Category Archives: culture

The lesson learned (so far) from Boston and beyond




The tragedy in Boston and the panic that struck that city was comparable in many ways to the events of 9/11. For a few minutes, which for many of us seemed like hours, people were terrified and tuned in to breaking news reports to hear of the next attack or the details of what has already taken place. Videos and pictures streamed in from everywhere, and the cable news networks went into full reporting mode.

What was virtually unnoticed at first, however, was the way that people on the scene responded to the horrific carnage at hand. First responders didn’t hesitate to run to the scene, tearing apart barricades and accessing the dead and the wounded within seconds of the blasts. They thought of themselves second and others first. Now we hear of one officer getting killed and another wounded in the line of duty. They were and are in every sense of the word, heroes. Thank you, men and women who have served us so unselfishly!

As we praise God for our police, firefighters, and other first responders, I’m also reminded of Jesus. “Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others too,” Paul wrote in Phil 2:4, and he called us to look at Jesus as the example of unselfish servanthood. It was Jesus who went to the cross unselfishly, who died painfully, who was raised righteously, and who triumphed victoriously- and how did it all begin? By Jesus willingly becoming flesh, willingly regarding equality with God a thing not to be grasped, willingly taking on the form of a bondservant as a stinky, smelly human, and willingly obeying to the point of death on a cross. 

His example is ours to follow. May God be honored with an unselfish commitment to Him! 


Pastor Fran

Trouble

Matthew 5:11-12 says in the Message translation, “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.”

Have you been in trouble, real trouble? There are those who love to stir up things, live drama, loving the soap opera of life, and they go from one crisis to another. That’s not what I mean. What I mean is the type of trouble that comes from those who mean evil for the godly. People who don’t want to face their own issues and cast blame on others, those who, as this text says, avoid the truth about themselves because it is too close for comfort. These are the ones who scream loudest while trying to stir up trouble.

My friend, speak the truth in love. Don’t veer from your mission in life and the message of Christ. Focus on doing things as Christ would, turn the other cheek, and press on. Most of all, count yourself blessed.

Not Political: Real Change

You are not of this world. You are a citizen of no place but heaven, pledged to no one but Christ, placing no idol before your love for the Lord. Your destination is altogether different than what you see around you today. Your goals as a believer is not financial prosperity but riches in Christ. Your focus is not on a earthly kingdom but an eternal Kingdom. It’s all different when you are a follower of Jesus.

In case you hadn’t heard, we are in an election season (yes, that was tongue in cheek). Being in a swing state, I literally get a half dozen election ads in my home mail every day. To and from the church office, I drive by hundreds of political yard signs. All this along with the constant bombardment of television, radio, and webpage advertisements, and I think I’ve seen enough campaigning for at least, say, four years.

It’s easy to get caught up in election campaigning, having an emotional attachment to one candidate or another. As a pastor, I have purposely not stated my political preferences publicly. I don’t allow yard signs in my yard, and don’t participate in the election rhetoric on Twitter or Facebook. I must admit that at times it is tempting, but I have to remember that my loyalty to Christ overrides my loyalty to the politician I might love or loathe.

So what is my response? Okay, yes, I will be votiing, yet I am also doing something far more as a service for our country. I am sincerely praying for our country. I am praying that godliness and righteousness will reign, that love and truth will be advanced, and that holiness will stand as a witness to those who need Christ’s salvation. It’s not a prayer to advance pet political causes but instead it’s a prayer for a godly light to shine from God’s people.

This is a biblical concept. Paul tells Timothy clearly in 1 Tim 2 that God’s people should be praying for leaders, for people, and for an atmosphere for God’s people to live holy and peaceful lives. We are all called to do pray in thsi way, no matter who is in a position of leadership over us. We are called to pray for our leaders to rule in wisdom as God’s established government while we are here on earth (Rom 13:1-2).

So, join me in prayer. Pray for our land. Pray for our election. Pray for godly values to be proclaimed through His people. And as we pray, let’s see God glorified and His name magnified!