Today in Sudan, Africa's largest country, Christians face severe persecution. Militant government forces have been known to single out Christian believers and have inflicted atrocities on them. "Christian men are thrown into their church building after it is set ablaze," according to one report. Dry wells become a flaming sarcophagus, as pastors are lowered into them and then set on fire. Christian boys are kidnapped from their homes to be sold as slaves and girls ripped from their families to be sold as concubines or given to soldiers for their sexual pleasure.
Mary Austin Dean Feldmeyer George Reed Ron Love Christopher Keating Bethany Peerbolte Thomas Willadsen
For July 22, 2018:
Is There An App for That? by Mary Austin -- If only there were an app to bring people together. Citizen vs. non-citizen. White vs. black. Men vs. women. Straight vs. gay. Our divisions are deep, and we need an app -- or a Redeemer.
Can you remember a time when you were mad? (children respond) Can you remember a time when you were sad?(children respond) Can you recall a time when you were glad? (children respond) It's okay to have mad, sad, and glad feelings from time to time.
Today I want to tell you about a sad time and a glad time in the Bible.
Frank Ramirez Bob Ove Mark Ellingsen Bonnie Bates Bill Thomas
2 Samuel 7:1-14a & Psalm 89:20-37 In this passage of Samuel, it appears David is feeling guilty for the gifts he has received. A palace has been provided for him, but the Ark of the Covenant, the casket for the stone tablets of the Law, the presence of the Holy amid the people is still in a tent. David wants to build a temple to the Lord, a great palace of worship where the people can worship God. But that is not God’s plan. David’s offspring may build the Temple but for now God is pleased to be amid the people; no temple or palace is needed.
I recently watched a documentary of Prince William's life, made to celebrate his twenty-first birthday, his final coming of age. Soon after their mother died, both the princes went with their father to Canada, where the young Prince William had a rapturous reception from thousands of screaming teenage girls.
Although the young prince was very pleasant and polite to all the onlookers, as soon as he escaped the public gaze by going indoors, according to the documentary he said, "Phew! Thank goodness that's over!"
The Superintendent of Schools was having a bad year. Some contentious issues were being dealt with by the school board. One Sunday, during the coffee hour after church, I heard the Superintendent say in a particularly loud voice, "For crying out loud, it's my day of rest, too!" Someone had approached him about a concern in the school district, and he felt that there was no place he could go to get away from it. I learned right then not to approach people about business matters when they are not on duty.