Posts Tagged ‘religion’

  

“John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.'” ‭‭(Mark‬ ‭9:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

On May 29, 2015, Tavin Terrell Price was fatally shot in front of his mother as they were headed to a beach near Los Angeles. According to KTLA 5 News, LAPD arrested 3 men and a woman as suspects in the murder. Their reasoning for the brutal slaying of the 19-year-old mentally challenged man? Because he wore red shoes, the apparent sign of a rival gang. Red shoes…

It’s never an enjoyable experience to be treated badly because you’re not a part of a certain crowd or believe like some group. Even Jesus had to correct His disciples for falling into the trap of excluding people. Jesus, however, was the opposite, desiring for all to come to the Master’s Table and belong. 

Take time today to make sure you aren’t prejudiced in your own thinking. While we may pride ourselves for being color blind, we often fail because we withhold our friendship because someone is from another denomination or religion. Let God’s love help you to build bridges, not burn them all down! There’s room at the table! You are loved today! 

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“Suddenly…the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…” (Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ NLT)

In 1984, Ray Stevens used comic storytelling to frame what occurs when a young adolescent boy catches a squirrel (while visiting his grandmother in Pascagoula, Mississippi), brings it into church, where several self-righteous members – all with sinful secrets to hide – are prominent members … and the squirrel breaks loose from a box the boy has kept it in. As the squirrel wreaks havoc, several members admit to their fellow congregation members their faults, and by song’s end they all make a vow to change! A squirrel-inspired revival! (Watch the video on YouTube! Hilarious!)

I grew up in church. I learned God’s word and worshipped with His people. But then one day, while visiting another church as a teenager, I experienced something different: His presence! I never knew such a thing existed! I saw and heard things that I didn’t understand, making it a little frightening. But just as quickly, I had a realization: If this is God, then it’s okay and is probably something to desire for. And so I did, and it has made all the difference in me. 

God doesn’t need a squirrel to draw you into His presence! What He looks for is a hungry heart. When He finds it, He reaches out with something real and tangible, which should be in every church. Come today and feel His presence for yourself! It will make all the difference! You are loved! 

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Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” (Psalms‬ ‭33‬:‭12‬ NKJV)

Here in Arkansas, the upcoming House Bill 1228, the Conscience Protection Act, affirms religious liberty in our state. Arkansas is one of a handful of states with no amendment, law, or court ruling protecting the traditional understanding of the free exercise of religion.

Over and over again we have seen Americans marginalized simply for wanting to live out their deeply-held religious convictions. It strikes me as ironic that when pilgrims were fleeing England so many years ago, it was to escape what we have basically become. It is a shame to have to draft laws to protect what made America great in the first place!

Take a moment today to pray for our nation. Practice your right to share your concerns with your local representatives, or be involved in local ministries like Family Council, that merges the fields of both ministry and politics. God will keep blessing America as long as she keeps blessing God! We are truly loved today!