It’s the time of year when many churches offer an alternative to Halloween “trick or treating” with their Fall Festivals, offering food, games, music, and of course, candy, to those attending. This fun appeals to children, but brings adults to the church facilities as well. The purpose behind all the effort is to invite those who attend to become a part of the church family, attending services and activities on a regular basis, not just for a special event. It is hoped that Sunday worship, Bible teaching, and supportive care will result in people accepting Jesus as their Savior – a decision that will have an eternal blessing.
If you and your family attended such an event this weekend, I encourage you to go back for Sunday worship services. There might be Sunday School for all ages, singing, a special message, and perhaps, opportunities for you to serve others too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a visit for kids’ treats turns out to be a blessing for the whole family!
I heard a song this morning that I’d like to share. The words are true and I hope you enjoy.
It’s been an unusual couple of days. After a very busy week, my husband and I drove 3+ hours to relax and enjoy “An Evening with David Jeremiah” in Raleigh, NC. The evening in a packed PNC Arena did not disappoint as we enjoyed wonderful praise and worship songs, a timely message from Pastor Jeremiah, and an extra blessing of hearing the Gaither Vocal Band. It was truly a special night that provided a Heavenly “high” for me.
However, in the back of my mind was the nagging news I had received that morning via a FB message that a special lady from my previous church was nearing the end of her fight with the illness she had been enduring for several years. I found myself praying for her and her family several times during the service as I worshipped. The next morning, as we were driving home, I received another message that she had passed away. In the space of one day, I went from the mountaintop experience in the arena to the heartbreaking news of a great loss.
God has promised to be with us and comfort those who are mourning. I am reminded that Matthew 10:29 tells us that He knows the numbers of hairs on my head, and even when a sparrow falls to the ground. In the good times and bad, I can trust Him. So can you.
This past week my husband and I spent several days with family and friends camping on Assateague island in Maryland. Even though our reservations touted the beauty of the island with its wild horses, other wildlife, and pristine beach, it also warned us to bring plenty of insect repellent because of the abundance of what I call “bugs.” We set up our campers amidst those horses, and marveled at their ease around people, even though we were told to stay 40 feet away. Sweating in the heat of the day since we had no electricity to run air conditioning, I sought out the shade, appreciated the breezes blowing almost continually, and was tempted to curse those relentless flying critters who seemed to hone in on any area of exposed skin that hadn’t been sprayed with Repel. More than once I marveled at God’s creation from the vastness of the ocean with it’s dolphins we observed one morning and the tiny crabs scurrying away from sea gulls, to the marshlands with deer and egrets and beautiful landscape. I had to remind myself that He created those insects too.
I think the best part of the time spent in this place was being able to visit with family and connect with friends who became family over these few days. Thank you, Lord, for giving us the blessing of this time – even with bugs!
The other night, i turned on the nightlight in my bathroom only to find that it had burned out. I had already switched off the bathroom light as I reached to turn on that alternate source. It was startling to me how dark my surroundings seemed.
I liken that experience to the way the world and my country, seem to me today. Somehow the light in our lives and culture has been turned way down, or is off entirely. When I think of times past – ten, twenty or more years ago – the contrast is amazingly dark. Everything is acceptable, nothing is deemed wrong. In fact the concept of “right and wrong” seem to not even be considered anymore, lest someone be offended.
May I offer a suggestion? We need the love of Christ. He himself told people that He was “the Light of the world.” The quote above says it all. If we follow what He taught, our world will be so much brighter. We will treat others as we want to be treated, and seek after truth. Jesus is the Light that we all need to follow.
I’m going to start today by asking you an uncomfortable question: In today’s world do you approach decisions, news, family interaction, just life in general, with a sense of doing what is “right?” Which begs another question: How do you know what’s right?
I’ve lived through more than a few decades, and have noticed a change, a distinct shift in the moral compass of the world today. No longer do many people react to life’s situations and challenges in a way I could characterize as “right.” What is more obvious is anger, entitlement, rudeness, and a “me first” behavior. Why is that? Were they never taught growing up how to respond to trying circumstances, or is it just easier to do what today’s culture has taught them?
My second question above is the more challenging one – how do we know what’s right? Many people would answer that question by pointing to societal norms, but I would encourage you to look deeper. Judeo-Christian teachings always lead in the way of selflessness not selfishness, in treating others the way we want to be treated, and doing what God taught in the Bible for the betterment of all. Is that easy? No! Many times it’s much harder than just reacting and doing what the world espouses – look out for #1. However, I believe that the hard thing is truly the right thing to do.