So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
“I am a man of few words” The April fool’s joke of the day! 😊
For my family that knows me best…this is a true joke. I write this Epistle on an interesting day…April 1st. I hope you continue the tradition of playing April fools jokes on each other, your families and friends. Especially today, we need to laugh, have fun, and pray.
During this trying and challenging time, I pray for both faith and wisdom. I pray for guidance, strength, and leadership. I find myself in search of something important to do for our church and community. Then I realize I must just stay the course and just do the things I normally do. Give of my time, talent and treasure in any way possible. As an active Rotarian the moto of Rotary is “Service above Self” and God has blessed me in this way and I’m so thankful for it.
I find myself listening to Christian music (Radio station 107.1) more than ever. This radio station is awesome, so if you have not done so already, check it out! We also have been able to watch church on the internet. Our youngest daughter, JoAnn introduced Lonna and I to her Church in Springfield (via on-line) along with another Church she follows in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Going to Church “on-line” has been interesting, but fun. On Sunday, Lonna and I watched HOPE on-line and it was great.
I’m a Banker/Financial Advisor and in that role, I plan, prepare and organize. I take this work-place habit home with me and drive my family crazy with this skill. I am constantly asking my children “Are you prepared, do you have food, toilet paper, etc.…. are you ready if we need to hunker down for 30 days?” I probably remind them too often…is daily too much? 😊
“Don’t worry about it, pray about it,
God is bigger than the coronavirus, don’t be afraid.”
JoAnn had some drive time the other day and listened to a long sermon on-line. She then sent me this text. How can a 20-year-old be so wise? She takes after her mother…she wrote: Dad, I was listening to this sermon on my way to Springfield and I felt like I should send it to you. God has given you a spirit of strength and protection that has led our family to so many blessings, but I think sometimes that ability to protect and stay strong can become a burden if you lose sight of where it came from. God instilled you with a spirit of strength and protection so you could be a faithful leader of this family and your community, He didn’t give you a spirit of worry and fear and uncertainty. Those feelings are just the side effects of your gifts to protect and lead when you may not be fully trusting God. When your strength comes from the Lord, nothing can come against you. No virus, no recession, no shortage of toilet paper, nothing! Don’t let the gifts God has instilled in you be overrun by the burdens that come along with them. Trust God with the burden, you focus on the blessing.
So, I think you should set aside some time to watch this sermon. it’s long, but it’s worth it! I’m praying that it speaks to you and releases you whatever fear, worry, or uncertainty you may be facing. You can watch it on your phone or you can call me to help you set it up on the tv, you can watch it with mom or you can watch it alone, you can take notes or you can just listen, but I think it will speak to you. Love you Dad. 🤍🤍🤍
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41: 10
I miss Church…I miss being with you and seeing you on Sundays. But we need to be wise and take the necessary precautions and stay home. We need to pray the prayer of protection found in Psalms 91 daily. I encourage all believers to speak the promises of God’s protection over yourself and your entire household and church.
Hundreds of times in the Bible, God tells us to not worry, to stop their fears, to be brave and courageous. When everyone else is running for cover, we choose to follow God into the fire. Jesus told his followers not to worry about tomorrow, but to focus their mental energy on the problems of today. Do you currently have coronavirus? Probably not. Do you know anyone with coronavirus? I do not yet! We’re following the command of Jesus and choosing not to engage in fear despite what might be around the corner. Instead, we choose to worship, to give time, attention, and gratitude back to God.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but one of power, love, and sound judgment. – 2 Timothy 1: 7
So, be peaceful and do not fear! Tomorrow, in part two of this EPISTLE, I will be bringing you a snapshot of our church financial status, share what we view as our primary fiscal concerns during this challenging time, and will outline current actions taken by St Paul leadership to assist us in striving to stay the course.
Stay tuned and bless you!
Dan Nielsen, Council President
Church office phone: 515-462-4270
Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867