Dear Fellow Children of God,
As I share today’s “Thoughts” I’m sitting in the cool air-conditioning of our hotel in the early morning. But my legs show the places where we missed with the application of sun-screen in yesterday’s 100 degree heat here in San Antonio. Today (Saturday) the forecast is for a high temperature of 104! I’ll do better with the sunscreen.
However, in spite of the heat I am excited to know the joy that is coming. The National Youth Gathering of our denomination starts on Monday and will take place July 1-5 here in San Antonio. About 25,000 people will gather under the theme, “Live Loved.” Included in this number are 10 youth from St. John, 3 adults with them, and 5 other adults from our congregation (Kathy and I included) who are working at the Gathering.
After attending past Gatherings I expect this to be a life changing experience. The Young people will celebrate and grow in new ways as they learn God’s love for them in Jesus. The town of San Antonio will be changed as well as this throng of Christians seek to share the love of Jesus with this city. The youth will go into the city and help in shelters and food pantries, and even work on a Habitat for Humanity House. All this occurs while celebrating in worship each day with the 25,000 others.
As a pastor I pray for our people that God may somehow make His love in Jesus real to them, to you. I know that in the difficulties and pain of life, God’s love in Jesus transforms life. Because of God’s compassion for us in Jesus in the midst of the trials of life, and because of the sure promise of eternal life for those who know and believe that Jesus is our Savior, we can live in joy and hope. I begin the coming week knowing that this will happen for our group.
As a pastor and missionary Paul cared about and prayed for His people. In Ephesians he prayed for those he had previously taught. “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1: 18)
You see, God’s love changes situations. Instead of dreading a week in the heat, I am excited about a week of learning that God’s love is real, and we can “Live Loved.”
A Child of God, Living in God’s Love in Jesus,
P.S. After today, the temperatures are supposed to drop with highs only in the low 90’s.
P.P. S. Here are some pictures as we to and from registration for the event. https://plus.google.com/photos/114993745799525883148/albums/5894882288488240833?banner=pwa
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am always adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you don’t want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message. . . Or, if you know someone who would like to receive one of these e-mails, please send me their e-mail address.