Pastor Linda Settles
Have you ever seen a group of kids at summer camp? We just had over 30 of them this week, and I tell you, sometimes it seemed as though they were running aimlessly! Just running! Running in circles, running into one another, no goal, just running for joy! There’s a sense of freeness they have that’s contagious. Oh, we all had it at one time. It’s just that our git up and go has got up and went! (sorry English teachers!)
One day at camp, they had an activity that made my heart sing. They were doing archery! Now, they didn’t know that I was preaching on taking aim this Sunday. I didn’t ask the counselors to do it, didn’t ask the volunteers to do it, but there they were preparing to practice with bows and arrows. Taking aim. Only God could’ve planned that!
As I looked at them (we have LOTS of great pictures), I thought about their spiritual aim. And I thought about part of our vision statement: “Empowering new generations.” Church, our aim in life makes a difference. It will affect the next generation. The Apostle Paul encouraged his son in the ministry, Timothy, with these words:
Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,
2 Timothy 3:10
Paul wanted Timothy to remember what he aimed for in life. In other words, his purpose for being. Friends, do you know your purpose? Proverbs 29:18 tells us that without a vision, the people perish. And I believe that without a purpose, an aim in life, people will perish. We see them – the mother whose last child has left for college and feels that she no longer has purpose. Or the marriage that ended, leaving one or both thinking that life is meaningless and without purpose. Or whatever your situation may be. You didn’t see it coming, yet it happened. And it left you feeling empty.
This is when we need to remember that although our aim may be off, God’s aim isn’t…
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God’s aim is towards us! The One who created you wants to be in communion with you, and has good plans and purposes for you, a good aim in life. That’s a mind-blowing thought! Perhaps we need to take a breath, refocus, and take our own aim! Not at the things of this world that are here today and gone tomorrow (remember the Mexican Pizza?) but take aim at the things of God.
When I saw the pictures of the children with those bows and arrows, the one thing I noticed was their concentration! They so wanted to hit the target. What are you aiming for in this season of your life? What is your sight set on? And, if you hit that mark, will it bring you closer to God?
Join us this Sunday as we begin our final summer series, Fun and Games: Take Aim. And we’ll have pictures of some of our “expert” archers! You can worship in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Breakthrough Prayer By now, some of you may have experienced the joy of praying. Perhaps you have some praise reports of where God broke through a situation in your life. If that’s you, we’re planning a time of sharing when we can come together and talk about where we have seen God during this time of Breakthrough Prayer. And remember, there are prayer cards at the Welcome Center if you have personal prayer requests, and the Prayer Room is open before and after worship. And as always, if you would like personal prayer from your pastor, feel free to contact me at 314-324-8405.
Double Your Learning Pleasure! Soon we will have two adult Sunday School classes gathering at 9:00 am. The Friends of Barnabas class is currently meeting. Stay tuned for more details on the start date of the second class. And don’t forget that our Coffee and Conversations small group continues to gather on Thursday evenings. You can get more info on the topic of discussion at www.umcgt.org.
The Word on Wednesday (WOW) is gearing up for the Fall! If you have an idea for a small group (something for moms, or dads, or fishing, or quilting – the sky really is the limit) please don’t be shy! Shoot me an email with your idea (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s come out and have a good time on Wednesdays. Food – Fun – Fellowship, WOW!
Helping our Neighbors Many of our neighbors still need help after the historic flooding in our area. If you would like to help, please see the UM Committee on Relief website: www.umcor.org. There are ways to serve and to give.
A HUGE THANKS to all who blessed the children through camp this week! Whether you brought food, volunteered as a co-counselor, brought your children out, served food, cleaned up, set up, or just showed up – we thank you! And of course, our awesome Director of Mission & Outreach who coordinated it all – Amee Colvin! And each camper went home with their own Bible. To God be the glory for the great things that were done this week! Empowering the next generation of believers!