The pop diva’s death should remind us of an uncomfortable reality: People in church take drugs.
Gary Bryant has nice breath.
Which is a good thing, because he is a greeter at FellowshipChurch in Grapevine, where everyone is relentlessly nice and continually in your face. The moment I pulled up in my dirty Toyota Prius, I was accosted by a Fellowship handler, who ushered me into the bookstore and introduced me to Gary, an older gentleman with a sharply tailored blazer and shaved head. He shook my hand with studied firmness.
There is a spirit of division roaming about this country, seeking whom it may devour. You can see it in the political sphere, in the disproportionate animosity directed toward President Barack Obama and in the increasing level of distrust among races. But I have seen its corrosive effect even more in the personal and church spheres, where we have an enemy seeking to destroy every close, godly relationship.
Looking back, it sounds insane. In the late 1980s, I traveled to Jamaica with a friend of mine, rented a couple of 50 cc Honda motorbikes, and traveled all over the country, intentionally avoiding the resort areas. I saw a Jamaica that bore no resemblance to the white-sand beaches of tourist renown. We rolled through desperately poor villages in the interior, like the place called Rat Trap, where half-naked young men in rags blocked our way, hollering and gesturing at us to stop.
“Reveal deep and secret things to me about my life, dear Lord!”This was the desperate plea in my heart as I checked into a hotel in DeSoto, Texas, early in the morning of June 22, 2006. I paid for three days but was prepared to stay more. My Bible, a notepad, a bag of toiletries, and a fierce determination to hear from the Lord accompanied me. I declared a three-day dry fast – no food, no water. Like Jacob in the Bible, I wasn’t going to let the Lord go until he blessed me with the solution to the problem I came with.