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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Go Home

My Childhood Home
If I told you to go home, where would you go? When my parents went to heaven, many referred to it as “going home.” The Bible says that this world is not our home so I know that I will never be completely “at home” on earth. Nonetheless, I often confuse my friends by saying, “I’m home.” I have a house in Jacksonville, Florida and an apartment in State College, Pennsylvania so since I get confused about home, I understand their confusion. In Jacksonville, I have many churches that welcome and love me but I’m visiting. My home church is Calvary in State College, Pa. My church is as close to “home” as I can get while on earth. That means when I get back to my church, I breathe a sigh of relief. It is more than corporate worship – it is being members together of God’s household - studying the Bible, praying for each other, serving together, and being there spiritually, emotionally, and physically for each other.

Not all that carry the name “church” are happy “homes.” I hear many tragic “home” church stories. Some of you come from abusive “homes” – your supposed “church family” was just mean. Your “home” may have neglected, ignored, or judged you. Did you come from a broken “home” who fought constantly and then split up? Did your church have “pet sins” that they used as an excuse to be self-righteous and practice hateful prejudice? Some of your “homes” may have been dreary – boring, no fun or laughter, no joy of the Lord. Others preached fear – fear of sin and sinners and of displeasing God. If that is the kind of “home” you grew up in, it would be no surprise if you ran away from “home.” Here is the thing – this world is not our “home” and while we are here, we will always be restless as we long for our true “home.” The only antidote for that restlessness is finding an earthly “home” that will give us a glimpse of our final “home” with Jesus.

Calvary in State College, Pennsylvania - My Church Home
 So I beg you – Go Home! Join a church “family” who loves you unconditionally while having a vision of who you can become in Christ. When picking a “home” listen for laughter. God gives us the delights of our hearts. You aren’t “home” unless people are demonstrating the joy of the Lord. Make sure your “home” is the real deal – that they worship God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, believe in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and make the Bible the final authority for life on earth. Listen – do they preach and practice loving God with their entire heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving they neighbors as themselves? Do they greet you and seem glad you are there? Are they interested enough to check up on you? They won’t be perfect – no “home is – but you will know when you are “home.”

Once you find “home,” jump in with your entire heart, soul, mind, and strength – become an active member of the family of God. Support “home” with your money and time. Discipline your thoughts about what is “lovely” and build your family members up. Respect and support the leadership of your “home.”

Go Home! The rewards are magnificent.


His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph 3:10-12

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Eph 2:19-22

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Heb 13:17

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, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  Ephesians 4:11-16

Topic: Being Members of God’s Family

  • The manifest Wisdom of God is made known in church – Don’t miss it
  • Enjoy being fellow citizens with God – join God’s household
  • Work together with your church family to become the dwelling in which God lives by His spirit
  • God sent our church leaders to watch over us – let them.
  • It isn’t good for us when we make our church leaders miserable – be kind to church leaders
  • God sends family members with various talents to teach us – learn from them
  • Be unified as a family – otherwise you feel like you are being tossed about by waves
  • Build family members up

Evangelism Tip: Invite People Home

When you meet people who have run away from their church home, listen to their reasons. Don’t try to explain or defend the church. Simply apologize on behalf of the family of God for what happened to them. Invite them to your church.

Evangelize America

Shiloh the Shepherd's Sheep Dog - Helps Me Give the Gospel
 This has been what I’m calling “church week.” I went to two Bible Studies, a worship service, and lunch with a fellow sister. Every Divine Encounter I had was with Christians who have run away from their church home for one reason or another. I’ve had the pleasure of inviting several people to worship services and programs at my church. Shiloh the Shepherd’s Sheepdog was also very helpful this week. She performed her tricks perfectly and helped open the doors for conversation. I think she will be ready for the summer missionary journey. Bonnoroo is coming up in June and we still need funding. Pray about it.

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Cheryle M. Touchon

Monday, April 7, 2014

Let's Leave the Lights On

What does it mean to be salt and light in the world? I’ve been pondering this since visiting a Bible Study on this topic. As I listened to salt and light examples being tossed about, I grew more uncomfortable by the moment. Some turned their wine glasses upside down at weddings to be clear that they were avoiding the “devil’s brew.” Others suggested stands on moral issues like homosexuality and pro-life. Laments went up about high divorce rates and marital infidelity among Christians. I suggested that possibly love was what demonstrated salt and light but this since group didn’t know me any better than I knew them, their discussions continued and I quietly grew pensive.

That thoughtful sadness continued throughout the week as I finished emptying my childhood home and walked around letting memories flow. It will soon belong to someone else. As I stood on the corner double lot staring at the two-story white and green frame home, I pictured it lit up as it had been every night I returned from a date. My parents believed in “leaving the lights on” for me. The house and its residents were an unchanging light on a corner in a ever changing neighborhood. Generations of neighborhood children – many latchkey kids- grew playing in that yard, eating popsicles from their freezer, and calling my parents Ginny and Granpap. Just two blocks from our church, our house was the “after church” young gathering place. I remembered dances, barbeques, and majorette practices in the side yard and slumber parties and dates inside. The lights greeted us on prom night as my friends gathered for a late night breakfast. My brother and I left home but the lights stayed on.

They Sat Here Daily Greeting Schoolchildren
Mail carriers looked forward to the encouragement they would receive there. The house is ½ block from an elementary school and Mama sat outside daily before and after school handing out treats, returning restored toys, and offering words of wisdom and encouragement. When Daddy cut his grass, that riding lawn mower continued into the neighborhood. My parents loved their church and God and everyone knew it. They were private people who didn’t tout their good deeds so they were uncomfortable when I used them as an obvious example for the world. Daddy told me once not to bother helping people if I wasn’t going to enjoy it or expected a thank you.

To me, that is salt and light – quiet demonstrated love, leaving the lights on, and glorifying God right up to the end of an earthly life. No, I never saw my parents drink at weddings. The thought of abortion broke their hearts and there was no divorce or marital infidelity, but that wasn’t why people from preschoolers to the aged wept like babies at their funerals. They wept because the lights went off at 1110 Wolfe St. I may never live up to that humble legacy but I ask all of you to join me in using their example to leave the lights on for the world.


You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16

Topic: Salt and Light

Be the salt of the earth.
Make sure your salt stays salty.
Be the light of the world.
Don’t put your light under a bowl.
Give light to everyone so people can see your good deeds and glorify the Heavenly Father.

Evangelism Tip

Let the world know you are Christians by demonstrated love.
Is your home a happy place where people want to visit? Do you neighbors see your demonstrated love? Do people look forward to your smile? Will people weep at your funeral? Do your loving deeds glorify God? There is no better way to evangelize.

Evangelize America

This has been a week of evangelizing and ministering through social media and e-mails to people literally all over the world. Right from the beginning, a major part of this ministry has been evangelizing on the web and I feel a responsibility for the growing number of people this ministry touches through this. The world is changing and the effectiveness of electronic venues for helping a struggling world is growing. I would ask a favor. Help us minister to others electronically. Would you repost our posts and post links to our blogs? Forward this Moment to friends and family and suggest they subscribe on their own. Suggest me as a “friend” or someone to “Tweet” with, like The Pocket Full of Change Ministries and the Cheryle M. Touchton Auther Facebook pages, and ask to be added to the Facebook Evangelize America group. These take an enormous amount of time to maintain but the resulting salvations and discipleship growth makes it worth it. If your friends and family reach out, I promise to respond.