Psalm 126 has brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart! It is a Psalm of Ascents. God’s people would pray/sing these words as they walked “up” to the temple in Jerusalem to worship. No matter the direction from which one comes, the walk is always upward to the highest point in Israel, Jerusalem and the temple. The words of the psalm flows from thankful hearts of those returned from exile in Babylon. We are marching with God’s blessing to worship together again in our temple. Yes, still a dream, but God has done great things for us and He is moving us ever forward with joy! May this video psalm fill us with hope! Love in Jesus, Pastor Craig
What a beautiful day! Spring has sprung! Closed in our homes, how we wish that we would all be sprung from our confinement! As spring has us filled with excitement for the summer to come, what we hear happening in states all around has us expectant to be out-and-about, gathering again.
This COVID season has been tragic and seemingly without end; yet God has been good and with His presence has blessed each of us. An important lesson I will take beyond this season is patience. Take a deep breath, breathe in His love and forgiveness so that with clear heart and mind the fullness of each moment can be appreciated as God’s gift. Our gracious God is at work in all things and in His time he brings about all things needful. He has taken care of our salvation in the sending of His Son! He is already at work to move us forward to life together again.
With the gift of patience and with plenty of time together at home, Fumiko and I have been blessed with each other. We have spent our time at the dining room table, each facing our laptops. Sure, we both have had lots to do. What a joy, though, to do it together! We have enjoyed cooking meals, each doing a part so that it comes together into a delicious whole. Perhaps a Sunday tradition for the Lutz’s moving forward. Even household chores aren’t so awful when they’re done as a team!
It has been the lesson of the cardinals for us. No, I’m not talking about the St. Louis Cardinals (though I DO miss baseball). Just outside the dining room window is our bird feeder. We have especially been visited by a pair of cardinals. A beautiful reflection of God’s creative power, they have become special to us. Fumiko calls them “her” cardinals. Whenever the feeder is empty the male comes and sings his song to let us know. As soon as it’s filled, the pair is there feeding each other. It almost looks as if they’re kissing! With a little research we came to find out that cardinals select a mate for life. They work together to build their nest, the male bringing the material while the female puts it together. Especially during this period the male will bring her food and actually feed her. Yes, God even has a plan to bless the cardinals with each other.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Mt. 6: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?… Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Our heavenly Father has given us Jesus! Our lives are eternally secure in Him. He has blessed us with relationship: our spouse, family and friends. And we have one another, brothers and sisters in Christ, to love and encourage each other in our task of walking with Jesus. Our Father has a plan for us to worship and hug and share in person again! Know the Savior and my love. He has given us Jesus and each other. Pastor Craig
“As governors are trying to figure out how to ease back in to a new normal, please remember:
🛑 Some people don’t agree with the state opening…. that’s okay. Be kind.
🏡 Some people are still planning to stay home…. that’s okay. Be kind.
🦠 Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening….that’s okay. Be kind.
💰 Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their
homes….that’s okay. Be kind.
👩⚕Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off….that’s okay. Be kind.
📝 Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job….that’s okay. Be kind.
😷 Some will wear masks for weeks….that’s okay. Be kind.
💅 Some people will rush out to get the hair or nails done…. that’s okay. Be kind.
❤ The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay. Be kind.
We each have a different story. If you need to stay home, stay home. But be kind.
If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and be kind!
Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story. We all are in different mental states than we were months ago. So remember, be kind.”
We believers in Jesus have special empowerment to “be kind!” Galatians 5:23-25 says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Let the Spirit bear fruit through us as we lead the way in being kind. We walk with the Risen Savior who is kindness in the flesh! You are loved by Him and me! Pastor Craig