It is true in life that sooner or later, all good things must come to an end. So it is with my time here in Calhoun.
For the past five years my family and I have lived in Calhoun, working with the Calhoun Church of Christ, and getting to know many of you in the community. It has been good in many ways, our time here. Some of the most memorable and fulfilling times in my life have been spent at the Voluntary Action Center serving lunch to many of you. I’ve enjoyed talking to many of you as you stopped by the Calhoun Church of Christ booth for a free water bottle at the annual Fair or during the BBQ, Boogie & Blues event each year on Court Street. It’s been fun to go to the football and basketball games that several of the teens at church were playing in at Calhoun High, Adairsville, Gordon Central, and Sonoraville. Calhoun is a special place, and we will miss it.
But all good things must come to an end. About a year ago my father had a stroke, right when COVID was starting up. Because of the health difficulties he has and the care my mother has to continually give him, there have been several times I’ve had to travel to where they live to help out. Well, back in April a church not far from where they live called me up and told me they were looking for a preacher and were interested in talking with me about the work. Once I found out they weren’t far from where my parents lived, I took them up on their offer. After a couple of interviews, they decided to hire me as their preacher. Thus, my family and I will be leaving Calhoun soon and moving to work with them. It will be good for me to be closer to my parents so I can be more available to help them whenever they need it. God’s providence has a way of helping out his followers. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Yet while this will be my final column for the Calhoun Times, it will not be the end of the Weekend Bible Reflections with Jon column altogether. We have an outreach minister here at the Calhoun Church of Christ, and his name also just happens to be Jon. Jon Podein. He even spells it the right way too. (Sorry, all you “Johns” that have the “h” in your name, but it’s true.) He is willing to keep on writing articles for this column, and the editor here at the Calhoun Times has agreed to have him continue in my stead. Jon is a great guy and I am confident his insights into Scripture will be very beneficial to you.
As our time together ends, let me encourage all of you to read your Bibles every day. The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). Be the person this passage describes.
But do more than that. James wrote, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves…But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:22, 25). Don’t just read and study your Bibles. Do what Scripture tells you to do. Obey God. That’s what those who are saved do (Hebrews 5:9; Matthew 7:21-27).
If there’s anything I wish for all of you more than anything else, it is that you will walk into those beautiful gates of heaven at the start of eternity. Let the Bible, and the Bible alone, show you God’s plan to save you and bring about that wonderful event. Have a faith that is based solely on God’s Word (Romans 10:17; Acts 17:11), a faith in Jesus (John 3:16), a faith that proves to be true through works of obedience (James 2:14-26). Let that faith motivate you to repent of your sins (Acts 17:30; Galatians 5:19-21; Acts 3:19). Let that faith motivate you to receive salvation and forgiveness of sins through baptism into Christ (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:1-5). If you want to learn more, contact Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’d be happy to meet you and study with you.
Friends, it’s been an honor and privilege to study the Bible with you these past five years. Thank you for reading. May the Lord bless you and keep you.