July...days are lengthened, sunshine is more abundant, warmth grows, and there is opportunity for renewal. Did you know God has designed us for times of renewal? In the Former Soviet Union there were attempts to prove that a seventh day of rest was not needed. They tried to prove that God did not exist even in the seven day week, and to prove the design of a day of rest was not true. They tried ten days of work, different schedules, numerous experiments, and guess what? They found that people got sick, and their abilities decreased, except with six days of work, and a day of rest! Who knew? (God)
We have a Father who loves us, desires our blessing, has a way for us to live that is blessed, and a blessing to others. God entrusts us with good gifts, and there is a way that God's good gifts work. We also have an enemy that does not have new tricks, but is an ancient and traitorous foe. In America the experimentation of changing how God designed us was not so much a top down work, but a dismissal of God's design in the pursuit of recreation and pleasure. Have you noticed how often and how many people are worn out by Monday?
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to begin a week refreshed? Do you feel like you could really use some refreshing, restoration, and renewal?
When I look back at the last six months I'm personally struck at how I have not taken the opportunity God designed for renewal, and how easy it is to be a wrecked creation in pursuit of recreation. I'm looking forward to July as a seventh month, like the seventh day, to pursue God's design and renewal. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied." I believe Him. I like being blessed. Want to hunger and thirst for God's good design together as His family?
I hope you have some plans for July that include recreation. I hope you have time to be with family and friends. I also pray we will grow more and more as the family of God, living in God's call as a servant church in Oshkosh. If you are interested in exploring the question of how we can find rest and renewal in our days and weeks, let me know, we can set a time to have that conversation together. We can do this in Bible studies, small groups, Sunday conversations, or One to One conversations. I know some things, but I would enjoy the pursuit of righteousness in God's design with others.
We are invited, renewed, and redeemed to reveal God's plan, way, and life. There is hope here, in God's faithful free yet good hold. God's kindness is meant to lead us to turn to Him, trust in Him, receive from God the relationship we long for in a Father. This relationship can heal what was and was not, it can equip us to be more than we have been, and lets us know we are valued, we are cared for, we can live a life of significance in the smile of our Father's face and presence.
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, "I perceived that there is nothing better for all of us than to be joyful and to do good as long as we live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil—this is God’s gift to people." God makes it possible for our good in these mingled days. God has a good design. It is worth pursuing God's righteous way, and to believe God as we receive God's gracious gifts.
I pray there is a refreshing in your summer, a renewal in your relationships, and a glimpse and taste of the joy of Our Father in heaven.
Working with you for your joy and shalom in Christ,
400 N Sawyer St, Oshkosh, WI 54902