Take the Step Toward a Stranger Today!

Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,

As I write this eNote to our faithful and devoted community of radical and contextually conscious followers of Jesus Christ, I continue to explore ways to acknowledge and love others.  It is clear that we cannot love each other based on value because value is in the eyes of the beholder.  And we cannot love based on the color of someone’s skin because some believe their skin color is superior to others.  So what do we do?

Meeting new people can be intimidating and time consuming.  Most of our circles are deeply familiar believers and we often don’t have time or room in our lives for meeting new people.  Imagine if Jesus never walks up to the disciples and befriends them.  What if Jesus never opens his mouth to this frightened woman at the well?  This path we are on daily invites us to be gracious and hospitable.

Paul writes in Hebrews 13:2 a helpful and practical word for the followers of Jesus.  “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”  WOW!  Showing love must be the impetus for this daily mission work, locally and/or globally.  Loving others is the most difficult commandment Jesus gives us.  Why?  We are broken, battered, bruised and messy people.  Because we deal with our own brokenness it is difficult to see the brokenness in others.  Understanding there is no perfect person; the only way to love others is through the presence and power of God’s love.  Jesus demonstrated his love for all people, even those who crucified him.

We must learn to constantly tap into and be aware of the love of grace of God.  May the followers of Jesus not judge people by their skin pigmentation, class status, political affiliation or religious beliefs, but rather let’s judge ourselves by our measure of love we extend daily in a world that needs love.  Let us be empowered to say, go and do what others just imagine.

Remember we not only have brokenness in common, but we also have the love and grace of Jesus in common.  Let us go and demonstrate our obedience to God through Jesus our love for the stranger who is all around us.

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Take the step toward a stranger today!”

Remember to pray The Lord’s Prayer every day at 12 Noon!

As always, remember, God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!
Pastor Stephen

Remain Hope-filled!

Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,

As I write this eNote to our faithful and devoted community of radical and responsible followers of Jesus Christ, I am troubled by the five killings at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland.  Please pray and find a way to act by contacting your public elected officials and engaging in these difficult conversations with others about gun violence.

On the other hand, tomorrow morning at 9am during worship, we will baptize one of our new, precious little ones.  His parents will stand on his behalf as they give him back to God.

Please join us tomorrow to also remember your baptism!

Remember in times that seem hopeless God’s Word is clear, “I will never leave nor forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
Remain Hope-filled!

Remember to pray The Lord’s Prayer every day at 12 Noon!

As always, remember, God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!
Pastor Stephen

We Are Easter People!

Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,

As I write this eNote to our faithful and devoted community of radical and contextually conscious followers of Jesus Christ, my heart aches for the victims of the Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky.  In times like these we are reminded that Jesus says in Hebrews 13:5, “remember I will never leave, nor forsake you.”

According to CNN, Bailey Holt’s cell phone rang incessantly, but the 15-year-old didn’t answer.  A mass shooting had just started at her Kentucky high school.  Bailey’s mother panicked at hearing the news and kept trying to reach her daughter, but to no avail.  Finally, Bailey called her mom back.  It was one of the final acts of her young life.

“She called me, and all I could hear was voices, chaos in the background,” her mother Secret Holt told CNN affiliate WKRN.  “She couldn’t say anything, and I tried to call her name over and over and over, and she never responded.”  Bailey died Tuesday at Marshall County High School in Benton.  Another 15-year-old, Preston Cope, died at Vanderbilt Hospital.

Our own Dr. Manny Sethi, Director of Trauma, and his team at Vanderbilt Hospital operated on many of the students and on Preston who later died.  Tragic events always happen at the most untimely moments.  Please pray for Dr. Manny and his staff.  These moments as a surgeon are unforgettable.  Thank God there are no surprises or untimely moments with God.

As Christians, we get to help people understand that God didn’t cause this horrific action.  But that doesn’t mean that God wasn’t present in the moment.  To see God’s love in tragic moments is extremely difficult.  We know that there is a greater plan, which we may not understand, but we must try and have faith that God‘s plans are greater than ours.  The Prophet Jeremiah tells us, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Our hope rests in the hands of a faithful and loving God even in the midst of uncertainty.  Please take time to pray for Bailey and Preston’s families, the 15-year old shooter and his family, the other students who were shot, but survived and their families, the teachers and principals, the students within the county, law enforcement, and that community and other parts of our beloved world where there is pain and disbelief of lives being cut short.

Let us celebrate in the midst of the pain that Bailey and Preston are children of God and are now in the presence of God!

Hear the Words of Wisdom,
“We are Easter People!”

Remember to pray The Lord’s Prayer every day at 12 Noon!

As always, remember, God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!
Pastor Stephen