The Frozen movies were a real hit with me. They helped introduce people to interesting Norwegians. I have met many interesting Norwegians in my ministry.
Over cups of coffee, they would share their travels and trials. My mother is 100% Norwegian. Her family were of lovers of music, the land and the Lord.
My grandfather came from Norway to farm around Watertown, South Dakota. He tilled the land, raised a veritable petting zoo of animals. As a highly eligible bachelor, he waited years for the right woman, a learned woman. He found it in my grandmother, Hilma, a teacher. They both had let go of the homeland and together they battled the winters and droughts, held onto the land. Grandmother’s huge garden provided for her family and the neighbors as well. Their home housed impoverish relatives from Norway, who needed work. Because they were willing to step out and accept the risks, many were helped.
I have encouraged you to set aside 12 minutes of devotional time each day during the month of August to enrich your lives. Your prayers might include this TRIP: Thankfulness, Release, Intercession and Purpose.
Our focus this week will be upon the second stop along the TRIP prayer: Release. Release regrets and disappointments but also pressures and perfection.
We normally think of Release as the first part: regrets and disappointments. At Faith, early in the service, we confess the sins, done and undone. We do this so we can release them and move forward in praise of God without the weight of past wrongs.
If you watch the Olympics, we see people who burst out of their shell and accomplish unexpected feats of physically ability. Others fall short of expectations and feel the weight of regret. I feel for Simone Biles who has been such a star in gymnastics not being able to find a way to compete until the balance beam. One thing can be said – she propels herself onto the world stage under her terms.
As we continue our reading from John, the crowd who has followed Jesus were looking for another lunch. They wanted Jesus to perform according to their terms. They start complaining when Jesus urges them to step out of their own comfort zone and embrace a more lasting feast. He tells them: He is the Bread of Life. They are not willing to venture into that Truth. They fall back on their memories of him as the son of Joseph and Mary. How can he be so vital to the world? They put Jesus in a box expecting only so much from him, no more.
Like the Queen Elsa and Simone Biles, Jesus is not content with their limitations. He is determined to let his identity shine through. He is one with Wind and Sky – Spirit and Abba. He is the Bread of Life. God through Moses provided manna. God through Jesus provides the Bread of Life. “Whoever eats of this bread will live forever.” If Jesus were to hide his Light, we could not taste of the Forever Life.
As you take time to focus on release, there may be days when you need to release regret. Every adventure in life has its risks. We may fall short. On the other hand, we may be tempted not to take on risks, to live within boxes created by others and not attain our true potential.
Martin Luther lived that type of life, over 500 years ago. He worried over his place in the world and felt he was constantly falling short. Then one day, reading through scripture, he tasted the True Bread of Heaven, the Grace of God. Enriched by his understanding of the Love of God for him, we let go of his bondage to expectations. He burst onto the world stage, taking on Popes and Kings encouraging Christians to embrace the freedom of the Gospel. I encourage you this week to focus on Release.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for Your life of release. You let it go. Help us to let go – release regret, disappointment, pressure, and perfection. May we embrace Grace and Taste the True Bread of Heaven.
Pastor John Bunge
Sunday @ 10 am. Indoors, masks still optional for the vaccinated. We also offer a special time for the children. The live stream at 10 am click on our website. We have about 30 people who join us in this way. Refreshments after services have returned. Join us.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: This coming Week office hours, Monday and Tuesday, 9:30 to 3 p.m. August 9 and 10.
Joyous News! Your preschool committee found a wonderful Director in Heather Uribe who will be starting August 16th. Thanks for your prayers. We look forward to reopening soon. We will keep you updated. Spread the word, we are back. Thanks to the Motschalls, Cadys and Robyn Blue for your diligence and commitment.
Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call.
Meeting Saturday, August 7 @ 9:30 am in the Fireside Room for a continental breakfast, devotions, prayer and reconnecting. Time to get back together again for our monthly Bible Study Group.
Next pantry Saturday, August 14. Thanks to all who are assisting.
Tom Ziech and George Motschall finished the watering system for the front. Hosanna!!
Quilting continues 53 quilts 46 lap blankets –vaccinated volunteers are returning. Thanks again to Joe and Jeanne Koenig for their help in the office
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
- Suze Jaracz passed away after years of complications. As her husband Dave said: She was ready to go.
- Robyn Blue requested prayers for Mike Washbotten, who was injured in a motorcycle accident three weeks ago. He suffered a broken hip, upper arm and shoulder and will require surgery when he is strong enough.
- Gerri Witwer will be moving to Highland Care 700 E Highland Ave. in Redlands, CA to continue her recovery.
- Friend of the Cady’s, Leslie, is doing well in combatting throat cancer.
- Kim Guevara’s friends, Don and Edith Besant, who just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Sadly, Edith suffered a stroke and is in a coma.
- Motschall’s niece, Linda Odde, with a brain tumor.
- Motschall’s would also like prayer for Mike Koger and Suze.
- Robyn Blue would appreciate prayers for Mike.
- Roxanne Foss’s niece, Ginny.
- erwin for strength and Lynda for healing. I saw him and Lynda last week delivering eggs to the pantry.
- Jerry Mills working through chemotherapy.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca, daughter of Michael Shea.
- Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, living in Kansas.
- Pattie, a friend of the Halls with thyroid cancer, treatments have started.
Thanks for your prayers: Michael, Fred and Diane Watson were all with us on Sunday. Michael Shea had surgery for a torn retina and is recovering well. Fred Mazurier, had surgery for skin cancer on his nose and is recovering. Diane is recovering from a broken hip.
HAVE A MARVELOUS WEEK!