Cumberland Times-News

David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith

May 22, 2008

Churches reflect our culture, spiritual beliefs

A friend of mine was playing in a golf tournament and had to buy some balls, so I asked him what kind he bought. "Super-Long" was his reply.

He went on to explain, however, that it was not an easy choice. Along with the "Super-Long" golf balls were "Super-Straight" balls, "Super-Spin" balls, and "Super-Soft" ones. I must tell you that I've tried the Super-Straight balls and I'm not sure they live up to their name.

At best, the ones I hit should have been called "Rarely-Straight" golf balls. Actually, I've thought of teeing off with a Super-Long ball, hitting my approach shot to the green with a Super-Straight ball, putting with a Super-Soft, and then just taking a victory "Super-Spin" around the green with my arms out like an airplane.

To add to the variety, all these golf balls come in just about any color you want except green. I wonder which of these balls Superman might use. After all, they're all super. I just don't think he'd use a green one because it looks too much like Kryptonite. But, I digress.

Such variety got me to thinking about how different churches are from one another. One church may sing new songs while another finds inspiration in the old ones. One church focuses on the young people while another tries to reach older people. One may have a high and formal feel to it while another is more relaxed.

This variety of churches is a reflection of our culture and our spiritual beliefs about God and Jesus Christ. There are good churches in our community applying the word of God to real life and making a positive difference in people's lives. Try one out this weekend.

As for which "Super Ball" to play, I'm not sure it matters if every club you swing becomes a "Super-Slice." But, if I have to choose, I'll take the "Super-Spin" because that's when I feel most like Superman.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.

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David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith
  • Don't just go to church, be the church We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

    August 14, 2008

  • Make right choice with church On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

    August 7, 2008

  • Join with God in his church July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

    July 24, 2008

  • Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

    July 17, 2008

  • Bible School puts back what is easily lost Have you ever noticed how many food products are "enriched" with vitamins and minerals? Actually, the term might be "re"-enriched because much of the nutritional value of foods such as bread is depleted when it is processed to give it longer shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients that are lost in this manufacturing processing are restored.

    July 3, 2008

  • Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it' It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

    June 26, 2008

  • You should be real sure about going to heaven I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

    June 19, 2008

  • God looking for children love him Sunday is Father's Day and the television is filled with advertisements for potential gifts that seem to follow two lines of thinking. One line of gifts I've particularly noticed are handyman type gifts.

    June 12, 2008

  • Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

    June 5, 2008

  • Ready soil of heart to hear word of God I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

    May 29, 2008

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