Pastor's Corner

29 Mar
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Mid-Week Challenge

Our baby girl turned 13 today.  Wow, a teenager!  Does not seem like that long ago that the hospital let us slip right out the front door without giving us a test or offering any advice about what we were about to get into.  But thirteen years later things are going really well!  I am so proud of the young lady the Lord has allowed us to have in our home over these past years.  As I reflect on the many good memories she has allowed my wife and I to make I am reminded that as we celebrate her birthday it also means we are getting a year older too (Not only we, but everyone around us).  Man, how much has changed in thirteen years!  During this time we moved back to our hometown, had her little brother, helped start a growing church and I turned 40 somewhere in there!  As I face a new reality and enter into a new stage of life in our home I think about things I have never thought of before.  Things that were far off have now come a bit closer.  I face the fact that my dad is less than a year away from retirement.  It is hard to think about him doing anything but what I have always known him to do.  My mother-in-law retired at the beginning of this year and is a different person!  She and PeePaw spend their days in sunny Florida.  We hear about the occasional flee market, daily fishing trip and always up to the minute weather reports!  I learned a few weeks ago that they are even considering another RV Camper!  Birthdays do something to you, whether they are yours or someone else’s.  Birthdays cause us to slow down for a moment and reflect (sometimes it is physically not a choice).  

TIME has a great article about the growth of Senior Only trailer parks.  If you are 55 and up you are eligible for a patch of ground in Florida where the rent is low and the good times roll!  Reporter Karl Vick looks at the growing market of the trailer park.  He takes us on a tour of Sleepy Hollow Mobile Estates in Zephyrhills, Florida.  After only a few paragraphs he had my attention.  He spoke of the cost advantages, the rising market, and the amenities of an established park.  I was thinking, there has to be a way to makes some money here.  But as his report continued it became apparent that the residents were not so much drawn by the numbers as they were by the other people.  He described a community of seniors who spend their days enjoying life while they watch after each other.  All the perks and then some of a retirement home, without all the costs. 

Amazing how a birthday allows you to see the world in a different way.  I saw the economic potential; they see the companionship and community potential.  Isn’t that really what we all want in the end?  We come into this world needing the support of others and go out the same way.  Somewhere in the middle we forget about that.  No matter what age you might be, I hope you have thought about a retirement plan.  As I listen to those with more birthdays than me I am learning that it is much more than finances. 

One of the strangest stories in the Bible makes a little more sense as I get older.  In Luke 16 we are given the parable of the Shrewd Manager.  After being accused of wasting his master’s possessions the manager knew he was about to be fired.  So he calls all the master’s debtors and reduced their debts.  By doing so he hoped to befriend them so when he fell on hard times they would help him out.  When the master finds out about this he commends his servant for thinking ahead this way.  It seems that Jesus is praising this behavior but instead He is drawing our attention to the need of relationships.  The world will act like the world so take a page out of their book, do all you can to build friendships.  They will mean more than money when it really counts!  What are you doing today to secure that need you will have for community? All the money in the world can’t buy what we all need most when it comes to adversity.  A good church home and a good community of friends can make even the hardest of times easier.         

I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. Luke 16:9 

Serving the Savior

 Bro. Jonathan

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