Due to the blizzard conditions in the Mount Horeb area, all services on Sunday, December 12, 2010 have been canceled.
The Sunday School Christmas program scheduled for Sunday, December 12, 2010 has been postponed to Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM due to the inclement weather.
Church services at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM will be held as usual on December 12, 2010. Please watch the website or call the church office at (608) 437-5012 for further updates.
A Note from Jim
“Even now says the Lord, return to me with all your heart. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.”
Joel 2: 12-13
During the past couple of weeks, our home in Madison has been filled with little steps. Maria and I have found much joy and excitement, as Andrew has been furniture cruising all around the house. He takes little steps moving around the furniture, and gaining confidence in his ability to balance while standing. When we hold his hands, it is truly amazing how fast he moves while walking! Each day that goes by, something new happens, each day Andrew gets a little stronger and more interested to go from crawling all around the house, to taking little steps and begins his life journey of walking.
Entering into this season of Lent, is much like taking a walk on a Lenten journey to Easter. The journey begins during Ash Wednesday, February 25 through Easter Sunday, April 12. It is a time to pause and reflect. It is a time to be in prayer and worship. It is a time to encourage one another as the family of God. It is a time to serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus in our local communities, country and world.
I want to encourage you today, as you enter into this special time and season of the Christian journey to take “little steps” to pray, reflect, meditate, worship and to read in God’s word. Take time to reach out to old friends and make new ones. Mend some of those old fences that have been broken relationships in our lives.
Jesus will give you strength and encouragement for the journey. As we take “little steps”, he is with us. He is right by our side holding our hands, or carrying us. He loves us, each “little step” of the way on the journey.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40: 28-31
In Christ’s amazing love and grace,
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8: 28
Greetings and Shalom,
As I sit down to write this newsletter today, I am reminded that there is so much to be thankful for in life. November is that special time of year when the seasons are changing and we celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. As people of the family of God, we have been blessed, and we have been called to be a light into this world. Psalm 118:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Thank you Lord for this day and all that you have given!
Recently, in October our Confirmation youth and adult Guides went into the community of Mt. Horeb to participate in our annual service project to collect food for the Mt. Horeb Food Pantry. I was so impressed with our Confirmation youth and adults. We were amazed at the generosity of people! Combined with the congregation collection, we totaled 827 lbs of food! This amount of food will really help with needs in the community. I want to encourage you to continue donating food items for the Mt. Horeb Food Pantry here at church, which can be dropped off in the basket in the Narthex.
A favorite prayer that I would like to share with you today was written by Saint Francis of Assisi and can be found in our green Lutheran Book of Worship.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness joy. Lord, may I not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. Because it is in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned.”
Peace and Joy in Jesus!
“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.” -Psalm 25:4-7
It has been many Septembers now since I had to go back to school. Yet I think that many of us still feel a sense of returning to a routine this time of year. The summer has once again sped by all too quickly, but there is also a sense of new beginnings. Now as our children return to school they are called upon to remember all that they have learned up to now, so that they can use it for the new year.
That part never changes. We all need to build on what we’ve learned before, and more than once we need to refresh our memories. Names, dates, appointments, and many mundane things can slip our minds, but hopefully the very important matters stay with us. The psalm reminds us that we need to return again to the Lord’s instruction.
We need to return to basics each year as well. Not to memorize chapter and verse (though I don’t think that hurts), but I want to suggest to you a return to ‘3 R’s.–RECALL our hope, REMEMBER God’s great mercy and love, and REASSURE our hearts that God does not hold our past against us.
With those basics, God would equip us to employ another ‘R’ – REACH. Reach out to your children, your parents, your neighbors and community. Reach out to share this blessing. Reach out with hope, mercy, love and forgiveness. Reach with acts of kindness and service. Reach out with a word of welcome and invitation. Reach out with a willingness to listen and to bless.
Pastor John Twiton