Heaven On Earth

David Hunter’s wife, Denise, died Sunday. The funeral is Thursday morning in Robinson. Our Father tells us through his prophet Isaiah, “I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (46:4). May our God carry David and his two children through this dark, dark valley. May he grant them his peace and comfort. And may he use his people—us—to reach out to them with his love and mercies.

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Further reflections on this past Sunday at Legacy — There was so much anticipation, so much build up, so much expectation going in to that first assembly in the new building, it wouldn’t have mattered what happened in there, most everybody was going to come out feeling great. Everything was going to be positive. Everything was going to be fabulous. It would have been impossible to mess it up, even if we had been trying. Everybody’s expectations were that it was going to be great. Everybody had already decided it was going to be wonderful, months before it ever happened.

And it was. It was wonderful. Microphones were off when they should have been on and they were left on when they should have been off. Communion servers missed rows. The baptistry water was freezing cold. The PowerPoint slides weren’t all up at the times they should have been. I was so totally disoriented, I’m not sure what I said or how I said it. Yet, it was fantastic. It was amazing. And I can’t help but think a ton of that has to do with our mindsets going in. It was going to be wonderful no matter what happened. We had already made up our minds.

Bingo.

Can’t we all, everyone of us, go into this coming Sunday, and the next Sunday, and the Sunday after that, and even the Sundays to come next month and next year and five years from now with the exact same level of anticipation and enthusiasm? Shouldn’t we? Next Sunday there will be more visitors to meet. Next Sunday there will be more Legacy members to greet. Next Sunday our God is going to work in and through our assembly to bless us and shape us into the image of his Son. So why wouldn’t we go into next Sunday the same way we went into this one? No matter what happens during the service, I’m convinced even before it begins that it’s going to be wonderful and I’m going to be blessed by gathering in the presence of God and one another. Why wouldn’t that be the attitude every single week?

Sunday, we looked at how our Christian assemblies transcend time and space. We’re not in this room, we’re not in the worship center. When we’re together, we’re at Mt. Zion, gathered around the throne of our God with all the saints for all time, those who’ve gone before and those who are coming after. We’re in the future. We see the future. We experience the future when we’re together like this. It really is heaven on earth. The singing really is that good.

On Sunday, we joined the future. When we assemble together, we see the future, we experience the future. And we’re strengthened to live in the present because we’ve experienced the future. And we live and act in the present as if the future’s already come. Because for us, it has.

We don’t have to wait for the sweet by and by to experience the transforming presence of God. In the hallowed here and now we enter his throne room together along with all the saints of every age.

May God’s people assemble in our new building in spirit and truth for generations to come. And may our understanding of our assemblies always be shaped by the realities of the eternal Kingdom of our God.

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I was so disoriented Sunday. I never knew whether I was coming or going. The whole thing was so strange. Nothing normal about any of it. And it was much more than just being in a new building. I’ve certainly preached before in strange new settings. What made it weird was that it was all the people I know and love, but nobody was where they belonged. I’ve become very used to looking in certain places and seeing certain people. I know where to look to find the people who are always paying attention and nodding encouragement to me. And I know where to find the people who are just nodding. I know where my good friends are and where the people are I don’t know that well. I know where each of our elders can be found. I know where Carrie-Anne and the girls are. For 14 months now I’ve been accustomed to knowing where everybody is. Until Sunday. Nobody was where they were supposed to be. Everybody was with different people. In different places. This was my church family. But it was like the room had been turned upside down. Very strange. I never got my bearings. I hope it’s a little different this next Sunday.

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I’m humbled by all this. I’ve thought it many times before, it was running through my head all day Saturday, and the thought was overwhelming me Sunday morning: what in the world am I doing here? This church has really messed up by ordaining me as their preacher. They have no clue how far in over my head I am. If they only knew how terrified I am by all this. I don’t belong here. It’s too big. It’s too important. I’m too weak. I’m too small. This doesn’t fit. I’ll be exposed any day now for the fraud I really am. And those thoughts drive me to the floor on my knees. God, if you don’t show up, I’m not showing up. Ever. I can’t do this. You have to do this. It’s all on you, Lord; every bit of it.

And he’s there every time. Every single time. He’s never missed. And it never ceases to blow me away.

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Here it is! Here’s the official logo for The Kingdom, The Kids, & The Cowboys Top 20 College Football Poll. We received a grand total of 6 votes. One vote for David Watson’s “Football Pole” design. Of course, that vote shouldn’t really count because the one casting that vote didn’t even get the joke. Brittany Bankhead-Kendall’s entry received no votes. Sorry, girl. I’m not sure why. I appreciate your effort, though, because it seemed to really get the ball rolling. The other five votes went to Scott Beard’s inspirational design. Scott’s imaginative scheme combines the rich imagery of a football player preparing mentally for the physical battle that faces him in the heart of the trenches—where, as we know, all football games are won or lost—with bold lines and striking attention to detail that paint a complete portrait of the paradox of the game: artistic brutality; violent ballet; a symphony of collisions with all the drama of a month’s worth of soap opera Fridays. So, here it is.

KK&CTop20Logo

Congratulations to Scott Beard!

The KK&C Top 20 Preseason Poll will be released first thing tomorrow morning.

Peace,

Allan

6 Comments

  1. Jenn

    What? I got the whole “football poll” thing once he typed about it….really, it did just look like a big string of footballs….I don’t know if I can look at the big guys belly every week though…:)

    Oh, and maybe once we get our “own pews” all figured out, you can pass around a seating chart so that you can get your act together and figure out where everyone sits! 🙂 he he he

  2. Rob's Dad

    A seating chart would be great. Then I could know exactly where to go to shake up someone’s comfort zone. Really get stretched out and take up a lot of room on a pew – maybe two Bibles and a bulletin.

    Sundays are special and last Sunday was extra-special, however not every Sunday will be that mountain top experience. This will be hard to explain in a written format. Don’t use the same standard of anticipation that you have to what a schmoe like me might have. I fully expect you to have your head right with ball while I might still be worried about some worldly issues and it might be all I can do to just get there. If I’m not at that black level, then I hope that I can be a cup of cold water to someone – that when I see them I don’t just do a pat on the back hello and keep moving, leaving them in their hurt.

  3. Allan

    Shouldn’t that exact same level of anticipation be there every week? God’s meeting us. He’s with us. He’s doing something marvelous with us every time we’re in there. Shouldn’t we anticipate something amazing every time? And if we’re going into it each week with that mindset, won’t it be wonderful? How can it not be? If we’re really coming to Mt. Zion, to the holy city of our living God, to thousands and thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the Church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven; if we’re really coming to God, the judge of all men and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect; if we’re coming into the presence of God, in the name of Christ Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the expectation should be through the roof. Every Sunday. If we each had that same understanding and expectation, we’d never criticize and no one would ever be left alone in their hurt.

  4. Rob's Dad

    I don’t think it should be at that same level every week. Or perhaps I should clarify that I don’t expect it because we are weak and broken. Your points are valid and you make them with enthusiasm – we should have that anticipation and participation every week. Our humanity will allow to get there yet it takes some work – how long did it take to build the building much less decide to build it?

  5. Allan

    I’m going to try to make the point in there this coming Sunday. How do we do it?

  6. Rob's Dad

    wait until after you pass out the assigned seating chart

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