HOPE

We keep hearing about the impending “fiscal cliff” that our country is about to experience. The leaders of our government bickering back and forth, each placing blame on the other side, so-called compromises or solutions offered up and then rejected.
These are challenging times for our country. Everywhere you turn there are signs of despair and disappointment. Individuals, families, and even communities struggling to get by, wondering how they will survive. As Christmas day draws closer the possibility of a merry Christmas seems rather bleak for many.
I have no solution to offer as far as our economic situation. I am not going to enter into the blame game. We can place our hope and trust in the leaders of our country, hoping that they will come up with some kind of answers. I’m afraid the past reminds us how well that has worked (since my sarcasm).
What I do know is this – God is still on His throne. As we place our hope and trust in Him we will never be disappointed.
As one who has placed their hope and trust in God I have a responsibility to share with others of One who will be there for us no matter the situation we find ourselves in. If you are a Christ follower I would encourage you to join with me in sharing of the One who has the answers, the One who will never leave us, the One who provides a solid foundation, the One who offers hope even in dismal times.
                                                         On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
                                                         All other ground is sinking sand;
                                                         All other ground is sinking sand

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The Great Divide

As the election of 2012 comes to a close we are reminded once again of the great divide found within this country.  We have always had our share of problems, but our history shows us that there was a time when people in spite of their differences came together to make this country strong. Rolling up their sleeves, setting their differences aside doing whatever was need in order that our country was able to move forward.

This is no longer true.  Now there are angry, hurtful words expressed.  Acts of hatred and violence towards fellow citizens are commonplace.  Everyone seems to have their agenda and that’s all that is important.  If you don’t like my agenda or agree with my beliefs, then you are ignorant and get out of my life.

This concerns and saddens me.  Why?  We need each other.  The challenges and problems that our country faces will not be overcome as long as the division remains. The division is growing deeper and wider. Does anyone really care?  Citizens, Christ followers, church will anyone step forward?

I believe Christ followers, the body of Chris must lead the way.  I know that there are Christ followers on both sides. We are to be people of reconciliation, proponents of peace and love.  We don’t have to agree on everything.  But we can agree on this – we need each other.  The God that created me is the same God that created my brother or sister who may have voted differently than I did.

One of the first things that you can and should be doing is praying for each other, for our leaders, and for the role that you are to play in destroying the division.

I Timothy 2:1

 

Election Day

Today is the day that millions of people will cast their vote for the individual that they want to lead our country.  Today is the day that people of all ages, of all walks of life, with varying beliefs and perspectives will come together for one purpose – to elect the one who will lead our country for the next four years.  Today is the day that people will arise a few minutes earlier to go stand in long lines, to involve themselves in something that will only require a few minutes out of their day.  Yet, this one act will have a lasting impact on our future.

Today is Election Day!

Today every registered voter has a great privilege and opportunity to make a difference.  We have the privilege of having a say in who our elected officials are.  We have an opportunity before us to join with millions of others in making a difference.  Though I am only one among millions, my  vote is important.  It provides me with a voice.  So, I along with countless others go to the polls to speak, to have our say.

Today is Election Day!

As the hours go by the excitement will continue to build.  The anticipation will grow with every passing moment.  The polls will close and nervous energy will fill the air.  Media outlets will give their reports, exit polls will be given and discussed over and over again.  Early figures creating greater excitement for some, while concern for others.  At the end of this day some will celebrate and others will be saddened.  Some will go to bed before the final votes are counted, wondering how it will all end up.  Who will our President be?  Will Congress be evenly divided?

Today is Election Day!

I have been going to the polls for many years.  There have been times that my candidates won and times when they have not.  One interesting thing – no matter who won those elections a new day  always followed.  I know that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, but if God chooses to bless us with tomorrow I know that I will do as God has instructed in His Word.  Pray.   I will arise tomorrow praying for those who lead me and the millions of others who live in this blessed country.  Whether my candidate wins or loses I will pray and I would encourage all of my brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same.

Today is Election Day.  Tomorrow is a new day.

A Reminder

Most of us remember where we were when we received the news of 9/11. Time moves on, but we will continue to remember the events of that day, the lives that were lost, and the lives that served so courageously. My family had the privilege of going to the memorial site where the World Trade Center buildings once stood. The memorial is beautiful. There were many people at the site reading the names of those who lost their lives. In a city where millions of people live and millions of people come to visit, there was a quietness that filled this small piece of New York City. I, along with, my family and everyone else at the site were moved by these visual reminders. Life is precious, truly a gift from God that should never be taken for granted.

Prayer For Our Country

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“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  I Timothy 2:1-4 

I hope that you are praying for our country as we draw closer to the General Election in November.

THE SMELL OF CRAYONS

There is something about having a fresh start.  It creates an air of excitement, gets the adrenaline pumping, a new outlook arises all as a result of starting fresh.  Becky teaches third grade and a new school year is always exciting for her.  She likes all the “new” that comes with a brand new school year.  Seeing all the new school supplies in the stores gets her adrenaline pumping.  She has been known to say that she likes the smell of a new box of crayons.  My guess is it gets her excited about starting out with something that is fresh.  It’s new!

For quite some time, a large group of our church family have been working hard in preparation for our dinner theater which takes place this weekend.  Brand new props and decorations, script that has never been done (at least here) – there are anxieties and excitement all around the place.  It’s new!  It is going to be GREAT!

Most Wednesday evenings I lead a Bible Study for a small group of Christ followers.  Tonight, we start a “fresh new” study as we journey thru the gospel of Mark.  I look forward to our journey, which I’m certain will bring new discoveries, as well as, fresh insight from members of the group.

Whether it is a new box of crayons, new script, a new study, a new school year, when you are walking in Christ, in some way every day is starting fresh.  Which makes every day – no matter what takes place – exciting and oftentimes feel brand new.  I love it!

The Lazy Days of Summer

Though summer does not officially begin until June 20, as we all know Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial start of summer.  Our minds shift to thoughts of vacations, baseball, working in the garden, relaxing evenings, cookouts, swimming, camps, and a break from the regular routine.  It is certainly nice to take a break.  We can use these times to be refreshed.  But I wonder if that is what really takes place.

We often look at the summer months as a time to slow down, but I’m not sure that occurs for most people.  In many instances and among many families the make-up of the schedule may change, but it certainly doesn’t slowdown.  What quite often occurs – schedules are busier, calendars are packed with more. Families are divided, everyone going in different directions.

I would like to offer an encouraging word to all parents.  As a family, be in church every week.  Teach your children the value and importance of corporate worship and the study of God’s Word.  Don’t allow the activities of summer to replace either of these experiences.  Even when the lake is calling your name, make worship and God’s Word a priority!

I would encourage every person to make the summer of 2012 the time that you take your own personal worship to another level.  May the experiences of this summer serve as a constant reminder of God’s majesty and His presence.  As each of us moves into summer mode let’s not forget our worship is not confined to a specific place.  Worship is ongoing.

So, enjoy your summer.  I look forward to seeing each of you as we gather for times of fellowship, study, service, and worship.  Have a great summer.