Bulletin Announcements

June 18, 2017

NEED A RIDE? If you are unable to drive to church, we have an option that is available.  Please speak with Pastor who has the details.  Thank you.

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Romans 5:8:  “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  God did not wait for mankind to make the first move.  He did not wait for Adam and Even to come looking for Him – but He went and found them.  And while we were still sinners, still enemies of God, still set against Him, He sent His Son Jesus to suffer, die, and rise for us.  God was moved by His own love and generosity and kindness.  We now seek to grow up into His image as loving, generous, and kind sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father.

OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Choir Room which is located on the 2nd level (the west side).

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m.  In conjunction with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we are studying about that time period with “The Word Endures: Lessons From the Lives of Powerful Politicians”.

CAN YOU HELP?  We have a sign-up on the table in the narthex for Summer Sunday School.  The dates and lessons are listed.  We would like to have someone covering and to give Sarah Lange a break for the summer.  Once you sign-up, please speak with Sarah who will have the lesson for you.  Thank you for helping in this way.

TODAY is the deadline for items to be submitted for the JULY NEWSLETTER.  Mandy Kluender is our Editor for the church newsletter and any announcements you want to be published in the Newsletter should be submitted to her at mgkluender@hotmail.com or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

NEW CHURCH SIGN:  In celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and with inspiration from Martin Luther, Good Shepherd will be “posting” a new church sign on the south side near the lower parking lot.  Parts will be interchangeable and can be used for Outreach to our community.  Congregation involvement will include creative ideas for the signage and gifts toward the purchase.  The first collection of monies will be next Sunday, June 25th.  We will then collect on the last Sunday of each month through September with a final collection scheduled for some time in October.  If you do not have a jar and want to participate you may pick one up in the narthex.

PASTOR’S SCHEDULE:  Because of Pastor’s absence on Sunday, July 9th, we will celebrate Holy Communion in both worship services on Sunday, July 2nd.

THE JUNE FRIDAY MOVIE NIGHT will be held on June 30th at 6:30 p.m.  The feature movie that will be shown is “WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL”.  This movie was inspired by a true story.  “When The Game Stands Tall” tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De LaSalle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151 – game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport.  When then the streak is broken, and tragedy strikes the team, “Coach Lad” must teach his players – and the entire town – that it’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up.  Join us for another great movie, delicious food and wonderful fellowship.  There is plenty of room in the church.

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The July-September 2017 Portals of Prayer are available on the book rack in the narthex.  Pick up your free copy today!

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS:  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign-up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “What God Says” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Isaiah 43:1-3.  Are you listening to what “they” say – or what God says?  Reverend Dr. Ken Klaus is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Sermon June 11, 2017: “Is Our Trinitarian Christian Faith Convenient?”

June 11, 2017 – Trinity Sunday Text: Matthew 28:16-20

Dear Friends in Christ,

There was a man fishing in a tub of water in his back yard. His neighbor saw him and said, “There are no fish in that tub. Why are you wasting your time like that?” “Yeah,” came the reply, “I know there are no fish in here, but it’s just so convenient.”
We’ve been trying to make life like that for generations: convenient. That is also what we do with our Christian faith. Make it convenient and acceptable and easy on the mind. We’ve reduced Christianity to a text message, a twitter, a tweet, and a toot. For an ever-increasing number of humans Christianity is nothing at all.
Today is Trinity Sunday. It’s what we believe as Christians. So we ask . . .
“IS OUR TRINITARIAN CHRISTIAN FAITH CONVENIENT?”
One thing becomes clear about our Trinitarian faith – Jesus is God’s Son and only Savior from sin. “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” (v. 16-18)
Even after the resurrection and Jesus appearing to so many, there were still doubts. We have a belief in God – that’s convenient. But to believe in His Son as someone who died for me?
Man has always had these problems. Look at our Old Testament lesson where Moses writes, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5) Doesn’t that rattle our convenient thoughts that man is basically good? Moses adds, “And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” (Gen. 6:6) You would think he was writing about 2017!
But then look at this. After the Flood we are told, “The Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Gen. 8:21) Man was in trouble. Man is still in trouble. Man in his arrogance hates God, rejects God, or else re-creates God to make man feel good – a convenient God.
Jesus said that, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” He is either God or a sandwich short of a picnic.
Jesus did not come here to be our heavenly therapist. Wouldn’t that be convenient? He came to die an inconvenient death in our place. Man could not save himself, so the 2nd person of the Trinity obediently fulfilled the Father’s plan.
In our Epistle Peter declares, “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.” (Acts 2:32-33)
Some years ago, a Pastor by the name of Timothy Smith wrote of a life experience that happened to a man by the name of Kenneth Gibble. He wrote:
“Kenneth Gibble spent his after school hours as a child in the feed mill where his dad worked. He loved playing games of pretend with the feed bags becoming in his imagination hills and valleys, boulders and dark caves to hide inside.
“Sometimes one of the workers would come into the warehouse where Kenneth was playing. He could spy on the worker without being seen. He was the sheriff waiting to spring out and arrest the outlaw.
“As Kenneth got older he began to realize that his pretend game of hiding in the feed mill represented his understanding of God. God is the one who stays hidden, spying on little children, watching them from a distance. ‘You had to be at least a little afraid of this God,’ Kenneth says, ‘because you could never get away from such a One. God could look inside your head and read every thought.’”
Pastor Smith then made this wise observation: “Many parents through the years have used similar tactics on their children. ‘God is watching you. He sees when you do something wrong.’”
Of course, we know differently. The only “distance” God put in our lives was that regarding hell. He removed it through Christ’s suffering and death at Calvary. He is not just watching us, He is interacting with us. He reveals His love and guidance through Scripture. He comes in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to embrace us as His own. This is the Trinitarian Direction: Not an aloof God who is conveniently in our life at times and at other times is not. But – the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ever present and leading us to our eternal home.
That comes through in these words of assurance, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (v. 20) And He is as we seek to fulfill the Great
Commission. And it won’t always be convenient in a world of self-worship and the questioning of moral absolutes. But the Lord is there, just like He was for Noah and his family after the flood. The Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit love you and lead you to make a difference for the Lord’s Kingdom. Amen.

Bulletin Announcements

June 11, 2017

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Matthew 28:19-20:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”  Behold the threefold Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  This is the Name we are baptized into.  We have been made a part of God’s family.  And so we are now called to live lives that are in harmony with our new family: we are to be godly, to live in God’s image.  As God is loving, and kind, and generous – so are we called to be.

NEED A RIDE? If you are unable to drive to church, we have an option that is available.  Please speak with Pastor who has the details.  Thank you.

OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Choir Room which is located on the 2nd level (the west side).

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m.  In conjunction with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we are studying about that time period with “The Word Endures: Lessons From the Lives of Powerful Politicians”.

CAN YOU HELP?  We have a sign-up on the table in the narthex for Summer Sunday School.  The dates and lessons are listed.  We would like to have someone covering and to give Sarah Lange a break for the summer.  Once you sign-up, please speak with Sarah who will have the lesson for you.  Thank you for helping in this way.

NEXT SUNDAY is the deadline for items to be submitted for the JULY NEWSLETTER.  Mandy Kluender is our Editor for the church newsletter and any announcements you want to be published in the Newsletter should be submitted to her at mgkluender@hotmail.com or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

NEW CHURCH SIGN:  In celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and with inspiration from Martin Luther, Good Shepherd will be “posting” a new church sign on the south side near the lower parking lot.  Parts will be interchangeable and be used for Outreach to our community.  Congregation involvement will include creative ideas for the signage and gifts toward the purchase.  Today you have an opportunity to take home a jar and fill it with coinage and bills.  The end of our collection will be Reformation Sunday, October 29, 2017.  We were already blessed with a sizeable gift so we are looking for $5,000.00 to complete the project.  May God bless!

THE JUNE FRIDAY MOVIE NIGHT will be held on June 30th at 6:30 p.m.  The feature movie that will be shown is “WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL”.  This movie was inspired by a true story.  “When The Game Stands Tall” tells the remarkable journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De LaSalle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151 – game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport.  When then the streak is broken, and tragedy strikes the team, “Coach Lad” must teach his players – and the entire town – that it’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up.  Join us for another great movie, delicious food and wonderful fellowship.  There is plenty of room in the church.

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS:  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign-up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Look Back, See What God Has Done” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Exodus 19:2-8.  God not only kept His side of the bargain – He kept our side of the bargain, too.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Bulletin Announcements

June 4, 2017

NEED A RIDE? If you are unable to drive to church, we have an option that is available.  Please speak with Pastor who has the details.  Thank you.

OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL meets at 9:15 a.m. in the Choir Room which is located on the 2nd level (the west side).

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS meets in the basement at 9:15 a.m.  In conjunction with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation we are studying about that time period with “The Word Endures: Lessons From the Lives of Powerful Politicians”.

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Acts 2:1:  “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.” Pentecost is the Old Testament harvest festival – it happens around the time when the wheat and oats are ready to be brought in.  Of course, this was a picture and foreshadowing of the great harvest of humankind that God means to bring in through the preaching of His Word.  God gives the seed, and God brings about the harvest.   From first to last, in things temporal and things eternal, we stand only by His grace.

PRAYER TIME:  We will meet for “Prayer Time” this coming Friday, June 9th from 7-8:00

NEW CHURCH SIGN:  In celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and with inspiration from Martin Luther, Good Shepherd will be “posting” a new church sign on the south side near the lower parking lot.  Parts will be interchangeable and be used for Outreach to our community.  Congregation involvement will include creative ideas for the signage and gifts toward the purchase.  Today you have an opportunity to take home a jar and fill it with coinage and bills.  The end of our collection will be Reformation Sunday, October 29, 2017.  We were already blessed with a sizeable gift so we are looking for $5,000.00 to complete the project.  May God bless!

“MARTIN LUTHER – THE IDEA THAT CHANGED THE WORLD”:  We met our quota on tickets and the movie is going to be shown at the Wehrenberg Cinema this coming  Wednesday, June 7th, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  We still have the link on our website: goodshepherdblm@frontier.com if you want to order tickets.  The ticket website is available up until four hours before the movie is shown.  Once all the tickets are sold; no more will be available.  We will have prayers and a brief Q and A after the movie.

FELLOWSHIP HOSTS:  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign-up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Never Alone” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Matthew 28:16-20.  You can be certain about the place to meet God, His plan of salvation, and His presence  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Stewardship Corner June 2017

One of the best known and beloved psalms is Psalm 23, the Shepherd Psalm.  There we learn that the Lord is our Shepherd.  And since He is our Shepherd, we will not want.  We will not suffer want because the Lord, our Shepherd, will lead us to green pastures and beside still waters.  In other words, the Lord, our Shepherd, will provide for all that we need in both body and soul.

Yet, we live as though this is not the case.  We live as though we actually suffer from want, that the Lord, our Shepherd, will not provide for all that we need.  And thus, we live as though the Lord is not our Shepherd.  And that means that we live as though we are not the Lord’s sheep.

How do we do this?  We do it when we put anything else before Him and His provision for us.  When we think that going to work is more important than receiving the gifts that He won for us on the cross, a violation of the First and Third Commandments.  We do it when we fail to give generously of the first fruits of what the Lord has provided for us because we think we don’t know what the future will bring, even though He has promised that He will lead us to green pastures and still waters.  We do it when we think that the Lord is only in the business of helping those who will help themselves, we do this because we have a mind set on earthly, temporal things and not on heavenly, eternal things.  We do this because we have stopped hearing the call of our Shepherd, which comes through His Word.

The Word of God is how our Shepherd calls us to himself.  Through that Word, the Holy Spirit gathers and enlightens us with His gifts.  Through that Word, we are kept holy and nourished in the one true faith, the faith that follows our Shepherd wherever He leads us.  He promises to lead you to your true home, to the land flowing with milk and honey, to a better country, not of this world, but a heavenly one.

And so, here’s the good news:  The Lord is your Shepherd still, even, and especially, for wayward sheep.  For Jesus seeks and saves those who are lost.  He finds the lost sheep and carries them back to the fold.  He is the Shepherd that lays down his life for His sheep.  The Lord is your Shepherd.  Let us live then as His sheep.

Celebrating June 2017

Birthdays

Paula Hardy 6/2
Jordan Doddek 6/3
Oliver Mosier 6/5
Brad Gerike 6/6
Diane Benjamin 6/7
Deborah Huber 6/7
Eric Orr 6/7
Mike Field 6/8
Kent Warren 6/11
Penny Culp 6/13
Tracee Martin 6/13
William McNeely 6/14
Chris Patterson 6/14
Richard Ross 6/14
Ruth Gerike 6/15
Marlene Hitch 6/16
Isabella Kessler 6/18
Erin Dirks 6/21
Eugene Fuller 6/23
Steve Davis 6/29
Martha Prescher 6/29
Bryan Reichert 6/30

Baptismal Birthdays

Craig Culp 6/1
Dorothy Herberts 6/1
Doris Hoffman 6/1
Harriet Campbell 6/2
Morris Dale 6/3
Brad Gerike 6/7
Diane Benjamin 6/19
Gerald Semelka 6/20
Terry Trost 6/28

Pastor’s Notes June 2017

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Throughout the centuries, the relation between Islam and Christianity has been a challenge.  Within a hundred years after the prophet’s death, Muslim armies had conquered Spain and penetrated into France, only to be stopped at the battle of Tours in 732.  We think also of the Crusades to win the Holy Land back from the Muslims.  In Martin Luther’s day the Turkish Muslims menaced Europe from the east.  In the original German of the hymn “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast In Thy Word,” the Reformer prayed, “put a stop to the murder by the pope and Turk.”

Today the struggle continues.  It is not to be won with weapons or money.  Rather, victory is in the Word of God and prayer, as Christians are urged to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3) and “take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).  We as Christians should also know something about Islam in order to refute some of their beliefs.  We might even read the Qur’an so that we better understand their teachings.

The Qur’an urges Mohammad himself, “ask forgiveness of thy sin” (Sura 40:55).  Yet nowhere does it mention sin in connection with Jesus.  The Qur’an offers a fallible prophet who lies buried in Arabia.  The Bible presents a sinless Savior who has conquered death.  The Bible presents an eternal home that is given to us wholly through the merits of Christ Jesus.  As the thirteenth century scholar Riccoldo da Montecroce wrote in his refutation of the Qur’an (Confutatio Alcorani, which Luther translated into German and which is now available in English), “The fact is:  Christ lives, Mohammad is dead.”  A former Muslim from Iraq put it this way, “Allah calls on Muslims to sacrifice their sons so that they can go to paradise; God sacrificed His Son so that we can go to heaven.”

In Christ,

Pastor

Sermon for May 28, 2017: “Christian Suffering.”

 

 

May 28, 2017                                                                                     Text:  1 Peter 4:16-17

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

Is there anyone here who doesn’t ask the question why there is suffering in our world?  Why does the Christian suffer?  When we see problem after problem pile on our Christian friends and loved ones or even upon us we begin to wonder what God is thinking.  What is the plan?

We can tell our kids all the reasons in the world why they need a shot but it doesn’t make the pain in their face any easier.  But who do they look to for comfort?  Dad and mom.  Comfort comes not in knowing the reason why.  Comfort comes in knowing the comforter.

We have that Comforter when we suffer.  He helps us to glorify His name even as we deal with the rough patches in front of us.  This morning we examine . .

“CHRISTIAN SUFFERING”

The text begins, “If anyone suffers as a Christian…” (v. 16a)  We make this distinction.  All people suffer in this fallen, sinful world.  This is suffering because of our Christ connection.  Our text focuses on this type.

Do we suffer because of our Christ connection?  Yes, in some ways it is getting worse each day.  But no, when I think of the martyrs around the world.  We still have our freedom to worship and come together to hear God’s Word.  We are not meeting in secret.  But maybe just maybe in our school or workplace we have to downplay our Christianity.  Dan Harman wrote it correctly, “So long as Jesus was misunderstood He was followed by the crowd.  When they came to really understand Him, they crucified Him.”  After all, why did He die on the cross?  It wasn’t bad timing or a bunch of nuts with a vendetta.  He died for our awful, God-hating sin.

Without the knowledge of sin there is no understanding of Jesus.  Without the constant reminder we grow complacent and self-righteous.  The Christian claims the Christ of Calvary, the empty tomb, and all that means.

So Peter speaks specifically to the Christians.  “Let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” (v. 16b)  The Lord said in Matthew we are blessed when people insult and persecute and speak falsely against us because of our Christian faith.

Dr. G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “The world hates Christian people, that is, if it sees Christ in them.  The measure in which the world agrees with us and says we are really a fine type of Christian…is the measure in which we are unlike Christ.”  Doesn’t that disturb you?  The Lord isn’t asking us to be offensive or to go out and harass people – He simply calls us to take a stand and make a commitment.

Peter tells us not to be ashamed but glorify God that we have that name.  The love of the world is great and overpowering – the desire to maintain intimate friendships with the pagan so alluring – that the willingness to take the heat for Jesus causes shame.  If that’s the case, then prepare yourselves for the next thought from the Apostle.

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (v. 17)

Judgment begins with the family of God?  You bet.  Right now…here, on earth.  The church’s suffering is not blind chance – suffering as a Christian pulls us ever upward and upward focuses our attention on the things above.  As the Proverb says, “If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and sinner!” (Prov. 11:31)

We are going to have trials and tribulations.  But our Lord is not going to leave us alone.  He comforts our valleys with his eternal Word.  In our despair, our baptism reminds us we are children of God.  In our weakness when we want to chuck it all away because we think we can’t handle anymore, he comes in bread and wine, body and blood and provides strength for the days ahead.  This is why we gather on a weekly basis.  We need these means of grace because they let us face a world that is at each other’s throats.  A populace that wants to do everything politically correct except stand with the Christian soul.  One of the beautiful things the Lord provides is life experience.  Any amount of time on earth and you been through the valley, taken on the coaster ride or been in the depths.  But you have come out on the other side because of your faith in a Savior that loves you and will never, ever leave you.

Recently when Andy Benjamin was in the hospital in Peoria I made my way there on I-74 westbound.  As I approached East Peoria a truck in the eastbound lanes was on fire.  Traffic was starting to back up.  I went and saw Andy and left about two hours later thinking the lanes had been cleared.  As I approached the accident, the police were directing cars off of the interstate into East Peoria.

Now at this point I could have been completely lost.  But over the years our boys had ballgames in East Peoria and Morton.  I knew I could get on highway 150 to Morton and safely back on the interstate.  This is what I did and I was back in Bloomington in a reasonable amount of time.  This was the Lord’s doing.  He gave me a previous life experience, which allowed me to get through the challenge.

Our lives are like that.  We meet our Christian suffering because we know there is a God-ordained route that will lead us home.  An eternal home where there will be no more suffering or pain.  We experience a splash of suffering across our all too often colorful, worldly lives because it draws us back to the Cross of Jesus.  Reminds us that that we are Heaven’s people.  God’s own even in suffering.

Amen.