Yesterday I went to my first ever cross country race in support of four of our Shelter Rock Church students. They all did really great. I was cheering for them near the finish line, and gave each of them a Gatorade on which I had written a note to them with a Sharpie. It was awesome talking with them and meeting their teammates/school friends. One mom wrote me and said, “[My son’s] friends thought you were a very cool youth pastor.” I was relieved to know that I didn’t embarrass them. Really great time and so proud of our students.
Today was another first day of school – 11th grade for Claudia, and 8th grade for Natalia. We prayed for them this morning and sent them into this school year with these words from Paul to Timothy, which I am praying for all of our students today:
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord” (2 Timothy 1:6-8a).
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
“8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
“11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:1-13).