Archive for August, 2012

You have no doubt had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. Telling someone – anyone who will listen – how busy you are has become the default response when someone asks, “How are you doing?” Answers to that question might be: “Busy!” or “So busy” or even “Crazy busy.” Actually these are boasts disguised as complaints, which invariably lead to stock responses of congratulations: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite!”

With the end of summer, I suppose we shift the summer busyness of going places, going to work, planning trips, and getting ready for the return of school. Now we find ourselves busy with returning to school, returning to a more regular schedule, planning other things around football games, and looking forward to the Labor Day weekend (first break from drag of the school schedule).

Busyness serves as a kind of hedge against emptiness. Obviously, your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. The obvious conclusion we make is that if we are busy because of our own ambition or drive or anxiety, because we are addicted to busyness and dread what we might have to face in its absence.

I’m worried about us. We have become so busy as a people that we have squeezed God out. For many, all that has been reserved for Him is a weekly or even less time to meet with Him in church – unless, of course, something else comes up! I have found that the most important thing in life is daily time with God. When we do not make time for Him, we miss so much. Furthermore, we don’t accomplish nearly as much as we think we do.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

When you consider what is happening in our nation, you know that we are in trouble. The continued assaults on the truth have steadily worn many down. Many now have turned away and give support to beliefs and practices that run counter to teaching of God’s Word. They even cite scriptural references to defend their twisted ideas. Nothing short of the miraculous move of God’s Spirit can change the downward spiral of our country.

Would you join me in praying for such an awakening? Would you join me in a spending time with God, listening to Him speak to you through His Word by His Holy Spirit? I heard Rod Masteller, then the president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, say back in November, “We must do all we can, so that God will do only what He can do.” We need a supernatural movement of God.

Former Arkansas governor and Fox New host, Mike Huckabee, said Thursday that the success of “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” went beyond “anything I could have imagined,” saying stores across the country reported “record, historic sales.” Customers swamped local franchise stores following Huckabee’s call for a show of support. The call came after CEO Dan Cathy came under fire in some circles for his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Huckabee said the call for an “Appreciation Day” was in response to what he described as “economic bullying” by people trying to put Cathy out of business. “It was just getting out of hand,” Huckabee said. The protests against Cathy included local mayors in Boston and Chicago threatening to keep the restaurant out of their cities. But on Wednesday, stores were packed and lines poured into the streets.

Gayla and I ate a chicken sandwich on Wednesday along with our church staff. We gladly support the “in the marketplace” testimony of the Cathy family. They have consistently put their biblical values on display since the beginning of the company in 1946. Dan Cathy’s father and company founder, Truett, has devoted his life to living his faith. Truett and his wife, Jeannette, have been members of First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Georgia, where Truett taught a junior high boys Sunday School class for more than 50 years.

I could go on about the Cathys and Chick-fil-A; however, I cannot help but think about how satisfied we felt on Wednesday as we participated in this massive event. We demonstrated our support – and we got to eat chicken! What if we showed that kind of passion for the gospel?

It’s great to support a good cause and stand with people who have consistently demonstrated their commitment to Christ. However, we have been commissioned to speak with words – words laced with love and mercy and compassion. God has called each of us to speak for Him. Consider Paul’s words:

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:8-12).

So the gospel is for everyone!

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:14-17).

In this passage, Paul used the words “preaching” and “preach.” However, the meaning of these verses stresses the call that every believer has. Each of us – pastors, deacons, men, women, boys, and girls – have been called by God to share the good news because “faith comes from hearing.”

I’m glad to be your pastor!

Because of Jesus,
Ken Schroeder

Follow me on Twitter @kenschroeder