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Salt and Light

Steve Ranney, Pastor

 

In the 1940's C. S. Lewis wrote a book called the Screwtape Letters.  This work of theological fiction was written from the perspective of two demons who were charged with keeping a young man from, first becoming a Christian and then, after he does, keeping him from growing in his relationship with God.  Recently, I was sent a quote written in the style that C. S. Lewis used in the book to give some perspective on what we are experiencing this election cycle.

 

“My Dear Wormwood,

 

Be sure the patient remains completely fixated on politics.  Arguments, political gossip, and fixating on the faults of people they have never met serves as an excellent distraction from advancing in personal virtue, character, and the things the patient can control.  Make sure to keep the patient in a state of angst, frustration, and general disdain toward the rest of the human race in order to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing.  Be sure that the patient continues to think the problem is ‘out there’ in the ‘broken system’ rather than recognizing there is a problem within himself.  Keep up the good work.

 

Uncle Screwtape – 1942"

(Author unknown1)

 

As we come to the end of a very long election cycle, let me challenge you to keep from being distracted by all of the noise out there.  The truth of the matter is that we have been called by Jesus to be Salt and Light in this often tasteless and dark world.  The best way that we can do that is to cultivate our relationship with the Word of God (Jesus), allowing Him to bear fruit in our lives.  Then, as we go through our days and allow the image of Christ that is growing in us to shine forth, we can offer our world an alternative to the rancor of the political process.  We seek, in all that we do, to show our love for God and for the people that God loves (remember “God so loved the World”).  Through our actions and the way we choose to love God with our lives, we can be an antidote to the hatred and divisiveness that is infecting our country.  Let me charge you to not let the world and its current values infect you, but let us allow God to use us to shine His love into a world that needs to experience His love.

 

1https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154556987957512&set=a.487275867511.268362.639957511&type=3&theater

 


 

Meet Steve Ranney

 

As we welcome our new Pastor, Steve Ranney, here is a little information to help us get to know him better:

 

  • Married to Kim Skilling who is a graduate of Princeton Seminary, is celebrating over 30 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and is now the Designated Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Anaheim

  • Two sons and a daughter and two grandchildren.

  • B.A. in Ministry from Northwestern College in Roseville, Minnesota.

  • Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary.

  • Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Seminary.

  • Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1991.

  • Associate Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church of Centennial, Colorado, 1991–2006.

  • Pastor/Head of Staff of St. Mark Presbyterian Church of Ballwin, Missouri, 2006–2015.

  • Steve seeks to lead both by example and by challenging people to use the gifts that God has given them for the building up of the body of Christ.  Thus, Steve's main focus is helping each person grow up in their relationship with God so that God will be able to bless others through them.

 

 

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