Dear Church Family,

It is good to be home. My week and a half back in the saddle has reminded me of the great privilege it is to serve alongside all of you. I am so proud of this church in the way you cared for one another during the sabbatical (By the way,  here is a two-page summary of my time away for those who want to hear more about my sabbatical! 2018_Sabbatical_Reflections) A big thanks to many of the leaders who took up the extra work in my time away. A big “hurrah!” to Randy Pospisil, Michael Biegler, and Gary Hoobler for feeding the saints on those Sundays. The church did not skip a beat because the King of Kings was still on the move…all glory to Christ.

Meditation: One of the most chilling proverbs penned by Solomon is this: Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” We can be so sure of ourselves. We can be convinced that something is “right.” We can be certain that such-and-such a decision is of the LORD…but the end is death. It could be as serious as a person thinking they know the LORD, but finding out on judgment day, the LORD does not know them (cf. Matthew 7:21-23). It could be a decision that we prayed about and felt a certain peace, but it turns out that we went with our gut and not the LORD.

I say all this so that when we begin this study in Proverbs we read it with God-centered humility. Proverbs is not a get-life-figured-out-quick book. It’s not a how-to textbook. It’s an invitation to seek God for wisdom, with the foundation being “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7). Wisdom takes decades, not days, but if someone is scared off by the decades and abandons ship, they can be certain to make shipwreck of their lives. Friends, let’s journey together to seek the LORD.

News of note:

Baptism service and class: We’ll hold a “Baptism and Lord’s Supper Class” on Sunday July 22 at 11AM. Then after our worship gathering and Sunday School on July 29th, we will gather again at John and Lesia’s Stuelke’s home to celebrate the baptism of our candidates. (keep on the lookout for what to bring, address, etc.)

The elders will be taking their annual summer prayer and planning retreat next Wednesday and Thursday (July 18-19). If you’d be willing to pray and fast for our time together those days, we would be in your debt. Please consider fasting and praying with a friend in church for a single meal, part of a day, or the entire time.

Over the next 6-8 weeks, the leaders will be heavily engaged in recruitment and training of teachers, small group leaders, and volunteers of all sorts to serve this body. Please prayerfully consider sacrifices you can make for the LORD for the sake of making disciples in our body and in our community. Your labors are never in vain.

For the Gospel, until all have heard,

Pastor Matt

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