What Steps Will You Take?

imagesHave you ever wondered about the feeling of being in outer space? As a child I’m sure a lot of us looked up at the sky at night and wondered what was going on up there with all the flashing stars, and the moon and the clouds, and trying comprehend it all. Or have you wondered about the feeling of Neil Armstrong when he took the first step on the moon, or John Glenn to be the first to orbit the whole earth. Imagine the preparation of math and science and not really having much of a trial run on missions for something that had never been done before. Imagine those men going farther away from home that any man had ever gone. And the chance of losing their lives for the sake of advancing the knowledge of what we know of the universe today.

Both of those men whether you knew it or not lived by Christian standards. Both of them were from Ohio and both of them knew what courage was. I want to share an encouraging story of Neil Armstrong that we can all learn from as we strive to know what it truly means to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

Neil Armstrong was taken on a tour of the old city of Jerusalem by Israeli archeologist Meir Ben-Dov. When they got to the Hulda Gate, which is at the top of the stairs leading to the Temple Mount, Armstrong asked Ben-Dov whether Jesus had stepped anywhere around there.

“These are the steps that lead to the temple,” Ben-Dov told him, “so He must have walked here many times.”

Armstrong then asked Ben-Dov if those were the original stairs and Ben-Dov confirmed that they were indeed.

“So Jesus stepped right here,” Armstrong asked. “That’s right,” answered Ben-Dov.

To which Armstrong, the devout Christian, replied, “I have to tell you, I am more excited stepping on these stones than when I was stepping on the moon.”

We can only imagine and wonder what it felt like for Neil to step on the moon, and the feeling he had of going where no one had ever gone before. Neil though was more excited about steps that were already taken.

What kind of incredible steps do you think God has for you? Some of us are just taking that step into our faith of telling others about God! I can attest to not being as bold as I should in my own life. It is my prayer to be so much more courageous and bold to share with others.

Neil Armstrong made history with his steps as, more importantly, did Jesus. You may not be as popular as these men, but your courage to spread the Gospel will be rewarded in heaven; for the work that you have done for God’s kingdom!

 

I leave you with this quote from Erwin McManus: “Would you be willing to give your life to save the world if no one ever knew your name? If anonymity was the price you would have to pay for significance, would it be too great a price? To live a life of courage is not a guarantee of prestige or adulation. It only matters if you live and die fulfilling the mission you were born for.”

 

Heath

 

 

Heath Clark          

Youth & Family Minister     

 

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Greed grabs, Gratitude gives!

Can you believe that the year 2015 is about a month away from being over? The fall season is winding down and I can already feel the chill of winter coming upon us. This could only mean one thing: Thanksgiving is here.

For many of us Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to take time from our jobs to see family who may be far away from us (or close to us), eat some good food, and watch some football.

It seems though that more and more Thanksgiving is being forgotten. This year I’ve seen Christmas decorations come out before Halloween, and Black Friday hours starting earlier and earlier. I can only conclude one thing: Our culture is becoming less and less thankful.

Christmas, to the world, has become about getting things. And it’s not just about getting things; it’s about getting things as early as you can. Stores open to encourage all of us on Thanksgiving Day to forget about the time that we could spend with our family, and instead to spend the most money we can in one day. The holiday that is supposed to remind us about all the things we are grateful for, is now turned in to all the things that we can consume.

I am so thankful that when I grew up family time was made a priority. I cannot tell you what I got when I was 15 for Christmas, but I can definitely tell you many Thanksgiving stories that I have with my family through the years.

I encourage all of you this year to make some memories, start some traditions with your family which involves giving to others to really fulfill you. Full gratitude comes through Christ. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” God gives us what we need. Remember Acts 20:35, that is better to give than to receive.

This Thanksgiving, I want to challenge families to ask a couple questions, “How can I show my family gratitude instead of greed this year?”, “What can my family do this Thanksgiving for someone else?”, and “What traditions can I start this year with my family which displays gratitude”?

I pray that we can be families that grab less, and give more.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Heath