A Word from Pastor John
Blackouts and Power Restored
An author Bobby Gross describes what it was like to live through a blackout in New York City during the year 1999. "As any urban dweller knows-and this is especially true in New York-it's never completely dark in the city. Moon or no moon, there is always some light, usually enough to read by. So this was eerie. Improbably we found a parking place two blocks from home. We crept nervously down the sidewalk, hearing the voices of people we could not see. A waving flashlight here or there provided bearings enough to reach our building. Carefully we shuffled up the walkway to the lobby door and fumbled with our key. Inside we felt our way along the walls to our first-floor apartment, awkwardly let ourselves in, then groped our way to the pantry, finally finding candles and matches. In the small merciful glow we began to breathe easier, anxiety giving way to a sense of adventure. The blackout persisted into the next day, affecting some two hundred thousand people in northern Manhattan. With the coming of daylight, hordes of people spilled out into the neighborhood sidewalks and parks. As the day wore on without power, folks grilled meat and shared food that would go bad in the rising heat. Radios blared, kids played in the fire hydrants and neighbors chatted in what amounted to a huge block party. The shared experience created a kind of camaraderie. Around five o'clock the power came back on and, with it, lights, refrigerators and air conditioners. Then everyone went back inside. This experience became for me a kind of parable about how dark our darkness can be and, in contrast, what a relief when light is restored.
The night without power was disorienting and dangerous; the coming of daylight brought order and safety and even joy. To state the obvious spiritual point: without light, we cannot see."
I am sure you can see where I am going, right? After the let down of the holidays and the continuing struggles in the New Year, we are called in this season before Lent to come and see Jesus. Without this light of Jesus' love and forgiveness of sins, we cannot see and keep out the darkness that often surrounds our lives. Join us starting Sunday, January 6 for Epiphany.
In the beginning God the Father created the heavens and the earth, all that was in it. God the Father
everything He created. "God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God
blessed them and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over every living thing.'" Genesis 1:1-28 From the very beginning, God the Father has blessed and continues to
bless even to this day.
He wants to bless us!!!! The biggest blessing is the blessing of our God the Father who gave His son in our place, so that we might have a continuing relationship with Him.
God the Father blesses us with His continuing LOVE, that He has poured out on us through His son Jesus Christ. God the Father, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is
the gift of God." Eph 2:4-7
God the Father blesses us with a watchful eye to keep and to preserve our souls. He blesses us with a shield around us, so we can lie down and sleep; we wake again, because He sustains us. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. (Ps 121) "Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out." Deut 28:6
God the Father blesses us with all His promises. "For I am the LORD, I do not change." Mal 3:6 "Our God the Father is not a man, that He should lie." Num 23:19a "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11 My words and My names last forever and forever. "We can proclaim (shout forth) His promises aloud. When we proclaim His promises aloud we are releasing the authority of God's Word into a situation: into our life, into family situations, into job problems, etc. There is no more effective way to release the power of God than by proclamation."
The Power of Proclamation
God the Father blesses us with answering His iPhone quickly. "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3
"Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." Eph 1:3
Miriam Circle was going to do the study "Grace Upon Grace" on page 16 of the Fall Lutheran Woman's Quarterly in December, but the Winter Quarterlies arrived a few days before our meeting and one of the Bible Studies in it was Christmas oriented, about the Shepherds, so we studied that one instead and will do the "Grace Upon Grace" study at our next meeting, Tuesday, January 8th, at 10:00a in the church library. Come and join us.
We'll have copies of the study available at the meeting for those who don't have the Fall Quarterly. We are usually finished around noon.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Can you believe it? It's already 2019...like wha?!
I hope you all had wonderful holidays with family and friends, but it's that time to start packing up and preparing for your return to Gainesville for the Spring semester.
Before you start the countdown to the end of the academic year, be sure to check back in with Lutheran Student Fellowship (LSF) and FLC.
We will be kicking things off again with three events this January:
First Spring 2019 College Lunch
Sunday - January 6th - after 10am worship
Join us for worship and then nom on some delicious food prepared for you for FREE!
Spiritual Discipline Study Starts
Tuesday - January 8th - 7:30pm
New year. New goals. New you. Maybe you've set the goal of being more fit, being more spontaneous...but what about disciplining your spiritual life this year? Join us every Tuesday in January and February for an exploration of Spiritual Disciplines like fasting, prayer, and meditation.
Welcome Back Bonfire & BBQ
Friday - January 18th - 6:00pm
Friday night chill with some yummy grilled goodies and a bonfire to boot. More details to come...
Contact Pastor Ken for more details.