Sunday, December 30, 2007

Updated Family Photo

I've updated our family photo. The previous phot on this blog was taken almost three years ago. Wow! The children grow so quickly. in this Christmas photo Lydia is 21, Hannah is 19, Elijah is almost 15, Abram is 13, Noah is 10, Isaac is 8, and Faith is almost 6.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Double Fence

Church unity is fine as an idea, but it is another thing entirely when we deal with application. I read this story recently, and it illustrates my point well:
“Between two farms near Valleyview, Alberta, you can find two parallel fences, only two feet apart, running one-half mile. Two farmers, Paul and Oscar, had a disagreement that erupted into a feud. Paul wanted to build a fence and split the cost, but Oscar refused. Since he wanted to keep cattle on his land, Paul built the fence anyway.
“After the fence was completed, Oscar said to Paul, ‘I see we have a fence.’ ‘What do you mean, ‘We?’ Paul asked. ‘I had the property surveyed and built the fence two feet into my land,’ Paul continued. ‘Some of my land is outside the fence, and if I see your cows trespassing, I’ll shoot them.’ Oscar knew Paul was serious, so when he eventually chose to use his land next to Paul’s for pasture, he was forced to build a fence two feet away.”
Unity in practice is time-consuming, costly, distracting and difficult at best to attain. It means sacrificing our preferences and desires. So why bother? Before Jesus was arrested, he prayed, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23 NIV).
Unity in practice is sometimes painful, and it does mean we must sometimes give up our preferences, tastes and traditions. So why bother? “…to reach out daily with a growing heart to heaven, home, and humanity near and far.” Unity at Trinity is of utmost importance. Several factors present both the challenge and the blessing of striving together for unity in our congregation. We have the blessing and the challenge of two ministry sites. We have the blessing and the challenge of ministries that take our efforts in different directions on a daily basis. We have the blessing and challenge of combining resources of people, facilities, finances, and energy with people who are come at life from different perspectives.
The last thing we need is a double fence built in any of our ministries. I am always encouraged when I see the wonderful cooperative working of God’s people at Trinity. I look forward to a new year of building unity and working together to share God’s love with our community.