Thanks to those who were involved with our special Music Sunday yesterday. Special thanks to Betty Zook and Cala Laible for bringing it all together. I was certainly moved by the music. As I mentioned at the end of the service, it is remarkable how many of our favorite hymns and contemporary songs are born out of painful experiences. It’s proof again how God can use our difficult circumstances to minister to others if we are willing to share them.
Next week we will be concluding our trip with the Israelites through the book of Exodus. The sermon is called “Consecrated” and will focus on what it means for God’s people when they reach the mountaintop—what does it mean for us when we come into the presence of God.
Later this week I’ll be traveling up to Milwaukee for the annual meeting of the Central District Conference. Jim and Deb Hubbard will also be serving as delegates from North Danvers.
There has been a lot going on last week. I’ve been reflecting what a difference the way we speak to one another makes. What is our first instinct when speaking either to or about someone else? Is our first instinct to tear down or build up? When we were younger, our parents would discipline our speech. There were certain words we would get in trouble for saying. Listen to what the Scriptures call “unwholesome speech,” though. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV 2011). Are the words we are saying (or emailing, or texting, or messaging) “helpful for building others up”? Are our words a “benefit to those who listen”? It’s worth paying some attention to the words that we speak, and to think about the effect that they have on others.
Remember all of the special summer activities that are upcoming. Our Vacation Bible School is this week in Danvers at the Presbyterian church. The summer band concerts will be kicking off in a couple of weeks.
Why don’t you take a few moments and invite a friend, neighbor, or family member to come with you to church next Sunday?