February 2024 Lightshine
“As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:15
Some words shared at the celebration of life for a person who was not real religious…
Dear friends in Christ,
I recently presided at the celebration of life of a 94-year-old woman but found myself in a quandary. Her family and friends loved and held her in the highest regard. She had been a wonderful person, married for 64 years, a beloved mother and grandmother. She was invested in children and serving others having worked in the Hinckley-Big Rock School District for 42 years. She drove a school bus for 30 of them. Sadly, she and spouse Ed would bury their 15-year-old son Randy. But she enjoyed a good life. Her mind remained sharp. We were asked to wear something purple. It was her favorite color. But when I respectfully asked if she had any favorite Bible verses to include in this celebration of her life? Her daughter replied, “Mom was not real religious.” I took her words to mean I was on my own when it came to choosing Scripture and to tread lightly.
We live in America. If I want others to respect my beliefs, I need to honor theirs. In our conversation, her daughter had said Mom was looking forward to seeing her deceased husband and son again when she passed. It was an obvious reference to an afterlife. My task was to help everyone present understand how we get there. But even more important was to proclaim the gospel of peace: “God loves you”.
In my remarks, I referenced all the children she had encountered and helped over her years working at the school. She encouraged the child who rode her bus on the first day of school, calming her fear. The teenager on the activities bus who acted out and needed that lecture, “No, you don’t do that! Not on my bus!” Her worries about the safety of the child as she turned on the switch to the red flashing lights and the erected sign that said to oncoming traffic, “Stop!” She would watch the cars making certain the driver would stop. Someone’s very special child was about to cross the road for home. Now in the later years of her life, family had needed to step up to be there for her the way she had been there for them at the various stages of life
Then I shared words of hope...
“Have peace for we have a beautiful Savior who is with us and surrounds us in amazing grace. God loves us. In Jesus Christ, God’s son came to show us that God is with us. He brought God’s Kingdom to us, giving healing, helping people, setting people free, forgiving sins and welcoming every person.
He is not only the God of the strong, the healthy and successful. He is also the Father of the lost, the weak, the sick, the poor, the underprivileged and over privileged, the oppressed. He cannot be paid or bribed but lavishes his love on people who don’t deserve it. He gives without envy; he does not demand love but gives it. He is close to us in incomprehensible goodness, generosity, inviting us to hope. He is God for us, wholly on our side. On a dark Friday, he shared the deepest expression of his love on the cross. There he took our sins, yours and mine and the sins of the world upon himself. He took our death upon himself upon himself and died. Then on Easter, God raised his Son from the dead so all who believe in him may have eternal life. So, when death came to our door. He would be God with us. He will wipe every tear from their eye. There will be no more death, no sadness, no mourning, no torment for the old things have disappeared. He makes all things new. The cross is the deepest expression of his love, not as a “feeling” but as “doing” good for us and everyone.
I believe faith is a two-way street. I don’t think you can disappoint or be sued for sharing some good news of God’s love and proclaiming this gospel of peace,
In his love, Pastor Dave
Thoughts for Valentines Day... “Love”
Learn to love and appreciate each other. Pray to see that is good.
All of us inherited the nature of Adam and Eve who sinned and disobeyed God. However, we were created in God’s image. In relating to our spouse and others, the question is should we focus on what they are doing right or what is wrong? I suppose the right answer is both. We want to accept the whole person, imperfections, and all.
Let’s pray asking God to help us learn to celebrate the others positive qualities. Express your appreciation for their effort to get it right and the things they do well. Then deal with negative aspects and traits in the same way God confronts our imperfection - with love and grace. Don’t deny there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Talk about it openly and honestly, extend forgiveness and pray for patience for all of us are growing. Cherish, accentuate, build upon the positive. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6
PRAYERS FOR FEBRUARY 2024…
Prayers of thanks for...
+ Joshua Schneider back surgery was successful; he is recovering at home studying college courses.
+ beautiful altar flowers given February 3-4 in memory of Vincent and Jean Ripper by daughters Gail Fanning and Vickie Matthies.
+ the people attending worship on site and on the Our Savior’s Facebook Page.
+ for the people who led worship and broadcast worship while P. Dave and Joan were away for some R and R.
+ Sharing life with Barbra Stahl, loving spouse to Skip for 70 years, caring mother and grandmother, positive, had an abiding faith in God. May God comfort family and friends.
+ Doris Baie, may God be with her family and friends as we give thanks for her life and find comfort in God’s promises.
+ O. S. passed the elevator FAID test and annual inspection
Prayers of healing and help for...
+ Laura, caring mother, daughter of Gerri and Lowell Hall, receiving treatment for cancer.
+ Brandon Voga, surgery for a blood clot.
+ those battling Covid, colds, flu and strep throat.
+ a friend recovering from bypass surgery.
+ friends in California enduring and suffering from the harsh rains and flooding.
Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Lord, we come to you in repentance for we have sinned by our own fault and marked with ashes in the sign of the cross first made on our foreheads in Baptism. Thank you for your forgiveness and words of affirmation that we are your beloved children. Help us to watch and pray with you. Give us faith that we may know your gift of peace. Remind us to be diligent in our worship and faithful in service in your church and a helper to others. Let us take up the cross and follow you. Amen.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday Worship,
February 14 at 12 noon and 7:05 PM -
“Signs of Hope in the present thunder.”
Hope is the casualty of our day. Our present fears threaten to drive our hope in the future away. Where hope is gone, love is gone. A person cannot turn toward concern for the needs of their neighbor when they are paralyzed by fear. Our world needs hope. This begins with God’s gift of faith.
Join your church family and friends in Lent’s journey on site or on the Savior’s Facebook page Wednesdays at noon and 7:05; and weekends Saturday at 5:30 and Sunday at 9:30 beginning Ash Wednesday, February 14.
Lenten Challenge - attend worship each week on site or on the broadcast. Set aside an extra weekly gift above our regular offering and support of building mortgage to give to Lutheran World Relief.
We are the stewards of God’s Grace...
“How Good to Sing Praises to our God. How pleasant to honor God with praise.” Psalm 147:1
God gives so much. We return too little. We ask him to bless us. In fear we keep it for ourselves. God give us faith to trust your promise to provide for us and help us to be generous in praise and in our living. May God bless our tithes and offerings given to his praise and for the work of His Kingdom. Thank you for your generous support of this ministry. We are about to cross another building mortgage milestone. With the February 15th, 2024 payment, the building mortgage principal balance will be $403,998. The monthly payment is $7,800. Thank you God! We are about $4,000 away from paying off another $100,000 of mortgage principal.
As you pray and consider your plans for giving our tithes and offerings and setting direction for your RMD’s in 2024, we wanted you to know just like your house, God’s house will need some essential items in our everyday operations will need replacing in 2024.
1- The copier that gave us just short of a million copies over the last 14 years printing your worship bulletins, hymns, Sunday School and confirmation materials now, and especially during Covid, quit. Caput! Can’t be repaired and must be replaced. We are researching the purchase of another. A great used Canon copier with similar features will cost about $3,800.
2- The water leaking into the cry room was not from melting snow and ice but a corroded sprinkler pipe. We wish to thank our volunteers who worked diligently diagnosing the problem, cleaned up dripping water from the pipe and called the professionals. Now we have the bill to show for it! Please write “water” on your donation check.
3- After hours of hard work, coordination of inspectors and alarm companies, O.S. passed the elevator FAID test, required by the State of Illinois in ‘23, and annual inspection. This was mandatory and expensive,!
4- The big one- the 2006 sanctuary furnace/air conditioner is now 18 years old and will need replacing in 2024. Parts are no longer being made. Constant repairs are expensive. Estimated cost is $37,000.00.
Sunday School News:
“Ruth” Unit Continues One More Week
New Unit to Begin February 25
Do you know what a GEMSTONE is? Some gems you may know are:
Rubies Sapphires Emeralds
Gems are very precious and expensive because they are so hard to find! People have
to chip away in dark, underground caves to find them! In the past, as well as today,
kings are people who have a lot of gems…usually in a crown.
The Lord is our King. As Christians, we are part of God’s
Kingdom! So where’s our crown? Where are our gems?
Well, you may have to do some DIGGING…not in a cave, but in
the Bible! In fact, Jesus tells us how we can be a part of the
Kingdom of God through PARABLES, which are special stories.
Parables are LIKE gems…they are very precious because they help us to become part
of the Kingdom of God. However, they ARE NOT expensive! In fact, they are free!
Come to Our Savior’s Sunday school rotational unit called:
“Gems of the Kingdom – Parables”
For six Sundays, beginning February 25 and ending April 7 (with a break on March
31 for Easter) at 9:30 a.m. you’ll get to “dig up” some free gems – oops! - in the
Bible…and at the end of class.
Conduct an erosion experiment
Bake a tasty treat!
Play a game with balloons!
Create in art!
Work in a “vineyard”!
Watch a movie!
Each workshop you attend you can earn a GEMSTONE to put on
your crown certificate. There are 8 gems to collect total.