June 28, 2017

Dear Friends,

This week, Mary Ann and I are enjoying time together with our five children, their spouses and our five grandchildren.  We are experiencing what Psalm 133 talks about:  “How good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters and sons and daughters in law and grandkids) dwell together in unity!”

Our week has included some flashbacks to Christmas 2008.

That year, Mary Ann and I asked our kids not to buy us any gifts for Christmas, but instead, to send us a letter or an email.  We asked them to tell us about a sermon they’d heard, a book they’d read or a passage of scripture they’d spent time meditating on that God had used in their lives.

When I handed out the assignment that year, my plan was to make in an annual practice.  But like a lot of plans, the Christmas 2008 essays our children wrote were a “one and done” project.  In fact, I’d forgotten all about the exercise until a few months ago when I came across the folder where the printed emails and letters had been preserved.

So I brought the notebook with me this week and we’ve been reading the now eight and a half year old documents after we eat dinner.  Most of the kids had forgotten all about what they wrote, but as I have started reading their notes, there have been smiles of recognition.

The notes are a bit like the memorial stones the children of Israel were told to pile up after they had crossed the Jordan River and entered the Land of Promise.  They are spiritual markers or milestones that remind us of how God is at work in our lives and in our midst.

I’ve already shared with our children that Mary Ann and I are expecting the same gifts this year at Christmas.  In the years to come, my hope and intention is that the practice will be carried out with more regularity.  We’ll see.

You don’t have to wait until December for a project like this.  In fact, as we transition to the second half of 2017 (I know, crazy, right?  The year is already half over!), why not take some time as a couple or as a family or with a group of friends and ask one another to name a book or a sermon or a Bible verse that God has used in your life this year?  You can have more than one answer.

The subject would make for a great conversation.  And if you decide to have everyone write their answers down first, you’ll wind up with a keep sake – and maybe the start of a new spiritual discipline for you and your family or friends.

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If you haven’t checked out Matt Gurney’s latest post on his blog, here’s the link.  This week he’s talking about the link between leading and loving.

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Our baptism celebration at Tom and Nancy Arnold’s home comes up a week from this Sunday.  This is the last call for you to contact of the elders or Matt Gurney if you are interested in being baptized.

The baptism will happen on Sunday afternoon July 9.  The pool will open at 4:00 and baptisms will begin at 5:00.

Following the baptisms, we’ll open the buffet.  Here’s what you need to bring:

Families:

A-L: Dessert

M-Z: Summer Dish (chicken salad, tuna salad, pasta salad, cold chicken (baked, smoked, grilled, BBQ, etc)

Singles:

A-Z: Fruit or Green salad

RCC:

Providing chips and bottled water

Here’s how to get to the Arnolds the Wal Mart on Highway 10:  Head west on Highway 10 about two miles to the Ferndale cut-off.  Turn left and go about four miles to the corner of Ferndale and Kanis.  Turn right on Kanis and go 9.9 miles to Cave Creek Road.  Turn left on Cave Creek and go 9/10s of a mile.  Once you turn on Cave Creek, continue straight – don’t turn off anywhere. The road ends at the Arnold’s home.  It takes about 20 m

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Last Wednesday we had 16 children at our Kid’s Summer Fest event.  The kids made shirts that reminded them of what makes up the full armor of God, and they talked all day about how they can put on God’s armor as kids. Sarah Waymire lent her artistic talent to helping with crafts and displays, and Spring Houk made sure the toddlers were well cared for.

Our next Kid’s Summer Fest event will happen on Wednesday July 12 from 9:30 to 11:30 at the church.  Plan now to invite a friend to join your child, and text or call Jen Gurney and ask if there is any way you can help!  859-771-6580.

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You remember last week when I asked if you have ever found yourself recently thinking “I wish there was some easy, convenient way for me to serve others in our church and in our community to let them know how grateful I am for all that Jesus has done for me?”

And do you remember smiling and thinking to yourself “I should probably help out in the nursery two or three times between now and Christmas.”

And then you promptly forgot or did nothing about it?

Well guess what.  It’s not too late!

We need folks who are willing to play with babies and toddlers, read books, thorw balls, do puzzles, and teach our little ones about Jesus.

Feel like two or thee times is too much?  Would you be willing to serve just once?  We’ll make it work!!  And you’ll be blessed!

Don’t just think about it and do nothing!

Send an email to Kelly Rackley right now and let her know how many times you’d like to serve! suubifamily@gmail.com

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One of the great gifts of the gospel message is that when we surrender our lives to Jesus, our broken relationship with Jesus is reconciled.  We have peace with God!  We’ll see what Paul says about this as we turn to Romans 5 this Sunday.

See you in church!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Bob Lepine

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