It has been quite the week! If you have been keeping track of the news since my last update then you know what I mean. On Friday the world was shocked to learn that the popular young singer and Voice contestant Christina Grimmie had been shot and killed after one of her concerts. Early Sunday morning we were met with the news of a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, killing forty-nine people and injuring fifty-three others. A sixteen-year-old girl was killed yesterday evening in a shooting in Oakland. There have been several small airplane accidents this week as well, including one at the Collegedale airport, next to Southern Adventist University where I am currently, which killed two people and severely injured the other two.

It saddens me when I hear people turn tragedies such as these into political or religious agendas. Issues such as terrorism, gun-control, and homosexuality have all surfaced in the news this week. What people seem to overlook, however, is that each one of these people who has died is someone that God sent His Son to die for. They are not just statistics. They are not part of an agenda. They are the recipients of the greatest gift ever offered. In the book of John we read, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). This is the love that our Father in heaven has for these people! This is the love He has for us! As we celebrate our fathers this weekend and thank them for their love, let us remember to thank our Heavenly Father for the love that He has and for the incredible sacrifice He made. As we do, let's remember that every person around us is valuable because of the gift given by our Father.

Thanking God for His love,

Pastor Sutherland

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