July~August 2018

Post date: Jun 27, 2018 5:23:38 PM

Dear People of God,

“Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom. July is dressed up and playing her tune. Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.” I know we don’t have a lot of jasmine around here, but the old Seals and Croft song has been running through my head ever since the weather warmed up. I recorded it onto cassette tape from my seminary roommate’s album my first year at Luther seminary. Mark had quite a music collection and I had none.

After my first year of seminary in St. Paul, I looked forward to driving home to Kent, WA. I had just bought an older pick-up truck with a canopy on the back. My folks sent me a little money to help pay for it and at the age of 23 this was the first vehicle I ever owned. It was a fun solo adventure. Even with all my worldly possessions, (books and clothes), there was still plenty of room to roll out a pad and sleeping bag in the back at night. I had a little backpacking stove and cook kit.

I camped out in the Bad Lands and saw Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills. The truck overheated going over a 10,000 foot pass in Wyoming. I sat and let it cool off for a while, then made it over the top and coasted down the other side into Ten Sleep, Wyoming for minor repairs. I picked up a hitchhiker. Not really a good idea, kids. He was an old guy headed to eastern Washington to pick fruit. He claimed to be the prophet Elijah!

I tried to go through Yellowstone, but snow, yes snow at the end of May forced me to take a different route. So I stopped in at my grandma & grandpa’s house in Twin Falls, Idaho for a visit. I let the hitchhiker off before I got to grandma’s house. The next day I made it home to my parents’ house in Kent, Washington. The old pick-up truck worked great for hauling ladders and paint for my little house painting business that summer.

Adventure: especially when you are young, life is an adventure. Most of us need a little adventure in life from time to time. I’m reading “Paul” by scholar N.T Wright. Thanks to Art Neslund for loaning me the book. The Apostle Paul: now there is a guy who traveled much and led an adventurous, often dangerous life. My solo trip from St. Paul to Kent was just a fun sight-seeing adventure, whereas Paul was led by the Spirit and suffered much as he shared the good news of Jesus Christ. Reading can be a great little adventure in your mind.

I think most people need a little adventure in life: a change of scenery: a chance to travel somewhere new or different. Summer is a great time for that. I guess that’s why I enjoy hiking in the mountains so much. It’s a little adventure and you don’t have to drive very far from Ellensburg to have a great adventure around here.

Whether you travel somewhere this summer or enjoy the beauty of the season right here in Kittitas County, know that Christ is with you. The Spirit of the living God is with you. “Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom. July is dressed up and playing her tune. Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.”

May the Holy Spirit be blowing through your mind this summer and refresh you.

Peace in Christ, Pastor Dennis

p.s. Big thanks to Ethan Bergman, Michael Goerger and Joe Johnson for preaching this summer on Sundays when I’m away on vacation!