Friends and family,
How we appreciate you and hope you had a terrific summer! Oconto High School Class of 1981, I am so sorry I was not able to see you at our reunion. I am sure it was wonderful catching up. I hope to see you at the 50th!
We celebrated Maria’s 20th birthday on August 2nd. I don’t think she realizes what a blessing she is to Leah and myself. She is a great friend and always brings such joy to our lives. Here are a few pics I borrowed from Rebekah, one recent and one from a few years ago. Wish her a belated Happy Birthday if you get a chance.
For over four years, I have done weekly pulpit supply for the incredible congregation at the Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Other than taking a few weeks off due to COVID, I don’t think I missed more than a week or two over the years. I am taking the next three weeks off. A gifted gentleman from the church will be sharing God’s Word during this time. I am also taking some time off of social media. If I miss wishing you a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, I apologize. I am taking some time to simply seek Jesus. I can’t wait!
It is so easy to slip into the “I must make a difference” trap. Since I was a teen, I always wanted to make a difference for Jesus. I went to Last Days Ministries because I thought they were making a difference. I then received my ministry training at college thinking I would make a difference by becoming a missionary. When Leah and couldn’t go overseas due to health reasons, I became a pastor hoping to make a difference in the lives of my church family and community. In the process, it was always easy to make “making a difference” a higher priority than loving Jesus Christ and living simply to give Him glory. There is nothing wrong with “making a difference,” as long as it remains a byproduct of our pure devotion to Jesus. It is just too easy to have the priorities get mixed up.
To be honest, looking back over the years I don’t think I really made much of a difference in our world, in my denominational family, in my communities, or even in my local churches. Now that I am homebound, I have no real opportunities to make a difference, other than preaching weekly to one wonderful but small congregation. Yet, I can still love Jesus. I can still talk to Him and listen to Him. I can still intercede about the real important matters that are near to His heart. And in the process, I can do what really matters most.
As I was praying for my high school friends, I thought of the verses I used as the basis of my graduation speech four decades ago:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12–14 ESV)
May we all press on toward that same goal together!
Please pray for us!
–Leah and I both need God’s strength for our daily lives. Please pray for Leah’s health, especially her constant stomach pain she experiences in large part to the medication she takes.
–I need to lose weight to ease the burden on my weary body. It is very difficult not being able to exercise, except while sitting in a chair. Fatigue is always a problem.
–Since we are on Medicaid, our insurance coverage seems to be constantly changing. This complicates our medical care and makes it difficult financially. I will be placed on Medicare in the next few months. Please pray for God’s provision.
–Please pray for our many friends and family who are very sick with COVID. Arkansas has been hard hit with this most recent wave. Even children are getting quite sick.
–Please pray for us as we have the privilege of praying for others. Pray we will be faithful.
How can we pray for you? Please let us know. We so appreciate you!
802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802 (479) 886-0765