Dear Friends Pursing Christ,
Summer fun has begun!!!!!!! Life in the church does not slow down in the summer, in fact there can be a lot more activity. This year’s mission team to Camp Courageous from FPC had 16 adults and teens. We were divided into teams that wrapped Christmas presents (hundreds if not thousands), stained a huge deck, and some of us worked in the office. We spent time with the campers and set apart time for study and prayer together.
Coming up this month is VBS and we will be “Gone Fishing”. On Tuesday July 16th at 6:30 pm our 3-day extravaganza begins. Crafts, games, food and yes learning about Jesus is on the agenda. This year we will begin VBS by serving dinner at 6:30 pm. Then on Friday night at 6:00 pm, the Smiths will host a closing program for family, friends and members of FPC on their farm. There will be fishing, food and the VBS kids sharing their stories of the week. You don’t want to miss this event!
Summer also invites us to take some time to get some well-deserved R and R. Those that have signed up will gather together for a retreat at the 4 R’s down at the Lake of the Ozarks. We will study together, pray together and have some fun time together. This year’s theme is “My heart, Christ’s Home”.
What I like most of all is I plan to read and reflect more. I will read more of the Bible, add more “books of interest” (books about baseball, biographies, espionage, murder mysteries, even a cookbook or two), and I reflect on sermons or talks I have heard this year from members of FPC, friends, authors etc.
At Midway’s 2019 baccalaureate service Rex told the class of 2019:
“Far too often, facts are treated as opinions and opinions as if they are facts. This is where your skills are put to the test, discerning the truth. Scripture tells us that truth is a valuable commodity that should be bought. In Proverbs 23:23–25 it says “buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who sires a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad”. The idea here is that by educating yourself and gaining insight into the reality of truth, you build a foundation for success that is worth more than you could ever imagine. So keep in mind your teachings and continue to gain wisdom so that you can know truth. It is in this truth that you honor all who have spent time educating you, but most of all, your parents and yourselves.”
Very wise words from Rex the Elder…not younger. This is how I will be approaching my summer reading. I will be very conscious of what I am putting in my mind and ask God to help me remember what fact is and what is opinion to enrich my growth.
At the Westline women’s retreat, Hannah Newkirk spoke and gave us “10 habits to Develop for Spiritual Care”. Here they are: 1. Stop the comparison game, 2. Pray every day (Read Fervent by Priscilla Schrier a game changer for a healthy prayer life), 3. Be present, 4. Make your bed in the morning and do the dishes at night (men put your tools away as well!), 5. BE GRATEFUL (definitely a mood elevator), 6. Don’t assume negative intent, 7. Build a Bible reading habit, 8. Start a one sentence journal, 9. Focus on little changes to attain reasonable goals, and 10. Serve other people intentionally.
It is obvious that we can learn from each other. We do not get enough of sharing our lives with each other. This July, we will not have our 10:00 am Small Groups. This will afford all of us a little extra R and R. However, on July 7th, 14th, and 21st, at 10:30 am I will host “Conversation and Donuts”. It will be a half hour gathering where we can share our summer stories, laugh together, cry together, really BE TOGETHER in a very relaxed setting. Come when you can and we will all sit, chat and relax together.
I love you all very much. Have a blessed summer.