Welcome to my reflections from the front porch. Why a front porch?
“The great American front porch was just there, open and sociable, an unassigned part of the house that belonged to everyone and no one, a place for family and friends to pass the time” (Rochlin, “The Front Porch,” in Home, Sweet Home).
The front porch reminds us of another day when we paused in the heat of the day to relax on the coolest place in our house … the front porch. There we could swing or rock while we drank something cold (ice was a must) and just talk with family and friends … and whoever happened by on the street.
The front porch took on added meaning for me when I read the works of John Wesley with Dr. Thomas Oden at Drew Seminary. There in his 1746 essay “The Principles of a Methodist Farther Explained” is buried the following quote:
“Our (meaning Wesley’s) main doctrines, which include all the rest, are three, that of repentance, of faith, and of holiness. The first of these we account, as it were, the porch of religion; the next the door; the third is religion itself.”
The “porch of repentance” is where God invites us into a renewed relationship with the One Who Is, Was, and Is to Come – Jesus Christ. The “door of faith” is where God says “I got your back” and says I have paid the price for you to find new life. Then we move into a “house of holiness” … a place where we shape and reshape our lives into the persons we were created to be … fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
My desire is to provide this front porch space where I can enjoy God and invite others into the journey with me. Beyond that, let me say I share this journey with Cindy, Ann, and William (the family God has given me) and Clint, Laurie, Marti, Rich, Wallace, Delores, Suzanne, Ray, Wayne, Jim, Jim, Noel (the ordination siblings given me by God), and mentors like Joe, Larry, Rick, Inge, Neill, Bob, Dave, Steve, Bruce, Len, Erwin, Bill, Tom, and a cloud of witnesses across the world.