I did a video last week prognosticating the remaining eight teams in the NFL 2017-18 season. I made some bold predictions, and I wound up at 50%. Not too shabby for a churchman who loves football but only follows one team. Let me remind you of my predictions from this past week.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
This morning I want to share a recipe for peace. Because so many are looking Peace, it is a concept that everyone is seeking. Peace implies unity and order. It is much more than a feeling. Peace is a state of mind, and it is a way of life.
I am reflecting this morning as the rain falls on this raw day in North East Florida. I am thinking about this particular day that lives on in infamy. History proves to us that 76 years ago today, this great nation engaged, faced insurmountable challenges and began the process of overcoming.
God has got this. He has your life in the palms of His sovereign and robust self. I read yesterday that more people commit suicide in December than any other month. This fact is crazy. I want to encourage you this morning to simply Chill out! Don’t let the pressure of this holiday season stress you out. The Christmas season has been set aside to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, not to cause undue anxiety on you.
Imagine with me for a minute.
I want you to think about the possibilities. Think for a few seconds about this tiny ball called earth that we are riding at thousands of miles per hour.
It starts first with the sound, the sound of the vacuum sealed bag as I open it, the cacophony of the pressure as it releases is a distinctive sound that brings extreme pleasure to my ears and brain. This mystical music has a way of awakening my nerve endings, and it makes my mouth water. Immediately after the riveting racket from the bag, I experience the rush of fragrance that overtakes and invades my olfactory senses, scrambling my anticipation, my pulse rate increases, I am committed, I am in this for the long haul now, no turning back as the aroma permeates the room. I am speechless as I consider the outcome and carefully pour the wonderful, beautiful beans into the grinder. I press the button, the electric motor comes to life off balanced and rough at first, but as it continues to decimate the flavorful fruit the machine finally steady’s out, revving to a smooth motion that turns the raw bean into a finely ground powder.
I sit here this morning overwhelmed at the news coming out of Las Vegas. I am shocked and drawn to prayer. Words come slowly, I try and understand why someone would do this. My heart goes out to all of the families. My heart goes out to an American city. We know now that 58 people have lost their lives while enjoying a concert. We also know that over 500 people are injured and transported to the Hospital. This event is the worst mass shooting in American history. Processing this horrific event will take time for many Americans. Our freedoms are under attack. Large entertainment venues are the norm in the Home of the free. This madman for some reason thought this through for maximum effectiveness. Perched high above the festival with fully automatic weapons reigning terror on innocent concert attendees below.
This morning as I prayed for our country, I went back and carefully read the words contained in The Pledge of Allegiance and The National Anthem. In re-reading these beautiful works of words, I have determined that these writings were never meant to be divisive. These compositions were written to unite us. This morning as a Citizen of the United States of America, I can rejoice knowing that I have a voice. As a Christ follower, I should recognize the responsibility that I have and always give an account for the hope that I have because of Jesus. I am to do this with gentleness and respect.
I have been disturbed recently by the obnoxious post finding their way to my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I understand, and champion peoples need to express their views and thoughts. As Citizens of this great country, our founding fathers recognized the need for free expression and wrote into our Bill of Rights the first amendment, which affords us the right to speak out on any subject that we so choose. The question that I want you to consider as you read this post is “Do we need to respond and express our views on everything?”