July 2019 Summer Sunshine Challenge

“From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised.” – Psalm 113:3 NRSV

“You brought the sunshine in my life.” These words are the mantra of a song sung by the Clark Sisters. They were referring to God, through Jesus Christ, who brings light and love into our lives. But we too are charged with brightening the lives of those around us. We receive the sunshine God provides, we allow God’s light to shine through us, and we benefit from the light of others. 

This challenge draws upon the season of Summer, when the days are longer and the sun shines brighter. It’s a season of growth, when we see the flowers in bloom and the lushness of the terrain. It’s a time for new beginnings and greater connection. It’s cookout season. The heat slows us down even as it draws us out to enjoy lazier days in the company of friends. We go outside…to the beach, the park, and the road trip. We trade in the fast pace of football and basketball for the less hurried excitement of golf and baseball. The oven gets turned off and the grill takes its place. Life changes, and even though we may not be on vacation, we enjoy these days.

Let’s fully embrace these days. 

I always think of the Gershwin song, “Summertime and the living is easy.” Now, life does not get easier in the summer, other than those of us who live in the snow belt can put our shovels and plows away for the season. But there is an ease to summer, its activities and our expectations. As we take our lives outward, let us still reflect inward and nurture our souls.

This challenge will last for five weeks. A video highlighting the focus of each week will be released on Sunday with a weekly check-in on social media on Fridays. There is also a scripture reading plan to help direct our attention on the focus area through meditation and reflection. That printable can be accessed below:

I will also post the WORD4theDay on social media from those passages. The five areas are: Gratitude, Connection, Kindness, Finding, and Blessing. For more information about each one, check out its accompanying video.

I pray that this challenge blesses you, your walk with God and with others.

Remember, love God. Love neighbor. Love self.

And let the sunshine in!

Blessings and peace,

Pastor Cheryl

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