July 16, 2019

Good morning,

 I want to take a moment to say thank you for these weeks of sabbatical. It was great to have time to rest and be with family that we see very little. It was also great to spend time enjoying God’s creation. Where in the world do you get to spend time watching bald eagles play tag with each other, and try to rob fish from each other while you’re busy catching a salmon? It was great to be out fishing with my sons, eating fresh halibut, fresh king crab, fresh Dungeness crab, fresh shrimp… the list could go on of the great food and great sights of Alaska. Most importantly, it was a great reminder of how carefully God has created everything, and so uniquely placed us as caretakers of all that he has made. I felt very small and very blessed to be able to interact with this wonderful creation. Viola and I had a great time. On the way to Juneau we had a day in Ketchikan. On the plane ride there we met a man from Ketchikan who heard that we would be in his little town for a while and he offered to give us a tour. We got in his car and he showed us around the town. Traveling back home we had a day in Seattle. We were able to visit the Space Needle and the Market. At the Market there were more different kinds of food than you can imagine, and more people than air. Every deep breath gave you an aroma of someone and something. As I looked out over the city and the large amount of people, I was reminded of God’s plan for us. We are called to not only be caretakers of his creation but sharers of the word. Sometimes we don’t do so well at either one. Sometimes we think that we should do certain things in these areas because it will grant us favor with God. God’s desire is for us to freely function in both areas, out of the overflow of what he puts in our hearts.

 One day we climbed Thunder Mountain and the view from the top is breathtaking as you look across the city of Juneau. To get to the top you must climb a steep and treacherous path covered with rocks and tree roots. At times you must use the ropes attached to trees to get to the top. Getting to the top is only half of the journey, seeing the sights is a tremendous reward for a job that is half done. Now you will have to traverse back down the steep treacherous path to get to the bottom. The journey up and the journey down can make you ask the question “is this worth it?” But when you stand at the top of the mountain and look across the valley, and when you stand in the valley and look at the mountain, you know it’s worth it. In our own lives we have to deal with the climbs and descents for the beauty that lies at both ends. We often miss the beauty in the climbs and descents, because we are so focused on getting to the end.

 This past week Pastor Dan gave us a great challenge of being free of ourselves. - letting go of immediate gratification, thinking we know what is best, and the thought that we can obtain perfection on our own. When, in reality, Christ gives us freedom, and the freedom is only found in him. This coming Sunday we will be looking at Galatians 4:8-31. We will be talking about the freedom we have to grow. So often we are only going through the motions, trying to please God instead of living in the freedom we have in Christ to grow and become more like him every day.  

 This week begins the Grandstand Diner, serving food at the Motorcycle Swap Meet. It’s an awesome opportunity to interact with people that don’t always look like us or enjoy the things we do. It gives us a chance to serve and share Christ in the process. It’s rewarding and fulfilling to see the blessings on the faces of the people we serve. I’d love to have you join us in this mission.

 There are only a few days left of Vacation Bible School in the Park. Continue to pray that these young hearts are shaped and molded through the things they learn about God’s Crazy Love. Think about it, God loves you and me so crazy much, in spite of the many times we let him down. That’s the Crazy love we get to share in and share with others.

 I hope you have a great day. Blessings!

 Pastor Glenn Coblentz

North Clinton Church