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This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

Have you ever thought about how you would like to be remembered?  Today happens to be Columbus Day here in the good ole USA.  We remember Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering America.  Interestingly enough, did you know that native American tribal governments and school systems do not observe this holiday?!  So Columbus is remembered by all, but only celebrated by some.

You’ve heard me speak of my treks to graveyards.  On one recent trip to a rather dilapidated old cemetery, I ran across this grave, or rather a group of graves.  I assume that the custom built structure is one grave.  There is another grave marker propped here on one end.  There are at least 3 markers stacked on top of the original structure.  And, what you can’t see in this picture is that there are another 2 grave stones propped haphazardly against the other end.

I doubt seven people are buried in this grave.  Only two of the markers had any legible names still on them.  Are they all gone and forgotten?  Doesn’t anyone remember?

How will you be remembered when you are no longer on this earth?  Let’s challenge each other to make the world a better place this week by sharing the love of Jesus.  Granted, not everyone may remember us, and even if they do, it may not be fondly.  However, let time worry about those things.  Concentrate on how you will be remembered for the life you live TODAY.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

This photo was made on a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, a fascinating city.  As you look at this photo, you are looking toward downtown Nashville with its many entertainment-related venues and restaurants.  I’ve always been fascinated by a city’s downtown.  Downtown seems so daunting, but adventurous.  So large, and yet so manageable.

I think of Johnny Cash and “Walk the Line”.  When I think of visiting “downtown” I think of the many times I walked a line to downtown as a kid, for any number of reasons.  I think of countless family trips to Memphis and Nashville.  I think of walking downtown St. Louis and Washington, D.C.  Each place very large, but each so accessible.  In every location, there is the possibility of danger, but there are also many trained professional officers protecting the public.

If I can relate that picture of a large place to one of a larger personage, allow me to say that the men and women who stand in defense of our nations, our downtowns, and our neighborhoods each and every day stand larger than life, both adventurous and approachable, both fun and all-business.

Countless emergency service personnel in the form of police officers, EMT’s and other ambulance personnel, and those in the armed services put their lives on the line for each of us – some of them doing so many times a day.  They stand large, ready to defend.  They stand large, families of their own to represent and protect.  They stand large because we need them.

And yet, it seems as if our officers also stand these days with a target on their backs.  I’m straying from my usual Monday morning focus to remind us each in the week ahead to pray, pray, pray.  Pray for our emergency personnel.  Pray for those who need defending.  And, today, thank God Himself that even when those who serve so well seem to be the focus of an attack of evil, they continue to walk the line for us each day.

This week, I’m asking all of you, my confidants, neighbors, friends, and loved ones, to please take a moment and pray specifically for the families of three young officers from my home state of Mississippi who were taken out of this world by violent means this weekend.  They deserved better.

Evil is rampant.  I pray your week ahead is free from it.

 

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

From time to time, I spot woodpeckers just like this one hard at work in our back yard.  This particular bird is steadily tapping on the tree, no doubt looking for a meal.  Constantly searching, constantly feeding, always hard at work.

In those words is a very clear picture of the way God the Father wants His children to spend our days.

We should be constantly searching for Him in our lives, searching for the Truth in front of us, searching for ways to be a much greater witness in the week ahead.

We should be constantly feeding on His Word, taking it in as nourishment to our souls at every possible opportunity, whether in our own private study time or in church worship gatherings.

And, we should certainly be constantly hard at work, but not just hard at work at our present employment.  We must be hard at work in sharing the love of Jesus with a hurting world all around us.

Mimic the woodpecker in your week ahead

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to start your week.

This summer, my youngest daughter and I got to see and visit life size replicas of two of Columbus’s ships, the Nina and the Pinta.  We both agreed that they were much smaller than we had imagined them to be.  Yet, they were built basically to exact original specifications, except for a few modern conveniences for safety reasons, of course.

We were amazed to stand aboard these ships and see and get to hear from the ships’ crew members about how life surely was for Columbus and his fellow explorers.  The boats looked real.  Our experience was real.  Great effort has been taken to make the ships as real as possible.  And, yet, they are replicas – very good imitations of the originals.

In today’s world, could you as a Christian be mistaken for the original?  What I mean is, do you represent your Creator in such a way that the world sees Him?  Or, are you simply a very good imitation?  Do you pretend to be a Christian, fooling even those closest to you?  They may never suspect a thing, but deep down you know that all is not well, and were you left to your own devices, one day your ship will sink.

This week, let’s challenge each other to be real.  Be a real Christian to those who need to see Jesus through us.  And if you haven’t had a real experience with Him yet, all it takes is true repentance and confession of your sins, inviting Him to save you and live in your heart, and committing your life to representing Him in our world.

Get ready.  There’s a world that needs to see some original Jesus in us this week!  Ships ahoy!

Weekly Inspiration – Leaning on the Almighty Creator

By Ryan Kelly –

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16

I had the pleasure of viewing some breathtaking images from the Hubble Space Telescope this week. The images were of distant galaxies that are no more visible to us that a faint star in the sky. You can see the spiral formations and clouds of thousands of stars of different sizes littering the massive expanses of space. Colorful clouds of gasses, rock, ice, metals, and other elements make up an array of beauty and awe that is beyond humbling. And couple this with scientific knowledge which shows that space is expanding at an accelerating rate.

Contrast this with a recent scientific discovery that provides verifiable evidence supporting the existence of “fundamental particles.” The basic particles taught to us in textbooks, protons, neutrons, and electrons, are actually made of several different types of fundamental particles with various spins and charges. And, these particles are made of even smaller particles with even more complex spins and charges. The more we study, the more we realize there is more to learn.

So what can you draw from the ever expanding universe and the infinite complexity of unseen matter? God is infinitely large and infinitely complex. He designed out of His own imagination the depths of space and the smallest of particles And most importantly, this same God loves us all deeply and wants to spend time with each of us.

So let’s celebrate this great love and continue to lean on our Creator for all of our problems and needs. Creation alone is evidence that He can do absolutely anything for us.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

Just a week or two ago, the moon was shining brightly through the trees, as you see here.  I took several pictures that evening, because each one I snapped seemed to be very fuzzy or out of focus.  Finally I got this one lone shot that seemed clearer than the others.

Your week ahead may be full of many opportunities, meetings, and encounters with unchurched and ungodly people.  In each circumstance, we need to see the Lord clearly in order to share His love.

I wonder.  Does He seem fuzzy and out of focus to you at times?  Is He so big, so bright, so beautiful, and yet so very far away?  Often times, we must focus, refocus, and focus again in order to see Him more clearly.  It isn’t that He’s not there, for He certainly is.  It’s just that our vision is so out of focus.

Heading into your week, take the time to truly focus on Him and His guidance for your days.  Just glancing His direction may help you see the light.  However, when you take the time to focus, refocus, and then focus again if necessary, He may very well become much clearer to you than before.

To see His light is one thing.  To focus on it is quite another.  Keep the focus this week.

Weekly Inspiration – Hope

By Ryan Kelly –

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Hope. Hope is a desire or expectation for a certain thing to happen. We all have hope for a better future, for healthy children, for happiness and prosperity. What person on this Earth doesn’t have hope for something? The question with hope is whether we place hope for a better future on our shoulders or on God’s. Further, do we hope for selfish ambitions or for the things that bring God glory and honor?

I like this verse in 2 Corinthians because it addresses may different aspects of the sadness or problems of our lives. Some of us are dealing with momentary affliction, others with lifelong disease or illness. No matter how big or small, we all hope that the problems will cease and that we can live at peace. This week remember that happiness is a fleeting emotion that is not driven by our spiritual standing, but joy and peace are constant and come only from God. When we stand with Christ, we have peace that goes beyond all understanding and carries a happiness with it that is truly something for which we should give hope.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

This photo of a portion of the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian gives you an idea of the construction.  There are no sharp corners in this building.  The Indians believed that evil spirits lived in the corners, so in order to keep away the evil spirits, they did away with the corners.

Now we humans certainly cannot get rid of our “corners”.  However, we can invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in all of our corners.  In fact, that is where He longs to be — in every corner of our hearts and lives.

When the Holy Spirit fills the corners of your life, there is very little room for anything that shouldn’t be there.

Check your corners this week.  Dust them out if necessary, and invite the Spirit Who will protect you and lead you through life to move into those corners.  After all, who better to be in your corner than the Holy Spirit?!

Just a thought.

One Body

By Ryan Kelly –

The most beautiful thing in this world is the unity that Christians share as being part of a singular church body. No matter what theological denomination we belong to, we are all under a single faith in Jesus Christ. Our unity in the body works through the individual believer – you and I. Let’s keep the faith and continue to walk Hand in Hand as brothers and sisters in Christ!

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:3-4, 6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

I took this photo in the town of Amboise, France, after walking a steep city street past a castle and many small homes.  Near the top of the hill sat this beautiful home with its nicely manicured lawns and adornments.  It is a beautiful house.

But just a house it is.  What makes this particular house special is knowing to whom it belonged.  You see, this was the last home of Leonardo DaVinci.  We all “oooed” and “ahhhed” as we took our turns posing in by the front door for photos.  But it truly is just a house.

Let me pause here by reminding you, as Mr. Fred Rogers would have said from his Neighborhood, “You are special.”  But, truly, as a child of God, what makes us more special than any other characteristic we may have is knowing to whom we belong.

You see, as a Christian, I know that the Lord lives in my heart.  He calls it His dwelling place, meaning He set up camp there and he intends to stay.

As you face another busy week ahead, remember to Whom you belong.  Remember Who has taken up residence in you, and pause to let the world see Him in you.  They will be blessed.

Just a thought.