Posted by: Rex Boyles | March 2, 2008

“We are OPEN …”

We moved from the borrowed room out by the “Boom Boom” (see previous post) to an old vacant restaurant. It had been years since anyone had used it – much less cleaned it. But our little group was ready for the challenge … the challenge of cleaning it up (which was more than we expected) … the challenge of paying the rent (from borrowed to rented was a big step) … the challenge of becoming not just a church of Christ but a church like Christ (which is still our greatest challenge).

We cleaned – painted – repaired. We bought chairs and tables – even a whiteboard. We began our second year of offering people, who have been broken or bruised by their own sins or the sins of others, a “place” to rest and heal.

We had a new address, but there were no infamous landmarks to give unique direction to our place nor distinguishing signs – except for the neon-lighted “OPEN” sign in the front window. We had no “official church sign” to put up, so we would give friends the street and number – and usually add, “Just look for the OPEN sign.”  

Not long after we began meeting at the new place, a young man drove up into the parking lot and asked one of our sisters, who was just leaving, “What’s going on in there?”

“It’s a church.”, she said.

He asked, “A church … what kind of church?”

She paused – looked back at the building – “Well, the only sign we have is that ‘OPEN’ sign, so I guess we are the ‘OPEN’ church.”

That young man stopped – came inside – and here in this “OPEN” church he heard the “good news” about Jesus. He was one of several …

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the Lord’s work with us. It was a reunion of prodigals … who have been born into God’s family here … who have come home to the Father here … who have found a safe place to rest and heal here … who have renewed their devotion to the Word, the Body and the Lost here … who have made the decision to be real disciples of a real Jesus in a real world. 

May God bless these people, who have “open” hearts to the Lord … to me … and to other sinners like me. May He bless them, as He has blessed me through them.

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