Wednesday, September 27, 2017

When to Stand and When to Take a Knee

In the midst of the storm in professional sports for athletes to not stand for the National Anthem, everyone seems to have an opinion.  There are some who are in favor and support, and some who are strongly against it.  This has created quite a barrier in our society, a barrier that we thought we had put behind us a long time ago. It is starting to spin out of control.

My concern in regards to professional athletes showing open protest when the Anthem is played goes beyond the crowd or those watching across the nation.  I certainly support freedom of speech, but for me the flag and anthem have always been a sign of unity as one nation under God.  With all of the differences in the world, it allows us to stop for a few minutes, and agree in unity, that we do live in a great nation and we are grateful for our freedoms. We are grateful for those who have paid the price for it and those who are presently defending our freedom.

People are driving a wedge into something that God has to be displeased with.  My concern is for the Junior High , High School, even Elementary kid who now thinks that it is ok to show open disrespect for our flag and our nation. Many have said , it isn't to show disrespect for our military, but how do they think it looks.  For those who are protesting injustice, we agree. God created all equal.  The problem is the protest seems to be geared toward Washington.

My prayer is that preachers will get back to preaching the Gospel, that churches will get back to evangelizing the lost, and that Hollywood actors will get back to acting, and that team owners and ballplayers will get back to playing and  realizing that the flag represents something bigger than any individual or protest.

Many are being applauded  for not standing during the anthem, when Tim Tebow was vilified for kneeling to pray before a game, not during the anthem.

I will stand for the Lord Jesus, and I  bow my knee to Him as Lord and Savior.  He is the answer that people are searching for.   Let's share Him!

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Sermon in a Picture

Last week, tragedy hit our small Village of Camden as two young parents and their three year old daughter were killed in an accident right next to our church.  Several others were injured and we continue to pray for the driver who is critical as well.  When something like this hits a small rural community, it brings us together like a family.   We all hurt. Everyone seems to do whatever is needed at the moment and whatever can help the family. I am grateful for our First Responders whose lives  have been changed through what they have witnessed.  Their sacrifice is appreciated.

In ministry and in crisis,  presence is often more important than thinking you have to fill the silence with some profound statement of support.  While we believe Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His  purpose. In the immediate shadow of loss and grief, this passage is hard to understand when we are hurting so bad we don't even know what to think or pray..  I am grateful that God knows our hearts, is willing to let us pour out our questions to Him.  I am grateful that when we don't understand, that there is coming a day when we will.  Until then, I pray that in the midst of this crisis, that we run to Him, and not from Him. 
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NKJV)
12  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.


The above picture recently taken by someone remembering the great loss, is a picture of sadness and at the same time a picture of great hope.  The Corner of Hope is our tag as a church. My prayer is that is is more than just a catchy phrase, that we will be more than ever a place where people can come to know the Hope that is only in the Lord Jesus. That doesn't mean we just sit and wait on folks to come, but that we go out and love them and get them. Whatever we do, there is nothing more important than sharing with those around us the love of God, and the Gospel of our Savior.  May God use this tragedy to get us to think about eternity.  We pray for the families, and may many in our community come to Christ.

Until He comes...we will go!