The Pastor's Peace - August, 2011
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The day was Friday, July 22nd 2011; the sun was out with just a few clouds in the sky, and four brave middle-aged men drove their chariots to the field of conquest. It was hot, very hot; no, I really mean it, like drop dead hot. These men none the less carried on through water, ditches, sand, trees, bunkers, and nice grassy fields on occasion, toward the flag that marked their destination. There was much struggle, fear, sweating, disappointment, some words that can’t be said in church, and dreams of the feasting that would occur later that day. In the end, however, with hope as their guide, these brave men prevailed, completing their mission with all accounted for, and with at least some of their dignity.

No, I am not recounting the actions of a battle involving brave soldiers, but rather the actions of my foursome during the 5th Annual Conner Puckett Classic golf tournament. For those who don’t know, this is a fundraising event organized by Carl, Angie, and many volunteers from our church and elsewhere to raise money for Conner and other children with Cerebral Palsy. Now normally I would not be so dramatic in my description of a day of golf, but it felt dramatic that day. With a heat index north of 100 and my lack of being in shape, I did feel as if I were in some kind of struggle. I, however, was glad that I went and glad to finish. I would do it all again for the real reward that came at the end of the day. I’m not talking about the barbecue, although that was good, but rather the
reason we had all come. It was the moment when Carl called up the other family they were assisting this year, and gave them a check for $4,000. The Conner Puckett foundation helped them financially, but it also gave them something else, hope.

Sometimes people think that hope is overrated. I, however, think hope is one of the most valuable things we have. As Paul says in Corinthians, it is faith, hope, and love that remain eternal. So unless it’s faith or love we are talking about, all else in the world pales in comparison to hope. In talking to parents of children with disabilities, I have heard how challenging it can be, how it can bring marriages together, or tear them apart. In the midst of that challenge and difficultly, how wonderful it is to have hope for the future, and to know that you are not alone. Never underestimate or undervalue hope; it could be the difference between making it one day to the next and just giving up. It is no accident that Paul speaks so highly of it, and that the ministry of Jesus Christ was filled with it. I give thanks, and pray that the Conner Puckett Foundation continues to give hope each and every year. I pray as a church we give each other hope to deal with our own struggles big and small. No matter the challenge, hold on to hope. Together with faith and love it will see us to a better day, a brighter future, and a kingdom of God.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian