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  • By Pastor Andy Plank

New Beginnings after Hard Times

May 16, 2021

As Covid 19 restrictions begin to lift, I seem to sense more positivity in the air. It’s almost like we get a chance for a new beginning. New beginnings are fun. There is excitement in the air. Hope and joy fill our hearts as we get after it with gusto. I have shared part of this story with you before, but it’s worth retelling. I was a charter member of the Goodpasture Marching Cougar High School Band. We all newbies and we all learned to march together. It was hard work. None of us knew what we were doing, but we all jumped in with both feet (just couldn't resist). We learned to march forward, backward and sideways….literally. We learned to flank, about-face, and lateral slide. We learned ankle-knee and low mark time. We learned to stand at attention and at parade rest. We learned our halftime (and contest) show as well as our pregame show. Did I mention we practiced…and practiced…and practiced and, well, you get the idea. During our first year of competition, no one told us we weren't supposed to be very good and at the State contest we finished in second place and missed first by just .23 of a point. Not 23 points mind you but point two three, twenty-three one hundredths of one point. You can tell that I have let bygones be bygones and coming that close to winning has become a distant memory. “.23, ugh!” Our second year we discovered that you can indeed have a tie at a state band contest. We found ourselves state co-champions with a really good Huntingdon Mustang band. A tie…really? Finally, the third year, we broke through and found ourselves the Class A State champion for the state of Tennessee. We were state champions my senior year as well. After my class graduated, the band won something like eight more state championships during the next several years. I said all of that to say this. Great things can grow from new beginnings. As Covid relaxes its grip over our lives, we face a new beginning and we have our work cut out for us. We are jumping back into a war against an enemy that has been very successful in our community and in our world for a very long time. Just like good marching bands and sports teams are built on the practice field by doing the fundamentals over and over again until they become habits, spiritual warfare is no different. “Great churches" (I use that term loosely because our "great" may be seen differently by God, but you understand my point) are built on the fundamentals of prayer, fellowship (including the breaking of bread), and bible study (See Acts 2:42-47). Prayer, fellowship, and bible study will allow us to connect to God, our church family, and our community. These connections will bear fruit. Let's all get busy doing kingdom work. Let's begin today! Great things can happen from new beginnings.

Be blessed and be a blessing! Andy


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