2900 County Barn Rd. Naples, Fl. 34112


In the church and in life there are symbols that help us in a variety of ways. The cross in the church is the central symbol for Christians. The empty cross symbolizes the risen Christ. Christians often wear crosses as jewelry or even have a cross tattooed on their person. Symbols in the church were a problem centuries ago and that helped begin the Reformation. Roman Catholics are big on symbols to aid them in their faith. The argument for the Reformation was that the symbols were a distraction from Christ and the Word of God. That is why some old New England protestant churches are very plain in their architecture and the pulpit is front and center in the church. The Word of God was and should be still the substance of the worship service.

It is easy to put emphasis on symbols. The two sacraments in this church are communion and baptism. They are both outward symbols of the substance of our faith. Today there is a lot of emphasis on symbols rather than substance. There is a quote from the D.L. Moody that sums up the idea, “whitewashing the pump does not make the water pure.” Things can look good on the outside but be rotting and hollow on the inside. It is not a new concept by any means and all too often we want to look good on the outside and the answer to the question, ‘How are you?’ is a one word response ‘fine.’ In reality many people are hurting and lonely just below the surface afraid to give an honest answer to the question, ‘How are you?’

That is where the church should be placing its emphasis, not on symbols but the substance of scripture and what Jesus and a faith in God can do for a person. That is what this person tries to do every Sunday, show how scripture and a life of faith can move one from symbols to substance in their lives. The purpose of the church is and has always been to help people become the best they can be as God intended them to be.

The overused phrase creates high emotion among people today primarily around the issue of gun violence.  When people utter the phrase, do they actually mean it of is it simply a talking point and sound bite for the news cycle?

From a Christian perspective the phrase is backwards.  Prayer should always come first.  For an honest seeker of God’s direction in life and in decision making time is spent in prayer.  Thoughts come later. 

The most important thing following prayer is action.  One does not pray to do nothing.  Prayer precedes action.  When one prays they are seeking guidance on how they should act, or what direction they should take.  Christians will pray before making decisions both large and small.

For those who utter the words thoughts and prayers, follow their actions after the utterance.

Prayer without action is like faith without works.  If you do not know what faith without works is look at James 2:14-22 and you will see the explanation.

Those two words are important to our health and well-being.  Yet a lot of times we neglect them.  In our fast paced society we don’t take time to rest.  The desire to do more, be active is a symbol and symptom of our society.  We do not take enough time to rest even though Jesus tells us to.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  If you notice he is actually not saying rest but where to find rest.  We find our rest in him.  Which leads us to, how do we find rest in Jesus?  The best way is to set aside some time in the day to sit in prayer and meditate on God.  The first thought to this idea may be, “I don’t have the time!”  That, my friend, is the very problem.  We think we have to always be doing something.  We are not called human doings, we are called human beings.  To be with Christ is to find rest in his presence.  Rest and pray.  Three simple words that we can incorporate into our lives on a daily basis to become more healthy, more compassionate, more loving and more like Christ.

All we have is today.  Let’s make the best of it.  One scripture verse that has this theme is, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Most of the time we think all is well.  Depending on the day we seem to either worry or look forward to the tomorrows we take for granted.

We got word over the weekend of a colleague who was in an automobile accident.  Her husband died as a result of that accident the following day.  For those of us in this denomination in Florida, it has shocked us.  It is one of those events that cause us to think that we may not have tomorrow.  By the grace of God we are given one day and it is today.  AA and other twelve step programs use the slogan, ‘one day at a time.’  If that person makes it through the day without picking up a drink or drug, it is a great day. 

Let us live for today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.  Today is a great day!

Much has been said recently about privilege, especially white privilege.  As a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant heterosexual male I fit the stereotype of one who has the opportunity to experience that privilege.  I don’t get the looks in stores or other places I go that some people of color have experienced in their lives.  People like me can go blindly through life not realizing how privileged we are or we can be aware of it and act accordingly.  I have also been in a country where I experienced for a brief time what it is like to not speak the language and look different than everyone else.  It helped me to understand what any immigrant group or group that is not Anglo face as they try to live in these United States.

People that look different are often singled out as a threat of one form or another.  It is not only a problem in this country today but is a problem of humanity.  It seems that someone always has to be on top of the hill.  That means that another group is below them.

Jesus however teaches us differently.  As the Gospel stories tell us he often sought out the marginalized of his society, much to the anger of those in power.  If we call ourselves Christians, then we should look on anyone as a treasured child of God, no different than ourselves.  It is that simple.

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2900 County Barn Rd 
Naples, Florida 34112

Office Hours: 
8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mon - Fri.

Sunday Worship 9:30
            Refreshments 10:30

Church Phone: 239-775-0055
Fax Number: 239-775-3253

Pastor Alan's Cell: 239-227-8500



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Mayflower is closer than you think!