Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.06.26
June 26 – July 2 
Scripture Passage: “You are the salt of the earth.” Mt 5:13    “You are the light of the world.”   Mt. 5:14 
Dear Friends,
     I try to write about issues that speak to my heart. Often I am working through a personal struggle myself or have watched someone else go through it. Last week I ended my pastor’s page with a quote I heard at the Southern Baptist Convention, “Pass the salt and turn on the light.” I want to take a few minutes and build upon that thought.  
     Salt does three things that brings about change: 1. It flavors.   2. It preserves. 3. It heals. I have never been one who eats a lot of salt. I like it, but only want enough to give my food flavor. Patty, on the other hand, will always put more salt on her food before she eats. I like to put salt on my watermelon and cucumbers. I can eat it without salt, but it is just not as good. Many years ago, we killed hogs every winter and hung the meat in the smokehouse. To preserve the meat the exposed skin was rubbed with salt. The moist flesh would draw the salt in until the entire portion of meat would be “cured.” This process preserved the meat and prohibited harmful bacteria from entering. Hams, shoulders, and side meat would keep for years and be totally safe for human consumption. On the farm one of the things you deal with every year is a condition called “pink eye.” If left untreated the animal will eventually go blind in that eye. Now days you get them up and give them a shot of antibiotics in the eye lid to help it heal. Years ago, you did not have that available to you. I have seen an old farmer slip up on the blind side of the animal and throw salt in its eye. As cruel as it sounds, it will cause the eye to heal just as much as the antibiotic will. (To me one sounds as bad as the other.) If you have a sore or cut on your body during your time at the beach, the salt in the ocean water will cause that sore to heal because of its medicinal properties. In Bible days, even a new born infant was rubbed with a brine solution at birth and wrapped in swaddling cloth to prevent infection. Salt is one of God’s gifts to man. 
     The other agent of change is light. Absolutely nothing has the ability to penetrate darkness like light. Today light is being used in surgical procedures to destroy disease and cancer cells. Have you ever been driving at night and had your car’s headlights go out? I have.  Until you figure out how to make the lights come back on you are stuck where you are. If you are lucky enough to have moonlight, you might continue at a reduced speed. If you do not have that light, you are going nowhere. Patty and I are back to a place in our lives that we have a night light in the bathroom to illuminate our nightly pilgrimages. It also helps prevent bumping into things that break toes. Without that source of light we are wandering blindly in the darkness. One of my most memorable life experiences was coming home late one night to the farmhouse to find an unwelcome guest. As we opened the door and turned on the light, a rat scurried across the kitchen floor and went behind the stove. Patty used me as a support to climb on the kitchen table and held me down. She was safe, I was stuck at ground zero. The moral of the story is that the light exposed what should not have been in the kitchen. The rat could not stand the light because it was accustomed to doing its dirty work in the dark. Light and darkness, light and sin cannot exist in the same space. One or the other has got to go. 
     This week you have the opportunity to be salt and light. It is not either, or, it is both. You are called upon to be an agents of change. You can become accustomed to the darkness or you can let your light shine to penetrate the darkness. You can live a life with no purpose, or you can be the spice that gives it flavor. The choice is yours.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny