Family Shows

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October 5, 2016

 

Family Shows

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone,

and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

 

Two to three decades ago television viewers were treated to a number of highly rated family shows with clever titles that conveyed more than one meaning. If you raised your children then, or were being raised then, you recall how the shows connected with issues in your family. But they still ring true now twenty to thirty years later for a different reason: they mirror concerns facing the church family as well.

In Family Ties, much of the comedy arose from the different political and economic views between the parents and their children. The Keatons navigated the inter-generational differences. with understanding and patience. Successful churches learn to do likewise as they energize their traditions and the wisdom of experience with the zeal and optimism of youth.

Family Matters (both noun and verb) gave us Steve Urkel, the nerd next door who could be low on common sense and social skills, but scored highly on sincerity and genuine care. Every congregation has a few Steves to nudge them out of their comfort zone and to see things from a different angle. The Winslow family’s acceptance of Steve showed that family is not just who you are related to, but who matters to you.

Step-by-Step showed us the classic blended family, bringing together youth and adults who grew with different backgrounds and experiences. They learned to understand and accept each other as brothers and sisters who shared the same Lambert family name.  In our church family growth in spirit and number requires openness to those different from us. For in our shared baptism, we are all adopted into one name: Jesus. We are the ultimate blended family, as Paul wrote of the Gentiles’ relationship to the Jews. “In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ”. Eph. 2:13

Home Improvement wasn’t about improving the house or the car, but the Taylor family. They learned that “more power” was not always the answer, but rather serving and listening to one another.  This usually happened when Tim, the head of the household, sought the guidance of his mentor, the half-hidden neighbor Wilson who peered over the back yard fence. Likewise, Church Improvement happens when leaders seek the wisdom of God, partially visible in Christ, who shares His Word and Spirit with all who ask.

Like program titles above, the title of this article also has another meaning. The Christian family shows—it shows up.  Whether it’s your home or church family, its members are there for each other in time of need.  When there is work to do and sacrifices to make, the family shows up to pitch and get it done. Anything that works in your family do in your church; and if it doesn’t work in your family, don’t imagine that it will work in your church.

Human nature being what it is, we always have the same needs, and all relationships play by the same rules.  Christ sacrificed himself to save all people and to heal all relationships.  His Spirit gathers and keeps us as the household of God, the family of faith. Regularly worship with the saints, meditate on the Word, pray through Christ, and feast on His sacrament. By doing so we can improve our family ties, step by step, because Family matters.

Pastor Tom Konz

Pastor Tom Konz

 

Revealing Speech

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January 27, 2016 

Revealing Speech

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34 

Words reveal much more than just what they mean.  The tone, the direction (to whom one speaks), and their content tell us much about the person speaking them. As to our tone, for example, anger and impatience are revealed by scornful words spoken with a high degree of frustration. It’s not hard to tell, most of the time, what emotions are erupting by the words chosen and how they are spoken. The tone of our words reveals, in real time, our emotional state.

Less obvious is how the direction and content of words reveals ongoing character. How people talk about others in their absence is how they will talk about you in your absence. Those of good character will be charitable in their assessment of others when they are not there. Any complaints they have toward others, they will speak directly to them. However, less charitable people will talk about others “behind their back.”  It is best not even to listen to them, for if they speak negatively about others to you, then they will speak negatively about you to others.

People also reveal their character simply in what they talk about.  If they are the only subject of their monologue, they reveal an insecure or narcissistic person. Whatever they talk about most of the time, whether trivial or monumental, reveals what they think about most of the time. Do their words reveal disturbing priorities, unfair and uninformed biases, or lack of trust in God or in the good of other people?  You can tell enough about them if you listen enough to them.

It is good to ask yourself, “What do I reveal about my character by what I say, to whom I say it, how I say it?”  An honest answer to that question may reveal a heart that is not pleasing to God or to others.   We all fail, at times, to speak in ways that edify others and glorify God. But thanks be to God, in Christ, he renews us with grace.  Remember His words:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John  1:9   and   Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10.

If our hearts are clean, our words will be also.

Pastor Tom Konz

Pastor Tom Konz

Our Mission

                

Our Mission: Drawing everyday people to faithfully follow God’s Word

Our goal is that every church member of FAITH …

Feed on God’s Word –

Actively engage in church and community –

Immerse yourself in prayer –

Tell your faith story –

Hold each other accountable –