Monday, December 12, 2016

Three Act Play

Psalm 107:20
He sent out His word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.

Life yesterday was like a three act play...

Act 1:
Teaching at Northside Baptist Church yesterday morning...
Small congregation that is dwindling down as members have gotten older and moved, or have passed away. Don't judge it by the size. If you do so you will deceive yourself. Look at the heart of those who have remained. I hate the way American's have taken on the view that unless it is "BIG" then it isn't successful. These folks at Northside love God and each other in a way that shames larger churches. No formality here....let's gather together and see what God wants to do. They love His word...They love to worship....I don't  know what the future holds for them, but I know that God will take care of those who are faithful to each other and this church.

Act 2:
We had the funeral of my nephew Jeff Bynum yesterday.
It was amazing to see the number of people who came from all over the country to pay their respects. I was asked to read the Greene Street posting I had written about Jeff's death. At the graveside, three young men came to me to thank me for what I had shared during the funeral. You could tell that this whole death/funeral/church/God thing was new to them, and they were extremely out of their element, so to speak. They fumbled for words to express their own grief and pain. At one point, one of them shook my hand and with trembling voice said, "You know I found your post in those Greene Street things....I kept reading other things you'd written. I've never been able to understand much about the Bible and God, but I was able to understand what you'd written." The other two agreed with him. Who prayer is that in spite of Jeff being taken so soon from this life, maybe these three will find their own lives in Christ. God does have the incredible power and love to turn what was intended to destroy us, into life for others.

We arrived back home and sat down at the table to share a meal together.
Josh, Heather, Chad, Tyler and Ashley, Vicki and I laughed over Christmas memories.....Shared snippet's of where life currently has us stationed....and told each other over and over and over how much we love each other. I think this was the underlying tone to Jeff's death, to not let things go unsaid. Be sure to tell those around you how much you love them. Be the one who encourages and lifts up those who need it. Be open handed and give away what God has freely given to us. Never...never...never be afraid to let yourself feel the love that God has for you.

As we settled in last night, my last thought before going to sleep was how real life situations has a way of tearing down all that isn't important in the grand scheme of society's view. Here in this season that has been marked by the giving of gifts......New cars in the driveway with huge red bows on them.....that perfect house that has been decorated to the nth degree.....perfect tree...perfect family....real life will pull down the shallowness of such. You see, real life is a mixture that is hard to wrap your heart and brain around.

Real life is pain and joy....
Real life is darkness and light....
Real life is about failure and hope...
Real life is about family and loneliness...
But the bottom line is that real life is truly found in Jesus.
That in spite of the pain that may be filling your heart to the point you feel like your going to drown.....He is there.
He is there to take you and lift you up to a place that you cannot stand or walk in by your own strength.
Real life..

Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla.

On behalf of the Bynum family, I want to thank each of you for your love, your prayers and your support during this dark time. A special thanks to the core leadership of Vineyard ReCovery for taking over and seeing that the Saturday night meeting went on. You guys rock!

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