Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lock Up!

I was struck by an idea the other day as I was locking the gate. Actually, locking and unlocking things is a large part of my life now. This is different. I grew up in a small town in Texas, and to the best of my memory we never locked our doors. In Colorado, even when we lived in the bad part of Denver, we did not lock our doors (I told Denise that the people from our neighborhood drove to the suburbs to steal stuff...none of our neighbors would think we had anything--cuz we didn't). Then, in Virginia, we lived in the country in the middle of three acres of woods. When the builder finished our house, he gave us keys to it. Seven years later, when we were going to try and sell it before moving here, our realtor asked us for the keys to put in a lock box. Neither Denise nor I knew where they were. We had never locked the doors before. We found them in the laundry room drawer where we had put them seven years earlier. However, now, there are locks on everything. Headlights are held in place with welded in straps, spare tires are locked on the roof of the vehicle, there are locks on the gates, locks on the doors inside the gates, and locks on the houses. I feel like an elementary school custodian with a key ring the size of a softball. Four keys for my truck and accessories, two keys for my gates, two keys for our storage rooms, two keys for the doors, two keys for the SIM Guesthouse, two keys for the language school gate and door, and three keys for the motorcycle and two chains to bolt it in place when it is parked. Everyday I have keys, keys, keys.

So, what did I think of? I thought of Matthew 16.

"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." (Mat 16:18-19)

As believers, we are called to be on the offensive. We are to storm the gates of hades! But....we can't knock the gates down...that's okay...we don't have to! Like the steel gate in the middle of my concrete wall....it is indestructible to my force, that is until I put a key in the lock and open it. Even my five year old can open the gate with the kay. Now...look back at that passage.
There are gates of hades (plural), and keys (plural).

My kids will do this. They will need to go outside, or get in the truck, or unlock the motorcycle chain...whatever, they just need to open a lock. They will grab my keyring and spend five minutes trying in vain to open a lock. Then they wise up. They bring the keyring to me and ask me which key fits the particular lock that they are working on.

What an insight. As we seek to expand the Kingdom Of God, we will encounter gate after gate and lock after lock. We know by faith that God has given us the keys, but we simply don't have the wisdom to find the right key. We can just camp at the gate, or try in frustrated effort to force the lock, or we can do this. When we come to a gate that we can't get open, we just need to ask God which key fits it!

The doors are locked, but the keys are in our hand. Lets storm the gates, open the locks, and defeat the enemy as we set the captives free!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

An English Song In A Spanish Church

After the worship (see below) and before the play, they called the kiddos on stage to sing a song in English...just to be nice to them.

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One Of The Reasons I Love My Church!

Our church recently had a children's program. Right before the actual program, they decided to have a time of worship with the kids. Faith was called up, unexpectedly, on the stage to help lead it. Here you can see the kids having a great time, singing in Spanish, and being a little goofy. Watch the whole thing to see Ben and Caleb in the salsa. :)

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