New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 10, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
■ HeraJd-Zertung ■ Friday, March 10. I995
t|B To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about Church Life. cai! 625-9144. ext 21.
H e i
Simple is the greatest truth of all
Former Princeton Seminary professor Samuel Moffett recently told a group of Presby terian leaders a erne story every preacher should hear Years ago. he said. a theology professor from Yale visited a mission rn North Korea. One of the things this Christian educator wanted to do during his junket was to preach in a country congregation, so the mission provided him with an interpreter and sent him off to a church meeting rn a rural Korean village When it came time for the sermon, the professor stood up and said to his waiting listeners. “All thought is divided into two categories, the concrete and the abstract.”
Dr. Moffett says, ‘The Korean interpreter looked at the tiny congregation sitting with eager attention on the floor of the little church—toothless grandmothers, barefoot schoolboys— and made a quick decision " “Dear friends,” he translated for the professor. “I have come all the way from Amen ca to tell you about the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Fortunately, the peasant members of that little church that day heard a clear statement of the gospel, and never once suspected what the learned professor thought he was telling them
Some of us who preach on this side of the ocean need an interpreter like that, don’t we? We need somebody who can translate the musty theology and the doctnna! hair-splitting in our Sunday sermonizing into simple truths that will help everyday people to find God's grace in Monday's marketplace.
When the famous theologian Karl Barth was an old man, he spoke one day to a group of seminarians A gaggle of preachers-to-be.
One of the wannabe clergymen buttonholed the great teacher after his speech. “Dr. Barth,” he asked with starry eyes, “in all your years of research and theological study, what is the greatest truth you have discovered7”
Expecting Dr Barth to launch into an abstruse, complicated dissertation on some weighty topic, the student was stunned by the old man s answer “The most important thing I’ve learned is this," Dr Barth smiled And then shocked the expectant students by reciting. “Jesus loves mc This I know, for the Bible tells me so .”
Could any Christian preacher say it better7
(Gene Shelburne is a pastor in Amarillo, Texas J
A God With Skin On
This last year or so. Jan and I have been fortunate enough to travel around the U.S. working with churches and their Family Intimacy programs It has been the fulfillment of a lifelong goal. Besides the joy that comes from doing something that really matters are the added benefits of staying at nice hotels, eating out a: fine restaurants and being with the many people that think you know a lot more than you actually do and treat you accordingly .
Life oo the road has been grand. Oh sure, there are the hassles of scheduling, arranging for the care of our tads. and the inevitable pile of mail to deal with on the other end. but I will gladly take the trade-off. Traveling for us has become one of life’s little pleasures.
I was beginning to think that it was a tough lifestyle to beat. .After all. being the pastor of a small church can be limiting Part of the enjoyment in flying here and there has been that my impact is much greater than before. And dealing with people problems on a day-to-day basis
can be. .well. you know But then Tuesday night the phone rang It w as about I OOO and so I turned up the answering machine to see if it was really necessary to pick it up. .An old friend was calling from las car phone Things had not been coing well and life had crashed in around him. Could I meet him. he asked W ould I mind if he came for a little visit?
The night w ore on past midnight and w e talked He confessed sin. and I forgave. He wept and my heart broke with his. He made plans to rebuild and I encouraged him He tried to pick up the pieces of brokenness and foolish living, and I said no. let me.
I was reminded again of w hat I was called to do. Beyond preaching or witting, beyond flying here and there, bey ond the things that bring the pat on the back. I am called to walk alongside those who are hurting .those w ho need a friend And I’m really no different than you. Really, I'm not “Weep with those who weep ”
It is the simplest of exhortations to all w ho are called children of God Written to the persecuted church at Rome by Paul, it was instructions on how to love with great practicality.
Yet how often we complicate our mission of
walking with one another How often we muddy the crystal clear waters of refreshing love with answers to questions not asked and criticism to the already emotionally battered.
A little boy w akes late at night afraid of the dark He y ells for his father to come and comfort him His father, absorbed in the adult world, yells hack to the boy, ‘‘Don’t be afraid son. God is with you." To which the boy promptly replies. “I know God is with me.
Dad But right now I need a God with skin on!”
To w eep with those w ho w eep means to allow God to demonstrate His great compassion through you. It means that you are called to be “God with skin on” to someone who desperately needs you to walk alongside for while.
But we get caught up in being able to give the right answers, don’t we? And it is the least important things that are most often given at times of trouble. Think about it. When you are hurting, are you really looking for a good logical reason for your pain? Are you looking for a well-constructed excuse that would explain why things happened?
Others, like Job's friends, are convinced that criticism of a person’s behavior is w hat will straighten things out. And then there is the silent response. With a quick shrug of the
shoulders, some dismiss emotional pain by simply refusing to acknowledge it.
But anyone can care. Anyone can walk alongside and listen. Anyone can weep with those w ho weep. The equation would look like this:
In other words, the best way to minister to emotional pain is to respond with emotions. Not logic, reason, criticism, or silence. Simply put w eep with those who weep.
Christianity works best when those of us who claim it really use it. I’ve decided that the trips and nice hotels and accolades from those who think I’m really somebody are nice, but they really don’t touch lives like weeping with a friend w ho has made a mess of his life. Because what most people need is not another pat answer but someone to come alongside and care.
What most people really need. in other w ords, is a God with skin on.
(Dennis Galiaher is pastor of Freedom Fellowship Church of New Braunfels )
Larsen to speak at breakfast
Author of 23 books to speak at Founders’ Day Breakfast event
Fro"" sta*4 reocrs
On March 21. the Founders’
Day Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, will feature the internationally known inspirational Rev. Or. speaker Rev. Dr Lanten Bruce Larson Dr
Larson has authored 23 books, three of which were co-authorcd by Keith Miller
Some of his most recent titles are Living Beyond Our Fears The Presence, Faith for the Journey, and A Call to Holy Lung His newest book is What God Wants to Know
Dr Larval has degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, Boston University, Eastern College, and Seattle Pacific University.
After serving churches in Binghamton, New York and Pana. Illinois, he began a conference ministry for the para-church organization Faith ai Work In 1973, he began a research project on human wholeness, funded by the Lillcy Endowment and administered through Princeton Theological Seminary In 1980, he returned to full-time parish ministry work as Senior Pastor of University Presbyterian Church in Seattle During his 10-year ministry. God increased “membership” by 100% and ”giv mg" by 500%. Participation in overseas
St. Jo—ph’s Chapel
Th# Knights of Columbus will feature St. Joseph s Chapel in their historic New Braunfels Site Tour, April 1,2 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Children s Center and Comal Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The Chapel, located on FM 482, can easily be found by taking exit 180 on 1-35. The site was begun in the 1860s for school and weekly religious services. Advanced tickets are $8 and $10 on both days through Lee Bailey (606-0657), China-N-Things. Henne Hardware, NB Coffee, Heratd-Zeitung and The Cottage in Gruene.
Sis. Peter A Paul
The Knights of Columbus will feature Sts. Peter A Paul in their historic New Braunfels Site Tour, April 1,2 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Children s Center end Comal Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The oak tree next to the church ie where the first Mass was held when the settlers arrived. The church is on lot #252 as granted by German Emmigration Co., can be found at the comer of N. Casted end Bridge St Advanced tickets are $8 end $10 on both days through Lee Bailey (606-0657). China-N-Things, Henne Hardware, NB Coffee. Heratd-Zeitung and The Cottage in Gruene.
ministry and cross-cultural missions exploded.
In 1990, Dr Larson accepted a copastor position at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California (founded by Dr Robert Schuller). In March of 1994. he became the Minis-ter-at-Largc for the Cry stal Cathedral In addition to his pastoral ministry , Dr
Larson serves on the Boards of: Seattle Association for Theological Education, Northwest Oncology Foundation. Habitat for Humanity, and Christian Conciliation Services of Puget Sound He is the founding Academic Dean of the International School of Christian Communication, and an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary
The people of New Braunfels will appreciate the caliber of speaker represented by Dr Larson as the keynote speaker for the Founders' Day Prayer Breakfast which will begin at 7 a m Tickets arc SIO per person and can be purchased at the Chamber. Sis Peter Sc Paul Catholic Church. St Paul Lutheran Church, First Protestant Church,
and New Braunfels Presbyterian Church (located on Howard St.). The Chamber is encouraging group purchases by churches, clubs, businesses, friends and families In consideration of the historical significance of the prayer breakfast, a sellout crowd is expected, therefore, buy your tickets early.Area briefs
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k:FUMC pre—citing L—t— luncheons —eh Friday
Every Fnday during Lent, First United Methodist Church will present the Lenten Community Lunches from 12 151245pm These arc ecumenical services for the entire community and will be held in Wesley Hall, located in the back of the church off of Mill Street On Fnday, March 17, the guest speaker will be Msgr Eugene (^Callaghan of Sis. Peter Sc Paul Catholic C hurch of New Braunfels Everyone is asked to bring a sack lunch and the church will provide beverages For more information, call 625-4513.MICA itudifdt to el—it I.—ma Parti
Today, students from New Braunfels Chnstian Academy will be contnbuting their time to clean and spruce up
Landa Park in anticipation of New Braunfels’ 150th birthday Celebration Their jobs will include washing and waxing the antique fire engine, polishing the plaques surrounding Founders’ Oak and lots of general cleaning.
This work will benefit our community and give the students a real sense of pride and accomplishment.Ray. Higgins to spook of FUMC Lorton luncheon
Rev Daryl Higgins, minister of First Protestant Church, will be the guest speaker at the “Community Lenten Lunch” today.
The ecumenical lunches, sponsored by First United Methodist Church, will take place every Fnday dunng Lent from 12 15-12 45 p m Everyone is asked to bong a sack lunch and the church will provide beverages The lunches will take place in Wesley Hall, located on the back side of First United Methodist Church off of Mill Street. For more information. call 625-4513.Tho Appointment1 to bo featured at Calvary Baptist
“The Appointment," one of the most widely used Chnstian films in the country with nearly 5000 showings, will be shown at Calvary Baptist Church (23K6 San Antonio St,) on this evening, at 7 p m.
It’s the story of Liz Watson, who writes a series of anti-God and anti-church cditonals for her news magazineSt. Ann's Christian Mothers to rn—t Thursday, March 16
St. Ann's Chnstian Mothers Altar Society will meet on Thursday. March 16 at 2 pm in the Knights of Columbus Hall
For more information, call Elsie Kneupper at 625-5568Dallas Christian College Choir to perform Saturday
The membership of Community Chnstian Church is
pleased to announce the Dallas Chnstian College Concert Choir will be performing Saturday evening, March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Oak Run Elementary School on Highway 46 west
The DCC Concert Choir is tounng south Texas dunng their spnng break and will be in San Antonio on Sunday at Castle Hills Chnstian Church.
Dallas Chnstian College is a four-year undergraduate school specializing in the training of men and women for ministry and missions work Community Chnstian Church is presently meeting at the Oak Run Elementary School and is in die process of building the first phase fo their new worship facility on the comer of Bnarbend and Old McQuecny Rd.
All in attendance will be blessed and encouraged, not only be the beauty of the music and talent of the choir, but more importantly, by the strenth and power of the Lord presented in song For more information, call the church office at 62<F 7174 or 629-0663