By Martin | Monday, September 11, 2017 | 6:11 AM
We may need to change the wording on the Statue of Liberty to read, "Bring me your invasive species and weird news stories." We seem to have more than our share of both. The first story concerns an invasion of air potatoes. No, this is not a story about making hideous sounds with your hand and armpit when you were either in junior high school or attending a redneck wedding. Air potatoes are plants, and like millions of senior adults, have taken up residence in Florida. they choke the life out of everything around them . . . uh . . . the air potatoes, not the senior adults. The damage done by senior adults is mostly confined to local cafeterias. Because nothing survives around it the air potato plant is one of the most damaging invasions in Forida, behind kudzu and tourists wearing tank tops and ugly shorts with white socks and loafers.
For this next story, hide your eyes if you are a Baptist. It concerns wine. According to the American Council on Science and Health, stink bugs have invaded wine country and at least parts of them could end up in your wine. If I were a wine drinker that would be concern. Evidently they like grapes. When stink bugs are under pressure, like maybe the threat of being smashed by a wine press, they release an odor -- very similar to a lawyer in a courtroom. Wine tasting events could take on a whole new meaning. So you who are not Baptists, if you are having dinner with James Bond order the '55 Dom Perignon. Whatever you do, don't ask for the '17 Stink Bug Cabernet.
On the bizarre news story front twenty-six cheerleaders tried to cram themselves into an elevator. Their elevator, literally, didn't go all the way to the top. They got stuck and had to be rescued after thirty minutes of close personal time. None were injured but the elevator was last seen running down the street holding its ears and screaming, "Please, no more cheers!"
These three stories do have a common theme. The air potato plant was keeping the plant life around it from surviving. The stink bug was keeping the wine from being the best it could be. The cheerleaders were keeping the elevator from functioning properly. What is keeping you from doing what you know you should be doing? Our church is down a few staff members for a while. We're down to me, Jason, and Michael Lamb who has a full-time job as a schoolteacher, works with our youth and tries to be a husband and father the rest of the time. We can handle it but we need your help and prayers.
Is there something preventing you from getting involved in the life of our church? We have an awesome congregation. Just because we are without a pastor doesn't mean we can no longer function. God still has a plan for us but it will take each one of us. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:27 that "Now, you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it." It cannot be business as usual. We cannot settle for letting a few people do most of the work. We need everyone doing his and her part.
Set your priorities. Put God at the top and fill in underneath with everything else. Get rid of the air potato that is choking the life out of you. Don't let the stink bugs get into your wine and don't overload your elevator. With God's guidance we can get it done. Like that elevator we may be slow but we do our best work when we go all the way to the Top.