Loving God, Serving Others


July 3, 2022
Independence Day Greetings, Saints!
I’ll bet you have plans for this weekend. Years after I’ve complained about the Fourth of July falling on all the inappropriate days, FINALLY it’s where it belongs: on a Monday (is there anything worse that a July 4 falling on Wednesday?? Or a weekend??). That Monday makes a long weekend for most of us. I hope you have a great holiday. It looks like Debbie and I are getting together with kids and grandkids for a potluck gathering. And maybe I can squeeze in a round of disc golf. Relaxing is certainly on the agenda. 
One reason Debbie and I got a dog was to ‘force’ us to walk, more than we probably would have on our own. Boy, has that been the case. Most days it’s more than one walk, and we usually get up a steep hill which gets out heart pumping. But the woods in back of our place is beautiful, which is another reward of the hike. And over the last spring & now summer, I have gloried in the parade of wildflowers, all taking their turn to shine. I have marveled at God’s creation with the different colors, leaf shapes and sizes. I’m amazed at the flowers and foliage, even the small things. And I imagine it will be infinitely more glorious when we get to heaven (or the new heavens and the new earth), where sin won’t mar creation and it will not be under the bondage to decay (Romans 8). I can’t wait. 
I read recently about one retired pastor and his recollections of churches past. He said this: “Our beautiful, beneath-the-surface stories are still about outcasts who find a family, broken and embittered people who discover that the Lord hasn’t stopped loving them, and covenant-committed people of God who pay the price to love their spiritual kin. All of us bound by the love of God in Christ.
That sounds like a good church. Aren’t we all outcasts in a way? Don’t we all need a family to love and be loved by? I’m glad you open your arms wide to welcome the outcast and even refugee. Press on.
This Sunday we’ll sing a few patriotic-like songs, hear about assurance & confidence in 1 John 3:19-24 and observe communion. Oh, and the fundraising sale to benefit the marketing of Elinor’s book begins and runs for a couple of consecutive Sundays. 
See you Sunday?
Pastor Rob