What I Did This Summer

rambling on logo for newsletterWhat are your thoughts about Summer? I don’t remember ever hearing anyone say that they dreaded the Summer. Maybe some do. I know I’ve heard many complain about the heat. Then of course there is the Fall. It’s a great time for outdoor activities and obviously it is the precursor to Winter. Now that is a season of the year that many folks in Southern Illinois dread, for sure.

Whatever your thoughts about the seasons the bottom line is that we have them. After a long hard winter, the arrival of Spring bursts forth at just the right time and brings everyone back to life.

Of all the seasons, I believe the transition from Summer to Fall is one of the most difficult. The relaxed informal and casual atmosphere of summer quickly turns into a harsh “back into the routine” reality once school begins. That’s when we know Summer is over… even before Labor Day! As Schools seem to begin earlier each year our Summer time gets shorter and shorter.

To help transition to back to school, the arrival of Fall, and into the routines of daily life join us Sunday night at 6 PM as we take some time and reminisce about a season of the year that has slipped through our fingers once again.

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high”

We labor Together With God, Wes

Five Things I Pray I Will Not Do as a Senior Adult in the Church

Sunday night was our birthday potluck to recognize all who celebrate birthdays in August. I just happen to have an August birthday as well as my grandson, Cooper Wesley Thies. Both our birthdays are the 30th. I will be 59, he will be new born!

I think I have become a senior adult (older adult). Thom Rainer, CEO of Lifeway Resources has also entered that age category at age 61. In a recent blog he writes, of 5 things he prays he will not do as a senior adult. I pray this as well.

1. I pray I will not feel entitled because I am a key church financial supporter.

2. I pray I will not say “I’ve done my time” in the church. Ministry is not doing your time, like serving a prison sentence. It is a joy and thanksgiving to God.

3. I pray I will not be more enthused about recreational trips than ministry and service.

4. I pray I will not be more concerned about my preferences than serving.

5. I pray I will not have a critical spirit. I pray I will not become a perpetual critic. I don’t want to grow old and cranky; I want to grow old and more sanctified.

As a senior adult in my own right, I need to make certain I am not a stumbling block or a hindrance to health and growth in my church. I pray my attitude will be like that of Caleb: “Here I am today, 85 years old . . . Now give me the hill country the Lord promised me on that day . . . Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I will drive them out as the Lord promised” (Joshua14:10-12).

We labor Together With God, Wes

NEW Bible Study – Romans

6:30 PM Wednesday Night we begin a new study in Paul’s letter to the Romans.

Here is what you can do to prepare yourself for the study

1) Read through the entire book of Romans. (Its not that long! I suggest reading from the New Living Translation )

2) find a good study bible and read the introduction to Romans.

You’ll be on your way home by 7:30
Have children? Bring them along. We have Mission Friends 4-5 yr olds; Children in Action grades 1-6; Youth Bible Study 7-12

ALSO, Dinner at 5:30 PM (call to make a reservation or for more information  618.457.0479)

Boston 45 Years Later

rambling on logo for newsletterOn our vacation my brother, Tim arranged for us to attend a Boston Red Sox game. And if that was all there was to it, it would have been awesome. However, there was more …much more… we were able to tour Fenway Park. We were on the field and in the belly of the green monster. Although “Big Papi” did not play that day we did see him walk in front of us with a group of school children.

On top of all that we sat in the Dunkin Donuts suite with a gorgeous view of the field. We had the option of watching the game inside in air conditioned comfort or outside in nature’s own air conditioning. Either choice was a good choice. When I first walked into the suite I was greeted with pizza, hot dogs, bratwurst, chicken tenders, chips, nachos, the menu was endless. The highlight of it all was in the 7th inning…. Yep … Ice Cream Sundaes…

Yes, the Red Sox won 8-7 as Boston hit 3 homeruns in the game. We went home with happy hearts and full bellies!

The last Red Sox game I attended at Fenway was about 45 years ago. I am sorry to admit that I really didn’t want to be there then. It wasn’t a fancy day like the one I just described but that wasn’t the reason why I was so disinterested.

As I think back maybe it had a lot to do with taking things, moments, and family for granted. I know we all do that. As I age I hope I mature with grace and wisdom to appreciate the moments, people, opportunities, and to recognize God’s blessings with a new and greater appreciation of times gone by.

We labor Together With God, Wes

Join us Sunday August 7 at 9 AM

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Earning a paycheck is one thing; budgeting and using that money wisely is another thing.

Many of us live from paycheck to paycheck.

The example of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 gives us an example on managing the money and assets we’ve been given.

Arrive a little early for some “Coffee And ..”

It’s Summertime–“And the living is easy”

rambling on logo for newsletterAs we begin the month of August be reminded that the easy living days of summer are flying away. I say this not to rain on anyone’s parade. Nor, am I trying to be a deadbeat downer.

My concern is that many of you have forgotten or misplaced your pictures. I haven’t seen many pictures sent to Summertime@OnTheRidge.Org.

I’m looking forward to seeing them and looking forward to sharing your summer memories with everyone on the 21st.

Did you do something fun? Crazy? Fall asleep on the couch? Did you go far away? North to Alaska? South to Florida? East to Rhode Island? West to the Dakotas? Whether it was somewhere in between or just a few miles out of town we want to see them.

You still have time before school starts, the leaves fall, the frost arrives and the snow falls to get your pictures emailed or scanned.

We labor Together With God, Wes

A Work in Progress

rambling on logo for newsletterLiving in Carterville just off route 13 places me right in the middle of the Carbondale – Marion corridor. Most days my drives take me west through Carbondale. However, I’ve been known to travel east for a freshly fried and still warm Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut from time to time.

I’m sure I am exaggerating but I believe the road construction from Carterville to Marion has been going on forever! Much has been completed but there is still much to do. With the current stand-off over budget matters in the state, I sometimes wonder if it will ever be completed. Best case scenario is that once it is all finished it will be time to start resurfacing and repairing what was started first. It’s like road construction that never ends.

I’m so glad that when God begins a work in our lives he continues until it is finished. And, when it is finished it is perfect. Paul writes in Philippians 1:6 ‘Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’

I must admit that I have several projects that I’ve started and haven’t completed ….yet! They are all “a work in progress,” kind of like the road to Marion.

In fact, that is what we are, “a work in progress.” Fortunately, God is a lot more focused thank we are. He is prepared to work with us for the rest of our lives, changing us, as we allow Him access, to become more and more like Him. So don’t give up we are just a work in progress!

We labor Together With God, Wes

My Key Ring

rambling on logo for newsletterRecently I had a bit of a serendipitous moment! You remember the building at 218 W. Walnut? Well, there were many rooms and many locks that required many keys. It seemed as if every lock had their own unique key. As a result my key ring was full and pocket heavy.

I must admit it was quite comical trying to unlock a door fumbling over each key in search of the correct one for the correct lock. Now I confess it wasn’t ALWAYS comical. At times it was downright frustrating … But I digress…

A few weeks ago I was fumbling for a key to unlock something at home when it hit me (like a ton of bricks) that I no longer needed all those extra keys! Oh what a relief! Quickly I removed the excess and now my key ring holds just four keys. Such a heavy weight has been lifted.

Which leads me to my point. How often do we carry around the obsolete keys of the past? They no longer have a purpose. In fact, they just slow us down as we fumble through them and retry them over and over again to no avail.

What obsolete keys of the past are you still carrying around? Just let them go! Oh what a relief!

We labor Together With God, Wes