Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life
Devotional: August 24th
The North American Christian Convention is an annual convention for the Independent Christian Churches, or, as we are known to the government, the undenominational fellowship of the churches of Christ and Christian Churches instrumental. Usually there is one convention held in one city somewhere in the forty-eight contiguous states. However, this year was different. Three conventions were being held at three separate locations. The Corona, California and Lexington, Kentucky conventions have already been held. The Jacksonville, Florida convention is yet to come.
While one of the hallmarks of the convention is the proliferation of great men of God who speak authoritatively on various subjects, the convention is really about people; the people of God getting together and renewing old friendships while creating some new ones. Given the different areas in which I have been privileged to serve our Great God, I have met and gotten to know a number of ministers and their wives. Quite a few of them were at the recent convention (June 28-30) in Lexington at the Southland Christian Church.
Oddly, the very first person I noticed when I walked through the doors of the church building was someone whose wedding I attended even though I did not know him nor his bride. In late May of 1980 I flew to Upstate New York to work for two weeks with Empire State Evangelizing Association. I arrived in the airport at Syracuse and was met by Betty Howard, my longtime friend and wife of my home church's former minister, Barton Howard. She informed me that we would be attending a wedding the next day.
That next day we attended the wedding of the daughter of Barton's co-director with E.S.E.A.; Loyal Gallaher's daughter Diane. She married one of the local young men in the church at Liverpool, a rather handsome young man named Rick Rusaw. It was Rick that I saw when I entered the building at Southland. He is the Senior Minister of the Lifebridge Christian Church in Longmont, Colorado. Seeing him brought back memories of being challenged to move my family to New York and work with the E.S.E.A. as an evangelist for the one year old work in Cortland. Memories.
Following his disappearance and subsequent discovery in the temple, Jesus reminded His parents that He was all about doing His Father's work. The fact of Jesus' reminder and the three days it took to find Him had a profound impact on His mother, Mary. "His mother kept all these things in her heart." Luke 2:51 Mary had started her own little scrapbook of memories about her amazing child. Whether this was the Son of God or not was not the point for her. He was her son from God. It is a wonderful reminder that "the Word became flesh and lived among us and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father." John 1:14 Jesus was also human just like us to be our example.
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