This Memorial Day, let us pray that we do not forget all those who have gone before and served with such valor, so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we have today.
Take time today give thanks to God for creating men and women who are not afraid to the answer the call to serve their country. Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this was in his poem: "So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man, When duty whispers low, "Though must," the youth replies, "I can." As we go about our individual lives today and every day, may we ever hold fast to the truth that we are God's children and are called upon to as as such! General Ulysses S. Grant wrote these words that we as Christians should take to heart for we are all soldiers in God's army: "Hold fast to the Bible as a sheet anchor of your liberties; write it's precepts on your heart and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for the progress made, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.'
May you have a safe and blessed Memorial Day!
I acknowledge that you are in control of everything, Lord, and the things that you wnat me to accomplish today will get done. I want to walk in your will and not in mine. I want to lean on your word and take your paths. I can only do that by putting my total trust in you as I go through this day. I want to be your servant, saying, "Let it be to me according to your word." So, Lord, help me to accomplish what you want me to do today and let the rest be. Amen
~ Pastor Jon
Gracious Lord and Redeemer:
Grant us true gladness of heart and the joy which comes from bearing abundant fruit for your glory. May our generous sharing with each other, of the gifts you have given us. Bring new friendship with our neighbors and true joy to our hearts. Grant us wisdom so we may see the wonders you have placed in our lives.
In your blessed name we pray,
May you offer up this prayer today, and be open to the blessings and joy that our Heavenly Father has in store for you, as you go about your day. May new friendships and blessing be yours today!
It was once said that Thomas Edison attended a nighttime baseball game, during the game the lights on the field went out. The maintenance men could not get the lights to come on, the power company did not know what was wrong, but it is said that the owner of the field had heard that Thomas Edison was at the game. So, he sent members o his staff to find Mr. Edison in the stadium. Once they found Thomas Edison, the staff was instructed to do what ever he requested to make the lights on the field work. All that Thomas Edison requested was access to the announcer’s booth. He took the microphone and asked everyone in the stadium without exception to raise their left hand. Then immediately he asked everyone to raise their right hand, and as the people in the stadium had both hands in the air the lights in the stadium came on and shone brightly. The owner of the stadium questioned Thomas Edison later saying, “I don’t understand how that worked?” Mr. Edison simply smiled and said, “everyone knows many hands makes light work.”
It was my pleasure to witness something to this effect this past Sunday. As our church rallied together to make our 39th Annual Wurstmarkt a total success. Not only did we have ample workers, but everyone was eager to do whatever it took. Workers came early in the morning and worked tirelessly all the way through to the evening clean up.
Thanks to everyone’s hard work, and dedication, our church shone brightly! (even Mr. Edison would be impressed.), It is an honor and a privilege to be part of such a dedicated church family, and I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make the event a success and thank you to all of those who came out on such a beautiful day to support our church.
Your Servant in Christ,
As I sit and look out my window this Christmas morning, the cold snow covers the field and lays like a blanket till it touches the grey sky. I can hardly imagine what a cold and lifeless place this world would be if Christ had never been born. My heart is warmed by thoughts of Christmas’ past and the joy I remember as a child and times spent with my family, and suddenly a cold chill radiates down my spine…. There are those in this world who have never experienced the warmth of God’s love through his gracious gift of his Son Jesus Christ….. and some who have no family to spend this blessed day with. I much like my father having been educated in the field of engineering am a “fixer”, whether it be a broken down vehicle or something broken around the house….. or broken heart or life, I am driven to help “fix” the problem. Unfortunately, being human there is only so much one can do…. And I find myself often frustrated with the situations around me. Thanks be to God….God knows my heart and my weaknesses, and with never ending love uses both, I find that when he knocks at the door of my life, and if I let him in, he guides me every day , and with everything my life. And it is that point I wish to lift up on this Christmas day. For many Christmas is a event… a date on the calendar…a yearly event….. but it is so much more. God in his infinite wisdom sent his Son to save us…. Not just on December 25th…… but every day. Christ coming into our world, our lives is a ongoing daily event……..IF WE LET IT HAPPEN!! When we let Christ into our lives and acknowledge him daily we are changed, our lives are changed, and how people see us is changed. Those situations that once frustrated us are now met with new drive and purpose….. God’s purpose.
Often people are asked what is your Christmas wish…… for me I believe in prayer more than a wish….
Gracious God, on a cold morning like this, as I gaze across the snow-covered fields, I ponder the thought… what life would be like without you… and I shudder at the thought. Thanks be to you for your loving gift of your Son on that first Christmas day so many years ago. I pray as we gather today with friends and family we remember what a gracious gift of hope, peace, joy and love it was, a gift that was not given just once, but given every day of one’s life if we are willing to receive it. May that gift shine in us and through us, just as the star of Bethlehem’s light pierced the darkness of the night sky, may the light of Christ that shines in us pierce the darkness of our world today.
From the Pastor's Desk
"A Time to Be Fearless"
In today's climate of world affairs, it is hard not to be fearful or anxious about something, and sadly for some it's everything. After the recent shootings in Texas, one has to question, "Am I even safe at church?"
It is exactly at time like this that we need to heed Paul's words, "Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplications with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7
Paul did not write these words in the best of times, but what we would assume would be the worst of times. Battered and chained in prison, Paul's words are poignant because he does not deny that bad things will happen, he does not try to minimize them, and does not try to explain them away as "God's will, God's judgement, or God's testing our spiritual fiber." He simply states that despite bad times, even in the midst of them, we need to be in constant touch with the only one who can transcend, "the worst of times," God!
We as people, in today's society, need to refocus our thoughts on positive things and refocus our lives on doing positive things. If we are to find peace within ourselves and for the world. "....whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worth of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do, and the God of peace will be with you." - Phillipians 4:8-9
Take a moment out of your day to pray and tell God your concerns, and remember to thank Him for all your blessings...and don't be afraid to go to church!
Your servant in Christ,