WRAP IT UP – PUT A BOW ON IT – AND GIVE THANKS FOR OUR GIFTS and BLESSINGS (By Patrick Burk)
Dear Readers and Friends,
I am rarely speechless and often I am told I talk too much. Many times I am labeled opinionated and I can be accused of upsetting the status quo. All of these things are true. Today, however, I am humbled. The feedback and offerings of discussion concerning this “Another Point of View” series have been wonderful. I truly count your comments and interest as a blessing. It would not be possible without the insight from my good friend Paul.
Since my former inserts in the blog were a little lengthy, I have chosen to close with just five points that I hope we all can take with us. My point in doing this series is the result of lunches and cups of coffee that Paul and I shared together where we talked about the simple things in life and also the definite problems. One such problem Paul would like to fix as he and his family go on their journey of starting a new church, is to find the answer to the question, “Why some people just won’t go to church?” I think we touched on a few of my ideas. Here are those promised points.
- The church is more than just one doctrine and it is more than the building that houses it. It is the people and the sharing. A church can be anywhere people share ideas and thoughts about God, kindness and humanity
- As someone stated in the response to my Blog #2 about inclusion, Be careful about suggesting that outward behavior is sinful in others when in fact many that may appear to be without sin, do sin in private. We are all sinners and exclusion based on outward lifetstyle is not the answer. Christ would include, not exclude.
- Behold the many ways that God can be worshiped and do not discount ideas that are new or innovative. Remember that as new things do come forward (such as blogs and music), they are too the creations of God. Use them. If rock music turns many on to the path of kindness and caring….let the amplifiers be heard. If computer and blogging is your thing…well type away. Would Christ be a rock star? Maybe or maybe not. but I would like to think he would stop and listen to the music.
- Finally, be careful of those that request money from you to include you in prayers. If the money request is going to feed the hungry or take care of children or bring peace to someone’s heart or home, that is one thing but, it should never be considered a condition for receiving prayer from any person that is truly close to God. The “big-buck pastors” of television are not the answer. The true answer is the pastors and people who “preach in the streets.”
I thank you all for your kindness and consideration of reading this series. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity. My biggest admiration and thanks go to my friend Paul. I wish him and his lovely family all the best. He is a true gift. During this Christmas Season I pray for peace and wonder to uplift all your hearts. I pray that all will include and enjoin others to experience the peace and kindness and I wish you all love.