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Is This the Best We Can Do?
August 6, 2018 from www.nextchurch.net used by permission by Rev. Paul Hooker, Associate Dean for Ministerial Formation at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

When I was young in ministry, the session of First Presbyterian of Kingsport, TN where I was associate pastor would debate some important matter until it appeared everything had been said that needed saying. Then, just before the moderator called for the vote, from the back of the room, Ernie Blackard would raise his hand, and when recognized, ask, “Mr. Moderator, I’d just like to be sure: Is this the best we can do for Christ and his Church?” There was, as I recall, never any answer to that question but silence. But there was always a silence, during which we all asked ourselves whether the vote we were about to cast served any purpose other than the advancement of our own interest or agenda. Ernie is long dead now, but his question echoes in my head every time I prepare to cast a vote.

“Our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Philippians 3: 20-21

We are running headlong into Fall. School has start-ed. Labor Day is here. Fall Festival Plans are brewing. Days are noticeably shorter and hopefully the 90 degree days are behind us. Take some time to consider who we are as Christians today, here in Lake Park. We can get focused on the last quarter of the year, on new things in school, and all that needs to be done from taxes to har-vest to other busy things. It is easy to forget what we are really—we are Christ’s own and citizens together of heav-en. We are to be a people that instead of fear shows hope; instead of division shows unity; and instead of self-centered concerns shows love. We wait for Christ and His return, putting first things first. How do we do that? Here are some practical things you can do to remain a citizen of heaven and enjoy what God has in store for us.

It is that time of year to pray about ministry here at First Presbyterian, specifically what God is CALLING YOU TO DO as a disciple. That calling might be in service outside the congregation in your job or school or neighborhood. It might also be in a more formal way as a Team Member or even as one of the ordained ministries God has in the church (deacons, ruling elders, pastors). In any case, it is true that all of us are called to salvation and service (F-2.05, Second Helvetic Confession 5.058, Westminster Confession 6.181, Ephesians 2:10) and so are all ministers.

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