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Unplug First  

To visit Bureau County, Illinois is to unplug.

You unplug from the roar of incessant traffic.  Instead you find yourself on roads where you are as likely to encounter a deer as another vehicle.

You unplug from a terrain of cement and asphalt, trading that in for farmland and grass and stands of ancient trees.

You unplug from the density of urban living.  There are more people living in my Chicago suburb than in all the towns that make up Bureau County combined. 

You unplug from the cocooned way of life that cautions us against waving to strangers or being too open with anyone about anything.  People in Bureau County wave whether they know you or not (which they probably do).

One of Bureau County's greatest treasures is the Kasbeer Community Church, parked just off of Route 26.  Here, I married my wife, Diana. Climbing the stairs into the entryway, I found it reassuring to observe that the pews and cushions and carpet and piano were all there, all the same, just as I remember them.

By my count, there were 21 of us attending services a couple Sundays ago. The Kasbeer Community Church has certainly seen larger crowds, but those who were there were definitely blessed.  We unplugged from the Chris Tomlin culture of worship and instead sang this:

The Lord's our Rock; in Him we hide,

A Shelter in the time of storm;

Secure whatever ill betide,

A Shelter in the time of storm.

O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,

A weary land, a weary land;

O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land -

A Shelter in the time of storm.


There is something real and right about singing an old hymn in an old church.  But beyond the nostalgia, I found myself almost overwhelmed by the weight of the song lyric. 

If ever there was a weary land, it is ours.

If ever there was a time of storm, it is now.

The shelter for that storm is—and will always be—Jesus.  But to really get close, we have to unplug first.


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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