I spoke the closing messages of a series broadly titled on hope that I have spoken in various churches, this one on hope in the good news of Jesus Christ continuing to spread, and on encouraging people young and old to leave previous ways, follow Jesus, and reach for the new that God does through you. This time the main text was from Philippians 1, where Paul reports that his imprisonment is serving to spread the message and that, regardless of the varying motivations of the proclaimers, he rejoices that Christ is proclaimed.
The next day, I enjoyed visiting the Martin Van Buren presidential home and museum, which is excellent, and placed on my Instagram account a photo of me with Martin.
Later, I met the tremendously hospitable and Italian Robert Vona (all of my Italian friends will say that ‘tremendously hospitable’ and ‘Italian’ are redundant), whom I’d not met before, and then traveled, via Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, to Schenectady, where I met some more tremendously hospitable (though not Italian) people whom I’d not seen for twenty years. I love all these folks very much. I introduced their grandkids to the song, ‘I’ve Got a Mule and Her Name is Sal/Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal’. I have posted this video to my Youtube channel.
A Cambodian friend of mine, hearing the above, said, ‘You have a lot of friends.’ I replied that a wise man, to whom God gave great wisdom at his request, Solomon, said, as recorded in the Bible, book of Proverbs, if a person wants to have friends, he should show himself friendly. That same day, I invited the hotel clerk to the next day’s service, but she couldn’t come because she’s on morning shift. But the next time, when her shift changes, she can come. I told her, ‘You know that since the church is bringing its guest to you, it’s a good church. And since it has a guest speaker like me and a pastor like Richard Frank, it’s a good church.’ At the previous hotel, I met a lady at the breakfst area wearing above-knee boots, so I asked her, ‘When do you join the cavalry?’, and then told her I like the boots, hadn’t see any that long before in a modern setting. At the same time, a lady with her three cute kids, including a little boy in a bright red outfit and carrying his bright red toy airplane—I said, ‘Hey! I like the airplane!’ And the matching pilot outfit!’
My Cambodia friend said, ‘I used to hear that Solomon was a person who had everything right.’ I replied that, well, not everything. He was supposed to worship the one true God, but he married many women who worshipped other gods (he was very wealthy, so he could afford many wives, and some of his marriages were for political reasons because he was a king). He made temples for these wives to worship their gods, and then they turned his heart away from the one true God, and because he abandoned God, God in turn abandoned Solomon’s kingdom, and it divided at Solomon’s death.
The lesson is that we should worship only the one true God.