Monday, August 12, 2019

An Update for West Virginia Southern Baptists

This will be my only public communication on this subject,  as we begin our work as a Search Committee,  I thought it important to pass along this information to our brothers and sisters across the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptist congregations.

As we all know, our former State Convention Executive Director, Bill Henard, has resigned that position to re-enter the pastorate.  Bill did an excellent job during his tenure here in the Mountain State, and we wish him the very best as he assumes his new position in Tenessee and this next chapter of his ministry..

The task of filling the vacancy is a process that begins with the State Convention Administrative Committee. This committee  consists of the four elected officers of the State Convention, the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, and two members at large from the Executive Board, elected by the Executive Board. Our State Convention constitution spells out the procedure for filling a vacancy in the position of Executive Article V, Section 2, Subsection C,  Paragraphs (2)a. & b.

The first action of the Administrative Committee was to choose an Interim Director to serve in the office until a new Director is selected by vote of the Executive Board.  After some deliberation, the
Admin Committee chose Cledith Campbell, who after a couple of days of prayer and consideration, agreed to accept the position.  Cledith is a Godly man. A man of integrity and one who has served Altizer Baptist Church in Huntington as pastor for the past 46 years!  Cledith has served the State Convention and the Greater Huntington Baptist Association in many capacities. He also served the Southern Baptist Convention as a Board Member of the former Christian Life Commission (now known as the ERLC).  He is a man who holds a high view of scripture and has pastored the same church for 46 years of the 50 that our State Convention has been in existence.  All of these factors, plus his ability to work well with others, to understand and work within budgets, and the fact that he lives within 35 minutes of the State Convention office, and his willingness to commit to being in the office three days per week made him an ideal candidate for this temporary position. This puts a quality man in this interim position, and allowed the Admin Committee to proceed with the responsibility of appointing a Search Committee to make recommendation for a permanent Exec.

The Admin Committee recommends 15 people to the Executive Board to serve as a Search Committee to seek out, and make recommendation to the Executive Board, a qualified candidate to serve as State Executive Director. The Search Committee is mandated to be comprised of a Pastor from each Association in the State Convention "and other persons as shall give representation to various areas and interests" of the WVCSB, and "shall be knowledgeable of the Executive Board and the State Convention".  The Admin Committee proposed the following individuals who consist of Pastors, an Association Director of Missions, and a Pastor's wife who has previously served on the Executive Board, and who has been very active in State Convention activities in the past.

The Executive Board approved each of the following individuals, with no dissenting votes:

  • Allegheny Association - Dallas Smith (FBC Fairlea) and Randy Spurgeon (Anstead Baptist)
  • Coalfields Association - Rick Gannon (Borderland Baptist)
  • Greater Huntington Association - Paul Harris (Abundant Hope Baptist and State Convention President) and C.J. Adkins (Westmoreland Baptist & 2nd Vice President)
  • Immanuel Association - Jim Messenger (Faith Baptist, West Union & State Recording Secretary) and Lynn Sommerville (pasor's wife, Southside Southern Baptist)
  • Monongahela Association - Jim Strawderman (Southern Baptist of Philippi) and Don Knotts (Salt and Light Church)
  • Mountain State Association - Kevin Howerton (Covenant Church, Princeton)
  • Pioneer Association - Mason Ballard (Resurrection Church, Charleston)
  • Potomac Highland - Nathan Ertel (Old Fields Baptist & State Convention 1st Vice President)
  • Tri-County Association - Bryan Dugger (Westview, Martinsburg)
  • Upper Ohio Valley Association - Ed Goodman (UOVA Director of Missions & Jim Higginson (Temple Baptist)
We met for our "organizational meeting" this past Thursday in Flatwoods, WV.  By secret ballot, I was chosen chairperson and Ed Goodman as vice chair.  We asked Jim Messenger to serve as recording secretary.  As I said at the top of this post, this will be my ONLY public communication regarding the make up and the work of our committee, but I want our fellow Baptists to understand what we, as a committee, have discussed and agreed upon as we begin our work.
  • We are a Search Committee, NOT a "Hiring Committee".  When we complete our work and come to an agreement on a proposed candidate, that individual's name will be forwarded to the Executive Board for their consideration.  The Search Committee hires no one.
  • Each member of our Committee is one voice among fifteen equals.  Each member will be respected by each of the other members and, obviously, their opinions are of equal value.
  • We have agreed upon confidentiality until our task is completed. (that is why I say this will be my only public comments on this committee)
  • None of us have any personal or hidden agendas.  None of us have committed to, or are in support of any potential candidate for the position.  Our only agenda is to seek out that individual who God has for West Virginia.
  • We have agreed to bathe every activity in prayer, seeking wisdom from God, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  • We are committed to do everything honestly and with transparency of motives, and "by the book" Two of us were privileged to have served on the previous Search Committee and we are committed to the integrity of this committee.
  • We will accept resumes for the position for a period of two months, once we officially launch our activities next week.
  • A Job Description already exists, and when we meet again in Flatwoods on Thursday, August 22 we will agree upon Qualifications and Characteristics expected of candidates for the position, and we will officially launch our search.
  • At that point, Cleve Persinger, in our State Convention office will release the Job Description and Qualifications in various media sources, with directions for submission of resumes
I am honored to serve with these individuals as we serve our State Convention in this important task. Also, I am humbled by their confidence in selecting me to chair the committee. I pledge to do my best to prayerfully lead our committee to be faithful to our mission.

Sadly, at least one person has publicly questioned the appropriateness of our State Convention President serving on the Search Committee due to the fact that his wife is a State Convention office employee. We do not take this accusation lightly, but this should not be a concern due to the following reasons. First, he has been elected for two terms as 2nd Vice President, two terms as 1st VP, and was elected last fall as our State Convention President.  His wife being a convention secretary did not exhibit a problem in any of these elections.  Secondly, there is nothing in our State Convention Constitution that prohibits the President from serving on the search committee. This is not without precedent. Our last Search Committee (the one which recommended Dr. Henard) included the then serving State Convention President as a member. Finally, consultation has been made with the West Virginia State Ethics Commission, (the public body which oversees ethical questions in our State Government). Their representative advises that due to the fact that this is a Search Committee, and not the entity who will make a hiring decision, that there is no breach of ethics here, nor, under their definition, does this situation equal nepotism. It is customary for search committees to consist of individuals from various segments of communities, including persons who may serve under the individual who may be recommended for hiring. 

So, having said all this, please know that we take this responsibility very seriously, with malice toward none, no agendas at hand, and committed to integrity to the task, let me ask every church in West Virginia, and every individual to join us in prayer, that God would lead us and we will be attuned to the guidance of His Spirit.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

New Life On Wednesday Evenings At Westmoreland Baptist

    Things are happening on Wednesday evenings here at Westmoreland Baptist Church, and many folks are missing out on the blessing.  By last Summer the former Wednesday evening church “Prayer Meeting and Bible Study” attendance had dwindled down to about a dozen people in attendance. With our Student and Children’s Ministries meeting on Sunday evening, and nothing for them on Wednesdays, family attendance had fallen down to nearly nothing.  We knew that something needed to be done to inject some energy and interest in our mid-week service.  After much prayer – and overcoming the always present Baptist “fear of change” about a year ago we decided to go for it.

     First of all, we moved the location of the service to the gymnasium across the alley in our Multi-Purpose building.  Naturally, the Gospel is what Church is all about.  Everything we do must be Gospel focused, so Bible Study is still the key in our Wednesday night get-togethers.  We have just finished a yearlong Bible Study entitled the “Disciple’s Path: The Journey”.  On August 7th we will begin a new Bible study that will take us through the end of 2019. This study is one I have compiled over the years and is entitled, “From Here to Eternity”.  It is a study in the doctrine of last things – a subject in which there is great interest among almost everyone.  While it is an excellent study for church members, this Gospel centered message would also be great for us to bring unsaved friends to hear, as well. Study guides will be provided to all who attend, and there is no charge for the materials.  This study is for adults and students from middle school age – up.

     The second thing that has changed on Wednesday evening is activity for the children.  Our Children’s Choir Ministry has been incorporated into the mid-week schedule.  This activity is overseen and directed by Josh and Mindi Spurgeon, and participation in this has exploded.  They started out with 8 children, and now they have already outgrown their Children’s Choir room with 19 children involved!  The Children’s Choir will share their talents with the congregation periodically on Sunday mornings.  Child care is also provided for the little ones who are not yet old enough to be in Children’s Choir on Wednesday evenings.

     All of the above activities take place at 6:00 PM

     The third change we have incorporated for mid-week service is a Family/Fellowship Meal at 5:15 PM.  This, obviously, is not an original concept, but it is new for us on Wednesday evenings. This has proven to be a real blessing to working families who have little time to prepare an evening meal between getting home from work and getting the family out to church.  I am so thankful for the ladies in our Bible Study who have taken on the responsibility of planning menus and taking turns in preparing the Wednesday evening meal.

      I think that anyone who has been involved in our changes in the mid-week services will agree that these changes have been positive in nature. Attendances shows that.  Our highest attendance has been 58 and there has been a good turn out each week – even during these Summer vacation times.

     So, whether you have a family, or are a single person, there is something for everyone here on Wednesday evenings. There is good food and fellowship with our “forever family” of believers, ministry activity for the children, and the  building of relationships, centered around the study of God’s Word.  It is in a comfortable, informal setting and everyone is welcome!

     Come for dinner at 5:15, or just for Bible Study and/or Children’s Choir at 6:00 PM.  Whichever you choose to do, we have a spot for you. Don’t miss out on a good thing – come out and see for yourself!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Main Thing!

Former Greater Huntington Association Director of Missions, Doug Virgin, was fond of quoting Steven Covey, saying, “We’ve got to keep the main thing, the main thing!  How true!  In church life we are constantly bombarded by The Adversary to be distracted by any number of peripheral issues, and he sees to it that there are plenty to consider. 

Paul the Apostle wrote to the Corinthian Christians these important words. “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor 1:1-2)

Everything we do as a church (and as individual members of that Body) should be centered around the message of the Gospel. 

In Acts, chapter 28 we see the Apostle Paul is on his way to Rome for his appeal trial before Caesar.  His crime?  Standing for the message of the Gospel. God had told Paul earlier that he would take the Gospel to government officials and kings.  He probably didn’t think it would be as a prisoner – but you and I can never pretend to know the mind or plans of a Sovereign God for our lives.
There were numerous efforts of Satan to stymie Paul in his mission.  As a prisoner back in Jerusalem, there had been a plot to kill Paul. He was hustled out of town by a company of Roman soldiers. Then he was kept in custody by the Roman governor for two years. Now, as a prisoner on his way to Rome, we find him shipwrecked and swimming ashore to the nearby island of Melita.  Surviving the shipwreck, Paul is bitten by a poisonous snake as he gathers a bundle of sticks in trying to help warm the other survivors of the wreck.  The natives who saw him struck by the deadly viper thought he would drop dead right away but Paul shook the snake off into the fire and went on about his ministry.

This is exactly what we must do when snakebites from Satan keep us from focusing on “the main thing”.

Financial woes, criticism, cynicism, gossip, maintenance issues, worship styles, debates over scripture translations and Sunday School literature, programs, kitchen use, and preaching styles -  our enemy will see to it that we all are snake bitten with some distractions as we go about our work in the church.  May we follow Pau’s example and shake those snakes off into the fire and go on with our ministry and mission.

The main command of the Great Commission is to "go" but to “Make Disciples”. This starts with winning the lost to Christ through presentation of the Gospel message. Scriptural Baptism follows, and the discipleship making plan then moves on to teach them “all that he has commanded us” so that in turn, they may be able to disciple others. This builds His church.  The snakebites are designed to stop the work.
It’s up to each of us individually to accomplish that mission.  

Whatever you do in the church,  like Paul, let us have the same focus he had in 1 Corinthians 9:23-24  (ESV) I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

I implore each member of our church, or members of any church who may be reading this.  Shake off the snakes and move on with the message of the Gospel - each one of us as members of the Body, working to accomplish the mission.

THIS is the main thing!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Particular Place

Today marks the 156th birthday of my native state.  I am thankful to have been born and raised in West Virginia, and for the past 17 years to be serving as Pastor of Westmoreland Baptist Church here in Huntington, WV.

Even though I have been a resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky since 1980, "Mountain Momma" is still home to me.

My maternal Grandfather, Jerry Stidham, deeply loved West Virginia.  Whereas I was born in West Virginia and moved to Kentucky, Papaw Stidham was born in Breathitt County, Kentucky and was brought to the Mountain State at an early age, by his father, Asbury Stidham, a blacksmith in the coal mines in the early years of the 20th Century.  It is hard to believe my grandfather would have been 110 years old this year.

After beginning his work life at age 15 in the mines, Papaw Stidham married and raised a family in the coal camps of Logan County, WV.  He eventually left the mines to become an official with the United Mine Workers of America and eventually rose to a position of International Representative of the UMWA.  He lobbied for the Union in the West Virginia state house, where he had served three terms, himself, in the House of Delegates in the late 1940's and early 50's. He was a friend to many who served the state as Governors and United States Congressmen and Senators.

It was Governor Huelett C. Smith who named him Poet Laureate of West Virginia in 1965. Papaw wrote numerous poems over the years, including his personalized Christmas cards from 1955 till his last Christmas in 1967.  One of his poems recounted his conversion experience, which led to his becoming an Ordained Free Will Baptist Minister for the final 15 years of his life.

One of my personal favorites was a poem he wrote about his beloved state of West Virginia.  On today's 156th birthday, I will share it with you - in memory of Jerry E. Stidham,

A Particular Place
When God made the earth, He looked out in space,
And graciously blessed a particular place.
Some mountains He molded to begin His plan,
As He knew they would be cherished by mortal man.

The valleys He shaped so deep and so wide,
And the streams so swift, never to hide,
The sparkle or ripple from man's sharp eye,
So crystal and clear as if dropped from the sky.

The seasons He made our desire to delight:
With light of the day and darkness at night,
Overcast with stars and a silvery moon
The sun in the heavens every day at noon.

With seeds of summer's green grass to grow,
Sleeping under the beauty of a winter's snow.
The Gorgeous spring flowers for all to see,
And the abundant color of the autumn tree.

Game creatures for the bow and fish for the rod,
Rich fertile soil for the tiller of the sod.
Great beds of coal and timber galore,
Limestone and gas, very much in store.

So great, so fine, wonderful and rich,
A pleasant surprise in each corner and niche.
Nowhere you go will be the same,
For West Virginia is it's name.

- Jerry Stidham

Monday, June 17, 2019

A Picture of Grace

It was a perfect storm and my friend, Don Currence of First Baptist Church of Ozark, Missouri, got caught right in the middle of it.

The Southern Baptist Convention's Annual meeting last week in Birmingham, Alabama was one of the most harmonious Convention meetings I have attended in years. I enjoyed the worship and prayer times. Business sessions were orderly, and the special panel discussions were helpful and in some cases inspiring. Reports from the Seminary Presidents and other entity heads were encouraging. The LifeWay Breakfast and NAMB Send Luncheon were informative and enjoyable. The NOBTS Alumni and Friends Dinner was emotional, with a farewell to Drs. Chuck and Rhonda Kelley and the introduction of new President Dr. Jamie Dew.

The Convention also took measures to deal with the sad issues of sexual abuse that is a tragedy among some of our churches as well as in other denominations and other institutions. This is a tough issue since the roughly 47,000 SBC churches are each autonomous bodies, so there is no hierarchical structure that can direct any local churches to do anything.  

How we deal with these situations as churches was an important emphasis in this year's meeting. A change to our Constitution and bylaws created a new Credentials Committee that would be given authority to recommend removal from our Convention fellowship any churches that, after investigation, prove to be out of line with our statement of faith, or accepted Biblical standards, or fail to deal with sexual offenders,  or allowing heretical teachings and practices to exist. 

This Committee would be a permanent Convention committee and would replace the previous Credential Committee, which is now renamed the "Registration Committee".  The new Credential Committee would include the President of the Convention and the Registration Secretary as Ex Officio members.  This is where my friend, Don, got caught in the storm.

Don had served for 12 years as the chief assistant of our late brother, Jim Wells, who served our Convention as Registration Secretary for many years.  Then, when Brother Jim's terminal illness made it impossible for him to attend the Convention
meeting, it fell to Don to take care of all the duties.  He was elected to the Registration Secretary's office in 2017 along with President Steve Gaines.  Then, at last year's Annual Meeting in Dallas it was my pleasure and honor to nominate Don to serve his second term as Registration Secretary.  With no other nominations - and Don's exemplary knowledge of the registration and credentials responsibilities, he was again elected by acclamation. Don has done a tremendous job in the position serving our Convention faithfully and professionally.

With the new Credential Committee's Constitution change expected passage, and the fact that no woman or minority candidate had ever been chosen to be an entity head, of which four positions were filled this year (Presidents of the Executive Committee, International Mission Board, and Southwestern and New Orleans Theological Seminaries) with another soon to be named (LifeWay), and the rising concern about a lack of women's roles in Convention offices, it appears that the powers that be decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to place a woman in such a position. A female Ex Officio member for the new Credentials Committee would be a good place to start.  Here's where I say that  Don unfortunately got caught in the storm. 

Don was nominated again this year by his pastor, Philip Burden of FBC Ozark, to serve a third term in the role he knew so well and had served in so faithfully.  Pastor Jimmy Scroggins rose to nominate a wonderful lady, and NAMB employee, Kathy Litton, for the position which now would serve as a permanent Ex Officio member of the new Credentials Committee.  Kathy, well known in her own right, and wife of popular Alabama pastor Ken Litton, presented messengers with a very difficult decision when it came time to cast their ballots. 

Would they select a humble, servant hearted fellow who had served behind the scenes so faithfully for many years, or would they vote to put a woman into a leadership position for the first time in SBC history? This was a real dilemma. Don knows more about the registration, credentials, and election processes than anyone alive in the SBC, while Kathy Litton is personable, popular, capable, and was running in her home state, which had many registered messengers there in Birmingham.

With about 8,000 messengers registered, and roughly 5,000 ballots cast, the election results were close.  Mrs. Litton won by only 44 votes! 

First, let me say that I do not believe that the nomination of Kathy Litton was in any way intended to be a slap in the face of Don Currence.  In my humble opinion, it was a move motivated by a combination of political correctness, and the honest feeling that it was past time for women and minorities to have more seats at the table.  It wasn't intended to hurt Don - but I know it had to hurt.

I first became acquainted with Don Currence the year that he and I were both elected by the Convention to serve as Trustees at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. We served a total of two five year terms together.  Although I made many dear friends on the Board there over those ten years - Don was my closest fellow trustee. I was impressed by his administrative skills and his sharp mind for finances and numbers (one of my greatest weaknesses).  But I also learned that he was a humble fellow, with a true heart to serve. He was an individual who modeled Grace,.

Don was assigned to the Budget and Finance sub committee at NOBTS and I was appointed to the Instructional Committee. For a time we each served together as chairpersons of our respective committees and were on the Executive Committee as a result. I saw Don's dedication to the office of Trustee as he NEVER missed attending ALL of the sub committee meetings (even the ones in which he was not a member).  He took it seriously.  At our final meeting at the end of 10 year's service, NOBTS President, Chuck Kelley, said publicly that Don was "The most thorough trustee" that he had ever known, citing how Don had voraciously consumed every page of the volumes of information we were provided, and how he attended every meeting.

After last week's election in Birmingham, Don handled the defeat with his usual humility and grace, offering congratulations to Kathy as well as any assistance he could provide to her.  She is facing a daunting challenge and a very steep learning curve for that important position.

I understand that she has asked Don to continue on, overseeing the registration and teller responsibilities - doing most of what he has done for so long - but without the title.

Don't be surprised if you see his familiar face in the registration area at next year's Convention's Annual Meeting in Orlando.  Don Currence has a heart to serve, and he is a walking picture of Grace.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Context Matters

I was reminded again last week of the fact that indeed, context matters when we are quoting scripture.

Sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, I was watching the television which was tuned into the local NBC affiliate.  It turned out to be the occasion of Kathie Lee Gifford’s final day as co-host of the third hour of the Today Show.  As the show went off the air, the entire “Today Show Family” gathered with Kathie Lee and co-host, Hoda Kotbe on the stage to wish her well with a farewell toast. When she was told she had 20 seconds, Kathie Lee said, “I want to share a thought that I have been trying to share for many years.  With tears in her eyes, Gifford quoted Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ (esv) This promise is not just for me” she said, “but for all of you who are watching”. to see the video click here

Knowing that Kathie Lee publicly professes faith in Christ, I was not surprised that she quoted scripture, but having known and loved this verse for a long time, myself, I slightly cringed when I thought of the context of this verse. You see, context does matter. This verse is a wonderful promise for God’s people, but this is not a verse that should just be used in a “feel good” capacity. This is the promise of a faithful God, to an unfaithful people.

Looking at the verse in the context of this 29th chapter of Jeremiah’s prophecy, we see that God is telling His people in the Kingdom of Judah, that they would be coming under judgement for 70 years for their unfaithfulness to God and their penchant for idolatry. Many of the residents of Jerusalem (including King Jeconiah and many of the noblemen, and officials) had already been carried away by the armies of King Nebuchadezzar into exile in Babylon.  God directs His message here to those who were already in exile in Babylon.  This was a terrible time of discipline He was bringing upon His erring people. Things were dark and they were now strangers in a strange land. They were now in a pagan nation that worshiped false gods.  The consequences for their unfaithfulness are spelled out in this passage beginning with verse 4.  “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.

God paints a picture here that would appear to be a permanent one. Basically He tells them to “settle in” to the new circumstances.  They are told to build houses, plant gardens, and continue life, reproducing and multiplying there. They were told to pray for the pagan government and hope for peace of that Empire – that the Jewish exiles might also enjoy that peace.  But God also tells them not to listen to those who claim to be prophets – because HE has not sent them to His people. Their “prophesies” would be lies.

Kind of a bleak picture, wouldn’t your think?  On the surface, it looks that God has forsaken His people and that their relationship with Him had come to a crashing end.  But here is where we see a picture of the faithfulness of our God to His people.  Look at verses 10 and 11.

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

God is not finished with His people.  He has not cast them away – but they are going to feel the sting of His loving discipline to them. As a result, God knows that this will bring about a repentance on their part. Look at verses 12-14 

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a wonderful and powerful promise – but it is not a promise to “all people” as Kathie Lee said.  It is a statement of His faithfulness with an understanding that it comes to a fickle people who are undergoing His judgment and correction, and who are willing to repent and return to their covenant with a Holy God.

It is still a wonderful message of hope. But it comes after a time of difficult lessons learned and is not just a touchy feely promise from God to everybody!

Speaking as a Preacher’s Kid who was raised in church – and as one who has been in pastoral ministry for nearly five decades – I have learned a lot of scripture.  It’s pretty easy for me to come up with a familiar verse for just about any situation.  But I have to remind myself from time to time to think, does this REALLY apply to this situation?

Context matters.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I can't take credit for this article - because I did not write it, but I thought it was pretty good, considering the culture in which we live. It was written by a good friend of mine who wished to remain anonymous, but gave me permission to post it. So here it is!

How many of you knew that the most important holiday of the year takes place in March? You may ask, “Really? Which holiday is that?”

Some may think that it is March 1st, Zero Discrimination Day. The United Nations, in its infinite wisdom, set this day aside to promote the concept of ending discrimination globally. Great idea, but how is that working so far? (Nope, not this one)

Could it be Mardi Gras (5th) or St. Patrick’s Day (17th)? After all, you get to dress up, act out, and drinking large quantities of alcohol is a central activity. How come we don’t celebrate “National Hurling Day” on the 6th and 18th? (Nope, not these)

Here are a couple of days with real merit - Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) (5th) and National Oreo Day (6th). What’s not to like? Liberal consumption of some of our favorite foods. The only thing better is National Bacon Day on December 30th. (Nope, not these either)

National Puppy Day (23rd). “Who’s a good boy, who’s a good boy?” We love our dogs and treat them like family. They bring us joy and laughter. If you voted for this one you’re barking up the wrong tree. (Nope again)

Near and dear to my own heart are: National Napping Day (12th) and World Sleep Day (15th). If these two observances don’t seem important to you...just wait. As you get older, being unconscious becomes a way of life. (Nope its not zzzzzzzzz.....)

Oops, I’m sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, the most important holiday of the year. Drum roll please.

International Day Of Happiness

Another UN gem. On June 28th, 2012 the UN unanimously adopted this day to, “inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement.” Its a biggy. Can it be long until we see advertisements for “Hallmark’s Countdown to International Day Of Happiness Movies”?

You see the theme behind all these supposed “holidays”. Its the pursuit of happiness, joy, and satisfaction whether through food, alcohol, partying, or by decree. What the world refuses to recognize is that two existing holidays, Christmas and Easter, already celebrate what thy are trying to achieve.

Christmas is the time we celebrate Jesus taking on an earthly form, being the example of God’s love, delivering God’s Word, and preaching the way of salvation.

Easter is the time we celebrate Christ rising from the dead and the promise of eternal life for those who trust in Him.

You can recognize every holiday that mankind can imagine, but it will still leave you empty. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior gives you something to really celebrate: forgiveness of sin, salvation, and eternal life in Heaven with Him.