An Encouraging Article – In a Newspaper

If you’re like me a little encouragement is always in order, especially when the world is going crazy and seems bent on self annihilation.  Well, a little godly encouragement came my way on Monday via, of all things, a newspaper article.  It was a commentary by Rebecca Hagelin and appeared in the Washington Times as:  Millennial ‘invaders’ find unity, strength in message of Christ.  I’ve appreciated Ms. Hagelin’s writing for several years and decided I needed to get hot and share an example with you.  I hope you’re encouraged as I am by this example of unity.  RMF

Millennial ‘invaders’ find unity, strength in message of Christ
By Rebecca Hagelin

In this picture taken Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, an exterior view shows the facade of the former St. George church, physical reminder of the Little Syria neighborhood, that now serves as bar in Lower Manhattan, New York. Little Syria was a neighborhood that existed between the 1880s and 1940s in Lower Manhattan and was composed of Arab-Americans, both Christians and Muslims, who arrived from what is now Syria and surrounding countries. Little Syria was a paradise and a poor slum, a way station and long-term destination. Its merchants introduced Middle Eastern food to many in the West. Its authors, poets and journalists told stories that bridged the cultures. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

This past week, our Florida barrier island home was invaded by 10 “twentysomethings.”
I say “invaded” because their laughter, energy and noise gloriously shattered my solitude. But they were actually invited, mostly because of the joyful noise they make.
These amazing young people defy the stereotype of their generation. They are accomplished, hard-working and thoughtful. Their speech is respectful and wise.
No drugs, no cursing, no drunkenness. They are polite and helpful.
They are of multiple races; they are male and female. One is originally from Nigeria. Some grew up in the South, some the North. One just got her Ph.D. from Emory. Another is a nurse. One has his MBA, and another is a certified marriage and family counselor. Two others are educators and still more are engineers.
Despite their differences, they are the best of friends. Their love for each other springs from the love of Christ. Although the world may call them diverse, they see themselves as united.
How did they find each other? Through a sound, biblical church. Would that more Americans return to strong churches these days.
These fine young people belie the headlines of discontentment with America that the media attempts to hang on all people of their age. Yes, they are deeply disturbed by the hatred of white supremacists and the angry verbiage they hear from nearly every corner of the nation.
But they are not bitter at the world. They just want better for our country, and they know it’s partly up to them to lead the way in their own community and spheres of influence.
I joined them under the beach canopy during my lunch break, and discovered them either reading or in small groups discussing life’s big questions in whispered tones so as not to disturb their friends. Fresh from swimming in the crystal blue Gulf waters, a few were napping.
Across the towel from where I sat, an unusual sliver of metal that serves as a bookmark caught my eye. I reached over to pick it up and discovered a transcendent truth engraved along the edge: “Never let the voice of society be louder than the voice of Christ.
“Where did this come from?” I asked Carly.
“It’s Perron’s. He said it while we were here last year, and made this as a reminder for all of us,” she replied.
In a culture of venomous speech, this simple admonishment can be transformative. The phrase explodes with grace, offering sound advice in how to express outrage at injustice, and the manner in which we should engage those who disagree.
Far from calling for a feeble wallflower or “flower power” existence, the voice of Christ is both “wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.” He spoke truth boldly, He loved unconditionally, and He was not afraid to call out injustice.
Although Christ wielded a whip against the greedy money changers in the temple, he never brandished a torch to incite fear or spew hate at people who were different than He; Jesus never carried clubs to confront his enemies.
In these days of civil unrest, may Americans across this great land gather, as these young people do, for Bible study, worship and prayer. And above all else, may we follow the example of Christ.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at: Rebecca@rebeccahagelin.com.

 

 

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About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com). Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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