“Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil” – Job 14:1. These words of the Old Testament poster child of tragedy and turmoil are so true. Job lost his children, his wealth and his standing among his friends. I have gone back and looked at various news headlines just from the North Alabama area and everyday this week has been filled with turmoil that have directly impacted families and these are just local headlines. There have been young people that have drowned, people senselessly murdered, elderly people wandering away from home due to suffering the ravages of dementia and tragic accidents that have taken people’s lives. This last example hits very close to home for the young people in our church. Wednesday evening a young lady tragically lost her life in an automobile accident that was part of our church youth ministry.
I observed last night as our teenagers gathered together to go visit the mom and grandmother of the young lady and it struck me that for many of these young people they had never experienced the death of friend their own age and one was part of their tight knit group. I wanted to just share a few things I observed. First, I observed a group of young people that were broken-hearted and grieving for a friend. Secondly, I observed some that embraced each other as a way of bringing comfort to one another. Thirdly, I observed some laughing about different things that Shae had said or done. Fourth, I observed them loving on and encouraging the family that is grieving something that is just not the natural order of things. When I think of all these observations, I am struck that these young people were the very hands and feet of Jesus yesterday. Jesus grieved. He grieved the death of His friend Lazarus. The bible simply says, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jesus embraced/loved on others. His disciples, lepers, children and just sinners in general. The bible says that Jesus is a friend of sinners. Jesus gathered and enjoyed/laughed/had a good time with friends and family. Case in point, the wedding at Cana in John 2. Wedding parties at that time were joyous, festive events and Jesus was right there in the middle of it. Jesus also loved and cared for others, even those that were not necessarily close friends.
Finally, as I close this weeks blog, I want to say that what I saw yesterday gives me hope in the future. Many times our young people, especially teenagers are given a bad rap, but I saw something much different yesterday. I saw a group of teenagers that become the hands and feet of Jesus. They were not only wonderful ambassadors for our church family, but more importantly, they were ambassadors for Jesus in their “Jerusalem”. I am very proud to be their pastor and left yesterday feeling pretty good about the future. Yes, as the death of this young lady reminded us, “Man who is born of woman is short-lived and full of turmoil”, however we are given encouragement from Jesus Christ. Jesus during the final hours of His earthly ministry, as He faced the cross, knew His disciples were fearful and anxious about what was going on during those moments. He gave them and us these words of encouragement when he said, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but have courage, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
As we watch or listen to the news, we realize very quickly that the world we live in today is in some trouble. It seems that each time we observe the news of the day it is filled with violence, acts of immorality, politicians that are promising to deliver us from whatever is causing us problems and the list could go on and on. So what are we to think and how are we to respond? First of all if we believe the Bible and what it says, we must understand that as time marches on, as the world grows older day by day things will get a little worse ( II Timothy 3:1-5). Jesus even said that as time marches on the days would grow more evil. So are we to just give up, shrug our shoulders and say “Oh well the world is what it is”? I think one of the reasons the world is spiraling out of control today is that we (believers) decided some time ago to just shrug our shoulders instead of being that voice of reason crying out in the wilderness. So what are we to do? Well, you ask so I feel obliged to give my opinion in reference to the question. 1) We must stand, unashamed, for righteousness 2) We must understand that regardless of what popular culture tells churches and christians, we have the right in the arena of public opinion concerning moral and even political issues of the day 3) We must dare to be different in our view 4) We should be passionate about the things that Jesus was passionate about in His earthly ministry (1. A love for all people 2. A passion for loving the perceived unlovable 3. A passion to minister to the poor 4. A passion for social justice 5. A passion to challenge sin, yet love sinners). I guess as I close this weeks thoughts, my final encouragement to you the readers would be to live a life of joy, don’t always be a negative voice, don’t give up on trying to make a difference and live life that shows the world around you Jesus.
Have A Blessed Week
Well, I have finally given in and will begin a weekly blog. My bride, Kim, has been after me for a couple of years now to start writing a blog and I have resisted. I do believe I will enjoy sharing my heart those that choose to take the time to read the things that I have on my heart each week. So what will I use this platform for? I may share my thoughts on something that is currently going on in this crazy world we inhabit. I may share my heart about something that God is currently speaking to my heart about at that particular time, but most of all I hope to use it to share thoughts concerning God’s Word, His church or things concerning the state of Christianity in the time which we live. My goal is that whatever I may share will touch people in a few different ways. I hope it will be a source of encouragement, a source of provoking thought, a forum to cause us to think a little deeper about the things of God. Occasionally, I may even share something that God has convicted me about and may be dealing with a reader about the same thing. I suppose I need to share a little about myself especially for those that may not know me.
I have been married for almost 25 years to the first and only woman I have ever loved, Kim. She is the light of my life!. She is my greatest encourager, my soul mate, my best friend, mother to our two beautiful daughters, grandmother to the best grandson in the world and most of all she is a Godly woman. My two daughters, Lillian and Olivia are the “apples” of my eye. I love them both so dearly. Lillian, our first-born, is married to Sgt. Brandon Noel (who is probably the best son-in-law a man could ask to have). He serves in the US Army and they currently live at Ft Rucker, AL. I am so proud of them and Lillian is such a good mother to our precious grandson John Patton (yes after General George S. Patton). WOW BEING A GRANDFATHER IS THE GREATEST!!! I have worked at UPS for 27 years. My job has allowed me to meet a lot of interesting people and is a great place to work. I answered the call to the gospel ministry 16 years ago and 15 years ago he blessed me by allowing me to become the pastor of Belmor Baptist Church (wwww.belmor.org). These wonderful people have been such a blessing to my family and me. It is a thrill to serve God and the fact that He allowed me the privilege to preach His precious Word is something that I am still in awe of each day.
As I write each week, I invite your feedback. I do not expect everyone to always agree with me on everything I may share, but hey anyone that knows me, knows that I have always loved a spirited debate from time to time. I hope through this experience myself along with those that choose to read can take something away from this each week. Until next Thursday, may God bless you.
This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.