Because We Are All God's Children

May 5, 2021

Leadership Notes

- Chris Stapleton {"I Was Wrong"} Edition -

Last week, I boldly claimed that Gabe Lewis was the creepiest character on "The Office." My wife has always insisted I was wrong. Over the weekend, we watched an episode with a Todd Packer storyline, and as she convincingly pointed out, yes, Todd Packer is creepier than Gabe Lewis. I was wrong. She has always been right!

Next, not so much a correction as an apology. When I used a fitting reference in Sunday's sermon to Archie Bunker, I shouldn't have assumed everybody knew the character I was referring to. As I said in the sermon, I knew a guy in high school who was a virulent racist. We ignored him like the plague. Years later, I ran into him while in college and he was a changed person. When Christ calls you, he changes you. I need to be more careful that we have a shared understanding. At least in 2021, if someone doesn't know the reference, a quick trip to the google machine brings clarity. Technology covers a multitude of communication sins.

As we move into summer, my hope is that we can remove the tape from our pews sometime in June. We're getting to the point where everyone who wants to receive the Covid-19 vaccine can get it. One city in Michigan is offering free food and gifts at their vaccine sites. In New Jersey, you can get a free beer with the vaccine - a shot for a shot. We are closing in on vaccination saturation.

If someone gets the vaccine, God bless them, it's their choice. If someone does not want the vaccine, God bless them, it's their choice. By now we all know the risks of getting one or not getting one. I think it's time to move on. Life is about assuming levels of risk. Whether one gets a vaccine or not, we are living within those risks.

Just when I needed it, Thom Rainer sent an email out about churches opening up as we move into summer. He encouraged leaders to be patient with where people are at in relation to when they return to in-person worship. I needed to hear that. I know what I think, and I know what choices I would make, but we all think differently about these things. So Rainer calls for patience. It's a good thing when an email corrects an attitude or action. {And we will never not livestream Sunday worship!}

Did you know that the United States became debt free in 1835? It lasted one year and has never happened again. Sadly, The Babylon Bee ran a story too close to the truth:

"Current Administration Runs Out of Our Grandchildren's Money to Spend.

Now Spending Our Great-Grandchildren's Money."

How will this end? On this, my mind has not been changed; generational theft is a Biblical issue.

Professor and author Dustin Benge writes:

Fear asks: "How can I protect myself?"

Love asks: "How can I give myself?"

Psalm 139:16 says:

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Which leads to these lyrics by Stuart Townend:

Loved before the dawn of time,

Chosen by my Maker,

Hidden in my Savior,

I am His and He is mine,

Cherished for eternity.

So with every breath that I am given

I will sing salvation's song;

And I'll join the chorus of creation

Giving praise to Christ alone.

And now your moment of Spurgeon:

If any man be saved, it is not because he purposed to be saved,

but because God purposed to save him.

With Much Love and Affection,


And now a Mr. T bonus:

"Very true believers in Christ have a Godly duty, spiritual obligation,

and moral responsibility. To reach down, reach out, reach back, and

lift up. Because we are all God's children. Matthew 25:45."

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