From the Pastor’s Desk…
“People cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus, Matthew 4:4
On Reading the Bible in daily life.
Dear friends in Christ,
“Nothing is so powerfully effective against the devil, the world, the flesh and all evil thoughts as to occupy one’s self with God’s Word, to speak about it and meditate upon it... occupy yourself with God’s commandments, words and sing or think about them.” (M. Luther “The Small Catechism”.)
Too many of us rush through reading the Bible in search of “Nuggets” to consume as though they were some sort of fast food. I fear this is in response to our busy lives. There is so much to do. Work overload - many of us are carrying the work load of 2 employees. The media’s interrupting commercials and annoying pop ups result in our having the attention span of a first grader. A hunger for knowledge- there is so much to learn and an Alice’s mad hatter anxiety that we are going to miss something important. Could its origin have been when the ice cream stand started selling 31 flavors and we had to decide. It was easier when there was just three, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. (Come on, its summer! Eat some ice cream!) A truly effective reading of the Bible is a spiritual discipline requiring time and patience as we share in a dialogue, listening to understand and discernment.
The last four months battle against the placing of a 3/4 mile solar field that for many good reasons was a bad location across from Our Saviors added to my chosen and beloved responsibilities as pastor, spouse and our family. I decided to increase my intake of prayer and a second daily reading of God’s word for discernment. At this place in life’s journey all my prayers include the request that God’s will would be done for He loves and only wants good for us. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. I’m so glad God gives his children bread and not snakes! But videos, visuals and on line resources to explain cannot do the work meant for us. We want to plant seeds that can yield fruit for the long haul. All of life and its activities are sacred- well most of them. What is spiritual helps us to engage with God. The best image is a tree planted by a stream – see Psalm 1.
1- Dialogue - Two disciples share a conversation with Jesus on Easter afternoon walking the road to Emmaus. They dialogue, back and forth with Jesus and each other. Curiosity and openness result in their learning new things and remembering some old gems. If you are curious and
persistent, you just might leave inspired. We can pray our questions to God.
2- Listening- We come with preconceived understanding of a word of Scripture that God may change. Jesus confronts saying, “How foolish you are and slow of heart to believe”. There will be the “You had no idea moments.” when correction gives way to surprise. We can battle with the mistaken assumption there is danger in familiarity with Scripture. No matter how many times I read the words of Jesus or Luke’s stories of his birth, the parables and the cross of never being separated from Him in Paul’s Romans chapter 8 or 1 Corinthians 13 or the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22, the prayers of the Psalms, I never tire but always hear something new. Listening is critical to hearing anything especially the word of God. The Christian life is a listening life. We can expect to hear God speak in the words of Scripture as the Holy Spirit leads us. T Merton wrote, “Prayer is then not just a formula of words or a series of desires springing up in the heart. It is turning our whole selves in body, mind and spirit to God in silence, attention and adoration.”
3- Discernment- this is never a straight path. We want God to make known his will. The disciples do not realize the significance of their encounter until afterward and their hearts glowed. The Greek word means this was an ongoing experience. The whole time they walked with Jesus, listening, asking questions, sharing thoughts, eating with him, their hearts were burning within them. Here words of Scripture engage and touch you and your entire life and challenge you to ask how this Scripture will apply to your life and day? Minds and spirits are informed and renewed. I love it when friends send favorite Bible verses attached with an interpretive picture. Though short, they are not just for that moment. We are to savor and carry them with us and let them linger. The Scriptures are like a big house with halls, rooms and doors. Luther compared it to a vast mighty forest. They invite us to wander a while in the forest. Perhaps we will emerge changed as we encounter the voice of One who dwells there. Find a good
Bible translation, one you can understand and start reading.
This fall I want to restart a monthly Bible study with you. I’d like more of you to participate. What would you like to study? Look forward to seeing you at worship this weekend.
God bless... Pastor Dave.
Confirmation Class will resume in September for students 7th grade and up. Please contact the church office at 815-786-6406 to enroll your student, or get more information.
PRAYERS FOR SEPTEMBER 2023…
We are thankful to God …
+ God provided a beautiful day for Our Savior’s 40th Chicken BBQ and a sellout.
+The DeKalb County board voted 21 “No” and 3 “Yes” to placing a solar farm across the road from Our Saviors’. Help them to find a great new location.
+ Celebrate friend’s birthdays, Happy Birthday Sandy K and Judy H.
+ Thank you for a friend’s successful knee surgery.
+ A friend’s upcoming knee surgery
+ Thank you that when a person ran the red light, a 96 year old friend looked both ways and didn’t go.
+ A friends back surgery and for a blood clot to dissolve.
+ For a new eye, cataract surgery brought a new brightness to the world.
+ Friends battling cancer, Chloe, Lyle, Andi, Robert.
+ Healing – a friends liver disorder has returned
+ Healing in a friend’s battle with prostate cancer.
+ A friend’s son dealing with the suicide of his significant other and a PTSD arising from his service in the military.
+ Help Our Savior’s find a musician/pianist/organist to help lead our Saturday worship and substitute on Sundays.
+ May God be with our children and grandchildren beginning college and the students and teachers returning after a summer of needed recovery and recreation giving them a hunger to learn.
+ For the people of Maui and the Big Island as they recover from the devastating fires. If you’d like to give a gift to support wildfire survivors, Our Saviors will send your donations to the Lutheran Disaster Response.
+ May people seek God’s greatest treasure, the pearl you would sell everything to have, Jesus Christ. That we would seek to first nourish the seed of faith in Him.
Thanks for giving an offering of thanks to God!
“Steadfast love and faithfulness have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other”
God has blessed us with his gifts of Jesus, his love and made us managers of his gifts of treasures, time and talent. We want to learn to return thanks giving our generous offering. Thank you for giving your tithe and offering and for supporting Our Savior’s ministry.
1-You may bring your tithe to worship or the church office and stop in to say hello.
2- Mail your offering to Our Savior’s 2465 West Sandwich Road, Sandwich, Il. 60548.
3- Give your offering electronically by going to the Our Savior’s web page at www.our-saviors.com. Click on the donate button. Our Savior’s ability to do ministry is dependent on the Holy Spirit and the generosity of our many members and friends who give their regular tithes and offerings.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!
The 40th Chicken BBQ was a huge success! God provided a beautiful day. We served 1050 chicken dinners in 100 minutes. We have amazing leadership in
Jennifer Johnson and a super team of workers. (See opposite page for pictures.) The community loves this meal and comes out to support us. The meal is delicious and well prepared. Like the Girl Scouts selling tasty cookies because they receive so much from scouting. We sold or purchased our 10 chicken dinner tickets or more because we receive so much from our church and want to support it. This is the first half of our annual fund raiser that must supplement regular weekly offerings given to help pay the mortgage. There will be a wonderful auction in October. Donate your items. The list will be shared soon. There was one glitch, we sold out of chicken dinners. Some of us didn’t receive our meals. We offered refunds. It’s a good problem to have. Nothing and no one is perfect. We are always learning. We’ll go to work on T-Shirts for newbies! Please turn in any outstanding money for meals, your mortgage “match gift” and an auction item soon. Thank you Our Saviors and God
DeKalb County Board voted 21 “No” and 3 “Yes” to placing a solar field across the road from Our Savior’s.
What changed? Our Savior’s Bill Hall, Ron Bauer, Jack Bluis and other members of Our Savior’s, Mayor Todd Latham, Geoff Penman of Sandwich and I attended hearings, meetings and shared our truth. You wrote letters &signed petitions. We’re for solar but this is the wrong location. It appeared to be going nowhere. I prayed “God, unless something new emerges, we’re sunk. Your will be done.” A board member told me before the meeting. “Padre, this deal is done! The solar field will pass.” But DeKalb County board listened and asked questions. Then in discussion Chair person Susan Willis said that it was never DeKalb County’s intention to do harm to Sandwich or any city’s comprehensive plan, that this Solar Fields application preceded DeKalb’s adopting Illinois Ordinance 02023-016. It did not restrict their vote. Another board member said he worked in Illinois legislature and this bill’s intent was never meant to stop a city’s future growth but promote solar. One man said that the reason he ran for county board was to support small towns. Jerry Osland gave an impassioned speech in support of Sandwich. Yogi Berra said “The Opera isn’t over until the fat lady sings”. Play the game, try, have faith, believe in God. They voted. We gave thanks to God and that DeKalb County board made this decision.
Our Saviors Fall Salad Luncheon
Thurs., Sept. 28, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
$12 – includes ….Choice of various salads, desserts, and beverage.
Please sign up to volunteer to work,
or to bring a salad or dessert.
Proceeds go to the Building/Mortgage Fund.
SUNDAY SCHOOL BEGINS SEPTEMBER 17
We welcome all kindergarten through 6th graders to join us on Sunday mornings during the 9:30 worship. Children will begin with their parents in worship and then be dismissed to class. Please fill out a registration form and return it to the church. (Forms can be found in the narthex, and will be included in the bulletin in the coming weeks)
FIRST UNIT: CREATION, GOD’S WORK IN PROGRESS
Did you know that God’s creation is not finished yet? We are a work in progress, just like the rest of creation. There is so much to learn! Here are some of the workshops in our first unit ‘Creation, God’s Work in Progress’:
- In the Nature workshop we will find out what kind of rulers of the earth we
- We will go to Survivor Island in the Game workshop.
- During the Bible Knowledge workshop we will think about the age-old question “which
came first, the chicken or the egg?”
- What do we do with a tarnished penny? Find out in the Science workshop.
We hope you will join us on September 17 at 9:30 as we begin our Sunday school year. We would love to see you!