Good morning from Youngstown, Ohio, the halfway point for Marla and I on our almost 17 hour journey east to Providence, Rhode Island, Our Ford Escape is completely packed - mostly with boxes and gifts belonging to Jordan and Jacob - and if all goes well, we will arrive in East Providence early evening tonight! Marla and I are super excited to be able to spend several days with the newlyweds and visit several special New England sites. I cannot wait to see up close and personal all that God is doing at Bridge Pointe Christian Church, where Jacob serves as student minister. Just over five years old, BPCC is already running about 500 each Sunday - good things are happening in Providence!
Several thoughts as I type in the empty lobby of the Comfort Suites on this very early Monday morning:
** What a great week of camp at Little Galilee this past week! Allison Hitchings did a great job in her role as Dean, and I'm so thankful to everyone from FCC who served on faculty and connected with our 95 5th and 6th grade students! I'm most thankful for the 17 baptisms that took place at camp and the 6 or 7 other baptisms that will happen in the weeks ahead, including one this coming Sunday at FCC at 10:45am service! God is good - all the time! If you are not taking advantage of LGCC, you certainly should! FCC will cover half-tuition for your children and grandchildren to attend one session of camp this year!
** Speaking of Little Galilee, myself and several other cyclists are attempting to raise $100,000.00 for the camp later this summer on a fundraiser bike ride, Our three day ride through southern and central Illinois will cover almost 200 miles and will include stops at four Christian Church camps: Oil Belt, Bond, Lake Springfield and Little Galilee. We will conclude our ride on the Saturday of Family Camp, where I'm serving as co-dean with my friend Michael Mallick. Look for more info in the weeks ahead about this adventure and please include me in your prayers for both safety and especially success on behalf of Little Galilee, one of God's special places!
** Speaking of Bike rides, great job to all who made the Tour De WItt 2018 such a success! Over $5,000.00 was raised for the Child Protection Network and a record 221 cyclists braved the less than idea weather! My 62 mile ride was steamy to say the least, but a blessing none the less - so thankful to all who made the day a success.
** This Sunday July 8, please note the following:
- Blood Pressure checks will take place after both morning services in the library
- The Men's Mission trip to Casas will host an informational meeting at 10:15am in the foyer outside the sanctuary - all men are invited to learn more about this great opportunity.
- The Big Stuf trip leaves early Sunday for Florida - 60 are heading with Ben Pertl on what we hope and pray will be a life changing week!
** Area Men's Fellowship will NOT meet this week due to the 4th of July holiday, but will instead meet on Tuesday July 10 at 6:30pm at Wapella.
** Several important "save the date" reminders of events coming later this summer and fall:
- Sunday August 19 - our 2nd annual connections event at Little Galilee featuring the zipline and the pool - this is an event for ALL and brought over 200 to the camp last summer.
- Sunday September 9 - 4th annual FCC Block Party from 5-7pm - this is our kickoff for the fall at FCC and has become a "can't miss" event!
- Sunday November 18 - Coming Home Sunday - save this date! You won't want to miss it!
That's all for this morning - have a blessed week and be sure to take time this week and remember that freedom isn't free! During this week when Independence Day is celebrated, don't forget the 4th of July isn't just a time for cookouts and fireworks. IF you are looking for a great "watch", let me recommend episode 2 of the John Adams mini-series - this has become my personal 4th of July ritual!
Have a great week - see you Sunday! I'm really excited to share message #2 this Sunday in our month-long look at POWER - more than simply Pardon, a message entitled the Power of the Body and the Blood.