It’s been a sad week. We mentioned the death of Lillian Gardner in our services this past weekend. Lillian was active in our student ministry where she was discipled and was baptized during one of our Burdette Park services.


Lillian is the great niece of a dear man who was in my congregation while I was serving in Dixon, Kentucky. I am very grateful for the mercy of God that we find in our human connections. They remind us of how close we are to nearly everyone in our part of bucolic America.


As I write this, Reid Schultheis is preparing to deliver the eulogy for Lilly’s memorial service. Lindsey Wilson is comforting students in their grief. I cannot express enough of my joy and pride in our student leaders and volunteers. Words fall short. If you have never witnessed grief on the face of a parent in this situation, I can only testify that I am so very grateful that he or she doesn’t have to grieve alone. You are part of a congregation that is willing to set apart leaders who specifically serve a large cross section of students in our community. They have done a superior job, and their work isn’t near finished.


I sent Reid some music last night that I thought would be helpful, and I want to share it with you as well. It’s a long story, so I’ll leave out the details. Sufficient, hopefully, is my recommendation for something that will guide you during the generally overwhelming time in which we live. Lionel Cartwright has written some beautifully contemplative music that will aid you in your times of prayer and meditation.


Before you come prayerfully to the scriptures, approach them in the spirit that these songs will foster in you. I hope you can find them on your preferred listening media. You won’t be disappointed. If you are searching, the title of the album is Practice Your Presence Vol. 1  


Here is a link that will take you to one location.