Sunday, March 19, 2017


Mouth of Buffalo, Near Salyersville, KY

Sunday, March 19, 2017, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 109

PRAYER for Today:
Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


Elvis Presley - Why Me Lord (Live in Memphis 1974)


Matthew 19:13-30 English Standard Version (ESV)

Let the Children Come to Me

13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

The Rich Young Man

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

SERMON for Today:

I don't know if you care about Appalachia or Eastern Kentucky at all?  My mother, father, two sisters and I were all born and mostly raised in Eastern Kentucky.  I presently live in Appalachia. What President Trump has proposed in his budget is personal to me.  I do not apologize for this sermon taking a personal tone or a political tone.  I can stand in the David M. Cooper Cemetery near Salyersville, KY and stand next to my kin from the Revolutionary War.

“ A baby born today to parents in Wolfe County [KY] can expect to live eight years less than a baby born in Fayette County [KY].
The reason is that while Campton [KY] and Lexington [KY] are just an hour apart, they differ significantly in ways that have an impact on health and how long people live, such as education levels, poverty level, opportunities to be physically active and access to health care, according to a researcher who mapped life expectancy in the state.”
Read more here:

My imagination is that if President Trump met Jesus on the way to what he calls his winter “white house”  he would change his budget proposal.  Instead of reducing every program that helps children in Appalachia and elsewhere, he would be expanding the programs and trying to find innovating new ones.

“An agency that pumps millions of dollars each year into economic development in Eastern Kentucky and other Appalachian states would lose federal funding if President Donald Trump’s proposed budget prevails.
Trump would help pay for increased military spending and a U.S.-Mexico wall by eliminating money set aside for several independent agencies financed by the government, including the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The agency, which covers all or parts of 13 Appalachian states, has been a conduit for hundreds of millions in aid to Eastern Kentucky since it was founded in 1965, when poverty rates exceeded 50 percent in some counties and much of the region lacked adequate water, highways and health care.”
Read more here:

The agency targets extra money and services to so-called distressed counties with high unemployment, low incomes and high poverty. Kentucky has the largest concentration of such counties of any Appalachian state — 37 in fiscal year 2017.

I am not making a judgement about the state of President Trump’s soul or of the souls of those who voted for him, but I am making a statement about the soul of the nation I live in.  We cannot call ourselves a Christian nation and turn our backs on children, the elderly, the homeless, the poor and the disabled.  Jesus will not call us his if we do.  That is truth.  The truth He said Himself when He was here on earth.

If you do not believe that the government should take care of needy children, the elderly, the homeless, the poor and the disabled then as a professing Christian you should make sure you and your church do.  The early church did.
Acts 2:42-47 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

May God Bless You and Walk Beside You This Week. Amen

© Ed Cooper, March 19, 2017, Stoney Creek, Tennessee, Appalachia  
All rights reserved
(Ed Cooper is Director of Project Dream Again and an ordained minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ.  He lives with his wife Patty in the mountains of East Tennessee.)

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