Back In the Saddle

Good morning,
I am back in the saddle this week after a wonderful family trip to Acadia National Park in Maine.  Thanks to Neil Deibler for speaking on 7/8 and to Charlie Szasz and Ed Strausser for the “running the show” while I was away!
Our time in Maine was a reminder of God’s amazing creation.  We saw whales, seals, porpoises, deer, about a million small red squirrels and so many different birds and sea creatures that I couldn’t possibly remember the names to them all.  We saw the sun rise from the top of a mountain and returned at night to see more stars than I have ever seen before.  We saw the tide rise and fall 12-14 feet each day.  We walked across temporary land bridges.  We saw many spots were God told the sea “that’s as far as you go.”
While in Maine I thought of the passage found in Job 38-39 where God reminds Job that He and He alone is the Creator of all things.  What an amazing God we serve!
Two other passages also came to mind during our time in Maine:
Psalm 96:11-12 “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”
Psalm 104:24-25 “How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.”
Here’s what’s happening:
We are in our annual “summer lull” here are Ebenezer.  I trust that everyone is able to recharge their ministry batteries over the next few weeks:
1.    We have new sidewalks!  The company that we contracted with to replace our new sidewalks wasn’t scheduled to come until the fall, but they decided to bump up our project in their schedule.  Thanks to Dave Ressler for coordinating the work.
2.    The Summer Lunch program continues here at Ebenezer on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 11:30am – 12:30pm.  Free lunches are served to all children who come!
3.    Camp Meeting Season is quickly approaching.  Rosedale Camp Grove begins on Sunday, July 29 at 6:30pm with their opening service and continues each day through Friday, August 3rd.  Rawlinsville Camp Meeting begins Monday, July 30th at 7:30 pm and continues each day through Sunday, August 12th. 

This Sunday we begin our summer sermon series on the Letters of John.  These 3 small books found in the back of the New Testament are often overlooked, but they were critical to the protection and growth of the fledgling early church.  I’ve titled this series “Authentic Christianity.”  I’m afraid it isn’t a very original title, pastors often use it when preaching a sermon series from one of the New Testament Epistles because they all contain instructions for genuine Christian living.

I invite you to read 1 John 1:1-10 this week.  John and his brother James were famously given the nickname “Sons of Thunder” by Jesus and we’ll see why within the first few verses of this letter!