Are You Just A Gathering Of People?

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by Yard Dart, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Don't be a gathering of people but a church of Jesus Christ!!! Be thy brothers keeper and not one that ignores those in need. Our society has become jaded and negative.... be a disciple of change to love and serve all!!!
  2. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Awesome story Yard Dart, thanks for posting it.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I work as the head usher half the month and security one week or so each month. I watch people and make assessment's continually on what is normal and not, how can I help, do I need to be aware, what is going on and what is my role. We as a people so often look at one with a different circumstance and judge..... it is not our place to do the judging, but to relinquish all to God. As we will be led the way to serve and be good servants of our world and fellow man.

    I watch many in need walk thru the door with various issues, intentions or needs. I had an associate on the security team come to me with a concern about three men that rotated in teams of two to the bathroom or to have a drink of water. I decided to say hi and found out through a few minute conversation that they were in a half way house of .... intervention. They had to move as teams to make sure they had their buddy with always stay on the straight and narrow. Made me a bit humble as I realized these were troubled men, trying to find the right way.... I went back to the team and told the story and many kind of felt bad for assumptions. This world of our's is not black and white, but many shades in between. We see stories all the time of people in positions of authority and esteem... found to be guilty of dark things... that is the nature of the world.

    I sat at a table one day with a homeless man and had lunch with him. He told me "you guys have a nice church and I am happy to have a good meal". I talked with him a little more and moved on to do my duties... but I can tell you I was moved. The man was as legitimate as I have ever seen. As I started to move to get up he grabbed my hand and said "God be with you". There are times I can feel the movement of God around us.... that was one of those times. I was pretty choked up and felt that we had done some good today.... not me but "we" the body of Christ.

    We can never use one circumstance as a guideline for judging other's. One that has fallen can rise again with many great rewards in life. We just have to give them the opportunity to be one with all God's children... and they will either be resolute in their convictions to be a better "man", or fail once again... bottom line is it is our job as Christians to give them the opportunity... and not judge.

    I will finish with one of my mantra's that I was given by my First Sergeant in the Army as a young private.
    "Do not take my kindness, as a weakness"

    That would apply to all that either are not with God and naysayer's to the way, a choice that is yours alone and no disrespect given to your convictions. Or to those that would rather judge in self defense of "their" way of life.. I would say to them, we will defend our ground hard when needed, but today is not that day, today is the day to help thy neighbor as that neighbor may be the one that saves your bacon some day...

    We are all strong even in our time of need... sometimes we just have to be shown the way.
    Minuteman and Hammerhead like this.
  4. Catullus

    Catullus Monkey+++

  5. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Okay, so here is the real story. I appreciate the above link, but it may lessen the message, so I grabbed from the link the heart of the message.
    its seems likely that there is no Pastor Steepek and the events described in the message are fictional.

    That said, it seems plausible to suggest that the piece was inspired by the real-life story of pastor Willie Lyle of Clarksville, Tennessee. Soon after being appointed as the new pastor of Sango United Methodist Church, Lyle had a dream in which he believed God instructed him to live as a homeless man for a week. He was able to use his experience for a sermon on the following Sunday. The LeafChronicle reports:
    Early morning on June 23, Willie lay under a tree on the church lawn covered up by a big overcoat. He still had not shaved or combed his hair. He wondered how many people would approach him and offer him food, or a place to sit inside an air conditioned room, or just see how they could help. Twenty people spoke to him and offered some type of assistance.
    The sermon title was “The Least Used Parts of the Body” and based on I Corinthians 12:12-15. According to Pastor Lyle, “Often the least used parts of the body are the ones that mean the most, like our heart and mind. We need to understand that there are no small or least used parts in the body of Christ.
    “Too many of us only want to serve God one hour each week. That doesn’t cut it. That is not God’s plan.”
    While he preached, his daughter-in-law cut his hair and his daughter helped shave off his scruffy beard. He changed shoes, and beneath the overcoat, he was wearing his Sunday clothes. He put on a tie and his suit coat, all the while continuing to preach his message. Before the 200 people gathered that morning, he went from looking like a homeless person to the new pastor of the congregation.

    One wonders why the author of the Pastor Steepek story chose to invent a scenario and steal a picture to go with it when the real life story of Pastor Willie Lyle is a lot more interesting and considerably more credible.
    tulianr, chelloveck, kellory and 2 others like this.
  6. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    One word comes to mind....parable.
    I can see the headlines in Christs time if they had the internet:
    "Prodigal son never existed!"
    "Good Samaritan a hoax!"

    This is much like the story of the congregation and the gunman. I'm sure it probably never happened but it is a good story and makes you think.
    A gunman rushes into a crowded church during service. He waves his gun around and shouts that he is there to kill Christians. He says that he is going to count to ten and start firing, if anyone wants to live throw down their Bibles and leave. After the mad rush for the exits is over the Pastor is standing at the pulpit, there is less than a dozen people left in the pews, heads bowed in prayer. The gunman turns to the pastor and says "Go ahead preacher, there is your true flock."
    kellory, Yard Dart and Catullus like this.
  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    As anything you come across on the internet be it like the story above, or hard news about our government. The true story may not be what you are reading but what is in between the lines. Fact and fiction can be hard to discern, but the lesson remains the same. Pay attention to what you hear, come to your own conclusions with the facts and details presented and drive on. My first instinct when I read the story about the Pastor was to track him down via the interweb and find out if he was real and that the story was legitimate.

    But then I decided that regardless of the factual nature of the Pastor, the important part of the story was the message. And that is for us to be better people and treat all as we want to be treated. Jesus had a message of love for all, not just those that fit ones perception of right and wrong.
    tulianr, Hammerhead, Catullus and 3 others like this.
  8. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Here is a true life story for you. My buddy and I used to go to the prison for early Sunday services. On the way back there was a very nice motor home sitting beside the highway with steam coming from under the little hood. As it was now near our church time I invited him to go to church with us and would get our friend to open his parts store afterwards for a new hose. The gent had a "three day beard", print shirt, shorts, and beach sandals. In other words he looked a bit "scruffy". We went to SS and then into the chapel. To my surprise he got up and walked out of the service. He was waiting out side afterwards. Asked him if he was feeling OK and said yes. He was disgusted because not one person had even said hello, shook his hand, or spoke to him. We got his hose on and he headed down the road in his $200,000 motor home. He was judged by his appearance and shunned. Little did they know that he could have "bought/sold" most there. I also moved from that "1st street church" soon afterwards to a little country church.
    fmhuff likes this.
  9. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    This is only one of the reason that the Pharisee's hated Jesus. He was continually hanging out with this very kind of people whom they despised and made them nervous. If Jesus came up to one of us today looking like this man, what would we do? According to the Bible text, in a way he does.

    I don't know if the story is true but the meaning sure is.
  10. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    True or not a good, inspirational story.

    I guess we all need a spiritual thump upside the head once in awhile.
    Sapper John, Yard Dart and fmhuff like this.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  12. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    For me living the Hobo life is not an option though honestly as long as you don't steal, make a nuisance of yourself or infringe on anybody then who cares. Or should I ask why should we care?

    So what causes us to look down on people we suspect to be of a lower class than ourselves? Do others look at us that way. What in our culture or psyche causes us to act like that. Is it our conditioning, a rough experience, our imagined fears, peer pressure?

    Not all men are created equal in ability for sure nor should they be treated that way. However I actually know of a few people who look very much lower class and are multimillionaires. Others are mortgaged to the hilt to put on appearances and if they lost their job even for a couple of months would go under. Some look just the way they are. I've also known a few gentlemen who look just like the guy in the picture. One I used to give a ride whenever I saw him.

    It's kind of a shame there isn't a realistic frontier where everything isn't owned by someone and you can pitch your wagon, work the land and make it yours if you wish. Or just move on after you pick a few berries. It's the heart of a man that matters not his clothes, race and to some extent his religion. It's who they are inside.
    Sapper John, kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  13. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    On a similar thread a buddy is a very wealthy county commissioner. He owns quite a bit of land, peach orchards, and houses. To see him you would think he is a bum--shoes untied, ragged shirts often partially unbuttoned, straw hat that is badly worn, etc. A new state patrolman took him before the magistrate for some trivial "offense" and wanted him locked up. The magistrate would not do it and turned him loose on his own recognizance. The magistrate is a friend and said the patrolman said--"what kind of a county is this if this is a commissioner". Little did he know that he is one of the most benevolent people anywhere. A widow's home burned along then and he hired me to move her a nice one in. He set it up completely and gave her the keys.
  14. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Apperances can be deceiving.
    I've learned not to judge people but to evaluate them based on their behavior and actions.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    My GOD doesn't see the Good Deeds, of others that are done in the Public SportLight... He has said, that those, "Who blow their own Horns" have already gotten the acclaim, they were looking for...... He DOES see those Deeds, that are done in Secret, and in Private, and to those who just need a Helping Hand, on occasion... and when it comes time for those who have "Received" to give Back, to another, who has a Need of a Good Deed..... He records those Deeds on "The Book of Life" which ALL Men will be judged from, on the Day of Reckoning..... My belief... YMMV.....
    Sapper John, Yard Dart and KAS like this.
  16. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    A little off topic, but one of my favorite bumper stickers is;

    Jesus is coming!
    Hurry, look busy.
    BTPost likes this.
  17. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    The original thread was about a man who posed as a homeless street person and was rejected by those who claimed to be Jesus's disciples. The meaning was if we claim to be like him (Jesus) then we should in deed be like him. Everything else is hypocrisy.

    The word says straight is the gate and narrow the way that leads to eternal life and "few" there are that enter therein. The obvious lessons from Jesus's parables is that we never truly know just who those people are. We might guess by the evidence but can only know for ourselves.

    Because tares (false believers), cares of the world and a multitude of other teachings, religions, other things can deceive us to follow another path. God does however leave the door open to whoever will come through Christ. That is the difference between Christianity and worldly religions.

    In Christianity God reaches out to man and offers spiritual freedom and eternal life while worldly religions try to compete for that prize, which, they can never really earn. It's freely given to anybody who will receive it, God's way, by God's rules.
survivalmonkey SSL seal warrant canary