• T. S. Morrell

Annual Men's Wild Game Dinner 2020

Updated: Apr 19

"Rise, Peter; kill and eat . . . What God has made clean, do not call common." Acts 10:13, 15

These are the verses that lingered in my mind as I looked over the spread that'd been set up in the fellowship hall on Saturday, January 18. Matt Coonley stepped up to address the crowd of grizzled and unfamiliar faces, the event had drawn many visitors. He explained before the blessing what was on offer: deer, trout, bear and, as I heard someone in the crowd mention later, elk; all carefully prepared with a mind of gratitude and reverence. It's an unfortunate fact that some people think that Christians care nothing at all for the environment, that scripture teaches us to exploit nature because we were given "dominion" over it. I emphasize that word because that's where the nature of the argument lies, what does the admittedly threatening sounding "dominion" mean? Well the only way to answer that is to cross reference the term with its other usages in scripture; that way we avoid injecting our own emotions and opinions. The majority of other instances deal with either God's righteous dominion over everything or a particular ruler's dominion over a certain area or people, whether that person was righteous or not. Now, what is consistently God's reaction to exploitative rulers? Judgement. Have a read of God's list of grievances against the nations in Amos if you don't believe that. Rule nature in the same way God rules all things.

After dinner we were shepherded into the sanctuary to hear a message from J.J. Cox, the Pastor Painter. A local Student Pastor of 17 years, J.J. uses a love of art and music to paint evocative pictures of God's grace in his life. I'll avoid going into detail concerning his testimony for want of you reading it yourselves on

his website

, but suffice it to say I can't deny its relevance for me. At the age of five, J.J. was diagnosed with crippling social and learning disabilities. Now, this is a topic I've talked about in my personal blog. I grew up surrounded by friends in similar situations to his, and could have easily been diagnosed myself. That left me with a deep respect for these creative and misunderstood young people the world looks down on with pity. J.J. talked about his growth, how he learned about himself and how his mind works, and learned how to turn his

"disability" into a strength and light for God without medication. God's grace really is sufficient. I hope the fathers in the audience that night, and the parents reading this post, will look more into J.J.'s story and maybe learn something about their own children and how God can use even those of us deemed worthless by an uncaring world.

God Bless.

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