I'm back from vacation. Folks have asked how was it, and where did you go? Answers: It was good! I got some much needed R&R. Thank you for granting me time off. Where? Mostly we stayed home and did minor house fix-up projects. But we did enjoy a couple days at Cape Meares. Therein hangs my tale.
We stayed in a friend's log cabin on a low hill surrounded by tall trees. It's a four block walk to the beach. Weather was perfect: sunny skies, daytime temps in the low 70s. Beauty everywhere. We walked the long beach, forded shallow channels of water streaming from the rising tide across the sand, breathed in deep the ocean's salty breeze. We wondered at the layers of sedimentary rock skewing skyward toward the towering headland at the south end of the beach. Soaring birds, shining breakers, endless surf. Fog rolls in. We head back to the cabin where we eat ripe blackberries with gratitude to the God who is kind enough to offer sweet fruit among the thorns. One can't help but see traces of the Creator when the natural world not made by human craft is so immediately present.
We saw another face of creation when we went into Tillamook for lunch. Walking back to our car, we passed an old woman in a wheelchair accompanied by a young girl, who I'm guessing was her great grand-daughter. They were obviously poor; the woman clearly not in good health. They were trying to figure out if between them they could scrape together enough cash to get an ice cream cone. They almost had enough, they thought.
Jill, my spouse, opened open her heart and her wallet; she found a five dollar bill and gave it to this elderly woman. Jill said, "Please use this to get some ice cream for both of you." The woman's response: "O bless you! You're my angel! I'm so grateful for your kindness!" In Jill's compassion, I saw the Redeemer who hears the cry of creation suffering and responds to mend the broken-hearted.
So, our vacation was graced with spiritual experiences. And that is the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we recognize the Creator's presence in the splendor of creation, that is the work of the Spirit. When we recognize the Lord Jesus acting in our works of compassion, that is the power of the Spirit. These things make a vacation truly good. May you have such good vacations, too!
* * * * * * *
Lessons for September 6th
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
James 2:1-10, 14-17
Wednesday 10:00 am Bible Study with Pastor Brian
7:00 - 8:30 pm SOV choir rehearsal
Thursday 5:45 pm TTF Meeting
6:30 pm Mens Night at Lil Cooperstown
Friday 1:00 - 9:00 pm Palmeter Piano Studio
Saturday 10:00 - 11:30 am SOV choir rehearsal
Sunday 10:00 am One Service
Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!
Scrip order this Sunday
(you can leave your order at the church anytime now through Sunday)
Saturday, September 12th
Sunday, September 13th Rally Sunday
Fall worship schedule begins
Worship at 8:30 & 11:00 am
pancake breakfast at 9:45 am
Sunday, September 29th
One Service at 10:00 am
followed by a celebration farewell to Jameson and Jenna and
Welcoming Jon Quesenberry as SOV's interim Director of Music
Please bring your favorite potluck finger food and/or salad to share.