Comfortable Christianity

I grew up with a comfortable, easy “Christianity”. The type that says – go to church. Read your Bible. Pray before meals. Don’t cuss. Don’t watch rated R movies. If you want to be super-Christian, then spend a fun week on a youth group mission trip…don’t worry, it’ll be fun, trust me. That about sums it up.

The kind of Christianity that never got out of hand. It never got too serious. It never interfered with my life. Bible study never trumped homework. A person in need was never more important than the place I was going.

The sort of religion that says a lot. It really does. I had all the right words. I could win (in my mind) any argument. I could prove all those people wrong. I could say the right things.

But my heart was far from it.

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You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive (Day 14)

“In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky…I read on a hillside gravestone, you will never leave Harlan alive. Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning and the sun goes down about three in the day. You fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you’re drinking and you spend your life just thinking of how to get away…No one ever knew there was coal in them mountains, until a man from the northeast arrived, waving hundred dollar bills he said I’ll pay ya for your minerals…But he never left Harlan alive.” – Paisley

Old Crow Medicine Show travels through good old Johnson City. Kenny Chesney comes and sees family in Knoxville. Then Brad Paisley gives a death sentence for Harlan.

Rewind to my fall semester at ETSU. I’m at the usual place for Tuesday nights – 7:08 Ministries college house. Devo is over, announcements are next. I hear a different announcement this time; info about a church of Christ in Kentucky that needs some help. They need a crew of able-bodied Christians to come visit them, encourage them, support them, and give aid to their aging preacher in all aspects of worship, each Sunday. And so the custom began; every Tuesday night a handful of college students would sign up to take a van to KY the next Sunday morning to help with the service and visit with the church members.

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