Archive for September, 2012

Tragedies happen

September 18, 2012

A tragedy occurred within the Tennessee Baptist Convention family on Sunday, Sept. 16.

A youth group from Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Maryville was returning from a weekend retreat in Gatlinburg. According to The Daily Times of Blount County, the trip was a “reward” for students who had participated in a local service project.

While traveling in Sevier County, an SUV crossed into their lane, hitting the church van head on killing the driver and one of the teenagers. Twelve others were injured.

I am sure a lot of folks, both in the church and in the community, are asking “Why?”

We may never know why, but we can grasp hold of the promises found in Scripture. I always turn to John 16:33 when I encounter pain and difficulty in my life. “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have suffering. Be courageous! I have conquered the world” (Holman CSB).

There are many people in Blount County today who are grieving. Pray for them and especially Pastor Bob Lynch of Cedar Grove as he ministers to those hurting families.

Pray also for the entire congregation and all those who were directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy.

We may never know why this tragedy happened, but we can rest assured that God is still in control.

Hostile to religion

September 5, 2012

Baptist Press ran a story two weeks ago which just confirmed what I have suspected all along. There is an increasing hostility to religion in our nation. We can look at this report in one of two ways.

First, we can be depressed and retreat. We can just give up and let the chips fall where they may. I don’t think that is what God wants us to do.

The second option is to look on this report as an amazing opportunity to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. We live in a dark world. That means the gospel light of Jesus Christ will only shine brighter IF we will do our part.

The world may be hostile to Christianity and religion, but now is not the time to give up or retreat into a shell.

Let’s keep “fighting the good fight” as we are encouraged to do in Scripture.

As one of my old Sunday School teachers used to say, “We win. Read the end of the Book.”