April 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Happy Easter Month Everyone,
 
It is April and at the time of this writing, weather has been gorgeous! The snow is melting and we just might make it through without too
much flooding.  Blessings, prayers and Gods’ presence for those who have suffered consequences with Mother Nature.
 
We have a very full month in April, and I wanted to spend more time talking about some of the things happening, which really touches on our spiritual health and the atmosphere of our Faith Family. It is soon to be a full year of moving to one service and from listening to you, it sounds like a great majority of you feel the change has been successful and a great idea!
 
I have to agree and I gauge that success on the atmosphere which surrounds us every Sunday morning, the energy felt among us, the warm and the welcome our visitors have felt and shared, the care and concern we consistently share with each other and the smiles…that is only a small piece of the positives that have come along with all that is happening!
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus was really centered on this very thing. His walk with the people was to encourage care and concern for each other, He shared how to develop deep faith and taught us about how one day, we, too would return to God, just like Him. As we spend time together, we are embracing all Jesus wanted us to know and to be in the world. This gives us the energy and support to go and share God’s love all around today and everyday!
 
During this month, we are going to provide several opportunities for all of you to grow closer to Jesus and to really celebrate this being who gave us so much. I want to particularly point out that on Palm Sunday we are going to experience an important living Last Supper, where each of the men who have met our children will come to life once again during our worship service. We will be there during their last official moment together and experience what that must have been like. Please don’t miss it….
 
Following that service, we will continue the celebration of our children and hold our FUEL auction and ALIVE Hotdish Dinner….Full Day….but oh so important, especially in the life of our children and young people.
 
 
The next week, of course, is important as well, with all the Easter Activities and Worship. Our youth will share at 8 am, breakfast will be at 9, fun with kids after that and then our Easter Worship at 10:30am.
 
April is full for us, but its full for all kinds of good reasons…we are growing closer to Christ, our faith is continuing to grow deeper and things are taking on new meaning…..God is Good! We are truly living out all that God intends for his people and it is exciting….We pray we will see all of you during this holiday season….may you be blessed in ways yet to be discovered!
Peace,
 
                                                   

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March 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Our third topic in the study of this faith family foundation comes to us in the form and subject of music. The bible is full of references to Music…a few to meditate on…
 
Psalm 104:33
“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”
 
Psalm 95:1
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!”
 
Colossians 3:16
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,
singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
 
James 5:13
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”
 
Psalm 71:23
“My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.”
 
Psalm 100:1-5
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us,
and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; 
his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

I can go back a long time in my life and connect music to a great deal of moments. A certain song will come on the radio or I’ll walk into a store and music will be playing, in a short second it takes me back to a memory of a time in my life…I think as you read this you can reminisce of a time in your own life, as well.
 
Music and worship have gone hand in hand almost from the beginning; in fact, the first mention of a musical instrument is in Genesis, Chapter 4:21. Jubal was given credit for playing the harp, and we see that the bible is full of the references, King David was well known for his musical talent, too, and don’t forget Moses. The Bible’s own song book is the Psalms.
 
As you read various passages, it’s almost like music ignites something in our souls. One of God’s greatest joys is watching his people lift their thoughts in praise, making a joyful noise!! All of it is tied to life. Certain songs or types of music can move something very strong in our hearts.
 
Music can be very a very powerful instrument in our faith walk. In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul reminded the congregation to,
 
“let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16).
 
I so love that statement, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, using music… I think there is some wisdom for us to chew on a bit….or hum to, or whistle. Can our hearts be open to allow the word of Christ to be sung there? Can we see how God talks with us through the melodies, the words….the singing?
 
Praise be to God, AMEN.
 
 

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Ferbruary 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

 
Happy February! Look how close we are to Spring! I’m trying to be hopeful and forget what went on last year! How about you? Some of us will be reading this in warm climates….keep smiling!
 
So, as we continue to move forward in all things worship, we are focused on the idea of the message portion of our worship service. What if someone were to ask you about your feelings of God’s Word? What would your answer be, would you feel strongly about it? Does is play a part in your everyday life?
As we continue to move through the Bible on Sunday afternoon Bible Study, we continue to realize many things…one of which is, that just as much as we learn about what was happening to the people highlighted in the Bible, some of those moments and people can be verified in other historical documents. There are actually people who would say that the archaeological evidence behind this time in history and the writings available make the Bible one of the most verifiable and documented books from the ancient time.
 
The Bible is made up of 66 individual books, written on three separate continents. In more than one language over about 1500 years by over 40 authors, the Bible proves to be one of the most read, unified books that has ever been written. There are prophecies about its future; over one hundred, prophecies about Jesus, all of which have come true – except his coming back – and are very detailed.
 
There are those who read the words of this book and find peace, direction, hope and love. Certainly, there are parts of it that are hard to understand, but also parts that make more sense than we give it credit. It teaches us about prayer and life and our futures and so much more. It is life giving, transforming and important. When we share it in worship, we are bringing our faith to life in more ways than we know. When we learn from it, we plant a seed that God can use to walk with us in many ways every day, like making decisions!
 
Something we don’t think about a lot is that the Bible teaches us about God and His will for lives. God talks to us about the plans in place for us. We would come to know more deeply how much God loves us, as we are reminded about Jesus and his walk on Earth.
 
So, when we think about God’s Word, it becomes very apparent its purpose is very important and it makes a difference if it is a regular part of our daily lives.
This makes worship one of the most important things we do in life…..
Thank you Lord…and Praise be to God! AMEN!
 
                                        

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January 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

As we begin this new year, this pastor prays for a year that doesn’t imitate this last year in her family’s life,
but yet one that is just as good for her church as 2018 came to be.
 
Luther, Dorie and family give thanks to those of you who reached out in many ways in all the personal family
issues that went on this last year. The phone calls, the cards, the visits, the being there at a drop of the hat,
the sharing of burdens and most especially the prayers. They have brought blessings and peace.
 
In whatever way you reached out to us in this overwhelming year, we are thankful for you. As this beautiful faith
family continues to grow together, your love continues to lift us and fill us with Jesus!
 
Thank you so very much and Blessings on your 2019!

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December 2018 – From the Pastor

So, as we enter December, we do so while also contemplating the message and sermon part of our Sunday worship, part two!
Most of the time, Advent and the month of December follow a pre ordered or regular subject of scriptures. We hold up the traditional scriptures, which point to the coming of the Messiah, an amazing and exciting time all in and of itself.
Do you ever wonder sometimes, as we go through these annual seasons, how much of it settles us into a time of complacency? We’ve heard the story…how many times? An angel visits Mary and Joseph and Elizabeth, Zechariah loses the ability to speak because he didn’t believe, Joseph struggles with this situation, shepherds are watching their flocks and celebrate, angels sing from heaven, the wisemen watch and follow a star…Jesus is born…hope and peace and love and joy are alive and well! Children offer their fun and seriousness for a special program, we decorate the sanctuary, celebrate family….the routine plays on….
 
As we met, discussed and pondered the idea of returning to one service, one of the comments we heard was that Sunday had become more like “Bible Study.” Certainly we know that Worship is a time for us to give thanks and praise to a God who is present in our lives…but, “Bible Study” seems like a strange word…how can we give thanks and praise to a God for the things he does in our lives and for the ways he moves in our lives, without really being able to recognize how God might do that…by learning from his word?
 
In studying this very subject, we learn that God reveals himself as the Word and by the Word. In this way, we learn how God wants us to live and breathe and move in our lives. Without the word of God, we wouldn’t have all that he calls us to, our faith, life in our spirits, or the ability to worship and praise God. In one place, the author writes, “the Word of God is to worship, as air is to breathing.”
 
Second Timothy teaches us that: “16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God [a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Right after that, in Chapter 4:1-2, Paul reminds us with the utmost seriousness…”I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word.”
 
In other words, learning from God’s word, is how we learn the way God wants us to walk in life. Isn’t that a great thing? Hearing from and learning how to apply his word is the way of life…giving us a reason to give him praise. “Bible Study” and learning God’s word is what keeps our annual seasons fresh and exciting. Studying the Bible and going deeper, allows us to avoid the complacency in our faith that can shut down any semblance of growing closer to a God who gave us so much. Let us be in prayer and offer thanks that worship can be a time of learning and being energized! We are in charge of building God’s Kingdom here on earth aren’t we?
 
So as we move forward and embrace the message and how it is built from God’s Word, let us also be thankful and blessed by the way it goes deep and helps us celebrate this amazing time of year!
 
 
 
Hear ye, Hear ye….Merry CHRISTmas!
 
 

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November 2018 – From the Pastor’s Desk…

 
 
 
So we’ve spent some time delving into the subject of Fellowship, one of the three areas which were chosen to focus on with the changes in church. It has been a wonderful and full time of discovering and getting to know what this time means for us…
Now it’s time to move into another area. We will focus the next few articles on the Message, the time we spend together in worship and within. If you haven’t noticed, we have entered a series focusing on the subject of bringing our Spirits to life and strengthening our faith. We have been doing this by beginning in the book of Genesis and really jumping in to the subject of who we are as humankind and how that affects every bit of our walk with God. It has been received well and I think we are learning and rediscovering some great things.
 
Adam and Eve teach us about choice and how we just aren’t satisfied being caretakers of God’s creation. It was (and still is) important to us to have a say and we have within us a desire to walk that way, a desire which brought conflict. How often does having to have a say touch our every day? As Adam and Eve walked in the garden, they made choices and had perceptions, they introduced patterns which follow us in our lives and impact who we are. Many of the people we read about tell us about who we really are in those early stories in God’s Word.
Maybe, though, the most important lesson thus far, is the message that we are all part of the same tree. God created us all to be image bearers of God, and sometimes this is something really hard to do in life.
 
Sometimes we can be Cain, sometimes we can be Abel, but in the midst of all of it God is always breaking through trying to bring out the goodness. God showed us this when God made Abraham a big promise. God promised Abram and Sarai they would be a blessing and that all families would be blessed through them. This is also the promise that brought us all into the same circle.
 
Certainly there is a lot more to this journey, but it is hoped that your Spirit is being moved through this time, that depth in faith is happening and you are understanding more about who you are in Christ. It has been good stuff this far and it will continue to poke you and encourage you to go deeper in understanding how becoming the Image Bearers that God calls all of us to be is why we are here!
 
Whew….God is Good!!

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