Pastor's Pen
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September 19, 2013, 11:42 AM

Words from Rick

But I Won't Do That

We are taught from an early age that we are to love:  "Beloved let us love one another, because love is from God...God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them"  (1 John 4:7, 16b).  But loving everyone is not always easy, or should I say that some people are harder to accept than others, and it takes more of an effort to love them.

When I lived in South Carolina we were about two hours from Atlanta, Georgia.  I was born in the small town, at the time, of Winter Park, Florida where I played mostly in orange groves and learned how to throw an orange before a baseball.  Well, one day I had to go down to Atlanta to visit a member of the church who was in a large hospital in the heart of the city.  It was crowded in the parking lot.  I was nervous because I had just given a man from somewhere in the Middle East my keys and eight dollars to park my car.

I began walking toward the hospital when this "gentleman" approached me and told me that he needed $25.00 "right away".  Now $25.00 is a lot of money for me to have in my wallet.  I must have looked rich to him or stupid.  He was very nice, at first, spoke of being a Christian and how he had left his wife out on the expressway with the broken down car and $25.00 would fix it.  I questioned him on how he knew this amount would fix the car and in the next few moments, I thought I was going to die.  I concluded that he probably was not a Christian and told him that he was putting a damper on my day.  But still we must accept those people!

Your church is a fellowship of acceptance!  We are to take one another as we are!  We all need to accept each other.  That, I believe, is at the heart of community, the acceptance of one another in love.  Edwin Markham described the acceptance of community when he wrote these words:  "He drew a circle that shut me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.  But love and I had the wit to win:  We drew a circle that took him in."

You know that commercial on television with the little jingle that goes, "But I won't do that"?  I guess I can accept that fellow in the parking lot over there in Atlanta, but I'm NOT going to give $25.00!

September 15, 2013









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