Why the cheap seats? My mind goes back to concerts where we had the nose bleeds way up in the rafters. I remember driving down to Toronto with Chris, Kim, and Howey to see Huey Lewis and the News. Huey and the gang looked pretty ant-like up on the stage. Bus tours to see Def Leppard and Bon Jovi and you were right at the side of the stage…a mile away! I saw ZZ Top and we were on the top tier, backs against the wall. Those were my days of some of the cheapest seats in the house.
Since being called to ministry, I’ve sat in a lot of cheap seats. I had a little office in Brigden with two chairs. One at my desk and the Lazy-boy. Both were cheapies. We got my desk chair on sale second-hand and my Lazy-boy was a hand-me-down that I watched my dad snore up a storm in, many moons ago. I also had a make-shift office in our home in Brigden for a short season and it was a folding chair.
Time in the cheap seats has been for my benefit. There have been times of growth, times of repentance, times of conviction, and times of sharpening and narrowing my beliefs to be more on target with the Word of God. I always want my beliefs to be reforming to the Word. I want the Word to mold me into the likeness of Christ.
It was in those times in the cheap seats that my theology grew up. I set the church growth books aside in favour of John MacArthur, John Piper, Mark Dever, Wayne Grudem, and Sam Storms. I was starting to dig into the depths of God. I was introduced to blog world and came across Tim Challies, Justin Taylor, Kevin DeYoung, and Jared Wilson. I also began a hardcore ten chapters a day Bible reading plan.
If you ever go shopping with your wife, you can often find a cheap seat there. I don’t know who came up with the idea but often in women’s clothing stores they’ll have what we call the ‘guy chair’. It’s a chair to wait for your wife in. I have sat in some foldable ones and some pretty cushy ones. I either have a book or the iPad, and I read away. I still remember reading John Piper’s ‘Think’ while Bonita was shopping at a mall in the D.C. area. I have fought with Danny, our book reading daughter, over the ‘guy chair’ on a family shopping trip. God bless the guy who came up with the guy chair. It had to be a guy!
In the Fall of 2011, I was brought on as discipleship pastor at Eastwood Baptist, St. T., and then we loaded up a truck and moved here. And I had two more cheap seats. One for sure. I don’t know the cost of the one in my office at the church but the one at home was a hand-me-down from Bonita’s mom. It was an ugly green and it would squeak and my office is right outside of Nadia’s room. I have waken her up a time or two with early morning study with squeaks coming from that ugly chair.
The study from the cheap seats in St. T. brought a Sunday School series walking through systematic theology for a year and a half. Our class dug deep. We studied a few other topics but the time in walking through theology was sweet, challenging, and stretching. You learn a whole lot more when you teach and preach or when you write.
Upon my resignation from Eastwood back in March, another cheap seat emerged. I went to pick up a new office chair, much to Nadia’s delight. Out with the squeaky one and in with something new. I went to Staples and I sat down in one that you could easily sleep in. And it was nice, and so was the price. But then I came across one that was almost as comfy, and 1/2 the price. So I chose, you guessed it, the cheap seat.
I have found when I am reading and not writing or teaching or preaching, I retain less. I may make lots of yellow highlights in the books I’m reading but they quickly fall out of my sometimes forgetful, almost middle-aged mind. That is one of the reasons that I am planning to blog. To communicate in my words what I am reading. It tends to stick with me more if I am writing about it. So this blog may be for your benefit, but it will most likely help me the most.
So welcome to dc from the cheap seats.