Etheridge’s Epistle – July

The July Newsletter is now online. Go to to view it.

To my child…..

Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying. Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is. Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play. Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together. Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles. Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he comes by. Just for this afternoon, I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned. Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won’t stand over you trying to fix them. Just for this afternoon, I will take us to Mc Donald’s and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys. Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you. Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry. Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars. Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows. Just for this evening when I run my fingers through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given. I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children’s graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can’t handle it anymore. And when I kiss you goodnight I will hold you a little tighter, and a little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing, except one more day………….

Please pass this on to other mothers and fathers. We get so involved in our daily routines that we tend to forget what great gifts our children REALLY ARE.
Think about it and pray about it!


Jesus said, “Blessed are….”

Every year when I return from Ecuador I realize how blessed I am. But I am also challenged by the Christian community of Atacacho. They have so little in the way of material possessions and the life they live is so very hard for them. Yet they are a very happy people. They feel they are greatly blessed. The happiness they share with me and the spirit of their lives causes me to reflect on my own life and the Christian meaning of happiness. So often my happiness is based on the circumstances of life. Is that true happiness?

Jesus spoke to his disciples about being Blessed. We call these sayings the Beatitudes. The word blessed, which is used in each of the beatitudes is a very special word. It is the Greek word makarios. Makarios can be translated to mean blessed, happy, fortunate, and blissful. Homer used the word to describe a wealthy man, and Plato used it to describe one who is successful in business. Most often this word makarios is translated into happiness, a worldly translation. The English word happiness contains the root word hap which means chance. Human happiness is something which is dependent on chance or the circumstances of life. Jesus used this word makarios with a much deeper meaning, the meaning of blessedness.

The kind of happiness God desires for his children is a well-being, a blessedness, which does not depend on physical or temporary circumstances. To be blessed is not a superficial feeling of well-being based on circumstances, but a deep spiritual experience of contentedness based on the fact that ones life is right with God.

Beginning this Sunday, July 9th, I will begin a series of sermons on the Beatitudes. Let us join together in worship and word to listen to Jesus speak these words of Christian joy and blessedness.

Think about it and pray about it
See You Sunday,
Bro. Bill