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Month: April 2012

Sermon For Good Shepherd Sunday

Ezechiel 34 It is surpassing strange to me that the sign of life in the delivery room when a newborn baby is brought into the world is crying. That high-pitched baby wail is a sign for and a great relief to worried parents but it's also the nature of the race. It is not so much the full-blown cry that almost sounds like a scream but most of humanity goes through life with the quiet sobbing grief that we call weeping. We start early.  When our little brother takes our bike, or we don’t get that first car that we wanted and had to settle for one that we needed, to the wrong boy asking us to the prom we spend a lot of time weeping.  My mother had a signature saying, “If you want to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about”.  It is not so much we want to cry but there always seems to be something to cry about.  So much are we born for weeping the words of encouragement from one of the prophets is “weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning” The timeless words from Job “that man is born for trouble as the sparks fly upward”, and the writer of the Psalms says that “man that is born of a woman is a few days and full...

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Chili Anyone?

Do you love chili?!  Come to the 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off & Silent Auction at Immanuel Grand Forks 1710 Cherry St.  It will be on April 29, starting at 5p.m.  Cost is $5 per person.  Sample all of the chili and vote to determine the best recipe and theme.  There will also be a silent auction.  All proceeds will help Immanuel’s Youth Group attend the National Youth Gathering in 2013.  Call 701-775-7125 for more information.   Share this on:...

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Old Partners Never Fail -LWML, the Oil Patch and WWII

LWML Rally – Kettle River Zone at Trinity in Isle I have been writing about the little publication I found called “The Church at Work in The World at War” .  The problems that it talks about beggar description and yet they are problems much like we experience today.  How do you mobilize people to do something if they are busy just trying to get by in the world in which they find themsleves?   I was reminded of what is going on in the “oil Patch” in sections of the publication.  It talks about how quickly different ‘towns’ grew up in certain areas of the country that had seen little of no growth before but because of the war they became huge sometimes literally over night. A Pastor in the Western part of North Dakota writes this – Numbers of overnighters continue to grow. We have 47 one night (in the bldg) plus others in the parking lot. City Council now wants to eliminate all RV/camper dwellers in town, which would mean throwing them to the wolves now bldg camper villages in the county, where lot rent (sewer/water, no electricity) will likely be $1000/mo. This will kill small businesses now allowing employees to park/live on work site). Those businesses cannot afford to house their people in man camps, and the cost of lot rent will mean many of their...

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We Don’t Know What To Do With the People We Have.

I love the Logo.  But like all mainline churches in the US the Methodists seem to be in trouble. Loren Mead of the Alban Institute said that mainline churches were going to meltdown financially and he made the prediction back in the 90’s.  It seems his prophecy is coming true.  The Methodists see the writing on the wall and believe the church as it is presently constituted is incapable of continuing. They are working on getting new members. Some critics say the focus on growing membership at local churches goes too far. Thomas E. Frank, professor of religious leadership at Wake Forest University, said developing better Christians, not more churchgoers, should be the goal. “I am concerned about a creeping theology that says what’s important is to get people into the church,” he said. Dan Dick, Methodist blogger and former researcher for the Methodists’ Nashville-based General Board of Discipleship, agreed. “If we don’t know what to do with the … people we already have, there’s no reason to believe that we’ll do any better with another million people,” he said. At least that is an honest assessment.  Scary, but honest.  “We don’t know what to do with the people we have”…… There’s a theological paper in there somewhere. Share this on:...

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A World In Chaos

I google chaos and this came up – I thought it was pretty neat. Thought it was cute, but this is serious.  This is the closing quote from “The Church at Work in The World at War”. Down through  the centuries there have been wars undertaken in the firm conviction that they would “end war”, “abolish nepotism and imperialism,” “make the world safe for democracy,” “overcome injustice,” “eliminate misery,” and “bring about a more adequate distribution of the things  which belong to all mankind.” But we as Christians know that all these efforts have been futile and will continue to be futile until we can put the Spirit of Christ into the hearts of men. Only this will make this world a better place to live  in. To do this we must ask God for a large measure of his holy spirit for our own lives. We must begin to think not only as individuals but as a church in terms of larger horizons. We must recapture the Saviors vision of world conquest “go into all the world.” Today we see the world as it was in the beginning, a chaotic, shifting, seething mass over which there hovers a great darkness. It is through us that God wants to move over the face of the world with his Holy Spirit to bring order out of spiritual chaos and to re-create men and women...

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