Slow Down – You’re Moving Too Fast!

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

One of the pets we used to have was a gerbil. One of his favorite things to do was to get into his spinning wheel and run and run and run and run! I often times wondered if he realized that after all that work. . . he was going absolutely NOWHERE!!

When we occasionally slow down from our hectic schedules that are filled with appointments, errands, chores and responsibilities. . . do you find oourselves like this gerbil - - always running, often exhausted but never seeming to be making any real progress?

I’m afraid that we are so busy and so completely involved in our own hectic lives that we are no longer hearing the quiet, gentle voice that is calling out to us – the voice that we all need to hear every day. So let's stop, take a deep breath and listen. It's getting closer. Can you hear it?

Ah, there it is... "Be still," says the voice. But that's not all it says. Listen a little more carefully. "Be still and" continues the voice. "Be still and WHAT?!" you ask as you impatiently tap your foot. Really now, we don't have all day to sit and listen. We want to know what the voice has to say, and we want to know now. The voice concludes: "Be still and know that I am God."

Whoa! That should have stopped us in our tracks. It stopped me in mine. After all, I've been so busy and so wrapped up in me and my life that I haven't always taken the time to "be still" and see who God truly is and what God means for me. I haven't always taken the time to remember that he is my God and Savior.

And what do we hear and see when we slow down and see that our almighty God is watching over us? We see our God who created us and we see all the things that God created for us that make us stop and “be still” such as jaw dropping sunsets, more food than we know what to do with, oceans filled with so many sea creatures we can't even find then all, stars and galaxies that are filled with what seems like an infinite amount of stars and then there are all those gentle sleeping babies. Seeing those things, we once again know he is God.

When life gets really busy at work, we need to “be still” and realize that it is our God who has given us the intellect to hold our job and the ability to do our job faithfully and to the best our ability. He has given us our job that pays our bills, puts food on our table, and provides for our family and the many possessions that are part of our lives.

When life gets really busy at home and we are starting to think that our furniture came with a layer of dust and the piles of laundry are getting as tall as Mt. Everest and who really knows which kid needs to be at which activity at which time, we need to "be still" and know that it is our God who has given us this beautiful (and often times hectic) family and home as a gift.

And the thing that we seem to miss the most when we don’t take the time to “be still” is that God actually loved us enough to send his Son to die on a cross to pay for all the times we have sinfully been too busy and too wrapped up in our own lives to thank and praise God for our forgiveness and eternal life in heaven.

So no matter how fast the “wheel of life” is spinning, I pray that we by God’s grace and strength will try to "be still" more often. I pray that we will take the time to gather around God’s gracious Word and Sacraments and to be more aware that he is our God as we give him all thanks and praise. Have A Blessed Thanksgiving!

— Pastor Gartner


Church News

Bible Classes

We started two new Bible Classes. Pastor Gartner started a new class on Sunday mornings which is making use of the new Synod video, "To The Ends of The Earth". Through this movie which is based on Paul's missionary work in the city of Philippi, we will see how God wants to use all of us to reach out to the many lost souls of this world with God's saving Gospel. Pastor Frey started a new class on Monday mornings at 8:00 am or Tuesday evenings at 5:30 pm. Based on the book "The Lutheran Narrow Middle Following The Scriptural Road" by Pastor Daniel M. Deutschlander. This study will demonstrate how human reason must not be used to override the words of Scripture. We'll look at a number of seemingly contradictory teachings in the Bible and see how to apply them to our lives by letting each teaching stand alone, without trying to resolve them by the use of our reason or human logic. Please plan to join us on Sunday mornings and on Monday or Tuesday as we seek to grow stronger in our faith and in our Christian living.

WELS Interactive Faith

On November 7th a New Interactive Faith began. Interactive Faith is an online Bible study led by WELS Pastors/Professors. This streaming and interactive study will be held on Wednesday evenings in November at 6:00 or 8:00 pm. Don’t worry—if you miss a class you can always watch it later. This fall, Pastor Eric Roecker, director of the WELS Commission on Evangelism, will use video vignettes from the new movie To the Ends of the Earth to guide our discussion. Our prayer is that these lessons will make you more confident in your conversations with those who do not yet know their Savior.

For more information, click the link below.

https://cad.welsrc.net/download-cad/interactive-faith-to-the-ends-of-the-earth/

Thanksgiving Worship and Pie Social

Our Thanksgiving worship services will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21 and at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 22. We pray that all of you will be able to join us in giving thanks to our Lord for all the wonderful gifts he has given us.

After the Wednesday evening service, a pie social will be held in the lower level. Bring a pie and enjoy some time giving thanks with Christian family and friends.

Mid-Week Advent Services

Our Advent mid-week services will be on December 5, 12, 19 at 10:30 am and 7:00 pm. Plan to attend these mid-week services during Advent.

To help us focus this Advent season, the professors at MLC have written devotions for each day of December to help us see who Jesus really is. These devotions are titled, "Names of Jesus". May the Lord bless us as we eagerly await the coming of our Lord and Savior. To access the devotions click the link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1282i0pasalebu2/Advent%20Devotions-2018.pdf?dl=0

Guest Preacher/Bible Study  

Sunday, December 9 we will have a guest preacher and Bible Study leader. The Synod’s Friendly Counselor for South Asia will lead us through his sermon and in his Bible Class to see the work being done in this part of the world. All are encouraged to join us for both Worship and Bible Study. We will be collecting a special offering for the work in these countries on both December 2nd and 9th.

Adopt-A-Family 

Our congregation will be adopting families for Christmas from our congregation. If you would like to give a monetary gift, the money will be used to purchase appropriate gifts. Please give any money to Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner by Monday, December 3.