June 29, 2018
Sabbatical.... I have heard of sabbaticals by university and seminary professors for many years. In the last 15 years of so, I have heard of churches providing sabbaticals to their pastoral staff at certain intervals. In my time at Ridgecrest, I have seen members of our staff take sabbaticals. And now, it's my turn! On one hand, I am looking forward to this opportunity to refresh and regroup, to catch up on some reading, to spend time with family, to worship in other churches, to learn and to improve as your pastor. On the other hand, I don't know if I'll know how to act over several weeks of not coming to the church. I love my job! I genuinely look forward to coming to the office each day and carrying out my duties. In 34 years of continuous ministry, I have usually only taken one week at a time off. On a couple of occasions, I have taken two weeks off at one time. But now to have several weeks off at one time seems a little daunting! And I am looking forward to it.
You as a congregation treat all of us who serve on ministry staff well. We are well taken care of. You are gracious to us. I have admired Ridgecrest since my teen years and hoped to serve in a similar church one day. To have the wonderful opportunity to serve as the pastor of Ridgecrest is a great blessing and privilege. I am thankful to God and to you.
You will be in very capable hands during my time away. The ministry staff will be available to lead and serve as always - don't hesitate to call on them in my absence. You will also be in capable hands on Sunday mornings! This Sunday, July 1, I will announce the speakers who will be here each week. There will also be an update of speakers listed each week in the bulletin.
I look forward to concluding the sermon series from Revelation 2-3 concerning Jesus and His church. This week we will look at the last church mentioned, the church at Laodicea - the Self-Deceived Church. I don't want to be that kind of church, and i hope you don't want to either! I have learned a lot through this study. I hope you have as well. This study has helped me to begin to prepare for our new church year beginning in September. I'm already working with our staff and preparing message topics!
Your vote (314-3) to approve the recommendations from our Facilities and Stewardship Teams is allowing us to proceed. You have noticed the steeple repair. Next is the roof and a few smaller items. Remember: We have funds on hand to take care of the most pressing items like the roof, but not enough on hand to cover the rest. We have estimated costs of $348,000.00, available funds of $164,500.00, leaving approximately $183,500.00 to be given by members and friends of Ridgecrest.
Here is what I know: God has a plan. He provides for the fulfillment of His plan even before He reveals the plan. God has a plan for Ridgecrest to continue to be the light of the Gospel to this community - in even greater ways. He has provided resources for facilities by providing us with everything we need to live and to give back to Him what He has blessed us with.
God has a plan. We have a need for resources. God has provided, is providing, and will provide everything we need to fulfill His purpose and plan. All we have to do is live for Him, allow Him to move our hearts, and be obedient!
I fully believe that when we tie into God's purpose, plan and provision in and through us, we will experience great blessing and the church will experience the great blessing of taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Pam and I are prayerfully considering our gift to the maintenance project - over and above our regular tithes and offerings. I hope you will also!
AS YOU GIVE, please mark your gifts as payable to the "Believe and Achieve" fund.
Let's trust God and see what He is going to do!
During Vacation season, don't take a Vacation from your Faith! Be mindful to grow in your faith through regular prayer and Bible reading, and by living out your faith. And while you may be out of town a few times, don't forget the importance of your church family! Come as you can. Give to support the ministry. Bring someone with you!
Remember - We are Blessed to be a Blessing!!