It has been a wild and wooly weekend in our lives.

First, I caught news of another shooting in El Paso, Texas. I felt like I was kicked in the gut again. I felt for the wounded victims as well as the families of the deceased; I was (and am) hurt and emotionally wounded myself. Life is so precious and then, to see it snuffed out among so many is simply smothering.

And almost immediately, before my mind could settle, in that same evening, we received another report of another shooting – this time a little closer to home, just a couple hundred miles away in Dayton, OH. Oh, the senselessness — more lives ushered into eternity, bodies and emotions wounded, families shattered.

I know some people will say some really strange things at times like these such as, “Don’t send your prayers; they’re not helping.” How foolish. On the one hand, I comprehend the pain – but on the other hand, prayer is really all we have and all we can do. We don’t have solutions. Politicians will not have solutions. In fact, NO ONE HAS ANY SOLUTIONS.

The only solution is Jesus.

The only means we have of tapping into that solution is prayer.

My friends, send up prayers to God with all the strength and spirituality that you have.

Desperate times require desperate measures.

On another note,

The message this past weekend looked at Paul’s parting words to the Church in Ephesus as recorded in Acts 20. It was an impassioned time of leaving, a solemn statement of warning, and a determined word of pressing on and finishing the race well.

The “take-aways” from that message are pretty simple and straightforward.

They are to:

• Be that ambassador (empowered and equipped representative) that Christ has called you to be

• Be His disciple—a student of the Word and of prayer who is also making other disciples

• Be a watchman/watchwoman over your household and yourself. It is important that we protect those over whom God has given us a season of stewardship.

• Be determined to finish the race well and to complete the task the Lord Jesus gave you.

It is my prayer this week that God would so make you aware of His presence, His keeping, His empowerment, and His equipping – so that we would sense an overflowing of Him in us to reach those around us.

Radically Serving Him,

Pastor Jim

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