, followed with signs and wonders, (God backing up His Word), does not happen in the church very often, nor was it ever meant to. If I’d write some of the things that happen to us outside the walls it would blow many readers away! And I will debate anyone about the false religion where they say that only happened in the days of the Apostles! Maybe someday I’ll share some of them as this all grows and grows.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Morning Tom,

    We’ve got a touch of cool here too. Its around 48 this morning. First really cool morning in these parts. The hay is coming along…. Seems the raggelys got a hold of my mower in between the first and second cutting… Sometimes, I can’t figure it out… I park the thing, and when I come back, the pto coupler pin is gone…. Ahh well…. Nothin a big ol bolt and some electrical tape can’t handle for the short term.

    Half the hay is down… I’ll get the rest today. Then park the mower for another year. God has been good this year!! The barns will be bustin out!! I’m kind of anxious to get this done and get onto my fall chore list. I’ve got last years list to do and this years….. Not to mention the stuff I never got done from 2 years ago 🙂 Egads!!!!

    “But mostly when I go into churches I have a hard time finding God there. And don’t you dare break a rule in some of them!”

    Friend, I think you and I think along the same lines. But I’m thinkin thats because we don’t get caught up in the religion part of it…. Its kind of funny that that religion was even a big part of Mr Cartwright’s time with him talkin about the Unitarians, or even in his own church with the slavery issues and all.

    I guess my take is whatever gets you into the church. What got me into the church was two bratty boys that my wife couldn’t handle. Eventually, God got me around to the real reason I ought to be there. Some people get into the church to play music or be deacons, or be teachers…… Whatever gets em there is alright with me. If they want to play religion, thats fine. I think I’ve got it figured out whats important. Its simple, but if people want to make it hard thats alright too. Eventually they’ll come back to simple I figure….

    This probably don’t make any sense and thats alright…. You’ve given me some thinkin for today while I’m tractor sittin though friend, and for that I am grateful.

    Well, better get at it, my grease gun awaits. My fingers are slippin off the keyboard anyway… Seems the grease in my fingernails is startin to work loose 🙂

    Have a GREAT day,

    Brad

  2. Morning Brad!

    I’ll be doing some thinking on the tractor today too! This was a subject pretty dear to my heart. The last two evenings before bed during my reading time I ran out of books, then remembered the big box down stairs from the church garage sale ni a different town. Hmm, found a couple after digging deeper and now I know I have something a tad bit different then anything I’ve ever read before. Its a combination of all four Gospels put in their order of happening or something like that. In other words, its the complete Gospel all in one!

    It don’t go as quick as reading a single Gospel and I tell you, it just seems more interesting to me cause it all comes together so much better. And with this in mind I can see better now how the ministry of Jesus was. And its the farthest thing from religion as there could possibly be!

    I wonder sometimes how come us people have to complicate things so much. How come we have to take something beautiful and wonderful such as the Gospel and then make it into a miserable mess called religion.

    Then in religion no body is really following the Lord, they’re just following traditions made by man that further separate us from the Saviour. That bring us misery and despair. I always get a little sad when I go in churches where everyone seems sad. Talk about a testimony of your faith! Miserable, sad, grumpy even. That shows as a testimony that a person is not chasing the Lord, but stuck in the manure of religion.

    Oh Lord, I have to go! Chop, chop! 🙂

    God Bless!

  3. Good morning Tom! This is a great message! God has been really putting this type of thinking on my heart too. Sometimes I think that when others are preaching the same message – it must be the Holy Spirit talking. This is a message that really needs to ‘get out there’. It’s time to stop ‘playing church’ and get serious about God! (ok now you’ve done it – I’m getting all fired up again!)

    Oh, you mentioned “Its a combination of all four Gospels put in their order of happening or something like that. In other words, its the complete Gospel all in one!” What’s the name of that book? I might have to gather that one to add to our winter reading collection.

    Have a great & productive day! and May the Lord bless you!

  4. Evening Lee Ann!

    Just came in from chopping silage, had a good day, got allot done!

    OK, the book is in front of my nose here 🙂 Its titled: “The Man Jesus”. There’s no author listed on it. It’s copyright was in 1966 and was published by Tyndale House. Its a paraphrase, not an exact translation and was taken from the “Living Gospels” by Kenneth N Taylor. I hope this is enough for a good search on the internet 🙂 I kinda like reading it, it must be good cause I’m getting allot out of it, it seems like a person is drawn into it when a feller knows the times and seasons that the events of the Gospels were taking place!

    Well, I had better get cleaned up and get a little shut eye, tomorrow we do it all over again out in the fields. But after tomorrow we’ll be durn near done! Praise the Lord! The huge silage pit it plump full and we’re working on another pile as of today, never had this much feed in my life 🙂

    God Bless!

  5. Good Morning!!

    Glad to hear things are going well on your end. I’m putting the ol hay mower away today for the year. I finished er up around dusk last night. Now just let God do his work and I’ll sit back for a couple of days and watch 🙂

    We finally got into the New Testament in that Chronological Bible and its doing the same thing as you were talkin about. Taking the gospels in order. You know, your mind gets an idea about the timeline, but it is kind of neat to see it layed out like it really happened. I hope you enjoy that book… I sure am.

    Speaking of books, I do have a care package about ready for you so you won’t get bored this winter. In it, is a book I really enjoyed. Pure fiction mind you, but its a novel about a circut rider and his life…. Written by an actual circut rider…. I sure did enjoy it, it was Sheffey, PC, and the author (Edward Eggleston) all rolled into one. I’ll tell you what… I’d a been afraid of preachers in those days…. If you didn’t convert, they’d a whupped ya 🙂

    Well…. I guess I’d better get at it. Its a beautiful fall day here. A day just made for knockin down the chore list and praising God while I’m doing it….

    Have a GREAT day,

    Brad

  6. Morning Brad!

    Rough time getting up this morning I tell you 🙂 One more big day of chopping but I don’t think it’ll get completely finished, but close! I can’t wait to get this job under the belt cause believe me,its hard to dwell on faith matters in the noise and vibration and high stress that the tractor and silage chopper have. It ain’t like making hay where I can just dwell on stuff, no sir!

    Hmm, a circuit rider novel! Sounds good to me! Kinda dangerous cause they set me off for a while sometimes 🙂

    I’m hoping to head to church this evening, not because I’ll be done with silage but because I’ll be losing my help around 5 PM, so what’s a feller to do?? 🙂

    God Bless!


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