Reflections on Faith
In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.
Andrew S. Odom
In a recent article, recovering CEO, and CCPC member, Robert Hall stated, “I believe leadership got us into this dismal state and it will take leadership to get us out.” He is talking about the state of our society. I believe that we are being challenged to become the kind of leaders that are in short supply these days. Saying we are a purple church is fine and good, but we now need to begin seeing what that actually means for us. To that end, I am working on a new sermon series titled “Purple Church” that will begin on August 12th. I see this as a beginning, a time when we can start to dig into what being purple actually is. What I can tell you is that the focus is on relationships. I believe it is possible to be in relationship while holding different viewpoints. I believe it is possible to be engaged with one another no matter what color we gravitate to at the voting booth. I believe God is, in fact, calling us to do that very thing.
Published on 07/17/2018 @ 9:40 AM CDT
Published on 07/02/2018 @ 11:39 PM CDT
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
This week, I thought I might lift up a couple of things to celebrate:
- Lee’s arrival has been a lot of fun! You have welcomed him and the Lee family with vibrant energy and thoughtful hospitality. If you would allow me to say it, I am proud of you.
- Kelly on the Lawn was a great success! The evening was perfect for it. The food was awesome, the music was excellent, and the fellowship was wonderful. It was relaxing and fun all at the same time. The Holy Spirit highlighted our more playful side.
- Vacation Bible School was such an exciting week! I don’t think I saw an unhappy child there, and the live animals at the end of the week were a huge hit. The kids walked away with a better grasp of the stories of Jesus and his ministry, and they had a great time learning.
- Finally, the Patriotic Concert was phenomenal! I feel like it gets better every year. Kudos to David Hays, Joshua Hughes, Jordan DeRouen, and all of you who helped make the evening a memorable one. At one point, I looked up and felt tremendous joy over all of the ages up their singing glory to God. It was a blessed occasion.
I once read that you can measure the health of a congregation by how well they play together, meaning how well they share Christ’s joy together. If these past few weeks are any sign at all, I’d say we are the healthiest church in town. I continue to serve as your pastor with great pride and with the hope of many more years together.
Published on 06/25/2018 @ 8:41 PM CDT
“Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” (Romans 12:13)
I don’t believe in labels. Even though I use them sometimes, I don’t believe in them. I don’t believe that challenging the practice of separating children from their parents at the border is a left wing statement any more than I believe saying that, as long as we live in a world of fences, we need keep our border secure is a right wing statement. I don’t believe in those labels. I do believe in the God who sighs at the pettiness of our labeling and is saddened by the divisiveness they create.
This week, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued a statement on the immigration crisis, saying among other things, “As the officials of our government attempt to address the crisis, we cannot afford to tarnish the highest values of our nation.” Some will want to label it. I caution against that, inviting you instead to receive it as an attempt to present the consciousness of the Presbyterian Church to the consciousness of the country. Former First Lady Laura Bush made a similar statement, suggesting that we should be able to do better.
I have watched the conversations on social media, which often make wide sweeping assumptions of “the left” and “the right” and the immigrant families who have come to our border. The “left” did this. The “right” did that. Blame is the name of the game these days, original sin at its best. The truth is that we cannot begin to fathom why someone thinks a certain way. We cannot begin to fathom what is going on in the lives of families who have come to the doorstep of our nation. They may not be aware of how to request legal entrance. We don’t know. All we know is that they are here, and it is messy. How we receive them and how we treat them in the process reveals the heart of who we are as a people. I, for one, believe that putting energy into improving this situation is worth our attention.
As Christians, we err on the side of grace, always, even at our own peril. We are called upon to do so by the One who went so far as to offer up his own life in order to welcome us home.
Published on 06/19/2018 @ 7:42 AM CDT
Published on 06/12/2018 @ 1:38 PM CDT