Greetings in Christ!

In looking over the past 6 months of newsletter articles, I thought it might be a good opportunity for each of us to examine and reconnect with the themes and Bible passages contained therein. If you are so inclined, go to our church website and reacquaint yourself with them. God bless you as His redeemed and forgiven children – set free from sin, death, and the power of the devil through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus!

January
“In the end, “It’s Still All About Jesus!” This is the theme our Synod has embraced for this year in which we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I pray that this will be a guiding thought for our life together in Christ this year . . . and, in the years to come.”

February
Matthew 9:35-38
“It begins with prayer . . .
It includes compassion for people . . .
It is completed by the Lord doing His work – and us doing ours . . .

Jesus saw the mission field, lives that lay before Him. He urged the disciples to pray – pray earnestly. Today we should also pray for the Lord to send workers into the vineyard, the harvest is ready, it is time. Our February 11th iNeighborhood workshop will help us view our “vineyard.””

March
The Gospel is always a surprise. God speaks to us, “I forgive you all of your sins.”
We respond, with surprise and delight, “Me! My sins? You are forgiving me?”
God replies, “Yes, you. All your sins are forgiven through the death of My Son Jesus.”
“For me?” The surprise and delight goes on. “How can that be? I don’t deserve that.”
“This is true, you don’t deserve it. It’s my free gift to you.”
“For me? Oh, thank you, Lord, for your great love and mercy!”
The good news is so great, that it is never really expected.
Every time we hear the Gospel it is new, unexpected, and a surprise.”

April
“Our friends at Ambassadors of Reconciliation (www.His AoR.org) have shared several passages that guide our hearts, minds, actions, and words including, “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” Proverbs 26:20”

May
“May we each, through God’s Holy Spirit, learn, grow, and respond to God’s will and allow His Spirit, through the passages contained here, remove any bitterness from our hearts, minds, words, and actions. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph. 4:31-32”

June
“C. S. Lewis warned us, tongue-in-cheek, “It begins with a grumbling mood, and yourself still distinct from it. You can repent and come out of it again. But there may come a day when you can do that no longer. Then there will be no you left . . . just the grumble itself going on forever.”[1] That’s the danger of complaint. We make ourselves God, and it feels so good and righteous at the time, but it never ends well.” C. S. Lewis. The Great Divorce. Macmillan 1977, Ch. IX p.72

I pray that you found the above excerpts beneficial. As you approach the work God has given you to do this summer, may the Holy Spirit guide and direct you as you, “Live in God’s love, and Share His Joy.”

In Christ,
Pastor