Reminiscent of proclamations to pray and fast by the Founders and past presidents during times of national concern, Governor Bill Lee has signed a resolution calling for 31 days of prayer and fasting in Tennessee beginning July 1, 2024.  Tennessee House Joint Resolution 803 asks the state’s citizens to “seek God’s hand of mercy healing on Tennessee.”  The resolution passed overwhelmingly in state Senate 27-1 and in the House 82-6.  The legislators acknowledged many of the crises  and problems plaquing both the state and America and called on the people of Tennessee to “humbly ask for forgiveness” and to ask that “the Lord Jesus  heal our land and remove the violence, human-trafficking, addiction, and corruption.”  They also ask people to call upon the “Holy Spirit” to fill the halls of government, classrooms, businesses, churches, and homes with “peace, love and joy.”

Pastor’s Message

July 4th – It really is a great holiday – family get-togethers, good food fixed on the grill, fireworks, and flying the American flag.  There will be without a doubt, a time in our celebration when we will hear that great prayer-song “God Bless America.”  It is called a prayer-song because it is a plea for God to bless, care for, and heal America, the “land that I love.”  Irving Berlin wrote it for a camp show while serving in the Army in World War I stationed at Camp Upton on Long Island. The show’s producers decided not to use it in 1918, but twenty years later Berlin offered it as the answer to a request he received for a patriotic song which could be sung to commemorate the anniversary of the Armistice ending World War I.  The popular vocalist of that day, Kate Smith, introduced it to America on Nov. 11, 1938.  It was an immediate sensation with her debut radio performance in 1938, and has been a national favorite ever since.  She never ended a performance without singing her trademark song, “God Bless America.” 

We need to pray for our country. God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).  We look at the problems in our world and in our nation today, and we want to point a finger at different individuals.  But God says the source of the problems is “My people.”  God is saying, “If my people would live as they ought to live, it would impact a nation.  My people need to humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways.” We must pray, but there also must be repentance from all known sin. We need to turn from our wicked ways.  All the prayer in the world won’t make any difference if we have unconfessed sin in our lives.  Our nation needs a spiritual awakening & that awakening starts with God’s people. It starts with you and me. 

Although July 4th is not a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, July 4th can and should be a time to reflect on God’s goodness to us as a nation.  When the fireworks go off in celebration of our Independence Day, let them remind you to be grateful to God for the freedom we have in our country; let them remind you to be grateful to the men and women of our armed services who serve this country tirelessly to protect those freedoms.  But also, let them remind you that freedom in this nation, while indeed very precious, is nothing compared to the spiritual freedom which we have in Jesus Christ. 

I hope you and your family are planning to join us in church this coming Sunday.  Have a great week and let your light shine for Jesus this week!

Pastor Rick

Message From Andy (Student Minister)

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our youth and leaders will be attending FUGE at Ridgecrest July 5th through July 9th!  I’m so excited for this time of worship, Bible Study, and fellowship with other youth groups!

The theme for FUGE this year is “Revival Generation.”  In preparation, we’ve been going through the Revival Generation Bible Study on Wednesday nights at J.A.M.  Shane Pruitt, author of the study, argues that now is the prime time for revival in our broken world, and that this generation of young people is so hungry for The Gospel that they could be the spark for a worldwide revival for Christ.

In a recent Facebook post, Shane wrote this: “Our nation desperately needs revival. However, our nation won’t see revival until our churches see revival.  And, our churches won’t see revival until the individuals who make up the church see revival in their own lives. Revival comes from God, but it starts with His people.”

This summer, at FUGE and Student Life camps all across the country, young people are learning about how they can be a “revival generation”!  Please join me in praying for our youth and youth all across the country to be the generation that brings a revival for Jesus that this world so desperately needs!