Equipping For Serving

  • Friday, January 13, 2012

  • Back in the day, we called it "Going Cheap." Today I think it would be called, "Going Green." If you visit our home, you will notice that we live with lots of furniture bearing the "patina of life." Each well-worn piece has its own story to tell. (Linda worries that I will bore you by telling their story for them. :-)

    We learned the value and promise of furnishing a home with reclamation pieces from the example and coaching of Pastor Moore. Our meager possessions, after five years of Bible college, were far from sufficient to outfit our first parsonage. But Pastor Dewey and his wife, Ruth, proudly displayed their amazing collection of beautifully restored antiques. Most were either hand-me-downs from church members or rescued from the trash before the refuse truck hauled them away. So thirty-eight years ago, Pastor Dewey taught us the basic principles of restoring the broken and discarded and making them useful for service.

    The Household of God is well-furnished with the "patina of life." God has graciously and miraculously rescued, restored, refurbished and renewed lives that were broken and discarded. Paul describes these as "trophies of grace." God has taken what was no longer useable and "equipped us for His service." His grace is making us useful again. He is doing this work in His world through His Word in His Church!

    In the corner of our living stands our pride and joy. The grand wardrobe cabinet has an amazing story to tell. We went northwest of G-burg to the Puhls' farm auction. The merchandise to be sold was remarkable for its age and its variety. We were optimistic that we would successfully outbid others for some select piece to "equip." We were wrong. The number of collectors and dealers present blew the prices out of the budget of this Baptist preacher. And the one piece we had set our hearts on shocked us the most. Bound together with bailing twine, nearly black because of its aged varnish finish, it attracted numerous bidders. Its price quickly blitzed $100 and it was finally sold to an elderly gentleman wearing bottle-top glasses. We concluded he simply did not know what he bought. Until...

    Six months later we visited a neighbor's backyard barn. As the in-laws surveyed his inventory of restored antiques, Linda and I were stopped in our tracks. There stood the grand wardrobe cabinet. It was a gorgeous golden oak masterpiece, fully restored to its original beauty, but now with an incredible story to tell. Seeing our love for it, he offered it to us at a steal.

    The household of the Lord, which is what we are as the Church, is marvelously furnished with reclaimed discards, masterfully reclaimed and restored. We who were totally useless are being mended for His glorious use. We are being "equipped."

    "For we are His workmanship, created (recreated!) in Christ Jesus for good works..." Ephesians 2:10

    We were going cheap...rather...we are going "green." In the corner of our living room today stands a masterpiece with its own story to tell!

    See you Sunday, Church!
    Pastor Tom 


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