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Helpful Tidbits for the Disciple's Life                                                                                April 19, 2010

Love One Another
My Reflections
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Cute Smile 
When I was a kid, walking down Grandma's hallway was a trip down memory lane. Old photos of grandpas with cigarettes and aunts cuddling with childhood pets lined the walls like trophies, each picture capturing a moment in time.
In a small way, Aimee and I have kept the tradition alive; pictures of our children now line our walls. And then it dawned on me - Is there room on my walls (and in my heart) for the believers that have journeyed with me along the way?

QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: Is my church family really my family?
Love One Another
Excerpted from Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions by Dan Brennan
Sacred Unions Sacred PassionsCould it be that modern Christian friendships resemble a detached view more in line with a Buddhist worldview than with God's own story? For Buddhists, distance from desire is a virtue. Non-attachment is highly esteemed. It is interesting to observe the absence of deep friendship when it comes to evangelical ecclesiolgy. In Jim Belcher's recent book, Deep Church, there is no chapter on friendship. In another book, The Community of the Word: Toward an Evangelical Ecclesiolgy, fourteen essays are included from different leaders, yet, deep friendship isn't discussed here, either. For centuries prior to Freud and the romantic myth, the story of love between David and Jonathan encouraged passionate oneness in friendships (2010:103).
My Reflections 
Keith and GrannyThere's no doubt in my mind God has a special place in his heart for the biological family. I know I honor the Lord when I honor Aimee, my boys, my parents and grandparents. And I'm sure God enjoys my pictures, too. The lasting memories I have of my family preserved in the stillness of a photograph represents a part of my heart. It's good and right.
[Pictured: My son, Keith, getting mauled by his great-grandma]
And yet, my love affair with my family can be idolatrous, too. It's a fine line, I think, and that's something we all have to work out. I know wives often neglect their husbands because they find more of their identity in mother than wife. I know husbands do the same thing with their jobs. The question at hand, however, is this: Do I relegate my Christian brothers and sisters to second or third rate status? While I think I am not guilty, my walls suggest otherwise. If the Hebrew (Israelite) culture found it impossible to separate thinking from an appropriate and corresponding action, wouldn't the noticeable absence of spontaneous "family" photographs of those I claim to love so much tell me that there may be a discrepancy between what I think I believe and what, in fact, I do believe?
This is just food for thought. Take it for what it's worth. I think you get my point, though: it's important that we all find ways to make our church family a little more family-like. After all, the Millennial Kingdom may be right around the corner and it's gonna be one big happy family. I say we get a running start...and start taking some pictures.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty (bio)
The Banqueting Table