When our house sells and we move into our Mobile Suites, we won’t be traveling until we actually retire, which could be a 3 to 6 years down the road. So, this won’t be an issue yet, but it is enough to give me pause.
Currently we really enjoy going to church and being with like-minded Christians. Since it is taught in the Bible, and we all know first-hand that all of us have sinned, we seek to better ourselves. It seems a bit strange at times to hear of someone say something to the effect of, “I don’t like to go to church because there are so many hypocrites there. They practice one thing during the week and then go to church and try to act holier-than-thou.”
In reality, a church is really a collection of people who KNOW they are sinners, and at least make the effort to attend worship services so they can be encouraged by people, like themselves, that recognize their frailties and falling short of being worthy of God’s grace. So, instead of looking at them as hypocrites, we should always remind people that a church is a group of people trying to do better than they are. Considering that, can anyone criticize us for trying?
Anyway, at some time in our future, we won’t be worshiping with the same congregation for years on end as we have in the past. Instead, we will sort of be vagabonds. However, I hope to perhaps call myself a “Vagabond Minister.” I am not an ordained minister, so it won’t be that I can “officially” do some things. However, I hope to be able to minister to others by offering Bible study, so that we all (and I include myself here) learn more about God’s word.
In addition, I’ve been considering another option which could begin at any time and continue after we begin traveling. Since I have this blog, although it is lightly read at the moment, I could post an e-mail address on it and let it be known that I would be glad to offer up prayers for those in need. I hope to also do that ministry, a prayer ministry, once we travel by having some notice around our campsites offering that same service.
While we will miss the good people of our current congregation, we will have the opportunity to attend other churches of Christ in other parts of the country as well as offer some services within the campgrounds or mobile home parks.
You see, when we begin to travel, we may spend as much as three to six months in one place while we avail ourselves of the local and regional attractions like state and national parks, museums, and other interesting things. Thus, since we will be spending longer periods of time in some places, I think mobile home parks may be less expensive than RV parks. In the Oklahoma City area for instance, I know of three different parks that offer spaces to RV’s as well as mobile homes.
Our church congregation has been doing what we call Life Groups, which are small groups of individual, couples and families meeting together in the evenings in private homes instead of at the church building. That way, some people might consider attending small services instead of being in overly large groups of people.
With traveling, any groups that we would have would naturally be small groups, thus I think it could be an ideal opportunity to help grow spiritually with others wishing the same thing. Then, should the groups wish to, they could then attend regular worship services at the local congregations in the towns and cities they visit.
Since Jo and I have a copy of The Truth Project video series, that would be almost a first thing presentation to begin with a small group. Even if one isn’t a strong Christian in their beliefs, that video series can certainly strengthen Christian as well as encourage non-believers to study more. I have watched the series a number of times and EVERY time I watch it, I tend to learn something more from it.
As one watches the video series, they are struck with profound principles and ideas, tending one to think about that last profound revelation. That can easily lead to missing the following profound revelation when it comes by because one is still thinking about the first one.
Speaking of profound thoughts, suppose I told you that the book of Revelation was NOT about foreseeing future events, but actually the revealing of Jesus Christ to those who weren’t witnesses to his works and teachings. Would that give you pause? There is a book that while out of print officially (meaning not available in stores), the family of the author still offers the book for sale. It is a commentary of the book of Revelation by a Church of Christ minister who served as a minister for many years.
The book is entitled “As A Lamb Slain” written by a gentleman by the name of Floyd Irvin Stanley, who lived and worked in Rogers, Arkansas. Mr. Stanley passed away in January of 2010, but his family still keeps books available. Jo and I were introduced to the book during a Bible study of Revelation at the Lakehoma Church of Christ in Mustang, OK. That study took us 9 months to complete, using the Bible and Mr. Stanley’s book.
Even though I had been raised in the Church of Christ, I had never attended a Bible study on Revelation as an adult. I had developed an attitude that I didn’t even want to read Revelation because of all the “gloom and doom” within it. The study at Lakehoma opened my eyes and my thoughts to the fact that Revelation is a revealing of Christ, not a revealing of future events.
Jo and I have given copies of that book as gift to friends and family, and we are still in touch with Mr. Stanley’s family in regards to the book and getting more copies of it. In fact, we are in need of ordering some more from them. We went to Rogers once to meet Mr. Stanley and get more books from them. His daughter told us that Mr. Stanley’s father had told him to NOT publish the book until Mr. Stanley was at least 50 years old. That was so that he would have a mature understanding of Revelation.
While he was tempted at times to publish it early, he chose to adhere to his father’s wishes and held off. His daughter told us that it probably was a good thing since Mr. Stanley did revise parts of the book after he was 50 years old.
Mr. Stanley had a grasp of the meanings of much of the “figurative” language of Revelation, to include the true meaning of “666” and what the “figurative” figures, such as the beasts, really referred to and why. I guess I need to read through it again.
May God’s blessings be upon all of you.
Pike’s Peak from Garden of the Gods; Colorado Springs; August 2008