This year so far has seemed to revolve around my surgery: anticipating and preparing for it, having it, and recovering from it. It’s hard to believe that journey, which started early in December, ’14, has brought me six months later to where I am now. I am doing well, re-engaged in what I do, and learning patience through the process of recovery. God has been good. Mur has been a great help-mate. And your prayers and encouragements have been much appreciated.
We haven’t travelled far during this time. Our daughter, Tammi, her daughter, Sarah, and her three kids (our great grandkids) visited us last week. That was a delightful re-entry into family time. Next, we will be going to Wheaton to hear our grandson, Matthew’s recital. We’ll have some family time there, celebrating birthdays, a wedding shower, etc. A month later we will be there again for our grandson, Jordan’s, wedding. We’re delighted to welcome Jenn Lee into our family. That will be followed by a visit to our Southern contingent, including seeing our grand-daughters, Sam and Madison, play in a Lacrosse tournament in South Carolina. Please pray for safety, strength and rich enjoyment.
I’ve been doing the radio work of preparing scripts and recording programs. I was asked to write a brief article for the newsletter for one of the networks that carries my program in English, Spanish and now Russian – read a copy of it below. Then rejoice over these emails I recently received, and keep praying for God’s blessing in what we do for Him, and for our continued health and strength to carry on.
“First let me tell you how much I enjoy listening to you each morning on my way to work. Today’s message really hit my heart. I have been a born again Christian for 14 years and still struggle with alcohol. I have prayed and prayed and nothing has changed. I come home after work and start drinking. I’ve always had trouble sleeping even as a young child and this helps me get tired fast. Not making excusing just stating facts. When I went on a mission trip a few years ago, I went a full 10 days without it and never craved it once. Please pray for me and help me know what to pray. I know you are not supposed to focus on the problem but I don’t know how to stop.” (If you would like to read my suggestions to her, let me know.)
Her response to my suggestions: “Thanks so much for responding to me. I will commit myself to do all of the things you listed and meditate on His word day and night. I’m going to make some Scripture cards to keep at my desk. Thank you for praying for me. I’ll be giving you the praise report. God Bless you and your ministry!!” (Please pray for Marianne)
“Pastor Golz, Can you kindly send me the message on Mentoring-St. Paul, May 12.Thank you.” His response to my reply: “Thank you Lud, This is very informative and a Blessing. Fadi K., MD”
“Hi Lud, I attended Fellowship Bible Church in grade school and middle school in the 90′s. I’ve been in the Dallas, TX area since 2002. For some reason the Lord brought you to mind recently, I watched a YouTube of your message on Habakkuk. Just wanted you to know that God used you profoundly over the years in preparing my walk with Him. Hope you and your family are doing well.”
The article: HOW IS YOUR SUMMER GOING?
Are you enjoying your summer, having fun, vacationing with family, or relaxing in the shade during the hot, humid weather? It is good to take time for a change of pace and to be refreshed in body, mind and spirit. Often this is the order of our priorities during the summer months: body, mind, spirit. If this is true in your life, let me remind you of two verses from the Bible: 1 Timothy 4:8, “Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” John 9:4 – “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”
Exercising the body is profitable. Most of us would be wise to increase our exercise and watch more carefully what we eat and drink. But we must be careful not to let that be our primary focus, especially during the summer months. Reading and engaging in thoughtful conversations would also be helpful especially as you spend time together as a family. It would be good while driving together to listen to an audio book and taking time to discuss it.
Cultivating the spiritual dimension of our lives is of utmost importance. If we don’t maintain our walk with God during the summer months we will miss out on taking advantage of opportunities that come our way, especially to share Christ with others. Jesus words in John 9:4 remind us that doing what God wants us to do “while it is day,” implies that we do what we can when “opportunities are everywhere” around us. If we don’t, the “night is coming” or the summer is passing, implies “opportunities begin to ebb” away. Once the “night comes” or the summer slips away, “opportunities will end” – like talking to a neighbor as you connect while working in your yards, having friends over for a picnic, visiting someone in need that you haven’t seen for some time.
I used to remind students when I taught in High School, when I gave an assignment that would be due at the end of a semester, the time to start working on it was when they had time and resources – when they had opportunity everywhere. If they didn’t start early to work on the project opportunities would ebb away. If they waited till the due date opportunities will have ended, and they would fail. The same is true with every endeavor, including sharing Jesus with a friend, mentoring someone in their walk with Jesus, or rolling up your sleeves and doing an act of kindness for someone in need. Periodically remind yourself of these three points: opportunity everywhere, opportunity ebbing, opportunity ended.
John Greenleaf Whittier, the poet, put it well: “Of all sad words of tongue or pen the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’”