Did any of you attend the community “band” night at Panther Stadium last night (Tuesday, October 25)? It was incredible!
Something I found most interesting was when Mr. Hodge (the head band director) took the audience - which included family members and friends of all of Siloam Springs School bands, 6th grade through high school, through part of one of the high school band’s rehearsals.
He told the band to get in set 18 and they would run through set 26 (or something like that). They did it and it was great! After a couple of similar demonstrations they ran their whole show...and it was awesome (this was only the second time I’ve seen it).
Mr. Hodge also pointed out that each individual band member was responsible for knowing where they are supposed to be on the field for each set and the path to take to arrive at the exact spot on the field at the exact right time, all while playing an instrument and keeping perfect time as they march...which is a lot different than just walking.
If you have not seen the band perform this year, I highly recommend you make plans to attend the final home football game of the season on November 4...you will not be disappointed! (FYI it is also Senior night for fall sports and band and a few of
our youth group will be recognized...so that’s another reason to attend.)
If just one member of the band is out of step or forgets where they are supposed to be or is off by just a fraction of a step...disaster could result.
So what does that have to do with you? In Ephesians 4:7, Paul tells us, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
In other words, God has given all of us a “set” that we are supposed to be in and it is our responsibility to see to it that we are where we are supposed to be at exactly the right time. We are accountable. If we are out of step, disaster could result.
In the band, if someone is out of step, they band will lose points (if in a contest) or the “one” (or someone else who was in step, but was knocked out of step by them) could take a tuba upside the skull! Pretty bad stuff!
Spiritually speaking, if you are not doing what God calls you to do when He calls you to do it, the result can be far more costly: a soul could be lost forever!
A couple of weeks ago I had a lunch date with a very beautiful lady who is considerably younger than I am and I am not married to...but I am her father, so lets just stop the rumor mill right there!
We had ordered our food and while we were waiting, a single man was seated at a table near us. My date (I had to promise not to use her name, though you have a 50-50 chance of guessing who it was) had her back to the man, but I was facing him.
When the server brought out his drink, he also brought out our order. He gave the man his tea and, after giving us our food, the man called the server over and said, “I want what she has,” and he was pointing at my daughter’s food.
Apparently, he caught a whiff and/or a glimpse of her food and it made an impact on him. He decided, it would seem almost immediately, that what she had looked good to him and he wanted it.
After we left the restaurant, I asked her if she knew anything about what had happened in the restaurant. She said no. I relayed what happened and then asked her the words every PK (Preacher’s Kid) dreads…“You know what I have to do now…”
“Yes, you’re going to use it as a sermon illustration or bulletin article,” was her reply.
“You are correct,” I said, “But what is the point?”
“I guess influence?” was the answer I got...and she was exactly right!
Without even realizing it, she had influenced a decision that someone else had made. Her back was turned, it was a noisy, lunch time restaurant, she didn’t have a clue...but a choice she had made impacted someone else.
We can impact other people just by the decisions that we make. Most of the time those other people are our friends or at least people that we know. This impact can be to make a right choice or a wrong choice.
The Bible has many instructions that relate to our influence of others. For example, Paul tells the young man Timothy “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, ESV)
Timothy was to use his influence to be an example...to influence and impact the lives of others in a way that would bring honor and glory to God.
So what about you? How are you using your influence? From the way you act outside of a church building, can other people tell that you are a Christian?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (ESV)
If someone who knows you best looks at you do they see Christ shining through your life? Does the way your “light shines” bring glory to your Heavenly Father?
What about if someone who doesn’t know you very well (or at all) looks at you? Do they see that you have something good? Do they catch a “whiff” of the “aroma of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15) and immediately say, “Hey, I want what she has!” as they look at you?
Believe it or not, accept it or not, YOU are a living, breathing, walking advertisement for the Eastgate church of Christ. More importantly than being an advertisement for our congregation though, is that you are an advertisement for Christ!
So when people look at you, are they attracted to Christ or are they repelled by the way you portray Christ?
What is your influence on others?
There are two things that I want to highlight for you at this time.
First, several months ago it was mentioned in the bulletin that we had relocated our church library. It is now in the last room on the right as you walk down the hallway by the offices. The room with the opening to the auditorium is, officially, our AV room now.
I wanted to mention this for two reasons. First, several non-library items were already starting to be stored in the library. These have been removed. We really need to keep this room clear so that it can be used for its intended purpose.
Second is how we can make it easier and more inviting for it to be used for its intended purpose. When you walk into the library, you’ll see shelves with books on them...and that’s about it. We need some seating and perhaps a conference room style table.
So if you are planning to take advantage of the upcoming holiday season to purchase some new living room furniture (couches, loveseats, etc.) for you home - there is always some fantastic sales this time of the year - but you don’t know what to do with your gently used furniture...why not do another customary end of the year activity and gain a tax deduction by donating it to the church?
Or, if you have been listening to the past couple of Sunday morning sermons and would like to give your “first fruits” to God and donate the new furniture, well that’s OK too! ☺
The second thing I would like to highlight concerns something mentioned in the Sunday morning sermon last week. I am really excited about the positive response to the prospect of starting a Spanish ministry here at Eastgate.
I was excited when the brothers at Robinson Avenue contacted me with the idea. I was excited when the elders here were quick to see the value of such a ministry.
I am excited to be a part of a congregation that understands the “Great Commission” of Matthew 28 and Mark 16 applies not just to other parts of the world, but right here at home too. And it applies to those who speak English and those who do not speak English.
Jesus says in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (ESV)
As we approach that time of year when budgets are made for the upcoming year, I urge you to “pray earnestly” about how YOU can help to support the harvest in Siloam Springs, AR (whether they speak English or Spanish) and the rest of the world!