Pastor’s Desk July 15th

Scripture Passage:  “Go to now, you that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow.”   James 4:13-14a
Dear Friends,
     The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.  One of our precious young ladies was killed while on a mission trip to Mexico. Callie had spent time with all of her grandparents and served as a junior counselor at camp the week before she left.  They were going to one of the indigenous people groups near Guadalajara and had traveled many miles on dirt roads. They stopped at a dry creek bed to use the bathroom.  (For those of you who have never been on a foreign mission trip, sometimes it means behind rocks and trees.  This was the case here.)  Callie was stretching her legs near the back of the bus when a dead tree fell collapsing the roof of the bus and killing Callie.  The tree had survived two hurricanes as well as many storms.  The tree did not uproot, it simply broke.  One other young lady had her ankle broken, but the brunt of the force was directly on Callie.  The young lady said someone pushed her under the bus saving her life.  The only persons near her was Callie and the Lord.  The Hispanic mission pastor told the family that Callie had a divine appointment with God.  She was serving the Lord by ministering in the tough places.  Her physical life ended being obedient to the Lord, but her mission impact continues on in her death.  These words were all that seemed to make sense and give the family comfort.  Callie was laid to rest on her grandfather’s beautiful farm in Florida among the animals, trees, and green grass.  It was the perfect resting place for a beautiful young lady.
     My whole life seems to revolve around a calendar.  For me to go anywhere and be able to do anything I must plan ahead and mark my calendar.  I have to plan around family activities, church activities, association and state convention meetings as well as preparing to preach four to five messages a week.  The folks at the nursing home enjoy and expect me to visit and there is normally a barrage of surgeries at the hospital and lately a host of funerals.  It is very easy to begin to believe that the world cannot function without me.  The truth is everything can all change very quickly.  As much as I would like to think I am irreplaceable, the world does not revolve around me.  If I am gone tomorrow, someone will fill my shoes and the work will go on.  It does not matter if you are 58 or 15, death is certain and we must be prepared to meet God.  Thank you Callie for reminding us to live life to the fullest and to live in faithful obedience to the very end.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny