July ~ August 2022

God’s Beloved People,

I’m writing this article in the latter part of June and remembering that a year ago we were all running our air conditioners on high to survive the triple digit heat. This year, with the cold wind and rain I’m still wearing a coat and running the furnace at home and the heater in my office. Growing up in Kent, WA we called this sixth month of the year “Junuary.” It helps to be flexible and know that God is with us through all the changes and chances of life. I do yearn for the warm sunshine of summer. But at least everything is very green with all the rain, we’re saving money on our watering bills and farmers are getting their full quota of water this summer.

I hiked up Manastash Ridge earlier in June and the wildflowers were still in their glory. Usually by this time of the year the wildflowers are drying up fast, but there were still plenty of red paintbrush, blue lupine, yellow balsamroot and several colors of phlox. Beautiful! As Psalm 8 says, “O Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth.” I like to plant and grow flowers in my yard, but the beauty of God’s creation grows without any help from us humans.

I am always renewed by the rugged beauty of God’s marvelous creation. In the summer I always look forward to hiking and camping and kayaking in our wonderful Cascade Mountains. Where do you find renewal? Even if it’s in the backyard with a good book, (I like to do that, too), I pray that you find some time this summer for renewal and peace and rest.

I know our world is in big turmoil right now: war in Ukraine, mass shootings, inflation, global food shortages, climate change, violence and hatred against our black and brown friends, our Jewish friends and our LGBTQIA friends. Truly we live in a sinful and fallen world. Of course, we all need to keep doing our part as Christians to help make our world a better and kinder place for all people.

But I also pray that you find some time for R & R this summer. Take time to rest in God’s care and be renewed and refreshed by God’s mercy and love. Our Savior Jesus, when he walked this earth, regularly went off by himself or with his disciples to quiet places to rest and pray and be renewed by his Father’s love. May that also be true for you.

Peace and Renewal in Jesus, Pastor Dennis