First, thank you Baysiders for your faithful financial support of our mission to see more people become more like Jesus! As of this writing, giving has been over budget 11 out of the past 12 weeks! If you’re new to Bayside, curious why this a is bid deal, or just want to be reminded of the inspiration behind this move of God, go to the website (baysidechurch.net) and watch the “The Blessed Life” series. Without question, that series continues to be used by God to inspire and bless our church family. Let’s pray this upward giving trend continues through the summer and we skip the dip. That would be a miracle!
And here’s why. Summer is a unique season in the life of the church. While there is a lot of ministry going on with camps, trips, outreaches, special worship services and fellowships, it tends to be a time when worship attendance and giving take a dip. That dip is compounded in Florida because our part-year members head back north for the summer. Let’s pray and commit ourselves to continue strong through the summer in our giving and our attendance in worship. So let’s skip the dip!
Speaking of worship, I’d like to offer a few ways you can invest over the summer months in yourself so that you don’t experience a summer spiritual dip.
Find a Spot
A few weeks ago, in a message on worship I mentioned that one of the most important things we can do for our spiritual lives is to identify a spot where we meet regularly with God. Do you have a spot? If not, this summer, identify that place that will be the place where you will worship, pray, and read the Word of God. I’ve had many ‘spots’ over the years. But the spot that is my ‘spot’ for the past 3 months or so has been a picnic table at John Chestnut park. This park is right on my way to work in the morning, so I exit out of the southbound traffic and find this little table by the lake. And there I read the Scripture, talk to Jesus, and just ‘be’ in the presence of God. Your spot may not be at a park; it may not even be outside at all. It may be in a recliner, or at kitchen table, or kneeling bench. It’s your spot so it can be anywhere you (and God) want it to be.
Pick a Book and Hit “Repeat”
Pick a book of the Bible and hit “repeat.” For me, my book this summer will be Proverbs. Short books in the New Testament work well for this too. Instead of trying to read through several books of the Bible, just pick one and read it through several times through the summer. Pick a book like Proverbs, or Colossians, or one of the Gospels and seek to read it through a couple of times over the next several weeks. I think you will find this to be an incredibly enriching process. Think of the books of the Bible like 66 friends. Picking one book to read over and over is like spending extended quality time with one friend, instead of a few minutes with a bunch of friends. You will get to know and understand the book, the author, and ultimately God on a more intimate basis.
Learn from a Godly Person.
Pick a godly person, living or dead and listen to their biography on audio book (or read it.) While you’re sitting on the porch, deck or beach towel, take a biography with you. Reading the life journeys of people of faith can be an incredibly inspiring and challenging exercise.
If we apply these three simple things over the summer, we just may find come September that our spiritual life has skipped the dip. Instead of a lull, we may find it has actually heated up over the summer.
Praying that you will experience sacred moments of relaxation and refreshing this summer. And don’t forget the sunscreen!