BY BRYAN LARAMORE
FBC CHEROKEE PASTOR
Growing up the son of a professional musician, music was a central figure in my childhood. My father was a jazz trumpet instructor at our local university for 30 years. In his spare time, he directed a traveling jazz ensemble known as the Moonlighters, playing all the best charts from the Big Band era as well as some of those good ole Blues songs.
Something my father said to me one time, a long time ago, has always stuck with me. “Bryan,” he said, ”life is all about the R&B’s.” Except, he wasn’t talking about the style of music, but, Relationships and Balance. These have become for me the “R&B’s” of life and living. Finding the sweet spot of living this life is about valuing relationships and striking a balance in all things.
Relationships are essential. They are a core human need. The very expression of the One True God is expressed in a relationship between God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Even so, our society today often struggles to rightly value relationships over other things like religious expressions, “getting ahead” in life and even “winning” in general. So many times in the New Testament, God’s Word shapes our thinking by stating, “Love one another.” In what ways can we increase our value and treatment of relationships in our church families, our community in general and beyond?
Balance is essential. Extremism is extremely dangerous, yet extremely prevalent in our day. It seems the important “middle ground” is rapidly being conquered from both sides of any issue by a growing sentiment of “You’re either with me, or you’re my enemy.” This is classic extremism, and it is inherently dangerous. Rather than an all-or-nothing approach to life, may the Lord grant us wisdom to seek balance in our relationships, our religious expression, our treatment of one another and our desire for a better tomorrow.
May the Lord continue to bless Cherokee, OK, Alfalfa County, our Great State of Oklahoma, and the world around us.