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.

January 24, 2020


Dave Nieting

I have cancer

Reflection by Dave Nieting

I have cancer. It makes you think of things you never thought of before.

This morning I started my prayer for God to take this cancer from me. It was a suggestion from my sister that to me made sense. The prayer however was just kind of jumbled in with a bunch of other thoughts though, in the early morning my mind wanders pretty aimlessly. So, I intentionally stepped back and started again. I wanted to connect with God. I rolled on my back and started to calm the clutter in my mind. In Kevin Costner’s film Bull Durham, he called it “clearing the mechanism”. I lay back wondering if and how could I connect with God, and if I might be able to talk to him.

Dave's quote

I never found a giant man in my thoughts sitting on a rock. I never found a physical being or some humanoid colossus. What happened was I started to feel love. The earth started to zoom out like Google earth, and I could see love all around the earth like a morning dew coming off a meadow. I continued out and began to remember what I had been told oh so long ago, that God is love. I think in Star Wars they said, “the force”. I believe I found God. Now was the time to ask.

I simply asked, “If it is your will, please take this cancer from me.” Jesus was very clear that we were to love everybody, and he kind of had a good insight into it. John Lennon knew it. We grew up singing “all you need is love”, it will now be stuck in your head today, and that is not a bad thing. Ghandi and Mother Teresa also knew it.

So, there it is. I sent off my prayer like an arrow in the general direction of our Creator, and I rest. I have peace because I believe I rest in his hands. Spread love. Spread God. Peace.

January 17, 2020


Hope Anderson - Pine Ridge

Experiencing God through service and music

Reflection by Hope Anderson
(This was first shared as a First Word, an opening devotion at Confirmation)

My name is Hope Anderson and I am a junior at Eden Prairie High School.

Please pray with me.

Dear God, we ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and so that others would be drawn to you. Amen.

A few years ago I made the best decision of my life. With my best friends from this church, that I met through Confirmation, we went on Immanuel’s senior high youth mission trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I was so excited to experience something new with my best friends. While there our service group worked with kids in the kids’ club, but before we could work with them we would have to learn more about their lifestyle. Many of these kids had dealt with death, alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty and abuse within their families. This was all very saddening to hear about because I have never had to deal with any of these things before, so I tried my absolute best to be the kids’ friends and make their days a little better. I was able to play with a girl, Pretty, and her little brother, Junior, for three whole days.  Seeing those kids each day was just an amazing experience.

Hope's quote

When we were not volunteering or playing with the kids, we went on a hike in the Badlands. My friends and I were determined to be the first ones to the top, and we were. Once there we waited for everyone else to join us and by that time the sun was setting over the horizon and the city down below. That was when Martin thought it would be a good idea if we all sang ‘Sanctuary’ before heading back down.

As we all sang together, I remember Carter Anderson harmonizing with everyone, and the musicality of it all was amazing. I had never felt God’s presence so strongly before. In that moment I could truly feel that God was with us. I will never forget that moment.

Closing prayer:

Dear God, I thank you for the gift of music. I thank you because playing music has allowed me to gain clarity in life and it has helped me to enforce truths that You have opened my eyes to. Music is just one way that I enjoy worshiping You. I thank you for this gift that you have given me; I do not take it lightly. Amen.

January 10, 2020



Everyday Faith - From Hand to Hand

Reflection by Pastor Angela

Although you may be familiar with the HoldingCross* and of their availability in recent years for purchase online or in gift shops, you may not be aware of Immanuel’s own production line and of the simple & meaningful ministry these holding crosses provide in our midst.

Angela's cross quote

A look behind the scenes… the olive wood comes from Israel, an Immanuel dad carves the crosses, his kids often help sand them (as well as some folks during a recent Advent worship prayer station), their mom communicates with us & delivers them, then we on the pastoral care team pass them on to people in need of healing – in the hospital or nursing home, to folks recovering from illness or surgery, grieving or struggling with cancer, struggling with anxiety/depression or other mental illness, for either themselves or their loved one – during any time of need.

“I will not forget you.  See, I have carved you on the palms of my hands.”  Isaiah 49:15-16.  To hold & be held… they know Jesus is with them and holds them tight.  They know their Immanuel family of faith surrounds them and lifts them up to God’s loving care.

Everyday Faith, from hand to hand.

*Visit “HoldingCross Story TM” for the original story.


Archive of the current year

January 24, 2020: I Have Cancer by Dave Nieting
January 17, 2020: Experiencing God through Service and Music by Hope Anderson
January 10, 2020: Everyday Faith - From Hand to Hand by Pastor Angela
January 3, 2020: Following Jesus in the New Year by Martin Rathjen

Archived FaithBITs from Previous Years


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