The Pastor’s Pen: July 1, 2018

I realize there may be some confusion about the appeal I have been making from the pulpit for the last few Sundays. Permit me to clear this up.

 Upon evaluating our ability to meet the bank-imposed cash requirements by the end of the fiscal year, we realized there would potentially be a $120,000 shortfall. We were able to cut expenses by $72,000 which left $48,000. This is the number we are trying to collect in giving beyond that which you would have given through September 30. If you are able to help us raise the $48,000, mark your contribution “Mid-year Campaign” to be sure it is correctly allocated. Please submit your contributions by July 15. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me or to one of our trustees. 

 These are tough times financially all around; for our church, we are working on solutions that will ease our financial burdens long term. In addition to the shortfall explained above, we must also address the normal slump in collection during the summer months. Shiloh, we have always risen to the occasion; I am, therefore, confident that you will step up and do your best to support this effort. One sure way is to pay your tithes before you leave to go on vacation. Thank you, Shiloh, for your prayerful consideration of your financial commitment and pledges.

 I recently mentioned at a meeting that although times are bad in the United States, God is good! Recent Supreme Court decisions have rocked our nation. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement will offer the present Administration the opportunity to continue to pack the court. With a right wing majority on the court, all the advances of the Civil Rights Movement stand to be wiped away. As Donald Trump continues to function more like a king or emperor, many feel helpless and powerless. It is time for all churches to double down their efforts and go to God in prayer, pleading for a healing of this nation.

 I am reminded of the story in 2 Kings where the Syrian army marched against Elisha because he was able to provide the King of Judah information on the Syrians’ attack strategy. The Syrians assumed if they could silence the man of God, they could defeat Israel and Judah. When the Syrian army mobilized, Elisha’s servant was terrified at the size of the enemy. Elisha prayed that God would open the servant’s eyes. When the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, he saw God’s armyhorses and chariots of fire, the Hosts of Heaven — around Elisha.

Rather than slipping into depression and despair over the state of our country, let us pray that God will open our eyes so that we may know that the battle is not ours; it is the Lord’s.