From the Pastor’s desk...
“Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”
Positive thoughts to begin 2020
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal “For the New Year say “no” to negativity,” acknowledged what most of us already know. Bad events and emotions can affect us more strongly than positive ones. We hang on to a word of criticism but are unmoved by a shower of praise. A tough beginning can shape our perspective for the whole day. We see the hostile face in the crowd instead of the smile. This only makes sense. We were taught to think this way by our hunter-gatherer ancestors who paid more attention to threats- like not eating poisonous berries and avoid being eaten by lions. Negative experiences could prove fatal or at the very least hurt a lot. We wisely conclude they must not be repeated. So don’t use the cell phone while driving. Don’t “tug on superman’s cape or pull the mask off the old lone ranger” or commit the same sin and give God and the rest of us the same lame excuse. There will be consequences. Scientists discovered negative images actually stimulate more electrical activity in the brain than positive images. That a negative event or emotion usually has three times the impact of a comparable positive one. That means it will take four good experiences or thoughts to over come one negative thing! We won’t keep negative things from happening. But we can begin the new year on the right foot. Here are some positive events and thoughts.
1. God loves you. The Creator entered the creation in Jesus and became one of us. He invites us to trust him and find life.
2. 2019 was a tough year for many of us but especially for area farmers. Thankfully that harvest is now just about finished. It is good to remember the present circumstances of our lives are temporary but God who is with us is eternal.
3. God creeps in, we are wired for belief. Go outside at night and look at the stars. We are so small. The shore line of the mystery of the universe and why you and I were given life expands every day. Who made all of this? God calls and faith responds, “Someone greater than us!” You can know your Creator in Jesus Christ.
4. On Memorial Day Our Savior’s basement filled with water causing extensive damage to property. People rose to the occasion and helped sharing knowledge, time, skills, prayers and donated gifts of money. Our insurance company and most contractors worked hard to help us. We learned first hand what everyone concludes after their house has flooded or suffered the loss of property. It is only stuff, material things, that can be replaced. Was anyone hurt? Nope! Just our pride. We leaned on each other and God and learned an important life lesson.
5. Staudaucher Farms came to Our Savior’s Live Nativity. Two hours before the Saturday 5:30 presentation, two trailers full of horses, a lama, donkey, miniature pony, a calf, goats and sheep and a dog and two vans full of 18 youth dressed as shepherds and kings pulled into Our Savior’s parking lot. They joined another outstanding cast, plus the Sheley’s quarter horse, Mo- the camel, a neighbor’s miniature horse, the Wrobel’s dog at the beautiful new stable and angel stand to present the Christmas story to a sell out number of guests! Thirty friends watched through the narthex glass windows! God answers prayer! Why did we doubt?
6. Christmas Eve 2019 worship at Our Savior’s included families, friends from near and as far, beautiful music and the singing carols, lots of smiles, hugs, lighted candles, Sue and Lily singing, Zeke and Sherman, the best Santa ever, holy communion and Silent Night! It was an amazing once a year experience!
7. The outlet pipe and rock weir to evacuate O.S. retention pond water were installed in December. Thank you for your work Chris Wilgus and Ron Bauer. Thank you for your prayers!
8. Nine pictures of letters spelling out the word CHRISTMAS hung in Our Savior’s narthex. On a Sunday morning just before 8 o clock worship the letter “I” came crashing down almost hitting Arlene Neiman in the head. She was at her post handing out bulletins with a stunned look on her face saying, “Only 5 inches away! Boom! It could have hit me!” We would celebrate Flo Sebby and Arlene’s shared birthday at coffee hour. By then almost everything was back to normal!
9. Spending New Years eve with the family at the Paramount Theaters presentation of “Beauty and the Beast”, going to “Frozen 2" with our grand- daughter, receiving cards and letters and gifts at Christmas! Would you E-mail your positive experience or thought to us. We will pass it on!
Remember God loves you and so do I!
God bless and happy .... new year, P. Dave
A pastor and his wife chose to take a trip through England on a train only to discover that all of the other passengers on the train were patients from a near by mental institution enjoying an excursion and a day out. A hospital attendant was counting the patients to be certain they were all present and accounted for. “One, two, three, four, five...When she came to the pastor and his wife, she hesitated then asked, “Who are You?”
The pastor replied with a smile, “I am Pastor Dave and my wife Joan from Our Savior’s in Sandwich, Il!” The attendant smiled and pointing to the two of them continued .. Six, seven.... eight!” Happy new year!
P.S. Joan and I want to thank you for your generous gifts and cards shared with us at Christmas!
In His love, P. Dave.
Year end gifts... we are only $850 from finishing 2019 in the black. Thank you for your financial support in 2019.
We want to thank you for giving your tithes and offerings and special offerings to Our Savior’s in 2019. Your generous gifts allow us to share this ministry of Word, Sacrament and service with you and the greater Fox Valley Community. Each week we proclaim God’s love, forgiveness and life at three worship services, in Sunday School, in confirmation class, youth and family events and caring ministry. Your generous gifts are needed. Tithes and offerings directed to General Fund support the daily ongoing work and maintenance of the church. The Building mortgage fund pays the monthly mortgage payment. Someone asked what is the outstanding Building mortgage balance? As of January 1st, the balance is
The pump failure challenged us but Our Savior’s responded with daily prayers, generous financial gifts and a desire to pitch in and make the best of it. We learned to trust God and each other and to give with a purpose.
The treasurer reports that we are only $850 from finishing 2019 in the black. If everyone could see their way clear to give an additional gift of $25 or $100 more, we can crush it. The words “Thank you God” are what motivate us to count our blessings and informs our desire to share. We want to thank you for your support of this ministry and will keep you posted.
God’s love grows here! Share it! “Why Jesus!”
What difference has faith in Jesus made in your life?
We want to spend this year planting the seeds of God’s love with others.
Christians are to be good news before we can share the good news of God’ s love. This flows from a life marked by God’s love and leadership of our lives. As we abide in him we will bear much fruit. John 15:5.
People seek what is authentic. We are open to talking with a personal friend when we need advice on an important decision or help with a problem. We want to talk about spiritual issues and confide in a faithful friend. Would you stop to think for a minute about the question, “Why Jesus?” Why are you following Jesus? What difference does your faith in God make in your life? When given the opportunity share this with others. People seldom hear the message for the first time and commit their lives to Christ. A person’s coming to Christ is like a chain with many links. There are many influences and conversations that preceded a person’s decision to convert to Christianity or attend a new church family. Your invitation may be the first link, a middle link or occasionally the deciding link. God didn’t call us to be only be the last link. He called us to be faithful and love people. What if we asked God to help us spend this month asking the question, “Why Jesus?” and then seek to put God and others first!
Gutsy move this month... invite a friend to attend worship with you!
The youth and family events for January... Two opportunities...
1- Keep ‘em cozy
The Youth and family team will be collecting new or gently used mittens, gloves, hats and scarves to share with adults and children in need of these necessary winter items. Please bring your items and place them in the bin in the narthex next to the welcome table. Any questions please contact Brenda Adrian and Jennifer Johnson.
2- Chili carry out, January 25, 26
One of the best ways to keep warm and happy in winter is to eat a great bowl of chili. We are serving a carry out bowl of chili with crackers, cheese and a brownie for $6 on January 25 and 26 after worship! We will need your help to prepare the dinner, contact Jennifer Johnson, Brenda Adrian or sign up to help in the narthex. Look for “Chili Carryout” poster!
Thank you for your generous support of the Angel Mitten Tree at Christmas
The tree in the narthex contained an assortment of gifts for families identified by school staff. On the mitten was written an item of clothing, a winter coat, socks, shoes, boots, books! Thanks for taking a mitten and purchasing the item for people who did not have it and placing it wrapped under the tree! My goodness! You should have seen the delight in the faces of the children who received your gift! This is a seed planting of Jesus’ love event! Thank you Jennifer Lovejoy, Brenda Adrian, Jennifer Johnson for helping O.S. participate.
Caroling to homes...
The weather was cold but that didn’t stop us from bringing some good cheer heart warming cheer and the music of Christmas carols to the homes of good friends. Thank you confirmation class and all who joined us on this fun evening of bringing some “Joy to the World!”