From the Pastor’s Desk
I recently came across this quote from German pastor and Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.” I have had this thought running through my mind ever since I came across it. Often when we are confronted by someone about something we have done wrong, the natural response is to deny, argue or avoid the situation. On the other end of the spectrum, we repeatedly avoid confronting others when they are in need of it, because we don’t want to face confrontation or feel inadequate when we ourselves aren’t perfect.
The truth is that we need to be helping each other live in obedience to Christ. When confrontation happens, it should be similar to how Nathan confronted David in 2 Samuel 12. Nathan told David the truth clearly, boldly and with the purpose of bringing David back to God (not of catching him or making him look bad). David responded immediately by facing the situation with humility and honesty. Things like this in his life are why David was called a man after God’s own heart.
We will never be perfect, but Bonhoeffer was right about the compassion shown by one Christian to another in a situation that calls for rebuke. Let’s be people who handle ourselves the right way no matter which side of the difficult conversation we are on!
Not Just a Face in the Crowd
Gloria grew up in southern Illinois in a Christian family, and honors her mother as a woman whose Christian walk has always been very real. She attended Community Christian Church, and during an altar call at the children’s church, Gloria was filled with the Holy Spirit and went forward to have the teachers and leaders pray for her. This was unusual, as she was very shy and as she confessed her sins she was overcome with the sense that she was forgiven, washed clean and made new; God had touched her and it was the most incredible moment of her life. She was baptized a couple of weeks later.
When she was a senior in high school she went to Harvest Time Church where the pastor taught the Bible in a way that opened her up even more to the Lord at an important time in her life. As she went to the University of Illinois to study journalism, she found a church right across from her dorm. Upon graduation, Gloria worked at newspapers in different cities, and notes that she was always moving west, until she finally made it as far west as possible in Oregon, working at the News Times.
In moving to each new city, Gloria found a church that could become a real church family to her, teaching her and supporting the further development of her own Christian walk. Gloria recently took a job at the City of Newport. Although she misses the writing beat, she notes that it is wonderful to have a regular scheduled week with evenings and weekends free. This has opened up different opportunities for her in our church. She enjoys hosting and leading Bible studies on Monday evenings, diligently works on the publicity committee to communicate what is going on at Newport Christian, volunteering in children’s elementary class and most recently was spied working under cover for the Missions Committee investigating chili recipes!