Wednesday, July 11, 2012

refreshment, renewal, renovation and restoration

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:6)

Early evening on the lake
esterday evening, after worship, I walked the 2.6 miles around Lake Junaluska. It had rained in the afternoon, so the air was clear and a little cooler. As the light waned and the temperature dropped, layers of low cloud hung suspended in place. Gradually, in the growing darkness, dozens of fire-flies began to appear, blinking slowly in the half-light of dusk.

The walk was a good ending to a good day. My classes went well, the temperature was reasonable, and I had some great conversations with good people. I may be here to work, there is a still a very real sense of refreshment from being in the presence of God in these mountains. I told my class yesterday afternoon that maybe, like Moses returning from Sinai, when they get home their faces will still be shining because they have been in the presence of God.

Earl and Pamela – two good souls
GOOD PEEPS: Over lunch, I chatted with  Earl and Pamela, a UCC clergy-couple from the Kansas City area. They both work with struggling churches, but their hearts are full with God’s love and they are committed to bringing encouragement and good news to the people they serve.

I’m impressed with the way Pamela and Earl practice personal spiritual disciplines together, and how they nurture one-another’s faith. Please take a moment to pray for them and their vital ministry.

Later, I visited with Steve Wilke. Steve runs the on-line learning portal from Southwestern College in Kansas. I’ve taught a couple of classes with the program, and Steve is pioneering a lot of cutting edge work in the realm of designing virtual environments to facilitate discipleship training. It’s a privilege to be part of such important work. And – again – please pray for Steve and his ministry… not only pray, but check out what he’s up to and see if there’s a class that might address an area of spiritual growth for you or your church.

kids talking about “The Good Shepherd”
FROM THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN: Finally, evening worship began with a short presentation from some of the younger children here, talking about how Jesus really is a good shepherd.

Sometimes the purity of a child’s unadorned testimony leaves us all wishing for the same degree of authenticity from the grown-ups. These kids hit it out of the park.

And there was evening, and there was morning – it was the third day… - DEREK

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