Who remembers Harper’s? Apparently I didn’t a couple of columns ago.
It was a women’s clothing store on South First Street in our old downtown and Jean Prent was the efficient young woman behind the counter who took your money when you made a purchase or when you wanted to pay on your account.
She called me recently to remind me that I hadn’t included Harper’s in my list of stores from urban renewal days.
I can’t believe I left it out! It was one of my favorite places to shop! I don’t know when it first opened or when it closed for good, but I bought dresses and outfits there from the late 1950 right up to the early 1980s.
I started having a major problem a few weeks ago the minute I started thinking about what my favorite food might be. I knew immediately that I wasn’t going to come up with an instant, definite, no-doubt-about-it answer on the spot.
I get myself into these fantasy situations often, but I knew that a lot of thought was going to have to go into this decision. Probably weeks, if not months of intense study and research would be necessary.
And, there couldn’t possibly be just one category to work on. In fact, as I thought more about it, I was sure that I would never be able to narrow my choice of favorite foods down to one.
After all, there is breakfast, lunch and dinner for starters. There are snacks — mid-morning, mid-afternoon, before supper, before bed time, and don’t forget the middle of the night snack and the “I-can’t-sleep” snack.
Before we begin another season
sharing this space I call my backyard
and you call Jim’s All You Can Eat Garden Salad Buffet
let us make a pact:
I promise to fence in my vegetables
with the finest grade chicken wire,
if you promise to not find
ever creative ways
to chew through, dig under or scale over it.
You also agree to not burrow
yet another passageway under my shed
that will lead to your, no doubt,
quite comfortable one room bungalow,
if I agree to not use gravel, plywood,
broken cement blocks and old railroad ties,
attempting to barricade your existing routes.
You also have my word
that I will no longer
repeatedly rap on my kitchen window,
trying to scare the bejesus out of you,
if you, in turn, stop telling
more and more of your relatives
how great this place is
and they really should pack up and join you
since there’s plenty here to eat and –
other than some strange window-tapping guy –
the neighbors are real friendly.
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service.” – Ephesians 4:11-12
I know that I have written on this topic before but it is a message so much needed in the Body of Christ today. Tradition has resulted in whole congregations who expect their pastor to do the ministry. But that is clearly not what scripture says.
John Piper writes, “God gives to a church spiritual leaders whose role is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. And from the work of the ministry by the saints, the body is built up. God’s pattern for producing people with powerful faith and genuine love is not to have the pastor-teachers do all the work of the ministry.
“They are to equip the saints to do the ministry. And the saints are not a class of Christians. They are you, all of you, who have set yourselves apart for God through faith in Christ.”
According to God’s pattern then, the building up of the body in faith and love is the responsibility of saints who have been equipped.