Inside Perspective - October 2014

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

When I was twelve years old, my family moved from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. At that time, my parents bought a house in Loch Arbour, which is a very quaint beach town only two blocks wide by three blocks long. Our home was the third house in from the beach.

It really was a wonderful place for a young man to grow up. Back in Pennsylvania, I loved the outdoors, and was a hunter and a freshwater fisherman. Our house in Loch Arbour was adjacent to Deal Lake which is New Jersey’s largest coastal lake with a huge watershed that encompasses 4,400 acres. Living close to the ocean, I became a saltwater fisherman as well. As a twelve year old boy, I was in my glory! I fished day and night, every chance I got.

I also became an avid surfer, eventually traveling all over chasing the elusive “perfect wave”. I surfed year-round, even in the dead of winter. As such, our garage in the back of our house became the junk-room for all the surfboards and fishing equipment for my buddies and me. They would call me up in the early morning after a storm to get the wave report, because they knew all I had to do was look out the window. My parents were very gracious and tolerated all of our shenanigans.

After a surfing expedition the fellas and I would, without fail, head straight for my mother's kitchen. My Mom was notorious for her goodies and she always had tons of homemade munchies prepared for us. It was unbelievable, everything was so delicious; I never knew what was next because she was always cooking up a scrumptious new number! What a Mom! During my high school years, I was shooting up like a bean-pole with a bottomless pit. I ate like a horse and never gained a pound. Those were the days!

The problem is that when you live close to the ocean you track sand around with you wherever you go. Like it or not, it is just the natural consequence of the environment. In short, it used to drive my mother crazy! We would all come straight from the beach like a herd of mad cows and storm Mom's kitchen! Like a swarm of locusts, we devoured everything in sight.

Mom was tough but Dad was the enforcer. All Mom had to do was say, "Philip, I am going to tell your father when he gets home." That was it! I immediately became submissive and obedient pleading my case to Mom, all the while seeking a reprieve of the report to my Dad.

I had gotten the belt on the behind, administered in love, too many times in the past and had thoroughly learned that lesson. Mom then laid down the law, everyone was to go into the basement first and all shoes were to come off. If you did not submit, you didn't get goodies. The basement became the "sand-room" on the way to the kitchen!

Now, all these years later, I have become my mother as I try to keep the dirt out of my cell. Carlos and I track around dirt from work or the recreation yard daily. We can't help it. I do the best that I can to keep it out of the cell, but it is a daily battle. There is a little stopper made out of a towel at the base of our door to try to keep the dirt in check. We also take off our shoes before coming into the cell. I know that Mom is smiling even now as she reads this and recognizes the Lord's poetic justice in it all! It's funny how things in life come full circle.

It is written, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Gal. 6:10)

Brother Tony Leahey spoke in church yesterday about the “household of faith”. He shared that the "household of faith" is indeed the church, even the Body of Christ of which we are all members in particular. He spoke of how careful we must be as we tread by faith through this sinful world so as not to track dirt back into the "household of faith." What a great point!

The "household of faith" is to be kept pure and undefiled. The ''household of faith" is holy. When we track the sand and dirt from the world back into the “household” it affects the whole Body. There is nothing worse in my cell than waking up in the morning and putting my feet down on a dirty, sandy floor. Even so, in the Body there is nothing worse than sin in the household! We must therefore regularly examine ourselves so we do not track dirt from the world back into the "household of faith" because we know that it affects everyone.

In John 13, Jesus uses a wonderful living illustration as He washes the disciples’ feet. Imagine that, the King washing your feet! That is the Father's heart toward you and me. It is written, "A person who has bathed all over, does not need to wash except for his feet to be clean all over..." (John 13:10)

Beloved, walk holy and turn from sin. Confess it promptly because you never know what you may be...