Happy New Year everyone! It is hard to believe that the New Year is just
around the corner. Personally, I am so grateful for the nearly two years
we have worked together in ministry. February 8 will be my second
anniversary here. Where has the time gone? The nature of time brings
change, whether we embrace or resist it, there will be change.
At such times we may wonder why are we going through such difficulties.
Our emotions are heightened during the holidays. We think; I pray, I love
God, I go to church— why did this happen to me? It says in Ecclesiastes,
“ Again, I observed this on the earth: the race is not always won by the
swiftest, the battle is not always won by the strongest; prosperity does
not always belong to those who are the wisest, wealth does not always
belong to those who are the most discerning, nor does success always
come to those with the most knowledge— for time and chance may
overcome them all”( Ecclesiastes 9:11 , New English Translation). There
are some things outside of our control and that’s when we especially
need to hold on the tightest to God, trusting that he is with us through
Something that I have found helpful is a practice I picked up at the Cross
Generational conference I attended a while ago. It is called Faith5 and
1. Sharing our highs and lows from the day or week.
2. Reading a Bible verse.
3. Talking about how the Bible reading might relate to our highs and lows.
4. Praying for one another’s highs and lows.
5. The final step is blessing one another.This has enabled better
communication between Ray and me. I’ve been able to more fully realize
that I do not have to go through difficult times by myself. It has helped
me to be more sensitive toward Ray’s needs. More information about this
can be seen at www.faith5.org and www.faithink.com .
For me, being your pastor is a delight. I feel very blessed to be here with
you. That’s my high. Then there is my biggest low: it was a year ago
Christmas Eve when I fell and hurt my back. I thought we would have
received permission for the surgery long ago. It seems like things are in
good shape and we will finally be able to get my back fixed, then BAM—
another hurdle is erected that we have to jump over. That’s my current
status at this point. But with your prayers and encouragement, we will
carry on. Thank you for who you are and what you do.
This month we will be entering the time of Epiphany, which means
“manifestation.” Epiphany primarily is about the revelation of Christ to the
Gentiles. God desires to open all of our eyes to the wonder and glory of
our Lord Jesus. Perhaps your resolution for 2017 may involve your faith
life. Take the time to nurture the intimate relationship God desires to
have with you. After all, If you need something to help you along in your
faith journey, just let me know. I have a number of great resources I can
loan you or recommend for you.
I hope you will join us for our annual meeting at St. Timothy on Sunday,
January 8, following worship. Lunch is included.
The Lord bless and keep you as we enter this New Year together in
God’s love. This prayer from the ELW says it all:
O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot
see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give
us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only
that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.