When I was old enough to drive my friends and I would go to our local mall to play arcade games at the Space Port. During our game downtime we would get a soda and a dog at the Pampered Pup and sit down to watch the people stroll on by. I would be respite if I didn’t mention we made comments to each other about the way people were dressed or their hairstyles or any number of other things. I think watching the people was more fun than playing the video games. Even to this day, as an artist I love to go to a park, a mall and other public places just to sit and just watch people walk around. There are a lot of interesting people out there to sketch. So grab a pencil, an art pad and get on out there. After all plein air sketching is all the rage these days.
Back many,many years ago I first accepted the call of Jesus and asked Him into my heart. Soon after I started attending a church where many people listened to what was at the time labeled Contemporary Christian Music or CCM. One of my favorite artists of the genre was Steve Taylor. His music was to say different than anything I had ever heard before. I look back from many years later and think of one song of his which I really liked entitled, “This Disco Used to be a Cute Cathedral.” The song to me was about the decline in attendance at many churches which seems to be on the rise. Years ago attending your local church was something you did without question. Back then the church in turn to care of the needs of the people.
In our modern society over 80% of Americans claim to be Christians but only 20% attend church. That leaves 60% of the people who claim to be Christians not filling the seats in local churches. This means as Steve Taylor sings many churches empty and being converted to other uses.
This is sad my friends because a church is not just a place where we worship, it is a place called to be in service to God in the local community. So we need to get our you know whats back into the seats to worship but also out of the seats and into the streets in service to serve God by helping those in need.
If your life is like mine there are periods of time when life feels anything but joyful. Still God calls us in James 1:2 to, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” This means no matter what happens in life we are to call it joyful. Really? God says, yes. If you have an illness don’t dwell on it but look to God to give you comfort and peace throughout the trial. My joy and your joy comes from knowing God is always there for us and as 2 Corinthians 1:4 insures us God is the one, “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Our joy in life comes from helping others who are going get through the same storms we are weathering. It is hard to look for joy in times of trouble or sorrow but it can be found when your heart is in the right place.
The title of my drawing today is, “Give Me A Little Peace.” When I was kid I knew a lot of people who were hippies. There favorite greeting was to say was, “Peace Man.” Wouldn’t it be great if we all knew real peace especially in the world we live in now. One of my favorite books of the Bible is James and one of my favorite verses is James 3:18 ESV, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” I am not quarrelsome person I love to be at peace because to me to get peace from others you need to be a bearer of peace and love to others. Oh what our world be if our social media was filled with peaceful messages instead of full of barbs and hate.