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Weekly Sharpening

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June 16, 2021

New Beginnings

If you didn’t hear Pastor Guy’s farewell message on Sunday (June 13), I highly recommend that you watch it on YouTube. He said many profound and challenging things that stuck with me, but there’s one that I’d like to focus on today. It’s also a great segue into sharing an update regarding our men’s ministry.

“You should always look at your life as an episode of new beginnings, one after another, because Jesus makes all things new.” —Pastor Guy

Clearly this is a new beginning for Guy and Maureen as they move to Southern California. But it’s also a new season for all of us. Do you feel it? It feels to me like a train leaving the station and picking up speed. We were moving more slowly and sometimes stuck when Covid and the resulting restrictions were wreaking havoc on our lives. Sometimes I felt tethered to the track, almost like gravity was pulling extra hard over the last year and a half. But things are shifting and moving. We aren’t up to full speed yet, but we are getting there.

At least that’s how I see it. My heart is lighter than it has been in a long time. God has been and still is at work and I’m embracing an episode of new beginnings in my personal life and ministry. Some of that will have an impact on you.

Kathleen and I are about to become empty nesters. My son recently graduated from West Linn High School and heads to Whitworth University in the fall. My daughter is a junior at Baylor University. I’m happy for my kids and thrilled about what this means for me and Kathleen.

But there’s more. My role is shifting at River West. I’m no longer the Pastor of Family Life. I’ve passed on my responsibilities related to the children’s ministry and student ministry. I’m now the Pastor of Men and Families. [The family component involves marriage and parenting.]

This is the first time River West has had a pastor dedicated to serving men as the primary role. And I am pumped! This is something that God put on my heart to pursue over the last few months and Pastor Adam and the elders gave me the green light to run with it.

This means some new things are coming your way. I want to highlight one now and ask that you commit to being a part of it. In the fall I’m launching a weekly study on Saturday mornings called Living Lionhearted. It’s a deep dive into manhood with a large group teaching component followed by small group discussion with facilitators. It’s a 10-week study beginning on October 9 from 7:30am-9am (with a break over Thanksgiving weekend). I want every man at River West to be a part of it—whether you are already involved in a weekly Bible study or not.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about Living Lionhearted throughout the summer with registration beginning in August.

Men, it’s a new season for all of us.  It’s a new beginning in a lot of ways. Let’s embrace the changes but also hold tight to what never changes…

“The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases; his mercies NEVER come to an end; they are NEW every morning; great is your faithfulness.” —Lamentations 3:22-23


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