Let the Church BE the Church 4/23/14

Good Morning,

I had my Wednesday email all ready to go this morning and got into my office and began to read my email and came across this one.

BreakPoint began several years ago with Chuck Colson.  He began it with a radio broadcast 5 days a week, which they still do, and eventually added the email version which I have subscribed to ever since.  Each day there are some incredible resources and items.

I read this one this morning and immediately knew that I wanted to share it.  If you are so inclined, you can also subscribe to it and you’ll find that information near the bottom, but my purpose today was simply to share this because it tells the story of the church being the church.  As you read it I hope it brings a smile to your face, but most importantly I hope it prompts you and me to ask ourselves the question, “What do we need to do to let the church be the church through us?”

Finally, you might have to search, but if you are one who looks at the Upcoming Events at the bottom of my weekly email, you’ll find it, again, at the bottom, of the BreakPoint stuff.

I love you

Rick

Movies with Max

The Church Steps Up and Steps Out
Eric Metaxas
I recently heard a story involving Chuck Colson’s grandson, Max, that made me want to cry—and then, sing for joy.         

As many BreakPoint listeners know, Chuck Colson’s twenty-three-year-old grandson Max is autistic. A few months ago Max’s mother, Emily, and Patty Colson took Max to see “Muppets Most Wanted” at a Boston-area theater. After settling themselves into their seats, the previews began. And that’s when things went south.

Normally, Max gets a bit excited at the beginning of a film, and then he calms down. But life with autism is unpredictable, as Emily wrote on a special needs parenting site. When the first preview exploded loudly onto the screen, Max covered his ears and shrieked, “I want to go home!” Emily tried to calm him, but as soon as Kermit the Frog appeared on the screen, Max shouted “The Muppet movie!”

When the volume spiked again, Max shouted once more “I want to go home!” That’s when other movie-goers let Emily know in painful and no-uncertain terms that Max was not welcome.

As Emily and Patty escorted Max out, the audience began to applaud. “It was the sound of an angry mob chasing us away with their jeers and taunts,” Emily writes.

It’s hard to recover from experiences like that. But God used it to offer a mighty blessing, not only to Max and Emily, but to hundreds of other special needs children.

Not long after Emily wrote about unexpectedly becoming the entertainment at the theater, a woman named Renee came up to Emily after church. “Do you think Max would like it if we rented a theater?” she asked.

The following Sunday, Pastor Paul told the congregation what had happened to Max, and announced Renee’s great idea: “She rented out an entire theater so that friends of Max can watch the Muppet movie with Max.” Pastor Paul declared, “If you’re a friend of Max, you’re going to the movies, whether you like Muppets or not!”

“Everyone laughed. And everyone bought tickets,” Emily writes.

A local newspaper picked up the story. Hearing of the event, called “Love to the Max,” a limousine company owner offered to take Max and his friends to the theater in style in a 37-foot limousine. The employees fought over who was going to have the honor of driving Max. The winner? A man whose own grandson was autistic.

The CEO of a local Friendly’s Restaurant offered gift certificates for ice cream or meals. People volunteered to help out at the theater, doing everything from taking kids to the bathroom to bringing them popcorn.

So many people bought tickets that the Regal Cinema had to expand the event to two theaters. In the end, 500 children, with their families and friends, went to see “Muppets Most Wanted.”

This time, when the Muppets began singing their first number, “the music catapulted Max right out of his seat,” Emily recalls. He began dancing in the aisle. The audience began to applaud as Max danced his way down the aisle, “grabbing hands and pulling others into his dance.”

The children enjoyed the film, and as it ended with a final Muppet song, nobody wanted to leave. “Suddenly, people flooded into the aisles [and] began to dance. Everyone free. No armor. No barriers between us,” Emily writes. “I looked around and wondered if this is what Jesus envisioned when he said, “Love one another . . . The joy was contagious.”

As Chuck would have said, this was the Church being the Church. People came to love on these kids, “the least of these” and their families. And they were living out 1 Cor. 12, which reminds us that all parts of the body of Christ should be valued and honored.

As Max danced for joy that day, I imagine Chuck was probably smiling down from Heaven on him and on this marvelous scene.

Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday April 23 – Join us for dinner tonight here in the gym at 5:00.  Regular activities for teens and children as well as our Hispanic Bible Study, Prayer group at 6 in the sanctuary and Men’s study at 7:00.

Friday April 25-Sunday April 27 – Man Camp over at Bonita Park.  If there are any men who haven’t signed up and would still like to go or need more information please contact Jerry Wright @ the following email address:  deb.and.jerry.wright@gmail.com

Sunday April 27 – We will have our regular worship services at 8:45 and 10:30 a.m. as well as the Hispanic service at 4:00 p.m.

Thursday May 1 – The National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the Convention Center begins at 6:15 a.m.  We have four tables that we have reserved and Donnie & Julia Glover have the tickets – the cost is only $10 and we would love for you to come and be a part of this very special event!

Friday May 2-Saturday May 3 – Feed My Starving Children Mobilepack event here in our gym.  Go to the following website and sign up to pack meals  www.FMSC.org/mobilepack/events  When you get there go to New Mexico, then click on the Ruidoso event and then pick a time to pack on either Friday evening or Saturday.  If you have never done this it will ask you to “Create a New Account.”  You will then put your email address in, choose a password, give your address and accept their conditions and YOU ARE IN!  We hope there are a GREAT number of Angus folks who sign up!


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