The Courage to Live

Yesterday, the ice veneer covered our parking lot, preventing us from having services at our Brentwood campus. No one hates calling off a worship service more than I do, yet sometimes wisdom determines a different direction.

One of the reasons I hate we missed our services is that I was planning to lead our church in a time of silence to remember the Egyptian Coptic Christians who were working in Libya and were captured by ISIS fighters.

They were brutally beheaded by ISIS because they were Christians.

Not because they were Egyptian.

Not because they were another sect of Islam.

They were killed because they were Christian.

As I watched the video excerpts and saw them patiently kneeling as they awaited their future, I wondered, like many of you, if I would have been as brave. Would I have the courage to die for my faith?

While we ponder that, here’s the reality: the world is becoming more and more hostile to the Christian faith. More and more believers—especially in the Middle East—will die for their faith. Martyrdom, however, will not be limited to Christians living in Islamic nations.

The threat is that Christians who watch this video will become intimidated and frightened, withdrawing from public life. The natural tendency is to protect our lives—to try to save our lives—by hiding our faith and by withdrawing from the public square.

Seeing these Coptic Christians willing to die for their faith leads me to this question: do you and I have the courage to live for the faith?

The Scripture warns us these days would come. Believers have been and will continue to be martyred for their faith in Christ. Paul tells us that if we follow Christ, we will suffer for our faith.

Not everyone will be called to die for the faith, but all of us are called to LIVE for the faith.

They had the courage to die for the faith.

Do we have the courage to live for our faith?

Everybody Gets a Turn

Barbara Glenn

In November of last year, I made the decision to move my mom to Nashville. I say I made it, because I did. She didn’t agree with my decision. She still doesn’t. She will tell you today I kidnapped her and she’s looking for someone to take her back to Huntsville.

After successful surgery and radiation treatment for an acoustic neuroma, it became obvious to me that I needed her closer to me so I could take better care of her. It wasn’t as obvious to mom.

She told me she had been taking care of herself for her entire life and she didn’t need any help now.

But she did.

We all need help from time to time. Nobody can make it on his or her own. I haven’t. I grew up in a very loving, Christian home. Mom and dad were always there for me. I can’t tell you the number of friends I’ve had step up for me over the years. Sooner or later, everybody needs help. In this life, everybody gets a turn.

For the last 2 years of my dad’s life, Mom took care of him around the clock. I’m not exaggerating. I don’t know how much she was able to sleep in those 24 months or so, but it wasn’t much and frankly, it took a toll on her. I will always love her for the way she loved my dad. Now, she wouldn’t change anything she did. In fact, she would have given more if there had been a way to do it. She paid a high price for her choices.

So, now, she needs me. We’ve moved her into a new apartment and gradually she’s adjusting to her new realities. For the longest time, she wouldn’t let me bring any furniture in because she wasn’t staying. Now, we at least have few pieces moved in. We have coffee most mornings and talk about things. She still doesn’t like me wearing jeans to the office. She still resents I have to make some decisions for her. The other day she told me to go to the doctor myself since I had made the appointment. Most days, however, we get along.

In our visits, I’ve noticed something new. When we’re talking about something, she’ll ask my opinion. Here’s why that’s interesting. My mother has never asked me for my opinion. Never. Why should she? She gave me my opinions in the first place. Why would she ask for things that she herself had given to me? My mom’s strong—really strong. Now, she just isn’t so sure. She’s lost a little confidence. She’s a little more hesitant to decide. She waits for me to respond. In her own way, she’s asking for help.

She needs me. That’s fine. I’m glad to be here for her. She’s always been there for me. Now, it’s my turn to be there for her.

And I am.

It’s her turn.
It’s my turn.

In this life, everybody gets a turn.

@mikeglennonline with his mom #celebrationfestival

A photo posted by Brentwood Baptist (@brentwoodbaptist) on