New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 23, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Finding the right kind of motivation
If you had the chance to spend an hour in* heaven or an hour in hell, which would you choose? Based on my experience having asked this question to groups over the years, most people say that an hour spent in hell would be a highly motivational experience. Other than the hour many spend in some churches each Sunday morning, it’s hard to imagine any place other than hell in which to spend more than an hour, let alone eternity.
In other words, an hour spent in hell would motivate you to live for God because you would want and accept anything else because all other options would have to be better than the “lake of fire.” You might embrace something better than hell but not as good as God.
Personally, I think an hour in heaven would be far more motivating for me. While golden streets and crystal seas don’t excite me, I do salivate over the unimagined possibilities that only exist in the mind and presence of God. In other words, an hour spent with God in any limitless form would be so intensely satisfying and intoxicating that I wouldn’t want to settle for anything less - and all other options would be embarrassingly inferior.
Since neither a virtual tour of celestial bliss nor a harrowing journey to the depths of hell is readily available, what other means of motivation exist to turn people on to God? It seems safe to say that anything related to the end of the world or the coming of Jesus tends to perk up the attention of most everyone.
I’ve found that while much interest can be generated about “millenium minutia,” the real focus of attention zeroes in on the timetable of such events. Attempting to determine a chronology has produced many books that are quickly consumed in a shallow and spiritually starved market. I guess if people could just know either when Jesus will return, the earth will end, or any number of other uninformed possibilities will occur, they would be sufficiently motivated to “get serious with God.”
I’ve challenged groups over the years with the question, “If you knew Jesus was coming at 6 p.m. this evening, how would your life change?” In one group, as if on cue, a young man fell to his knees, raised his hands sky- • ward and shouted, “Lord, save me!” Humorous as this is, it reflects the position most people assume when posed with that possibility.
I’d like to think that if I knew when Jesus would return, that I’d change nothing about my life. Shouldn’t I already be spending much time with God in prayer and Bible reading? Shouldn’t I already be actively sharing Jesus with people in my life who don’t know Him? Shouldn’t the priorities in my life already reflect God as the one I love with all my heart, soul, strength and mind?
Being caught with one’s spiritual pants down is not a problem to those who are in love with Jesus.
(Tim Judkins will be speaking on “Christians Can't, Won’t and Don lf Have Fun ” this week at the Contemporary service at First Protestant Church.)Religion
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A special Dedication Celebration took place on Sunday, June 11, at the Freedom Fellowship Church, located at 410 Timber Hollow off Texas 46 West, Pictured are Pete Meckel, Pastor Dennis Gallaher and Gary Osborn. Services are 10:30 a.m. Sunday. For information, call 625-1288.
Speaker, garage sale slated
David Runion-Bairford from the Biblical Witness Fellowship will speak at the Good Shepherd Evangelical Church, 910 Timmermann Rd. in Seguin this coming weekend.
On July 15, the church will host its multi-family church garage sale and barbecue sandwich sale at the residence of Wanda and Meta Timmermann in Geronimo. Proceeds will go toward the church building fund.
Club Vines hosts C.L.O.V.E.
C.L.O.VE., a modem-alternative band, will be performing at Club Vines at 8 p.m. this Saturday. Club Vines, a Christian nightclub located at 453 W. San Antonio St. just off the Main Plaza, is geared for the young and the young at heart. Admission is
free as well as the games (including foosball, Ping-Pong, air hocky, board games and more). Tile purpose of Club Vines, according to manager Rick Ruhl, is “to provide a place for Christians and non-Christians to be able to come in, listen to music, play games, and have a safe environment.”
Club Vines is sponsored by Mercy House Ministries of New Braunfels. For more information, visit their web site at www.club-vines.com.
Universalists hear star speaker
The Unitarian Universalists will hear Bob Keyser with the New Braunfels Astronomy Club give a stellar presentation on nighttime displays on Wednesday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Faith United Church of Christ at 907 Loop 337. Everyone is invited. Child care is provided. For information, call 625-7004.
Cross Lutheran pair attends convention
Rev. Don Fraker and John Snell, pastor and member of Cross Lutheran Church recently participated in the 55th Convention of the Texas District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS). The convention took place at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center, Astrodome, in Houston on June 15-18.
Under the banner theme, “Good News ... for Each Generation of Every Nation,” convention delegates re-elected the Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick to his fourth term as President of the Texas District. Rev. James Cinderman of Austin was re-elected as Area Vice President.
Among the resolutions debated and approved were those that
Ballet troupe finds God in performance
By RICHARD VARA
HOUSTON — Marie Plauche-Gustin follows God every step of her way — whether it’s a glissade or a dessus.
Gustin is the founder of Bere’sheet Ballet, a 14-woman liturgical dance company that recently performed a new ballet inspired by visions that flashed before her eyes during prayer more than 20 years ago.
Bere’sheet — Hebrew for “In the beginning ... ” and the first words of the book of Genesis — reflects the new physical, emotional and spiritual beginnings in life that the company provides.
“Everyone in the company has had to start over in their lives in some significant areas,” Gustin said of her dancers, whose average age is 45. “We as dancers know how therapeutic dance is, especially when you are working out issues with God.”
Melinda Mosley Mundy was entranced by Gustin’s 1992 Easter pageant performance as a mute woman who could express her love for God only in signing and dance.
“When she came and I watched her, I knew the Lord was calling me to do that,” said Mosley, a mother of two. At age 30, when most ballerinas are hanging up their ballet slippers, Mosley was just learning exercises at the barre.
“It was very tough, one of the hardest things I have ever done,”
she said of Gustin’s combination of classical ballet, modem dance, signing for the deaf and Israeli folk dancing. But dance provided blessed relief during one of Mosley’s grimmest years.
“In 1995,1 was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through major chemotherapy for almost a year. Dance really saved my life. I kept going. I missed very few rehearsals. It was like fighting for my life.”
“It is not just a dance company where we come together and work hard,” Mosley said, “but we pray for each other, care for each other. If you come in down, by the time you leave your spirit is lifted.”
Gustin slowly introduced liturgical dance into the Baptist church she then attended. But eventually, church officials resisted.
Liturgical dance is still rejected by many churches that believe it is inappropriate. But the Old Testament exhorts worship of God through music and dance, she said.
“Jesus probably danced,”
Gustin said. “He was Jewish, and dancing was completely part of his culture. Jewish men had their dances, and the women had their dances.”
And although she has no male students, Gustin believes that men are very receptive to the danced Word. “In The Genesis Ballet, the people who were touched the most and ministered to the most were the men,” she said.
encouraged expansion of ministry to Jewish people; addressed the looming professional church workers shortage; offered continued commitment for Hispanic Ministry; reaffirmed the Lutheran position on justification; and addressed the issues of women’s roles in the church. Delegates also tackled the difficult issue of church fellowship. Lutherans are currently struggling with how to officially relate to other Christian church bodies.
The Texas District is among the largest of the districts of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. Its headquarters are in Austin and encompasses 352 ministries throughout the state.
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