Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Bloody Way

One guy was beating up another guy maybe 50 feet away from me. It was a dark alley in Chicago. I was frozen with indecision. What should I do? It was probably just two winos squabbling over a bottle of Ripple. If I venture down there to intercede they’ll probably end up turning on me. It was none of my business. I’m not a cop. What should I do?

??

I was reminded of this situation this morning as we looked at the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. We observed that choosing to get involved in the lives of others often involves:

??

•?Risk – the road from Jerusalem to Jericho was known as “The bloody Way” because of all the robberies and violence that occurred along its winding path. Good Sam was setting himself up to be ambushed by stopping to help the latest victim. Yet he stopped anyway. He was a gutsy fellow. I admire that.

??

•?Personal Involvement – Good Sam got down and dirty; he likely got himself muddy and bloody caring for this guy. He could have easily ignored him like the priest and Levite did but he chose not to.
?
?•?Time – this was certainly an unplanned crimp in his schedule. He invested hours into the life of this unfortunate stranger. He knew that people are more important than punctuality. I suppose it’s an obvious truth that helping others is going to take time.

??

•?Money – two silver coins, about two days wages, was his investment in caring for this man he didn’t even know. About zero chance of ever being repaid or even being thanked. Its one thing to lighten your wallet for a friend, a totally another to lose cash on a complete stranger.

??

How much of a difference could we make in our communities, in our schools, in our work places if we daily made the choice to love our neighbor – without holding back because of risk, time or money?? How might God reveal Himself to us in new and wonderful ways if we lived with abandon toward others??

??

Some 28 years ago on that city street I quickly ran across the street to the police station and reported to the desk officer what was taking place. He never looked up from his newspaper, never made eye contact with me, never gave the slightest indication that he planned to act upon my crime report. Somewhat puzzled I walked back to my dorm room, thankful that it wasn’t me getting kicked and punched in that dark alley.

??

Peace,
?Dave

???

Left Behind?? Yikes!

I was in junior high and high school during the 70’s. Watergate, Disco, the Bicentennial, the very first Star Wars movie, listening to Chicago, Doobie Brothers and Kansas on WLS – AM, disaster movies and the Iran hostage crisis were the back drop for my coming of age. (That probably explains a lot about me, doesn’t it??!!)

??

But in the subculture of Christianity the 70’s was the era of getting freaked out thinking about the return of Jesus Christ. Bible prophecy was the rage – conferences, sermon series, revivals all hit hard on the rapture and the book of Revelation. The film A Thief in the Night gave nightmares to me and my friends – it scared the tar out of us! I remember coming home from school a couple of different times finding no one home but the TV was on and the doors unlocked and I was sure that I had been left behind – the rapture occurred and I was left by myself to face the Antichrist! I remember sitting around the campfire singing “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” and getting goose bumps. We were scared straight most of the time – you don’t want to be caught taking a puff on a cigarette or a swig of beer or peeking at a Playboy when Jesus appears in the clouds!

??

What got my thinking about this was my Scripture reading for today. I was sitting at my kitchen table reading Matthew 24 (go check it out). It’s one giant warning about being ready for the imminent return of Jesus. As I was reading it occurred to me that I cannot remember the last time I thought about the return of Christ. His possible return hasn’t motivated me to share the good news or avoid sin for a long time. Wow. I think that’s not good. I think I need to be thinking about that a lot more often.

??

How about you?

??

Peace,
?Dave

?

Dave Needs To Calm Down! (Or Maybe Not)

?I love our church. I am so glad to be a part of the ACC family and the work God is doing here. In this busy fall season I am pumped! Let me share just a few reasons why:

??

•?I talked on the phone last night to a person who was a first time visitor with us this past Sunday. She went on and on about what a great experience that her and her family had with us. They had never been so well received and welcomed in a church before. One woman went out of her way after the service to introduce herself and invited them to come back again. I am so grateful for that person who reached out to these new people – I know who she is and I’m sending her a thank you note today!

??

•?High school youth group kicked off last night with a tailgate party and bonfire. They had a huge turn out, with about half the teens being brand new to the group! There was a real energy and enthusiasm in their being together. Chris Modrzejewski and his team anticipate a fun and fruitful school year ahead.

??

•?Jim and Su Ray are the new Awana commanders and after receiving training themselves, turned around and gave training to our workers – teaching how to share the good news of Jesus with children. How cool is that?

??

•?MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) kicked off last week with a many new moms and tons of kids!! All the behind the scenes work that Marie Brannigan and her team put in was very evident.

??

•?Last night at the visitation for Jay Garnett, I saw so many folks from ACC there to pay their respects and to bring their love and support to the grieving family. It was neat to see.

??

•?In a recent conversation with a guy who crossed the line of faith a few weeks ago, he shared, “Dave, you were right. I can’t believe the difference it has made too commit my life to Christ!” He is also signed up to be in a growth group. Good stuff.

??

•?Last Sunday morning Carol Rech left her duties in between services to go all the way to downtown Arlington Heights to give a ride to church to a woman new to ACC. Carol was happy to go out of her way for her and that rocks!

??

•?We have more new people signed up for this Sunday’s Welcome Lunch than ever before! Let’s pray God leads them to make us their new church home.

??

•?This past Sunday we had a monster sized offering – the generosity of our people is very exciting!

??

I could go on, but you get my point – God is doing a great work here! I hear stories of changed lives all the time. Are you on board? Have found your niche yet? DO NOT MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A PIECE OF THE ACTION!!!

??

Peace,
?Dave

??