A Pastor’s Transformation

Pastor-homeless-peoplePastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured left) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food – NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit n the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation.

The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him. He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited– Matthew 25:31-46.

 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?”

He then dismissed service until next week.

Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others.

flourishx

Bryan’s Note: Some have made this account to be nothing more than a “urban myth,” kind of a good piece of  Christian “schlock” that never happened. I personally can’t say for sure. I simply can’t vouch for its veracity. But all I really know is that it speaks to me in many ways about following Jesus. For that alone, I am thankful.

More of Jesus, less of Bryan.

ybic, Bryan

kyrie elesion.

The Wonder of It All

Fairy Blue Wren
Fairy Blue Wren

This day– this wonderfully good day, has been a flood of kindness for my soul. Sitting on my deck soaking up the Alaskan sun, I’m jolted by a considerable awe at the created world that swirls around me.

I haven’t though these thoughts for a long time. But now they visit me, and I think it may be time to entertain them.

If creation is wonderful, the Creator is more so. He is responsible for everything I see. And living in Alaska gives me ample things to see and ponder.

I sat and mulled over a very persistent question. “Why is there ‘something’ instead of nothing?” There is nature that we see and touch. We take pictures of it. Our artists and writers and poets work out of this wonder that surrounds us all.

I was stunned when I first saw this picture of this wren. He is so wonderfully blue– a masterpiece meticulously ‘manufactured’ by Someone. I am left with an authentic awe and reverence that is left behind like when the tide goes out.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1, NLT

“Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!” Isaiah 65:18

“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” Romans 8:19

“He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” Colossians 1:17

What we see and touch is full evidence of God the Creator. He reveals himself– what he is like. His character is seen all around us. We describe His faithfulness which is like the mountains. His love is like the ocean, and He also finds time to feed every sparrow that He has made. His fingerprints are on everything.

We enter a classroom, when we step outside our house. My problem is my “drone-ability.” (I just invented a new word.) I move through the creation blind, without really perceiving it. I can be completely impervious to the glory of God swirling around me. And I really don’t want to be this way. I want to live in wonder.

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ybic, Bryan

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My Health at This Moment, Sunday, March 10

Follow-up.

It’s Sunday morning here in Alaska. We survived already this morning– DST, an earthquake, dog poop on the carpet, and snow, and it’s not even noon yet. (Can’t wait to see what the afternoon will bring.)

I had my appointment Friday, and my doctor was blown away. My Bell’s Palsy is diminished by about 70%. He was thunderstruck. And I believe God healed me!

There are some issues though. The BP is still affecting my eye, and the left side of my mouth.  I have decided to continue the meds, and start to ease off of managing four blogs. The eyestrain isn’t going to help my affected eye.

I was able to open the service with a meditation from the Word last night at our main service. I managed to do this without a translator, or a sponge, so I survived.

Having so many praying for me, especially early this week during the acute stages was profound. Thanks for mobilizing and standing up for me in the Father’s presence. Thank you!

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Kyrie eleison.

ybic, Bryan