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Dearest Members of Bethlehem,

“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” -Jeremiah 31:33

There was a time when a “pocket protector” was a valuable tool. Pocket protector? Yes, typically a thin piece of stiff plastic that slipped into your shirt pocket. It’s function was to prevent fraying and the occasional ink stains that result from carrying a pen in your pocket.

Sadly, pocket protectors have fallen out of fashion. Partly because they are not necessary anymore and partly because pocket protectors got a bad rap. Allegedly if you utilized a pocket protector you were unnecessarily nerdy. Oh well, but just for the record there are worse things to be.

Anyway, I lack the influence necessary to make the pocket protector cool again. But I do want to offer a bit of well-meaning advice. Keep a pen or paper nearby at all times. I’m serious.

I genuinely believe the Holy Spirit is still hard at work in the world, most specifically in you and I. I also believe that the faithful can absolutely count on bursts of inspiration to come their way. Be ready for moments of revelation, and be ready to record them.

Paul encouraged us to pray continuously, which was wonderful… but I have a hunch that most of us are already praying continuously. Rehashing the conversation we had with our neighbor; thinking through how we should care for a grieving friend, planning our next big project at church… all of these deliberations and contemplations can be seen as expressions of prayer. Yes, the internal dialogs that we think we are keeping to ourselves, may just be “the sighs too deep for words,” that our God speaks on our behalf and also hears on our behalf.

So, when you suddenly know exactly what you want to say in your anniversary card, or when you are suddenly blessed with a wonderful idea for ministry, or when you dream the lyrics to a hymn that has yet to be written… steward those treasures appropriately.

Grab that pen, jot down your thoughts, and feel good about the prospect of potentially sharing them. So often these moments of inspiration are precisely what’s needed to bring light, peace, and joy to ourselves and those we care about.

Question for reflection: When was the last time you sent a handwritten letter?

This week at Bethlehem:

On Tuesday evening the Congregation Council will be meeting at Bethlehem at 7:00.

On Wednesday evening the strategic planning team will meet at 7:00.

On Saturday evening we will have worship at 6:00.

On Sunday morning we will offer worship at 8:00 and 9:30.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan

Gracious Lord, you are at work in us every day. We give you thanks for the insights you provide, for the guidance you give, and for the creative energy that allows us to contribute meaningful work to an already glorious creation. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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