“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
All things work together for good, and in all things God works for good for those who love him and for those who have been called according to his purpose. Isn’t that awesome news? We know that verse and many of us have memorized it as a promise to help us through difficult times. Yet, many still ask “then why do bad things happen to good people” and “since bad things happen to those who follow Jesus, how can you say all things are working together for good”? The bad things in every case with our Father are used by him to prune us, forge us and shape us into the child he desires us to be. He is indeed in all these things no matter how bad and difficult and terrible they are to form us more and more into the image and likeness of his Son Jesus who endured immeasurable suffering on our behalf. The scriptures assure us that: “Son though he was, he (Jesus) learned obedience from what he suffered.” (Heb 5:8)
What are we learning through what we suffer? Are we by faith confident that Jesus is with us in all our difficulties working for good as we love him and faithfully follow him? He promises that He is with us always.
Love in Jesus, Gerry
P.S. Thank you all for your prayers for Heidi and for those who offered to help with meals and financial assistance. God is SO Good and you all have blessed Heidi, her family and Pam and me beyond measure. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
P.P.S. Abigail Wanninger will be with us this Sunday to share her testimony of her summer mission to Peru! You won’t want to miss it!
This year, much of my time has been spent trying to raise first $4,000.00 and then another $20,000.00 to get much needed medical equipment shipped to our sister Diocese in Kibondo, Tanzania.
Thanks be to God I believe as I write that we are almost if not completely there. The first $4,000.00 was spend to send someone over there from Project C.U.R.E. in Denver last August. Then $20,000.00 is needed to ship half a million dollars of medical equipment. That equipment is being gathered together as I write and our hope is that the last of the money will be in our Friends of Kibondo account in the next week or two so that we can ship it by Easter or before!
Our dear friends in Kibondo serving the Lord along side Bishop Sospeter Ndenza are doing wonderfully well in spreading the Gospel as they have started a number of new churches each having multiple outpost congregations. They are growing and praising the Lord. Of course their physical needs are always immense. With civil conflict running rampant in neighboring Burundi, over 150,000 refugees have
crowded into Kibondo, a city of only 25,000 people. This strain on infrastructure and resources has been huge. The United Nations has set up headquarters on the Diocesan property and the Diocese is helping in every way possible. Bishop Sospeter has been permitted to offer worship among the refugees in the camps and has seen hundreds baptized and confirmed. Praise the Lord for how He brings such great good out of such difficulty.
An earthquake ruined Bishop Sospeter’s home, making it necessary for he and his family to have to move to a small village house. There has been a drought lasting long into what should be the rainy season meaning food will be in short supply as crops are devastated. Please hold these dear Brothers and Sisters in prayer and give thanks for all God is doing among them and pray for provision in every regard.
Blessings in Jesus, Gerry
Epiphany's holiday service schedule is as follows:
“After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” Luke 2:21
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
What is in a name? If you were privileged to have a child did you take great care in choosing his or her name? What about your name; did your parents have a purpose in choosing it? Is the name your parents chose for you the name you believe God calls you by?
The “name" in Jesus' time meant far more than simply a “label." One's name in Jesus’ day carried the meaning and purpose of the person's entire being and nature. Jesus' name means Savior, Son of God, God is With Us and more. His name sums up who he was created to be, who he became and who he is still today.
What is your substance, character and nature? How would you describe God’s purpose in creating the unique person you have become? Are you and I fulfilling all that God has intended for us in the name he has given us? What is your name that God calls you by?
Looking forward to worshiping with you this Sunday on the first day of the New Year as we celebrate “The Holy Name of Jesus”.
Blessings and Joy in Him,
“‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’" Matthew 1:23
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
So it begins. Another Christmas is on the way. In the midst of all the shopping, buying, and bustle of the season at its heart is this message and this child born to be King. Jesus. Jesus is Emmanuel! “God with us." How different would life be without this man? I can’t even imagine!
When Jesus finished His ministry and time on earth the last thing he said to those following Him was “… I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Jesus is with you. What great news that is. Jesus is with all who surrender to Him.
May your days be filled with wonder and joy as you anticipate the celebration of Christmas this year.
See you Sunday to be filled once more with the Joy of the Lord.
Blessings and joy in Jesus, Gerry