Sunday, November 4, 2018 is going to be a monumental day. It’s going to be an important day. It’s going to be a day with lasting effects.
Why? Well first of all, Daylight Savings Time ends...so remember to “fall back” before you go to bed on November 3.
But November 4, 2018 will be especially significant for those of us here at Eastgate church of Christ. Probably since the congregation started having Sunday night services, they have been at 6:00 PM.
But on November 4, 2018, we’re going to try something different. Starting November 4, 2018 our Sunday evening service will start at 5:00 PM.
Naturally some people will have questions about this. First, why we are making this change? There are several reasons.
· We have a number of our members who struggle with driving after dark. The hope is that this time change will allow them to join us on Sunday evenings.
· We also have families with school age children who have bed times to observe on school nights and our hope is that meeting earlier on Sunday evenings will allow them to attend on Sunday evenings.
· This change will also allow more opportunities to fellowship following our Sunday evening services. Perhaps folks can come to church, then go out to dinner afterwards, for example.
Another question some may ask: “Is this change permanent?” The answer is that we will see. The elders will be keeping an eye on our attendance figures from the past few months and compare them with the next few months. We may meet at 6:00 during Daylight Savings Time and at 5:00 during Standard Time. It just depends.
So I ask you to give 5:00 a try...even if you haven’t been coming on Sunday nights. In a few weeks, if you would like to share your opinion, please speak to one of the elders or your Family Life Group leader.
Most of you know that Monica has started the first of two long term substitute teaching jobs in Springdale for this school year. She is supposed to be at the school by 7:45 each morning.
Most of you know that Jamie attends school at Arkansas Arts Academy in Rogers. Her school starts at 8:40 each morning.
Most of you can see that these two times do not really work that well for us.
Most of you can figure out that this means I get to take Jamie to school each morning.
Over the past few days, I’ve come up with a question during my new, one hour forty-five minute to two hour commute to work each morning.
Should a Christian break the law? All up and down 412, 49, and every other road I drive on to take Jamie to school there are these white, rectangular signs that have black writing on them that say “Speed Limit…” and then a number. And yet, from the speed some folks drive, you would think it was a “Speed Suggestion.”
So should a Christian break the law? What if driving the speed limit “creates” a dangerous situation (because nobody else is driving the speed limit)? I’ve been known to inadvertently fracture this law, but generally speaking, when I notice it, I slow down.
I think we can all agree that speed limit laws exist for a clear purpose and that they SHOULD be obeyed.
But what about other laws? Laws that we don’t see any purpose for? Laws that have, perhaps, been on the books for so long that they are no longer even necessary? Laws that we don’t happen to agree with?
Romans 13:1-7 (and other passages) pretty well answers these questions. We are to live in subjection to those over us or face the ruler’s wrath and God’s wrath.
So even if you think a law is “stupid” (like paying property tax on cars that you paid tax on when you bought them...just a random example), you still must obey it.
So even if you think a law is “out of date” (for example in Alabama it is a criminal "offense against public health and morals" to engage in a whole host of activities on Sunday: shooting, hunting, gaming and racing are prohibited and carry a fine of $10 to $100...worse yet, you could be imprisoned or sentenced to hard labor for no more than three months for any of these "immoral" acts).
The bottom line is that even if we don’t agree with a law, don’t like a law, don’t see the purpose for the law, or see the law as unnecessary, we still must obey the law.
The only exception to this is if a law contradicts a law of God. When told not to preach about Jesus, Peter said, “We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29).
If it doesn’t contradict God’s law, then we must obey it...period. Or we will displease The Judge and suffer His wrath!
Friday, October 5 was the first Friday of October which means the Chamber of Commerce had their “First Friday Coffee.” This particular Friday the host was Camp Siloam.
At these events door prizes are given. Sometimes the door prizes are really nice, sometimes they are just good door prizes…
Well Art attends these events as well. And on this Friday, his name was drawn and he won a really nice looking basket with a couple of coffee mugs and a few bags of coffee.
The next name drawn, believe it or not, was my name! I received a wonderful Camp Siloam water bottle (should go over well at Green Valley next year!).
Then the next name was drawn and they won another pretty nice prize. After a few more prizes were drawn came the final door prize: a case of steaks. My immediate reaction was, “Man, why couldn’t my name have been drawn one drawing earlier or later. Or why couldn’t I have won the steaks!”
But then I corrected my thinking and decided I was fortunate to walk away with a door prize at all.
And now the off-the-wall application. God blesses all of us. Sometimes the blessings someone else receives may seem like they are “better” than the blessings we receive. We may even find ourselves wishing we would be blessed like they are… perhaps we even become a little jealous.
When this happens, we need to remember to be grateful that we have been blessed at all. That air you just took into your lungs: it’s a blessing from God! So remember to be grateful, even for the “lesser” blessings.
This coming weekend is a very special weekend. Yes, Sunday night is the Northwest Arkansas area wide worship service at Springdale’s Performing Arts Center. But there is another event going on as well.
Apparently it has been 30 years since I graduated from high school. So on Saturday, some of my fellow 1988 Theodore Roosevelt High School graduates are planning a reunion. Although I can’t attend, I’ve enjoyed seeing the Facebook page posts of some folks that I vaguely remember and a few that I have no idea who they are, but, apparently they are among the 549 or so others who graduated with me.
There was, however, a very sobering post on the Facebook page. It is the post that always appears on pages such as this: the “Classmates we’ve lost” post.
Many of the people listed would be in the above mentioned “I have no idea who they are” category. But one name was very familiar to me.
My junior and senior years of high school I was a student trainer for the football team. The name that caught my attention was also a student trainer for the football team. He apparently passed away in August, 2012.
The common comment on this type of post always seems to be “Too many, gone too soon” or “He/She was too young to die.”
I’m not trying to depress you...but none of us is guaranteed tomorrow. None of us is guaranteed our next breath.
How then should we live? In Romans 14:8, Paul writes, “For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”
In context, Paul is talking about not judging others based on their observance or non-observance of special days, etc. But his point is that whatever we do or don’t do should be done or not done for the Lord (including passing judgment on others).
Each day of our lives should be lived for the Lord like it was going to be our last day. Each breath that we take should be taken for the Lord like it was going to be the last breath we will take.
That is how we should live...for the Lord!