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Archive for November, 2012

O Chrismon Tree.

I used to be a real stinker about Advent/Christmas.  My issue has always been that there is a Christmas season and it starts on December 25 and goes until Epiphany, the 12 Days of Christmas”.   It doesn’t start after Halloween or Thanksgiving it starts after Christmas Eve.  I have gotten ground down over the years.  My wife loves to decorate for the season and usually starts right after Thanksgiving and so one of her ideas was instead of a Christmas tree let’s have a Chrismon tree.  She made each of the ornaments and everyone of them has a meaning.  There is a number on the back and you can go and look at the Biblical meaning or reference.  It one of my favorite trees.

This is the symbol for Christ inside a stylized sun.  Christ is the “sun of righteousness”.  Malachi says “The Sun of Righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.”

Sun of Righteousness is connected to the image of the day, the day of the Lord. This shining forth of the Sun of Righteousness is connected with the “day”, so Jesus is called “the dayspring from on high.”

That is in the song of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, when John the Baptist was born.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; * he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, * born of the house of his servant David. Through his holy prophets he promised of old, that he would save us from our enemies, * from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers * and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, * to set us free from the hands of our enemies, Free to worship him without fear, * holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, * for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, To give his people knowledge of salvation * by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God * the dawn from on high shall break upon us, To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, * and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

And we have the hymn Phos Hilaron that we sing at vespers, “O Gladsome Light of the glory of the immortal Father, heavenly, holy, blessed, Jesus Christ.”

 

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From all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues…………….

I was priveleged to attend the International Conference of Confessional Lutherans a few weeks ago.  Dr. Al Colver the director of church relations asked me to write an article about it that he published on the Witness, Mercy. Life Together Blog.  since he is with the Lutherans in Poland right now I thought I would repost it.

From Revelation 7: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.”

When All Saints Sunday comes around, I always wonder what that would sound like, every tribe and nation and tongue and people speaking praise to God.  Would it be a cacophony or is there is special, heavenly angelic language that all will speak?  Would that praise be in their language of origin?  If so, what would that sound like?

I had a chance to find out at the International Conference on Confessional Leadership in the 21stCentury.  To hear the Lord’s Prayer in so many different languages from Latvian to Spanish and Chinese to German was truly an inspiration.  I want to thank all who made this event possible and all who attended.

Some of the insights that were gained from a gathering like this are equally as inspirational.  After the results of the election and the various dissections and interpretations, I have to believe that we live in an absolutely secularized culture in which the Government has appropriated the place once held by the church.  To hear from confessional Lutherans around the world who have lived in that reality for years was fascinating and informative.  To see Lutheran theology as a means to bridge the gaps in our culture is a concept that we must seek to master, because according to many, Luther is uniquely able to make the connection that is needed in a secular culture that still seeks answers to religious questions.  One of the speakers said that we need to have a “critical reappropriation” of our heritage so that we can translate it into our culture.

One of the more haunting statements was this: “Spiritual bewilderment is perfectly acceptable in Lutheran theology.”  I am personally happy to hear that because I spend a great deal of my time bewildered.  I am bewildered by what I see around me.  I am bewildered by suffering and the foolishness I see.  I am bewildered that I would think I would find something different in a fallen world and I still look for the good.  I am bewildered when we fail to act as what we are, the Body of Christ.  The phrase resonated with me in the work that I see needs to be done among our pastors.  There is the belief that when you are called into a congregation you are the “theologian in residence” and you had better have all the answers.  Many of us get into problems because even if we don’t have the answers we act like we do.  There is a place for bewilderment.

Robert Preus once commented on how bewildering it must have been for Christians behind the iron curtain to pray the Lord’s Prayer and ask that God’s Kingdom come and God’s will be done for a generation all the while in political bondage.  Yet their pastors and leaders entered that bewilderment with them, and they were blessed.  Lutheran ministry is blessed when our people see us as leaders that enter with them in their suffering and perplexity, not necessarily with answers, but with the same questions they have.  Our leadership, at least what is helpful, is always to bring them to Christ.  Lutheran’s have a unique ability to live in perplexity, and that is the theology of the cross.  It resonates as some have said, because of the existential realities that come from this world that is in the “gray and latter days.”

Existential problems cause misery.  We all experience it. When things go great, we’re happy. When we suffer, there is unhappiness. It is God who allows us to suffer afflictions for the purpose of pruning us so that in that misery we would turn back to Him “with our whole heart.” This is why Paul wrote that, “We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:3–5).

Although it was not really a topic, there was another theme that I have been personally interested in for years and that is preaching.  The centrality and importance of preaching was undergirded again and again by different speakers from different perspectives, but it was there.  Preaching is what “gathers and transforms” when it is centered on Christ and Him crucified.  The church is not constituted managerially or institutionally but by the preaching of Christ.

This is another existential reality that we need to focus on as pastors and teachers.  There are all kinds of issues and problems in our churches here in the United States that take an inordinate amount of time and treasure to ameliorate (if we would spend time listening to the issues in emerging world countries we would be ashamed) and our answers are usually managerial in nature.  Management techniques, someone said, may be helpful, but what is essential is preaching and the faith handed down once and for all to the saints.  Our President Harrison has been quoted as saying about some problem or another that, “We just have to confess our way through it.”  Far be it from me to amend President Harrison’s words but when we pastors confront problems in our congregations we need to “preach our way through it.”

The themes of Witness, Mercy and Life Together held the conference together and set the table for the presentations.  The reality of the Witness given by partners and friends around the world is amazing.  The place for Mercy here and around the world was reiterated over and over again.  The reality of our Life Together was made concrete and personal.

To spend time with these Lutherans from around the world was fascinating and exhilarating.  Some of the stories are sad, and some are inspirational.  Some of the participants have fought for the faith once and for all handed down to the saints all of their adult lives, and in some cases since they could go to church and worship on their own.  Some are beginning to see the time coming when they might be persecuted for what they believe, teach and confess.  Yet all of the ones that I talked to, and most of those who spoke, believe that whatever comes we must “confess our way through it.”  What else can we do?  Where else can we go? Only Christ has the words of eternal life!

By the way, what did it sound like to hear all of those people praying the Lord’s Prayer in their own language?  At the risk of sounding corny, it sounded glorious!

 

The Rev. Bernie Seter is the chairman of the LCMS Board for International Mission.

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Advent – the King Comes

Advent is when we think of the ways that Christ comes to us.  He comes through the word and the Sacraments.  He comes as the child in the manger.  He will come as the judge at the end of the age.  Luther said about Zechariah 9

This is what is meant by “Thy king cometh.” You do not seek him, but he seeks you. You do not find him, he finds you. For the preachers come from him, not from you; their sermons come from him, not from you; your faith comes from him, not from you; everything that faith works in you comes from him, not from you; and where he does not come, you remain outside; and where there is no Gospel there is no God, but only sin and damnation, free will may do, suffer, work and live as it may and can. Therefore you should not ask, where to begin to be godly; there is no beginning, except where the king enters and is proclaimed.

 He cometh “unto thee.” Thee, thee, what does this mean? Is it not enough that he is your king? If he is yours how can he say, he comes to you? All this is stated by the prophet to present Christ in an endearing way and invite to faith. It is not enough that Christ saves us from the rule and tyranny of sin, death and hell, and becomes our king, but he offers himself to us for our possession, that whatever he is and has may be ours, as St. Paul writes, Rom. 8, 32: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?”
Hence the daughter of Zion has twofold gifts from Christ. The first is faith and the Holy Spirit in the heart, by which she becomes pure and free from sin. The other is Christ himself, that she may glory in the blessings given by Christ, as though everything Christ is and has were her own, and that she may rely upon Christ as upon her own heritage. Of this St. Paul speaks, Rom. 8, 34: “Christ maketh intercession for us.” If he maketh intercession for us he will receive us and we will receive him as our Lord. And I Cor. 1, 30: “Christ was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” Of the twofold gifts Isaiah speaks in 40, 1-2: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath received of Jehovah’s hand double for all her sins.”
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Stopping by the woods on a snowy afternoon…….

 

I always loved Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”.  That last lovely stanza of promises to keep is very evocative.  I was thinking of that when I took this picture.  Obviously this was at one time a lovely home and farmstead.  What happened?  Where do they go and why?  What promises did they have to keep and did they?

Up here is the North country we see a lot of these beautiful old places surrounded by woods that are lovely, dark, and deep and yet there is no one there.  They get company in the deer hunting season and perhaps someone stores some machinery there for a while but nevertheless they are pretty much abandoned.  We are seeing more and more churches that look that way as well.  Once and a while we hear of churches that are trying to sell their property.  I always wonder if the sign says, “for sale by owner”?  That leads to the question who “owns” the church; whose property is it?  That leads to another question of “who is in charge here?”

Once we go down these paths we miss the marks of the church and what it is.  The church is people who have been “called out”  and made holy by the suffering death and resurrection of Jesus.

These Christian, holy people possess the Word of God.

“This is the principal item, and the holiest of holy possessions…” Wherever this word is “preached, believed, professed, and lived,” we should not doubt, said Luther, that the true church is there. If there were only one sign, this would be it.

When people possess the word of God and live in Christ and His gifts there is no question of who is in charge.  We submit to one another for Christ’s sake.

They exist to serve their neighbors for Christ’s sake.  They have promises to keep and miles to go before they sleep because their whole life is one of service to God and the neighbor.

Some of these churches are closing because of loss of members, bad economies, and bad locations.  Some are closing beecause they have had internal strife and stress.  Luther had this to say….

“The church is God’s own home and city, the community of Christian, holy people.  If the Holy Spirit reigns there, Christ calls it a comforting, sweet, and light burden; if not, it is not only a heavy, severe, and terrible task, but also an impossible one…”

All of this because I stopped and took a picture on a snowy afternoon.

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Lutheran Principals and Lutheran Principles.

Rochester Central Lutheran School in Rochester Minnesota is a partnership formed from four Lutheran churches in the area.  The principal, Ken Weinlaeder is retiring and I shared some of his thoughts on the previous blog.  I was struck by the statement that sometime “God’s will can be hard”, and “right now, what we have is what we need”.  Profound stuff.

Luther said that “the cross alone is our theology”.  Herman Sasse in the middle of a war wrote these words.

The theologian of glory observes the world, the works of creation. With his intellect he perceives behind these the visible things of God, His power, wisdom, and generosity. But God remains invisible to him. The theologian of the cross looks to the Crucified One. Here there is nothing great or beautiful or exalted as in the splendid works of creation. Here there is humiliation, shame, weakness, suffering, and agonizing death… [That] “God can be found only in suffering and the cross”… is a bedrock statement of Luther’s theology and that of the Lutheran Church. Theology is theology of the cross, nothing else. A theology that would be something else is a false theology… Measured by everything the world calls wisdom, as Paul already saw, the word of the cross is the greatest foolishness, the most ridiculous doctrine that can confront a philosopher. That the death of one man should be the salvation of all, that this death on Golgotha should be this atoning sacrifice for all the sins of the world, that the suffering of an innocent one should turn away the wrath of God—these are assertions that fly in the face of every ethical and religious notion of man as he is by nature… God Himself has sent us into the hard school of the cross. There, on the battlefields, in the prison camps, under the hail of bombs, and among the shattered sick and wounded, there the theology of the cross may be learned “by dying”… To those whose illusions about the world and about man, and the happiness built on these, have been shattered, the message of the cross may come as profoundly good news.

God himself sends us into the hard school of the cross.  It may be a battlefield, a nursing home, a recalcitrant classroom, a refugee camp or an orphan rescue center.  It may be strife of all kinds, but in it all we have what we need and that is the assurance of life through the death of Christ.  Thanks pricipal Weinlaeder for reminding me of a Lutheran priciple.  The cross alone is our theology.  Thanks for 40 years of service in the Kingdom.

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Retiring Lutheran School Principals and Crosses

There is this interesting arrangement of crosses at the Developmental Center in Grafton.  I am not sure what the arrangement is meant to signify but the number and arrangement is a thought starter for me in this regard; we never know where our crosses are going to come from or how many there will be.  Jesus tells us to take up his cross, but there are other crosses we have in life.  Lutheran theology is a theology of the cross and God himself as Sasse says,  “has sent us into the hard school of the cross.”Later he says, “to those whose illusions about the world and about man, and the happiness built on these, have been shattered, the message of the cross may come as profoundly good news.”  It may, it can, and it does.

Our Lutheran Schools and school teachers are treasurers.  We up here in the North Country share these blessings and we should appreciate them more than we do.

Here is a note sent to students at Rochester Central Lutheran School in Rochester MN by the Principal, Ken Weinlaeder.

Mr. Weinlaeder’s thoughts:

After over 40 years of teaching, I know two things for sure.  I wear two chains around my neck to remind me of these two things.

The first chain has a cross on it.  The chain was given to me by my first youth group.  They gave it to me on the occasion of my departure from my first congregation in South Florida.  My years there had been times of remarkable spiritual growth for me and for them.  As is the case with many Lutheran Churches with schools, my youth group was made up primarily of high school kids that had attended the Lutheran School.  Since I had taught many of them when they were in middle school, my relationships with them and their families was quite intense.  Several of them still keep in touch. They wanted to make sure that I would always be reminded of God’s love for me.  The cross serves as a constant reminder that God sent his son to die for me.  My sins are forgiven and I will join him in heaven someday.

During my time there, I had come to realize that teaching in a Lutheran school was going to be my career.  I initially had other plans and had thought of Lutheran education as a means to get to a different place.  But during my time in North Miami I had come to realize that God also had a plan for me.  I began a search for God’s will that continues to this day.

The second thing that I have learned is that God’s will can be hard.  Once when I had become discouraged, God sent a former student to me to tell me of how much I had done for him.  This was a student that I had given up on.  It was then clear to me that God was telling me that he was in control.  At another time when money was tight and my family was growing, our car died.  I knew that I was going to have to find a more lucrative career for my family’s sake.  A check came in the mail from the estate of a great uncle that I didn’t even know.  It was the new car and another message from God that he was in control.

The other chain is a medic alert chain.  I have worn it since becoming a caregiver for my wife who was diagnosed with frontal temporal degeneration in August of 2010.  With FTD a protein that attacks brain cells leaves her unable to complete many usual tasks.  It has also disabled her short term memory.  The progress of her condition promises to not be kind to her, or to me, or to our girls.  I am glad that I can wear this chain with the other one.  This chain reminds me daily that God’s will can be hard.  But, because I wear it with the other chain that reminds me of God’s love for me, it makes God’s will something that I still seek and want.

The RCLS family has continuously provided me with their love and prayers and I remain committed as ever to RCLS and its ministry.  But the demands of being a caregiver mean that I am unable to continue to provide the leadership that my position demands.  I intend to retire at the end of December, 2012.

I share these matters with you so that as you continue to keep the RCLS staff in your prayers, you will also remember Cindy and my family.  I wish I could tell you what we need, but for now, what we need is what we have.  That is God’s assurance that we are loved by him.

Ken Weinlaeder, Principal

Rochester Central Lutheran School

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”  Luke 24:32

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

I Corinthians 12:27

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Thanksgiving Thoughts from Martin Luther

Excerpts from Luther’s Large Catechism (1529) The Explanation of the First Article of the Apostles Creed

I hold and believe that I am God’s creature, that is, that he has given me and constantly sustains my body, soul, and life, my members great and small, all my senses, my reason and understanding, and the like; my food and drink, clothing, nourishment, spouse and children, servants, house and farm, etc. Besides, he makes all creation help provide the benefits and necessities of life—sun, moon, and stars in the heavens; day and night; air, fire, water, the earth and all that it yields and brings forth; birds, fish, animals, grain, and all sorts of produce. Moreover, he gives all physical and temporal blessings—good government, peace, security. Thus we learn from this article that none of us has life—or anything else that has been mentioned here or can be mentioned—from ourselves, nor can we by ourselves preserve any of them, however small and unimportant. All this is comprehended in the word ―Creator.

Moreover, we also confess that God the Father has given us not only all that we have and what we see before our eyes, but also that he daily guards and defends us against every evil and misfortune, warding off all sorts of danger and disaster. All this he does out of pure love and goodness, without our merit, as a kind father who cares for us so that no evil may befall us.

Hence, because everything we possess, and everything in heaven and on earth besides, is daily given, sustained, and protected by God, it inevitably follows that we are in duty bound to love, praise, and thank him without ceasing, and, in short, to devote all these things to his service, as he has required and enjoined in the Ten Commandments.

Here much could be said if we were to describe how few people believe this article. We all pass over it; we hear it and recite it, but we neither see nor think about what the words command us to do. For if we believed it with our whole heart, we would also act accordingly, and not swagger about and boast and brag as if we had life, riches, power, honor, and such things of ourselves, as if we ourselves were to be feared and served. This is the way the wretched, perverse world acts, drowned in its blindness, misusing all the blessings and gifts of God solely for its own pride, greed, pleasure, and enjoyment, and never once turning to God to thank him or acknowledge him as Lord or Creator.

Therefore, if we believe it, this article should humble and terrify all of us. For we sin daily with eyes, ears, hands, body and soul, money and property, and with all that we have, especially those who even fight against the Word of God. Yet Christians have this advantage, that they acknowledge that they owe it to God to serve and obey him for all these things.

For this reason we ought daily to practice this article, impress it upon our minds, and remember it in everything we see and in every blessing that comes our way. Whenever we escape distress or danger, we should recognize how God gives and does all of this so that we may sense and see in them his fatherly heart and his boundless love toward us. Thus our hearts will be warmed and kindled with gratitude to God and a desire to use all these blessings to his glory and praise.

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Luther’s Thoughts on Pastoral Care and My Thoughts on Jording.

 

 

 

 

“The Christian’s whole purpose in life is to be useful to mankind; not to cast out the individual, but to exterminate his vices. This we cannot do if we refuse to tolerate the faulty person. It would be a very inconsistent case of charity in which you should desire to feed the hungry, satisfy the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick, but at the same time should not permit the hungering, the thirsting, the naked and the sick to approach you. But just so your unwillingness to tolerate a wicked or faulty person is inconsistent with your willingness to help him, or to aid him to godly living.
Let us learn from this that the life of Christian love does not consist in seeking godly, upright, holy individuals, but in making them godly, upright and holy. Let this be the Christian’s earthly labor, whether it calls for admonition, prayer, patience or other exercise. For the Christian does not live to seek after the wealthy and strong in virtue, but to make such virtuous ones from the poor, weak and infirm.
So, then, the text admonishes to two thoughts–to Christian love and to good and noble works; not only to bearing with our neighbor’s spiritual imperfections of faith and conduct, but also to receiving him into fellowship, to healing him and to restoring from infirmities. They who fail so to do, create seditions, sects and divisions; as in time past the heretics, Donatists and Novatians, and many others, separated from the Church because unwilling to tolerate sinners and the faulty. There must be heretics and sects where the doctrine of Christian love is ignored; it cannot be otherwise.
St. Augustine, commenting on the sixth chapter of Galatians, says: “In nothing is one’s religious character so well shown as when, in dealing with the sinful individual, he insists on redemption of the sinner rather than on reproach; on his welfare rather than on reproof.”

Pastor Jording and I were discussing difficult people and I asked what he did with them and he said “love them a little harder”.

Pastor Jording’s Funeral has been scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday November 21st at Immanuel Lutheran Church Hankinson.  It will be followed by a lunch at the Immanuel Parish Hall.
There will be a Prayer Service on Tuesday November 20th at 3:00 p.m. at St. Gerard’s Nursing home for the residents, and a Prayer Service for the congregation at 7:00 p.m. November 20th at the church.  Viewing will be from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at Immanuel Lutheran Hankinson, and an hour before the funeral as well.
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Pastor Howard Jording RIP +

Pastor Howard and Lucia Jording

One of the first people I met when I moved to Grafton North Dakota was Rev. Howard Jording. Pastor Jording was serving the vacancy at Trinity Lutheran Church in Drayton, while Pastor Victor Tegtmeier served the vacancy at Zion in Grafton. Pastor Jording was the preacher at my installation at Trinity and  he took the time to drive me around to different places to meet different people who lived out in the countryside.
One of my fondest remembrances is that at everyplace we stopped he tried to figure out a way to get me some commodities. “How about 50 pounds of potatoes for the new Rev?”he’d say, or “does your wife have any of that home baked bread he can have.?”
Pastor Jording  was one of those individuals that I like to call “simple country preachers”. He knew the love of Christ, he lived in the rhythm of confession and absolution the way rural folks live in the rhythm of seedtime and harvest.  He had a wicked sense of humor. His conferring of honorary doctorate’s to people who belonged to his circuit after he moved away from rural St. Thomas was legendary. People used to get upset if they weren’t given the Doctorate and the baseball hat that went with it. Another pastor friend of mine by the name of Glenn Korb was my parents preacher for a while up in Rock Lake ND.  He received his honorary doctorate without moving to the Southeast corner of the State.  He received it after he married a veterinarian.   Jording’s rationale?   “We are presenting you this honorary doctorate so that when you get up in the morning you can say to her good morning Dr. and she can say to you good morning Dr. too.”
I don’t think it’s too much to say that the preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing to him as Lord and Savior literally was Howard’s life. I know he loved his family and I know he loved his wife, but his life was the proclamation of Christ. I was doing a presentation in Ortonville Minnesota and who came shambling in the door of the church basement but Dr. Jording and his wife Lucia: long since retired. Why was he there? He had taken the vacancy and was serving that congregation until they got a full-time pastor. This was well into his retirement years and has always served as an example to me that “old preachers never die they just change venues”. I remember that wicked sense of humor in a parody song that he had either written, or found somewhere. It was sung to the tune of “Rhinestone Cowboy”.   It was called “Worn Out Preacher”.  The refrain partially was “I’m a worn-out preacher riding back and forth on these Lonesome Prairie Roads.” He spent a lot of time on those lonesome prairie roads. I do too and I appreciate the time that allows me to contemplate God’s mercy and grace, the marvelous gift of salvation we have in Jesus. I thank God that that worn-out preacher had ample time to contemplate God’s mercy and grace in his life and the blessing that he was to others.
I received this today from his daughter
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.  2 Timothy 4:7-8
 Friends and Family,
I am writing to let you know that my father’s (Rev. Dr. Howard Jording) has finished his race.  He is now with Jesus before the Throne of God.  A friend of mine recently told me “this is what he has been waiting for his whole life”!
We covet your prayers.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
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Thanks for the Yarn.

I asked many of you for yarn and you came through – got this from Mary Ann Anderson
I feel like Christmas has arrived.  I was expecting three boxes of yarn and you produced three large, no, huge bags of yarn.  Thank you seems so small but that is all I have.  Those skeins will make many, many hats, scarves and mittens for the shelters.  This will help me keep going throughout the summer with the crocheting/knitting.  Please know that the staff at the shelters rely on these items from Shepherd’s Hands and because of the greater community of believers I can keep those items coming for them.  I am humbled so much with the wonderful gift of yarn I have been given for those who struggle from abuse and homelessness.  I continue to pray that the next generation of youth will not have to live with the fear of abuse.
Have a blessed weekend.
Mary Ann
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