Perhaps you’ve noticed that lots of what Brian writes about offers some kind of historical slant. His sermons often included bits of history too. As a history buff and military man, he shared stories that provided a glimpse of Brian’s unique perspective on life. Sharing his appreciation for the past and including personal experiences added flavor to his words. I liked that. His stories made for a better message. It is important to note, however, that Brian’s stories were never the main course. Rather, those stories complimented a bigger message, a Biblical message, always rooted in Scripture. 

God’s words, through Brian, have helped many. At times, the words were encouragement in troubled times. Sometimes, the words spoke directly to an aching heart. In essence, a salve for a personal hurt, eventually producing a bit of Skar tissue to help cover and heal the wound.

At times, Brian directed words to a person new to faith. Certainly at times, he issued challenges to more seasoned Christians to help them further mature. Brian’s stories added authenticity to his sermons as he spoke from his own unique perspective, 

I believe each of us receive those words from our own unique perspective too. Here’s an example: More than once, attendees heard a Brian sermon summarized in this fashion: “Get saved, and then get to work.”  

From your unique perspective, what would that sermon summary make you think of? This old football coach thought of filling gaps.

The getting saved part, that gap can only be filled by the saving grace of Jesus on the cross, a gap only filled with a belief in Him. The getting to work part hearkens of the goal of A Better Angel.  It has plenty to do with filling gaps in our own personal walk with Christ and filling gaps in our collective church duties and mission.

The game of football is all about gaps. Offenses try to exploit gaps. Big linemen push and shove with intent to create running lanes, bigger gaps, so others can advance the ball forward. Conversely, defensive design starts with schemes to defend each space between those big blockers. If two defenders end up in the same gap, a different gap is left unaccounted for. On defense, unaccounted gaps spell trouble. Sounds a lot like the Christian life!

As head football coach, a primary duty was to assemble a staff that filled gaps too. The last thing I needed was a bunch of mini-Barrys walking around teaching the game just like me. I much preferred a diverse group of people to better cover the wide swath of skill sets and details that the game of football demands. A healthy football team requires different coaches using their unique gifts and talents, each filling different gaps. Kinda sounds like a healthy church!

Scripture is full of wisdom for the individual Christian to fill personal gaps as well as the church to fill gaps collectively. Prayer, Bible study, fellowship, seeking Christian counsel, and so much more.

Prayer:

Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 (The Living Bible)

Bible study:

Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

Fellowship:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

Counsel:

Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. Hebrews 13:7 (New Living Translation)

Anybody out there feeling like they could do a bit better at filling some gaps in your spiritual walk? I’ll go first. Yes!!!

In January I’ll be facilitating a Wednesday night bible study group (supper at 5:30 pm, study at 6:30 pm) at Immanuel Baptist Church in Minot, ND. We’ll be focused on the basic biblical principals of prayer, memorizing scripture, and bible study. Some New Year’s resolve to help fill some gaps.  You are invited. Come join us!