A Matter of Faith – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 31 Oct 2019 21:52:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 A legacy of encouragement http://www.pagosasun.com/a-legacy-of-encouragement/ Thu, 31 Oct 2019 21:52:52 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=190313 By Richard Gammill
Special to The PREVIEW
“Jack, pick up, sweetie, can you hear me? OK. I just want to tell you, there’s a little problem with the plane. I’m fine. I’m totally fine. I just want to tell you how much I love you.”
Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas left that message on her husband’s answering machine on Sept. 11, 2001. She called from United Airlines Flight 93. Was this her last message? Not at all.
Lauren was returning home to San Rafael, Calif., after attending her grandmother’s funeral, when she boarded the flight from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, Calif. Eager to rejoin her husband, she arrived early at the airport and took a seat on doomed Flight 93 and departed before her originally scheduled flight.
Forty minutes after takeoff, four al-Qaida terrorists hijacked the plane carrying Lauren and 32 other frightened passengers and seven crew members. While the plane changed direction, the passengers learned the news of three other planes that hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They realized they had to take action.
“Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!” shouted Todd Beamer, and the frantic unarmed passengers attempted to breech the cockpit door. Trying to stop the break in, the hijackers put the plane into a roll. Minutes later the plane plowed upside down at 563 mph into a reclaimed strip mine near Shanksville, Penn. Another 20 minutes and the plane would have reached Washington, D.C., most likely striking the U.S. Capitol.
As with the rescue efforts of New York City police and firefighters, United Flight 93’s heroism helped inspire and unify a stricken nation during the fitful aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Several memorials were established around the country over the following decade applauding the actions of the crew and passengers of the ill-fated flight. One of them is “Lauren’s Garden” in Market Square Park in downtown Houston, Lauren’s hometown. It features a bust of the 38-year-old woman. Particularly meaningful to her husband, Jack, is the birthing room at Marin General Hospital, which he and the family-run Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation established in Lauren’s name. She was three months pregnant at the time of her death.
A memorial of another kind is Lauren’s book, “You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls.” A few months before she died, Lauren left her editorial position with Good Housekeeping to devote full time to writing the book, which encourages women to have faith in themselves and reach for new accomplishments. Her two sisters finished the book, which they published in 2005. Proceeds from the book support several charities, including a college scholarship fund.
During her short life, Lauren was active in a number of charitable organizations, including United Way, March of Dimes, Project Open Hand, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Breast Cancer Awareness and others. Her example inspires those who know her story.
By definition, those who encourage others will engender determination, hopefulness and confidence. Encouragement is a vital force that brings needed change and new upward direction.
Encouragement is at the heart of the Christian faith. When the Apostle Paul spread the gospel, “He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people …” (Acts 20:2, NIV). His written words of encouragement continue for all time.
One of the spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12 is “encouragement.” If you have that gift, says Paul, exercise it generously. The results are changed lives.
Barnabas was one of the stalwarts of the New Testament church “whose name means ‘son of encouragement’” (Acts 4:36). What a great way to be known.
Teachers, whether in Sunday school, grade school or college, can impart encouragement that endures for a lifetime. Monuments to teachers may not stand in many public places, but memories of their encouragement (“You can do this!”) live on in the minds of their pupils.
Each day brings countless opportunities to each of us to offer encouragement. We may never know how a word — or a note — of encouragement uplifts the life of a friend. We may forget what we said that meant so much, but our friend might remember the remark for years.
Like Lauren, may your own life leave a legacy of encouragement.

A father’s assurance http://www.pagosasun.com/a-fathers-assurance/ Thu, 24 Oct 2019 21:07:38 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=189857 By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
Blake ran to his dad’s bedroom as fast as his short little legs would carry him. He shook his father’s shoulder with all his 4-year-old strength. “Daddy wake up,” he cried.
Awakened by the sound of Blake’s footsteps on the hardwood floors, the father readied himself for his son’s appearance at his bedside. Right on cue, he sensed more than felt the little hand on his shoulder. He remained quiet while his son shared his fears.
“Daddy, the thunder hurts.” Blake pressed his hands over his ears. “And, the lightning streaked through my room and zipped out the window. Someone pounded on my window.” He took a deep breath and sobbed.
Dad looked into Blake’s eyes as tears rolled down his round rosy cheeks. “Don’t be afraid. It’s just a noisy Oklahoma thunderstorm.”
“Let me walk you back to your room.” Dad sat up and slipped into his house shoes. He reached for his son’s hand and together they walked down the short hallway to Blake’s room.
The father assured the child with his calm voice. “All tucked in. Snug as a bug in a rug.” He reached over and gave the child a kiss on his forehead. “Listen, the thunder is gone and stars fill the sky. The light rain a soft pitter-patter on the windowsill.” From the edge of Blake’s bed, he watched as his son’s eyes fluttered.
Before long Blake drifted into a peaceful sleep, until the morning sun streaked across his room to welcome a new day. Last night’s violent thunderstorm forgotten, he yawned and made his way to the kitchen.
At times, we wonder if our Heavenly Father cares. We cry out to Him, but our pleas seem to fall on deaf ears. Yet, in the silence of the night, we sense his presence and find comfort. He reaches out, takes our hand and guides us to a place of rest.
God knows our needs before we utter a word. He listens to our petitions and replaces our fears with his promises. The storms of life fall into perspective, when the Father speaks.
“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears are open to their cry.” — Psalms 34:15 (NASB).
Because of Jesus, God hears our prayers.
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

Bits and pieces: Who knew? http://www.pagosasun.com/bits-and-pieces-who-knew/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 21:00:39 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=189127 By Lynn Moffett
Special to The PREVIEW
Have you ever done something you were relatively sure God told you to do? Me, too.
Bits and pieces. My life is made up of bits and pieces of “to do” things from the Lord.
Sometimes, doing these things feels idiotic, sometimes it is so scary I want to pretend I didn’t hear and sometimes the doing fits me perfectly.
About a year ago, I thought I heard the Lord say, “Come walk with me.”
Since my hiking years were long gone due to knee problems, I often joked that when I went for a ride — meaning getting in my car to cruise down Trujillo Road or south to Chama, over Plumtaw or up to Williams, to view the river, meadows or majestic mountains — I was taking my walk or going for a hike. So, when I heard “Come walk with me,” I knew He meant get in my car and go for a drive.
I also felt a prod to take this trip on a weekly basis and make my “walk” a special time of worship. One more thing I added to the mix: I decided to drive only paved roads since I didn’t want my car to get too dirty too soon.
Let me be clear. Worship in song is part of my everyday routine. I mute everything at home because I live in an apartment and don’t want to bother my neighbors.
You might doubt God speaks. That’s OK. You can attribute my little jaunts to my imagination, or my desire to earn something for the kingdom. The point is, one year ago, I started to cruise and sing praise and worship songs at the top of my lungs. I did break in the winter months when driving became hazardous.
Last week, I joined an online prayer group. One of the scriptures was the timely II Chronicles 7:11-19. That’s the “if my people” scripture if you’re wondering.
While at prayer, one of the members said, “Lord, sweep through this town. Blow through with the wind of your spirit.”
Chills ran up my arms and I envisioned her prayer and how it would change this small town that had lost the sense of His presence in the last 10 years. I couldn’t speak.
That’s not a condition that lasts long with me.
Others in the group were silent as well. I think all of us saw an awakening in this place that was more than revival, but restoration in the churches as well as in those who had turned from the Lord.
It also included everybody else who was thirsting for, seeking after, the Living God, believer or not, whether they knew His name or not. Even those I’d turned my back on because they didn’t believe the way I did, and those who scoff at Christians.
When we finished our prayer time, I turned on a program I sometimes catch in the afternoon. They talked about end-times prophecy, an unusual topic for this group. The thing that stood out to me was when one of the men said, “There can be no revival without repentance.”
Now I backtracked to the scripture. “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” — AMP.
Heal their land. Heal our land. Those words always meant our country or our world to me. No more.
Humble themselves.
Turn from their wicked ways.
I realized then not doing those things hindered God’s plan.
Of course, I went to work on that immediately. I did. I repented for ignoring people who chose different paths, and I made a point of forgiving those who did scoff in my face when they learned I was a Christian.
Then I asked for guidance about how to pray for our lovely town and surroundings.
What do you think I heard? Yes. “Come walk with me.”
Bits and pieces fell into place. Who knew? Without an awareness of the purpose, for one year I went for a “walk” with the Lord and sang His praise, oblivious to the fact I was following scripture.
“After talking it over with the people, Jehoshaphat appointed a choir for GOD; dressed in holy robes, they were to march ahead of the troops, singing, Give thanks to GOD, His love never quits.” — II Chronicles 20:21 (MSG).
I had been preparing the way, like those who went out before the army. Today, the Lord and I went for our “walk” and joined the battle, this time with me fully aware of what we were doing. Or at least seeing a glimmer.
Jesus amazes me. Every day.
P.S. By the time I got home, I realized my paved route this last year covered the lakes area. Someone else must have the downtown, Aspen Springs, up to the pass, and down 84 assignments, and don’t forget Trujillo Road.

The largest marriage celebration of the ages http://www.pagosasun.com/the-largest-marriage-celebration-of-the-ages/ Fri, 11 Oct 2019 15:00:57 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179716 By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
I love Hallmark movies. The stories are predictable with fairytale endings. The good guy sweeps the girl off her feet and captures her heart. Together, they overcome obstacles and live happily ever after. There is not a lot of drama and I don’t think about the plot line. I sit back and enjoy the movie.
I also love romantic historical novels for similar reasons. The storyline is less predictable with more adventure, mystery and suspense, but the outcome is the same. The hero saves the girl and they build a life together.
Based on this, one might think Ruth would be my favorite book in the Bible. It is a famous love story, full of hardship, perseverance and eternal love. Boaz rescues Ruth, an outcast, from a destitute life, and offers her more than she ever dreamed or hoped for.
But at the top of my list is the book of Revelation. The author knows the end from the beginning, while the reader feels uncertain because of the drama and conflict.
The Prince of Peace has purposed in his heart to rescue His bride from the greatest calamity the world has ever experienced. When God the Father gives the command, Jesus returns for his Church. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, she is caught up to live eternally with her groom.
In the first chapter, an angel introduces the leading character, Jesus Christ. The Son of God is displayed in brilliant splendor.
The next few chapters are dedicated to his bride, the church. She is shown with all her flaws and weaknesses. Yet, because of his unconditional love, the Prince finds great value and purpose in her. He cautions and encourages her to pursue him and his righteousness. He protects her from certain death and carries her to his kingdom to prepare for the marriage supper.
After the wedding ceremony, Jesus sits upon a white stallion, prepared for battle. Along with his bride, they conquer the kingdoms of this world, establish a one-world government and rule in righteousness for 1,000 years. Their monarchy is one of harmony and prosperity, until once again Satan attempts to destroy their union.
The enemy builds a vast army of like-minded people to fight against God’s kingdom. But all his efforts are in vain. God destroys Satan’s armies before they raise their swords. In his righteous anger, Christ puts down the final rebellion.
In the closing pages of the book, the newlyweds stand beside their Heavenly Father and reign as one throughout eternity. Their love story is one without end.
Please, RSVP today to attend the largest marriage celebration of the ages. The invitations have gone out and the names of those accepting are recorded in the Book of Life.
Because of Jesus, we are the bride of Christ.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and the bride has made herself ready.” — Revelation 19:7 (NASB)
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

Where is change leading us? http://www.pagosasun.com/where-is-change-leading-us/ Thu, 03 Oct 2019 21:50:26 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179225 By Gregg Heid
Special to The PREVIEW
The world looks at change through the eyes of progression. God sees change compared to the Garden of Eden before the fall of mankind.
Things are changing fast. This is my brief take on some of the changes in the last 50 years in the U.S.
In 1969, my first year in college, I wrote my English papers on a typewriter, made calls from the dorm pay phone and watched three channels on the lounge TV. My favorite shows were westerns (“Gun Smoke,” “Bonanza,” “Wagon Train”), as their scenes portrayed the beauty of our country. I paid for everything with cash or check. My entire college education cost around $5,000.
Today the average college education is $25,000 per year; smart phones are in everyone’s hands; television providers offer hundreds of channels with lots of sex, violence and gratuitous cussing. Cash, used to be the norm, is being replaced by credit and cryptocurrencies.
Fifty years ago, I visited friends in their homes and we played football and volleyball in our yards. I did research in the library — from books, listened to music on records or tapes, took pictures with a 35 mm film camera and waited weeks for development. I ate McDonald’s hamburgers for a quarter. Our house was worth $20,000, my brother’s new Plymouth GTX cost $3,900 and a gallon of gas was 35 cents.
Today, houses, vehicles, commodities and, yes, McDonald’s hamburgers, are 10 times more expensive than 50 years ago. Inflation is diminishing the dollar.
Kids don’t seem to be as active as kids in the ’60s. For example, Fortnite, an online game of strategy, has amassed over 250 million players this year. Today, texts and emails are the most common means of communication, as face-to-face encounters are becoming more and more rare. When kids are face-to-face, they still text each other.
School libraries are replacing books with digital platforms. Listening to music, taking pictures, banking, shopping, communicating and even driving are now done through digital technology — 5G is launching in 2020 — which will make digital technology 10 times faster than today.
In 1969, military vets wore tattoos; gender identification was male or female; the pro-life and pro-choice movements did not exist; being a mother was a coveted career; naughty kids were spanked; fights were settled with fists, not guns; and men brought home the bacon.
Today, tattoos are changing the color of people’s skin; gender identification is questioned yet flaunted; pro-life and pro-choice are fighting words that divide the country. More women receive college degrees today than men and the workforce of our country is now 47 percent female. Spanking your child could result in a call from social services and the child removed from the home. Fighting is now rarely done one-on-one, but groups on groups.
In the ’60s, “gay” meant happy, marriage was between a man and a woman and all kids knew which bathroom to use. Economies were local, globalism and illegal immigration were not part of the vernacular and people shopped in stores. High schools taught shop and home economics, and bilingual education did not exist.
Today, schools suffer from mass shootings, as bullying and ostracizing, common in social media realms, are now answered with guns. Technology is the norm in schools as well, with little hands-on education past sixth grade. This eliminates most blue-collar job training in high schools and gives students immediate access to both good and bad information. College campuses, once caldrons of debate over differing view points, are becoming propaganda institutions for leftist and atheistic views.
Democrats and Republicans used to be able to come to a consensus on issues. Today, Democrats and Republicans have agendas that pander to their bases — no compromise allowed. Reporters promote their views, not the news, and most movies and TV shows contain a political or anti-Christian agenda.
Fifty years ago, churches were a center of social and cultural life in America. Today, not so much, with the onset of online churches, kids’ weekend activities, family travel, the disappearance of guilt in our culture, self-directed spirituality, societal affluence and single parent or blended families, we see a major cultural shift in religion.
Today, the “nones,” or people not belonging to any formal denomination or church affiliation, make up 25 percent of those who say they are religious. Because of this, more and more people aspire to relativism: “The philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and all truth is relative to the individual. This means all moral positions, all religious beliefs, all art forms, all political movements, all educational philosophies are truths relative to each one’s personal convictions.”
King Solomon saw the problem with relativism as he wrote over 2,000 years ago: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” — Proverbs 14:12 (ESV.) Which leads me to ask: Is our society dying? Or, are we progressing in the right direction?

Leaves, transformations and transitions http://www.pagosasun.com/leaves-transformations-and-transitions/ Fri, 27 Sep 2019 14:59:44 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178764 By Jessica Tanner
Special to The PREVIEW
The air is crisp and the leaves shift from green to brilliant orange, deep scarlet, and lively yellow. Summer’s warmth slips away at autumn’s cool touch. Earth’s landscape transforms, as do our lives. Woven into each transition, or new leaf, of life is God.
My newest leaf in life is a job. I work part-time for the local post office delivering mail. Seeing God in a job that revolves around more paper than I knew could move in a day is not easy. Easy is spying the new scratches on the vehicle I’m using for the job. But God is there in my work. The morning exchange of news at the post office, brightly colored envelopes indicating remembered birthdays and holidays, and the warm hellos at mailboxes from customers are everyday acts of caring that represent God’s presence.
One day I came into work and the load of mail to deal with would never fit in my grandfather’s Suburban. I took my family’s advice of focusing on one piece of a project at a time. I selected a task and completed it, but the amount of paper and parcels to get through was still more than I could handle.
As the clock ticked away and the pile still towered, a co-worker offered to help, and I accepted. Her smile and act of kindness sparked hope in me. Together, we conquered the mountain of mail. God, like a gardener, nurtured my new leaf in life.
Our lives are full of transitions. God is there through all of them. When work seems like it will swallow us whole — as with my mail load — God offers us a hand in the form of our friends, family and co-workers. We are not alone in any endeavor. We only have to say yes. Because God wishes to nurture our growth, not stunt it.
“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave nor forsake you.” —Hebrews 13:5.

Trust and relationships http://www.pagosasun.com/trust-and-relationships/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 21:21:06 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178224 By Charles Wenzel
Special to The PREVIEW
Trust me.
On her birthday, Chris took his 5-year-old daughter to the pet store to pick out the puppy of her dreams. From behind the glass partition, Adelaide gleefully pointed to the scamp jumping up and down in its cage looking back at her, “The brown one who knocked over his water bowl, daddy,” she giggled.
An employee brought the puppy to them in a private area. Chris kneeled down with Adelaide on his lap as together they held the pet. Fortunately, Chris’ hand was on the dog’s collar when the pup nipped at his daughter’s face and he quickly pulled it back.
This one won’t do. I couldn’t trust it to be alone with Adelaide.
Nineteen-year-old Hattie was at an open party with her friends. A cute guy started talking to her, a connection being made. His glass empty and Hattie without a drink, he courteously asked, “Would you like something?”
“I’ll be right back.”
As soon as Todd left Hattie with a smile, one of her friends spoke to her “on the ‘qt’,” “That guy is trouble. He doesn’t know me, but I know two girlfriends he’s had who quit dating him because he’s controlling, even abusive.”
Hattie responded, “I don’t believe it. He’s not old enough to have had two relationships.”
“He’s 27!” Becky shot back.
With her eyes wide open in disbelief, Todd returned with her drink. “Here you go.”
“Thanks, but we’re leaving. Becky’s not feeling well.”
“I can give you a ride home later.”
To close off any future contact, Hattie told a white lie, “I don’t think my boyfriend would like that. Goodnight.”
Trust is the beginning and — without forgiveness — the lack of it is often the end of every relationship. Like the trunk of a tree, trust is the backbone of every human bond. (The root of the word trust is tree, specifically an oak tree.)
Ironically, the relationship Jesus offers each of us turns the human idea of trust on its head. We are the dogs that bite. We are the deceptive suitors who are in it solely for ourselves. Yet, Jesus receives us just as we are, while many he would befriend curse his name. It is the human heart of infidelity that can’t be trusted, not God’s heart of gold.
Throughout history, many a disappointed, brokenhearted mother has lamented, “That child will surely be the death of me.” Undeterred, Jesus seeks a relationship with us, knowing our renewal would be the death of him.
Simply by believing what is true, we inherit the riches and wonders of Christ. Unfathomable.
“There is none good but … God.” — Mark 10:18.
“The LORD shall help them … and save them, {simply} because they trust in him.” — Psalm 37:40.

‘I am jealous of your time’ http://www.pagosasun.com/i-am-jealous-of-your-time/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 14:58:55 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=177704 By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
Last week at prayer service, the leader instructed us to ask God three questions. My mind fixated on one. “Ask him to reveal one of his characteristics to you.”
Of course, the easy answers popped into mind right away. God is loving, kind, faithful, merciful and gracious. These qualities we are familiar with and celebrate every day. His mercies are new every morning. We appreciate the unconditional love of the Father. His loving kindness exceeds our comprehension. We stand in awe of his faithfulness and goodness.
But, what about the other side? The attributes we don’t like to think about? The Holy Spirit spoke “jealous” into my spirit. “I am jealous of your time.”
As I meditated on that idea throughout the week, I paused to think about my relationship with Christ. Do I devote quality time to him or only when time allows? Do I dedicated a specific part of my day, or is it a hit and miss?
Truthfully, it depends on the day and how “busy” my schedule looks. I’m retired, for Pete’s sake. My calendar is flexible. I determine what is important. I drop everything for lunch with a friend. But, to stop, take a break and spend time with Jesus, not so much.
I look around and consider people who have an incredible connection with Christ and wonder why. He is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t pick and choose his favorites. We are created equal and he calls each of us “his child.”
So, could it be because those individuals figured it out. A close, intimate relationship involves time. It’s in his presence he reveals himself to us. We discover more about who he is. We watch him move and work in our lives to accomplish his purpose. We realize our full potential as we grow in him and embrace his plan for our life.
Will the revelation that I serve a jealous God change my routine? Or is it good in theory, but too much effort in reality? Time will tell.
“For you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” — Exodus 34:14 (NASB).
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

Blisters, scrapes and bandages http://www.pagosasun.com/blisters-scrapes-and-bandages/ Thu, 29 Aug 2019 21:47:24 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=176574 By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
Sarah begged, “Mama, please let me wear my new flats.”
“You need to break them in around the house first. If worn too long, nasty sores will appear on your heels,” her mom cautioned.
Sarah rolled her eyes in stubborn defiance. “You worry way too much.”
Despite her mother’s warnings, Sarah hurried off to school in her new shoes. By the end of the day, she regretted her decision. The reason stuffed in her unicorn backpack as she hobbled barefoot home.
One look at her daughter’s feet made her mom’s heart break. “Let me clean those blisters and put a sterile dressing on for extra protection.” Mom rushed to the bathroom cabinet to retrieve antibacterial ointment and bandages.
A few days later, Sarah’s brother, Joey, lay beside his bike and sobbed. “Daddy help.”
“It’s just a little scrape,” he calmed his son and lifted him into his arms. Joey put on a brave face, while Mom held his hand and Dad administered the antiseptic.
“All done. You’ll be back on your bicycle in no time.” His dad smiled at his son’s bravery as he covered the scrape with a protective bandage. The medicine prevented contamination while the gauze provided a shield against further injury.
As children of our Heavenly Father, we sometimes stumble and receive spiritual grief. Invisible to the naked eye, but painful.
Determined to live life our way, we rebel against God’s will and rush off without regard to the consequences. Despair knocks us down and, in humility, we hobble back to Jesus.
Sometimes injuries occur because of unavoidable circumstances. Through no fault of our own, life brings us to our knees. We cry out to our Heavenly Father and he rushes to our side. He lifts us up and administers his tender mercy as a balm to our bruised self-image.
God sanitizes our wounded heart with the oil of His Holy Spirit poured deep into our injured soul to end the spread of infection. The process is difficult, but necessary.
His love shrouds us as we mend from the inside out. Exposed to the light of His Word, the old scab falls away to reveal a restored and stronger version of us.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” — Psalms 147:3 (NASB).
Jesus, The Great Physician, is on call 24/7 to heal.
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

A new identity for an old structure http://www.pagosasun.com/a-new-identity-for-an-old-structure/ Thu, 22 Aug 2019 21:00:55 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=176013 By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
The old-fashioned red-brick structure stood empty, an eye-sore in the neighborhood. After years of being revered as a symbol of God’s love and mercy, the church doors closed. Padlocks and boarded windows kept squatters out. Mice and various critters roamed without fear above the ceiling tiles. Cement peered through the tattered maroon carpet. Obsolete lights swayed overhead as spiders weaved their webs. Archaic electrical outlets hung from their sockets. After years of service, the baptismal pool stood empty; tears of corrosion ran down its sides.
As we toured the building with our son for the first time, we envisioned the potential without regard to the obvious.
The remodel required hard work and long hours. Days of frustration mixed with sheer joy as God worked behind the scenes to accomplish the impossible.
As construction began, the house of prayer took on a contemporary look. A fresh coat of paint covered the walls, stained concrete replaced the old floor covering and modern light fixtures lit up the once dismal auditorium. Classrooms furnished with brightly colored toys and colorful mats welcomed children. The church of bygone days was given a new birth.
People now enter the refurbished house of worship and experience a new life because of the salvation and forgiveness message shared from the pulpit. Children sit in circles and discover the heroes of faith because a small hand of believers grabbed hold of the vision and created a visible difference.
Our church is constructed on a foundation established almost 50 years ago in the city of Tulsa, Okla. — a ministry centered on Jesus as the cornerstone.
God has a definite plan and a positive future for an energetic group of Christians as they unite together, resurrect and give new life into an old abandoned church.
Neither God nor our church are finished, as work continues and additional projects are completed. The best years are yet to come.
In the Book of Ezra, the Bible tells a similar story. God instructed the children of Israel to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple on the same location where the original temple once stood, the place God preordained.
“Take these utensils, go and deposit them in the temple in Jerusalem and let the house of God be rebuilt in its place.” — Ezra 5:15.
Because Jesus Lives, the church remains the cornerstone of new beginnings.
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.