Wild Goose Chase November 19, 2017

Welcome to “The Wild Goose Chase!” The Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit “The Wild Goose” because it was untamed and smarter than any other bird.

Dear Sisters and Brothers: Gun shots rang out at First Baptist Church during Sunday services in Sutherland Springs, TX, just a few days ago; leaving at least 27 dead and many more injured.  Before that horrifying incident, the folks of this small town felt protected by their rural setting.  But as we’re discovering, even those things don’t prevent evil from taking place.

I believe that this act of evil; was committed by someone who did not know, or understand, the love of God for ourselves and for our neighbors. I believe that acting of his own free will, and influenced by issues we do not truly understand that this man emptied his heart of love and left it filled only with anger and evil. Maybe he was mentally ill, maybe he was led by someone with hate in their hearts. But, whatever evil influenced him, pushed all love, grace and the sense of mercy, provided by God to us, out of his heart and soul, and left him with no ability to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

I will pray for his soul, I will pray for his family, and I will especially pray for all of his victims and their families. And I will do my best to prepare and protect the church I serve and the community in which I live. I will do this by following the advice of some well trained and skilled people and the guidance of my Lord God.

Mostly, I will work even harder to let people on the margin know that God loves them no matter what. I will work even harder to communicate the Great Commandment to love God with all your heart, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself. I believe that when the church turns its back on those suffering from depression, poverty, mental challenges of all sorts, addiction and the lack of loving family, that the church fails to do the mission of Jesus Christ in this world.

We are NOT called to be Church in order to have a big beautiful building with lots of amenities and staff coming out of our ears.

We cannot follow Jesus and ignore or push out the doors those who are suffering from these afflictions and who may not appear to be JUST LIKE US. It is, in my opinion blasphemous to ignore and refuse to help those who are among the least, the lost and the broken.

I am the product of churches that, in effect, de-churched me for 20 plus years because my hair was long and I would not meet their dress standards in order to be present in church. For all those long years I hated churches, claimed to be an Atheist and ignored the cries of those in need. And for 20 plus, long years, I risked my mortal soul by walking life without the safety of knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, given as an atonement for the sins you and I committed.

And so I call upon you … WAKE UP CHUIRCH! Extend the loving hand of Christ to those who are addicted, to those who have been molested and abused, and those who have never known the unconditional love of one human being for another, let alone the incredible gift of God’s Holy Spirit!

WAKE UP CHURCH, lets prevent this sort of horror from coming again, coming into this community by loving and standing by one another, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, life style choice, or religious belief. Let us be the full armor of God standing between evil and life, and let us do so in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Ephesians 6:10-12 (NRSV)“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

Remember, God loves you and so do I, and all you can do about it is love back.

Still In One Peace,

Stephen

   December 2018   
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