Dear Fellow Children of God,
This past week I was at Victory Bible Camp with the Alaska Lutheran church workers for our regular spring workers’ conference. Victory is snuggled back in the mountains so cell phones do not work. The wireless e-mail signal was not strong either. Actually, it is nice to be able to get away at times from the constant contact of modern technology. But, as the signal started to get through, I found I had a lot of messages. I had a request for meeting to plan a wedding. I had a message about the death of one of our members. And I had a message about a new birth in our congregation.
That is a lot to catch up on. But, it is interesting how these events run the full circle of life. The death looks to the past. The birth points to present joy and blessings. The planning of the wedding points to future life together in God’s blessings.
In Romans we are told that God works good at all times in life. In Romans 8:28 we are told, 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. This verse is a real comfort, but some might ask, “Really? Does God really work for the good in ALL things?”
We might understand how God can and does work for good in a marriage. In marriage a couple seeks to live according to God’s plan and in His blessings as husband and wife. The companionship of a spouse can bring friendship, love, and even adventure to our lives. We can easily see God working for good in marriage.
In this specific birth I especially see the hand of God’s love. David Bang and Ellen Lentz Bang found out last fall they were expecting. But this was not just any pregnancy, they were expecting twins! However, there were complications from the beginning that made the doctors warn of dangers for the pregnancy. Our congregation prayed for God’s blessings and we tried to help out with some meals over the months. However, on Wednesday evening Nathan and Guiniveve Bang were born healthy and full of life. Mom and babies are doing well, Praise the Lord! We can surely see God working good in this situation of concern.
But some might ask, “How can God work good in death?” Albert Romans is a member of St. John and the uncle of Marcy Sutton. He had been in the Palmer Veteran and Pioneer Home for a number of years and came faithfully to worship on Sundays in our wheelchair van. However, recently Albert’s memory was failing. Then he fell and broke his hip. He never recovered very well from his surgery. For those who knew Albert he was always positive and faithful. But life had become a real struggle. However, Albert knew and trusted His Lord. He knew that Jesus is his Savior who died to pay for his sins and rose again to win eternal life in heaven for him. Life was not always easy for Albert. In fact, at the end life was very difficult. But today, by God’s grace, Albert is no longer struggling with life’s sufferings. Albert is with his Lord in heaven where there is “no more death or mourning or crying or pain”. (Revelation 21:4) Yes, even in death, God works good for His children.
Does God really work good in all things? The worst thing conceivable would be if God himself died. Yet, Jesus, the Son of God and God Himself went to the cross and willingly died to pay for the sins of the whole world. Jesus’ sacrifice offers forgiveness and love and life to all people through faith in Jesus. Even in the worst of situations. God works His good.
And in our lives, if we look in faith, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
A Child of God, Seeing God’s Hand for Good in All Things,
P.S. Nathan weighed 4 lb., 13 oz., and was born at 10:51 p.m. on Wednesday evening, May 28. Guiniveve weighed 4 lb., 15 ½ oz and was born at 10:52 p.m.
P.P.S. Here are some pictures of people preparing signs last Thursday night for our Colony Day’s Parade float this coming Saturday, June 7. https://plus.google.com/photos/114993745799525883148/albums/6019103448029985217?banner=pwa
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.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT ST. JOHN is available on our church website? On our web page you can find sermons, newsletters, and these weekly devotions. The link is: http://www.stjohnpalmer.org
In fact, IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE YOUR MONTHLY CHURCH NEWSLETTER BY E-MAIL please e-mail Judy Stahancyk and let her know. You can call at 745-3338, or e-mail Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you receive the newsletter by e-mail it saves printing, postage, and time compiling the newsletter. Also, you receive the monthly newsletter more quickly!!