[Grand Niece Lottie]
They say it’s good to get outdoors. My doctor told me, “You need to get out and break a sweat every day.”
I said, “O I try to take a walk every day…”
He interrupted me. “You are not in your 80’s. You are in your 60’s. You need serious exercise and you need to lose weight. You don’t need to be on any medications, you need to get out and break a good sweat every day…”
Yipes. I was properly chastised and I got out my bike and rode the trail from Lime Lake to Concord. Soon I was riding the trail every day and increasing my mileage, and yes, breaking a good sweat every day. I’ve been riding over 100 miles a week for the full month of July. I have Lois out riding with me now.
Last night we loaded up our bikes and met Tim and Hope for a ride along the Huron River. It was a beautiful evening that ended with burgers in Dexter as the cool of night came on… But let me tell you what happened earlier…
A young man named Kyle visited Bethel a few weeks ago. I greeted him at the door. I said, “Great to have you.”
He said, “This is my first time in church.”
“First time, at Bethel?”
“No,” he said, “This is the first time I have ever been to a church.”
Later in the week we met for coffee. He has been attending Bethel now. He brought a couple friends this week. He texted me to tell me that he has decided to follow Jesus. Imagine my joy.
Another young man named Bryan called the church and we’ve been meeting. We have talked for many hours about life and God and people and the message of the Bible. He’s been attending Bethel every week. He is a bright young man with promise and he listens attentively. Jerry, one of our faithful elders took Bryan to lunch last week and show him kindness and interest.
Mike is a young man who has come to Jesus lately. He attends Bethel faithfully. Jake, who began to follow Jesus through the Bethel Church. He brought Mike to me Sunday morning and said, “Hey, Mike needs to talk to you about some things…” We had a good talk Sunday about how to establish daily habits of prayer, Bible-reading, and witnessing. We talked about baptism. A couple years ago Jake invited Bre who was saved and baptized.
Ty Perry married my niece Elisabeth. (My youngest brother, Nathan’s oldest child). They have two children and they are with a ministry called Friends of Israel. Ty preached at Bethel Sunday morning and his little family walked in the door and captured our hearts.
We had a wonderful fellowship dinner after church with all the stuff–fried chicken, scalloped corn, and a whole huge table of sweet things. The room buzzed with people and the line for food went out the door. I watched the table where the young men sat. They ate heartily like young men do, including a trip to the big table of sweets. I told them that next time they should get to the dessert table immediately just to claim their favorite treats while the selection is still good. Folk from the church took turns sitting at their table and showing them kindness and interest. The young men were among the last to leave. Kyle send me a text yesterday afternoon to tell me he and his friends loved our church and all the friendly people.
Jen, one of our ladies who plays the piano like a house ‘afire, keeps treats in her desk drawer at school so he can listen to whatever is on the heart of kids and kids have a lot on their hearts these days, trying to untie the many knots of life…
Yesterday I went home from Bethel Church with my heart just full. Every time I thought about what happened at Bethel a big smile would light up my deepest soul. Yesterday God was at work at Bethel and I didn’t even preach. We met new friends who need us, young and old. We sang and ate together. We listened and laughed and talked, then we put away the tables and chairs, threw the trash away and cleaned the room, prayed with our loved ones and sent them on their way, then we went home for a long nap…
It was a good day. There are people out there who need us. Some of them are young. Some of them are old. Some of them have never had fried chicken and scalloped corn in a church fellowship hall. Some have never heard a big group of people sing joyful songs about Jesus and things ultimate and wonderful. Some are looking for love. Nobody gets too much love.
If you are a christian and you have not been going to church faithfully, I just want you to know you are missing a great opportunity to gather and worship and thank you One to whom you owe your very life and breath and soul. And you need to know there are people who really need you to take and interest in them and show them the love of Jesus. And would you please tell me where in the world else you can get free fried chicken, scalloped corn and unlimited desserts?
August 1 2022