Several things I want to run by you today...

First of all, once more our country is in turmoil and the danger of increasing polarization. I have often warned about this and the decline of civility in our culture and government. I have been critical of the President for his tirades and bellicosity from the git go. He reminds me of a petulant child. But I have also been critical of our media and Congress. In so many ways, they remind me of guppies, fish, I had as a kid. They eat their own. The constant and most recent display by Congressman Adam Schiff who is chair of the investigating committee investigating Trump, is unacceptable as he willfully embellished his opening remarks as if he was reading a Tom Clancy novel.

I do not know where all this is going but I do know that private personal agendas by elected officials of both parties are not in the best interests of this country. The media feeds it like feeding sharks and there is a constant rush to judgment and feeding frenzy. I have seen far better behavior for grade school children.

We have lots of elected officials but few leaders or statesmen. We are in dire need of both. The perils are many for our nation and a divided people. I fear for our nation. And yet I know God is sovereign. Through it all, He is. Pray for our nation.

On a second front, a quick encouragement for you to attend all the special fall church events you can whether they are bazaars, suppers etc. They are fun and help out those churches.

I was reading a cool little book the other day which featured some John Wayne films and the lessons to be learned from them. Several had some especially beneficial ones. One goes back to my previous comments about our nation.

In one of my favorite John Wayne movies, “The Comancheros,” Wayne plays a tough Texas Ranger named Jake Cutter. Early in the film he captures a gambler and wanted man called Paul Regret played by Stuart Whitman.

Regret claims he was framed but doesn’t sway Cutter. Through shared dangers and fighting side by side against a common foe, Cutter, Wayne, decides to believe Regret and let him go. He realized he could count on him when things were on the line.

What is the point? The point is that reasonable people will join together when the circumstances call for it. Our nation’s leaders need to set aside much of their agendas and start working for a common betterment. More than that, church members, friends and families need to do likewise. In a tough world, there are many people with many differences but wise people will put their differences aside to work together when bigger threats and challenges arise. Sometimes, doing so will make you realize your original opponents were not so bad after all.

Finally, one of the great dangers in our Christian life is becoming cavalier or apathetic or even careless in our Christian walk. The Bible talks a lot about that and in Revelation 2:4, we see in the Apostle John’s vision this word from the Lord: “I hold this against you. You have forsaken the love you had at first.”

You and I could question that and wonder how anything could be amiss if someone or a church was serving the Lord. But there is more than that. The church in Ephesus then was wealthy and influential. It had the potential for becoming a great Christian center for outreach. The problem, and it happens so much in America and Americans, is that the believers there were putting more faith in earthly riches and good works than in spiritual things and blessings given them by God. They were busy for Him but not obedient or walking closely with Him.

God wants an intimate day to day relationship with us. Developing that takes and should take top priority with us. It cannot be an afterthought. Serving Him must be out of love and obedience not ritual and tradition. They cannot replace loving Him. The problem is that, in essence, we crowd Him out. We too often don’t have (or live in) the excitement and expectancy we once had for Him and our walk with Him. Our relationship goes through the motions but the zest, the love and closeness grows stale to our loss. The same thing happens too much in marriages and relationships. Hosea 6:6 and Mark 12:33 point to that as well.

If you no longer feel as you once did when you came to Christ or joined your church or were confirmed or baptized, it is a good time to ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit and get back to where you once belonged and were. Treasure His love fir you and cultivate your love and devotion to Him.

Till next time, grace and peace.

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