This week I am in Phoenix and really missing home as it is HOT. It was 100F here and not to be much cooler most days from now till I head to Wisconsin next week.
It has been a good trip for me as I visit family and churches.
I’ve managed so far to meet up with two nephews and two cousins - one that I hadn’t seen for over 30 years.
I’m staying with an uncle and saw one of my aunts both of whom I’ve not seen for several years.
And once I get to Wisconsin and Michigan I’ll get to see some of my in-law kin and my Mum and Dad. So good family times mixed into a busy business trip.
I have also been preaching in churches from Dallas to Houston and now in Arizona. It has been such a busy time that, while I am enjoying it, I am ready to get home.
One thing that I am not enjoying is the news. While many ask me about the referendum, it is pretty much out of the news now with so much violence in Syria and Iraq.
It is absolutely gut wrenching to see how that part of the world is so messed up. I see and hear the news of Christians being killed just because of their faith, they are put out of their homes with little more than they can carry.
The ISIS/ISIL guys have beheaded several people both from the USA and the UK. I also think it is awful that these ISIS guys are even killing fellow Muslims because they don’t agree.
Here in the USA in the state of Oklahoma, there was a guy who allegedly beheaded one of his former co-workers.
The verdict is not in by a long shot but there are many here calling for it to be called terrorism. Too many connections it appears to radical Islam.
While I am willing to allow the justice system to do its job, it looks vile to me by any humane standard of treatment of fellow human beings.
I have been preaching from Ephesians Six about spiritual warfare as opposed to a physical battle. Too often we focus on the physical battle and somehow miss the spiritual side of our humanity and how that looks in our world of 2014.
Ephesians 6:18 says: “Praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”.
A saint in the biblical sense is anyone who acknowledges Jesus as their Saviour. The admonition here is to pray for each other as Christians. It is not to be just a ‘God Bless’ kind of thing, but rather an earnest keeping after it kind of prayer. We are to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit with expectation that God really will bless His children.
Can I suggest that we join in prayer for our fellow saints that are suffering in ways that are far removed from our lives but are in desperately in need of seeing God’s grace and peace in their lives?
Can we pray like we really mean it, can we stick to it and not forget that they are our brothers and sisters in faith that are in places that they may lose their very lives for their faith?
Praying from America till I get home,
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship