Green Armbands ... and Belonging

>> Sunday, June 23, 2013

Everywhere we went, we saw the green armbands. Eating lunch at a restaurant it was easy to see who was wearing one. Walking around town, we knew immediately if someone had one on. In the grocery store, every other person was sporting a green armband.


We had traveled to John Day, Oregon to attend a motorcycle rally … along with hundreds of other people. To be allowed through the gate and into the fair grounds where the rally was being held, you had to register … and a green band was placed on your wrist.

Therefore, strangers talked to strangers because they all belonged to the same group. We were all in town with a common interest … motorcycles. (Well almost all. I really didn’t care much about the actual motorcycle … just my husband and friends who rode them.)

Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be like for Christ followers?

Wherever we go, can’t we find others who belong to Christ? Our common interest allows us freedom to make instant friends when we discover they are a brother or sister in Christ.

The witness of the Holy Spirit is far better than a green armband. 

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.” I Peter 3:8 (NLT)


Where's Your Front Porch

>> Sunday, June 9, 2013

Back in the good ole’ days, folks gathered on front porches to discuss everything from weather, to new babies to politics and religion. Wooden rocking chairs were a staple on the wide sweeping porches … chairs that said welcome. Neighbors knew neighbors. Parents watched out for all the children playing in their yard … and kisses for owies or discipline for an infraction were dispensed to all children alike.

Today, front porches are added to the house to provide a small shelter for the front door … our house included.

So my question is, “Where is the gathering place for you?”

There used to be a program on television where friends from all walks of life partook of drinks at a bar called “Cheers”. And everyone knew their names.

For several years now (even though I do not drink coffee), almost daily my husband and I have gathered at a local Starbucks. The customers we met there have become our “neighborhood”. We know when someone is sick … or moving … or received a promotion. We celebrate together … and commiserate together. And we don’t agree on politics.

I am acquainted with people who attend my church who never fellowship with anyone who doesn’t attend there. Their cocoon keeps them safely inside … surrounded by others who only believe the same way.

How boring.

For 30 years of my life, I had no friends … and didn’t know I needed any. It was a stretch for me to reach out to one … and then one more. But today my life is filled with a variety of people of all ages, lifestyles and philosophies. They know I would drop everything and come running if they needed me … and they would do the same. 

Where’s your front porch?

“Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.” Proverbs 27:10 (NLT) 


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