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This Sunday we gather around Jesus identity as SHEPHERD. You will want to read John 10:1-16 to prepare yourself for worship. Pastor Ron will be leading us to the pasture of God’s Word. What are the gifts that Jesus the Shepherd gives us as his sheep? I so much appreciate that the Shepherd PROTECTS us and PROVIDES for us. The Shepherd truly provides for our needs. Sometimes we look to the Shepherd from the perspective of our wants BUT the Shepherd looks to us from the perspective of our needs. What do you need from the Shepherd? Come on Sunday and receive what you need? We know “God will supply all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

When I meditate upon the Shepherd I become acutely aware of my status as a sheep. I am dependent, I have needs, I am weak, I am stubborn, I make mistakes, and the list can go on and on. Thomas Merton jotted down these wise words in his journal: "It seems to me the most absurd thing in the world to be upset because I am weak and distracted and constantly make mistakes! What else do I expect! Does God love me any less because I can't make myself a saint by my own power and in my own way? He loves me more because I am so clumsy and helpless without Him - and underneath what I am He sees me as I will one day be by His pure gift and that pleases Him - and therefore it pleases me."

As we gather around the Shepherd may each of us know his indescribable love for us! Come this Sunday just as you are! As we gather on Sunday there are three things that I want you to be praying for;

1. In the Lobby there will be baskets for you to share your cards, notes and expressions of gratitude to Matt Krotzer. This past year Matt has led the 11:00 worship. He has resigned to pursue additional opportunities and further employment. Please join me in thanking Matt and wishing him God’s best. On Monday he and Leah will be flying to the Republic of Congo to visit their two adopted daughters. We pray that this trip will help with the process of bringing the girls home to Matt and Leah.

2. We also hope many of you will sign up to be involved in one of the 3 major initiatives this fall. Is God calling to invest in the lives of children on Sunday mornings? Is God calling you be part of the Sunday evening ministry? Is God calling you to invest in the lives of children and students on Wednesday evening?

3. On a personal note I am grateful for your prayers for our son Stephen as he and Martha Lemke are joined together as husband and wife on Sunday afternoon. Many of you have helped shape Stephen into the young Christian man that he is these past 12 years. Martha and I hope many of you will join us on Sunday, September 14 at 12:00Noon for a luncheon reception to meet Stephen’s new bride.

In Christ,