This weekend, one of my favorite events to see and help and emcee takes place. It is the big car and tractor show on the square in Albia which I hope you will attend. Last year there was a record number of cars. DeWayne Repp and his many workers and supporters do such a splendid job and vintage cars are brought by their owners from everywhere. The Bob Reed Memorial Tractor Show is so lovingly supported and organized by Bob's family as well.

It is a fun event. And I could not help but think of some similarities in it and where we need to be in our Christian life.

To put on a show of this sort year after year takes lots of commitment and a love for what you are doing. The volunteers are just that. The work that is put in is unreal. DeWayne himself works all year on it. But not only he and others give it their all, but so do the car and tractor owners who have taken the time to restore at great sacrifice, these vehicles and tractors. It takes time and commitment and a real love for what you do.

Our Christian walk is the same. We need a real commitment and dedication in our daily lives and a genuine love for the Lord if we are to live successfully.

Secondly, these cars are polished, restored, painted, etc. to look their very best. Their appearance is designed to look aesthetically beautiful but more than that, most all of them have restored and wonderful interiors and engines.

We can be reminded that our outward appearance to the world is important as well. How others see us should be inspiring. We should put our best foot forward so that others see our faith and see Christ in us by how we live. Yet, what's under our hood so to speak and what is inside of us is equally and even more important. Outward is important but the inner man is even more so. Our character and values is critical. Our we who we claim to be.

Each of these vehicles is labeled as to make and model. People often know right away what they are looking at by the distinctive characteristics of that kind of car. It is like that with people too.When people see us, they should easily be able to tell by what they see that we are Christian's by how we present ourselves.

One of the distinctive things about the show is the many huge trophies and awards given out. The hard work and commitment pay off. It is like that for Christians as well. The apostle Paul talked, as does the Bible, about rewards we will receive in Heaven, crowns even. God never loses sight of what we do. Following Him is a reward in itself.

Catch this great show on the Albia square Saturday.

On another note, and along those same lines, this event and many others help make Albia and Lovilia and Melrose so special. Many unique and wonderful events are done every year. It is really about community. Bill Jauss and Steve Rosenblum reported several years ago in the Chicago Tribune a story about Chad Kreuter who caught fir the Chicago White Sox.

He was a back up catcher who fractured his shoulder on a play at the plate. He was put on the 60-day disabled list. Not good news for a backup catcher who was barely in the big leagues. Yet his teammates never let him feel he wasn't still a part of the team.

Every player put his number on the bill of their cap to show their support. Chad felt that he was a member of the team whether he played or not. Later that year when he could play, he showed his appreciation for his teammates by putting their numbers on his cap. All devoted to one, one devoted to all. That is what makes a team, a community, a special community.

More than that, it is what makes the community of Christ. Devotion to one another, loyalty and a sense of oneness make communities and churches special. It is especially a bond that makes rural Iowa so unique. Savor and enjoy it and be a part of it.

Next week, little bit about a lot of things. Don't miss it. Till then, grace and peace.

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