Merging faith with Jesus by Pastor Ron

Inspiration Outside Your Front Door

Everyday when I walk outside the front door of my house I see it. “It” is an old brick building down the street built in the 1880′s. “It” sits on the corner of First and College streets. Most people in town see it as an old storage building used by a nearby factory. Some even remember “it” as the old Grange hall. Yet, I know “it” is something more than that. “It” is a holy place…an inspiration for me every morning.

“It” is the old St. John’s Reformed Church building built in 1883 under the guidance of Rev. Peter Greding. Stone used in the building originated in Piqua and bricks for the building were brought up from New Bremen by canal boat. The building served as a house of worship from 1884 until 1929 when the congregation left the building and then later built another church facility on the other side of town.

Yet, this old, abandoned church building inspires me everyday. It’s pastor, Rev. Greding, was a church planter who planted a Reformed congregation in Lima, Ohio before coming to minister to the people of Spencerville. He was also a professor at Heidelberg College’s seminary, and wrote and edited Sunday School literature for the German Reformed Church* to help people merge their living faith in Jesus with life in the real world. (Peter’s my kind of guy. I’d bet he would have been a blogger for Jesus if he’d only had a laptop computer and internet connection back then!) But what inspires me most is that Rev. Greding and the good people of the St. John’s Reformed Church cared enough about their community that they took the time to develop a new type of church that would touch people’s lives in the center of the community in which they lived and worked.

This undertaking was no cake walk I’m sure for the small band of Jesus followers who decided to plant a new church start in Spencerville in 1871. It took vision, determination, courage and a lot of living faith outside of the box to believe that it could happen. Looking at this old church building everyday when I leave my house reminds me of a verse from the Bible: “…with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:24).

Seeing that old building from my front porch reminds me that what Jesus said is true, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” So often in life we find that the things we want to achieve are out of our reach and beyond our ability. (Too many people surrender their dreams and just give up.) Yet, if we fall into Jesus’ arms and let God take control we gain something we didn’t have before: strength beyond strength, hope beyond hope, a God who stands at our side and will not let us go. God opens doors where there are no doors. We just have to have the courage to walk through them.

That’s what I see when I look at that old abandoned church building down the street and think of Rev. Peter Greding and the folk who had the courage to build it near the center of town. It is one of the things that inspires me to live faith outside of the box today. If Peter Greding could do it…with God’s help, so can I…so can you! I’d like to tour that old building someday, and perhaps, in my wildest dreams, even get a chance to worship there too.

What markers in your life and in your neighborhood do you use to help you believe that “with God all things are possible”? What ignites the fire in your belly to believe that you can make a difference in the heart of this town? If you haven’t found “it” yet, just open the door, step outside and take a look around. God will show you something incredible…if you open your eyes, and you will never be the same. I promise.

That’s what living faith outside of the box is all about.

* The German Reformed Church is a forebear of the Evangelical Association of Reformed & Congregational Christian Churches


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  1. forexstrat_egy

    I am definitely bookmarking this page and sharing it with my friends.


    Dec 07, 2009 @ 4:35 am


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