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Would they be welcome?

Last Sunday, I made a statement during the course of my message that could have made our church family a little uncomfortable. However, when I said it, not a single eyebrow was raised. It was as if what they heard was expected, or commonplace, or already understood. For that, I am profoundly grateful for the church family I have the privilege of serving, North River Community Church. I pray God allows them to see fruit from the ease with which they readily embraced this.

I shared with them a question I was asked a few weeks earlier during our Tuesday morning men’s Bible study. We are a small bunch, and while there is a structure to what we do, it is not particularly rigid, allowing for discussion, debate, encouragement, and questions, sometimes (ok, often) tangentially related to the text we are studying. That was the case when a brief discussion about a hot topic came up, leading to the question – “If a homosexual couple came to this church, would they be welcome?”

I answered that question for our church family on Sunday, and am expanding it a little here: Continue reading


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The hole in the coop…

…and what it revealed to me about temptation…

My alarm was set for 6:27am Wednesday morning. Going to sleep the night before, my intent was to wake up exactly at that moment, and not a moment sooner. At what felt like 3:30am (though it was actually 6:24am, the loss of those 3 minutes seemed rather crucial) the beautiful bride woke me up. Her first attempt to get my attention sounded along the lines of “Carl something something something something chicken something out.” Since I was unable to discern what that sentence was actually supposed to mean, and since there was no sound of urgency or crisis in her voice, I deftly ignored it. She, knowing my waking patterns after 11 years of blissful marriage, repeated the sentence a little louder, a little closer, and with a little more emphasis: “Carl, wake up, the chicken is out of the coop.”

For you faithful readers out there, you will notice that many of my posts have something to do with some member of the animal kingdom. It is not by design. There is a quote often attributed to Mark Twain (apparently, there is a bit of an intellectual/historical debate whether he actually said this, which I have no interest in settling this argument, so if you think Twain did not say this, fine, but let me live in ignorance of this one fact) which is “write what you know.” Domestic animals running amok is what I know.

We are the proud owners of 5 chickens. A chicken tractor, or chicken ark, or what we refer to in shorthand as their coop, was crafted for them. I’m not handy enough to figure out a plan of my own, so I swiped this one. They remain within the confines of the coop, but the coop itself is moved all around the yard. They get fresh grass and vegetation to gnaw on. We get reduced feed costs and the benefits of their digestion concluding (manure, if you didn’t catch the attempt at subtlety). One of the things we have learned about chickens is that they have a varied palate – that is, they are wonderful garbage disposals. Hang on to that thought.

Style, security (sometimes), and mobility - everything chickens could ask for.

The 8 year old contemplating a new confinement for the active, curious 1 year old.

Nearing full consciousness, I heard what she was talking about. Knocking the crust from my eyes, I saw what she was talking about. The rooster, his mate, and one of our other hens were gleefully flittering about the back yard. “They really ought not be doing that” I murmured to myself, and walked outside to see why they were out, and if I could get them back in. The beautiful bride did two things when I walked outside: she woke the nimble sons to enlist their efforts, and she then proceeded to film the event. If you are eager to see a pathetic looking me making a pathetic effort to catch the rooster, slide over to her Facebook page.

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