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Long Hot Summer
With No End in Sight
Thank God for air conditioning.
We’ve had tennis camp and soccer camp and basketball camp. Joy tried out for a local academy team, BVB International, and was invited to join the roster. I’ve played in a men’s basketball league this summer at FBC Woodway, and it is a victory every time I step on the floor. The kids are reading, and so am I, and Molly is working on her Doctor of Ministry assignments.
And there hasn’t been a drop of rain for days.
This year, summer feels different. Maybe its because my children are one year older, they’re exploring their interests and keeping busy. Maybe its because Molly and I are now used to the changes that take place in congregational life during the summer months. We know it is still busy, but a different kind of busy, in a good way. Maybe its because I just came off an incredibly full academic year, and I’ve finally slowed down enough to catch my breath. When people ask me if my job changes pace in the summer, I’ve said, “Well, let’s just say that I finally feel like I’m getting things done, rather than just drowning.”
I’ve had the chance to look back and assess, rest and recover, and retool and look ahead.
Not everything is perfect. But when is it, ever? As I look to my right, I have two one-page documents on my wall. One is titled, “The Important Stuff in the Simpson Family” and the other is called “Ben’s Rule of Life.” There are most certainly things we’re praying for, but on the main, we have more to give thanks for than we have room to complain. We keep our commitments, or, at the very least, we remain focused on them and pursue them. We’re chasing after the right things, and we have the freedom and the capacity to make strides, with God’s help.
On my “Rule of Life” document there is a sticky note, and it says, “What should I choose not to worry about?”
One answer: the heat.
For one thing, it just is. Worrying won’t change it.
Another: thank God for air conditioning.
Still reading Ron Chernow’s Washington. One page at a time.
I finished What is My Calling? A Biblical and Theological Exploration of Christian Identity by William W. Klein and Daniel J. Steiner. In an effort to narrow our understanding to calling to discipleship to Christ, they squeeze out all the particularities that might entail while walking with Christ, in Christ, and as a disciple of Christ. They like what the Bible says about discipleship, but seem to deny the experiential side of faith, even when they offer an occasional nod to the reality that God may direct certain believers to do this or that thing at any given time.
I also completed another round of The Holy Bible. I read four chapters each day.
I continue to read Michelle Ule’s Mrs. Oswald Chambers: The Woman Behind the World’s Bestselling Devotional.
Sights and Sounds
I’ve watched Shaolin (2011), Groundhog Day (1993), and The Green Knight (2021).
My July tunes are here.
On the blog: I pulled a quote from J. C. Ryle’s Fighting for Holiness and commented, offered a nugget from Spurgeon’s wisdom on meditation and prayer, gleaned an insight on prayer from Jacob the Baker, and shared a thought from James Clear on mental toughness.
Before I go, standard copy.
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Be well this week. Bless others.
P.S. - Passed through Fort Worth on the way to Great Wolf Lodge. Stopped at an old haunt.