Power of the Word 4-12

By Rev. Dr. Linda Hollies

     The national holiday that celebrates the independence of a nation has just passed.  The Fourth of July is an occasion for great joy, parades, fireworks, bar-b-ques and good clean fun at the beach, as we remember that America is a free country, under God.  Its another holiday for family, friends and travel.  I wish us all a period of recreation and safety.
     The words, "In God we trust" continues to appear on the money of America, indicating that we are a God fearing/ reverencing country.  However, recently, it seems as if America has tried to either push God aside, silence God or pretend that God no longer exists!  The act of war is oppressing God’s people and killing God’s people of multiple nations!  The acts of greed from numerous corporations is pushing jobs from Americans to others who are as needy!  The sexual misbehaviors of even priests, pastors and pedophiles are appearing more and more often, in softer words to appear more acceptable and humane. (And, right here, I must confess that I found myself "wishing/hoping" that Michael Jackson did not go to jail, for I don’t believe that he’s mentally capable of remaining alive there.  This does not in any way excuse his ridiculous in-bed behaviors with little boys! And, I just pray that it was all "innocent")  Regardless to our acts and actions, God is very much alive and well throughout the universe. 
    There is much prayer going on in this free nation.  There are many sincere intercessors calling out for our nations return to God and for there to be peace reigning in our nation, our cities, our communities, the world and within our families!  There is a seeking for civility, kindness, gentleness and compassion within our hearts.  There is a yearning for the "good old days" when neighborhoods were safe places and families cared for one another.  There is much on-going prayer, many wishes, hopes and a great need for schools to teach our children, for parents to be actively involved in rearing their children and for after school programs, community centers and local churches to open, safe and concerned about our children.  And, there is much that each one of us can do to make these realities.  For we are people of free choice!
    So as we approach another celebration of our personal and corporate freedom, let us consider: 1. Money can make you comfortable, but it will not comfort you for long.
2. Health is your greatest material asset; if you’re healthy, you are rich.
3. You must be content within yourself first; your completeness will not come from another person.
4. Only about 20% of people are happy in marriage.
5. Only about 20% of people are happy single.
6. Single or married does NOT make the difference in whether you are happy or not.
7. There is one relationship that takes precedence and matters more than any other and it’s our relationship with God! (A MountainWings Original Card)  And, we are free to choose this relationship!  "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." ( Matthew 5:6)  This is a free promise!
    The "good life", regardless to how we act on holidays, does not consist of our parades, food and drink!  "Culture and media reinforce one another in equating the good life with wealth, unbeatable power and sensual pleasures.  Still people feel there is never enough: there must be more!  Where and how can people find that which brings true happiness and real living?  Jesus taught that true happiness is found not in what one possesses and controls, but in the spirit in which one gives and lives, and how one’s life glorifies God."
(The Standard Lesson, p.383)  God has so much more and guess what, it’s all free for the asking and receiving!
     As we move about this week, eating the left-overs of the holiday, let us seek to increase our appetites for the things of God.  An extra helping of devotions will assist us.  Seconds on prayer will move us forward.  A huge portion of love will go a long way as we interact in the world.  Work to ensure that your local congregation’s VBS sends invitations to the neighborhood children.  Try involving yourselves with another person’s wayward child.  Visit a senior who needs your cheer.  And, feel free to walk across the lawn, cut across the back fence and make small talk with your neighbor to show them Christ, alive and in color!
     Remember me for I’m on the journey with ya!  Shalom, Free Ones!  Let’s live holy; laugh often; and let’s love with flair and with extravagance!  Sista Linda
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