Recently I took a quick look at my Facebook page and saw this statement, “Don’t tell me Chester’s dead!” My first thought was, “Who is Chester?” So I looked into it and found out that “Chester” was Chester Bennington the front man for the singing group Linkin Park. Chester at the age of 41 had taken his life. Suicide disturbs me! But that isn’t all! A few weeks back Chester’s friend and lead singer for Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, at 53 had also killed himself. Honestly, I don’t like writing about this but I feel compelled to share a few thoughts on these tragedies. First, you would assume that these popular and gifted men would have good reasons to live, and they did. Both had families and both were very successful in their professions. Secondly, we often assume that men and women see their value when they are as popular and gifted as these musicians were. It is obvious now that this was not the case for either of these men. Thirdly, both of these singers made the decision that what they were doing was not worth the effort that life requires. So then where does this leave us? As a Christian, these deaths enhance my beliefs in Scripture and God’s offer of redemption through His Son Jesus. My heart breaks for people that miss out on God’s purpose for their lives. Instead, they choose to live for this world that is daily passing away. Life is a gift given to us by God Himself. Each of us are born for a purpose. Sin has destroyed our relationship with God. BUT through Christ, God offers us a new view of life… HIS view. His desire is for us to know Him. I had heard of Chester and Chris because of their music. Evidently their music wasn’t enough to motivate them to choose life over self-destruction. Knowing this saddens me for their families and for their fans! My prayer for each of you reading this is that you would see your value in light of the price that God paid for your redemption. I pray that you value your life because God values you enough to offer His Son as a means of reconciling you to Himself! Take a fresh look at your life and the path you have chosen to pursue. MAKE CHRIST THE CENTER OF ALL YOU LIVE FOR, AND YOU WILL FIND THAT IT’S WORTH IT ALL WHEN YOU KNOW HIM!!!

Sunday morning our Scripture is found in Colossians 1:1-14. I will focus most of my attention on Paul’s prayer found in Colossians 1:9-14. Take a few minutes to read it and reflect on it. Paul’s desire was to see his brothers and sisters grow in their knowledge of Christ. Now that is an awesome goal… to grow in the knowledge of Christ. Both Paul and Peter had this same desire! Peter made this clear in 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. Likewise, my desire is for you to “increase” in your knowledge of Christ. See you Sunday at 9:45AM for Bible study and at 11:00AM for praise and worship of our Lord!

The next two Sunday evenings are special services centered on two questions: 1) What is truth? 2) Has science disproved the existence of God? Robert Kornegay with Ratio Christi, an ECU Campus Ministry will be our guest speaker these two Sunday evenings at 5:30PM. Invite a friend, and make plans to be in both services. The singing and special music will be encouraging and uplifting… don’t miss it!