Dear Friend:

Ahhh, summertime! We have all loved summer since we were children and as adults we appreciate the change of pace it brings. However, summer also marks the midway point of the year 2012. It is a great time to personally and as a church look back at the God given assignments and also look forward to the new flow of the upcoming months.

It’s been my personal experience that midway through the year, I have sensed God leading in a new direction for what He desires His people to focus on. What we were excited about starting, proclaiming, and implementing in January now seems like a foundation to build on for the rest of the year.

“Are we there yet?” is a familiar question asked by children headed on vacation or day trips for a much anticipated time of fun.

Our family spent a great deal of time driving to Florida every other year to visit Tony’s mother and brothers. There were no hand held devices or car DVDs to entertain and pass the long hours of travel. We only stopped for gas, potty breaks and to picnic with homemade sandwiches at rest stops. State welcome centers were definitely a highlight of our trip. The Florida welcome center was definitely the winner as they served fresh orange juice to thirsty travelers. To pass the time and bring our family into unity (one mind) I would read a book especially chosen by God’s leading. I’ll never forget the books, with their message or the people that were giving their testimonies of God’s great love and power.

Now that we are “empty-car nesters” we still hold to that tradition. Oh yes, we have a DVD player (for grandchildren to watch movies as we travel to and from fun adventures) however, we still look forward to the “book” that God picked. This summer Bonnie Hyatt gave Tony a book entitled, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day,written by Mark Batterson. The book is based on a Biblical experience in 2 Samuel 23:20,21. If you have read this passage, my guess is that it probably did not make much of an impact on your life. It is about a man named Benaiah and his adventures with a lion on a snowy day. His choice to chase and kill the lion was part of his resume to become king David’s mighty military captain. The premise of the book was to challenge believers to go beyond life as usual and as the author writes, “Playing it safe is risky!”

In other words, hard, difficult or dangerous decisions are actually opportunities or stepping stones for future victories in your life with God. Using this scripture to encourage the reader to unleash the lion chaser within and unleash your fears all for God’s glory! If you don’t read the book at least read the verse.

I believe God wants to encourage all of us through this historically based scripture to go beyond our natural mind and life limited thinking to transform His people into lion chasers. Read it!

Love you,

Pastor Mary

P.S. See you Sunday! If you are not in town please listen to our Sunday and Wednesday sermons here on the website.

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