Greetings in the name of Jesus,
I am continuing my commitment to write a monthly news article, even though we do not have a congregational monthly newsletter at this time. I feel it is important for me, as the Shepherd of Emmanuel and its members, to stay in contact with all of you. And so I will be diligent in this endeavor as I try to connect with each of you on a monthly basis.
Well, here we are on the verge of the end of summer. We are only a few days from Labor Day weekend and the onset of the new school year. What a wonderful summer we have been blessed with in relation to the pleasant weather we have had for the last several months. I know many of you have had the opportunity to do some traveling and camping as a family. What a great way for us to spend quality time with our families as we get out and enjoy the beautiful world God has so lovingly and generously given us to experience. In a day and age when the family structure is being hammered on and in some cases torn down, it is a real blessing to be able to take time off to strengthen the bond we have as moms and dads, parents and children, brothers and sisters. These types of adventures are vital for our families and are God-pleasing.
In today’s world there is little doubt that we are so busy going our own ways that we rarely set aside time each week to be together for family activities such as worship, meals, playing games, watching movies, or any other number of wholesome events. I truly believe the devil has ramped up his attack on our families, especially those who strive to provide a Christian environment in the home. God brought us together as His people to live in intimate relationships with one another as parents, children, and siblings. This is the very structure that human beings thrive within. When the family unit is strong, and is connected to God, powerful things happen. Our love for God seems to blossom and grow and our relationships with each other seem to develop into what I would label beautiful settings.
Is spending quality time together as a family going to come easy for some of us? Probably not! But I guarantee that if you put forth the intentional effort to make the necessary changes in your lives to spend more time with each other, it will pay some pretty hefty dividends. I am certain God will bless your work to build up the family and He will do it in some awesome and mighty ways.
As we end summer and move into the school year, we are going to be hosting a special day here at Emmanuel for our church families and guests. On Sunday, September 10th, we will be having Rally Day. On Rally Day we will be starting up our Sunday school classes after having taken off the summer months. We will also be continuing on with our Adult Bible class which meets in the fellowship hall. Another special activity being planned is an outdoor service. This will take place, weather providing, in the back of the church. We are planning to have some familiar contemporary songs which will be accompanied by electric guitars, electric keyboard, and drums. This will be a change from the norm but should be exciting. A blessing of the backpacks will be a part of the service as well. There is a potluck meal on the agenda which will follow the worship service. We are also planning on having some games and activities for everyone to enjoy as we spend time together in fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope you put this special day into your schedule and I hope you invite family members and friends to be in attendance for these outdoor events.
Finally, I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Labor Day weekend celebration. Let us never forget how God has richly blessed each of us with the opportunity to live in a country where we can be gainfully employed in a variety of vocations. It is through His generosity that we can work and provide for ourselves and families. May we be thankful for what God has given us, especially in His Son Jesus. And as we remember God’s goodness may we do what Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. God bless each of you as you work to glorify God. And in so doing may you earn a good living so that you can provide for your needs, for the needs of your family, and for the needs of others whom God places on your heart.
Joyful in the Jesus,