As you may have noticed, my articles for the Newsletter are typically based on my observations. I observe something and it stirs something in my brain, and it goes, “Aha”. I call them, of course, “Aha Moments”.
I hope you have stopped during your busy time this Spring to observe how beautiful the flowers and trees are right now. The weather has been mild, and they are fresh, beautiful and not burned up by the Arkansas summer. I call your attention to the knock-out roses in front of our Sanctuary. They are in full bloom at this time, with lush green leaves to frame their beauty. As I was going Main Street the other day, I noticed the knock-outs in front of McDonalds. They were also lovely and in full bloom. However, I noticed in a couple of the bushes that some sort of vine had invaded the rose bush. It was also doing very well. Ok, you know what happened next. Yep, I had an “Aha Moment”.
My immediate thought was, “Are those rose bushes going to survive with that vine growing right in the middle of it? That rose bush didn’t mind the vine, but was it going to lead to the destruction of that beautiful rose bush?” So, then it reminded me of how easily our lives can become entangled with sin. 1 John 1:8 states, “If we see we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” One major sin that entangles us is worry. To worry is to believe that we must take care of ourselves. Additionally, we all have weaknesses that seem to pop up at the most inopportune times. Each of us will find ourselves with one of more of these sins, or countless others such as, greed, jealousy, judging, addiction, envy, etc. These sins try to sneak and up and invade our lives, just like that seemingly harmless vine in the rose bush.
So, what do we do? We are reminded in the Book of Hebrews that we are surrounded ‘by such a great cloud of witnesses’. We must remember that we are not alone in this battle. There are people who have come before us, people that are running with us now and people that will run after us. Second, Hebrews goes on to tell us to ‘fix our eyes on Jesus’. Sound simple? Well, we all know it’s not easy at all. It takes prayers, support from fellow believers, delving into God’s Word, strength, opportunities to serve; all things you can find right here at Jacksonville First. Let’s support and work together to detangle ourselves from sin. Always be vigilant! Those rose bushes will be taken care of. Hopefully the person that cares for the City’s flowers will come yank out that pesky vine. This will give the rose bushes the opportunity to flourish and grow to its full capacity without being entangled by sin. Let’s all try to do the same!!
Jo Ann Silvi
and Finance Manager