Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.
– Colossians 4:2-6 (NAS)
Now that I am transitioning towards my sabbatical in the next couple of weeks (Barb and I will be here July 1st) but we will be taking our break starting that week. As we all head for a summer with lots of moving parts, changes and breaks it could be a time for great opportunity and open doors.
I am grateful to the Elders for these next two months off to get a break and rest. I am also excited about the opportunity to develop material to be published. I am working double time now on my work on the Lord’s Prayer. My daughter and Dana Weld are helping with the initial editorial work to help me zero in on being clear. Since this last Sunday was my last message for the summer I am focusing very much on the publishing challenges in front of me. The other work I desire to develop and publish is our Picture of a Disciple so I would greatly appreciate prayers related to thinking clearly and finding open doors to see this work published. It would be nice to “get it done” through the summer but getting something ready to publish is a long and meticulous process that will require hours and hours of labor; but happy to explore this challenge primarily because of your encouragement as a Body and especially my staff.
Several of you have been very kind in expressing how much you will miss Barb and me through the summer. I remember a couple of people who have expressed it this way, “what will we do without you?” which is very affirming but we have an outstanding staff and leaders who will do great through the summer as always. We have planned some very cool elements to preaching through July and August and I think Barb and I are the ones that will wonder what we will do without you. But don’t worry we will be very busy.
But since someone asked, “What will we do without you?” Here is my answer:
• Wouldn’t it be so cool that when Barb and I drop back into Oak Grove in September that 30 new people started connecting with our Body on Sunday mornings because of your commitment to love others who are not here right now?
• Wouldn’t it be cool because of the passion of our Body that five people came to Christ while Barb and I were on Sabbatical?
• Wouldn’t it be cool if we had 10 new families be part of our Fun Feet Soccer Camp this year?
• Wouldn’t it be really cool if we had 100 kids and a dozen new volunteers jump into VBS this August?
• Wouldn’t it be cool if the Spirit of God gave you some amazing personal stories to tell us at the end of the summer because of your eager desire to hear and obey truth from messages on Sunday morning or Grove U?
• Wouldn’t it be cool if each person who came on Sunday mornings learned to chatter about how God was giving them new opportunities and open doors to see lives changed for Christ? Wow!
That would be so cool!
What will you do while we are taking a “rest” for the summer? Keep on making a difference! Keep connecting with lost people. Keep encouraging one another. Keep coming together as His church to celebrate Christ. Keep learning how to be a disciple-maker and not just a disciple. Keep changing the world!
I can’t tell you how excited I would be if things like this happened while we are gone this summer. The only indispensable person in the Church is Christ Himself! He is the same God on the same mission using the same people who are willing to keep exploring faith and courageous enough to keep on chasing Jesus into a dark world and shining the light of Christ into the darkness of broken lives.
In His joy,