Sunday Chronicles #47 June 25, 2017
Greetings from Springfield, MO where, after a rambunctious wind/rain storm on Friday with tree limbs down and power outages, today we are enjoying nearly perfect weather: sunshine, cool breezes, low 80’s for temps, birds singing. Wish you were here!
I drove (!) to chapel today. There’s nothing quite like being among God’s people in worship. A scheduled missionary speaker was unable to come; however, the man who spoke in his place certainly was no disappointment. Matt Hufman is an A/G minister and a journalist. His topic was “What Is Truth?” with a tag line: Politics, Fake News and the Gospel. He defined “fake news” as a mixture of fact and opinion. Although I took notes, he packed so much into his 25-minute sermon, that I ordered a CD. Later I will post the main points for those who are interested. In the meantime, continue to pray for our nation’s leaders.
Hufman pointed out that fake news is not a new phenomenon. It started in the Garden of Eden when Satan used lies and half-truths to entice Eve to disobey God. Then Hufman moved on to John 18:33-38 where Jesus is being questioned by Pilate. Pilate realized that the charges against Jesus were false, but he condemned Jesus to satisfy the Jewish leaders and keep “peace.”
Now to my recent experience with “fake” news: on June 9 I was in a fragile emotional state. Melinda and I were going to visit Nelson’s grave and also to select a headstone. I wanted to do it, but at the same time I dreaded doing it. It seemed to make Nelson’s death even more final. That morning as I dressed, I heard an unusual noise, but finally decided it was coming from the other side of the duplex. Perhaps my new neighbors were rearranging furniture.
Later when I looked out my back door, I was shocked. Nelson’s container garden, which had occupied our back patio, was gone–completely destroyed. The 9 large round containers had been emptied (I had planted okra in two of them only a few days before.) Two others held onions and rhubarb which had survived the winter. Nelson had a small fence around the garden to keep deer or other animals from feasting on his plants. That was rolled up; the stakes and concrete blocks he had used were stacked to one side. I realized that the noise I had heard earlier was the grounds crew taking down the garden. I couldn’t imagine why; we had permission to have the garden, and Nelson had obeyed the rules. Usually, the workers ring the doorbell and explain what they plan to do. But no one had spoken to me at all.
I was hurt, angry, and totally upset. I did what I usually do in those situations: I cried. It seemed another link with Nelson had been taken away. Finally, when I got my emotions in check, I called the maintenance office and asked who had given the order for the garden to be taken down. A supervisor came to talk to me. Another supervisor had been told that I was going to move (fake news!) and he had given the order. The new supervisor asked what he could do to make it right. I said I would think about it over the weekend and talk with him the next week. Before he left, he said he was working in this area one day when I was baking, and he inhaled the wonderful smell of cinnamon rolls. (I think he was trying to say something to make me feel better.) I told him that when I baked again, I would send his crew cinnamon rolls. This week I made cinnamon rolls. I called the grounds supervisor and asked how many men he had working that day. He said 6; so I sent two pans of cinnamon rolls for them; five more pans went to neighbors and visitors. Now I need to bake again.
At my request, the crew replaced the soil in 4 of the containers, and Melinda planted two of those with okra which is up. This week I hope to plant the other two. It still isn’t the same as what Nelson had, but as I’m sure he’d say, “Mama, it’s not the end of the world!”
Don’t be fooled by fake news this week; let the Holy Spirit guide you. He will show you how to bring the truth of God’s Word to counter the lies of the enemy. Thank you for sharing in my journey through the Valley of Baca. Your prayers and love sustain me…jwb