Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jumping in the River of Life


 First of all; forgive the long delay between blogs. Coming back from Africa and reentering the rushing river of life flowing through the Village is sometimes a bit overwhelming. Being thrust into three hundred lives with all their pains and joys, is incredible. We live in each other’s hearts much the same way as Christ lives in ours. I would give anything if everyone could experience what we get to experience every single week here in Rose Creek Village. People sometime ask “what’s it like living in out there in Rose Creek Village?” Well, it’s sort of like living ten or fifteen lives all at the same time. It definitely requires His grace to live it. Yet we think, that if you have a difficult time being so close together you might want to start thinking about your eternal destiny. Heaven will be delightfully worse. To begin to understand the unimaginable life we live, you would need to understand some of what makes up the elements of our corporate life.

First of all there is what you see with your eyes when you drive through the gates of the Village. The first thing you’ll see is 100 acres of beautiful west Tennessee farmland located 8 miles west from the small town of Selmer. What once was a rundown cattle farm has become a beautiful little Village of winding roads and carefully landscaped rolling hills. You can actually feel the love that went in to each tree lined road and flowered garden. There are several school buildings, a small grocery store and what’s called the "town hall". That’s where we come together to be taught, discuss “Village” matters and praise and worship our wonderful Father. A short drive through the residential section of the Village will reveal twenty or so large mobile homes where the only fences between the houses keep animals in not people out. There are no locked doors and kids playing everywhere. You will find large garden plots, fields for horses, orchards, sitting gardens, soccer fields, playgrounds, a small petting farm etc., etc.

Yet all these things are just the visible pictures of something much deeper and infinitely more lovely. Something merely using all the physical beauty and peaceful serenity as vessels to express itself, much like an instrument that is used to convey the music coming from some musician’s heart. That “something” is the Love of our Father. Although the external beauty of the land and the sweaty love we invested in it speak of things inside His heart, nothing says it better than the lives of the people who live and die on this land. To enter their hearts and houses is to gain insight into how the Creator intended humans to live.

This doesn’t mean a life void of conflict or difficulties. Both conflict and difficulties are vital in shaping us into the image and likeness of our beloved Father. Therefore all who commit to live together in Rose Creek Village must first commit themselves to becoming true disciples of the corporate Life of His firstborn son, Jesus Christ. That means being fully committed to working out our differences in the midst of the everyday trials. This necessitates living with imperfect people with the patience and kindness that is found in His Spirit. Each day we encounter the pressure of the potter’s hands forming our eternal souls on his spinning wheel of corporate life.

I honestly don’t know what I would have done if His Kingdom hadn’t appeared, visibly existing in a real place. I needed to see it with my eyes, hear it with my ears, and touch it with my hands, like the apostle John and his friends. I needed it to believe that Christ was who He said He was….

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled concerning the Word of Life…this Life was manifested and we have seen…..eternal life…” (1 John 1:1,2)

“I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23)

I know that there are believers in almost every city throughout America; but to see them become disciples, gathered together, living out normal everyday situations in the Unity of His Spirit is breathtaking and rare. In fact we are told that the demonstrated unity and love of disciples is the only real proof they are the Disciples of Christ.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you have love for one another. It is by this that all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34,35)

Our love and responsibility to love one another doesn’t stop with the people we live with either. If it is truly the love of God at work in people, they will find other people to pour their love out on. More aptly put; their Father in Heaven will show them where to continue to pour out the Life He gave them. That is why there are pictures of the children we support in India and Myanmar all over the walls of our houses. You will also find pictures of our Family in Kenya. Eighty or so people who have decided to become disciples and live as one family. Like the Gatehouse in Memphis and the Village they are committed their lives to demonstrating the wonderful Life we have been given.

Well, more later; It’s much better to live this wild and wonderful life… than just write about it.

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