Beloved Concordia Family,
Final registration is happening today at Concordia Lutheran School. That means summer is nearing its end and school will be getting underway VERY soon. In fact, I am in the process of moving my three college students back to school starting this week! I hope you have had a GREAT summer. I also hope you are able to squeeze out a little more summer-fun before things “crank up” for the fall.
I wanted to thank you for all of the love and kindness you poured out on Pastor and Dorothy Ebs during their transition to Stephenville. They have written a note of appreciation that you will find later in this newsletter. You, as always, have shown the grace and love of Jesus in your words and actions. Thank you.
Along those same lines, I have a …
Special (and URGENT) Request …
Our beloved receptionist, Kay Essex, has been placed on Hospice Care. This dear lady has served our Concordia faithfully for MANY years. Nonetheless, when friends and staff have expressed their appreciation for her ministry, she has been surprised that she mattered to so many people. I don’t think she has ANY idea how many people appreciate her. My special request is this: If you know Kay, would you consider sending a card or a note of love and appreciation to her? The address is:
c/o Susan Essex
1442 W. Rosewood Ave
San Antonio, TX 78201
What a delight to imagine the smiles and tears of joy on Kay’s face as she reads the words of appreciation offered by our beloved Concordia family. Thank you for considering this request.
Concordia’s Summer Missions
It’s been a busy summer! We’ve been on lots of mission trips: Costa Rica, Moore, OK, San Antonio. One of the recurring comments, year after year, person after person is, “This trip changed my life!” or “This was the best experience of my life!” These trips are not exactly luxury vacations or “thrill a minute” attractions. This summer’s trips have been hard work, very HOT and have stretched people WAY beyond their comfort zone. And still, the comments continue, “This was the BEST experience of my life.”
How can that be true? What is it that makes a trip like this the best experience of someone’s life? There are 3 answers to this question. When you hear them, I hope they will encourage you to join in and be on your way to the best experience of your life!
Answer 1: Relationships!
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13
But Paul says, “Not only do we have a relationship with God through faith, we have a relationship with each other. There is no difference between us … in Christ!” Do you want to make new friends? Do you want to see how Christ bridges gaps of distance, culture, and language? Then go on a mission trip!
Pastor Paul of Cross and Crown Ministries in OKC was on a particular corner praying for the ministry that God wanted him to do. His prayers continued to be interrupted. Finally, after no small amount of frustration, he realized that he was already doing the ministry that God wanted him to do in that place.
Answer 2: God is there … AND Working!
The Gospel is NOT about our work. It is God who works for our salvation! But it’s not just that God works in our lives for our salvation, it’s that God works in our lives for our good and works through us for the good of others! And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
God is always doing amazing things we don’t recognize or understand. That is also true on these mission trips. On the way into Costa Rica, we were so frustrated. Our vision clinic supplies were held in Costa Rica Customs until long after we returned from our trip. We were planning to serve the people and help them see better … and share Jesus. What we didn’t know is that God had a different plan.
We would never have been able to accomplish all we did for the local children if we had conducted the vision clinic. We needed the extra time to do the construction work that God had in mind. Do you want to see God work in ways that may frustrate you at first, but eventually inspire you in ways you can’t even imagine? Then go on a mission trip!
Answer 3: We share JESUS!
The unmistakable call of Scripture is to share the Gospel! That means sharing the love and hope of Jesus that we have with others. How … can [people] call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15
When we share the love of Jesus, two things happen…
- Other people’s lives are changed!
- We are changed! That’s why people can say, “This was the best experience of my life!” Because something that seemed intimidating turned out to be something, by God’s grace and by the Spirit’s power, that they could do to bless someone else’s life.
Do you want to see the Gospel go forth to change the lives of others and change your life? Then go on a mission trip!
A Bonus Question!
How can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14
The answer, of course, is that they can’t. So who’s going to preach to them? Don’t be intimidated by the word, “preach.” What that means: “Who will share Jesus with them?”
Will it be you?
FIVE MINUTE CHALLENGE!
When you look at the people around you … family, neighbors, community, etc … can you see the people? That’s what matters most. Look beyond the “stuff” and “things” to see the people.
- Who do you see? Who are they and what is your relationship with them?
- What need tugs at your heart? You can’t meet EVERY need, but I’ll bet you can meet one!
- How could you make your world a better place? Choose that one thing and do it!
I love you and hope you have a GREAT week!
God bless you!
Pastor Bill Tucker