Pastor’s Note 7/8/2021

4-5 I’m not trying to get my way in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way, your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot in front of the other.

 I’m not giving up.
Psalm 17.4-5 (The Message)

Life is a series of choices.
Some of our choices are big and life changing, other choices are mundane and simple but in any choice, we can either be people who are trying to get our own way in the world’s way or we can people who are trying to work on behalf of God’s way, His kingdom way. 

If you were to read all of Psalm 17, you would discover David (the author of this Psalm) crying out to God for help. David is crying out to God in the middle of the night and he is asking that God would find a way to help him in his desperate situation (Isn’t that when most of us cry out to God? We can’t sleep, we are worried about a situation and
we cry out to God for help!). David is crying out to God with a pure heart, a heart that is following God ways. He is confidently expecting that God will help him with his desperately big choice.

This Psalm gives us permission to also cry out to God. In both our big and small choices, we can cry out for help and God will answer. 
In all of our choices, the countless choices that you and I will face in life, may we seek the way of God and His kingdom, not our own way or the world’s way. May we walk daily, putting one foot in front of the other, not giving up on the way of God and His Kingdom.

Come this Sunday as we dig a bit deeper into this Psalm of David and listen to another selection from “God’s Greatest Hits.”
Know that I am praying for you and am looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Pastor’s Note 7/2/2021

It’s almost July 4th and for me, that always feels like it means that we are in the middle of all that summer has to offer. For some that means that we are preparing for vacations, for others it is a time to BBQ and enjoy time outdoors. Some of us want to enjoy some time at the beach others want to lounge by a pool. 

Summer Reads’

It also can be time when you pick a book or two to read. I thought I would make a few suggestions of books that you may want to read. Now these aren’t all books that I have read (although I have read some of them). Several have been recommended to me, others are on my bookshelf waiting for me to crack open. 
Here is a short list of books that you may want to read this summer:
  •  A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson This is a classic book by noted pastor and author Eugene Peterson. In a society that is obsessed with quick and instant solutions Peterson uses the Songs of Ascents (Psalm 120-134) as a prescription for fighting against quick fixes and calling us to discipleship that is a journey with Christ.
  • Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by M. Robert Mulholland Jr. This is a great book that can help Christians become like Christ and is a great help for Christians at any stage of their journey. I like the Mulholland defines spiritual formation as “the process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.”  
  • Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. This book is a classic that uses allegory to share about how to become sure-footed in our faith even as we face life’s rockiest moments.
  • How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice by Jemar Tisby This book is on my list to read and was recommended by several of my friends as I sought to learn more on how to move beyond discussions about racism to understanding and implementing some tools to fight against it.
  • one thousand gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp This book was on my wife’s bookshelf and I know that it is recommended by her as a book that helps you engage in a life that is transformed by God’s joy.
  • Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behingd Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist Another book that was on my wife’s bookshelf but I have loved reading Shauna’s other writings and her words are helpful as we seek to live meaningful lives that are connected to God and to others.
  • The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction by Justin Whitmel Earley This is another book on my “wish list” of books to read. The author writes about some simple daily and weekly habits that can help to transform our lives and faith.
Let me know what you read and if you have any other recommendations for me to read. 
Happy reading and I will see you this Sunday.