Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday Flashback

(It's about time...it's Tuesday already...)

The past few weeks we've had a homeless fellow worshipping with us at NHC. In some locales, especially in urban churches that might not be unusual. But we really don't have many homeless here (I know of two), so for us it's a "new" experience. He shows up early, parks his bike and the "trailer" with his belongings out by our picnic table, gets out his Bible and enjoys a cup of coffee before the gathering begins.

A couple of weeks ago he made the comment to me that "This is where God wants me right now". I have no argument with that. So I'm watching from a distance to see how he is received by the flock. James 2:1-13 is the background support for my observations. I'm looking to see if grace, mercy and hospitality is being shown across the board.

Sunday's message from Numbers 11 perked up a lot of ears. Who among us hasn't complained to God about how life is going? I gave these three points from the stories there on how to avoid being a whiner:
1. Learn to be content.
2. Listen to godly influencers.
3. Lift one another's burdens.

At the 11AM Gathering something else got our attention! Just as I was talking about God's anger about their whining and His response to it, suddenly it thundered. Eyes (including mine) got big! Hello! It couldn't have happened at a better moment.

It was a great worship morning. But I think the 9:00 crowd needs to either get up a bit earlier or be sure they get tanked up on caffeine! It took them a while to loosen up.

I was glad to see a pastor friend and his wife from another community worshipping with us on vacation. They've been through some rough waters at their church (it's full of Eds and Ediths), but they're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. He came up to me afterward and gave me a big hug. He was "blessed" he said to have been there.

I hope we all were.


CFHusband said...

I've seen a few people talking with the man at the picnic table the past few Sundays.

Mary Smith said...

We were visiting Nags Head Church on vacation on September 13 and we got to sit by the homeless man. He was very nice. Obviously we didn't know he was homeless but saw him outside afterwards at the picnic table.

On a side note, it's always great to visit you all when we are there.

Nancy said...

You will be very proud to know that Billy, the homeless guy, has been well received by the Youth. A few weeks ago on movie night some of the Youth noticed that he was sitting alone on the curb watching "Walking on Water." Emily and some of her friends asked if it was okay if they offered him popcorn and a Coke. Before long Em's group was sitting around Billy talking to him about where he came from and how he ended up in the OBX. They were fasinated by his stories of long bike rides across the US, and he fit right in.

I also noticed as the movie was ending and the Youth were leaving an adult, who happens to be a smoker, went and offered Billy some cigarettes since she knew he was a smoker. There is no doubt in my mind that Billy is being accepted by the young and old at our church. He really is a very nice guy and he has some very interesting stories to tell!

Nana2four said...

Rick, Bravo on the homeless man being 'sent' to your congregation! Several years ago my former pastor in Chicago wrote an AMAZING true story for Leadership magazine; "Every Church Needs a Bag Lady" by Dennis Sawyer... I witnessed this story play out first hand. I have never witnessed such an incredible display of ministering to the Lord here on the earth as when the Philadelphia Church in Chicago adopted "Katie". I think you can still find the article. This man may revolutionize the people of your church! Have an amazing week!