Absecon Presbyterian Church

Good News

July/August 2009

 

NEWS FROM THE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Sunday School - The Sunday School programs have been very busy all year with mission projects, plays, craft projects, and Sunday Call to Worship presentations.  The year culminated with recognition of students, teachers, aids and graduates.

The 40 Minute Club is held throughout the summer for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade during the church service.

Youth Programs - Lions and Lambs and KFC, under the direction of Jim Wooding, will have a canoe trip and camping trip during the summer.

The Senior Youth Group planted a vegetable garden on the end lot and will give the ripened veggies to the Food Bank.  They will be taking surfing lessons in Longport and a pool party is planned in August.  Also, Karen has invited a neighbor, who is a missionary, to talk to the youth group about her experiences in Africa.

Session has approved to make a change of time and day for our Lions and Lambs program beginning in September.  After meeting with parents and committee members, the program will move to Sundays directly after Sunday School (11:00 to 12:30).  It will be a Christian family based theme with parents actively participating in crafts, games and music.  Priscilla Schultheis, Christian Education and Resource Director, will coordinate the program and it will piggy-back the Sunday School lesson.

Adult Education - The pastor’s Bible study, Book Club and Woman’s Circles have been very successful.  They even sent boxes of goodies to 23 college students.

Vacation Bible School - This program will be at the Methodist Church from August 3rd to 7th from 9:00 am to 12:00.  Joe Marshall and Karen Little are representing our church and have expressed the need for teachers, assistants and donations of juice boxes and wrapped snacks.  (Registration forms are available from the church office or download and print from the church website.)

Yours in Christ,
Gayle Ackerman

SUNDAY SCHOOL AND RELATED NEWS

In June we held our Teacher Recognition Sunday and had our first field day in a couple of years.  The kids liked the races and ribbons.  The carnival games and prizes were great too…but the splashing hit of the day was Jack Cobb’s inflatable water slide!  That was awesome, and the kids lined up patiently waiting to slip down the watery slide and splash in the pool at the bottom where little Joey Achamizo waited eagerly to climb into the pool until the next person appeared at the top.  Many helping hands made this day a success and I wish to thank you all.  Graduate Sunday also took place in June and everyone made a special gift for their fathers on Father’s Day.

Up Coming Events

 

 

 

See you on Sundays this summer,
Priscilla

ABSECON COMMUNITY VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Vacation Bible School will be held August 3-7 this year.  This is a chance for the children of our church to share in fellowship with other children from the area and to learn about our Lord in a fun-filled setting. 

In order to keep costs down the VBS Committee is asking for donations of snacks and juice boxes or pouches to feed our hungry learners.  I will leave a donation box in the vestibule to collect the goodies.

Thank you and Happy Summer!

Your Friend in Christ,
Karen Little

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2009 GRADUATES!

8th Grade
Christopher Hughes attended Pilgrim Academy and would like to become a cartoonist.  He is presently a member of the Boy Scouts looking to become an Eagle Scout.  His favorite subject is Math.

Valerie Seel attended Galloway Township Middle School.  She is a cheerleader for the Absegami Braves.  She would like to attend Juniata and continue in sports.  After college, Valerie would like to get a degree as a teacher to help younger kids.

Jeremy Wong will graduate from Galloway Township Middle School.  He will be a member of the Absegami Marching Band and would like to be an Orthopedic Surgeon.

High School
Stacey Harvey is graduating from Absegami High School and has been on the Honor roll.  She is interested in Biological research and plans to go to Rutgers University for a B.S. Degree in Biology.  Stacy's interests are art, music, math and science.

Kristin Hudak is a graduate of Holy Spirit High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.  She rowed crew for 4 years winning gold medals in both the Stokesbury and National events.  Kristin has volunteered at Atlantic City Animal Shelter and Sister Jean's Kitchen.  She was awarded a scholarship for crew at the University of Rhode Island where she will continue to row crew.

Matthew Morgan graduated from St. Joe's High School in Metuchen, NJ.  He is the grandson of Ferd & JoAnn Morgan and will go to college in Delaware.  Matthew is an Eagle Scout.

Erin Nassif is graduating from Absegami High School where she is a member of the National Honor Society.  She plans to go to Nova South Eastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to study Marine Biology and Environmental Studies.

Rebecca Sheahan is the granddaughter of Jinny and Roger Wolcott.  She graduated from Caesar Rodney High School where she was a Presidential Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society.  Rebecca graduated number 13 out of 491 students, which is in the top 5% of the class.  She received a few scholarships for Education and FFA.  Rebecca plans to attend the University of Delaware as a double major in Agriculture Education and Animal Science with a minor in AgBusiness.  Rebecca wants to teach Agriculture Education and open a therapeutic riding and animal therapy ranch for physically and mentally handicapped members of society.

College
Betsy Eberhard is the daughter of Ruth Eberhard.  She graduated from Atlantic County Community College with a certificate as Office Technology Specialist.  Currently Betsy is job hunting in that field.

Jeannette Harvey is a graduate of the University of LaVerne in California with a B.S. Degree in Psychology.  She is currently working with disabled adults at WAPADH.  Jeannette plans to get her Master's Degree in Speech and Language Pathology.

Master's Degree
Janna Beth Cobb graduated from Rutgers University with a Master's of Social Work.  She currently enjoys a part-time job, 80's music, Star Trek reruns, celebrity workout videos and watching her hamster run around in the ball.  If you know of anything full-time, please let her know !  (Update – Janna Beth has been hired to help create a mental health program with Cape Counseling.)

Doctorate Degree

Kristen Jenoriki graduated from Temple University with a Degree as Doctor of Pharmacy.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University in 2005.  Kristen decided to pursue her education in pharmacy and graduated in May 2009 and was on the Dean's list every semester.  She is currently employed at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center - City Division - in the pharmacy department.  WOW!!

We salute these special members of our congregation as a very talented group of graduates.  We are very proud of each one of you for your hard work and determination.  We wish you the best in your future endeavors.

 


CALLING ALL CHURCH HYMNALS

The Worship Committee requests that anyone who has borrowed a hymnal please return it to the church. 

If you wish to purchase a new hymnal ($15.00 each) for the sanctuary as a memorial please contact the church office or Ron Pfeiffer.

Thank you,
Ron Pfeiffer, Chairman

FROM THE CHOIR LOFT….by Tom Sooy

Our 150th Anniversary Celebration seems like a distant memory.  It was nice to be able to look back at where we came from as a congregation, but now it is time to “move forward in faith” as our slogan states.  Our music programs are winding down now and we look forward to the summer schedule.

We have some great music lined up for our Summer Special Music.  Some old friends like the Seasoned Singers, Sharon Neff, and Jim Commander, some new comers to us like the Holland Family as well as some talented members of our own congregation will be making the rafters ring with music to the glory of God.

And since it is summer, it means HYMN SING time!  Be prepared to have your favorites ready for each of the Sundays of summer starting at 9:45AM.

I would also like to thank Kris and Michael Jenoriki for opening their home to the choirs for a sumptuous evening of food and fellowship.

We will continue to use the great music and text of our anniversary theme song as our Benediction Response, as we live out the words of our 150th anniversary celebration as we continue to “Look back in Gratitude and Move Forward in Faith!

O may all who come behind us find us faithful;
may the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
O may all who come behind us find us faithful.

Until next time…..see you in the Choir Loft!

TOM

OUR CHURCH IN PRAYER…

Prayer is a gift.  God has given each and every one of us the opportunity, through the Holy Spirit, to speak to him directly.
 
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14

It is God’s call to us throughout scripture that we pray for our church and pastor.
  
The prayer requests for our church for this month are listed below.  Please use this as a guide when you pray.   One suggestion is that you pray for one request each day of the week.
 
Day 1 - Pray for our pastor - his health, his family, his time spent in quiet time and sermon preparation. 
Day 2 - Pray for lay leadership, that people will come forward to fill needed positions of leadership.
Day 3 - Pray that our church will seek and receive God’s direction and vision.
Day 4 - Pray that we as a church family remain good and faithful stewards, so the financial needs are met.
Day 5 - Pray that our church will be a community of grace and forgiveness.
Day 6 & 7 - Thank/praise God for his faithfulness to our church over these past 150 years.

Lucy Jerue, Co-chairman, Visioning Task Force
(This will be a regular monthly submission by your Visioning Team moderators and your pastor.)

PRAYER CHAINS

Our prayer chain has expanded to the internet.  If you are willing to commit to praying for members of our church family and would like to join our Email Prayer Chain please notify the office.  Email blasts are sent out as requests are received in the office.  No forwarding or phone calls are necessary – just a willingness to pray. 

The telephone chain is still active and always willing to add a “link” or two.  If you would like to become a part of the phone chain contact the office.

PASTOR’S SUMMER VACATION SCHEDULE

Sundays away                          Scheduled speaker/program

July 12                                      Seasoned Singers
July 19  (Cobb’s in Oahu)           Tom Sooy
Aug. 9                                      Lisa Whitaker, missionary with Youth With A Mission
Aug. 23                                    Rev. David Bailey, director of Ranch Hope
Aug. 30                                                Rev. Richard Ollinger, Pres./CEO of Cornerstone Christian Academy

 

 

MISSION/EVANGELISM by Tom Sooy

This week is the kick-off to our Father’s Day and Beyond program.  This program, through Church World Services (yes the CROP Walk people), can provide emergency food to a family for a month for $72.00.  This amount is out of reach for many individuals but our challenge is for us to go together as friends, Circle groups, the Choir, Men’s Club, Evergreens, Youth Groups, Committees – everyone in the church - to make an individual or joint contribution to this amazing new program.  We plan to continue the program throughout the year so there will be plenty of opportunity to be part of this wonderful ministry.

The committee will be meeting on July 5th at 9:15 AM, Yes! 9:15 AM.  One of the things we will be discussing is the choice of a new missionary program since our field missionaries, Ted and Sue Wright, will be retiring after having served in Africa for more than 20 years.          

Even though it is summer our mission work does not stop so listen in church, read the Good News, but most of all listen to the voice of God as He directs each of us on our personal missions for His glory.

NEWS FROM THE MISSION FIELD

Dear friends:

Greetings from Ted, currently visiting family in the USA.  I am the photo sender this month (fast internet connection); Sue is the newsletter writer.

So you're getting the photos first, but the letter will follow shortly from Sue in Lusaka.

Here is a portion of the Mwaladzi (Mozambique) congregation at worship on May 10.  When you see the newsletter, you will get the connection.

Grace and peace,
Ted

 

Though it is true that everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again (John 4:13), at least the villagers won't have to walk for miles to find it.  

We thank God that the borehole at Mwaladzi is now installed.  We keep a bottle of its water as a memorial at home

T&S

 

EQUIPPING AND ENCOURAGING

“I knew I was supposed to come, but I had no idea how I was going to get here!” – one of our Central Asian staff told me in reference to attending the staff training conference I led in Amsterdam in January…several months later in Finland at a similar conference, one of our Ukrainian staff who works in Russia told me he only had enough funds to get on the train to Moscow.  As he obeyed, God provided what he needed to make each leg of the journey to Finland.  These stories are not uncommon as staff travel miles to receive more equipping, training and encouragement to continue to minister where God has called them.  I have noticed over the years that development and care for missionaries seems very sporadic and in some cases non-existent.  I absolutely love the opportunity to invest in the lives of those investing in the lives of others.

It’s hard to believe that I have been a part of this mission now for 18 years.  It is equally hard to grasp that I am now looked at as part of the “older generation”.  While in Finland, one of the young Swedish staff was praying for me and said “Thank you Lord that Lisa is willing to invest in our generation” – I had to choke back a gasp – since when did I cease to be a part of the current generation?  I guess it happened when I wasn’t looking.  I have to say that people like Tetyana, DTS (Discipleship Training School) staff that came to Amsterdam just longing for some input, the Central Asian girl, the Ukrainian guy and so many more truly are what motivate me to continue to train.  I am grateful that I get to experience so many aspects of missions – whether it is reaching out in a small way to the township in South Africa or training staff and leaders from all over the world or teaching about God’s word in a DTS in Manhattan or leading a club here in Absecon.  I know above all else that the most important thing is to do well and faithfully whatever God has asked of me.  Thank you for begin such a vital part of that.

Lisa Whitaker from “The Latest from Lisa” Spring/Summer 2009

 

 

FINANCIAL REPORT: COLLECTIONS DOWN IN MAY

While May had five Sundays, collections were down when compared to the months of January through April:

Budget for 2009                                                                                           $225,636.00
Budgetary needs through May 31                                        $ 95,480.00

Our giving through May 31                                                                          $ 70,815.23
Investment Income                                                                                      $    7,424.12
Rental Income (net)                                                                                     $ 10,116.15
Total                                                                          $ 88,355.50

Amount under budget                                                                                  $    7,124.50

Last month we were $2,163.98 under budget, so our financial situation deteriorated significantly in May.  Below is our average weekly giving by month.  As you can see May was the worst month of the five.

Average weekly giving by month

January

$3,689.44

February

$3,150.85

March

$3,055.65

April

$3,355.50

May

$2,950.76

 

Included in the May giving figure is a $1,000 bequeath from the estate of Fred Keill.  Fred and Edna Keill were long time members of our church, having moved to Pennsylvania a number of years ago where they resided in a retirement complex near their daughter.  Fred will be remembered as a member of the choir and Edna as a Sunday School teacher.  They served in many other capacities and were very active in the church.  Edna predeceased her husband Fred.

The next financial report will be in the September Good News and will reflect the months of June and July.  Traditionally, church attendance and giving decline over the summer months.  Hopefully all of us will try our utmost to attend church on Sunday and keep up with our pledges so we can meet our summertime expenses - which do not take a holiday over the summer!

So, have a great summer and see you in church!
Gerald W. Hoenes, Stewardship Chairperson

JUNE THANK YOUS TO THE FOLLOWING:

 

 


CEMETERY UPDATE & REMINDER

You may have wondered why a concrete truck was driving around the cemetery on Saturday morning, June 13th.  Well, the weather was not cooperating and we had to have the columbarium foundation constructed between rain storms.  The foundation was finally poured on Saturday.  The columbarium is now scheduled for delivery the week of August 3rd.

I would like to remind everyone if you want to take advantage of the 10% discount on the sale of columbarium interment space, you must do so by the end of construction.  If you decide the columbarium meets your needs then contact the church office at your earliest convenience and be billed at a later date.

Remember the 10% discount will end sometime in September so don’t miss this opportunity to save some money.

God Bless,
Jim Maurer

POSSIBLE FUND RAISING EFFORT TO BEGIN IN JULY FOR LEEK HOUSE

While the meeting hasn’t happened as of yet, if the congregation votes to purchase the Leek house on June 28 we will begin a capital effort to pay down the amount we will have to borrow (roughly $80,000).

The pastor has promised to put up $15,000 in matching grant money if the congregation will match it in gifts of $50 or more.  If the campaign is totally successful we will only need to borrow $50,000 which would reduce our monthly mortgage payment by one third or more.  This would turn the house into an immediate income producer once it is rented, making it a substantial part of our financial plan and security for the foreseeable future.  This benefits not only us but our children.

 

 


What a great time everyone had at the Strawberry Festival on June 6th.  We had a wonderful turnout!!  The strawberries were sweet and the entertainment awesome provided by John Channell and friends.  Rob Perry and sons, Jake and Zachary, provided music during the intermission and they were great as well!!  Many thanks to all who helped pick and clean strawberries, bake, work in the kitchen and to those who came and had a good time.  We netted $534 which will go towards the purchase of chairs and tables for Madden Hall and for the Sunday School children in the game room.

Our next couple of events are listed below so mark your calendars-- more details will follow.

 

So we have some busy months ahead of us!!  To plan for these events, the Fellowship Committee will be meeting Tuesday, August 18th, 7 pm in Cobb Lounge.  ANYONE who is interested in helping at any of these events whether it be setting up, working at events, baking or whatever, please contact Kris Jenoriki (748-1214) as we would love to have you join us!

Thank You,
Kris Jenoriki

LUNCH BUNCH TO J.T.’S ON RT. 9, LITTLE EGG HARBOR

Lunch Bunch will travel to J.T.’s Restaurant on Wednesday, July 8.  Please meet at the church at 11:30 or at the restaurant at noon.

J.T.’s is known to most of us as the old “Penny’s”.  Lunch Bunch used to eat there every year.

CHURCH PICNIC JULY 5 BEHIND THE MANSE

Come one, come all to a church picnic behind the manse on Sunday, July 5, starting at 11:30.  Sign the sheet on the bulletin board.  If you are willing to bring something let us know.  Cost will be $2.00/adults and $1.00/children to offset the cost of sodas, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.

Enjoy a great holiday celebration plus swimming, horse shoes, the water slide, etc.  Come when you can – leave when you must.

TRAVEL ADVENTURE GROUP NEWS by Tom Sooy

On Sunday, June 7th, we had a meeting to unveil our 2010 trip to “THE OTHER IRELAND.”  More than 40 people attended to view a brief video presentation, ask questions and of course taste some Irish treats.
 
As of today, 40 people have reserved their places on this 9 day trip.  This leaves only 9 seats left.  If you have ever dreamed of traveling to the Emerald Isle, this is your opportunity, but time is running out! 

For more information or reservation, see Tom or call him at 965-1665 or even email at tomsooy2004@yahoo.com.

So let’s keep on travelin’.              

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO CAROLYN THOMAS AND MATT CARMODY

Carolyn Thomas was just selected to play in the Bravo Brass in Philadelphia with her trombone.  The Bravo Brass, conducted by Paul Bryan, is the brass ensemble of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.  This group of advanced high school students comes from the Delaware Valley region.  They are connected with the Curtis Institute of Music which educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level.  Carolyn has attended a band camp in NY State the last 2 summers.  She also has played in several bands and orchestras including the All South Jersey School bands and the Side-by-Side concert with the South Jersey Wind Ensemble at Stockton College.

Wedding Bells are in order for Matt Carmody and Eunmi Lee.  The wedding will be October 17, 2009 in Korea.  Matt has been with the Navy for 9 years.  He is a linguist for the Korean language.  After serving a tour in Afghanistan, he has been stationed in Korea for the last 3 years where he met Eunmi.  At this time they are not sure what their plans will be after the wedding – staying there or coming back to the states.  His parents plan to go to the wedding.

These are the children of Carmela and Jeff Thomas, and they are very proud parents.

CHURCH FAMILY DIRECTORY UPDATES

Lillian I. Fry                                          Ken & Vivian Prescott
Ocean View Center                              2309 Ordsall Court
2721 Route 9, Rom 224                          Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
Ocean View, NJ 08230                          843/742-5016
609/624-1843

 


Thank you for all the cards and phone calls of condolence at the death of my brother, Stan.  A special thanks to Pastor Cobb and Carol Thomas for the long drive up to Washington (N.J.) for the Service of Remembrance.  It is a good feeling to know you have so many caring friends.

Gerry Reedell

* * * * *

Gayle and the Christian Education Committee,

Thank you for the gift card.  It was nice that you recognized all of the graduates.

Thanks again,
Betsy Eberhard

* * * * *

 


The church office will be open most mornings throughout the summer and will be closed for vacation August 31-September 8.  Occasionally we may find it necessary to operate on reduced hours.  Please call before stopping in.

 

 
Do we have your email address?  If not, email the church office (absecon_presby@msn.com) and ask to be added to our list of contacts to get weekly updates, announcements and information.  You don’t know what you’re missing!  

 

Remember, Deadlines are Important!

“Good Morning” (Sunday bulletin announcements) – Noon Thursday
“The Presby Post” (That Friday email thing) – 9:00 a.m. Friday
“Good News” (Monthly newsletter) – 20th of the month

Articles and information should be in writing and emailed or left (photo ready preferred) in the office.  Please keep in mind it may be necessary to edit due to space or other limitations.

 

 

COMMUNITY NEWS

Absecon’s Concerts in the Park – 7:00 p.m. at Heritage Park
July 5                Sweetwater Band
July 12              Cole Brothers Band
July 19              Rubber Souls Band
July 26              The Fabulous Marinos Band
Aug. 2              Cole Brothers Band
Aug. 9              The Howard Isaacson Band
Aug. 16            The Sway Band

Sunday Evening Concerts – 7:00 p.m. at Ocean City Tabernacle
July 5                Philadelphia Organ Quartet
July 12             Allison Durham Speer
July 19             King’s Brass
July 26              Don Wyrtzen
Aug. 2              Burchfield Brothers
Aug. 9              Dave Stahl Orchestra
Aug. 16           Matthews Brothers
Aug. 23            Ditchfield Family Singers
Aug. 30            Steven Condy & Robin Massie
Sept. 6              John Taylor
Sept. 13            Annie Moses Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULY                                                                          AUGUST

 

GREETERS

5   Ruth Champion                                                         2   Sonny & Carol Kleiner
12 Joanna Howell                                                          9   Jim & Barbara Maurer
19 Frank & Marge Loeb                                               16
26 Maria Carreno                                                          23 Gayle Ackerman
                                                                                     30

 

LAY ASSISTANTS

5   Betty Lloyd                                                               2   Ron Pfeiffer
12 Gerry Reedell                                                            9   Louise Speitel
19 Gerry Reedell                                                            16 Scott Sabo
26 Gayle Ackerman                                                        23 Tina Brown
                                                                                      30 Ron Pfeiffer

HEAD USHERS

5   Bob & Irene Hunter                                                 2   Bob & Irene Hunter
12 Norm Johnson, Marge McGuigan                             9   Joe Marshall, Jinny Wolcott
19 Elaine Risley, Carol Thomas                                     16 Elaine Risley, Carol Thomas
26 Kirk Sutton, Jack Heil                                              23 Steve & Ginny Schwab
                                                                                    30 Eric & Essie Newell

COLLECTION

5   Jan & Carol Jorgensen                                              2   Jan & Carol Jorgensen
12 Bill & Ginny Davenport                                             9   Vic & Rita Abelson
19 Richard & Doris Wood                                           16 Richard & Doris Wood
26 Olga Davies, Shirley Smith                                       23 Edith Budd, Loretta Metz
                                                                                    30 Olga Davies, Shirley Smith

DEACONS GUEST BOOK

5   Mary Bew                                                               2   Barbara Miller
12 Ginny Davenport                                                       9   Irene Hunter
19 Carol Kleiner                                                            16 Jo-ann Weller
26 Carol Thomas                                                           23 Jinny Wolcott
                                                                                    30 Pat Hudak

40 MINUTE CLUB

5   Dawn Lewis, Maddy Lewis                                      2   Debora Wong, Maggie McManus
12 JoAnn Sabo, Tammy Suarez                                      9   Karen Little, Valerie Seel
19 Lucy Jerue, Kirk Sutton                                             16 Naida Burgess, Erin Nassif
26 Tina Harvey, Jennifer Platt                                        23 Christina Cavage, Bill Cavage
                                                                                    30 Barbara Hughes, Desiree Williamson

NURSERY

5   Alice Malfi                                                               2   Dawn Lewis
12 Bob Hudak                                                               9   Alice Malfi
19 Jennifer Platt                                                            16 Bob Hudak
26 Kira Greenlee                                                           23 Jennifer Platt
                                                                                    30 Kira Greenlee

REFRESHMENT HOSTS

5   Nancy Sooy, Loretta Metz                                        2   Nancy Sooy, Robbie Krause
12 Debora Wong, OPEN                                               9   Denise Ott, Shirley Smith
19 OPEN                                                                      16 Kirk & Melissa Sutton, OPEN
26 Karen Little, OPEN                                                  23 Karen Little, Eddie Haldeman
                                                                                     30 OPEN

 

LIVING ABOVE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES

“But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

I’m down.  It’s Father’s Day, and I’m down.  I wish it wasn’t so.  I have a wonderful family, a great church, and a lot of things to look forward to like going to Oahu next month, but I’m still down.

I think the weather has a lot to do with it.  Where is summer?  And when will it stop raining?  My swimming pool is too cold to swim in, I can’t have picnics, and the only time I went up to my cabin overnight it rained.

But that is not my biggest concern.  As I write my sister-in-law, Carol, is nearing the end of life.  When she opens her eyes she sees a picture of her two little granddaughters who will miss her dearly.  Carol has been “lingering” for over a week, and every time the phone rings we jump.  I also have a sister battling cancer, so it is easy for the imagination to run wild.

Between the economy, the health care crisis, my own aches and pains, etc., this is not a happy time!

This is why I’m glad I’m a Christian.  Our faith is built on hope in God’s “not yet”.  To be a Christian is to have a new perspective.  As Paul wrote, the old is passed away, all is become new.  The worldly view is to grab all you can before you get old and die.  The Christian view is that death is the threshold to a whole new beginning.  You can count on it as much as you can count on summer coming.  (I bet by the time you read this it will be hot outside.)

Problem situations do have a silver lining.  Rainy days are bad for canoeing or the beach, but they are great for movie theaters and malls.  Not to mention all the electricity you saved on air conditioning.  The reservoirs are full in late June for the first time in years and my flowers are growing like mad.  Wow!  Rain can have more blessing than sunshine!

John Claypool, one of my favorite preachers, spoke on the above verse, Isaiah 40:31, the day after his daughter died of leukemia.  He described himself as usually being an “up” person.  Indeed, many days he felt like he had mounted up on eagles wings.  Most of the time he had energy to “run and not faint”.  But on the hard days it was a struggle to “walk and not faint”.  He told his congregation that he was struggling to just walk that day.  But he also told them he was gaining a new appreciation of “waiting”.  When Christians wait on the Lord they do so optimistically.  They don’t wait for life to get worse.  They are always waiting for God to work and for life to get better.  They know that even death will not separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

In short, we live above our circumstances.  We live in spite of our circumstances.  As Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

So I think I’ll go open my Father’s Day presents.  I don’t care if I don’t get much.  We are all well, our two grandchildren give us great joy, Janna Beth begins a job as a social worker next week, and Jack is getting married to the love of his life in April.  God has blessed me, and I know the sun will come out tomorrow.

God’s timing is always good.

                                                                        Have a Great Summer,

 

 

 


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