I have two very important opportunities to alert you to:

First, we have two single’s – in their twenties – going to Vermont on a short mission trip to help a group of churches with their Annual Big Game Dinner. They will be traveling to Bennington, Vermont Sept. 6th and traveling home on the 9th. They will be staying at a church and will be sharing the cost of gas. Of course there will be the costs of meals. There were supposed to be three going, two ladies and one man, but one lady had to drop out so they need someone to step in and go, or two people to go. If you are interested in going please contact Mark Gauthier at mgauthier@sbcv.org as soon as possible. It will be a great trip, inexpensive, and an opportunity to invest in a fresh work that God is doing in that area.

Second, our Sunday Labor Day Golf Fellowship is coming up this Sunday at Colonial. Jim Armes is overseeing this fellowship and he needs to know how many are going to play. If you are interested in playing you need to contact Jim by noon tomorrow so they can make arrangements for the meal. Email Jim at jimarmese9@gmail.com This is always a great time of fellowship with a little competition thrown in. By the way, since I’m not 100% back to my normal self since my back surgery, my “PGA golf swing” door is open to another team winning.

Yesterday morning I was driving home from an unexpected visit to my eye doctor when I called a friend. I told him what I wanted to tell him thinking he would be sympathetic and agree with me. However I knew that was not going to happen when he said, “Well Carl let me tell you. . . ” I then said, “Be honest with me”. He preceded to be just that. Basically he told me I was wrong.

As he finished speaking I had choices to make. Obviously I could have made excuses. However, knowing that he loves me like a brother, and that he “has my back”, I made the choice to say nothing except “You are right”. I had to admit to him that I was wrong. To be honest, with our friendship that was not an issue. I know he loves me and besides, we’ve had to use those words with one another in the past. The hard part was the rest of the day.

You see it was one thing to admit to him I was wrong, it was something entirely different to accept it as a fact in my own heart.

Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”. The fact is, like you, I have clay feet and I get it wrong from time to time. However I will never be afraid of the wounds of my friends. Their wounds are intended by God to make me more like Jesus. Let me encourage you to not be afraid when your friend shares tough words with you, but to know that you are being loved by her/him and that God is using him/her to make you fit for His use.

Here’s the amazing thing about yesterday, God kept me in that school of hearing from my friends all through the day. Some words were close to that first conversation and some of it were wonderful words of encouragement. My determination is to not only hear and learn from my friends but to allow God to change me so that I bring nothing but praise to His name. Let me ask you this, are you afraid of the “wounds of your friends”? By the way, don’t take this as an opportunity to go tell your friends how wrong they are, that’s not my intention. Remember Paul said, “You who are spiritual” can deal with a fallen brother.

Please don’t forget to take a few minutes today and pray for Hyland Heights. We are seeking and asking God to do a fresh work in us and through us. We are seeking to evaluate how we do ministry and to make changes so that we allow you to use the gifts God has given you to serve Him. We have some changes to make and we’ll go through some growing pains but I believe if we love one another, are patient with one another, we’ll learn how to “Do Life Together” and be a church that Makes Disciples That Make Disciples. A side note – one day soon I’ll share with you what God is teaching me about the role of women in our church, another one of those growing times in my life.

Praying with you,

Pastor Carl