The spectacular and the negative are two things for which Americans seem to have an insatiable appetite.
Worldwide events many times take strong hold of our attention. Daily, hourly, even minute-to-minute reports keep us glued to news outlets - television, radio, the Internet - for the latest happening. These reports bring us closer to real-time issues taking place locally, nationally and internationally.
Recently I was excited to hear about the daring rescues taking place in Italy after the massive earthquake, and the amazing rescue of the American sea captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates and the heroic actions of Navy SEALs in the line of duty.
Likewise, negativism seems to hold our attention. Recently a national magazine declared the demise of Christianity. I am always hearing of what others perceive as negative news. Seldom do I hear about the good news, the positive things in our ministry, or society for that matter.
As I think about these issues, my heart is tugged toward the power and presence of God in our lives. As I move across our state, there is life in many areas. Granted, there are churches in transition, and some closing their doors. But I have seen churches opening their doors to newcomers, evangelizing their communities, crossing ethnic/cultural barriers, sharing their facilities, all in an effort to reach their communities for Christ. Their passion continues to be in reaching the lost and making disciples.
Likewise there are many positive and remarkable things going on in your state convention, your university and your foundation.
We must never forget Christ's words that "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against" His church. Our mission is not to follow the polls, but to be filled with the power of Christ. Our mission must also be to encourage those who are struggling, and be lighthouses in our communities. What an opportunity the Father has given us to reach the globe by "reaching the world in California."
As the summer approaches, VBS, block parties, Feeding Those Who Feed Us and a variety of other ministry and mission opportunities will open doors to reach the lost and make disciples. Let's begin to celebrate the harvesting of souls.