Rev. Chris Westmoreland

I know when our world is crashing in on us, it seems as if “everybody” is not treating us very well, and we turn on the evening news - it can seem as if the world is just a “crappy” place to live. And no doubt, we have our challenges. Some of them, big!!! And yet, that isn’t the whole story. We are surrounded by goodness all the time, and often we ignore it. Last week at our weekly On the Way fellowship meal, we asked everybody to sign three cards for folks that had gone above and beyond for our church recently in instances of hospitality. These examples were all related to our bus that crashed in June. We were on the side of the Interstate in Orangeburg S.C., with our group of youth and had no idea how to get them off of the highway and to the next exit. Pastor Daniel and Mark Hurley had already left Charlotte to come get us, but that was going to take several hours. I asked the State Trooper about renting a van and he said, “Sir you are in Orangeburg on a Sunday afternoon.”  I took that as a “No.”  All of a sudden, a baptist church van pulled up to give us a ride to the Arby’s (5 miles away) where we could wait for our van. I don’t know what we would have done without those Good Samaritans. And after Boyd Beasley and I drove down to Nashville to get our “new to us” bus, there was the gentleman at a truck stop that worked with me for 2 hours about why the check engine light was coming on. When I asked him how much I owed him, he said there was no charge. And then there was last week when we took it get it cleaned up at a truck detail shop (we bought it wholesale and so it hadn’t been touched in a year). The owner refused to charge us even though I’m certain with all the work he did to make it shine, it would have been several hundred dollars. He simply said, “you know God has really blessed me, and I just want to pass that along.”  
And then on a similar, but different, note I ran across this last week. It only takes 3 minutes and it’s worth the watch:
Moral for me in this story: It’s not always the big things that make a difference, but the small things go a long way. The goodness of God is reflected in this world in more ways than we like to admit. I encourage you not only to find it today, but share it.  

Philippians 2:1-30 ESV
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ...

Luke 6:31 ESV  
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11 ESV
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.