Growing..not in years or time, but in momentum and growth as a Christian. Each person of the Trinity active in our lives brings growth. Growth gains momentum through encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ. So lets us grow and grow together, in Grace, Faith, Love, in Jesus, in Friendships, in Mission, and in passion for people.

Pastor's Pen Summertime  

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:---Ecclesiastes 3:1

When I first started thinking in terms of preparing for August, I couldn't believe that August was right here.  But...Oh Yes...It is certainly summer here in Alabama! That thought provoked a lot of memories in my heart and mind.

It would be easy to observe for anyone that walked into a Worship service at First Lutheran that there a few of the members who grew up in a different era.  I am one of them.  My memories of summer revolve around the front porch of my home with my Mom and Grandma watching the summer move by. There were a lot of other moms and grandmas around the neighborhood and a lot of other kids in the front yards.  Dads and grandpas were at work.  It seemed peaceful and easy. (I can almost hear Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald singing in the background as I write this.) This is not a proclamation that this is the way that it was in every household or every neighborhood, but this is a memory that jumps to life for me.

  1.  It seemed that there was a lot of conversation about the past. Children would hear stories about the previous few generations and what it was like growing up in those days.
  2.  There would be a lot of discussions about current day things...to do lists...family goals...the beauty and wonder of the day...love shared in the family...problems that needed to be solved...and the questions would be answered "What was going to be for dinner that evening."  Most days in the mid-afternoon we would have a glass of iced tea (on rare occasions a root beer float would be substituted for the iced tea accompanied with a lot of smiles and rejoicing).  Of course there was ALWAYS a pot of hot coffee in the kitchen even on the hottest days of summer.  I also remember a lot of graham crackers and almond windmill cookies...OK, I am officially ready to go back and visit there again some afternoon.
  3. There would be dreams about the future. Often that would spring up from ideas and fantasies of a more perfect life, or from mild fears (at least in the presence of children) that needed to be addressed so that we could remain protected.

I believe there is a lesson learned and prescription to be offered through such a routine. The proclaimer in Ecclesiastes says, "For everything there is a season." Let me make a suggestion to you and your families, friends, workmates and neighbors.  Perhaps we should follow that pattern the remainder of this summer. I believe we can do all of this centered on Jesus.

We could...

  1. Talk about History--What is the historical work of God since the beginning of time centered on the cross and the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins.  With that we could share discussions about recent history with conversations beginning with a generation or two ago and rehearse the hand of God in our individual lives and in our family life.
  2. Talk about the Mystery--This would include topics of God's present hand in our lives through Word and Sacrament as He leads us in His Spirit.  We could discuss where God is leading us personally, as a family, as members of His church, as a community, as a nation, and finally as a culture.
  3. Talk about Majesty--Our final vision is one that God lays out for us through His Son Jesus. We can remind each other of God's unfailing promise of the strong faith, forgiveness of sins, and the promise of eternal life.  That one day, Jesus will come again. Ane we will gather around the throne for eternity.

There is a season for everything under heaven.

God be praised!

Pastor Tommy

P.S.  BTW for a walk along memory lane, let me suggest this link:

https://entertainment.expertscolumn.com/250-greatest-songs-with-summer-in-the-title

This is a list of the 250 most popular songs with the word "Summer" in the title. 

 

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Thursday, August, 2, 2018
Sunday, March, 18, 2018
Friday, February, 2, 2018
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