Summer is my favorite time of the year. Unlike my bride, I really like the hot weather, the humidity, the long days, summer barbecues and sandy beaches. Having spent many of my younger years growing up in Hawaii, I’ve always enjoyed the beach. While I was never a great surfer like Patrick Carey, I was chased out of the water once by a humongous octopus who wanted to put his tentacles around my legs. I was even swimming one day when folks were yelling for my brother and me to get out of the water because sharks were swimming around us.
While summer is a time for fun and to recharge our batteries, unfortunately for some it has become a time to take a vacation from church. In one of the communities that Sherry and I lived, there was a large church in the center of town that actually closed down in July and August. At the time, I thought how sad. How can you take a vacation from God?
In Dr. David Jeremiah’s book Life Wide Open, he asks his readers the penetrating question, “where was God when I lost Him? Where did I leave Him?” I believe that we “lose God" when we take a vacation from Him, where other priorities take preference in our lives.
My prayer for us this summer is that we will grow closer to God, not distance ourselves from Him, that we will continue to make church and spiritual disciplines a priority in our lives. Even while we are away on vacation we can still visit other churches and worship. Sherry and I have rented a cottage on a lake in Gilmanton, NH in July. One of the first things we did was to “check-out” the nearby churches to decide in advance where we would be worshiping because I can’t imagine taking a summer off from God.
And don’t forget, exciting things are happening this summer at St. Matthews as well … things you won’t want to miss.
So enjoy the summer, spend time with family and friends, do the things that you have been looking forward to doing (recently I’ve even taken up kayaking with my favorite daughter), but covet to keep God with you every step of the way, remembering the words of James: draw near to God and He will draw near to you! Have a great summer … and I trust I’ll see you this Sunday at St. Matthews!
Last Saturday, folks from St. Matthews gathered to plant flowers and spruce up the church’s landscaping just in time for us to celebrate Pentecost. As I drove in to the parking lot on Sunday, I thought how beautiful the church looked and what a witness it is to the community. We are so fortunate to have folks that do so much for the upkeep of our church. So thanks to all who helped … and to those who continue to work so hard for our church in so many way. Obviously the pictures are a small representation of all those who participated. Please forgive me for not including everyone but know that we are grateful for you!
I also want to give a special shout out to our trustees – the unsung heroes who do so much without ever asking or expecting a word of thanks. The trustees work behind the scenes to keep St. Matthews in tip-top shape. When you get a chance, please thank our trustees and tell them we appreciate all that they do: Rick McCully, Leo Reynolds, Frank O. King Jr., Trucinda Phillips, Chris Decker and Rick Russell. Just saying!
In Christ’s love,