Monday, December 1, 2008

House Church

In the era in which I grew up, it was not uncommon to see a HUGE family bible (free gift with purchase of encyclopedias) being displayed on the coffee table in the "living room" or the place where you would receive guests. Being there on the coffee table served as a badge of honor that (1.) the family placed high regards and was mindful of the importance of higher learning and education (it indicated encyclopedias were in the home) and (2.) the family was a bible believing Christian family. One of my weekly chores was to dust that area. I am confessing, for the first time (before God and Mama) that I NEVER removed that big bible before dusting the coffee table. I just dusted around it :-). We as a family never had family devotion using THAT bible. From time to time my parents would gather us together to review the Sunday school lesson or just share stories from the bible. There was no doubt to all friends and family that we were a staunch church going bible centered family.

The first time I entered my in-laws small home, stairing me in the face, was their wood framed family altar. On top was placed a beautiful silk scarf with gold fridge and their family bible. As a young teenager, courting their son at the time, I was truly impressed by that. It scored points towards my goal of a potential "Christian" husband which had always been my desire. I wanted someone as much like "my" Daddy as possible. As a daughter, I realize how blessed I am to be able to say that and to also have received. Since then, their home has been beautifully renovated and it's more than doubled in size. All the children are gone and the family altar as well. We have never come together as a family there without prayer and devotion of some sort.

This causes me to there a church in your house? Are family, friends, neighbors members of it, or are some still not saved? This was a desire of Philemon but yet he had a wicked servant. This servant did wrong towards his master and ran away. As the story goes the prayers of Philemon followed his servant, (as I'd hope my prayers would always follow my children). The servant eventually heard the preaching of Paul. He not only returned to his master with a changed heart but also a beloved brother and another member to the church in Philemon's house. I LOVE THIS STORY!

I realize that I can move ALL common affairs into my home with deliberate holiness, diligence, kindness, and integrity. More is expected of a church than an ordinary household. Internal love must be warmer and unbroken, and external conduct must be sanctified and Christlike.

Let us pray that He will give us grace to go forth from our "House Church" and shine in this world to the glory of His name.

"The Church In YOUR House"
__Philemon 2
God be Praised!


Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

Real good post Mother. Thanks once again for showing your wisdom to reach this blog community in ways that others can only dream of. Your wisdom and care is greatly appreciated by each of your "sons".


Keith D. Witherspoon said...

Great post, Mother!! We do have a church here in our home and it has helped our family greatly.

I also have a rule that no one can spend Saturday night in my home without going to church on Sunday! That's some of my grandmother coming out of me.

Anonymous said...

Wow..................Mom this is simply and outstanding post. What a difference our families and world would be if we honored God as he demands in our families by coming before the altar in our homes before departing into the world. What a tremendous impact this would have on our kids as they see the value we place on honoring God. It's sad but our kids see us exult and get excited about a lot of stuff that has nothing in the world to do with honoring God.

Mom...God be praised for your nostalgic voice which reminds us of the immanent value of what we have in Christ.

Thank you.

Be Encouraged.

Tony R.

Pastor Andre' A. McGhee said...

Thanks for reminding us of what makes the church stronger. Families that worship God in the home. Excellent Post!!!

Shanita Waters said...

Nice post and something to think about. We actually used to have family bible study every Wednesday. But things have gotten hectic and unfortunately, we don't study or pray togehter as much as we used to or should. Thank you for bringing the "House Chruch" back to my memory.


Reginald C. Payne said...

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! amen Mother, hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving I sure did.


Mother Vietta,

Awesome post, about 15 years ago our latter Pastor who has now went Home to be with the Lord invited the congregation to build alters for our Home, me and my son built one together and to this day it sits in my living room with a huge Family Bible on it.

My son dog ran away one day he walked around very distraught that his dog was not here I told him to say a prayer at the altar we built, less than a couple of hours after praying the dog returned Home.

My Mother kept a Bible out in the open, we do the same here and my young adult children do the same its been a family tradition as well as others.

Great Post as always…

Spiritual Son!!!

GOD Bless~~~

Clinton Smith said...

What a post! You are seasoned saint that can all people everywhere

Fitts said...


the part I missed about blogging the most is reading your post and your comments.

When I am looking for wisdom or in need of uplifting, you never let me down.

Another great post. Thanks for the wisdom.


Fitts said...

Mother, I have been hard in the paint trying to get my 2009 ministry plan together. I have not ceased to pray for you, for the Lord brought you to my mind every single day.

I have not forgot about you with that message, I was just hoping we would have it posted by now. If we don't have it posted by mid next week, I will mail it to you.

God bless

Pastor W.L. Pullam said...

This is a great and memorable post. Truly stirred up some treasured and precious memories. Thank God for the saints of old who organized, maintained, sustained and passed down the great "house church." Those big family bibles played an important role in helping lead some to Christ.
Thanks a lot for this wonderful post. God is good!



Rev.Aaron Holcombe said...

I too remember that big Family Bible at my home and at my Grandparents house. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas this year. Have a happy and blessed new year!





Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Mom....hope all is well with you.

We miss you please blog soon... :)

Your Son,

Tony R.