Friday, August 16, 2013

Home Ownership

I spent a good part of today on the roof of our three-season porch.  The roof is flat and needed a re-coating of a sort of tar (fibered asphalt) that goes on cold (no heating needed).  The former owners of our house had left two half filled 5 gallon pails, I went and got the kind of brushes required, cleaned the roof, used some roofing cement to fill a couple spots around the edges and got half done before I ran out of the asphalt.  I'll get more tomorrow and finish the job on Sunday afternoon or later next week.  Tomorrow we'll be doing other things.

The weather was perfect for the work today, and Toni and I had supper both yesterday and today under the roof I was working on.  Very pleasant.  So much to be thankful for.  So many others do not have this privilege.

Someone asked me in the past few months if I'm enjoying home ownership and mostly I am, though I do know that owning a home (and paying a mortgage) does take up a good deal of time with the necessary maintenance on the house and yard.  Nothing here is "maintenance" free--wood windows with screens & storms, wood siding... and where there is wood there is painting and caulking... it does not end.  None of that, however, takes away the enjoyment of having this retreat... this quiet and pleasant place to live and work.  (I do most of my work from this home base or in my home office.)

It's the peace and quiet of living in a single family house that brings another kind of challenge--especially for this Holy Spirit filled follower of Jesus.  There's an isolation that happens, a sort of self-sufficiency, a middle-class "independence" that works against the community of "family" of God that the Holy Spirit longs to give to us.  As I look at the Bible, and as I consider what the Holy Spirit does to knit Jesus' followers into a tight "lots of time spent together" community, single-family home ownership "American-style" does not seem to do God's work.

I desire much more connection with others.  I'm wondering how that can happen when we're all busy with our own single-family lives.  One thing I've thought a lot about is having a longer time together on Sunday mornings, extending our time over the noon hour so those who are able can eat together--as a regular thing on Sunday noons.  I know many won't stay, but some will... and it's that sort of weekly being together that I think could help break us out of ungodly isolation.

I might just need to do a "PLAN OF ACTION WORKSHEET"* on this and PRAY that God will lead us to a Christian community that truly reflects His heart and His purposes.  Would you do that worksheet with me?  Would you pray with me?  Let me know.  I really can't do it alone.

*See my post of yesterday ("Blueprint") for this... you'll need to scroll down.

ADDED just before midnight - a quote from Sam Allberry (commenting on Mark 10:28-30):
"The gospel can be... costly.  But it is also relationally generous.  What we leave behind does not compare to what we receive back from Jesus.  It is hard to miss the fact that JESUS IS TALKING ABOUT FAMILY.  Close family.  He doesn't promise distant cousins and great uncles, but brothers and mothers.  ALL THAT WE HAVE we are to share with one another: time, resources, affection.  Ourselves.  This, as it turns out, is going to be the demonstration, in this life, that Jesus is always worth it.  IT WILL BE THE QUALITY OF OUR COMMUNITY LIFE as a church... that will most visibly show... that the Christian stance... is the most compelling... We might not have the best celebrities, the most attractive spokespeople, the most impressive resources or the most acclaimed thinkers, but we should have the most wonderful and attractive relationships."

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