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Just Do It
2016.06.20 20:56:16

                                                                                                                                     

 “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” Luke 22:15

                                                                                                                                      

Once upon a time a super spiritual couple came to church.  Their righteousness soon became obvious to everyone.  They carried huge study Bibles.  They were doctrinally correct and didn’t mind telling you so.  The deepest mysteries of theology that Godly scholars have studied through the ages?  This couple had all that figured out.  They also didn’t mind setting you straight if you seemed confused.

 

    They had the Christian life all figured out.  They knew how to talk and dress like Christians.  Their kids were more holy than anyone else’s kids.  They stood against all the right things, from Harry Potter to Halloween, to The Simpsons.  They didn’t read novels, watch movies, use tobacco products, vote for democrats, or buy on credit.  And they didn’t have any tattoos or piercings.

 

They were very careful to do everything “God’s Way”.  

 

 But I noticed something about this couple.  They were ungracious.   They were unloving.

They erected barriers between people.  They hurt feelings.  They destroyed relationships.  They drove people away from Jesus instead of inviting people closer to Jesus. 

 

For them, being right and correct was the most important thing, along with making sure that everyone else knew they were right and correct.  They had left a trail of broken relationships in churches all over, but they were right and correct about everything.

    

So it struck me as very curious when they skipped communion.  Habitually.

   

They didn’t have time.  They were in a hurry.  They had other things to do.  It just wasn’t important.  After all, you don’t have to take The Lord’s Supper to be saved, right? 

 

Well, yeah, but….  Jesus said if you love me you will obey my commands.  And what could be simpler than taking communion?  I mean, as far as commands go, that’s not as hard as loving your neighbor, or avoiding gossip, or praying without ceasing, or giving thanks in everything. 

 

 Jesus didn’t command us to figure out every little question of doctrine and theology.  He just said, “Do This.”  That seems pretty plain and simple to me.  But this simple command requires gathering in loving kindness with radically flawed brothers and sisters.  I guess some people are above all that.

 

     The most “spiritual” people know how to obey Jesus wholeheartedly in the simple things.

 

This super spiritual couple moved on.  Last I heard they were looking for something “deeper”.

 

I hope they find what they’re looking for, but I don’t think they will.  If you won’t obey Jesus in a simple thing like “Do This in Remembrance of Me” you won’t be going very deep.

 

I’ll see you at the next Lord’s Supper!

 

Pastor John Flowers



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A Chaplain’s Work
2016.06.14 15:48:28

Since May of 2008 I have served on active duty with the Air National Guard here in Fargo. 

As the Wing Chaplain, I serve as the senior pastor for over 1100 airmen.  I visit them every day at their work stations, in their break rooms, at meal times, and wherever their duties take them.  In t

John-guard

he military, we call visitation “ministry of presence.”  It means just being there with the troops as a friendly, calming presence in the middle of stressful military situations.

    As a chaplain, I have a heavy counseling load.  Airmen and soldiers come to me every day with marriage problems, single  adult problems, suicidal thoughts, depression, substance abuse, and combat stress.  I listen, provide guidance, and refer them to other professionals who can help.  Many times they come to me with questions about Jesus.  These are my favorite conversations because I get to share about His mercy and grace for all sinners.

    I have the responsibility of teaching many classes on such topics as suicide prevention, violence prevention, and anger management.  I teach the National Guard’s marriage enrichment retreats and single’s retreats.  I teach soldiers and airmen (and their families) how to handle the challenges of deployment and coming back home again.

    I am responsible for supervising a staff of two other officer chaplains and three enlisted chaplain assistants.  The base commander looks to me for advice about moral and ethical issues.  I am often called to give guidance to supervisors in dealing with troubled airmen.

    My saddest duty is to accompany casualty assistance officers when we knock on a door to tell a loved one that their service member has died. Remember to lift up in prayer all the families of those who have died.  Ask for God’s grace to carry them through.

    On drill weekends I have two congregations, one at the base, and one at Living Hope.

I love the opportunity to share God’s love and the truth of His Word with airmen every drill weekend.

    Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to serve in this vital ministry!

   Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel….Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.  Ephesians 6:19-20



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