Christ Our Savior newsletter is published monthly and produced in email and print versions.
Pastor Andy Writes...
What happens when a behavior does not meet your expectation? For example, you expect your spouse to be home at 6pm they do not get home until 7pm. What do you do? You have two choices. You can get angry and annoyed and when they get home you can greet them with all kinds of accusations and voice your displeasure. Or you can pray for them, put the best construction on things, explain things in the kindest way, and celebrate that they are home. Which choice strengthens your relationship and builds trust and which choice weakens your relationship?
In relationships behavior oftentimes does not meet expectations and we always have a choice. We can find fault, go negative, and make accusations or we can pray, put the best construction on things, and explain things in the kindest possible way. We can be critical or generous in our response. When we are critical and go negative, we weaken and destroy relationships. When we are generous, we build trust and strengthen relationships.
“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” --Judges 6:12-14
The children of Israel turned their back on the true God. They worshipped false gods. Instead of worshipping and praising the God who led them through the wilderness they spurned His love. They built alters to worship their false gods. They turned their backs on God and they accused God of turning His back on them. When God’s behavior did not meet their expectations they found fault, made accusations, and the spurned the love of God. Gideon spoke for the people of Israel when he accuses God of forsaking His people. The opposite is the truth.
What an odd thing. The creature challenging its creator. This is the seed that Satan plants in the creatures of God. We have the desire to be like God. We desire control and power. God calls us to trust and obey. God desires our worship and praise. We are called to thank and praise, to serve and obey. God desires that we pray, praise, and give thanks.
When things happen that do not meet our expectations God tells us to pray. We put the best construction on things because we know that God desires all to be saved. We celebrate that we have a God who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. We look to the cross of Christ, and we see confirmation that God keeps His promises. He has saved us. We are faithless and yet God is faithful.
What choices are you making in your relationship to God? Do your choices strengthen your relationship to God? Or have you become like Gideon and accuse God of forsaking you? God will never forsake His children. When God does not do what we expect we tend to get angry, annoyed, and accuse Him of forsaking us. We are called to trust God and worship Him. God will deliver those who are faithful. Trust God. I look forward to seeing you in worship.
Church Workday Recap:
Many, MANY thanks to everyone that showed up bright and early (the day after Homecoming no less) and helped. Thank you Joe Gregar, Glenn Pooler, Josh & Jacob Weber, Logan & Porter Burton, Gerry & Christian Eickhoff, Pastor Andy and Debbie Keltner, Howard & Sharon Meyer, and Michael & Jack Flanery.
Reformation Sunday Recap:
We had a record (post-Covid) attendance on Sunday and it was so nice to see everyone in church. If you didn't get a chance to hang out after church you missed the potluck and pumpkin carving contest. The food was awesome, the fellowship even better and the pumpkins... well that was just the cream cheese icing on the pumpkin cake. (Thanks Debby Axmann)
Thank you to everyone that came and brought food. (See! We can be "Lutheran" when we want to.) Thank you to Stacy Grove for all of the extra help. I really appreciated that. Thank you to the Newmans for providing our prizes! Thank you to Gerry Eickhoff and Howard Meyers for judging.
And Congrats to Pastor Andy for winning first prize (and then splitting his Cider Mill gift basket with all the kids) and to Paulette Varns for second prize in the pumpkin carving contest!
Advent Season Schedule
We are looking ahead to the Advent season. I don't know about you but the beginning of the church year always fills me full of hope and gratitude. I'm encouraging everyone to share with the congregation all of the things we have to be grateful for and to show your gratitude by giving back and showing up.
Show up to church, not just on Sunday (but please, show up on Sunday) but every day. Every day, show up with that Sunday feeling; that desire to be a better person and the desire to do for others.
I know that it's easier to not get involved. I know it's easy to be distracted by all of the things the world tells us we should be distracted by. I'm saying make God a priority in your life and show others that your faith is a tangible thing, by helping others and joining together in worship.
Being here, in church, makes a statement to the world. It says that your faith is worth the time you spend worshiping. Your priorities are visible. It's not just God watching what you do. Your children are watching. Your neighbors are watching. What example are they seeing?
Advent is around the corner. There will be plenty of opportunities to serve and to come together in worship.
The first Midweek Advent service is on December 1st. We will have meals beforehand at 5:30 PM with worship beginning at 7 PM.
I am always looking for help either with the worship service or the meals. "Help" can come in a variety of forms. Sponsor a dinner, help serve and/or clean up. Be an usher or soundboard operator. Invite a friend to join us.
Attend, share, and decide what example you're setting.