Category  |  Body Of Christ

Something New

It was only scrap wood, but Charles Hooper saw much more than that. Salvaging old timbers from a long-abandoned corncrib, he sketched some simple plans. Then he felled a few oak and poplar trees from his wooded property and painstakingly squared them with his grandfather’s broadax. Piece by piece, he began to fit together the old lumber with the new.

            Today you can see Charles and Shirley Hooper’s postcard-perfect log cabin, tucked away in the trees on Tennessee Ridge. Part guesthouse, part museum for family heirlooms, the structure stands as an enduring tribute to Charles’ vision, skill, and patience.

            Writing to a Gentile audience, Paul told the church at Ephesus how Jesus was creating something new by bringing together Jewish and non-Jewish believers as a single entity. “You who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ,” Paul wrote (Eph. 2:13). This new structure was “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (vv. 20-21).

            The work continues today. God takes the brokenness of our lives, artfully fits us together with other broken and rescued people, and patiently chips away our rough edges. He loves His work, you know.

The Story Of A Wall

While visiting the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England, I reflected on the fact that this may be the most remembered achievement of the Roman emperor who came to power in ad 117. As many as 18,000 Roman soldiers manned this 80-mile-long barrier, built to keep the northern barbarians from invading the south.

Friends In The Night

Do you have someone you could call in the middle of the night if you needed help? Bible teacher Ray Pritchard calls these people “2 a.m. friends.” If you have an emergency, this kind of friend would ask you two questions: “Where are you?” and “What do you need?”

Like A Flock

During a demonstration of sheep- herding using a Border Collie, the dog trainer explained that because sheep are highly vulnerable to wild animals, their main defense against predators is to stay together in a tightly knit group. “A sheep alone is a dead sheep,” the trainer said. “The dog always keeps the sheep together as it moves them.”

Looks And Life

During the first few hours of their 30th college reunion, Mary Schmich and her friends talked mostly about how old their classmates looked. But as the event progressed, their focus began to change. Later, in her Chicago Tribune column, Mary wrote: “Once you get used to the fact that time has robbed every single one of you of something—or added it in the wrong places . . . you stop thinking about looks [and] start talking about life.”

Keep The Organ Playing

Many years ago an accomplished organist was giving a concert. (In those days someone had to pump large bellows backstage to provide air for the pipes.) After each song, the audience applauded heartily. Before his final number, the organist stood and said, "I shall now play . . ." and he announced the title. He sat down and adjusted his music. With feet poised over the pedals and hands over the keys, he began with a mighty chord. But the organ remained silent. Just then a voice was heard from backstage: "Say 'We'!"

Who Packed Your Chute?

Charles Plumb was sitting in a restaurant when a man came up to him and said, "You're Plumb. You flew jet fighters in Vietnam. You were on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!" "How in the world did you know all that?" asked Plumb. The man, who had been on the same ship, replied, "I packed your parachute." Then he added, "I guess it worked." "Indeed it did," said Plumb.

Friends Listen

It is about 9 in the evening. My wife Ginny and I are sitting in our living room. I'm reading a book. Suddenly she says, "Honey, I want to talk with you for a few minutes." She begins to talk—then she abruptly asks, "Are you listening?"

Removing Barriers

A missionary in Calcutta said that she was profoundly influenced by a communion service she had attended during World War II. The leader of that meeting was a Swedish minister. Among those present were a Chinese pastor, a Japanese teacher, a German doctor, several English citizens, and a few Indian believers.