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Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 English Standard Version (ESV)

“So if God is all knowing and God cares about us, why does God tell us to ask? Why doesn’t God just do it and stop our suffering now?” That was the question the 22-year-old mom asked to me. She did not know why God had made her life so tough. Her boyfriend was on and off with drugs. Her baby had so many health problems. And now the car had broken which meant she could not get easily to work in Spirit Lake. I gave her a list of folks that might offer to carpool with her. And then I was quiet. Can I pray with you anyway? I asked. So we did. Right there on the street.

All a person’s ways seem right to them, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. –Proverbs 21: 2-3

So a new year has begun, our annual meeting is over. The long winter between Christmas and Spring is starting. Each of us has our opinions on what is to come, on what is best and how to do it. Let us not forget this gem of wisdom from scripture—we think we have the plans, we think our ways are the best, but it is God’s plans that we must be about, it is God’s love we must show each other. Let me ask you to seriously take some time this month, the month of love in the secular world, and reflect on the real love of Christ in your life. How are you living into your discipleship?

From the Pastor’s Desk…

The other day I had a phone call.  The young lady was distraught because she was without a job, without food, and without money.  She had a kid on the way and a boyfriend who had skipped out.   Her rent was due and her utilities were next.  She was relieved that they wouldn’t turn off her power in the winter, but worried nonetheless.  After three hours connecting her to resources and listening to her and just being with her, she was more at rest, able to see at least a game plan ahead.  Her rest was not complete calm nor was it without worry, but it was trust in God.  Psalm 55 is this same story.  Go get out your Bible and read it.  I’ll wait right here until you get done with that……Ok, so see how the psalm starts—all panic filled and despairing and for good reason.  The things were not going right, the rumours were flying, the vultures circling.  The Psalmist just knows things are bad.  And the call goes out to God—where are you?  If I could, it says in verse 6, I would sprout wings and fly away to a resting spot.  But I can’t and they are closing in.

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