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We have all heard the saying “Freedom Isn’t Free.” How true it is and verified by the many military cemeteries here and abroad, where lie buried the many young men who gave their lives for the sake of our freedom.  Unfortunately, we live in a broken world where there are evil forces that would rob of us our freedom.

We have been very blessed to live in a very unique country.  Pilgrims first found their way here to have “religious freedom.”  The founders of our Nation recognized that we were beholden and subject to “our creator.”  They based our Constitution on the principles taught in the Bible.  As a result, God has blessed America and allowed us to grow and prosper more than any other nation on earth.  As Americans, I’m afraid we take many of our freedoms and rights for granted.  When we travel to many of the other countries in the world, we experience “cultural shock,” realizing that there is oppressive government control and they do not have the same “freedoms” we have.

With that being said, what “responsibility” do we, as Christians, have to support and maintain “Freedom?”

First, I would like to start with the response Jesus gave to the scribe who asked which command was most important.  Jesus answered: 

Mark 12:30-31:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this isthe first commandment. And the second islikeit, namelythis, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

If we obeyed these commands, it would cover our other “responsibilities.”  Our country has become so divided over the last few years that we find it difficult to “love” anyone who disagrees with us.  Well, I’ve got news for you.  Jesus considers them your “neighbor!” 

Paul gives us more guidance in:

Romans 12:18-21: If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rathergive place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance ismine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good

Does this mean as Christians we shouldn’t be in the military? No, Israel had their armies under Joshua and David and with God’s help defeated their enemies. God says in:

John 15:12-13:  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

He also tells us in:

Luke 20:25:And he said unto them, Givetherefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.  

We are also told that we should be obedient to authority in:

Romans 13:1-4:  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resiststhe power, resiststhe ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bearsnot the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to executewrath upon him that doeth evil. 

 

Is there ever an exception to this?  Yes, remember when Peter and the “other apostles” were told not to preach or teach about Jesus?

Acts 5:29:  “Then Peter and the otherapostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 

It is only when man’s law conflicts with God’s law that you must choose to disobey!  This brings us to the political aspect of our responsibility.  There are many who run for political office who disavow God, and who would promote sinful practices, such as abortion, homosexuality, and lawlessness.  We should be informed as to a candidate’s values and principals, and support those who hold the values, faith, and vision to lead our Country.  George Washington once said: “It is impossible to rightly govern a Nation without God and the Bible!”  That is the kind of person we want to see in office.

So, we should be willing to serve our Country when called to do so. We should be informed and vote for candidates with the right values.  We should take a stand, and let our voices be heard against evil.

Mark 8:35-38: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for hissoul?Whosoever therefore shall be ashamedof me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels

The most powerful tool we have is prayer.  Many times, we find ourselves depending on our government or our military to protect us, when it is God Who is in control of all things.  He said in:

2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

 

We need to continually be praying for our Country, our leaders, our brave military, our ministers, those who disagree with us, and those who are lost. Then we need to put all our hope, trust and dependence in God and accept His will:

Romans 8:28:  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to hispurpose.

God Bless,
Dan Hubbell

Posted by Dan Hubbell with
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OLD FASHIONED HYMN SING
 (Feasting on the Manna)

Several months ago, my son Grant asked me to begin thinking and praying about starting a Senior Adult Choir.  I am a retired Music Director who thought singing in our FBCW choir and then sitting in the pew was my new assignment.  I think God used that invitation to awaken my heart to all the joys and possibilities of establishing a Senior Adult Choir.  So, sign-up began for all those who loved to sing and who also enjoyed the old hymns.  We started with rehearsals every other Thursday but soon began rehearsing every Thursday at 10:30 a.m.  Each member is committed to being at rehearsal as much as they possibly can.

On June 12, this Senior Adult Choir invited everyone to come and participate in an “Old Fashioned Hymn Sing.”  This evening included just the perfect blend of Senior Choir specials, piano solos, a piano duet, and congregational participation in a variety of beautiful, old, and much-loved hymns.  

One of our graduating high school seniors, Caleb Hoke, played the accordion in the lobby before the program began which was a special treat for all of us.  During the program, a piano duet was played by Cheryl McDonald and Vickie Anderson.  The piano soloist and accompanist for the senior adult choir is Anna Wright. 

One of the Senior Choir’s special was “Dwelling in Beulah Land.”  Some of the hymns that the congregation sang were: 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
I love to tell the Story
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
The Old Rugged Cross
Amazing Grace

The Hymn Sing lasted just an hour.  Based on feedback I received, it was just long enough to enrich and uplift us, but short enough to leave us with a deep hunger for more.  It was also both surprising and encouraging to see many young people scattered throughout the congregation. 

The Hymn Sing was followed by an ice cream fellowship that was sponsored by Dallas Brower and the Legacy Builders and Boomers Ministry. Needless to say, this fellowship was also very much enjoyed by everyone. 

The entire evening was a wonderful blessing! In fact, this Old Fashioned Hymn Sing was so well received that we are looking for another time to have another one. Stay tuned for a future date. 

The Senior Adult Choir will take the rest of the summer off and will regroup in September.  If you love to sing and you love hymns, come join us.  Watch the bulletin for our start-up date in September.

Posted by Jerry Jessen with 1 Comments

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