The Class of ‘75

I have just returned from attending my 40th High School Class reunion. I must confess I was truly stunned to see how much THEY had changed over the years.

I’m not much of a reunion attender nor have I kept in close communication with my classmates over the years. Although, Facebook has been a great tool for keeping in touch. I certainly had some misgivings and uncertainties about attending such an event.

To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout and also by the conversations. While we did reminisce and maybe embellished our High School antics just a little, there was a great focus on what was happening today and a positive and energetic anticipation of the future.

Let me share two quick observations from my weekend experience.

1) Like I said, I was hesitant at first and walking into the event only heightened those feelings. However Debbie and I were immediately met with a smiling and familiar face and all of the uncertainty was replaced with smiles. Greeting people with a warm smile is the best way to put folks at ease.

2) I was quite impressed with the number of classmates who expressed a personal relationship with Jesus. While we did say grace over the meal nothing overt was mentioned. However it became a casual topic of conversation all through the afternoon. And several of us attended Sunday worship as a fellow classmate brought the morning message. The spirit of the Lord is alive and well in our midst.

We Labor Together With God, Wes

Hats Off

On Friday night  (July 24) there were over 44 present to watch the movie, “Big Hero 6”. This was an outreach and VBS follow up event.

HATS OFF to all who attended and to those who volunteered to set up, clean up, make popcorn, grill hotdogs, and greet people. A Big hats off to Lisa Hottensen who coordinated the outreach event.

In August the outreach event is scheduled for August 22, from 1-3 pm. We will assist those who are moving on campus at SIU. Lunch is provided and if you register before July 30 you will receive a free t-shirt.

Contact Lisa to register or for more information. In the coming months there will be other outreach events scheduled.

I know you will assist in any way needed and will step up when asked to help.

Also a Hats off to Mike Garlinghouse as he met folks in the parking lot Sunday with an umbrella in the midst of the monsoon.

Just a reminder that we are ready to assist you in getting into the building on Sunday morning. The cart will pick you up at your car, OR, just pull up to the front door and we will park your vehicle for you. No tipping please!

Drifting Away

I hope you will be able to join us on Sunday at 9 AM for our small group study. Our Bible focus is on Revelation 2:1-7 and the topic is renewing our passion for the Lord.

Charles Stanley writes, “The church at Ephesus was commended for many things. It was a wonderful body of believers, known for their service, sacrifice, perseverance, and suffering. Yet the Lord had a key criticism of them: “I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (Rev. 2:4).

Their “first love” was Jesus Christ. Their activities and demonstrations of grace to others were admirable, but outside of a growing, intimate relationship with Jesus, those things were of no real value.

Whether you slowly drift away from closeness with Him or make the conscious choice to be consumed with other things, the result is the same—a feeling of distance from the Lord and a hollowness to your days.

God longs for fellowship with you; He sent His Son to die for that purpose. If you feel you have lost your first love, or are somewhere in that process, do not be discouraged. Don’t believe statements such as, “I’ve wandered too far to come back,” or “It will take a while before God wants to hear my prayers.”

“God wants to talk to you right now.”

We Labor Together With God, Wes