Last night Hope and I went out for a drive in the countryside. It was a perfect summer evening. The countryside around Bittersweet is as beautiful as any I have ever enjoyed. The company was good. Hope is a delightful companion. We decided to check out a little place over on Clark Lake good friends talk about a lot. Lois is out of town. We agreed that if it was a good place we would return with her when she got back into town.
When we got there it was pretty full and lively so we had second thoughts about eating there. We pulled back onto the property to turn our car around and I mentioned that my friends Neil and Eddie had told me they liked the place. Just then I looked up and my friend Neil stepped out of his car. He and his wife Sharrol had the same idea at the precise same time… He flagged us down and invited us to join them. We enjoyed an evening of lively, loving conversation, convinced that it had been arranged by God in down-to-the-minute timing.
We walked out after dinner into the warm night air and watched the sun setting over the lake. I had received a call about a parishioner who was admitted to the hospital, so they volunteered to take Hope home. I drove away into the mellow summer night with a heart full.
It was two years ago tomorrow that I was called to pastor the Bethel Church. God, in His kind mercy, has given us many friends who are very dear to us. A church like Bethel is a gift from the Lord. Yesterday we had a big church dinner, on the occasion of a visit from one of our missionaries Jim and Joy Abbot. It was a great day. Bethel is flourishing-even in the heart of summer.
We have a good life here on Bittersweet Farm and with Bethel Church with many to love and many who love us. We are surrounded every day by good things and by good people.
I will dive up north into Michigan to speak at Barakel this week. This will be my twenty-first year in a row to do so. I will have two of our grand-buddies, Kyle and Oliver with me for the week. The days will be warm. The nights will be cool. Middle school students from all over the state will arrive tomorrow afternoon and for a week we will tell them the story that has changed all our lives… the story of Christ.
There will be singing, swimming, laughter, loon-calls out over the lake, boy and girls, good food, and all of it circled around the truth of Christ in Scripture. There will be preaching and conversations with counselors and prayers at bedtime and fires and camp-outs, good food, some silliness and lots of love.
I’ve finished most of the raw first draft of a new book “Between the Fires; 50 Ways to Keep the Campfire Burning All Your Life.” I will be sharing the 50 camp lessons with the campers at Barakel this week. I would appreciate prayer for God to do what only He can do.
July 29, 2019