Some of you know the name Tim Challies. For the past 20 years, Tim has been blogging at his website www.challies.com. After posting a few book reviews and some other articles on his website, Tim came to a point where he realized he either needed to stop altogether or take blogging more seriously. He set a goal of posting every day for a year. Before long, his hobby became his vocation. Today, about a million people visit his blog each month from all around the world.
In November of 2020, Tim’s son Nick, who was a 20 year old college student at Boice College in Louisville died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was playing a game with his sister and his fiancé when he experienced what was later classified as a “presumed cardiac dysrhythmia of uncertain etiology” – a cardiac arrest. Students, paramedics and physicians tried to revive him, but were unsuccessful.
Regular readers of Tim’s blog were stunned as the news appeared on social media. Tim blogged about it the day after he and his wife received the shocking news, while the grief was still fresh. And over the past two years, Tim has continued to think deeply and process carefully not only his son’s unexpected death but also the broader subject of God’s hard providences. This week, his new book Seasons of Sorrow was released. It’s a book many of us will want to keep on hand to share with others who are themselves walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
Last week, Tim had a book launch event and asked me if I would interview him and Alistair Begg together on the subject of grief and loss. The conversation has now been posted on YouTube, and you may find it helpful (the interview begins at 11:45 in the video, after Tim reads one of the essays from the book.
|In addition, the group City Alight debuted a beautiful new song they wrote based on Tim’s book. I expect it’s a song we’ll be singing together in church before too long.|
|Charles Spurgeon has famously reminded us that “God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. When we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.” |
A couple of big items for you this week.
First, on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm, we’ll be gathering at Randall and Cyndi Van Den Berghe’s home in Roland AR for a combination potluck, pool party and baptism event.
| Here’s what you need to know about Sunday.|
We have 15 people being baptized. Yep. Fifteen. We’re bringing the chicken tenders from Slim’s. You bring the sides and the desserts. Directions? The address is 23000 Roland Cutoff Road, 72135. You can punch that into your phone for directions. Or click here to download. Parking will be tight, but we think it’s doable. If you can double up and ride with someone, do it. This is big: In addition to your side dish or dessert, BRING SOME LAWN CHAIRS OR CAMP CHAIRS WITH YOU. Didn’t mean to shout. Okay, yes I did. Everyone is welcome to swim in the pool, before and after the baptism. Bring your own towels, etc. We arrive at 4:00. Eat. Baptize at 5:00 ish. Finish up around 6:00 and head home. Plan to be there. Come support those who are being baptized. Enjoy a meal and a lovely September afternoon together.
INVITATION to COLE PERKINS
Here’s the other big item.
Next Monday, it is our plan to send a formal letter of invitation to Cole Perkins to have him and his wife Hannah come join us as part of the ministry team at Redeemer. Many of you met Cole and Hannah when they were with us over Labor Day weekend. His title would be Pastoral Associate for Student Discipleship. Along with that primary assignment, he would be involved in a wide variety of other ministry duties.
We need your help. First, if you have concerns of any kind about us moving forward in hiring Cole, we want to hear from you. We hear waiting to offer him the position until we’ve had a chance for any of you to speak into the process and maybe identify for us a blind spot – something we may have missed in the hours we’ve spent with Cole and Hannah. If you have any questions or any concerns, please reach out to me or to any of the elders.
Second, adding Cole to the staff is going to stretch us financially. While we believe it’s within our means to be able to make this hire, it will add about 12% to our current monthly expenses as a church. Would you pray that God would continue to provide for us? After almost 15 years of seeing how God has always met our needs, we can become complacent and take His provision, through so many of you, for granted. I want to make sure we don’t do that. I want us to continue to ask the Lord to “give us this day our daily bread.” Please join me in that prayer.
Finally, please pray for Cole and Hannah as they consider our invitation and seek the Lord’s guidance for their future and their ministry.
FALL WOMEN’S GATHERING!
If you were part of the Fall Women’s Gathering on Monday, you know what an encouraging and wonderful time of fellowship it was. If you weren’t there, here’s a look at the evening.
WOMEN’S STUDY IN PROVERBS
|This coming Monday, the Fall Women’s Bible Study in the book of Proverbs begins. And there’s still time for you to sign up. Click here and let Terry and Jen know you’re planning to attend!|
fALL wOMEN’S RETREAT ~ nOV 11-13
|And registration is now open for the Fall Women’s Retreat, November 11-13. You can click here to reserve your spot!|
| Here’s some great news. Each Wednesday night, we’re seeing new young faces show up at church for Awana. As of tonight, we’ve had 33 kids sign up to be in Awana this year!|
That growth means there are opportunities for you to pitch in and serve! If you’re willing and interested, Laura White would love to talk to you. Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
legacy grandparenting summit 2022 – sat oct 22
If you’re a grandparent, or know someone who is, make sure you have Saturday, October 22 circled on your calendar. Again this year, we’ll be participating in the Legacy Coalition’s annual Grandparenting Summit – a virtual event to help equip those of us who are grandparents in how we pass on a legacy of spiritual vitality to our grandchildren.
Save the date for now. Registration information is coming soon.
MEN’S STUDY IN HEBREWS
|Guys, the weekly men’s study in the book of Hebrews starts tomorrow (Thursday) at lunch time. There is more info on the study, along with registration information here.|
LESSONS ON LEADERSHIP
|And our next First Tuesday men’s meeting happens on September 27. Andy Stalling’s famous Etouffee will be served at 6:15. And at 7:00, we’ll connect with Dr. Crawford Loritts for lessons on leadership.|
|Finally, our small groups are meeting again. If you’re not currently in a small group, any of these folks would love to have you be part of their gatherings each week.|
|Jesus promised His disciples that when the Holy Spirit came, He would lead them into “all truth.” But what exactly does that mean? And is that a promise for us as well, two thousand years later? We’ll investigate as we turn to John’s gospel again this Sunday.|
See you in church.
Soli Deo Gloria!