It is with a sense of heaviness that I write this week’s column. For nearly two years now, I have been given the opportunity to share hope and encouragement with readers of The Franklin News-Post. I never thought myself to be much of a writer. I have no idea as to any that I have made a connection with through this column. I have had several people from our community that have connected with me in one way or another to share that they have appreciated the words I have shared.

As the Bible so eloquently indicates, there is a time for everything. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, the NKJV reads: 1To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; 3A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; 4A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; 5A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; 6A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; 7A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; 8A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.

My season for writing is ending. I will continue to submit a column to the editor of The Franklin News-Post on a bi-weekly basis until a replacement is found.

When I accepted this opportunity, it was on the heels of another opportunity that abruptly ended. I was eager for it. I accepted it prayerfully and with a declaration that I am not an educated man and certainly not a theologian. I never wanted anything that I shared in this column to sow seeds of confusion. To that end, I think I succeeded.

I was afforded the opportunity to share much about the struggles I endured relating to mental health issues. I hope that in those columns at least one found comfort. I also shared much about my perspective on forgiveness and obedience. These attributes and actions are at the core of the Christian faith. We must choose to be obedient in our faith journey. And we must choose to forgive. Through our obedience, we grow in our relationship with the living God.

One of the parables in the New Testament is found in Matthew 25. It speaks of a master entrusting his wealth to his servants as he embarks on a journey. The parable serves to remind us that when we are faithful with a few things, we will be put in charge of many things. We are invited to share in our master’s happiness! Being faithful and obedient is crucial.

In the current times, maybe there is one who is reading this column who has not had much of a faith walk. Maybe current events have stirred something in you. I want to encourage you to seek a relationship with Jesus Christ. Find a church where your spirit can be fed. If you do not know which church to attend, speak to a friend that attends a church. Feel free to reach out to me, and I can offer you my perspectives based on churches of which I have been connected. My email address is jt.clark@mybrotherscrossing.org.

In closing, thanks to the current and former editors of this publication that afforded me an opportunity to contribute in this way. I appreciate that this newspaper includes a column such as this. I look forward to continuing to read and be encouraged by what others will write. Although I have never met him, I have appreciated sharing this space with Rev. Matthew Ricks of the Rocky Mount Christian Church.

May God’s blessings be upon each of you!



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