Make Smooth the rough places

Friends in Christ,
A few weeks ago the streets in Selma were resurfaced.  The pavers came in and ground off about an 1” to 1 ½” of surface material and ground out the deeper holes (it was quite noisy).  The large dump trucks made constant trips hauling out the old material (seemed like they all passed my house).  Finally, the paver put down the new asphalt making the streets look new and “smooth.”  And a few days later, came the new yellow lines!   As all of this was happening, I remember thinking, “Are the roads really that bad?”  After all, there are a number of streets in our area that could certainly be repaved before these (one of those being “McGalliard” going into Muncie off of 35).  But at the same time, it was really nice to have a nice new, smooth surface to pull out onto in front of my home.   The new road is especially noticeable when riding my “bicycle” to church.  Not a bump, not a groove, not a hole, just “smooth!”  And it’s funny, because I really didn’t think the road was in that bad of shape.  I had only been here a couple of months and had gotten “use to dodging the rough spots!”  And it wasn’t until they were made smooth, that I realized just how bumpy and rough they were.   I suppose that’s how we can become in our walk with Christ too.  We can see that there are places (or people) where “God needs to be at work!”  That’s pretty easy to see in the world we live in.  And we can see ourselves as doing OK, “I’m not really that rough around the edges, things are pretty smooth in my walk with God.”  And just like I became a little blind to the condition of my road, a person can become a little blind to “self” after side stepping those little rough places enough times.   But our God is the one who, “makes smooth the rough places” (Isaiah 40:4).  He is the one that is not content on leaving us the way we are!  He is the one who gives us a whole new life, not just a “resurfacing over the old” but “remaking us completely in the image of his design!”  And as we allow and seek this new design, it becomes clearer just how much we need it.   This is why fellowship and worship, Bible study and prayer meetings, missions and ministry, personal devotions, etc., are so crucial in our walk with God.  They give us insight to what God is seeking to remake in us!  They help us to identify those “rough places” where we may be sidestepping.  They allow us to be “surprised” at the new work God is doing in us (and through us)!   Without a doubt, “God is always at work in us!”  May we be open to the design that he has in store for us.  And may we do our part that allows this “remaking” to take place.     Blessings, Pastor Andy       I also wanted to share with you that I’m planning to have an, “All Saints” service on “All Saints Sunday,” November 4th.  “All Saints Sunday” is a time to remember and honor those who have died in the last “year or so” to the present time.  During the service I will read the names of those who have gone on to their eternal glory.  Family and close friends will be encouraged to stand, a candle will be lit, and we will remember and honor the lives of these dear saints.   This is a service in which we “give thanks” for these precious people whom God has blessed our lives.  This is also a time you may want to encourage family and friends of those who have died to be present.   I will have an “All Saints” form for you at church that will ask for the deceased name, date of birth, date of death (also your name and phone number).  It is also very helpful to have a photograph of the deceased (this will all be on a powerpoint presentation).  Let us remember and let us give thanks!