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Still missing, Red Corgi mix, Creekwood in Floresville, may have recently had puppies, very loved and missed by our family, answers to Mellie. Call with any information any time, 501-442-1812. 

VideoFound: Friendly black/white cat, CR 104 (west of Floresville) on April 21, scanned for microchip, but didn't have one. Call 210-232-2790 to claim (leave message).

VideoFound: Dog off F.M. 775, brown color, very sweet dog. Call if this is your dog, 830-391-7955.
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Kenedy area construction company seeking CDL driver, equipment operator, and mechanic's helper, will train. Call 830-299-9885.
Picosa Water Supply Corporation is accepting applications for an Apprentice Operator. Applicant must have a high school diploma or GED and a good driving record. Applicant must possess good listening skills, have the ability to retain knowledge, and be of high moral character. Applicant must be able to obtain a Class D groundwater treatment plant operator license within 6 months and earn credit toward a Class C groundwater treatment plant operator license within 2 years. Under direct supervision applicant will be expected to read meters, replace meters, and repair meter leaks, and perform all other tasks as directed. Applicant must also be able to climb ladders, steps and stairs, and lift objects 50-75 pounds. For inquiries and applications contact our office at 830-393-4424. Picosa Water Supply Corporation is an equal opportunity employer.
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Keeping the Faith


Keeping the Faith: The gospel according to Jesus




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Disclaimer:
Ronnie McBrayer is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Ronnie McBrayer
February 17, 2012 | 1,614 views | 2 comments

While traveling in Central America, I had the opportunity to worship at an international, interdenominational, English-speaking church. The congregation contained Africans, Italians, Spaniards, Latinos, Americans, and Asians. We sang old Irish hymns and modern, Australian worship choruses.

The service was a mixture of Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal elements. The welcome was given by a Canadian, a German read the Scripture lesson, and an American did the preaching. It was a wonderful, diverse experience, and for a little while I thought the kingdom of God had come.

This, I thought, is what worship should be: People of various Christian traditions, streaming together from all tribes and nations, gathered in an idyllic setting, worshiping Christ together. Then the sermon began, and things changed.

The pastor’s sermon could have been heard in many an evangelical congregation in North America. It was about who was “right” and who was “wrong,” who was “in” and who was “out.” He summed up his sermon, and his philosophy for life, with these words: “Real life is full assurance that you will go to heaven when you die. That is the gospel.” At great risk of being misunderstood, I could not disagree more.

As those words were spoken in that Latino church, the surrounding countryside had just endured its worst flooding in five decades. Gang graffiti clung to the walls and sidewalks just steps from the church’s front door. Thousands of people were trying to survive grinding poverty.

To say to all these people and in all these of conditions, that “real life” is checking out of this life for the next one, is a mockery of reality and a refusal to heed the gospel that Jesus actually proclaimed. When Jesus began preaching his gospel in the Galilean hills, his message was clear and singular: “The Kingdom of God is at hand. It is here and now,” he said. “It is today.”

Jesus’ intention, it seems, was not to rescue people from earth, per se, transporting them to a far removed heaven. His intention was to put heaven inside of people. A gospel that ignores this fact -- and this current world -- because our status in the next world has been properly secured, is a distortion of Jesus’ redeeming message.

Thus, the gospel according to Jesus, is not just about a harp-playing, cloud-riding, hymn-singing, glory-praising, pie-in-the-sky heaven. It is holistic, all-encompassing deliverance, now. I’m not denying the existence of the afterlife; no, not at all. But I do not believe that we have to die to personally experience the life God has for us.

Jesus’ first disciples did not have the benefit of two-thousand years of Christian tradition and theology. All those disciples had were Jesus’ words: “Follow me, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” They had no promises of a big heavenly payoff. No fluttering angels’ wings, no crossing over the River Jordan to the Hallelujah Shore, no promises of golden streets or pearly gates, no “full assurance that you will go to heaven when you die.” All they had was the invitation of Jesus to “Follow me.” For them, that was enough.

This may sound strange -- it sounds a bit peculiar to my own ears -- but even if there was not a heaven, I would still be a follower of Jesus. Why? Because I believe that how Jesus taught us to live and the life he has to give, is the greatest hope for our world today. He offers redemption, in all its magnificent and diverse manifestations, as more than the blessed hope of heaven. He offers it as the blessed hope for people today.

So the choice before us plain: We can give up on the present, pack our bags, and wait for the paradise rescue from above; or we can join Jesus in bringing some of that not-here-yet of God’s heaven to the here-and-now earth. The choice, I think, is clear for the present -- not the future -- is the arena in which we follow Christ.

Today -- not tomorrow -- is where we live out the gospel according to Jesus.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at http://www.ronniemcbrayer.net.
 
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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Russell Dickerson  
Floresville, TX  
February 17, 2012 9:50am
 
>He offers redemption, in all its magnificent and diverse manifestations, as more than the blessed hope of heaven. Ok, so this guy is a "Kingdom Now" or "Dominionist" just like Rick Warren and many ... More ›

 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
February 17, 2012 9:05am
 
New column.

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