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Bread at Home - Part 11

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • October 5, 2019
    12:15 PM
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Home there's really no place quite like it is there it's a place of comfort and security and safety a place to relax to rest to be restored after a weary day a place where you're loved and accepted a place where you know where everything is and you can put anything where ever you wanted to be it's unique and I realize that there are some fractured homes and homes filled with challenges and God didn't intend it that way he intended home to be a place of rest maybe similar to this picture it's a little bit dated but I still like the picture I know what the right house were find ourselves in transition having been displaced if you will from the home that we were enjoying for the last 8 years really the only home that our kids remember growing up in the longest place we've ever lived married before and the Lord has provided us with a nice house on a nice street with nice neighbors but it still doesn't quite feel like home not yet why is that well perhaps because we don't have the same shared memories in this new place yet perhaps because it still feels a little bit unfamiliar Perhaps because we're still not sure where we put this that or the other there are still pictures to be hung We are still questioning where furniture goes Do we like this here no we don't like it there in part for the kids or a big part for the kids as the Yard has gotten much smaller I don't know how it could have been any other way and for Lauren she wants more flowers to pick to put in the different rooms on Sabbath and around the table and we planted all the flowers in the last place and we'll do it again here perhaps it's because the car still wants to drive to the other place because it still even now feels more like home no home is a special place I still remember as a teenager leaving home it wasn't far away it was like 3 minutes the southern avenues university from my home and I remember the last load in the car as I was taking over the talent hall I'll be really close mom don't worry I'll still come back here for laundry and to raid the covered but she was emotional and I couldn't figure out why and she says Well things are. Changing and they won't ever quite be the same there's something to do that is in their home there's something about the holidays about having all your kids home soldiers when they go off to war right about home we think about it all be home owners who are Christmas or I'm homesick for heaven I don't know about you but the place that I prefer to be more than any other time of the week on a Friday night is home last year we decided to adopt if you will a student at Fletcher academy that been through some trials we met them at camp meeting and because of our struggles with Jane somehow we bonded with that family and so we invited Zach over for as many Friday nights as we could to our home and Fletcher keep them very busy let me tell you we only squeak in a few maybe 3 or 4 Friday night but we love those Friday night sharing our home with this individual Now I understand the boys dorm is nice but if you haven't been in a boy's dorm in a while it smells like below and dirty laundry Raman cooking and it's all this camouflage if you will with spray on deodorant and cologne and as nice as that is on Friday night is nice to be in someone's home with a hot meal a really good fruit salad maybe with some strawberries and candles the lighting set just right there's something nice about home and it was a blessing to share that with and he since graduating we miss him already Evan is home described this way home should be made all that the word implies it should be a little heaven upon earth this sweetest type of Heaven is a home for the spirit of the Lord presides as the ideal isn't it a little heaven upon earth a respite if you will from all the flaming arrows of the world that you may have to face he also goes on to say out of the heart are the issues of life and the heart of the community of the church and of the nation is the household the well being of society the success of the church the prosperity of the nation depend upon home influences the home is vital. Home is important it's powerful to our community to our church to our nation it all rests on these home influences and this morning we can talk about all kinds of things about the home we've talked about various aspects of the home here before but I believe God has a special work to be accomplished in the home and it's probably not exactly what you're thinking just now but it's a home where the Spirit resides but this morning I want to look at the home as a place or ministry oftentimes we refer to it as opening up your home and that can be a scary thing because your home might look a little bit like my home does many times it's a little bit of a mess there are things out of place things aren't putting exactly where they should be the carpet needs that you mean who came in here with that whose toys are these whose clothes are those how come those are in the hamper who needs a full this take that up to your room that oftentimes is our home and sometimes we are fearful of letting someone else come into our space I mean granted it's a lot easier to come here to church on Sabbath morning to get dressed up awfully nice leave all the mess behind and sometimes that can be a blessing and we put on you know all of our happy whatever that we want people to see and so on but to bring them over to our home anybody like unexpected visitors someone's in the driveway quick pick up everything in the closet. But what about home as a place for ministry now we're continuing our series on Paul a man of grace and grit and we're going to kind of weave this one in here if you will but I called it bread at home because the early church had a lot to do we're going to see just a moment with meals and with fellowship and often they took place in the home the early church grew largely out of the home he was home church and in our series Paul has already completed his 1st missionary journey last time we met Paul was departing on his 2nd missionary journey but today I want to insert here a little observation of what the churches around the country and Paul's time were like that we have your Bibles I know it feels like we're going back. Words But that's Ok Acts chapter 2 verse $40.42 because I think this is the clearest picture if you will of the early church and I think we would do well to imitate more fully the early church in the book of Acts So we're in Acts chapter 2 there in verse 40 and I'm reading and with many other words he testified and exhorted them saying be saved from this perverse generation then those who gladly received his word were baptized and that day about 3000 souls were added to them and so they've just heard this new faith they've just heard this preaching they're so excited they're baptized but then verse 42 and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship in the breaking of bread and in prayers notice the 4 things that they did they continued in the apostles doctrine we can say they continued to grow in the truth they continued to study God's Word I mean that's pretty important but secondly it says there was this fellowship peace thirdly there was breaking of bread and then fourthly prayer now and I think of church I think of Bible study and I think of prayer but it's not of the top of my list of things that just come to me 1st thing I'm not saying is not part of the church but bible study and prayer are knee jerk responses but here in this relatively small list we also have fellowship and prayer Apparently the writer of acts Luke finds these 2 also extremely important it doesn't include laundry polishing your Sabbath shoes it doesn't include those things but it includes fellowship the breaking of bread sharing meals together spending time together encouraging one another find out how they're weak when there are ups and there downs their highs and lows and often it was over a meal breaking of bread sharing what they had is bread extravagant typically not but it's sharing what they have it's fellowship being together and if you had the experience of having someone over to your home for lunch on Saturday afternoon you know that their relationship changes in a marked way. After that has taken place after they've been in your home after you've been in their home there is a connection that forms as you sit at the same table as you share a meal as it's not just formalities but how are you doing how are your kids how's life How's your job how's whatever continuing on in verse 46 it says so continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart praising God and having favor with all the people notice here again yes they're going to the temple they're going to church if you will that's part of it but here repeat just a few verses later breaking bread going house to house we can say home to home how they eat their food does it say with gladness and pomp and circumstance no it's own it says with gladness and simplicity of heart it was simple fare I'm sure it tasted good but it was simple I magine their houses look a lot like you were and like mine I imagine they weren't always immaculate I imagine they weren't always everything in order but they were clean and the table was nice but it doesn't say they sat down to 4 course meals and that they were entertained with this or that no they sat down to something simple and noticed the results of such a practice the last part of verse $47.00 and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved there's something about that fellowship that adds significantly yes to truth and to prayer but to be part of a group that cares for you and you care for them we share what we have with one another can be simple but profound I remember our 1st district as a 2 church district but one of them was the Daltons of them this church there in Dalton Georgia and I was the associate pastor at that church and early on there was a small group sometimes 2 or 3 if they had a good week it was maybe 5 would come to the church for a Bible study on Friday night so we came a time or 2 and very quickly Elizabeth very intuitive she says this is just. Not working we need to have this in our home that's what she said sounds like a good idea let's try let's ask the group and see if they're open to that they were mostly singles and whatever anywhere from high school to young adult and so we tried it out we say when you come to our home our simple little apartment was not big and we came we met in our living room and when they came in she had the smell of fresh cookies that had just been vacancy had some juice of some kind maybe some cut apples I don't know what exactly it was a human to get rid of as both but she'd have stuff out there well that's what we came to learn if you put it out it disappears with teenagers they don't ask questions we would eat some simple food you know more refreshment type stuff we would talk and chat and visit and then we'd gather around the circle in the way we did it was simply how it was modeled to me when I was in high school we just had a small group Bible study and half of that Bible study was not Bible study at all it was more the fellowship piece How is your week tell us about the highs and lows of your week tell me about how you're doing spiritually and how can we pray for you or what per a quest you have and we would go around the circle now it doesn't take long when you have 4 people but you'd be surprised as they get more comfortable it takes about half the time and some might say we need to get into the Word who cares about this flap stuff for friends I'd counsel you otherwise the fellowship and breaking of bread is important because then the Bible study takes on new life as you know what their struggle is what they're dealing with the challenges they're facing and you can say you know what this might apply to you and your situation right now and we're going to pray for you at the end of this study that the Lord will help you in this way we're going to claim this promise for you on your behalf I mean just Ratz is the whole thing up several notches always been half the time going around the circle then half the time in the Bible and I try to ask lots of questions and so on and then we'd have prayer and we'd be done but then we wouldn't be done because they wanted to stay for sometimes another hour and as the group slowly began to grow a bit by bit by bit we were only there 2 years by the time we left every room in our small apartment had a bible study in it I told we had to split up we don't want to do that yeah we got us but we can still come together initially and afterwards but. We have to have small groups we can't get around the circle so we had one in the living room which is small we had another group in our kitchen which was small then we had to go up stairs into the study which was small and then we run out of space a little We're going to have to have a group in our bedroom our bedroom I don't know what about this and a b r I don't worry we'll put this group up there they're responsible Ok so we had a group in our bedroom we ended up having a group in our hallway I don't remember how many we got up to and it wasn't always the same I want to say 30 sometimes 40 people would show up to our tiny little apartment in Dalton Georgia to fellowship to break cookies and study the word There's something about fellowship being in the Home Ministry to others in your home it adds some level of authenticity doesn't it I want to invite Marilyn Bauer to come forward this time she relatively recently got back from a trip and I'm going to come down here on the floor I don't know these steps are agreeable to her right now with where she is but I'm going to try and bring here a little bit towards the front so we can still get this on the camera but you just recently went on a big trip and we were praying for you on this trip as well and that God would give you success and I don't know if you want to start with this trip or if you want to start by going back and giving us some of the back story about why this trip even took place in the 1st place I think I need to get the back story all right the year was 989 and Dave and I lived in Downers Grove Illinois which is a suburb of Chicago Dave was working at Hinsdale Hospital we lived a few miles away from the hospital my mother and father the Hayes's lived with us our son Ray until he was working at Hinsdale Hospital and lived in the apartments that they had for their workers and I thought life was really wonderful my whole family together the 5 of us our work was pleasant Our church was good and then in February of 1989 the unthinkable happened our son ranty and 2 of his friends were killed in a plane crash as they flew back from a. Day of downhill skiing in Wisconsin the 3 young men were all workers at Hinsdale Hospital and so it caused a great outpouring of sympathy and concern the 3 have also graduated not in the same years but reasonably close to each other from Andrews University so that campus was impacted but for Dave and me and my mom and dad it was a devastating loss Randy was our only child he was the only grandchild and our hopes and our dreams were pinned on him he was the joy of our life and those next weeks were just terrible as we try to figure out how to live with this and what should be our next steps how should we go on and then it got to be May and we had a phone call and the phone call was some of Randy's friends and they knew that his play and was week by week to spend Friday night at home with us with Dave in May with his grandma and grandpa which he called Nana and papa they called and they wondered would it be all right if a few of them came to our house that Friday night just before Mother's Day to have worship with us we said yes we'd be glad to have you and these were kids that we had known for quite some time they had been at the Andrew scamp as they had been with Randy some of them one of them from 7th grade the others from Andrew's Academy and the others from Andrews University and so when they came and they were not strangers to us we hugged each other and we wiped our eyes we just kind of did the same kind of Friday night Vespers that we did by family we sang songs and we always chose some response of reading from the back of the him no and that's what we did that Friday night prayer a lot of talking about Randy and when they left they gave us. Hugs and we thought this was nice Randi would be so happy to know that these friends were in our house in our home beginning the Sabbath with us well June came and that's Father's Day And would you believe we had a phone call again the Friday before Father's Day They wanted to come could they come again and have sundown worship with us and we said yes and it was another wonderful evening together almost the same group I think there was a difference of 2 people there were about 5 or 6 of them and as they said goodbye that night Sue who we had known from a 7th grader with Randy's class as she hugged day she said Mr Bower It's so nice to be in the home to start the Sabbath and when they left Dave said to me we've got to talk about this he said this is what you said when he told me wow that really play something heavy on our hearts and we thought and prayed about that for the next several days and then we invited them to come to our house the Friday night of the weekend the 4th of July and we told them this time we're going to serve you a little supper and we'll have Vespers together and I did the inviting and I said Dave has something he wants to propose to you and so that's really where the story begins they came that 4th of July weekend it was a big weekend in Chicago you know that's the Taste of Chicago when the restaurants have all their things out and and the fireworks and Symphony Orchestra and the bay and they are all there but I want to tell you our 7 kids all came to our door as Dave like the men they were hugging him and I thought you know how is this going to work with my mom and dad here my mom and dad were all people they were already just about 90 and maybe a little bit into their ninety's but you know we had always made them a part of our family and the kids kind of knew the. They knew that about Randy's namin pop pop so he just let it go we were family and they came in and they not only hugged Dave and me they went to my mom and dad and greeted them we sat down to the table and it was wonderful for us the last time we had seen Ray and it was Friday night in our house for this kind of a supper and worship the Sabbath and Sunday Monday he was on a ski trip and he died that Monday and so for all of us the 11 of us it was a very poignant time and as we finished the meal Dave said let's go into the family we'll let's sit by the fireplace even though with Joe I it just gives you a homey feeling to be in the room where the fireplace is and so he proposed to them he said Marilyn and I have talked a good deal about how we want to go forward in our lives with Randy gone and we have decided we really want to invest in you know his friends you kind of be our daughters and our sons and you're welcome to Randy's Nana and papa and we're suggesting that we have a once a month family gathering we'll call it a home Vespers Marilyn and Nana that will do the cooking and Dave and pop up all kind of clean up the house and make sure the floors vacuumed and the garbage is out but we would like you our new daughters and sons to play and what you'd like to do for vespers you may do just what we've done you know a little singing a little scripture a little talking and lots of prayer What do you think it was a no brainer they were delighted Oh they said We'd love it and so we set a Friday night in August to be our 1st home vespers and it was those same 7 who came and with my mom and dad Dave and me we were a group of 11 we had a lovely time mom and I had made a nice buffet meal we had a huge in our family room and we had the food place there and when they came in we welcomed them they had a grand time. And we continued that for September and October and November and December and we began to say to them you know if you have some friend that you think would like to be part of this and fight them to come and so instead of 7 we began to have 14 that we were in the twenty's and by a year of meeting together we were $20.00 to $25.00 and I said to Dave I can't do this on myself I was working full time supervising teachers in the Illinois conference my mother and father were in our home requiring a little care and so we invited 2 other couples the conference President and his wife b.j. and Judy Christiansen they were delighted to do that and a radiologist and his wife Roland and Purcell of Monsour from the hospital they were known for their hospitality we provided the home and the meal and they began bringing their friends the conversation that we had had with Randy at the Christmas time or the new years of 1988 just before the accident that had to do with his own spiritual standing and the fact that he would just slip into church and join us you know if he had been a deacon and pioneer he had been active there and when we talked to him he said you know the truth is the truth is I feel like I don't have a place here in this church there's no room for me you know how we felt to hear those words all the how we began to see some of his friends in church and I began talking to them in my motherly way about bringing their membership to Hinsdale that gathering went on for 7 years some of those kids were in our house 80 times do you think we felt like strangers do you think they felt that our house was just a strange place to go to know they were at home in our house that coming home was such a wonderful thing for them kids came from a great distance. Carlota guys came from Meyer hall at Andrews University once a month to be in our house to have a good meal and it wasn't cookies for us it was a real Friday night meal because when Randy came home we wanted him to have the favor things that is now and his mother made and so we really determined that the Friday night supper would be feasting time simple food but good and smell wonderful when you come in the door it was such a blessing to Dave and me those empty Friday nights were now filled 2030405020 year old so we called the scattering of home Vespers 20 something but then because of my father's illness and impending death we stopped this and a few months we retired and moved back to Andrews and we had a farewell and the monsters house and oh my it was an outpouring of affection for us and for what it had done for them their role in the church their activities the highlight of that time I think was after nominating committee had met and one of the 20 something guys called us and he said Tomorrow I'm going to be ordained as a local elder right here in my home church where I grew up and they're having a new play and they have invited me to invite somebody from the church to be my spiritual mentor as I begin being an elder and he said I would like you to to be my mentors that was a wonderful moment for us to know that our home had made this kind of an impact through the years there have been especially that 1st group who were Randy's friends you know in the end dozens of people were in our home who never knew Randy had no idea about him but that same little nucleus they have stayed with us and with me now since Dave's death they came here for his service and Hendersonville and then when it was decided to have one that pm say about 20. That number came there and then suddenly it was Christmas of 2018 a mother and sister of one of the boys who died with Randy the tangs on his fellow Am family they were here visiting their daughter Wendy Pendleton whose husband George has been involved are par brother died with Randy they were visiting me and we were just realizing that next year in February is 30 years 30 years well we said shall we do something to remember our boys the parents of Randy shelves have died so there are no parents left there we thought Well February is a terrible months to get back into Chicago as an anniversary of their death and let's not remember that date and we decided instead to make it a 30 year reunion of the 20 something home vespers and Marty the sister who lives still in Hinsdale remembering her brother she said while John was big on social media and I'll take care of this and you know that's about what happened that's about what happened they took care of this and the date was set and the date was August 23 to 25 in Hinsdale they began corresponding with me that group of girls who spearheaded this the same so who had hugged Dave and said Mr Bower It's so nice to begin Sabbath and I hope that same Sue She just got bored with this and her group of friends and I began getting reports from Sue and from Marty John Sr who had the boy who died with Randy about people who are coming and people who are coming and people who are coming. And then in May 31 I had my great fall at home and broke my kneecap my own upper room prayer group they said merrily we're going to pray about this that your knee is fine and you're able to go to the half. So for 9 weeks I sat with my like sticking out in front of me and remembering remembering what I was hoping to be part of an August and praise the Lord I got my Grace off of the 19th and on the 20th I began making my planes for who was going to take me to the airport and I did fly to O'Hare and I was there now I want to tell you what the Lord does with simple little play ends that we have our plan was simple our play on was real and he has a few friends who are lonesome on Friday night they don't have a real home they're in apartments they have mattresses on the floor because they haven't earned enough money yet to buy a bed our plan was very small we didn't have a vision for anything big and important but what the Lord does with our small play hands and what he does with our homes is incredible that weekend there were 51 people who came back to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 20 something home vespers and as was doing some calling she had called one of the guys who lived there yet and Hinsdale she said Reuben we're planning to have this weekend and we've arranged to have the fellowship hall in the church and have a home Vespers on Friday night in the fellowship hall and. She said you know most of us are traveling in from a great distance from Idaho and Texas and l.a.x. said and she said we can do the food we want to do you think that you would be willing to provide some supper for the phone vespers and Ruben said well so you know everything you've told me is pretty good but there's one really big mistake and Sue thought what's this going to be and he said you know from the very beginning the Bowers always called this a whole new Vespers that was the thing of it all it was a home vespers and now you're saying we're going to have Friday night in the church and the fellowship no way. Said my wife and I we will open our home we'll provide the food and we want them and a whole mess that's what the powers plan was praise the Lord praise the Lord and it is only now that I have been there with these 45 and the rest of us adults and so forth it's only now and as I've read their responses and their memory is written to me in my guestbook that I realize that they didn't like the smell of good food as they came in the door and it was fun for them to make new friends we had 9 weddings in those 7 years and everybody like to say we met in front of the Bower's fireplace but in their notes to be now what really mattered to them was our home and even the fact that there was a grandma and grandpa there it made our home a real ministry to them I just thank God for all the things that developed from our simple play on it one on to have a drama club and a choral group a Sabbath service that they went to rotating churches in southern Illinois who sometimes only had a minister once and for weeks they went on to do wonderful things took leadership in the Hinsdale church and the Pastor Dan Smith who was there when this accident happened he came back for the 30th reunion and for Dave's memorial service at p.m.c. and both times he said I want to tell you that the church that I came to minister in Hinsdale is not the church that I left after the Ministry of the home Vespers for 20 something so Pastor you know we also have a throw stuff in the closet that didn't get fight put away and sometimes the supper was not as it was supposed to be something didn't turn out quite right at the last minute we had a substitute but I want to tell you that the Fellowship and the breaking of bread and being at home I think was the increase. And that made that then the straight even now 30 years later something that those kids of course they're now my I was 52 when Randy died they are now 53 up to 60 I still call them those kids but those things that now stand out in their hearts and in their memory and which has tied them to the church repay that lady on the weekend and the sale they said I would not be here if it were not for for 20 something I would not be here if it weren't for the whole investors I would not be here except for the friendships I made in front of the powers fireplace and so as I think of the early church they had a lot right with what they were doing Thank you Maryland for for sharing that with us well did you get it too I need to say anything more and it may not look exactly like the Bower's home Vespers it may be a different one of the week you may be to a different age group of individuals it can be a host of things but perhaps the Lord his or the Holy Spirit is planted an idea in your mind in your heart and has inspired you to say you know we should pray about this more we need to give this more thought we have an Academy campus in fact we have 2 of them very nearby Well I can only you know have one or 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever it might be I'm not here and I don't think Mrs Bower is here to say it has to be just like this or just like that but if there are some elements of this early church practice that we could incorporate I think the benefits could be tremendous and I think it would be a not only a blessing to this community to this church that the a blessing to us and so that is my simple challenge today Thank you Marilyn so much for sharing with us for the work that you did for the countless meals that you prepared and the incredible fruit that we've only seen a piece seem to see the impact that they have had on others and the overall impact we can see it now but someday we will and now they have and you were saying that when I talk to you before that many of them are saying you know we're the same age are many of our kids are out of the house and work on. I'm in the same place in life as you are now it's our turn weren't they saying that and so I just challenge you make this a matter of prayer Dear Heavenly Father we can see that when you are here you often like to minister in homes as well be it in the home of Zacchaeus or Mary and Martha or various other places where you were you were personable you took time for fellowship to hear about what was happening with them and the Lord if we have the opportunity to open up our home to provide some simple fare to create the best that we can through the power of your Holy Spirit environment for a spiritual conversation and just prayerfully consider Lord what would you have us to do who would you have us to invite who would you have us to minister to who can we bring into our homes or and just see where you lead or I pray that you will challenge each of us with that thought with that idea and make it plain with you that was to do. This media was brought to you by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know about body or. If you would like more service leave w w w audio person or.


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