After He had dismissed [the crowd], [Jesus] went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.
Dear family of God at Our Savior Lutheran,
Dinah and I recently returned from a wonderful week of vacation, just the two of us! The time away reminded me of the value of rest and relaxation. Such times are necessary and good because they help us to be renewed physically, mentally, emotionally and also spiritually.
Jesus knew how important it was to get away from it all for a little while. On numerous occasions, with his disciples or sometimes alone, Jesus would withdraw from the adoring, but demanding, multitudes and His harassing enemies to a lonely place for rest and renewal. If such times of renewal were essential for Jesus and His disciples, it therefore follows that they are essential for our well being, also. We would do well to follow His example.
An important observation to note about Jesus' periods of “R & R" is this: They were also times for prayer and worship of God. Although Jesus took a “vacation" from the demands of His ministry at times, He never took a vacation from God, His heavenly Father. Essential to renewing Himself physically and emotionally was an ongoing spiritual renewal as well through communion with His Father.
This is true also of us, His followers. In seeking revitalization, we need to keep up and even intensify our spiritual exercises of worship, prayer, and Bible study. We dare not take a vacation from God by neglecting these essential faith-sustaining and faith-building activities. So, as you plan your vacation or summer renewal, also remember to include regular worship with God and His people.
Remember also that ministry continues at Our Savior Lutheran during the summer months: ROCK Summer Learning continues through July 31; Vacation Bible School is scheduled for Friday, August 8, 6-8 pm and Saturday, August 9, 9 am – 3 pm. This new 1 ½ day format was chosen to accommodate the schedule of volunteers. The more helpers we have, the more opportunities the Holy Spirit can use to “make a difference” in the lives of our children and the children of the neighborhood! During August we are making final plans for our annual Community Health and Fun Fair scheduled for Saturday, September 6, 11:00 am – 2:30 pm. Your gifts and abilities are useful to prepare for or this largest of our outreach efforts. And many helping hands and servant hearts are needed on that Saturday.
Finally, remember that the financial obligations of Our Savior Lutheran do not take a vacation throughout the summer even while you may be away. The bills continue to come due at your church even as they do at your home while you are away. Please remember to keep up with your regular weekly tithes and offerings to your church so that its mission and ministry of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ will not be hindered.
Our loving God with His grace and mercy in Jesus Christ never takes a vacation from us. Let's not take a vacation from Him. Keep God in your summer plans.
Pastor Randy Schultz
Guidelines for Meditating on The Word
Choose an appropriate time and place to meditate in which there will be complete quiet
Pray to the Holy Spirit that He would enable you to understand what you read from the Bible
Read through the given passage of Scripture 3 times in one setting
Spend at least 10 minutes pondering what you read
Answer the following questions about the passage:
Write down your thoughts so that you do not forget them and can ponder them at a later time
Pray to God about the content of the passage
Each day of the week, meditate on a phrase or sentence from the given passage.
If possible memorize it.
- What do I learn about Jesus?
- What does God want me to believe or do?
Readings for AugustJuly 28-Aug. 3 Luke 11:1-13
Aug. 4-10 Luke 12:13-21
Aug. 11-17 Luke 12:22-34 (35-40)
Aug. 18-24 Luke 12:49-53 (54-56)
Aug. 25-31 Luke 13:22-30
Sept. 1-7 Luke 14:1-14
Sept. 8-14 Luke 14:25-35
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1-2)
These words recorded by St. Paul summarize and empower the theme of our spiritual growth and faith renewal effort now known as Connect to Christ: experience MORE.
At our Leadership Retreat, each director prayerfully shared his/her goal(s) for this campaign. Two themes were repeated and amplified around the table: “more” of the good things (i.e. God things) going on at Our Savior Lutheran; and “unity” of people and purpose.
Truly, we are blessed by knowing Christ and being united (connected) to Him. St. Paul names some of these blessings in the Scripture above: encouragement, comfort, fellowship, tenderness, compassion. Connected to
Christ, we experience these blessings and MORE. Look around our website and check out what MORE Christ has to give.
Spiritual renewal is the work of the Holy Spirit who connects us to Christ and thereby restores the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:12).
Because we are “united with Christ,” we also have a connection to each other in Christ. St. Paul records that as we are “like-minded” in
Christ and as we show the “same love” as Christ, and we function as “one spirit and purpose,” then our joy is made complete.
May the Holy Spirit restore and complete our joy as we worship, serve, and grow together at Our Savior Lutheran. Let’s Connect to Christ: Experience MORE!