August 2017
From Pastor Paul

30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
"So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today. – Matthew 6:30-34

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

If you have ever received an email from me, you might have noticed that I have a tag line just below my name.  The one that I am currently using is actually the title of a book that I am wanting to read in the near future.  The tag line (and the name of the book) is "Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There." by Ruth “Bunny” Graham. The Gospel text above was one of my devotions this last week.  How appropriate that these two things come together and fit together so well.  But the irony is that I have been worrying about the very near future.  God’s timing is amazing!

 As many of you know, my nephew Jesse will be graduating from the Job Corps program the end of August.  Upon his completing and graduating, he will come to live with me.  I have been contemplating what life will be like.  How do I approach ministry, caring for Jesse, and making sure that I am doing both effectively?  I know also, that Jesse is wondering what life is going to be like once he graduates.  The other piece that comes into the puzzle is the conversation that we have begun to have regarding All Saints being part of a cooperative ministry.  Is this something that God is calling us to?

How often do we worry about things that we simply cannot control? We put hours and hours into trying to solve a problem when we know there really isn’t a solution to the problem other than trusting that God is at work in the midst of all things – good and bad. This is advice that I have been trying to remind myself.  We all at one time or another find ourselves truly living into Matthew 6:30-34.  We trust that God is in control of all things and that we will be taken care of like Jesus promises to the people over and over again. What that will look like is not for us to know, but rather to trust God and God’s love for us. I ask that you pray for Jesse and myself as I continue to pray for you.  I ask you to also truly pray over this question of a shared ministry in the future.  Together we will move forward God’s kingdom in ways we cannot begin to imagine. I give thanks to God every day that I get to serve among all of you. It is a true joy and blessing. Continue to be a blessing to others as you have been blessed.

 If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen — don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you (and remind myself) to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so we can respond to God’s giving.

 People who don’t know God and the way He works, fuss over these things.  You know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God provisions.  Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.  "Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There

Servants together,

Pr. Paul <><