Few weeks pass that I am not frequently reminded of life's complexity. In new ways, experiences reveal that decisions are rarely as simple as we declare them to be. Last week, including last Sunday, was filled with such reminders. Along with my typical responsibilities I was involved in two funeral services. Much of my week was involved in encouraging people to find life and mature in living. Some of my week was involved in encouraging people to accept and cope with the death of someone they loved.

Living for God is not simple. Placing God in charge of death is not simple. God through Christ wants us to understand the best preparation for death is found in allowing Him to teach us how to live. However, understanding the "how" is never simple.

Deep concerns abound! For some, it is rearing their children. For some, it is bringing stability to marriage. For some, it is providing economically for dependents. For some, it is personal, spiritual development. For some, it is recovering from personal tragedy. For some, it is enduring a significant personal failure. For some, it is helping others find life in Christ. Each concern definitely falls inside God's will.

Sunday evening as I enjoyed visiting with people I rarely have opportunity to be with, someone sent his friend to ask if I could baptize him. With joy I visited with and baptized Larry Schluterman into Christ. Larry has not visited with us, but he plans on being part of us. Later, a lady called to ask if I could preach her mother's funeral. She is a friend, but has never visited with us.

As I enjoyed Sunday evening's association, I noticed several things: the relaxed atmosphere; groups of people doing different things with each other; Christians enjoying being with each other. And I realized others of this congregation were having similar experiences elsewhere.

Thank each of you for your love for God and others. Let God mature your awareness.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 10 February 2002

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