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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

November 23, 2011 - Green Cinder Block Walls

By Jeff Sandstrom

I can remember as an infant my parents bringing me to church in a rustic suburb of Chicago and taking me to the nursery. (It’s amazing how I can resurrect repressed memories from childhood but can’t remember what I had for dinner last night.)

The nursery’s uninviting, cold walls were made of prison-like cinder blocks painted a nasty sea green (the color in the 64-crayon Crayola box that no one uses, kinda looks like a shamrock shake from McDonald’s). I can still remember what became known to me as “the smell of church” … damp … musty … moldy … church.

This experience conditioned me to associate the cold, poorly lit, sea-green walls with God. But if I could cry hard, loud, and long enough, my mother would come and get me and settle me by bringing me into the stain-glassed sanctuary.

This makes me think how many people out in the world may view church as a cold, musty, sea-green cinderblock wall.

Now, assuming the body of Christ has a message to deliver that’s worth understanding and even applying, how can these people be reached? Does every local church need some state-of-the-art discovery zone for their children’s ministry? Must churches grow their congregations beyond 5,000 members before they’re relevant? Should rock concerts for Sunday morning worship be mandatory?

The big question is, how can God become real to people? How can the lost and hurting be reached?

The same way I was.

Someone who I know loved me and cared about me rescued me from the cold cinder blocks when I cried hard, loud and long enough.

Relationships are everything.

Everything else is secondary.

If we listen closely enough, we can hear people in the world who have been crying hard and loud for a very long time.

“This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another” (1 John 3:11, NIV).

— Jeff and Ericka Sandstrom serve as associate pastors at 360Church, an Assemblies of God church plant in Berkeley, Calif. (Earl and Jan Creps, lead pastors).



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