FaithBits   

A weekly digital publication called FaithBit:

FaithBITs will be: emailed on Friday mornings, archived on this page, available on our social media channels and printed and available at the Welcome Desk.


November 15, 2019




FaithBits

Post-it Notes

Post-it NOtes for Life

Reflection by Jerry Martin

How do I show up in my home and lead my family in faith?  I know we are instructed to teach our children God’s commandments and train in the teaching of our Lord God so that they do not lose their way. (Deuteronomy 6:7, Ephesians 6:4)

But I find it challenging to invite actual scripture into our daily lives.  I was talking with another Dad in a men’s bible devotional and he shared how he writes scripture verses on post-it notes and puts them in places where his young kids will see them in the morning (bathroom mirrors, doorways, desk, etc).

I have to admit this sounded like a great way to bring Christ Jesus, the Gospel and scripture into our home on a regular basis. 

Jerry's Post-it Note quote


I wished I had done that when my kids were young…then I recalled the Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second-best time is now.”  It is never too late!  So I started leaving post-it notes with bible verses on my wife’s bedroom door and my son and daughter’s bedroom door in the morning as I leave for work.  Not every day and not perfectly so. 

They really seem to like them.  I like the way they treasure them and keep them.  I find them in different places throughout the house.  My daughter likes to line hers up on her bookshelf.  My wife keeps them inside one of the cupboard doors in the kitchen.  My son has them scattered about in his room.  One day I was leaving for work, my daughter was already up, and so I handed her the post-it note.  She refused…”it’s not the same as waking up to the surprise on my door!” 

This is a good start to sharing how the bible verse is applicable in our daily lives.  I am thankful.

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3: 16, 17)


November 8, 2019




FaithBits

Reformation Choir

We are better together

Reflection by Kim Rathjen

I love to sing in worship. It has been an integral part of my worship experience since I was a child. Singing with a choir, or with the congregation, or sometimes by myself is my preferred way to lift my praises to God.  As an alto, I love harmonizing on the old hymns or the new worship songs when people around me are carrying the melody. It reminds me that we all play an important role in the Kingdom of God and that each adds their own God given gifts and talents to make a beautiful whole.

A few years ago I started noticing that my voice would get “tired” after a Sunday morning of singing in worship. The loss of a singing voice got worse over time and I discovered that I had nodules on my thyroid which were impacting my vocal cords. The nodules continued to grow and impact my voice more and more (and some other things as well), so this past July I had the nodules and my thyroid removed. Nothing major, no cancer, just “growths”.

Kim's Quote


I was hopeful that my singing voice would return without the fatigue, but to this point is has not.  In fact, my voice has changed.  Sometimes I can sing pretty well for the first song in worship.  Other times I can’t really get a note out.  My range is very limited – I can sing about one octave and much lower than I used to. 

Often I feel sad about my loss of singing ability – especially when the words in the songs or liturgy are about singing praises to God. Or when I try and my throat hurts or the notes just won’t come out.  But, in these moments I have started to have to rely on the voices of the congregation to lift me and my praises to God.  It has reminded me that as a people of God, we are better when we share our gifts and talents together than when we try to do things on our own.  So, thank you, Immanuel, for being my voice of praise when I am unable to sing with my own voice. 


November 1, 2019




FaithBits

Caris Confirmation

Generous Living

Reflection by Cari Larsen

I grew up in a small, rural community and when it was time for me to start Confirmation, our church was between pastors. On the first Wednesday of confirmation, my parents, my four classmates and their parents and I sat around a table in the fellowship hall trying to decide what to do. The retired pastors who were providing pastoral care to our congregation were not up for the challenge of handling our confirmation class. Fairly quickly, the five us kids said we would really like Harold to be our Confirmation teacher. Harold was a banker in our small town and his daughter was in college and his son was almost done with high school. Harold had been the president of our congregation and was one of the caring, kind adults we all looked up to.

Cari's quote


Luckily for us, Harold also lived just a couple blocks from church. So, the five of us kids walked over to his house, rang his doorbell and when he answered the door, we asked him to be our Confirmation teacher. He was surprised to see us, of course, but he was very quick to say yes to our request. So, for the next two years, Harold was our Confirmation teacher. He prepared the lessons, helped us study the Bible and the Small Catechism, prepared us for our public review and stood with us as we were confirmed. He shared his faith with us. He became a mentor to each of us and a dear family friend to our families as well. His generous gifts of time and sharing his faith are gifts I am thankful for each day.


October 25, 2019




FaithBits

Norah and Abby

Reckless Love

Reflection by Norah Bracke. (Norah is a 10th grader who will be confirmed on Oct. 27. This reflection is a small segment of her Faith Statement.)

A big part of my faith is music. And no, I’m not talking about the High School Musical soundtrack, but my Jesus music.

One of my favorite parts of weekly Wednesday nights, other than sharing highs and lows in our small group, was singing. After the first night of confirmation I went home and made my church playlist. I’d listen to it at school, when I was happy, sad, and everything in between. There were two songs that really stuck out for me that past two years: Sanctuary and Reckless Love.

Sanctuary has always been on prayer song and it’s always been my favorite. I’d hear it on the radio and in our church services too. When we were on the mission trip, I ended up finding out that it’s everyone else’s favorite too. The last night of the mission trip was pretty incredible. After two hours of foot washing and crying, everyone from our church gathered together and sang Sanctuary in a sweaty gym on a hill in West Virginia. It felt so surreal.

Norah's quote


Since it took 17 hours to get to West Virginia, obviously we were playing music in the car. And for the first time, I heard Reckless Love by Cory Asbury. Later that week we sang it in that hot, muggy gym and it sounded beautiful. I fell in love with the song right then and there. The lyric that resonates with me the most is, “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.” We heard it many times on the way home and I still play it every day. It will always be my favorite Jesus song.

So, I guess you could say, I believe in the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

Watch Cory Asbury sing an acoustic version here:


October 18, 2019




FaithBits

Laurel - post surgery

God was with me

Reflection by Laurel Connett. (Laurel is a 10th grader who will be confirmed on Oct. 27. This reflection is a small segment of her Faith Statement.)

One time I felt Jesus carrying me was when I had my back surgery. Usually when I heard that someone was having surgery, I got this fuzzy image in my head of what that meant, and I would feel awful and pray for them, but looking back, I was clueless about what they were truly going through. All I knew were the bad connotations, and I never thought that I would be that person, but there I was.

The day of surgery, my mom, dad, and I drove to the hospital where I would have the operation to remove the tumor inside my rib. It was a long drive, but I honestly don’t remember it at all. I was just sitting in the back of the car with my eyes closed, bracing myself for what my future would hold. As I was wheeled toward the operating room, I remember looking back at my parents and then saying a short prayer to God. This prayer was different from before. I wasn’t asking Him to calm my mind or to make sure I would be okay afterwards. I just asked that He stay with me the whole time and watch after me, and that’s exactly what He did.

Laurel's quote


When I finally woke up, I was blessed to have great nurses and my parents there to comfort me. For the next week, the mornings were always the worst part. When I tried to sit up, the internal burning and bleeding sensation was too much. While I waited for the pain to die down to try again, I remember my mom sitting in my room reading me stories. I am so grateful that my mom is always there for me with patience and love.

God fulfilled my prayers more than I could imagine. God was with me before, during, and after the operation, and continues to comfort me every day, even in the little day-to-day things we often overlook.

Archive of the current year

November 15, 2019: Post-it Notes for Life by Jerry Martin
November 8, 2019: We Are Better Together by Kim Rathjen
November 1, 2019: Generous Living by Cari Larsen
October 18, 2019: God Was with Me by Laurel Connett
October 11, 2019: Love Deeply by Henri Nouwen
October 4, 2019: Can I Keep All That Money? by Cindy Paulson
September 27, 2019: Grandma, You Think You’re Slick! by Izzy Anderson
September 20, 2019 Music: A Gift to Be Shared by Chloe Thompson
September 13, 2019: I Could See God by Grace Porter
September 6, 2019: The One-ness of God by Janell Weum
August 30, 2019: Mountain Mama by Abby Bracke
August 23, 2019: Sharing God’s Love on a Mission Trip by Grace Held
August 16, 2019: Rest Stop God Moment by Dana Connett
August 9, 2019: God Calls the Right People to the Right Place by Kim Rathjen
August 2, 2019: Seeds of Faith Planted, Watered & Nurtured by Janell Weum
July 26, 2019:Transformed in Port Aransas by Bridget Zillmer
July 19, 2019: A Life-Changing Week by Chloe Thompson
July 12, 2019: Generations of Generosity by Pastor Angela
July 5, 2019: Step by Step You’ll Lead Me by Kelly Kautz
June 28, 2019: Riding to Help the Sick by Bill Middeke
June 21, 2019: Walking in Community by Kari Totall
June 14, 2019: Our High-Tech God by Deb Garvey
June 7, 2019, Community of Faith by Andy Vergeront
May 31, 2019, God Helps us Do Hard Things by Alisson Rasmussen
May 24, 2019, Gifts from the Heart by Martin Rathjen
May 19, Three Takeaways from Tanzania by Kim Rathjen
May 10, 2019, Wanna Play the Worry Game? by Janell Weum
May 4, #holyweekhumor by Pastor Angela
April 26, Running Has Become My Prayer Time by Clark Weyrauch
April 19, Blessed Are Those Who Mourn by Lisa Ross
April 12, The Faces of God by Bev Osekowsky
April 5, A Stranger Welcomed by Gary Thrasher
March 29, Transformed by Kelly Kautz
March 22, Trusting in God by Sophie Flom
March 15, Modern Day Burning Bushes by Kelly Meyer
March 8, Seek and You Will Find by Jerry Martin
March 1, Pamoja by Pastor Angela
February 25, Even Those of Us with Few Talents by Ruth Lunde
February 15, Recipients of Compassion
February 8, A Solid Foundation by Jerry Martin
January 30, Snow (Transformational Seasons) by Josh Kautz
January 25, A Meaningful Way to spend Christmas Day by Terrie Falkenstein
January 18, Miracles Happen Every Day! by Mary Ellen Anderson
January 11, Take a Hike! by Dave Nieting
January 4, Camping with Grandkids by Karen Nelson

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