August 26-Sept. 1 2013

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Good morning friends!

I can’t believe it is almost the end of summer already! Soon it will be September and fall will begin…it’s my favorite time of year!

Many students and teachers have already started back to school, and we have seen quite a few of our youth off to college for the first time! On Sunday, we held our annual “Blessing of the Backpacks” service, and sent students and teachers back to school with the thoughts and prayers of the entire congregation for a great new school year.

Wednesday (August 28th) of this week will be a busy one! We will host our weekly Food from the Heart luncheon from 11:30 Am – 1:00 PM. This is a free lunch and it is open to the community, so please come and join us for some delicious food and wonderful fellowship. Later in the evening, there will be several committee meetings, including: Property Committee at 6:00 PM in the fellowship hall, Christian Education Committee at 6:30 PM in the parlor, and Executive Committee at 7:00 PM in the conference room.

Sunday, September 1, we will worship together at 8:15 AM and 10:00 AM.

I heard through the grapevine that First Lutheran now has the weekly sermons posted ONLINE! You can listen to this week’s message here!

Also, congratulations are in order for Elizabeth Acita and Knute Scholl, who were united in marriage on Saturday, August 24th. many prayers and blessing to the newly weds!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

 

God’s Grace & “Squeaks”,

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Be Still and Know…by Gus Keiser

I wrapped my cloak around you… and declared my marriage vows.~ Ezekiel 16:8

As the end of July draws closer, I am beginning to count the days until Ellie and I take our annual getaway in mid-August.  Part of that time away will include celebrating our fortieth wedding anniversary.  The intimacy of marriage between true soul mates cannot be equaled on earth.   Both souls are laid bare, with nothing hidden from each other, and these two spirits refine one another through life’s joys and sorrows… creating a unity that must be experienced directly and together.  It’s not a love and relationship that can be manufactured or felt secondhand.  It’s a gift from God, and it deserves the utmost care and protection.

 But God offers us something even better.  Long ago he made this covenant with us that humbles even the best of human marriages.  With him, we can experience heights of fulfillment and growth that nothing else can touch.  We also come to know the true meaning of forever as we look forward to eternity with Jesus our heavenly Bridegroom.

 But with any marriage, be it earthly or heavenly, there is this vulnerable side.  Along with such a unity comes a high vulnerability to imperfections and unfaithfulness.  Whether we care to admit it or not; human beings are by nature unfaithful creatures.  Even our best intentions fail at times, and infidelity can devastate even the strongest connections.  When unfaithfulness rips into a marriage, it shreds trust and love.  Its effect is like trying to tear apart two pieces of paper that have been glued together.  To do so is virtually impossible without  leaving pieces of both attached to the two separated sheets (persons).  And while we may do our best to try to patch the torn pieces, too often the damage has run too deep to be repaired.

 Our connection to God needs protection from unfaithfulness also… ours, that is, since God’s faithfulness never comes into question.  We need to protect our heavenly Spouse by guarding our unity with him.  We need to allow nothing to intrude on that relationship… not sin, other attractions or a too busy schedule.  Life is always going to be there, laying its demands on us and threatening to undo our connection with God.  Don’t let it.  What God has joined together, let no man or process put asunder!

Lord Jesus, we want to be faithful to you always.  Please help us to stay true in good times, and bad, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, till death brings us together forever!  And Lord, thank you for being the Soul Mate beyond our wildest dreams.  Amen.

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