I know you’ll join me in praying for and reaching out to the folks in our community who have been impacted by the tornadoes last night. In checking with our members, so far, those living in that area are safe, no home damage but a few don’t have electricity. If you are a family impacted and need our help please let me know. We are seeking to assess damage and how best we can show our love and support to those impacted.

While channel surfing the other day (which drives my wife crazy and I’ve got to stop doing), I noticed a show entitled “Ridiculousness”. I watched it for about two minutes and quickly saw that it had to do with people doing ridiculous things. Well this morning on the radio, I heard something that would fit on that show. It seems that people in New York are protesting that Chick-fil-A is being infiltrated by Christians. Imagine the horror!! Talk about ridiculous to the max. Do they not know that the founders of Chic Fil A are believers who have never wavered from their commitment to Christ-like values?

While we’re flabbergasted by this type of report the fact is that America is becoming more hostile to Jesus and His followers. Across the world, the persecution of believers is happening but here in America we’ve been blessed in that for years we didn’t sense persecution. However all of that is changing and changing very quickly.

The thought we need to keep in mind as we watch this shift, is that Jesus said it would happen. He said they persecuted Me and they’ll persecute you. We forget that we follow a Someone who was counter-culture. Jesus was popular for a while but culture turned on Him because He made them uncomfortable in their lifestyles.

Our challenge will be to remain faithful to Christ no matter what happens around us or to us. Our challenge is to be followers of Christ when others stand against us and label Christianity a “hate group”. One of our deacons commented that at work no one wanted anything to do with him because he was a believer, but the moment they were in trouble they came to him for help. Stand strong in your faith and know that God will use your faithfulness to be salt and light in the lives of people around you.

We were blessed to welcome Jaelyn Carwile and Judy McCraw in our first worship service as they came to profess faith in Christ and to seek believers baptism. I know you rejoice with me in their brave decision to surrender and commit their lives to Christ.

Let me also challenge you to get involved. Our South Dakota Team is seeking a few more volunteers to go with them to Yankton, S.D., June 9 – 15. The cost is minimal – less than $500, and the opportunity will be amazing. This year we’re adding a sports camp to the V.B.S.

We are also seeking a teacher for our Thrive College class. At the end of May our current teacher will be shifting to our Student Ministry. If you are interested, please contact Lee Gibson at lgibson@hhbc.net Lee can fill you in on the details. This position is vital for us as we make a connection with college students seeking a church home while they are here in Lynchburg. We want to bless these students and they want to bless us, so pray about this and volunteer.

Be Strong in the Lord and the strength of His might,

Pastor Carl