Pastor's Corner

5 Sep
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Mid-Week Challenge

 With two teenagers in the house the routine of our life has shifted since school started.  My wife and I have accepted our roles as taxi drivers and sack lunch providers.  I’m very pleased that my children are active and involved with school activities, as my wife and I were.  One of the great things about being a teenager is the extra-curricular activities available.  It is during these activities that a young person gets to develop into whomever he or she will become.  Your personality, confidence and discipline are forged in many of these events.  Personal expression is a key trait developed in this phase of life.  Drama class, band, choir, sports, club, and lab help one become a confident individual and valued team player.  One of the benefits of living in this country is having the freedom to express your personal beliefs in a public forum.  These extra-curricular activities give the platform for this expression.  Personal thought and expression have always been protected rights in this country, especially at this age.  Religious expression in this arena has been debated over the years and continues to this day.  I was pleased to see the Texas Supreme Court protect the rights of students as the latest lawsuit made its way through the Texas legal system.  Over the past six years cheerleaders in Kountze, TX were told by the school district they could not display Bible verses on the “run through” signs they prepared for the football players so the cheerleaders took the case to court.  At each stage the courts ruled that student expression was protected speech but at each victory the school district pursued the case further.  Last week the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear the final appeals against the students handing them one last victory.  The school district hopes to find one more appeal route, but legal experts say the case is dead.  https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2018/08/31/texas-court-hands-christian-cheerleaders-big-victory-fight-display-bible-verses-football-games

I’m glad that these young people had this experience, even though it took six years.  It has taught them that there are things worth fighting for and there is a proper way to have your voice heard.  Young and old alike have seen in recent days the way that some use anger, hostility, intimidation and misrepresentation to bring the attention to themselves while citing social issues. Taking a risk for a personal cause is very American, but it is a sign of maturity to weigh the consequences of one’s actions and proceed with wisdom.  We have seen individuals misrepresent facts for personal gain and then be rewarded by media and celebrities because of the controversy caused.  It would be nice to return to the days when taking a stand for something meant advancing a cause instead of highlighting an individual. 

 Let’s celebrate the importance of free speech but also remind ourselves of the power our words have.  Developing these skills begins in our youth.  Make it a point to help the young people in your life find their voice by giving them a platform but at the same time help them develop good discernment in navigating the issues of our day.  

If the God we serve exists, then he can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he can rescue us from the power of you, the king.  But even if he does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up."Daniel 3:17-18

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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