October 10 Greetings
Dear Ones,

We are currently looking through many, many photographs of our Sara with family and friends. These bring back many memories, along with laughter and tears. It’s amazing how photographs mark special events and eras we have lived through. You can look at hairstyles, clothing, furniture, carpet and even appliance colors to date a time and place! Whoever thought that avocado green would be such an attractive and popular color for so many things back in the day?!
In the Old Testament, the Lord would often ask the Israelites to set markers up to remember and recall significant moments in their lives and their walk with God.
When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
Joshua 4:1 – 7
And so I wonder if photographs have slightly filled this role for us, marking special people, moments and even some of our spiritual journey along the way. Amongst the many pictures we often have of travels, birthday parties and holidays are photos marking baptisms, Confirmation ceremonies and First Communions. But I think we can include many photographs as part of our spiritual journey. I refer to author and speaker Rob Bell, who has recently released a book entitled Everything is Spiritual.
Some years ago I heard him speak on this topic, and it is really helped shape my thinking to look for the Spirit of God in daily life. And to recognize that grand and wonderful truth that God is not limited to only working inside the walls of the church. This time of pandemic has been another witness to that fact.
So I encourage you to look through your photographs and begin to recognize the many moments you can be grateful for, as well as what God may have been teaching you through the years. And we can, of course, give thanks for Emmanuel Lutheran Church, the blessing of fellowship, and a community of faith that is our companion along our spiritual journey—helping to mark the multitudinous ways the Spirit loves us, picks us up when we’re down, and celebrates our good times along the way.
A great song that many enjoy, that never seems to grow old, and works well as you reminisce through your pictures, is the beautiful rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with “What a Wonderful World”, sung by Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole:
We will be relaunching our grief support and emotional wellness groups soon—as in maybe this week! Please let me know if you’re interested. These groups typically meet around 10:00 or 11:00 on a weekday morning. Contact me at adamwbissell@yahoo.com or 928-710-5532.
We’re continuing to as the youth of Emmanuel a set of questions, to check in with them and help our congregation get to know them, and to keep holding them in prayer. Here are Maddie’s responses:
  1. Tell us about how you spend your time and your favorite hobbies.
  2. Tell us what you have learned about God and your faith in the last year.
  3. Tell us one way God can work through us during this pandemic.
  4. Tell us one reason you’re thankful about your family.
  5. Tell us what you miss the most about not being able to gather as a youth group or church because of COVID-19.
  1. I like to hang out with my friends. My hobby is marching band.
  2. I have learned that God can really test us this past year.
  3. God can work through me by my being patient with others and forgiving their short tempers.
  4. I'm thankful for my family for their health and support of each other.
  5. I just miss being in person together. I don't like virtual classes and I wish stores and restaurants would get back to normal.
Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came.
Jeremiah 31:21
Peace in Christ ~
Adam
Emmanuel Lutheran Church

7763 E.Long Look
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
PH (928) 772-4135 • FX (928) 759-3541
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