Just outside of our house we have a very large tree next to our sidewalk. The trunk of the tree is massive and I am certain it would take more than two grown men to wrap their arms around the base. It is the ideal tree to climb and offers an incredible amount of shade from the hot summer sun. Each year’s new growth makes the branches heavy and by July we have what feels like a secret little room over our patio.
During the summer months you can find me there reading my morning devotions while sipping a cup of coffee, sharing a meal with my family, or just relaxing with my feet up. I try to spend as much time as possible there and the space has turned into a bit of a sanctuary for me. God and I have had some pretty amazing conversations beneath this tree. Prayers of praise and thanksgiving have been uttered beneath the thick canopy, as well as words matched with tears and frustrations. At times His voice seems loud and clear and other times nearly silent, but I always sense Him near while I am there.
A couple weeks ago I was sitting beneath the lush, green leaves in my chair when it started to rain. I could see the drops hit the yard all around me, yet I did not feel even the tiniest sprinkle. The thick canopy of leaves was sheltering me from the drizzling shower and I felt completely surrounded by His goodness. The few weeks leading up to this point had been a time of loaded schedules and what felt like enormous tasks. I was tired, worn out and ready for a break. As I sat there and watched the rain drops hit the green grass in the distance, I sensed God’s presence and I suddenly felt a calm fall over every part of me. In the stillness of the moment, I was overcome by words Moses gave Joshua, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8) And in that instant, I knew all the trials and uncertainties I had been fretting about were already being dealt with by my Creator.
As I continued to sit in my tranquil little spot, in my mind I listed off some of the many promises God has given us. While I recalled them one by one, the turmoil within my soul shifted and I could sense God’s gift of peace and rest within. And so for my friend reading this today who is experiencing heartache, trial, and sadness – are you holding close to His promises? He put them in His Word so you can lean on them and find strength and hope. God is with you even in the hardest of times. He never leaves you unattended and is walking with you every step of the way. Remember, not only does He join you in the present; He is already ahead of you handling your difficulties for the good of your future.
Standing on His Promises,
Here are a few scriptures to help get you started: Exodus 14:14; Psalm 46:1; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 John 1:9; Romans 8:38-30; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:2; Philippians 4:19; Psalm 23
Kick off a new season of education and activities on Sunday, September 9 with an All Church Picnic and Carnival. After worship, Sunday School will begin followed by a potluck dinner at 11:30 AM, and games for both kids and adults at noon. Bring a main dish and side dish to share and your own tableware! Lemonade, coffee and water will be provided.
The Deacons have organized several service projects in the coming weeks. If you are available to help install a fence on August 18, contact Travis Chapa at 507-227-1582. Contact Brad Van De Berg at 507-227-1801 if you could help with a shingling project on September 1.
The Salad Luncheon fundraiser for Talking Bibles International will be Thursday, August 16, 11 AM—1 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Adults – $7; Children under 12 – $3. Sign up at the Narthex table to bring a salad or to help at this event. The Salad Luncheon Committee will meet on Wednesday, August 8, 10 AM if anyone would be willing to join the committee.
August is ARC Food Shelf Month
Rock County churches support the Emergency FoodShelf by donating non-perishable food on a monthly basis. ARC continues to be responsible for the month of August to contribute food or cash.
You can pick up a grocery bag with a list of needed food items stapled to it on the Narthex table behind the Worship Center, or from the small table near the south entrance. Monetary gifts may be left at the church office or placed in the offering plate. Please make checks out to the Rock County Emergency FoodShelf.
Please leave your groceries near the south entrance from where they will be delivered to the United Methodist Church where the FoodShelf operates each Thursday from 1:00-3:00 PM. You are also welcome to leave your groceries at the south entrance of the Methodist Church.
ARC is responsible for serving Home Delivered Meals during the month of September. To volunteer, please choose a date from the calendar at the Narthex table. The meals are picked up at Luverne Senior Dining at 11:30 AM and local delivery usually takes about an hour.
Midweek Meals are in jeopardy. The discipleship team is searching for a person or small groups to take a turn preparing Wednesday night Midweek Meals from September to April. This could be a once a month rotation if we can find 4 teams. Please contact Becky Ossefoort for details. Please share your gifts and talents by organizing a meal once a month.
MARK SCHULTZ CONCERT!
Mark Schultz will be live at ARC on Wednesday, September 19, 7:30 PM. Tickets are available at the church office, at WildFlowers Coffee Boutique and at itickets.com; $20 for Adults, $10 for Students (ages 18 and under). Proceeds will benefit the Luverne Child Guide Program and the Luverne Backpack Program. Doors open at 6:30 PM.
WORSHIP IN THE PARK Bring your tractor and your Bible to worship at the Luverne City Park on Sunday, July 15. Supper provided by the Pork Producers at 5:00 PM, worship service will begin at 6:00 PM with a message by Pastor Billy Van Camp of Heartcry Ministries. Hayrides and homemade ice cream will follow. Bring your own lawn chair. A love offering will be received to defray expenses.
50’s Night – SR RCYF Fundraiser
Monday, June 25, 5:30-7:30 PM
ARC Parking Lot
Choose hamburgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, nachos, ice cream and more!
Enter the south driveway to place your order; dine in your car or at tables.
Freewill donation will help fund mission trip to Kansas City and other events.