Summary: What better way to celebrate our nation’s birthday than by preparing for a renewal





I’m sure many of you have seen the musical either at the schools or on TV, the

Music Man. So you remember that scene where the “professor”, pointing to the Pool

Hall tells the citizens, you’ve got trouble right here in river city. Thus my theme for

today, Recipe for Renewal in River City. I hope today that we leave here not only with

some added knowledge of what our communities need, but also with the added

motivation to bring about those changes. Recipie for Renewal Right Here in River City.

What better way to celebrate the birthday of our Country than to prepare to bring it back

to the greatness it once enjoyed? You remember that last year Pastor Peggy challenged us

to have an old fashioned camp meeting. What she was saying was it’s time for renewal

right here in River City. So I want to continue again this year in that same vein.

You’ve probably heard the old story about the monestary where the only talking

that could take place was once per year and then only one monk was allowed to speak a

sentence. On one such occasion the monk whose turn it was stood up at the dinner table

and said, “The soup is too cold.” Then a year passed. The next year another brother

stood up and said, “The soup is too hot” Then another year passed. The next year the

next brother stood up and said, “The soup is just right” And another year passed. Finally

a a 4th brother stood up and said, “If all you want to do is bicker, I’m just going to leave.”

Well, even after a year, it’s not too late for us to remember what has been said. So in the

vein of our message last year I want to continue to talk about Renewal right here in river


The great OT leader Joshua was standing before the people of Israel. The

promised land had been conquered and it was time for the people to inherit what was

theirs. So Joshua closes with this promise in Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to

serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods

which your fathers served that werew on the other side of the River, or the gods of the

Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the


Folks, the time for us has come to choose. If there is to be renewal in the land we

have to make a choice. The world says, you can choose from many gods or religious

beliefs. The Bible says you must make a choice, God or the gods. So as we begin we

must ask, which do I choose, the God of heaven or the gods of this world?

And unknown author has written, That land is great which know the Lord, Whose

songs are guiede by His word; Where justice rules twixt man and man, Where love

controls an ardent plan; Where, breathing in his native air, Each soul finds joy in praise

and prayer...Thus may our country, good and great, Be God’s delight... man’s best estate.

Are we ready to choose? The first ingredient in our recipe is


If there is to be any renewal in our land, christians must reunite. Friends, we have

spent too much time apart. I have been told about a time in this community when one of

the churches would have a revival or special meeting, the building would be full, not just

of that churches own members, but of the other church’s as well. It is time for a coming

together again. Just look at what has worked here each year. This service is the reason I

believe that this freedom festival continues to work and thrive. The moment they cut it

out is the moment they will bring down the whole celebration - Amen? We are capable

of worshipping in unity. And just because the rest of the year we meet in separate

buildings doesn’t mean we can’t be united. The first step in this reunion is prayer for one

another. How often do you pray for others in our community? How often do you pray for

the ministers of this area. Folks, you and I know that the battle is on and that we are on

the front lines. Pray for us daily. Pray for your fellow family members daily. If our

churches are not strong, again our communities will be weakened. So let us come

together in prayer for one another.

The next step of this reunion is caring for our youth. The young people have a

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