September 25, 2017

It’s always a good Monday when the Cowboys are playing!?! Right? Ha. I am praying for you today. My prayer is that God will give you the opportunity to share your faith with someone today . . . and that He will give you the courage to be bold in your witness!

There are so many things going on in the world and in our church and in my life today that it is difficult to sort through them and to decide what God would have me share with you today.

One big issue that is still sending shock waves through the sports world is the subject of some of President Trump’s tweets over the weekend. His battle with the NBA champions and his fiery words towards NFL players who choose to kneel during the National Anthem. I am not here today to get into a political battle. I hate politics. And this is indeed a very complicated issue. We could debate the manner in which the President chose to address this issue and whether it was appropriate or not. We could debate the action itself of whether players should be kneeling or not. We could debate the root issue of race relations in this country and what we can do about that. We could even debate whether we should just bury our heads in the sand and hope it all goes away or not. Jim Denison gives his take on what he would do and as usual he has some good insight for us as believers. Under one of his points he makes this comment:

Paul chose not to eat meat offered to idols if doing so would offend his brother (1 Corinthians 8). Protests during the national anthem clearly offend many Americans and are viewed as disrespecting our military and especially those who have died for our country. I’m not sure how they are fostering a greater sense of racial harmony in our nation.
At the same time, racial injustice and violence in America continue to be a very real danger to our people and national future.

Let me encourage you to read his brief commentary on this issue and how we should respond. We do need to be responding to our world. We are called to be salt and light which means we are active in our world. We are called to bring the love of Christ into the marketplace. May we do that today!

Let me also remind each of you that we are once again designating October as Missions Month. I hope those of you who are local will join us each week as we begin to discover what it means to be On Mission. I am sometimes stunned when I realize that some don’t know what Missions means and I am equally stunned when some are not 110% on board in sharing our faith to the ends of the earth. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15) During our Missions Month we will hear short video clips each week first from an international missionary and then one from a local missionary. And on the middle weekend, October 14-15 we will have a Missions Conference with TWO real life IMB missionaries joining us to share about what God is doing around the world. I hope you will make plans to attend. You will definitely be hearing more about this over the next few weeks.

Let me just add this here. I know some feel like we got the cart before the horse when we decided to go to Athens to work with refugees. I take the blame for that. We do need to be doing local missions right here. We have made efforts in the past but we have never been able to sustain an ongoing local mission effort. My desire was that in taking people to a mission field “over there” that they would come back excited to do ministry and mission here. And I think that has largely been true. Those who went came back different people. I see that and I want it for all of you! And yes, we have been working since we came back to try and develop an ongoing local mission effort. It is still a work in progress. We have a block party coming up this month which is part of that effort. But we need your help! Maybe you need to go “over there” so you will be fired up to do mission work here!?! But let me also add here that Missions is more than “over there” or “here.” It is both and more. We cannot choose. We must do both and more. Want a good project for Missions Month? Here are “5 Missions Books ThatAll Christians Should Read.”

Now on to my busy family week and all the birthday shout outs I need to give!!

Last Thursday was my daughter-in-law, Olivia Katherine Hixon’s birthday so a belated Happy Birthday to her!!
Today, my daughter, Lauran is being induced so hopefully today will be her daughter’s Birthday!! Pray for Lauran!
Tomorrow is my son-in-law (Lauran’s husband), Allen Fuller’s Birthday so Happy Birthday to him!
And this Friday, September 29th, is my grandson (parents: Micah and Amanda) Carson’s 4th Birthday so a big Happy Birthday to him!
Whew. I think that’s it. I hope.
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?