Hope you all had a great week enjoying the post-rain effects! I am combining last week’s column (which joined the other missing column in a parallel outer world) with this week. It is getting embarrassing to send in the “Bits” and have it never arrive, and then it is mangled on my end. (?) I am trying Plan “B”. Only time will see if this works as it should. Here’s hoping there was some celebrating going on last week for their birthdays Melissa T. Kothmann on the 14th, Nathaniel Jordan and Jacob Bibb on the 16th, Virginia Durst and Clinton Durst on the 17th, and a very notable birthday for Pearl Leifeste on the 18th! Don and Marge Boyd celebrated their 57th anniversary on the 16th. Congratulations! Those with birthdays this week are Jared Hudson on the 20th, Heather Yates on the 21st, Laird Palmer on the 22nd, Taylor Slocum on the 23rd, Seth Hudson and Laura Jordan on the 25th. Hope you all have a happy, festive day.Remember to pray for the health and safety of our beloved service men and women as they serve for us, Stuart Jordan, Taylor Slocum, Josh Calhoun, Kyle Pierce, Amanda Adams, and Matt Krause. Please continue your prayers for our loved ones who are homebound and those in the nursing home; Pearl Leifeste, Anna Grace Durst, Dick Pierson, Etta Marie Mutschink, Johnita Bohmfalk, and Deloris Wilson.Announcements are the Revelation bible study is on Wednesday, the 19th, starting at 6pm. ; we will have a workday on Saturday the 22nd starting at 9 am. ; our annual church photo session will be Sunday the 23rd starting at 10:45 am. ; the church conference will be on Sunday, the 30th, starting after the worship service; Men’s choir practice will be after the closing; and the 5th Sunday community service will be on October 30th at the First Baptist Church in Mason.Prayer concerns were Charlie Morris and family; Marge and Don Boyd; Mike Wood; Dayton Reichenau; rain; the family of James Shields; Dick and Dorris Ann Pierson; the Coptic Christians in Egypt and the persecuted church wherever evil is trying to destroy it.Last week Pastor Cliff continued with Jesus’ teachings from Matthew 22:1-14, where the kingdom of God is compared to a wedding feast. Invitations were sent out, the huge meal was prepared. And yet when the father of the groom had his servants go out and tell everyone to come on everything was ready, they refused. Several times! They gave all kinds of excuses, one had to go to work, one had to go to the farm but the end result, no one invited came. So the father sent his servants out to the streets, the highways, and anywhere they could find people. Thus the feast was begun with all those people. But when the father was going around visiting with his guests, he found one without wedding garments. He asked the man where were his wedding garments and the man could not answer (shock?, embarrassment?). The man was bound up and cast out. That’s scary. So where do we get those wedding clothes? In Revelation 19:7, fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people, righteous and holy clothing. God invites, cajoles, again and again but God will not make us. Why don’t we choose discipleship? We like to stay in our comfort zone. Thus we don’t have to but we get to. We choose to obey even when we don’t understand how or why. We are saved by Grace-God made the way but we should follow the law. The job of sorting the sheep and the goats has been handed out-And it wasn’t given to me.This week’s sermon was from Matthew 22:15-22, another Kingdom of Heaven parable that applies still today. The religious leaders were asking Jesus whether they should pay taxes to Caesar. They wanted to mess Jesus up and get Him in trouble with the Romans. They are already plotting Jesus’ death. He knew they hated Him so He just asked them “whose picture is on the coin?” The coin had Caesar’s likeness and his self-endowed title of ‘Divine Caesar’ and the ‘Living God’. Jesus told them to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what belongs to God. Thereby, Jesus acknowledges our obligation to the state, but affirms our larger obligation to God. All things are under God’s dominion. God’s reign is forever. We as Christians believe it is the duty of all to observe the laws of the government of the country in which they are citizens. We are to work within the system for justice with grace, truth, and love. We are marked by the Holy Spirit; we are to conduct ourselves as members of the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember Who’s we are.