The Church in the Second Stage of Exile

A must-read by Steve McAlpine on the “Stage Two” exile of the Church.  If you are wondering what is going on with the church and culture (the world) and where we are heading, you need to take the time to read the entire article.  I think he’s probably spot on.  Here’s an excerpt:

Second Stage exiles do not place their hope in a city here, be it Athens or Babylon, but seek a city that is to come (Hebrews 13). Second Stage Exiles do not need the approval of the culture, neither do they need to provoke the culture in order to feel good about themselves. No, true exiles can live out their time in exile with confidence, love and hope because they trust in him “who is able to keep [them] from stumbling and to present [them] before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.” (Jude 1:24).

Read the full article here.

Mother’s Day at The Gathering – A Safe Place

I know that Mother’s Day can be one of the absolute worst Sundays to go to church. There are unmarried women who want to be married but aren’t, married women who desperately want to have children but can’t, men and women who have lost their mothers and the pain is overwhelming. There are children who have died through miscarriage, illness or accident. There are people who have had terrible relationships with their mothers and feel guilty or hurt. Please know that, as a pastor, I understand this. I know that the worst thing that can happen is to be singled out, “recognized” or made to drag up the already painful memories and hurts as we over-sentimentalize this day for you. You want to go to church, but you just can’t deal with the pain of having to spend a couple of hours focused on the aspects of “motherhood” that grieve you so deeply, all the while putting on a smile for those who are basking in the “touch-feelies” of Mother’s Day.

If you want to come to The Gathering, Chattanooga, but are worried about any of the above scenarios taking place, I promise you, you are safe! Instead, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to talk to all of our wonderful ladies about how you can become the kind of godly woman who can grow into a “Spiritual Mother” to those desperately needing your time, attention and influence. I hope you will come expecting great things! Guys, most of what I’m talking to the ladies about applies to you, as well, so don’t check out on me! I look forward to seeing you all in the morning!

P.S. For those who fall into the above-mentioned circumstances, you have a group of elders who love you and are ready to listen and pray with you.

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