Illinois Baptist 07 24 2017 E Edition Page 2

oarding a small airplane recently, I immediately noticed the cheerful, positive demeanor of the lone flight attendant. It was early in the morning, and amidst the crowd of bleary- eyed passengers shuffling onto the plane, she beamed like a ray of sunshine. After welcoming us on board and making sure we were all buckled in and our carry-on luggage stowed, she pro- ceeded to give us the prescribed safety instructions that anyone who has flown often could probably recite from memory. But instead of monotonously reading from a script about emergency exits and unlikely water landings, she delivered the entire speech from memory, yet with great personal warmth and conviction. I was impressed, even inspired. But what I have not yet forgotten about this exceptional young lady are her spontaneous words after delivering that mandatory safety speech. She paused, and then with the most childlike won- der and enthusiasm you can imagine, she said, her eyes twinkling, And now-it's time to fly! Oh, I wish I could better convey in writing the way she bade us to the heavens with that one well-delivered phrase. As many times as she had undoubtedly endured the routines of stowing lug- gage, delivering safety speeches, and serving soft drinks and peanuts, she had not yet lost the wonder of getting to fly. A few days later, I heard a comedian on a talk show describing his own recent experience on an airplane. As he awaited takeoff, he said he was contemplating the miracle that he would soon be sitting in a cylindrical tube 30,000 feet in the air, hurling through the atmosphere at 500 miles- per-hour to arrive cross country in less than four hours, a trip that used to take early pioneers a lifetime. Just then the flight attendant announced that wireless internet would not be available on that flight, and the man sitting next to the comedian flew into a fit of profanity. How quickly, he observed, we turn miracles into entitlements, and entitlements into opportunities for criticism. How quickly indeed. The word miracles, of course, turned my thoughts to the many spiritual blessings that I too often take for granted, or consider entitle- ments. Every week, I gather freely with other believers and have fresh opportunity to celebrate the resur- rected Lord Jesus and the transfor- mational difference he has made and is still making in my life. Every week I sing, along with people I call brother and sister, the songs of our deliverance from sin, our new life purpose, and eternity in heaven. Every week, I hear from Gods word a new, relevant message that applies to me personally. With all that being true, it seems that every week, every worship leader in every local church should stand and tell us, And now-it's time to fly! Yet it may be more common for us to settle into familiar weekly routines and even rituals. It may be more common for us to take for granted the gathering for corporate worship, and consider it an entitlement. It may be more common for us to complain about what programs or services didnt meet our standards, or what people disappointed us. That cheerful, positive flight attendant reminded me that it only takes one sincerely excited and grateful worshiper to call other sleepy souls out of their routines and criticisms. One person who recaptures the wonder and miracle of the church assembling together in Gods presence can rekindle that wonder in others. This Sunday, I will not be a presumptuous passenger who feels entitled to the miracle of access to God that cost Jesus so much. This Sunday, my worship will say to any on board with me, And nowits time to fly! Nate Adams is executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association. Respond at 'It's time to fly!' NATE ADAMS Snapshots from the world of Illinois Baptists The general telephone number for IBSA is (217) 786-2600. For questions about subscriptions, articles, or upcoming events, contact the Illinois Baptist at (217) 391-3119 or . The Illinois Baptist is seeking news from IBSA churches. E-mail us at to tell us about special events and new ministry staff. POSTMASTER: The Illinois Baptist is owned and published every three weeks by the Illinois Baptist State Association, 3085 Stevenson Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-4440. Subscriptions are free to Illinois Baptists. Subscribe online at . CONVENTIONAL WISDOM The Illinois Baptist staff Editor - Eric Reed Graphic Designer - Kris Kell Contributing Editor - Lisa Misner Sergent Editorial Contributor - Meredith Flynn Administrative Assistant - Leah Honnen - Gallup Poll (May 2017) B 2 Illinois Baptist the cooperative program Giving by IBSA churches as of 7/14/17 $3,189,436 Budget Goal: $3,392,308 Received to date in 2016: $3,199,765 2017 Goal: $6.3 Million A cheerful flight attendant proved it only takes one person to call sleepy souls out of their routines and criticisms. 7+6+7 7% Worse 77% 16% Better Morality declines as liberality rises Americans express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date. On eight of the issues, acceptance is at an all-time high, including homosexuality, pornography, and polygamy. But at the same time, more people than ever are decrying the moral decline of the nation. Is American morality getting better or worse? Unsure/no response Birth control 73% Divorce 69% Premarital sex 63% Gay or lesbian relations 62% Having a baby outside of marriage 58% The death penalty 57% Doctor-assisted suicide 51% Medical testing on animals 36% Pornography 36% Polygamy 91% Americans' opinions about moral acceptability of practices: All-time high

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