Thursday, April 22, 2004

April 22, 2004

9:16 AM Eric Rubio (one of our high school students) sends the following report on the Christian response (“Day of Purity”) to yesterday’s pro-homosexual “Day of Silence” observed by some of the students at Oak Park-River Forest High School:

I would guess that at least forty percent of the student body was participating in the Day of Silence activities, which included, of course, silence from eight am to three pm (the hrs of the school day), wearing the Day of Silence t-shirts (bearing the rhetoric “What will you do to break the SILENCE?”), and attending an after-school forum to “Break the Silence.” A thought crossed my mind at lunch: when Jesus stood before Pilate and the others on trial, he was silent. It seems to me that the pro-homosexual (or whatever the word is) people found just the right tactic to use in protest of discrimination. It was God’s idea, and all they can do is copy it. At least four of my Allied Force friends were wearing the “Day of Purity” t-shirts (and probably others I don’t see during the school day). I did get to have a brief discussion (written out) with one silent student in my biology class about the Day of Purity thing. I said, “The Day of Purity promotes sexual activiity as defined by the Bible: between one man and one woman in the sacrificial bonds of marriage,” and “We believe that homosexual activity is wrong, but the people who practice such activities are loved by God just like heterosexuals.” Not a bad day, really. In Christ, Eric

7:16 AM On March 5 I posted a letter from “Ken” in Erie, PA, who wrote to say that he had read The God You Can Trust, and had given a copy to his daughter whose fiance is serving in the military in Iraq. Yesterday he sent this update:

Pastor Ray, This is Ken from Erie, PA. I wanted to share this letter from my daughter with you. She lives on the reservation in South Dakota. Her fiance Matt has been in Iraq several months. A close friend of his in his unit from South Dakota was killed in a bomb attack last Saturday. As you know I sent a copy of your book to both of them. Please pray for Matt. Hard times over there. Thanks you for your book and prayers. Feel free to share this letter. Ken

Here’s the letter to Ken from his daughter:

Hey Dad, I just wanted to tell you that Matt called me on Monday morning. He is doing ok. He sounds worn out and a little shook up but the one thing he did say about that Morgan dying was that “It was just his time to go. God called him home.” I was happy that his overall view of that situation was positive. They moved camp to 10 miles west of Fallujah….great huh! I was upset. They tore down the phones and Internet until further notice so I don’t know when I will hear from him. He said you could write to the address we have. It would eventually get to him, but then he will let us know when he gets his new mailing address. It was good to talk to him. I called his parents and told them that Matt contacted me. His mom sounded like she was in tears but trying to strong. I am reading “The God You Can Trust” again. It speaks to me in this difficult time and comforts me to see that trials and troubles are not about us but about God. That God uses these tests and hardships to make us become closer to him and learn lessons that we would not have learned otherwise. I thank you that you sent me that book. It has encouraged me so much almost to the point where I thank God for this time of testing because without it I would not be where I am today. I love you and will call you soon. Love, Gracie

7:10 AM Today from 3-5 PM I’ll be part of the Pastor’s Roundtable on WYLL, 1160 AM, on the “Scott Thomas Show.” The list of topics they sent included “Gay Marriage” and “Snake handling” (no kidding). While I never personally saw anyone handle snakes in a church service, they did that in some of the small country churches in Alabama when I was growing up. Still do it in some places. A man recently died after being bit by a rattlesnake he was handling during a worship service. This is not an innovation we plan to start at Calvary—or if we do, someone else can lead the way. 7:02 AM Briefly noted … The Calvary Women’s Retreat begins tomorrow at the Sonlife Retreat Center in Elburn. Ellen Olford of Memphis, TN will be speaking and Roberta Hoppe will lead the worship … Had lunch on Wednesday with Carolyn McCready and Terry Glaspey of Harvest House Publishers in Eugene, OR. This was their second visit to Oak Park and we had a great time talking about Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright … Keep your eye on Jeff Hale, currently a legislative aide to a California state senator. He’ll probably become governor some day … We’re baptizing eight people on Sunday. We’ll broadcast the baptism to the Upper Room Service at the beginning of the worship service, then live worship will begin in the sanctuary and the Upper Room, followed by the simulcast of the sermon from the sanctuary … During our recent trip to California Marlene gave me a copy of Three Weeks With My Brother, a new book by Nicholas Sparks. Excellent reading … When I spoke to the OPCA Parent-Teacher Fellowship a few weeks ago, they gave me a $20 gift certificate to Parky’s Hot Dogs. After yesterday’s lunch, I have enough left for one more meal (Polish with everything, including sport peppers, plus a large Coke).

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?