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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

BACK IN THE DAY


If I could go back in time to visit, I would choose to go back to when the church first began. I think it would be a great time to visit and help us appreciate all we have, but also make us realize what is really important for us to do as Christians. Jesus died for the church - not a building, but the people who have become children of God. He died for the church, but also left instructions for what the church is to do and how the church is to live.

Twice a year our congregation here at Tipton does something that I feel is similar to how the early church lived. I believe it's the closest we come to living how the 1st Century church may have lived during that time - except for modern conveniences (which we are all thankful for!).

We have just finished a gospel meeting/revival. It began on Sunday morning with Bible class, then worship, followed by a noon potluck dinner. That evening we had services again. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we had morning worship at 10:00 a.m. and a noon luncheon every day, then nightly worship services each of those nights. Every day we met together, sang together, prayed together, studied God's Word together, worshipped God together, and ate the noon meal together.

A special part of this week is having the Sojourners with us. I mentioned a few weeks ago that they were working at our Bible camp, QMCC. For these two weeks they are working at Tipton Home. They are a joy to have in our midst! The couples are from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Kansas. They agreed to having their picture taken for this post.

Another neat thing about the noon luncheons is that the whole Tipton Junior High and High School is invited to the meal. Every day between 40 and 60 students came to the luncheon. It is one of the benefits of small town living, I'm sure, and the school is just down the street from the fellowship building.


Of course, the best part of the week was hearing God's Word preached every day. It was a spiritual feast! The visiting minister did a great job delivering his messages as a servant of God. He inspired each of us to be great servants and our congregation to be a great church.

Look at this passage from Acts 2:40-47:
"And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."
(emphasis mine)

I know I've used these verses before, but they really are some of my favorites. Can you see why I feel like I'm back in the 1st Century each time we do this? It's the daily meetings, the continued fellowship, and the continued teaching the early church did. I would like to be able to go back there, would you?

By the end of our four days, we're all exhausted, but spiritually uplifted. And to think - the early church did it daily! I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you ever think of visiting Tipton, Oklahoma, the third week in September and the third week in April is a great time to visit!

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