July is here! As a teacher, I never really liked July much because it pretty much meant the end of your summer. It was a mental shift – away from being done with school in the spring and doing summer activities to being done with summer activities and starting to think about the new school year in August! Like I said, it was a mental thing! But truth be told, a teacher’s mind never stops. We’re always looking at the world around us thinking of ways to incorporate this or that neat thing into our lessons! God bless teachers!! Guy is here! I have been looking forward to his arrival, and I hope you have, too. I’m looking forward to the expertise and new ideas he will bring into our congregation. I’m looking forward to having a colleague join our ministry team and accomplishing great things. Grace has so many opportunities and people to do great things in God’s kingdom. It takes a team to organize and execute those opportunities. Guy will be a big help! But let me caution you. Guy will help us accomplish great things, but he isn’t going to do it alone – or by himself. YOU HAVE TO HELP! Just like when I arrived, I encouraged you not to sit back and let me do it all – but that you, as the CHURCH, would bear the biggest share of the work. That remains true today. Both Guy and I want and need your help to do the work God has called us to do. Let me also encourage you to respond quickly and often when volunteers are needed. One of the things that can bog down our work and enthusiasm is when asking for help becomes like pulling teeth. That’s no fun, so please don’t put us through that!! Remember to pray for our LYF kids and adult leaders who will attend the National Youth Gathering in Houston this month. This is a wonderful opportunity to grow in their faith along with thousands of other young people. I pray that they will come home being ready to boldly proclaim their faith in Jesus and the values He gives us. The world needs this. Our young people need this. If we don’t teach this, believe this and proclaim this, who will? Don’t count on the media! A personal note to you – Vickie and I will be gone when you get this. I have the honor of preaching for the 175th anniversary of St. John Lutheran Church in New Minden, Illinois. It is a charter congregation of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. That takes place on Sunday, June 26th. Vickie and I served in that congregation in the early 1990’s. And I taught at the Lutheran School of that congregation. They remain a dear memory for us and our ministry, so this a special gift for me to celebrate with them in this way! Then Vickie and I will be going to Los Angeles with my mother on a tour with WHO radio in Des Moines. We will be traveling to Catalina Island, touring the Nixon Library, Reagan Library and Reagan Ranch, and we’ll have lunch on the USS Iowa moored in LA Harbor. On July 4th, we’ll enjoy the fireworks show from a boat located near the Queen Mary. We’ll enjoy the trip, the lessons learned, and the time with my 84 year old mother. I’m thankful she can still travel!
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