“Trusting God when miracles don’t happen”

I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the Lord’s house.’” – Psalm 122:1

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Oh, friends. It is good to be with all of you! October ends with much sadness, as our dear sister and friend, Linda Thruston, went to be with the Lord. Linda passed on October 28, after complications following surgeries. That was just yesterday, as I type my newsletter. I know I should be lifting up news about our stewardship drive, the upcoming Homespun boutique on November 9, a big concert on the 10th, and Thanksgiving. But right now, the place where my thoughts continue to arrive is in shock and disbelief that Linda is no longer with us. My heart goes out to Randy and their daughters, Julie and Lisa  and their families. My heart breaks as I remember the pain of losing someone you love, that numb feeling of emptiness.

Linda and Randy set such great examples for all of us, didn’t they? If you know them, you know how much they love the Lord, and also His church. Homespun was one of the many projects they poured themselves into. Linda was involved from the early planning stages to the cleanup. Her and Randy gladly made the large cinnamon rolls (about 400 of them) and homemade soups for the Homespun Café, often at their own expense. They loved giving of their time and talents for the work of the church. Linda loved to do crafts. And she used her gift to bring glory to God. One of the ways she did this was through the cards she would design herself and give to lift up others when they were down. It brought her much joy as she cared for all of us. I was a recipient, on more than one occasion, of her homemade greeting cards. It was obvious she spent a lot of time coming up with just the right thing to say to encourage and/or celebrate with me. Linda enjoyed her UMW Circle, especially when she could bake and decorate for their parties. I doubt anyone has as many tea sets as Linda. She loved to organize and host the annual English High Tea, held in the parlor each year. I can still see her leading the way with her decorative hat and white gloves. What fun that was! She even talked me into wearing a bonnet when it came time for pictures.

When Linda was facing multiple surgeries last week, I asked Randy how much I could share with all of you. His comment was to hold nothing back, as you are all family. I was so grateful for that stance, as I know how much you all care for them both. Through our faith in Jesus Christ and our love for each other, we truly are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are family, and it IS good to be in the house of the Lord. We work together and we play together. We laugh together, and we cry together.  There is a deep love we have for each other through our faith in Jesus Christ. This is the home where Randy and Linda chose to worship and to serve. They made the conscious decision to fully invest themselves in the life of the church and in doing so, we have all been blessed.  We are a better church because of these two and many just like them.

With Linda’s passing, I trust our church will respond with the love of Jesus to Randy and his family. We will walk with him and do all we can to share in his burden. We will love him and pray for him and be Jesus to him. We will all miss Linda, but I’m certain she will always be in our hearts and we will look forward to a great reunion someday soon because of our faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let us like the psalmist proclaim, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the Lord’s house.’” Thank you for being the church together!

Blessings, Peace, and Love,

Pastor Craig