Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mayor's Prayer Breakfast

Our Nation has the National Day of Prayer and that is held on the first Thursday of May every year.  This year I was honored to have State Rep Bill Kennemer speak at our breakfast.  This yearly tradition was started by Mayor Melody Thompson nine years ago.  It is a free event, with no specific endorsements or funding from city government or businesses.  Donations were being accepted for the Canby Center at the event.

Put on by the pastors in our community, this event brings the community to discuss faith and to pray for our elected officials.  This year, we had over 70 people attend, one of the largest turnouts yet.  A number of the city councilors were there, Chief Smith and Lt Tro from the CPD, fire fighters, board members and so many other community leaders.  
Mayor Prayer Breakfast in Canby, Oregon
Photo credit/copyright: Brian Hodson

Here is a summary of my speech at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast:

Thank you to Pastor Sam Flaherty, Pete Durkee, the other Pastors, and their support team to make this morning possible.

Thank you to all of you here today, who woke up early to be a part of this, where we can give thanks, praise, and pray for all of you, our leaders.

I am in awe of being able to stand in front of you on a day and at a time when there is no such thing as too much prayer.  How great is God?

President Andrew Jackson wrote that “The Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests.”  President Lincoln stated after receiving a Bible as a gift - “The Bible is the best gift God has given to men.  All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book.  But for it, we could not know right from wrong”. 

The Bible is our road map, our life manual, our guide through great times when Christ is right beside us and through the tough times when He is carrying us.

Last week I spent the day with my youngest son Owen – Emma, my oldest was at school; Meg, my wife, was on a class field trip with our oldest son Dylan.  So Owen and I hung out.  On our way home from burgers and fries Owen asks – “Is God alive?”
I responded with – “He is alive in all of us. It is called the Holy Spirit.”
Owen, questioningly, – “Holy Spirit?”
“Yes. The Holy Spirit is in us when we believe in God and Jesus,” I explain.
Owen: “I believe in God and Jesus...and Santa Claus.”
I told him I was glad that he believed in God and Jesus.  I believe in them… and Santa Claus too.

I want to share with you about God’s provision in my life recently.  Back in November, shortly after the election, I resigned from my job with a company that I had been with for almost 19yrs.  The time had come and this was what I call a 2x4 moment with God.  There had been several “signs” that I needed to move on to something else in the last 3-4yrs.  This last one was it.  I resigned weeks away from the busy Christmas season, no job lined up, a mortgage, 3 eating machines, some savings and I felt safe.  I knew God had a plan. 

I spent the next couple of months enjoying all of the Christmas season activities and preparing for my new role as Mayor.  When finances became strained God provided each and every time.  Family helped, friends and my church prayed, my wife’s business picked up enough, and yes we had help from the State.

With great wisdom and prayerful support from my parents I prayed for 4 specific things during my job search:
1)   That it be a job that will enable me to be flexible with my schedule for my family, my faith and for my role to serve as Mayor
2)   That it be in or near Canby
3)   That the job provide for my family’s needs now and for the future
4)   That I be with a company that has a solid Christian foundation

There were several opportunities that came forward which I am so grateful for, yet not what I felt God had in mind.  A Friday morning in February I and a friend of mine were the only ones that showed for our Friday morning Bible study.  Since it was just the two of us we opted for fellowship over biscuits and gravy.  It was then that it became evident that this is where God wanted to plant me.  Three days later I accepted a position and started a new career a week later.  God does not do coincidences. 

I share this because of God’s provision and faithfulness.  I let go and let God.  It had its moments of uncertainty, for sure.  God showed the way and it was through his words.  It had been a couple of years since I had dug into my Bible or been on my knees so much.  I trust His plan.

President Theodore Roosevelt said in 1901 – “A belief in Jesus Christ is the very fountainhead of everything that is desirable and praiseworthy in our civilization…The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally – I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally, impossible for us to figure to ourselves what life would be if these teachings were removed”. 

Yet, we are seeing these teachings being removed and eroded.  Yes in the End, we win but that doesn’t mean we just roll over.  We must stand tall. 

Here today is OUR call to action:
·         read your Bible, study it.  It is your life manual.  Seek Him out!
·         pray every chance you get.  Whether it is a praise or prayer for someone or something. (I give a praise for making a green light)
·         Pray for all our leaders.  Pray that God’s will be done.  Pray that when His will is done, we know he has a plan and that we don’t ask why for too long. (He has a plan) Pray that the leaders He has raised up and placed into position will look to Him for guidance.  Pray that our leaders display a servant’s heart and practice courageous servant leadership of your people.
·         Tell your leaders that you prayed this for them. (I bet they smile and say thank you!).

I want to pray for all of you because you all are leaders.  From the President to our city; to the leaders of our churches, schools, community groups, coaches, teachers and our own families.  Leaders everywhere need our prayers.

If God is with us then what can stand against us!  God Bless you, your families, our wonderful city, and our Country.

Thank you.
Brian Hodson

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