Glad to share with you again this week. Happy Labor Day! I know some of you will be missing Sunday, but before you go, I want you to ponder something. What is the difference between ministry and religion? This was a question I asked our Wednesday Night Bible Study group. The words are similar in their meanings. Quite honestly, for us as Christians, they both have to do with serving the Lord and growing closer to God. But the difference lies most starkly in the connotations. When I say, "religion" or if I was to call someone "religious," many of us would be wary. Our Wednesday Night crowd pointed out that we are nervous around "religious people" because we find them to be harsh in their judgments, and at time a little, "holier than thou." Religion makes us think of rules and even legalism.
But when I said ministry, the Wednesday night group identified "service, love, and sharing the gospel" as connotations of that word. Do you see the difference? Let me ask you another question. Can you feel the difference between a religious church and a church committed to ministry? To me, the difference is palpable. Religious churches feel cold while ministerial fellowships are warm and inviting. Perhaps the one thing missing from religion that you find in ministry is the heart. Ministry is based on compassion while religion, at times, is based on performance.
In the message Sunday, (James 1:17-27), I am challenging us as a church and as individual followers of Christ to become less religious and more focused on ministry. I think that is the only way for us to truly be who God has called us to be. You see, I don't think Jesus liked religion...but I know He loved ministry.
Thanks for reading,
The Sports Corner is back and we are ready for a new season of football. We will cover the local teams we know and love (or put up with)...UGA, GT, and GSU. Plus, we will pick one national game of the week to cover.
UGA plays Buffalo. This will be an easy win for UGA. Frankly, their first test will come next week against Missouri. Buffalo is simply out manned and out gunned. You will see a very strong defense dominate and most likely a younger offense (line that is), come into its own. Big win for UGA...40-7, if that close.
GT plays VA Tech. This is a very important conference game for both of these teams. In fact, the winner of this game for the last several years has gone on to win their side of the ACC. GT brings an offense that is hard to stop with a short time to prepare, but folks, VA Tech has had all year. VA Tech is experienced everywhere it seems and the game is in Blacksburg. While it will be close (at least early,) I think VA Tech will win pulling away.
Finally, Georgia Southern will play Jacksonville University at Paulson Stadium. Quick, can you name the mascot for Jacksonville? Didn't think so... (Dolphins). Folks, they play in the Pioneer league, not really a powerful conference. This game will get ugly quick. Georgia Southern wins in a rout...in fact, they may just put up 50.
The game of the week? Michigan at Alabama. Top ten matchup...#2 Bama at home vs. #8 Michigan. Bama won the National Championship last year...Michigan won a BCS Bowl. While both teams are great...especially Michigan QB Denard Robinson and Bama Offensive Line, I just think Bama has too much. They are not as good as they were last year, but they will simply be able to overpower Michigan up front. Close game, perhaps closer than the experts think, but Bama wins...24-20 .
Good luck to all teams, and see you next week!