It's Good To Be Back! // M-Note 7.7.23

I’m back! The past few weeks I have been out of the office and not preaching, but this weekend I will be back and starting a new series. I am grateful for some time off, and it was packed with activity. I started the month of June speaking at a conference for pastors in Wisconsin, I took my daughter Carly on some college visits, our family spent time together on a vacation, and I spent about 10 days writing to finish a book project that I have been working on. And yes, I got some down time to relax in there, as well.
As I reenter the office and dig through my email this week, there are two things that I am mindful of. It is a blessing to love your work and to be excited to do it. I love being the pastor of The Gathering. It is a great congregation doing exciting work. I love leading in a place that is constantly changing, growing, and asking new questions about how to best serve God and others. It is a blessing to love your work, and I love mine. Secondly, no matter how much you love your work, intentional breaks from your typical rhythm are healthy and give you fresh perspective on that work. This is true in almost anything we do, including parenting, marriage, jobs, caring for loved ones, etc. Breaking up my typical rhythm gives me fresh perspective, helps me see what I’ve been missing, offers me distance to tackle problems differently, rejuvenates my energy, and stokes my creativity. The disruption of my normal rhythm creates space in which I can grow and gain valuable insight into my life.
No matter what you spend your time doing, I hope that you look for ways to break your normal rhythm – at work, at home, in your relationships, or in the ways that you care for others. It isn’t always easy to get or find the time to do it. So whether it is a day, a weekend, or a whole week, I hope you try it.  No matter how much you love (or don’t) the things you do, breaking the normal rhythm will hopefully give you new insight, fresh perspective, and maybe even a new appreciation for what you have in life.
This weekend, I will be starting a new sermon series called #blessed. This is going to be a great time to be in church for two reasons. First, I am going to talk about the power of serving and how God wants to use each of us to make a difference in the lives of others. Secondly, The Gathering is going to be celebrating some local organizations that do incredible work on behalf of God in St. Louis. If you have felt a nudge to get involved in our city or find a way to serve, this is a perfect time to be in church. Additionally, we are going to bless each of these organizations with a gift that I know you will want to be a part of. It is going to be a fun month of worship.
I hope you are having a good summer. Enjoy your weekend, and I can’t wait to see you in worship on Sunday.
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