Just My Thoughts…

October 30, 2006

This is an e-mail that I sent to the Spiritual Formation and Social Justice Team from the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. I was very concerned that they were telling churches within the Conference to support Amendment 2 this upcoming election cycle; and I had one of those “ARG” moments…you know, the ones where you JUST have to fire off an e-mail or letter letting them know how you feel. So, here it is for your reading/commenting pleasure:

Cathleen and Allen,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Richard Davis, and I am one of the laity at Trinity UMC in Brookfield, MO. I am also in the Candidacy Program in preparation for future ministry opportunities within the Conference.

The reason for my correspondence today is to express my concern with the stance that the Spiritual Formation and Social Justice Team is taking over the upcoming Amendment 2 proposition that is on the November 2006 election ballot. After reading in yesterday’s NetNews that the Team is in favor of passage of this ground-breaking piece of legislation, I felt that my dissenting voice, among many others in the northern Missouri area, needs to be heard by Conference staff.

Stem-cell research is very important as we progress in finding cures for a multitude of diseases and afflictions plaguing the world today; many wonderful cures and/or therapies may be obtained from this research in the future. However, to “create” a blastocyte, as the wording in this amendment states, is the same as creating a life. God says in His Word that He is the Creator; not mankind. It doesn’t matter that this mass of cell is still in a formative state and doesn’t resemble a human being; it is still a human life in the process of growing. It also doesn’t matter that this life is not implanted in-utero; we have seen in the past few years that cloning is a viable option outside of a mother’s womb, whether that mother be an animal or a human.

The opening words of this amendment deliberately misleads people into believing that they would be voting against human cloning; however, as one reads further into the text, it states that “Clone or attempt to clone a human being” means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.”  This does not mention any scientific research outside of the uterus. This is nothing more than the production and harvesting of human life (no matter how small that life is). It is the proposed murder of countless numbers for the sake of scientific endeavor. How can we justify creating life just to kill life?

Adult stem cell research has so far yielded surprising results; embryonic stem cell research has given us no cures; and no hope.

According to the wording of this amendment, the Missouri legislature won’t even have the opportunity to regulate the companies and institutions that clone humans for research purposes.  Amendment 2 bluntly states that no state or local law may “prevent, restrict, obstruct, or discourage any stem cell research….”  This basically allows the companies and research facilities the right to conduct embryonic stem cell research established by Amendment 2 above the rule of law. They would be able to operate as their own “gods” when it comes to the mass cloning of human lives. What they say would go; no one would be able to interfere with their agendas.

The primary funders of Amendment 2 are the Stowers family, who are also the founders of a multi-billion dollar medical research institute. The family has thus far spent $1 million to get this initiative onto the ballot, and they have also committed an additional $10 million to the campaign.  Opponents to the amendment do not have similar financial resources to contribute to the dissenting side, so most of what we are being subjected to via the media is viewed in a positive light.

This measure is not just about allowing and funding embryonic stem cell research (which would be good enough reasons to oppose it); it is all about creating more constitutional protection for cloning. Even the horrors of abortion (which is also against what the Word of God says) do not have this kind of constitutional protection behind it.

The moral and ethical issues with Amendment 2 go far beyond just the mere wording; this is a spiritual battle that will test the mettle of Who we believe in, and for the Truth as it stands in the Bible. God says human life is His creation alone; it is not the work of man. Instead of embracing the man-made creation of life for the purposes of medical research wholeheartedly, we as Christians, should stand up with one voice and let those voices be heard. And, as the Body of Christ, we need to look at the vast implications of this amendment and, as a unified Missouri Conference, let our people know that this is totally against what the Word of God says and vote according to that spiritual Truth.

Thank you for your time. I pray that God will speak to your hearts concerning this matter.

Blessings in Christ,

Richard Davis

So…that was my take on the matter. I received a reply back just the other day (mind you, I sent this two weeks ago) that was basically all sugar-coated with “feel-good” wording which frankly disappointed me. I thought that if enough people spoke up on the matter, they might reconsider their stance.

But at least a dissenting voice was heard; even though it may be one crying in the wilderness, I will never let my focus about important issues and events waver from what God says in His Word, and what He wants for our lives. 


Finally! I Have Time To Post A Message!!

October 26, 2006

This past week has been utter craziness at the Davis household. In between preaching on Sunday and revival from Sunday evening through last night…well, we’ve been running to and fro.

It is always a pleasure to hear our friend and brother in Christ, Jim Looby, speak at revival. He pastors down in the good ol’ state of Texas at First Baptist Church in Blanket. He and his wife, Liz, spent some time in the area here when Jim pastored at Bethany Baptist in Marceline. They’re good people, and both committed to the Lord.

And you may ask, how did the salvation message go over on Sunday? Well, God’s Word was proclaimed, and He was lifted up. The Good News of His saving Grace was put out there; I pray that it worked in people’s hearts and that we would all remember just what Jesus did for us over 2,000 years ago at Calvary.

The rest of the week is busy as well, with Linn County Community Chorus practice this evening, my Lay Minister’s course on Saturday (Briana and her boyfriend Andrew are going with us; I can imagine there’ll be some shopping involved during the day while I am in class…LOL), and then praising and worshiping the Lord again on Sunday!

I think I need a vacation soon. 🙂


Whew…

October 21, 2006

That’s about the only word that I can say after studying today and then taking the rest of the afternoon and evening to just chill out. I am exhausted; this sermon is really going to be one where I will feel like doing nothing but taking a nap after the services tomorrow. LOL. It made me feel that way just preparing for it.

But I thank God for the ability to be able to tell others about salvation: what it means; how we receive it; and how we live our lives afterwards. It should be interesting.

So…I felt like a plant today…just vegetating. Weather was cold and rainy, and it was the perfect time for a recharge of the ol’ spiritual batteries.

How’s your weekend going?


Following The Path That Leads To God…

October 19, 2006

This is just a quick post about our wonderful niece, Kimberlie Bagley (on Jeannie’s side of the family). She is a dedicated Christian who not only walks with the Lord; she lives a life that reflects that.

Whether it be going on a mission trip to far-flung India, or reaching lost souls in the inner-city of St. Louis…Kim shows no fear, and is willing to tackle ol’ fuzzy nose head-on.

I respect and admire our niece very much for her stand for Jesus Christ, and for her willingness to say, “Here I am, Lord…use me.” That not only takes stepping out in faith; it takes “Guts for God.”

We love you, Kimmie…thanks for doing our Father’s work here on earth.  🙂


Preaching A Salvation Message…

October 18, 2006

Sometimes, the hardest message that a pastor, lay minister, or lay speaker has to give is one of salvation…people desperately want to hear about the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, but they don’t want to accept the forgiveness that He offers freely; they want an easy way out of their troubles and woes in life without having to give up anything of themselves.

Hey, I’ve been there and done that–even got the t-shirt that says, “I used to be a total jerk in life; now I’m just a fool for Christ.” Seventeen years ago, I gave my heart and life to the Lord, and there was something inside me that changed. My walk became less of “what I wanted” and more of what GOD wanted out of me, and how I could serve Him.

It hasn’t been easy, mind you. There’s always bumps and speed traps that the enemy lays out for me; I am in a constant learning process on how to identify those wayward elements and stay clear of them. Yet, I know that each day and each lesson learned just takes me that much further along the path that will one day lead to an eternity…with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

So, as I prepare for the sermon this Sunday, and how to preach Christ and the glorious salvation He offers to everyone…I will keep it as simple as John 3:16 and related passages. For, you see, God’s message of redemption IS that simple. If we look at the message through child-like eyes, and with a simple, uncluttered faith…God tells us that He loves us…enough to give us a Savior who died for our sins and who offers us a way out from our wretched, sinful lives.

It’s as easy as letting go of ourselves; accepting Jesus is our Lord and Savior and accepting the fact that He died to set the world free from sin…it’s as easy as knowing, by faith, that He rose again on the third day to conquer death for all of us…and it’s as easy as taking up our own crosses…and following Him.

Please pray for me this Sunday…that through this humble servant those at First Christian Church would see Christ the Savior glorified and lifted up…and that a lost soul would come to know Him through His unconditional love for us.


A Really Great Sunday For The Lord

October 15, 2006

Today was one of those days when you step back and say, “Wow…thanks, God!”

Starting with a great service at First Christian Church (where I was very blessed to be to give the message) and a fellowship dinner afterwards; to the evening service at Freedom Baptist Church in Brookfield where Jeannie and I gave a song and testimonial service…well, it was just a truly spirit-filled and joyous day. After we were done at Freedom, a bunch of us went out to eat and fellowship at a local restaurant. There is something to be said about having Christian friends from all denominations who can laugh and have a good time together.

Our thanks go out to Pastor Ron Adrian and his congregation for supporting us as we share the Gospel; they are really good brothers and sisters in Christ. We are thankful to have everyone’s prayers as we begin this road in our ministry, and we can only look forward to great things that will be done for the Lord.

We are exhausted..but it’s a good way to be tired–for God!!


A Short Saturday Evening Post

October 14, 2006

And not one of the tabloid kind, either…sorry!

Sang at a wedding today for Shannon Morgan and Leighton Jones at Freedom Baptist Church in Brookfield. Beautiful ceremony with God at the center; the bride was lovely and Jeannie and I were honored to be able to share God’s gift of song to this wonderful couple. Blessings to them as they start their new life together in Christ!

Tomorrow morning I am guest preaching at First Christian Church in Marceline; the sermon title is”Faith, Focus and Follow-Through” taken from Matthew 7:7-8. God blessed me with a unique perspective of this scripture that wasn’t from a salvation message standpoint. Should be interesting.

Then, tomorrow evening at 6PM, Jeannie and I are giving our testimony through song at Freedom Baptist. If you’re in the area, please join us as we share what God has done for us in our lives. It really is a true joy to be able to talk about our lives with others, and to see lives touched and people’s hearts changed by God.

More later after everything is said and done.   🙂