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Sunday Summary
    January 5, 2014
  • On last Sunday, we were challenged with a crystal clear presentation of the Gospel message from our Pastor. Those that are true Christians were challenged as well.  God Himself called us, in a very personal way to a saving relationship through Jesus Christ His Son.  We were called not to ease our way into heaven but yet we were called to a serious obedient relationship in which we serve wholeheartedly.  Check out this reminder:
     
    Matthew 7:21 - “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    #1 – Are you a true Christian or not?  Is Jesus the Lord of your life and in total control?  The answer to this question is either “YES” or “NO”, there is no maybe when it comes to eternity.  Only you can personally answer this question.  What is your answer?
     
    #2 – God did not send Jesus to die for us only to give us a free pass out of hell.  You and I could not achieve salvation, but it was a gift from a righteous God that had every right not to give it to us.  If you ask me, I don’t believe that Jesus died for me only to have me be content and do or say nothing about it to anyone. God has an individual, specific purpose for your life. He did not call you to Him so you could sit on it and be content, but rather for the purpose of making disciples through service. Philippians 1:27 says, Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ... ‘Conversation’ here means your “way of life” or EVERYTHING about you.  All of our efforts, actions, and speech should reflect the love of Christ. It’s our calling, our duty, our purpose in life, and there’s none greater!
     
    In His Service with you,
    -Pastor Luke
     
    *73% of born again Christians said they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others
    **Only half (52%) of born again Christians say they actually did share the Gospel at least once this past year to someone
    ***100% of evangelicals claim this responsibility by definition
    ****Nearly one-third (31%) believe they should evangelize, but have not done so—at least within the past year.
    (Source: The Barna Group, www.barna.org)
    January 12, 2014
  • Our message last week was centered on Matthew 23 in which Jesus declares the “seven woes” to the scribes and Pharisees.  We all know that these people were the “scholars” of the day and the “very religious” people.  Many times throughout Jesus’ physical ministry on Earth they were the main groups of people that tried to lead Him into sin through temptation mostly concerning the law and sin.  How sad it is that there were religious people then and still are now that try and clutter the message of the “Good News” of Jesus Christ.  Every time He calls out to them “woe”, He also calls them hypocrites. This is where we camped out during the preaching hour last week.  Here are a couple highlights:

    #1 – Verse 3 – “They preach but do not practice”.  The church has somewhat of a negative prospect to many people because of the members that do not practice what they preach.  We are all, as Christians, called to a higher calling that changes the way we live our lives.  We are saved from our sin yet still sinners.  We are not above sin, but we should live with all parts of our lives pointed to Jesus.  If anything we do doesn’t scream Jesus loves you to the world, then we are running the risk of being hypocrites ourselves.  Jesus saved you for a purpose, live it!  Read each “woe” again, and make sure that you aren’t guilty.

    #2 – “If you are looking for the perfect church…don’t go there when you find it, because you will mess it up!”  That is a statement that I heard long ago, and I have never forgotten it! Listen to me carefully. Churches are made up of imperfect people trying their best to serve a perfect God.  Which leads me to say, “If you are looking for the perfect Christian…good luck.”  No one is perfect.  We all make mistakes and disagree on certain things.  If we were to vote about changing the church pews to rows of seats, we would have quite a mixed vote. Some would say “yes” wholeheartedly, some would say “no” in reprimanded tone, and others would simply say, “It doesn’t matter to me either way”. The fact is we all have different ideas and that’s OK because we were made that way.  The GOAL is to wade through the differences and work together for the cause of Christ.  Does our church represent Jesus? That is all that matters. If you focus on the negatives you will surely find them, but if you focus only on the positives they far outweigh the dark side. Lets stay in the light together for the greatest cause ever!
     
    In His Service with you,
    -Pastor Luke
    January 19, 2014
  • Last week’s services centered around the Sanctity of Life theme.  We covered many horrifying statistics and results of abortion in the United States as well as around the world.  Needless to say, our duty as Christians today is to pray about this issue.  The fact is, there are many people that are involved in each circumstance and they all need prayer.  We were also charged as parents and grandparents to raise our children and grandchildren in the fear of the Lord and to teach them about abstinence from sex before marriage rather than the “safe sex” trend our world is pushing all around us.  Reminder, it is our duty to love everyone and to pray for all people.  We cannot change other people’s actions or thoughts, but God can change the vilest of sinners’ heart.  I know this, because He changed mine when He became Lord of my life.  You and I are not perfect, only God is, and He’s still in control and has a plan for every life.  It’s our duty to love them all as He loves them.  Here are a few statistics:
     
    Since I started typing this (about 9:15 a.m.):
     
    Worldwide
    about 1,200 abortions have occurred
    about 2,593,506 have occurred this year
    1,282,563,300 have occurred since 1980
    42,800 have occurred today
     
    In the U.S.
    1,287 today
    4,076 after 16 weeks gestation
    6,679,992 by planned parenthood since 1970
    57,048,902.5 since Roe vs. Wade
     
    *according to www.numberofabortions.com
    January 26, 2014
  • Last Sunday was Baptist Men’s day which shook up our normal routine a little, but as we all knew He would, God still showed up in a mighty way!  The service centered on wonderful testimonies provided by three great men from or congregation.  Here is a snapshot:

    First, we were given a great presentation of the application of Jesus in a person’s life through the experiences of Charlie Setzer.  He outlined John 3:16 and reiterated the point that all you have to do is truly “believe” in Jesus to become one of His children.  We were reminded of the fact that neither church membership, Sunday school teaching, being a deacon, a preacher, nor attending every service will guarantee your entry into eternal life with God, but a personal relationship with Jesus will! 

    Secondly, we were given the perspective of a life lived apart from God through the eyes of Robert Richards.  The greatest reminder that we all can have is that of where God brought us from.  No matter if you were saved at age 8 or 80, you were still brought out of a life of sin and darkness and placed in the light of Christ! 

    Lastly, Tony Woods did an excellent job of delivering the message of Matthew 6:14-15 concerning forgiveness.  No one will ever be aided by holding a grudge of any kind.  God is not pleased with a heart of hostility and anger.  No matter if a person chooses to not forgive us, we must always be quick to forgive.  How many times did Jesus tell Peter to forgive for the same exact offense over and over?  70 x 7 or always.  These guys did an excellent job as we all should praise God for the wonderful men in our church family!
     
    I must also note that we were all treated to the delightful snack of an all men’s choir as well.  Wasn’t it a beautiful sight?  Well… Not so much was it a beautiful sight or even a beautiful sound but it was something to see I can say that!  Many thanks to the men who sang with us, you all did a great job and as always it was an interesting experience! (HaHa)  Ladies, it will be your turn to try and top it on February 16.  Bring it on!
     
    Love you all,
    -Pastor Luke
    February 2, 2014
  • Live Your Calling Through Christ
    Last week, through Philippians 3 and 4, I personally was reminded that I have been called by a high and mighty savior who wants me to live for Him. We were reminded to “stand fast” in our faith in many different aspects including doctrinally, practically, through experience, without wavering, wearying, and warping. If we are in Christ, we are all new creations as Paul mentions in 2 Cor. 5:17, and in Gal. 2:20 it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

    The Bible mentions in 1 Peter 5:8 that the devil is raging on this earth, seeking whom he may devour. We are not totally safe from his touch while in this life. It is not a question of whether we are going to mess up or not, but the matter is are we going to let sin take a stronghold in our lives? We can all say “no” to that question, but when I consider my life do I really die daily to sin and myself or do I let in pleasure for a “good time” of quick, cheap thrills that I must pay for in the long run? As I get older, the more I hate sin. I’m sure you feel the same way. Which brings me to the lesson we had at the youth house on Wednesday night that piggybacked on the Sunday message.
    Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  He is the only way to where? Heaven. He is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help himself. Finally, He is the only way to live.  BEING A CHRISTIAN TODAY IS HARD, but here are three ways to help us make it through:

    #1 – PUT GOD FIRST IN EVERYTHING AND EVERY SITUATION
    #2 – LOVE, RELY ON, STICK CLOSE TO, AND PRAY FOR YOUR FAMILY
    #3 – SURROUND YOURSELF WITH REAL CHRISTIAN FRIENDS
     
    -In His Service, Luke
    February 9, 2014
  • Baptist Women's Day
    Women’s day was a great success as our ladies did such a wonderful job. The choir looked and sounded great up there packed from wall to wall.  It would be hard for me to admit that they outdid the guys, however, I will say that they did look a whole lot better!  Mrs. Becky Blakely, wife of Pastor Larry Blakely at Liberty Baptist in Maiden, presented a great example of a good church person living a life that was apart from God. She presented us with a powerful testimony of how she lived the life of a Pastor’s wife, yet was not surrendered to the Lord.  She explained of how she turned her life over to God and He saved her after she realized her soul’s condition. As always, the Holy Spirit continues to show up in our services and we praise God for that fact. A great time was had by all and God was working in many of our lives.
    February 16, 2014
  • What's the BIG deal about Church?
    Acts chapter 2 outlines the creation and the first days of the church. Aligning that passage with our churches today, we realize that the greatest aspect of church is not our order of service, the songs we sing, programs we create or follow, or even the people that are in the church. The greatest aspect is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Church is not about meeting 1, 2, or even 3 times in a week. It is a lifestyle we live. Just as Paul reiterated in 1 Corinthians 6:19 when he said ‘Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?’ Church is a commitment to God. It is living a life for God. It is your life.
     
    I heard a person say this week, “I am a Christian, but I don’t go to church.” I thought about this statement and then replied, “I don’t believe that’s possible (for an extended period of time).” I then followed that statement by saying, “Think about what you just said. It’s like you are saying, ‘I’m a swimmer, but I don’t swim in water’ or ‘I’m a college student, but I don’t go to college’. It’s a contradictory statement, and therefore impossible to make.” If we are Christians, our lives should revolve around church. Not only on Sunday and Wednesday, but we should all be committed to God all week, Sunday-Sunday.
     
    Write in your answer to the following question:
    What is my favorite thing about UBC? 
    March 2, 2014
  • The 40-Day Challenge
    Every year, Christians and non-Christians alike start recognizing the significance of the cross.  The amazing thing is that no matter whether people believe in the power of Jesus on the cross or not, the still tend to recognize it around Easter. This maybe the only time of year they do. Above Easter bunnies, presents, eggs, and candy, Easter, unlike Christmas, still has not been so commercialized that the true meaning is lost. That being said, I think that we as Christians should live our lives all year the same way with God in first place and everything else after. The 40 day challenge is a way to kick-start your life back toward full devotion to Christ. It is no secret that we all can become mundane in our every day Christian life, and most of the time what suffers are private matters such as prayer time or daily Bible reading. Here are some things about the challenge:

    #1 – Dates:  March 5 – April 17 (the day before Good Friday)
    #2 – How to do it: Give up something that hinders your walk with Christ, to replace it with something that encourages and deepens that walk.
    #3 – EXAMPLES (all for 40 days/nights):
    A. I give up “TV time” from 8-8:30 to have prayer and Bible Study time.
    B. I give up “Internet/Computer” time for 30 minutes of FAMILY time/Bible stories
    C. give up Fried Foods or Soft Drinks to remind me of sacrificial service and God’s provision
    D. I give up selfishness to serve others, actively finding someone to help every day
     
    No matter what you choose to do, the basis of this process is that you escape to God daily, while committing yourself to Christ and not the world and all its pleasures. For just a short amount of time, can you sacrifice something for Christ? After all, He gave everything He had for you!
     
    What will you give up?  What will you add?
    March 9, 2014
  • It'll Be Worth it After All
    The focal point of our service last Sunday was Heaven. You know, that place Christians talk about all the time. Why do we talk about it? Probably because that’s where we belong. I know personally that I am a citizen of Heaven and nothing can take that away from me. It’s the outcome, the reward, the culmination of life through Jesus Christ. Yes, I think Heaven is going to be so awesome that I can’t even describe it in words. What is your favorite part about Heaven? It’s ok to have more than one favorite thing, but if I had to name one it would be the fact that sin will never be there. It will be a perfect place where I can’t let my savior down anymore because of the temptations of this present world. Because sin will be non-existent, pain, suffering, crying, hurting, and dying will be no more! It doesn’t get any better than that folks! Here are the lyrics to a song that’s been on my mind since last Sunday…
     
    “It’ll be worth it after all, child. It’ll be worth it after all. After all of these trials, we’ll hear Jesus call. It’ll be worth it after all, child. It’ll be worth it after all. After all of this climbing, it’ll be worth it after all!”
     
    Yes, my friends, Heaven will surely be worth it all when we get there.
    1st – make sure you’re going there.
    2nd - Hang on to that promise.
    No matter what happens here, Heaven is just around the bend!
    March 16, 2014
  • What is WORSHIP?
    Definition:  a. The act of showing love and respect for something you ascribe worth to
    Synonyms:  Adoration, Respect, Offering, Reverence, Praise
    Antonyms:  Dishonor, Disrespect, Dislike, Criticism

    Q. What’s the big deal?
    A. Worship is not only something we do 1, 2, or 3 times a week. It is a lifestyle that you were created for. God created everyone and everything for a purpose, to glorify Him. That’s your main purpose in life above ALL other things! WORSHIP IS AN OFFERING TO GOD.

    Q. What should public (church) worship look like?
    A. All people worship in different ways, but the center of worship begins the same way in all people. We must all be prepared to worship. If you show up to church on Sunday half asleep from a late Saturday night, then how do you present a good worship offering to God? Worship cannot be put on a timescale. It can’t be forced.

    Q. I don’t know if I have ever really worshipped…
    A. Worship is not technically a feeling, even though it is directly related to our emotions. Do you give worth to God in your worship, or are you giving worth to whatever is in your head while the songs are sung and the preacher preaches? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT DURING THE SERVICE? THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE WORSHIPPING. Hopefully for us all, it’s God.

    Q. Can I hinder others from worshipping? Is that bad?
    A. Yes and YES! If you talk, whisper, or giggle through a service or play on your smart phone or tablet it is a distraction. Also, if you stare at people who worship with a judging glare it is a hindrance. Worshipping is my favorite thing to do, don’t bring me down!

    WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE FOR BEING HERE?
    March 23, 2014
  • Better Get Ready
    The theme around our church this week has centered on the second coming of Jesus. While this is always an important subject and always on our minds, our lessons this week have had focused more so on the actual subject matter.
    Sunday morning we were in Amos 4:12 where the Bible says, “prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” Now, what you have to know is this. Israel is representative of the nation of God’s chosen people. After Jesus came into the world and made a way for salvation for us, we became part of God’s elect IF we are saved. So, here in the text God is telling everyone to prepare to meet your God. Either by death or by the way of worldwide destruction and the rapture, Jesus is coming back and we will all face God. Are you prepared for that?
    Wednesday night at youth, we began our study of Daniel in Chapter #2. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that no one could interpret except for Daniel. What he told the king was not only a mere dream about nations, but it was Biblical end times prophecy that is coming together today in 2014. He spoke of the 7 heads and 10 horns mentioned in Revelation 17. The 7 heads represent the 7 major nations of the earth past, present, and future. The 10 horns represent the 10-division world empire or the “New World Order” if you will, that is already in place and waiting within the European Union.
    It is quite amazing that the Bible answers all questions in life and predicts the future accurately. That being said, I want you to know that Jesus is coming back. I don’t know when, but I do believe it’s going to be soon and within most of our lifetimes. I want you all to be ready to go when He does. So, ARE YOU PREPARED TO MEET YOUR GOD? If you’re not, you can be!
    March 30, 2014
  • It’s Time to Step Up
    This week, as we held the funeral service at our church for a dear and special lady, Mrs. Lois McRary, I was reminded of how much God has blessed Union with lots of those special people. We are a church full of loving, talented, and as we heard mostly related people! But what stands out about Union are those people who are dedicated to the Lord. A church cannot function without those people whom God has called to be a part of it staying dedicated. Now that raised a few questions in my mind as I sat and listened intently to the words spoken during the service.
     
    #1-What is dedication? I don’t think that dedication in the church setting should revolve around people or agendas, but it has to be born out of a deep commitment and love for Christ. I also do not believe that dedication should be limited to our “big 2 days” at the church (Sunday and Wednesday). Dedication is a lifestyle that represents God well first, and then Union Baptist.
     
    #2-How can I view dedication? There are so many examples in our church of dedicated and Godly people. I know you’ve noticed them, even though most don’t stand out. My suggestion is for the rest of us to watch and learn. It’s not always the outspoken or the one’s who debate every detail. It’s those who are faithful to the cause. Those you can depend on, and only because they are depending on Jesus.
     
    #3-Who will replace those dedicated soldiers that are beginning to pass along their duty of faithfulness to God? Somebody has to do it, and often times 1 person cannot handle the load by themselves. There are some who need to grow up, step up, and accept the call to the Holy battlefield as God is calling them. Are you one? Oak Hill needs you, UBC needs you, we need you, sinners need you! Will you serve? I assure you, the cause is worth it!
    April 6, 2014
  • THE B-I-B-L-E
    Often times in our lives, especially mine, we can turn to an old children’s song to remind us of a solid truth in God. The song focus this time could be “The B-I-B-L-E”. The Bible is known as the “the greatest book ever written”, “the greatest story ever told”, “the roadmap for people in this world”, “the Christian handbook”, and “the living Word of God”. Whatever you choose to call your Bible, it should hold it’s integral place as the key to your life.

    The Bible is so very special because it is, in fact, the Living Words of God almighty. Anything in life can be connected to something God says in the Bible. Although it may not specifically mention an exact situation or topic, it does relate to everything in life. God did not intend to “micro-manage” our lives through the book, but He does show us His love spread throughout time and His redemptive plan of salvation. The purpose of the Bible is to get us to God and give us instruction regarding how to follow Him. The amazing part about it is that even though people in the world are all different in that we like different things, speak different languages, have different hobbies, income levels, and overall interests, the Bible still relates to each and every one of our lives individually. It is truly amazing to read the Bible and let it “speak” to you. It is God’s greatest gift to us, behind Jesus’ love, and salvation!

    Check out these facts:
    About 100 million+ Bibles are sold each year worldwide
    “A Tale of Two Cities” written by Charles Dickens in 1859 has sold 200 million total copies
    On 11/26/13, the 1st book published in the U.S. (the OT) was auctioned for $14.2 million

    The Bible was written over about a 1,600-year period with 40 authors

    Middle chapter - Psalm 117 (also the shortest) / Longest Chapter – Psalm 119

    Shortest Verse – John 11:35: “Jesus Wept” / Longest – Esther 8:9

    66 Books (39 OT, 27 NT) / Shortest = 2 John, Longest = Psalms

    1189 Chapters (929 OT, 260 NT) / 31,173 Verses (23,214 OT, 7,959 NT)

    773,692 Words (592,439 OT, 181,253 NT)
     
    People that have read the Bible from start to finish:
    1-in-5 of all American Adults
    61% (over ½) of Evangelical Christians
    18% (1-in-6) of people of a different faith than Christianity
    9% (1-in-11) of people with no faith
     
    Politics and Bible reading:
    1/3 of politically conservative adults read the Bible
    1/10 of politically liberal adults
     
    Race and Bible reading:
    29% of Black adults
    22% of Hispanic adults
    19% of White adults
     
    Top 10 most Bible minded cities*:
    10. Knoxville, Tenn.
    9. Jackson, Miss.
    8. Little Rock, Ark.
    7. Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C./Asheville N.C.
    6. Charlotte, N.C.
    5. Shreveport, La.
    4. Springfield, Mo.
    3. Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.
    2. Birmingham, Ala.
    1. Chattanooga, Tenn.
     
    Top 10 least Bible minded cities*:
    10. Portland, Maine
    9. Burlington, Vermont
    8. Phoenix, Arizona
    7. Hartford/New Haven, Connecticut
    6. Buffalo, New York
    5. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    4. San Francisco
    3. Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Albany, New York
    1. Providence, R.I./ New Bedford, Mass.
     
    *According to American Bible Society and Barna Group
     
    Top 10 Bible Use cities, regardless of personal religious affiliation**:
    10. Houston, Texas
    9. San Antonio, Texas
    8. Chattanooga, Tenn.
    7. Waco/Temple/Bryan, Texas
    6. Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C.
    5. Nashville, Tenn.
    4. Charlotte, N.C.
    3. Washington, D.C.
    2. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Atlanta, Ga.
     
    **According to BibleGateway.com, based on online page views per household

    Now let’s look at those lyrics…
    “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.”
    Easter Sunday
  • EASTER SUNDAY
    Welcome to the Easter celebration at UBC! We’re glad you’re here! Today is one of our favorite days of the year and we hope that it’s special for you as well! The staff and music department, for the glory of God alone, present today’s program to you titled He’s My Story!

    HE’S MY STORY
    (A worship experience)
    BEFORE THE CROSS
    -Holy (Noel Malicoat)
    --He Came Down (Denise and Sage Shiflett)
    ---So Much God
     
    ON THE CROSS
    -Glorious Day (Clint Blakley & Ariel Benfield)
    --It’s Still the Cross (Ladies Ensemble)
    Pat Hollar, Sandra Coffey, Kathy Woods, Evette Hagan, Linda Auton, Shirley Reid
     
    RESURRECTION
    -Christ Is Alive Medley
     
    SALVATION
    -He Touched Me (Men’s Group- Myron Davis, Scott Malicoat, WL McDaniel, Luke Brakefield)
    --Oh the Blood (Katie Brakefield)
    ---Jesus Saves
     
    REDEMPTION
    -I Will Rise (Kevin & Evette Hagan)
    May 4, 2014
  • Just a Little Talk With Jesus
    Thursday, many Christians around our nation gathered in various locations to participate in the National Day of Prayer. This great movement has the goal of motivating people to pray with “one voice” for our country. I know the saying is worn out, but if there really ‘ever was a time to pray for our country it is now’. I personally have seen God work through the prayers of His people many times in my life, as I’m sure many of you have too. I believe that circumstances come into our lives sometimes as means to cause us to pray. If you are like me, half the time you don’t even know what to pray. How many times have you called out to God somewhere when you are alone and said, “God, I have no idea what to even say right now”? Prayer is a great gift of God that often times we neglect. It does us a great deal of good to remind us the power of God through prayer. Think about the following examples of prayer.
     
    #1 – Isaac’s wife Rebekah couldn’t have kids. He prayed to God, who answered his prayer and the couple was blessed with a child. (Gen. 25:21)
    #2 – Job prayed for his friends after he had went through losing everything he had, and God restored all that he had lost times 2! (JOB 42:10)
    #3 – A lady by the name of Tabitha (who was a very Godly woman) had died. People got word to Peter about her death and he traveled to comfort the family. Once there, he prayed by himself with her body and God granted Him to power to command her back to life. (Acts 9:40)
     
    There are countless examples of prayer in the Bible. It is a great gift from God and very powerful through His touch. You and I as Christians have an open audience with the King through Jesus. Let’s not take that for granted! Revelation explains that the prayers of the Saints are like a sweet smelling aroma to God. So I ask the questions…

    Do you pray?

    Without ceasing?

    What does prayer really mean to you?

     
    Mother's Day
  • Before the child is born,
    Anxious prayers ascend to heaven,
    The young mother depends on God,
    To nurture the life she's been given.
     
    When the mother hears the first cry,
    The tiny child claims her heart,
    A bond that cannot be broken,
    Deep passionate love from the start.
     
    God is the author of this love,
    To each mother it is given,
    To minister to a newborn child,
    A new life bestowed from heaven.
     
    When the child grows old,
    The mother's love is still there,
    For she has not left her duty,
    She still wraps the child in prayer.
     
    Remember your mother,
    Honor her with your love,
    For she is the gift that was given,
    To you from God above.
     
    (Julie L. McCarty)
     
    Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
    -Proverbs 31:10
    May 18, 2014
  • Everything Changes but God
     
    Do you sometimes wish that things in life would never change? I know that I do. As I was reminded this week through the two funeral services of honored Saints, everything must change whether we like it or not. The fact is that change is imminent. It is change in all aspects of life that affects us. I remember as a little boy thinking that I wanted to grow up so I could get my license, have cool stuff, and be an adult with all of the privileges that entails. But, as I reflect back on my life now I would love to go back to those years of little responsibility, no bills, and no expectations. Not that I would want to lose what I have now, but maybe just drop the bill and responsibility part.

    As a boy I was a little more invincible, or so it seemed, and death had not affected me as closely as it has now. I used to pray that God would never take anyone out of my life and thought that maybe, just maybe, He would come back to get us all before people like my Paw Story went on to Heaven by way of the grave. But, the simple facts of the Bible teach me that God has a better plan than I do. It teaches that His ways are not my ways, and His will is perfect while my wishes are often futile. Loss and change are necessary to accomplish God’s perfect will.

    I know that we can all look back and think of the many changes in life in just the past few years. Think… what was different for you in 2009? That was just 5 years ago. What about 2004 or 1999? WOW!!! How different things were!

    But, the fact is this. We have hope! Because God is in control and He never changes. You can bet that things will be different for you and me this time next year, but God will still be there and He will still be the same. In fact, He’s already there! Take comfort in that my friends!
    “I am the LORD and I do not change…” - Malachi 3:6
    Memorial Day Service
  • May 25, 2014
     
    Memorial Day, originally called “Decoration Day”, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

    The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363).
    (Source - http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html; retrieved 5/19/14)
     
     
    The Bible says a lot about being a good citizen, paying your dues, working hard, respecting authority, and paying tribute to those who deserve it. One example in Romans 13:7 says, “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed”. It is our privilege to honor those people today who paid with the sacrifice of their life for us, and those families that sacrificed their loved ones as well. Together we say thank you.