From Becca, 16 … Last week our church put on a conference about church membership. The most significant inspiration for me was to love my fellow church members unconditionally. God has put us together in the body of Christ for the purpose of glorifying him together and building one another up. We find our unity in Christ, even though we might be different from each other in every other way. God uses our differences for his glory, giving each member different places and jobs to make one complete body. (1 Cor. 12:12-31)
From Seth, 19 … During the last session of the conference, Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile preached about the responsibility of pastors and elders. From Ezekiel 33-34, he talked about how elders are watchmen for the flock. There is gravity in their position as watchmen and intimacy in their position as shepherds. He said that elders should smell like sheep, that their boots should be caked with the sheep’s mud and their mess, that the pastors’ skin ought to bear teeth marks. Shepherds are not called to be aloof from the flock. Speaking specifically to the responsibility of elders and pastors, Pastor Anyabwile said they will give an account for the flock before the God who purchased the sheep with the blood of his Son (Heb. 13:17). Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the sheep, who laid down his life for us. Sheep, pray for your earthly shepherds, and rest in the Master Shepherd.
From Anna, 22 … I came away from our church conference with a renewed sense of the glorious unity that believers share in Christ. One speaker discussed two threats to this vision of many members working together in a unified body. The first was members who believe themselves to be inferior and insignificant and thus do not seek to make contributions. The second was members who believe themselves to be superior and self-sufficient, and thus refuse to accept or seek the contributions of others. Both of these attitudes ultimately reveal a self-centered lack of trust in God’s wise formation of the body.
From John, Megan,and James … (by Megan) October has been a full month! The weekend of the 12th to the 14th, we went on the fall campout to Pedernales Falls State Park. The falls were beautiful! We enjoyed our weekend even though it was warm and we got some rain. We had a large plastic tarp over our tent, and we are grateful that we did! Sadly, some of our friends didn't fare so well and their tents flooded. James really enjoyed the campout. We brought along his Johnny Jump-Up (a doorway jumper) and hung it on a tree limb - it worked and he loved it just as much outside as inside at home! James also really enjoyed the campfires! We have pictures on our blog, so enjoy!
John's work is continuing to go well. He is pretty busy. We are thankful for the work! John is pretty much booked up through Thanksgiving.
This past weekend (28th & 29th) we took a last minute trip to NW Arkansas for a friend's wedding. The trip was intense (By intense, they were really long days of driving!), but we had safe travels and it was so nice to see our friends again! Three of my friends (we are all within a month of each other age-wise) were all together again for the first time since our 15th birthdays! We left home about 2:40 Sunday morning and got home about 6:45 Monday evening. We were very glad we made the trip even though it was tiring.
From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel, and Andrew … (by Katie) We moved into our new house on October 20. We were very blessed with lots of great help on moving day, so it was done smoothly and quickly. We love being in the new house, and are very thankful to have so much more space for our family and for extending hospitality. There is still a lot to do, but we're getting settled in bit by bit. The boys have done well adjusting to a new home, and they seem to enjoy sharing a bedroom. Ray has a bigger, quieter office space, and I love my new kitchen and laundry room.
From Judith … I’m always amazed at how much faster some tasks are accomplished with lots of hands! That was the case with the Wade move and again the other day when the girls helped me move our guest bed to the apartment and some of the apartment contents to the upstairs.
I’m very glad that our guestroom is now on the main level. It will be much more convenient for our guests than the room in the far corner of the upstairs was. The new guest room still needs flooring installed, a wall and closet built, a wall pass-through closed up, windows finished and covered, and walls painted, but at least we got the bed in! Blinds are all that must be done for it to be ready for guests. Our guests can use the half bath downstairs but showers will need to be done upstairs until we get the apartment shower finished.
From Gerald … We had a great time camping this past month. It was really a blessing to be able to enjoy a relaxed visit with friends in such a beautiful place. It was fun to have James (along with his parents) with us for his first camping experience.
With love from the Pedersen clan