One of the most looked-forward to months of the year!

After all, from kindergarteners to college students, it represents the end of school; for soon-to be bride and grooms it represents the end of singleness; for moms and dads it represents the end of the structure necessary for the school year! But June is also a month of beginnings; the beginning of summer, the beginning of a career for those graduating high school and college, and the beginning of a life together for all the June brides. Even nature celebrates June! Flowers are fresh from the spring rains, and the landscape reflects their new growth and beauty. The heat of summer is not yet upon us, and we can sit on the patio and enjoy the June evenings. But there is another end I would like us to think about as Christians - the end of life.

I recently attended the funeral of one of my husband's childhood friends. Now I have been through the deaths of all my grandparents, my parents and in-laws, and many elderly relatives, but this is one of the first of our friends to pass away, "our generation." I listened to the pastor read the familiar words from John 14:1-4, ..."In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

The thought that crossed my mind was this; Jesus is preparing many rooms. Death will come to all of us, but for those who have believed and accepted Christ as their personal savior, Jesus has prepared a room. He is ready and waiting for me! What a thought, that I am going not just to visit, but to live eternally with Christ my savior!! My prayer for all those reading these words is this, that you are preparing yourself every day for eternity with Christ! After all, He wants to greet us as an old friend, not just a new acquaintance, although both are welcome!

So brothers and sisters, study the scriptures daily, dedicate time to prayer daily, and remember that prayer is just conversation with God...getting to know an old friend! Hallelujah, what a Savior! God is good! Prayer: Father, thank you for new beginnings. Thank you for the opportunity to deepen our relationship with you, and to help spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Bless us as we continue to walk with you, and enable us to be there for others. In Jesus' name, amen.

Linda Birch
Lay Leader
Woodland U.M. Church