A current song in the Christian genre’, and one we often sing in Ocilla, is Chris Tomlin’s “Good, Good Father.” In it, Tomlin describes a complexity often missed by Christian artists and writers, theologians and preachers, parents and teachers. Tomlin gives us both a fundamental look at the meaning of “relationship,” and a clear statement of the perfection of God.
I've heard a thousand stories of what they think you're like
But I've heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you're pleased
And that I'm never alone
You're a good, good father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am*
While sitting at a fast food restaurant, I discover their internet connection isn’t working properly. I need that connection to get some work done. It’s not too busy, so I walked to the counter and spoke to a young employee at the cash register, “I wonder if you knew your internet is down.” The reply I received seemed typical of our times, “I just got here.”
The response made me think of us, the church of Jesus Christ. When a visitor finds their way into our building, how are they received? If they ask a question, how do we respond? If they notice something out of kilter, something we’re so accustomed to we’ve stopped paying attention, and mention it, what is our attitude? Do we get defensive? If they ask for some information, perhaps directions, do we know how to answer?
It happens this Saturday, July 15, right here at Ocilla UMC. From 9:30 until around 11:30, children from 5 to about 10, (K to 5th grades) will swarm around looking to receive the blessings of Christ via fun, fellowship, school supplies and a “brown bag” lunch.
Jesus loves children! All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) carry the same story, this version is Luke’s:
This Tuesday, we celebrate a great day in the history of the United States. July 4th, 1776 is known throughout the country as the day we rejected British rule and declared ourselves to be a self-governing sovereign nation. Many of us will shoot off some fireworks, eat something from a grill, and enjoy family as we enjoy this yearly tradition.
In the preamble of the Declaration stating the intentions of the 13 original colonies, the founding fathers invoked the idea of “truths” which exist independently from human opinion, coming instead from “their Creator.” You’ve heard it. It is said to be “one of the best known sentences in the English language:”
Somebody shared this with me and I found within it some wisdom I wanted to share.
#1 Forget that your pastor is a sinner. Yep. Dwell on the fact that he is not perfect as often as possible and make sure to meditate on all his faults.
#2 Forget that the entire leadership is made up of sinners. While you are thinking about all your pastor’s weaknesses be sure to look for all the weaknesses in all the leadership. Criticize their every decision and talk to others, but don’t ever go to them with your concerns.