Are you enjoying the sweet fruit of the spirit in the hot month of July? Love, peace, joy, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are endangered in America. It seems like things are out of control from the red wood forests to the Gulf Stream waters in this land that was made by God. Where can peace be found?
The answer is not found watching continuous newsfeeds of horrific happenings and television channels where broadcasts have blunders. Many people are mesmerized by the madness of evil acts in America and around the world. Bad news bombards bullets of despair, sadness, confusion, grief, anger, chaos, disrespect, hatred, dishonesty, and unbelief.
Good news finds little space to be shared, even though great things are happening here at home where God was declared to be the cornerstone when our forefathers stepped in faith and the shot of freedom was heard around the world. Good news should be broadcast first through every means of communication.
People need to read, see, and hear positive, powerful stories of faith and love uniting brothers and sisters throughout our land. Instead, stories of hate and violence are aired on continuous feed stirring division among, we, the people of the United States of America.
Positive, powerful, Good Samaritan stories encourage people as Paul’s writings continue to do in the Bible. Can you imagine a reporter standing near the fire on the island where Paul and shipmates huddled covering the shipwreck when Paul, a prisoner, had warned the captain (twice) to turn back or the boat and lives could be lost. Paul’s interview could have caused controversy as he relayed God’s word that no lives would be lost. It would have gone viral when the viper came from the fire to bite Paul and clung to his hand as the world watched in disbelief.
Visualize Paul shaking that viper off back into the fire, rising to gather more firewood, and witnessing of God’s miracle working power in his life. What would news media have done with Paul’s story? Would Paul’s miracle, his work to serve God and help people, been left out? Would the story have aired only the bad parts of Pauls’ life, concentrating on Paul murdering Christians and causing terror…before He saw the light and came to Christ? What stories would be shared about our lives.
The good news is Jesus came to save us from our sins and show the world the power of love. He taught by example and encouraged those whose lives were changed by God’s amazing grace to go and tell the good news. He lived, died, and arose in the greatest love story of all times. As Jesus ascended into heaven, he promised God would send a helper (Holy Spirit) to live within hearts and help people stay connected to the Vine. He can bring good news stories from the bad things we encounter according to His plans for our lives…and our willingness to believe, trust, and obey. We live by faith with stories of awesome testimonies and amazing stories to share.
One news show has reserved the last minute of the nightly broadcast for a good news story from somewhere in America. Recently, I watched a one minute news story about a teenager working the drive-thru in a mid-western fast food restaurant. She heard screams coming from people in a car waiting in line. Watching the mother trying to revive her unconscious child from the screen inside the restaurant, the teenager stayed calm while jumping through the small window where she served food to customers. She rushed to the child, pulled him from the car, and started doing CPR.
People panicked but not the young girl who showed self-control and brought goodness from a bad situation. Paramedics rushed to the scene and told the teenager that she saved the young boy’s life. She was awarded a Good Samaritan spot on local news for saving the child’s life and the last minute on national news. Good things are happening across America, especially in our little corner of the country where Christian love grows good things in abundance. Local people are showing love, kindness, goodness, and self -control by fanning flames of faith and doing good things in turbulent times.
President Ronald Reagan shared words to encourage and get the attention of Americans in February of 1986. His speech gives merit to living closely connected to Christ and writing stories that spark spiritual renewal throughout our land.
“To preserve our blessed land we must look to God…It is time to realize that we need God more than He needs us. Let us, young and old, join together, as did the First Continental Congress, in the first step, in humble heartfelt prayer! Let us do so for the love of God and His great goodness, in search of His guidance and the grace of repentance, in seeking His blessings, His peace, and the resting of His kind and holy hands on ourselves, our nation, our friends in the defense of freedom and all mankind now and always.
The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America…our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal. Today, we utter prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace… and God bless you all.”
Think on these things, pray as Paul did and President Reagan implored us to do, ponder things in the stories we write that are or are not pleasing to the Lord and our loved ones, put things in proper order so that time with our Father and family is not squeezed in at the end of long, laborious days, and turn to God for healing and hope for revival to sweep across America and unto the utter most parts of the earth.
Next week, I will share the rest of the good news story that promises happiness forever and ever.
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.