Psalm 74.16-17 (CEB)
The day belongs to you! The night too! You established both the moon and the sun. You set all the boundaries of the earth in place. Summer and winter? You made them!
A season is a period of particular activity. It is marked by two very specific things: a beginning and an ending. And soon we will meet with one end in particular as our Church Secretary Dottie leaves. It is with a heavy heart I share this with you all:
August 24, 2015
Reverend Brian D. Christen
La Porte Community Church
202 South First Street
La Porte, Texas 77571
Dear Rev. Brian,
I regretfully and yet joyfully submit my letter of resignation as secretary of La Porte Community Church, with my last day of employment being Friday, September 4, 2015. There have been some changes in my life which have prompted me to make the decision to leave employment with LPCC.
La Porte Community Church has always been like home to me and the folks there treat me as family; they ARE family.
It has been such a pleasure working with you Brian. I feel that I learned much from you and the position of secretary of the church. I appreciate the working relationship we have had and the fact that you made the position enjoyable and fun. I appreciate your friendship.
Dottie George Gaona
I am thankful for these verses because it reminds me that much of life is built around beginnings and endings. While this doesn’t soften the blow or make things hurt less, what it does is give language to the transitions in life. I am thankful for all that Dottie has done for LPCC and myself. I pray that the next part of her adventure be all she has dreamed.
Grace and peace,
Genesis 12.2 (CEB)
I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing.
I was once told that blessings are words that are spoken for you and on your behalf. Blessings are a specific kind of prayer that names for us a hope and a provision to respond to these words of good will. The Israelite's were all about being blessed and a blessing.
This Sunday, we will be having a special moment in our worship in which we shall bless all those going back to school. We will together pray for students, teachers, administration, nurses, coaches, as well as support and custodial staff. Why are we doing this you ask...because our support of one another means that when students go into new classrooms and teachers meet new students or principals hold meetings and custodians clean, we are present, knowing that together life and faith are inextricably intertwined.
So what I am inviting us to do is this…if you are a student going back to school, bring your backpack or knapsack or satchel or whatever you plan to keep your supplies in to worship with you this Sunday. You too, teachers, nurses, and others bring your bags so that we can bless you all this coming school year, so that together we can proclaim that you are blessed to be a blessing for others.
Grace and peace,
Excerpt from Romans 5 (CEB)
3 But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance produces character, and character produces hope. 5 This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
“What is the main characteristic that defines you?” The first answer is my vocation, the happy mix of career and call that I get to enjoy. Or it could also be my family relationship as father. Or maybe my defining characteristic is my marriage and being a husband. Or it could even be other important relationship’s in which love is central. Come to think of it, it seems, as if there is no one characteristic that defines me. Instead, I find that all of these are important in who I am as a child of God made possible in Jesus.
So what about LPCC? As I often say in worship, fellowship is a huge part of what it means to be part of the church. We begin our worship with a moment to fellowship with others because we need each other; we are tied together in this adventure of faith. And it is in this same spirit of fellowship that exemplified our earthly example of our spiritual relationship with God. Or maybe it’s the music programs with all its varied ways that people use their gifts to sing, ring bells, play the piano, organ, and other instruments and in all of these honoring and praising God.
What about you? What do you believe is/are the characteristics that make you up? What do you believe are LPCC’s? I can’t wait to hear from you about what you think…
Grace and peace,
Phillipians 4.7 (CEB)
Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.
Life has a tendency to not stay the same. And I say that lightly because really life changes all the time. Most of the time it has a sense of losing control which for many really frightens us. Why? Because when we lose control, we lose a sense of whom and what we are. This identity that we know through our current life experiences, education, and circumstances moves quickly to something else as new things happens and it leaves our heads spinning as we strive to play catch up and reorganize around the new present.
As children of God, we know that we are not alone in this. God is ever present. Even as we feel what we are to feel: joy, grief, heartache, or hope, we know that God too is sharing those feelings with us. Like a good friends who sits with us as we make sense of the changes. We also know that through our Christian community, shaped by our togetherness, our burdens and joys are shared by the people being friends, family, and companions in this life.
LPCC is a wonderful Christian community that seeks to share God’s love with and to one another. We give ourselves to God and one another in real and tangible ways. So in the ever-changing world of life and faith, it is together, trusting in God, to lead us so that we will find a peace that as the scriptures promise, surpasses all understanding with joy that permeates all parts of our lives.
Grace and peace,
Husband, father, minister, child of God, follower of Jesus Christ writing in the context of La Porte Community Church