On The Journey, Judy Bowman

Clean-up time

Here in the South, it’s hard to find anything that can beat a good church supper. Everybody brings their favorite dish and the tables are laden with pies and casseroles and deviled eggs, with fried chicken and barbecue and potato salad. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. And almost as good as the food is the fellowship we share at the meal. It’s a time for relaxing and catching up on all the family news. Eating together strengthens our ties as a parish and allows us to become more connected with one another. It’s a celebration of our shared beliefs. There’s only one down side to a celebration like this, and I’m not talking about the calories. It’s the mess that has to be cleaned up once it’s all over.

After that last piece of pie and cup of coffee are gone, there’s a lot of sweeping, tidying, and washing up still to be done. It’s like that after every big party. Think of all that confetti on Times Square on New Year’s Day. Or the cups and wrappers littering a Super Bowl stadium. When we celebrate, we make a mess. And somebody has to clean it up. That’s where we find ourselves this election week. Because no matter which person becomes our President, the time has come for a massive clean-up.

Just like at church, there’ll be those who leave without lifting a finger. They like to eat (and take home more food for later) but you can’t count on them to help once dessert is over. And then there are those, and there are lots of these, who’ll gladly clear their own table and package up whatever is left of the food they brought to the meal. This is a big help and their role is a valuable one. And finally, there are the real workers, the ones who do the heavy lifting of church life. Your church has them and mine does too. They’re the army of workers who are always the last to leave. They clean, they scrub, they put away tables and chairs and they never seek any recognition or thanks. And yet I’ll bet you can name them all right now. I’m sure your pastor can That’s how important they are.

We need these folks in our country right now. This election has left quite a mess that needs cleaning up. First off, realize that a good number have already opted out of the process. They’ve packed up and gone home to complain about how it all turned out. And they’ll feel smug about getting off “easy.” That leaves a lot of us left to do the cleaning up, We have a lot to do, We have to reach out to our friends and family who are angry about how the election turned out, This isn’t the time for gloating or name-calling. There’s room for everyone in the next 4 years, no matter who is President. Families and friends are bound by deeper ties than any political process. Don’t let the election be a stumbling block to love. Think about getting involved in the political process yourself. Be an election worker next time. Volunteer to work for a candidate that you support. Run for office! Pray for our President and Congress, even if your party lost. Especially if your party lost.

We’re blessed to live in the greatest country on earth, but that comes with responsibility. It’s up to each one of us to help heal the wounds that divide us at times like this. Never forget that America has been consecrated to Mary, the Mother of God. She will intercede for us always, if we ask her.

“God our Father, Giver of Life, we entrust America to Your loving care. Reclaim this land for Your glory And dwell among your people. Amen”

Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

Pleasant Valley Baptist invites you to in-person Sunday morning and evening worship services. You are always welcome. Services require social distancing, hand sanitizing, and mask wearing. Please join us worshipping the Lord while practicing recommended safety measures. Wednesday in-person services continue to be suspended, but worship time can be watched on Facebook or YouTube. Come join with us in person as we study God’s Word this coming Sunday.

This past Saturday, October 31st, PVBC had a wonderful drive-by Trick or Treat providing a safe environment for kids to participate. We were able to greet well over a 150 attendees and to share the gospel. Thanks to all who attended and to all who worked to serve the Lord and others.

Much to pray about. Please pray for these last days, for our country, the world to realize the greatest need and answers to struggles is to turn back to God. Our nation must acknowledge God, His Son, and our sin. Be expecting Christ’s return. Remember our country with the pandemic, economy, and social upheaval, our leaders, our citizens. This is the week of our presidential election. While there are many very important issues to pray about, our nation needs us to pray and vote as God leads. God will never lead us into sin. This election is the most important ever and will determine the character of our country. We are not just struggling against the flesh, but forces of evil. Pray for President Trump and other leaders of our country. Mike Cross, Denise Pitts, Betty Pitts brother and sister, Larry Armstrong, family of Jewell Mitchell sister’s family in her passing, for our pastor and his family, all need our prayers. Pray for our shut-ins Carolyn Denton and Lula Petty and others with high risk situations. Pray for our churches, missionaries, and evangelists.

Pleasant Valley Baptist continues to live-stream Facebook and YouTube Sunday morning/evening services 11 AM, evening 6 PM, and streaming mid-week Bible study. Visit or view our services for encouragement from God’s Word.

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