Dear Fellow Children of God,
I heard quiet feet sneaking up the stairs early this morning. Actually, it wasn’t that early. I was a little lazy this Saturday morning. Or perhaps I was catching up on rest after being gone for a month facing the challenges of the church at large and recovering from long hours of work and travel. I had already awakened numerous times earlier in the night, but St. Louis time is 3 hours ahead of Alaska time! So, as I lay there around 7:00 a.m. enjoying not having to get up and go right away I heard quiet feet sneaking up the stairs. I thought it was Tim, but actually it was Mary. After visiting with our oldest son, Josh, and their family last night, Mary and Josh had gone fishing. At 7:00 a.m. she had placed 3 silver salmon in the sink ready for cleaning.
How do you react to a sink full of fish needing cleaning? Actually, I was struck with thankfulness. I’m thankful for the blessings of God that all my children love one another. I am truly thankful that my children have grown to love the Alaskan outdoors as I do. I stood there a little overcome to think that I don’t deserve these blessings of love which my family has received, but God is good in spite of my failings.
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 136:1 – Sometimes I like the King James wording better than other translations.)
All attending our national church convention last week expended much time and effort. Those of our denomination from the Northwest District worked hard to make sure that the work of God is able to flourish in our region, by God’s grace, keeping the unique nature of this part of the country in mind. But decisions did not always go as we hoped. There were disappointments in some of the direction of the convention. However, as I talked to a good friend and we realized that nothing catastrophic (in our minds) had happened, we were also encouraged to remind one another that, in spite of the sometimes clouded judgment and direction of God’s people, Jesus is THE Lord of THE Church. The Church is Jesus’ body and He is our Head. So, we are in good hands. “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Friday would have been my mom and dad’s 61st Wedding anniversary. I got an e-mail from my dad on Friday reminding me of that occasion. My dad also shared that he misses his loving wife of so many years. But, while visiting in Florida I was encouraged to see that my dad is healthy. In spite of my mom’s death a year and a half ago, our family can be thankful for years of love and blessings. And, God promises life in heaven eternally for those who believe in Jesus as their Savior. “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
I have been gone from St. John and from Palmer for 4 weeks. A majority of that time away was time for work, but some of that time was also vacation with family. I have been in the office each of the last two days; vacation and traveling are over. But I am not disappointed. I love being pastor of the people of St. John Lutheran. You are people of faith in a wonderful community. It’s really good to be home!! “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Can you see God’s love and mercy in the every day events of your life? I hope so!
A Child of God, Thankful for the eternal mercy and love of God,
P.S. Here is a picture of Mary and her fish: https://plus.google.com/photos/114993745799525883148/albums/5905392385835642545/5905392388628753154?banner=pwa&pid=5905392388628753154&oid=114993745799525883148
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am always adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you don’t want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message. . . Or, if you know someone who would like to receive one of these e-mails, please send me their e-mail address.