Yep, thats me . . . Fired up. Mad. Tired of it. I guess, if you were there this morning, you know what I am talking about. Why in the world would we ever take what God is doing for granted??
Specifically, I am tired of some of the attitudes about our Weekday program. Our weekday program is solid, is reaching children for Christ, and shame on anyone for thinking it is a bother. It is awesome and I am glad we do it. We have done it for over 40 years now. I meet people often who attended EBC weekday and are now in adulthood, many of whom are sending their kids to EBC weekday. I could tell you it is a great service to the community, it is a great PR thing, or ten other excuses for why we should support it and keep it.
BUT HERE THIS: There is ONE reason I believe in it and ONE ONLY . . . CHILDREN ARE HEARING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST because of our weekday. And, it might be the only opportunity they have to hear it.
So, why don’t we all just love it and pray for it??
Thanks to our Video Production Department (Kerry Floyd, Media Source One), we have a little experiment. Check this link out of streaming video from last Sunday’s sermon:
Brett will be 38 in October, and he is the hottest quarterback in the NFL right now. (When I say HOT, I mean it in the GUY way — Completing passes, reading defenses, really in the zone. THAT disclaimer is for Krissy and anyone else who will read this and think I mean good looking.)
But, he is an old man, right?? (I am 41, so I can say it that way) That is the way of thinking around the league and in the press, and Brett is making them eat those words. And, Justin McAlpin is PROUD.
Could the Packers win it all this year?? If all of the NFL teams had to redraft EVERYONE today, would Brett be the first QB to go?? ONLY if the team with the first pick wants to win . . .
What makes Ebenezer EBENEZER?? For almost 230 years, Ebenezer has not only existed, but made a difference in Florence. Why?? Certainly God put this church where it is, called different men and women to be a part of it, and laid a solid foundation for much to be built upon. Millions of times I have reminded you that Ebenezer is not an address or a set of buildings, but PEOPLE. People make Ebenezer what it is . . . (there is more — keep reading)
Will we continue? Will we reach the next generation?? Will we squander the resources God has given us and die right here??
The answers to all of these questions lie in our commitment, our pursuit of RELEVANCE. Will we be relevant? Will we relate to the community around us? Will we reach out to those who don’t know Christ of ALL GENERATIONS??
Well, will we? We Ebenezerites have to answer that one on our own . . .
What makes Ebenezer what it is?? SPECIFICALLY, PEOPLE who are FOLLOWING GOD!!! What brought this great church to this place? FOLLOWING GOD! Will we do it???
As for me and my house . . . well, you know the rest! How about you?
Do you remember?? The ENTIRE state of SC was bracing for an infamous visitor known only to us as “Hugo.” It was this evening, eighteen years ago, that the eye of Hugo came ashore around McClellanville, SC. The impact was felt across the entire state. I remember being in my home in Easley and thinking the winds would lift my house a la “the Wizard of Oz.” It was unreal. No, it was too real.
The Lowcountry and the Pee Dee felt the most sting in South Carolina, although the Rock Hill / Charlotte area absorbed a hard hit from tornados. As did Camden. Let’s face it, this storm was brutal and hit us all.
Many times I have said it was not Katrina, but only because of our landscape. If we were in a bowl like New Orleans, it would have been as devastating.
Wikipedia quotes these thoughts from Gov. Carroll Campbell:
“There were about 3,000 tornados embedded within the hurricane, which accounts for extensive damage in some areas not within the path of the eyewall.”
“Enough timber was lost within South Carolina to build a home for every family in West Virginia.”
WOW . . . Don’t forget. Don’t ever forget. Where this is not a birthday we are likely to celebrate, we should NEVER forget.
Justin called me on Monday, reminding me that “K-ville” was coming on Fox at 9. I was already watching one thing and taping another, so reluctantly chose not to watch. Fox replayed that pilot last night. WOW . . .
What would interest me or Justin in this? K-ville is a police drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans. In the pilot episode, they did a great job addressing the many of the stresses facing men, women, and children two years after Katrina. It will really make you think . . . It IS a typical Fox police drama, filmed in the “shaking camera” style (so you might want to take a Dramamine). But it was worth watching. And it might really open the eyes of those who see to what New Orleanians really face . . . Sure, it is fictional. But whoever is putting this one on seems to be doing a good job capturing life in the Big Easy.
Watch it if you get a chance!
“Debbie Downer” was a character, portrayed by Rachael Dratch on SNL, that could find something negative to say NO MATTER HOW JOYOUS the occasion she was in. I always thought that sketch was really funny. I am starting to rethink my position.
I am increasingly puzzled by the negativity of a handful of God’s people . . . Sometimes I relate to Moses really well. And, when you think about negativity, you think about the two old codgers in the balcony of the Muppet Show, right?? WELL, not so fast . . . There are negative people in all age groups, making noise and poisoning the water for all!
YES, there are faults in EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT. YOU ARE NOT, EITHER. Once we all realize that, we will be a lot better off.
What can we do? REFUSE TO LISTEN. If someone comes to you with negative junk, send them to the object of their negativity. That is the ONLY way to stop it.
And, we need to stop it.
Okay, is this a sign of the apocalypse??? OJ is arrested AGAIN and there was a planned HIT on K-FED??? I CAN’T STAND IT!!!
I am very concerned . . . (Can you sense the intense concern??)
In the past several days, I have found myself talking to church members who want to challenge the status quo . . . That is NOT a bad thing. Several of them have expressed a need for change in certain areas, and some have expressed “this is why I am not involved in (fill in the blank).”
There are areas in our church that need change . . . Which means there are HEARTS in our church that need change. We can all get set in our ways at times, and that can be dangerous. Our upcoming marriage enrichment event has met some resistance because of WHO has planned it . . . There have been plenty of snippy remarks about the young ages of the folks who have been promoting and planning it. This event was borne out of a vision to help marriages in our church and community, which are CRUMBLING before our eyes. Should we do anything, or watch it happen?? Shame on whoever is giving this event a bad rap.
I wonder how many couples in our church really have the perfect marriages, and if you are one of them, let me know . . . I would love to make sure YOU are involved in leading this event! NONE OF US are perfect, and the folks coming from the South Carolina Baptist Convention to lead this thing are just trying to help us strengthen our church and our community. I wish every married couple in our church would come . . . And I am thankful for a couple like Ed and Hatsy Young who ARE coming! They have been married for a long, long time and yet they want to strengthen their marriage. AWESOME!
But, back to my topic. If you are one of those recognizing a need for change, I will tell you the secret of how to help it happen: GET INVOLVED!! Don’t let the flaws of how things are stop you from being a part of the solution!
Kevin Everett . . . A backup tight end for Buffalo, injured on Sunday while making a tackle on special teams. The doctor said this was a severe, almost fatal injury to his spinal cord. He did well in surgery, but the jury is still out on how far his recovery will go.
Interesting, though, is the huddle on the field praying for him. Sportcenter showed a group of guys praying and a few running in to join them. Prayer is a very powerful thing. The fact that God Himself will give an ear to our feelings is a humbling thought.
Prayer can heal . . . Prayer can bring unity . . . Prayer can give us a clear direction. As Willard Dorriety said at our deacon ordination on Sunday evening, “Ebenezer is at a crossroads. A good crossroads, but a crossroads.” We had 485 in Sunday School on Sunday, and very little room for more. (The New Facilities Team is almost ready with a greatly detailed report.) BUT, we need to CONTINUE and INCREASE our prayer about this. All of this could seem daunting, but remember — GOD CAN DO ANYTHING. Without Him, we can do NOTHING.
Pray . . . Pray for our sick and wounded . . . Pray for those who are hurting, and even being persecuted, because of THEIR FAITH . . . Pray for those making great sacrifices in the name of the kingdom of God . . . Pray that we will be open and willing to obey God however He leads us, even if He leads us to be persecuted or make great sacrifice.
PRAY . . . It is a powerful thing!