July 2018 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Fellow Believers,
This is a great month with so many great events and opportunities. As we celebrate the birth of this God given nation, we are going to pray for our country. Check out call2fall.com. We will set aside five minutes at the beginning of the service on July 1st, to pray for God’s wisdom in the leaders of our nation, healing for racial strife, and the general wellbeing of our country.
You have been hearing a lot about the outreach to Buckroe Pointe Apartments on the 21st from 3 to 6 PM with set up and clean up at least one hour before and after. We are going to provide a party trailer and games for the families of the community. There are sign-up streets in the office hallway for those who are planning to help. We will be manning the games, bounce houses, cotton candy, snow cones, and pop-corn, and Leslie and the youth will be doing face painting. What a great opportunity this will be to show God’s hospitality, goodness and love to our neighbors. Please plan to be a part of all God is going to do!
Remember to pray for Leslie and those who are playing volleyball on the beach on Sunday afternoon. This is a whole church activity, and all are welcome. I plan to join them on Sundays in August. I hope you will as well!
I am so excited for our participation in our Blackaby Study. Sunday evenings have been a wonderful time of sharing and discussing god’s hand in our church. If you have not joined us, books are still available, and the DVDs can be checked out. Even if you are not in the study, I invite you to join us on Sunday evening to participate in the discussions.
As I write this I have the smell of salt water and sand in my nose. I just returned from the Virginia Beach ocean front on Friday morning. I headed out about 6 AM to get in some time of recreation in God’s grand creation. The waves were knee to chest and clean. It was great. It is amazing how the complexion of the beach changes from 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM. the early morning is mostly local hard core surfers who really know what they are doing, getting in some fun before going to work. It is as much fun to watch these people and girls doing what they really love, as it is being in the water by myself. I alternate being in the water with some time in a beach chair reading scripture, it is a beautiful time. As the morning goes on, the surfers go to work; when it gets closer to 9:oo AM, the tourist begin to come out, parasailers go up in the sky, and the jet skis begin to cut up the water outside the break. But it is still a great place to be.
This morning, I was in the water waiting for a wave to get on, when a man paddles by me on his way back out after catching a wave. He looked me square in the face and said with a South American accent, “God is good!” I have to admit, I was caught a little off guard. I returned His praise with, “god is good!” Nestor was a much better surfer than I am a body boarder. He took wave after wave, each time praising God for the water, the sun, and all of creation. The joy this man had for the Lord and this gift of creation was inspiring. Nestor has lived in Virginia Beach for three years. He grew up in Brazil in a completely secular world. “I did not know God’s love or that it was possible for something like it to exist” he told me. When I asked him how he came to know Jesus, he explained that he came to the United States 13 years ago and landed in New Jersey. He was taken in by a Christian family that, “loved me into God’s family.” To say it was a joy to meet this brother is a drastic understatement. It was my divine appointment of the day. What a blessing.
This month we have many opportunities to be that loving presence of God to someone who may not know that God’s love indeed exists, and is available for them. Do no miss what God may want to do through you and Restoration Church this month. Be a part, ride the wave of God’s love into the community where God has placed us.
In the bond of Peace,
Michael C. Smith