I was recently asked if I thought a student with a “D” average should be able to participate in the school sports program. After very little thought I replied “No”. Some of my thoughts included: students come to school to learn, also I consider that participating in a sport is a privilege that is earned by doing their best on their classwork. The person doing the survey of the teaching staff made a comment that gave me more food for thought. He said that “a scout for a college would Passover a student with poor grades.” It would be expected to be striving to their best not only in their sport, but, also in the grades. Because a college would want their best and brightest representing the school.

As I have considered those thoughts I’ve come to the place where I see myself and all others who have come to believe in Christ as our personal Savior. As I walk in relationship with Jesus Christ it is not just about what I do to serve Him. It about developing that relationship and growing to know more about Him and His ways. God like the college scout looks at more than our feeble attempts at serving Him. He looks at us seeks to see us developing a deeper closer relationship with Him through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not that He does not what us to serve Him, but as His children Jesus reminds us that we are to be as a city on a hill is clearly seen. As such we ought to be striving to develop our relationship with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. That will include studying His Word the Bible, through relationship with others of “like precious faith” and prayer (not just talking and asking but also listening).
Should a student with a “D” average should be able to participate in the school sports program? My response is still—“No.” However as a Christian we are called to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ and to serve, neither of these are done alone in our feeble strength but in the power of God the Holy Spirit working in us.
We represent the God of all creation we must needs be the very best that we can be in both relationship and service.

Pastor Bob

A Word Fitly Spoken
"Love never gives up"

Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut.
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies!"

These words ring in my ears and reverberate through my soul. They were the opening words of the sermon that the Rev. Martin L. Rolfs-Massaglia preached at my ordination service in June 2003. They seem so foreign in a world so filled with hate and self-centeredness.
Love . . . what is it? Is it that butterfly feeling of the young couple? Is it the tender relationship of a mother and her newborn child? Is it the joy of a newly wed couple? Or, the holding of the others wrinkled hand as the elderly couple walks through the park together? can include these but I believe that it is so much more.
The dictionary definition of love is (1) "strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties"; (2) "affection and tenderness felt by lovers." However, the words above are portrait of love as found in the Bible in First Corinthians 13. They show that love is more than affection; more than the joyous or tender moments; love is a verb; it is a life-style.
Martin reminded me, "Jesus designed the church to be a place that attracts unlovely and unlovable people" and that "Christianity is an equal-opportunity faith, open to all..." The church needs to set the example for others. Who is the church? The church is everyday people who struggle just like everyone else just keeping love in their closest relationships, those with spouse family and friends.
Jesus, when asked what the greatest commandment is, responded, "Love God first and second love our neighbor as ourselves." This has always posed a problem for people both inside and outside of the Church. Today it is no different. It is hard to like, let alone love, people, especially if they wear an earring, have a tattoo, drink too much wine, have too many questions, look weird, smoke, dance, swear, have pink hair, are in the wrong ethnic group, have a nose ring, have had an abortion, are gay or lesbian, are too conservative or too liberal and the list goes on and on.
Just remember we may not measure up in someone else's eyes, but love is a lifestyle, and the more we work at it the easier it becomes to live it out. "Love never gives up! Love never dies! The challenge is to live a life filled with love.

By Rev. Robert C. Guldenschuh Jr.