How Things Have Changed

I use a daily devotional as a supplement to my Bible reading each morning. Through the decades I have used a few of the devotional books more than once. This year, I again pulled out My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. I first read it through in 1980 as a part of my class assignment in Personal Evangelism. The content is accurate, inspiring, and practical. That is why I often circle back and read it again.
When I opened the book this year, I noticed something that I had written. Inside the front cover I had printed my name legibly and listed my Social Security number beneath it. Apparently my Social Security number had also been used as my student I.D. number when I attended seminary. I thought to myself, “My, how things have changed.” Not only do I no longer print legibly, but I also no longer write my Social Security on items to identify them as mine. Someone might steal my identity, and I enjoy being “me” all by myself.
Recently, Homeland Security came and led some training to help churches prepare for security issues faced in today’s world. Many of our members participated in the training. Soon, we will form a Security Ministry Team that will assess our facility and implement changes necessary to keep security priorities in place. We will remain a welcoming church as we become a more secure church. In the words of Jesus, we will be as innocent as doves, but as wise as serpents.
This will lead to some changes being made in how we do things. Some doors that were always opened may remain locked some of the time. You may have to familiarize yourself with what doors are opened and when they are opened. You may lose your personal key to the church. You will be expected to be aware of your surroundings and inform leadership of what you see or hear. You will be expected to always close doors when you exit the building. One Thursday morning we discovered a door someone had propped open and left open all night. We cannot do stupid things like that!
I pray all we do to make our facility secure will never actually become necessary to deal with a “bad person” who is seeking to harm others. However, as your pastor, I will not subject you to unnecessary risks any more than I will continue to list my Social Security number beneath my name.


I love you,
Earl