It is so good to be home! I had an amazing time studying, praying, meeting with leaders, and visiting several great churches. It was inspiring and renewing to say the least. I feel like a brand new pastor. God has allowed me to serve as a pastor now for 22 years. There have been good times and tough times, but through them all God has been faithful. I can’t wait to join Him in what He has next for us here at Living Hope.

I am so grateful to our staff and elders for the leadership they provided in my absence. These dear saints love the Lord and you so much! While I certainly missed you, I never worried about you for one minute. We are blessed to have great Godly leaders who gladly serve our God and King. I also knew you would be well-fed. God provided great sermons through Godly men this summer. It was such a painful summer in light of the Supreme Court’s divided decision to change the legal definition of marriage to include something that God deems as sin. These visiting pastors brought God’s Word, which I pray brought you hope and encouragement. I know each message was a blessing to me!

There are so many important things going on in the church and through the church, but the most important thing that happens is when each of us chooses to live hopeful and be helpful in the places where we live, work, learn, and play. So many people that we know have no relationship with Jesus. God has sent you to them. Just as God sent His Son to us to save us, so He has now sent us with the Good News of His Son to our city and neighborhoods! (John 20:20)

Our greatest responsibility in this life is to help other people know the hope we have in Jesus Christ. I realize that many of the people around us appear to be just fine, but we should not be fooled. Appearances are so deceiving. Without Jesus, many are losing their marriage, their family, hope, peace, and most importantly, their very soul. By His grace, God will save them, but they must first hear the Gospel. They will need one of us to bring them to church so they can learn how to be a part of God’s family. They will need people to connect within a group, where they will be discipled and encouraged. They will have opportunities to serve. We can equip them to live for God. And then, they too will have the joy of multiplying their faith.

When we dare to obey Jesus by living hopeful and being helpful, God will be honored and we will be blessed. Please begin praying for those who you can bring to worship with you this Sunday. Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with them. Be willing and ready to see God work through you and do the miracle of saving a soul and giving new life in Christ to those you know and love.