Of­fi­cials Gather At Prayer Break­fast

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Mark Humphrey

FARM­ING­TON — Farm­ing­ton cel­e­brated the Na­tional Day of Prayer Thurs­day with Mayor Ernie Penn host­ing a prayer break­fast with a bit of a twist.

In 1 Tim­o­thy 2:1-4, Chris­tians are in­structed to pray for those in au­thor­ity.

“I ex­hort there­fore, that, first of all, sup­pli­ca­tions, prayers, in­ter­ces­sions, and giv­ing of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in au­thor­ity; that we may lead a quiet and peace­able life in all god­li­ness and hon­esty. For this is good and ac­cept­able in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowl­edge of the truth.”

But on this day in Farm­ing­ton, peo­ple hold­ing of­fice in var­i­ous po­si­tions of au­thor­ity in­clud­ing: State Supreme Court As­so­ci­ate Jus­tice Court­ney Good­son, State Se­na­tor Uvalde Lind­sey, Wash­ing­ton County Judge Joseph Wood, Farm­ing­ton City Coun­cil mem­ber Diane Bryant and Mayor Penn gath­ered to pro­claim bless­ings over the com­mu­nity.

Supreme Court As­so­ci­ate Jus­tice Court­ney Good­son spoke on unity for Arkansas.

“The work the peo­ple of Arkansas have charged me to do is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant,” she said. “As a judge I’m called upon ev­ery day to make a de­ci­sion, to do what is fair and right ac­cord­ing to the United States Con­sti­tu­tion and the Con­sti­tu­tion of the State of Arkansas. It’s kind of like be­ing a ref­eree.

I call balls and I call strikes.”

Good­son said life isn’t al­ways fair, but all peo­ple want to be treated fair. Ac­cord­ing to Good­son, at the most ba­sic level, fair­ness is liv­ing by the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31), treat­ing oth­ers the way you want to be treated.

“Life may not be fair, but the rules we live by must be fair,” Good­son said. “I don’t rep­re­sent one group or one party. I rep­re­sent all Arkansans. I don’t bend the rules. I don’t play fa­vorites. I stand for jus­tice.”

“At the end of my ca­reer I will face my ul­ti­mate judge and I am hope­ful that he will say, ‘Well done, thou good and faith­ful ser­vant (Matthew 25:21,23).”

Lind­sey, who rep­re­sents District 4 and is re­tir­ing from pub­lic ser­vice, said it has been a high honor and great priv­i­lege to rep­re­sent Farm­ing­ton in the state Gen­eral Assem­bly for the last 10 years.

“I think the feel­ing of unity has to cen­ter around com­mu­nity and the folks that live around us,” Lind­sey said. “I’m old enough to re­mem­ber when fam­i­lies took care of their neigh­bors. There was a time when we didn’t need much in­ter­ven­tion from oth­ers, we just took care of our neigh­bors and Farm­ing­ton re­tains that spirit.”

Lind­sey added, “I would ad­mon­ish all of us to work to­gether to con­tinue that feel­ing of com­mu­nity as we go for­ward. Be­cause if we do that, we can do any­thing we set out to do.”

Wood said the peo­ple of Amer­ica have been re­cip­i­ents of gra­cious, boun­ti­ful bless­ings of heaven re­fer­ring to an 1863 procla­ma­tion by Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln, but “in the de­ceit­ful­ness of our hearts, we have for­got­ten God.”

Wood specif­i­cally ad­dressed Chris­tians, ref­er­enc­ing Solomon’s prayer from 2 Chron­i­cles 7:14, say­ing, “Here we are look­ing at ev­ery­one else, but it’s us… We’ve been called by him, we know what we’re sup­posed to do.”

Wood said we can’t con­trol what goes on in Lit­tle Rock, but we have in­flu­ence over our fam­i­lies and that’s where unity starts.

“Do we have unity in our homes?” Wood asked. “That be­comes our first call. That’s what God has called us to do.”

Wood said the world is look­ing at Amer­ica and peo­ple are not leav­ing Amer­ica try­ing to go some­where else.

“Are we go­ing to con­tinue to be the bea­con of light to the world?” Wood asked.

MARK HUMPHREY EN­TER­PRISE-LEADER

State As­so­ci­ate Supreme Court Jus­tice Court­ney Good­son ad­dresses those at­tend­ing the fourth an­nual Mayor’s Prayer Break­fast hosted by Farm­ing­ton Mayor Ernie Penn Thurs­day morn­ing at the Se­nior Cen­ter to ob­serve the Na­tional Day of Prayer.

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