Chronicles From The Deep South, Volume 3.


Yesterday I attended the church I went to when we lived here 10 years ago.  Right before we moved to Dallas, the church went through a difficult phase.  A popular, young assoicate pastor was leaving to form his own church and taking a significant part of the church leadership with him.  He got on John MacArthur’s bandwagon on 1 John 1:9 (a contrarian position MacArthur later had to defend before a church council) and decided to push the elder board on it, and they wished him well.  He left, and in effect damaged the senior pastor’s credibility along the way.

Those that stayed then split into two camps:  Those who weren’t confident in the pastor’s leadership and wanted to oust him so they could stay in the building they “mortgaged their homes” to build, and those who wanted to sell the property and buy land further out in the growing suburban landscape.  The latter camp would’ve stayed if the first group were willing to be a part of sweeping change, racially mixing the congregation to balance the racially mixing surrounding neighborhood…and I can assure you, that was NOT about to happen even in early ’90’s Alabama.

Tracy and I were supporters of the senior pastor, a good man and solid teacher.  But about the time the sale of the land was completed, we moved to Dallas.  The church built on their new land and things looked promising.

That’s why I was sad to see that only about 50 or so people were in the seats on Sunday morning.  Despite very solid Biblical instruction, the church was dying a slow death.  I was one of the youngest people there.  Making matters even worse was the reality that there were two new churches on the same street that were parking cars on the lawns and had large playgrounds outside–obvious signs of growth.  The whole experience (besides hearing an excellent–even if 50 minutes long–sermon) reinforced my belief that a church’s methods must be relevant to the culture they are in…and open to the generation behind the current one, too.  A lesson every church needs to be cognizant of.

Then I had a fantastic lunch with my in-laws.  My brother-in-law and I chatted about life and I got to hear what Tracy’s parents were up to, which included a potential trip to New Mexico for their annual balloon festival in the fall.  My sister-in-law was primarily involved in riding herd over my neice, who is as cute as she can be with the look of (Raising Arizona reference upcoming) an outlaw.  She’s a mess. Cute, but definitely a mess.  My nephew was busy doing push-ups to get in shape for his first season of tackle football later this month.

Afternoon thunderstorms rained out my Sunday night possibility of going to the local minor league baseball team’s home game.  I was hoping to pay $6 for the box seats and sit by the dugout and watch the Barons, but there was actually damage to the outfield walls done by the storm, so they’re going to play two tonight.  I won’t be going.

My mom was kind of worried about her chemotherapy session that starts today so we more or less sat around, chatting and watching television.  She and her husband are faithful watchers of shows I never knew existed (Some show called Studio 7), and I couldn’t take any more of bad tv shows so I suggested watching this show called The Days on ABC which shows promise after only two episodes…it’s actually pretty good, and my mom liked it and laughed…taking her mind off the upcoming day, which was nice.

I’m developing a cold, too.  Not to worry.  I picked up the greatest pre-emptive strike against colds ever, Cold-Eeze.  Some sort of zinc thing…but it works for me like crazy. 

Chemo chronicles tomorrow.