Our Creative Creator

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them; And God blessed them. Genesis 1:27

 

Every time I visit someone in the hospital I marvel at the technology of modern medicine and engineering, the intelligence to invent and discover, and the skills to apply the knowledge with wisdom and compassion. I also have a growing appreciation of the faith of so many in the health sciences that humbly acknowledge that they are but stewards of God’s gifts. And indeed they are, for God is the creative Creator. He not only has made us as marvelous images of his own being, but He continues to pour into his people the capacity to grow in their knowledge, skills, and wisdom.

It is not just in the area medicine where we find this truth.  I am astonished at what agricultural, automotive, and aeronautic engineers and craftsmen and women can and have accomplished. That so few things go wrong, in view of the great number of opportunities for error, is a wonder. The recent transportation disasters that have been in the news seem to be much less about mechanical failures than about human failures in operation or maintenance. Of course, God’s gifts extend beyond medicine and transportation. Every honest human endeavor reflects the creative Creator’s image in our life.

The greatest marvel is that our God continues to bless us through the abilities that He has given us even though we misuse them and don’t deserve the blessing. When things falter, it is we who have become inattentive, careless, or don’t take the advice of people blessed with the wisdom that can help us. Though we are made in God’s image, we are not perfect reflections of it, and indeed, because of sin, are unable to be. Yet, God is always more eager to bless than we are to believe and receive. While were still sinners, Paul says, (and because we still are) God sent Jesus to take away the eternal penalty of our sin. He came to let us know that God still considers us His blessed creation. He came to make us a new creation in Christ.

We can, therefore, rejoice that we are wonderfully made in His image, and praise Him for all the temporal blessings that brings.  Even more, we thank Him for the eternal blessings of our ever creative Creator, who daily makes us new Creations in Christ by his ongoing grace.  Use all the skills he has given you to His glory, and receive all the mercy He has given by His grace.

Pastor Tom Konz

 

August 2013 Newsletter

Pastor’s Page

When Past Is Present

On the subject of better understanding and patience of one another, I want to encourage you to think about how our words and actions are often responses to our past. By that, I mean that we may say or do things that may not make much sense in the present context. That’s because we sometimes act in response to past experiences, and are usually not aware of it.  That explains how and why we display certain patterns of speech and ideas that reflect our parents and siblings.  Most of that is just what makes us interesting.  If we know each other’s family it makes perfect sense.

But sometimes we react out of a traumatic incident or pattern of our past that imprisons us in the present.  Fears that seem to have no explanation can stem from an event that went wrong for us at a vulnerable young age. Experiences that get remembered in our spirit and heart color our outlook and responses to life today.  You know this to be true in your own life, if you think about it.

I am not suggesting that all our memories can or will be healed, or that we should be analyzing each other.  But I am suggesting, by understanding that this goes on in others and in ourselves, that we be patient with each other.  It will help make us less critical and less likely to take offense.

This is not an open excuse to blame all our own regrettable choices on our past.  We can, with help, lessen the impact of our past. By God’s grace, which we both receive and give, the past does not have to be the future.  In Christ, we are, and continue to grow into, a new creation. As we are all growing together, let us walk together in peace.

By God’s Grace, Pastor Tom Konz

Sunday Worship Themes in August

                   August 4       “Living in Heaven on Earth”        Colossians 3: 1-11

                   August 11              “Living By Faith”                 Hebrews 11:1 -16

                   August 18                 “Youth Service”              with Ryan Mitchell

                   August 25             “Missions inTexas”            with Michael Fuchs

 

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

RECYCLING: We received $25 for the youth from aluminum can recycle in the month of July.  Thank you for your support of our youth.  Please continue to bring your aluminum cans to the kitchen by the sanctuary so we can take them to the recycling center.

LUTHERAN HYMNAL FESTIVAL: On Sunday evening, September 29, at 7:00, Lutherans will be filling the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas for the Lutheran Hymn Festival with the theme Christ, Mighty Savior, and Light of All Creation.  The tickets are $13 each if we have 12 or more people attend.   If you have never attended, it is a great opportunity to hear and sing Lutheran hymns sung with gusto to a mighty organ.   It is also a great opportunity to see the Meyerson, which is an impressive place just to look at.  To make reservations, contact Mary Walter – 968-6922 or email waltermary1@gmail.com I will be gone Aug 9-17 and would like to send in our order the week of August 25.  Let me know soon.

CHOIRS: The Chime choirs and the adult choir will have their first practices August 28 and September 4.  Times will be announced later. Then Mary will be gone September 10-25 so the next practice will be October 2.  If you are interested in being a part of either of these groups, let Mary Walter know.  Anyone in the third grade or older is invited to join the chime choir.  For the adult choir, one needs to be at least a freshman in high school.

 

CHURCH WORK DAY: Church wide work day will be August 10th. We will have prayer breakfast at 8:00 a.m.  After breakfast and fellowship, the following items need to be completed.

  • Clean out rain gutters–mainly at Church entrance
  • Add video cable to Nursery
  • Replace light bulbs
  • Install latch strike on Men’s Toilet Partition (FLC)
  • Paint boards at urinal, Men’s Restroom (FLC)
  • Paint picnic tables
  • Repair Storage Buildings
  • Lawn mower maintenance
  • Repair stainless steel cart
  • Miscellaneous maintenance

Bring your own tools!

 

MEALS ON WHEELS

August 2:    Walter

August 9:    Sparkman

August16:   West

August23:   Quade

August 30:  Pack

 

SERVING FAITH IN JULY

Worship

8:15 a.m. Service

Usher: Larry Angerhofer & Jimmy Pack

Greeter: Bob & Sheila Small

Altar: Rosanne Keilers

Acolyte:     4th Jamee, 11th Alex, 18th OPEN, 25th OPEN  

 

10:45 a.m. Service

Usher: Neal Lovin & Jeff Stroebel

Greeter: Lee Barlow

Altar: Rosanne Keilers

Acolyte:     4th Ethan, 11th Kylie, 18th Landry, 25th Rett   

If you are at a service and the scheduled server is not present, please step up to volunteer.

Brunch Schedule

                   Snack                  Snack                  Snack                  Drink/Server

 4                Simpson              Small                    Nelson                 Pack

11                Carrasco              Sparkman            Nehring               Tate

18                VanWright           Weber                  Fredrickson         Hanna

25               Bills                      Angerhofer                   Carlson                Cameron

 

If you are unable to serve on a Sunday, please find a replacement and let the office know.

Serving includes set up, clean up, and drinks.

SMALL GROUP MINISTRIES

          VBS Program: The beginning of a new month will bring the end to Faith’s largest outreach program of the year. Our Tell it on the Mountain VBS ministry will conclude Thursday evening, August 1st. We hope you will join us for the final program beginning at 7:30 pm. Come see us proclaim: Jesus Christ is Lord in scripture and song. Please be praying all week for this important ministry and join us on any evening your are able. I promise you will leave blessed!

SUNDAY SCHOOL

Thursday, August 1st-VBS Program 730 pm

 

Sunday, August 25th-New Sunday classes will begin for children ages 3-18.

 

Friday, August 23rd-SPLASHVILLE-Dine, swim and fellowship with Our church and Faith School families. Start your school year off on a Cool note!

FAITH LUTHERAN YOUTH

Sunday, August 18th-Youth Sunday

Come worship with our youth in both services as they share the messages

OfCampShilohand National Youth Gathering with us.

 

Monday, August 26th- First day of school. Please pray for all teachers and Students.

 

Please note: Confirmation classes and FLY Activities will resume on Wednesday, September 4th.

 

I look forward to another great year with the youth of our church, school and community as we “make joyful noise to the Rock of our Salvation”. Psalm 95:1

LUTHERAN WOMEN MISSIONARY LEAUGE NEWS

It’s time for August already?  Really?  Well, your women are planning for a year ahead of great activities so read on and see what’s up:

 

Tuesday, July 30:  Provide the meal for VBS

Monday, Aug. 12thNext Business Meeting 6:00.

Sunday, Aug. 25:  A special LWML Convention Report by Whitney and Marlene

Sunday, Sept. 15:  Progressive Dinner after Church.

Monday, Sept. 16:  6-session Video Bible Study Begins for ALL in Room 6 of FFC.

Sunday, Oct. 6thLWML Sunday

Wednesdays in October: 7:00—Craft nights to get ready for the Annual Craft Fair.

Friday/Saturday Nov. 1-2ndArts/CraftsSale

Sunday, November 24:  Advent Lights

Tuesday, Nov. 26:  Thanksgiving Food Baskets and set up Angel Tree

Sunday, Dec. 22nd:  Christmas Caroling

Sunday, Jan. 26th:  Mission Speaker Lois Tienert on Missions inPoland

Fri/Sat. Feb. 21-22:  Women’s Overnight Retreat

March:  Collect items for Lutheran World Relief

Sunday, Mar. 16th:  Muffins for Missions

Saturday, Mar. 22nd:  Church Garage Sale

Sunday, April 6th:  Lunch/Devotion/Bunco Party

Sunday, May 18th:   Ladies’ Tea Party

Sunday, June 8th:  Church Picnic

and always continuing to help where needed with:

  • Meals for new moms, the bereaved, those recovering from surgery/illness
  • Baby and Wedding Showers
  • Helping to serve for special events
  • Providing cakes and reception for Confirmation and Graduation
  • Collecting Mites to send to mission projects forTexasand Internationally

New DVD Bible Study Starting September 16: Marlene White will lead a Bible Study in Room 6 of the Faith Family Center using a DVD and a workbook. The topic is “Overflowing Abundance” based on Jesus’ feeding of the 5000. Trusting God wit our resources is one of the main themes. This will be viewed on the new 42”TV in Room 6 and is open to all men and women and youth.  A sign up sheet will be up in the narthex in August so that we can order the workbooks needed @ $7.50 each.  Classes will be on Mondays 6:30-8:00 pm on Sept. 16, 30, Oct. 14, 28, Nov. 11, 25. 

 

All are welcome to join us in the joyful service to others.  If you have any questions contact any of the officers:  Lynann Simpson, Marlene White,Whitney Lee, Shirley Febinger,Rachel Moravec, Rosanne Keilers, Cindy Franz and Cheryl Konz.

S.A.I.L

          Nine S.A.I.L. members met with Pastor Tom on July 18th at 10:00am in Room 6 for a Bible study taken from the Lutheran Women’s Quarterly Magazine. Our discussions centered on how wonderfully we are made and that God knows our every detail; we can not hide from Him.  His ever-present loving care for us leads us to rejoice that He forgives us all sins. Through our Baptism because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we will receive everlasting life.

With the cake, peaches and ice cream treat, we helped Ola Faye celebrate her birthday and signed cards for Ola Faye and Betty Kirkland, as well as, sending a get-well card toInge Easterling.

Darleene Hufstutler announced thatTamra Dugger will begin her instructions for anyone who wants to participate in improving physical mobility and balance.  The classes will be on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the narthex from 9-11am from August 13-Sept. 5. Call Darleene at 968-0371 or the church office at 968-2710 to reserve a place.

Once again, the summer includes one meeting each month, so in August we will meet on the 1st.  Please join us at 10:00am in Room 6 for our lively discussions of the Bible and fellowship with coffee and snacks.

BOARD OF EVANGELISM

          Our Board is always encouraged to hear reports of your witnessing to our Faith family and others in our community. We hear about “silent witnessing” by the things you are doing! We hear about “verbal witnessing” by the things that you say and encouragement you give face to face and in print!

 

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  1Corinthians 13:1

 

The Prayer Garden Retreat was weeded thanks to some of our faithful members!

 

Believe. Belong. Be Loved.  posters will be hung above the stage in the Family Center and many of our Board will be taking an active role in Vacation Bible School.                

CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS

 A MATTER OF BALANCE: A Matter of Balance is a program emphasizing practical strategies to improve balance, flexibility and strength in anyone who has concerns about falling or has restrictions in activities due to fall risks.

It is a four week course meeting twice a week.  All study materials are provided by the Texas Dept. of Aging. There is no charge for this course. Instructor Tamra Dugger and male co-instructor will be teaching this class for our congregation members here at our church. The class will take place during August 13th – September 5th in the Narthex from 9AM- 11AM, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information or interested in signing up for the class contact Darlene Hufstutler @254-968-0371.

FINANCIAL REPORTS: can be give upon request.

 

FAITH SCHOOL

Faith School: Ten Years of Serving God’s Children

 

FaithLutheranChurchplanted a seed by startingFaithSchoolin 2003 and now, ten years later, we have seen that seed bear much fruit.  We started with thirteen sweet little three and four-year-old faces who only came a few days a week and by the very next year we were able to share the Gospel with them every day of the week.

 

The need in our community drove the decision to serve toddlers and infants in 2005.  We were blessed to serve nearly 80 children that year!  With much support from our congregation, school families and staff we took our program to the next level by adding our Kindergarten classroom in 2010.  By providing sound curriculum and a loving environment,FaithSchoolequips graduates to move on to public schools as model students and to stand out from the rest.

 

Two years ago the Church Council charged an exploratory committee with researching how we could touch more lives and enrich our ministry.  Based on the committee’s findings and much prayer, our congregation voted to expand our preschool capacity by adding two classrooms (1,200 square feet).

 

Our enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year will be a record 198 children!  This includes part-time, full-time and holiday-only students, as well as twelve babies that we will welcome as new blessings over the next eight months.  The Lord has blessed us with nearly 200 hundred children to care for and love.

 

He knew the plan ten years ago when He sent those first thirteen.  He knew that today we would be sharing His grace and mercy with so many.  We received the blessing of Hebrews 13:20-21 which says,  “May the God of peace….equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

 

We give glory to God for this ministry that He has given to us.

 

Serving Him,

Magan Carrasco

FaithSchoolDirector

 

August Birthdays

Alexandra Cameron     8/1                               Trudy Carlson               8/15

Sherre West                  8/2                                Larry Angerhofer          8/16

Brady Pendleton           8/4                                Charles Simpson           8/19

Lee Barlow                    8/5                                Charlie Carrasco           8/20
Bamma Strohmeyer      8/6                                Bradley Cogburn          8/20

Brett Tarpley                 8/6                                Ronnie Tate                  8/21

Magan Carrasco            8/7                                Amy Curtoys                 8/23

Zoey Tarpley                8/8                               Keith Fredrickson        8/25

David Douglas              8/12                             Martha Fredrickson      8/26

Irene Kelly                    8/14                             Melissa Weber              8/29

 

 

 

WELCOME CONNOR WEAVER AND ZANE OSTERLOH!!

Healing: Physical and Spiritual

Healing: Physical and Spiritual

                                                                                                                                                                                   

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” Matthew 9:6

As the Matthew verse shows us, the Lord who heals is the same Lord who forgives, so it seems reasonable that principles of physical and spiritual healing would be similar.

Whether you go into a clinic or hospital one of the first things you realize is that you are not alone in your suffering. You belong to a community of fellow patients all carrying similar burdens. You are also not alone because people trained to help you are sympathetic, experienced, and committed to your healing.  What you get there you receive treatment in the form of hands-on care, medication, or assurance that can give you hope and confidence. Whether a sudden accident or long term neglect brought you, you are there to get help.  You are also given a prescription and/or advice to follow in order to work on your own healing. Finally, the reality is that not all healings come quickly.  Patience is required when healing takes longer than anticipated. A cure that is quick may not be lasting.

Our road to spiritual healing is similar. When you take your doubts and hurts to the community of Christians you discover you’re not alone. Many others with various spiritual ailments share your pain and also seek help from the Church. Not only can you receive relief from on-site absolution, you also leave with instruction from God’s Word to apply to your life all week. You become part of the healing process as you live out the truths you have heard. As in physical healing, spiritual can take a long time, even a life time.  It may not come in the way we expect it, but God answers our prayers according to what we need, no according to our wants or schedules. He is more interested in our growing in faith than in our having fewer challenges.

So in your time of suffering, know you are not alone, apply God’s Word to your situation, and wait on him to answer.   Pastor Tom

Prayer in Time of Need

And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you,

 and you shall glorify me.” Psalm 50:15

In the 1994 movie, The Little Rascals, some of the boys are seized with the urgency of putting out a fire.  Panicked by the emergency situation, Buckwheat asks the others, “Quick, what’s the number for 911?”  It’s not hard to become confused under stress and miss what is obvious. One of the most obvious responses in times of trouble is prayer.  Yet, it seems at times that we are reluctant to pray, either because we don’t know God’s number, we feel unworthy to pray, or for a number of other reasons. Some people don’t want to “bother” God. Actually, one of God’s biggest complaints against the Israelites was not that they bothered him too much, but that they didn’t bother him enough. Several thoughts about prayer may encourage us to pray more often and more boldly.

First, it is a command. What are we saying about God when we don’t readily come to him in prayer?  “He is too small for my big problem. His answer will not be the one I want (and I know better than he does). He doesn’t care about me.  My problem is his way of punishing me so I better just endure it.”  You could add your own excuse, but each of these insults God’s power and love, and none of them are true. They come from an unbelieving and disobedient spirit that resists God’s gracious rule. Prayer reminds us who is in charge and who is best suited to meet our needs. God commands it so that we will remember to put our trust in him and rely on his wisdom and grace.

Secondly, prayer is packed with promises. I’ve always liked the term “gracious mandate”, which applies to prayer.  God commands us to pray because he graciously wants to bless us.  Coming to God in prayer opens our heart to receive with thanksgiving the good things he has in store for us.  His answer will always be at the right time, in the right measure, and the best outcome in the long run. God sees the big picture and answers our immediate needs with that perspective.

Thirdly, in the verses before Psalm 50:15, it is clear that God is talking to people that belong to him, that he has redeemed from death, and who live in a covenant relationship with him. Today he answers the prayers offered by those in the new covenant relationship we have with him in Jesus Christ. No one comes to God except through Christ, because no one can approach a holy God in his own righteousness.  We come to God in prayer with the cleansing Christ gave us as a gift on the cross. When we pray in the name of Jesus, we not only have confidence that God hears our prayers, but also that he delights to answer them for our good.

Finally, God wants so much for us to pray that he has made it obvious how he wants us to pray. He gave us the Lord’s Prayer as our 911, so we won’t get confused under stress and forget what words to use. To that prayer we can add our special needs and the needs of others.  The bottom line is that when it comes prayer, just do it through Christ. It is a command with a promise of blessing.

 

Pastor Tom Konz

“Out of The Depths”

Psalm 130

Last week I received an article by a man reflecting on the depths of his pain and his crying out to God.  Perhaps you will find my thoughts, blended with his, helpful in your own depths.

1Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! 2O Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

Like him, though not to the same extent, I was experiencing back pain. And like him, I found myself in the depths one night, alone only with my pain, my fears, and my God. I cried out to Him in deep distress of body and soul. I wonder how many of us really cry out to God in our pain, whether it is an emotional agony like fear, guilt or worry, or a physical pain. We may fear that our laments will come out as anger toward God, so we do not express the depth of our pain to the one who can relieve us. But think of it as expressing our anger toward God, rather than at God. We are not really blaming him for the pain, but telling Him how much we hurt. And if we really are angry at Him, I am sure He can handle that too. It takes great faith to express anger at God and still trust Him to answer in spite of it. Momentary anger expressed in the depths of anguish is not the same as faithless resentment that gives up on God.

3If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?

4But with you there is forgiveness that you may be feared.

         Pain, whatever its source, can bring to mind our guilt, and we feel God’s wrath. Did I deserve this?  Yes.  All are sinners, and I am one of them. A particular sin looms larger than all the rest. You fear God finally got tired of forgiving it, and as with ancientIsrael, His patience wore out. But then at the depth of the spiritual pain, when you feel a twinge of hell’s separation from God, the Cross of Christ comes to mind. With God there IS forgiveness.

5I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

When you exhaust your crying out from the depths of your soul, you can only wait, as a watchman waits for the morning. In the quiet that follows, you realize that God took your most desperate fear and guilt and your most direct anger and wrapped his loving arms around you. He was not repelled by them, but welcomed them, so that you could again experience how gentle His love is in the depths.

7O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. 8And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Indeed He will, and He has through Christ. For various reasons you may find yourself in the depths—guilt, pain, loneliness, fear of loss, anger at God, lingering illness, or frustration over these experiences in someone close to  you. From whatever depth, cry out to God. In Him is steadfast love. The situation might not change, but you will.  Then you will be able to rejoice in the words of Psalm 40:2.

2He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

Keeping faith by His grace, Pastor Tom Konz

 

“Door Opening or Closing?”

“Door Opening or Closing?” 

“We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day;

night is coming, when no one can work.”  Matthew 9:4

 

America has long been a land of opportunity, symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, her economic system and law centered justice system.  People from all over the world seek entry for political asylum, a new start, or economic opportunity, rooted in individual liberties. In my view, however, America’s greatest gift to the world is religious freedom. She allows every faith and no faith to be practiced.  That has made our land fertile soil for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, both here and overseas.

However, for reasons I won’t get into here, many are seeing religious freedom through a door that is closing. It is not a far stretch to imagine that one day severe restrictions could be placed on the sharing of our faith.  Secular societies have always resisted the laws of God. Those who would spurn any commands from a God they don’t believe in are plentiful in America. But it is also the Gospel that they must resist as well. It proclaims good news to sinners, but who wants to admit sin. So it is not just the law, but also the Gospel that indirectly afflicts their conscience.  They will want to silent the Church that proclaims it.

Jesus recognized that his time on earth was short and that he must do God’s work while he could. The Church has had such times throughout her history.  Doors open and close in one country, and then in the next. Which way is the door swinging in America? If we fear that it is closing, even if ever so slightly, then we need to work while it is still open and proclaim Christ where we can to those who do not know him.

Our efforts to proclaim religious liberty are not for our sake.  In Christ we already have all the freedom we need, in the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.  We cannot be imprisoned again in any way that counts. However, it is for those who have yet to hear and believe the Gospel that we should be diligent while the door is still open.  For their sakes we labor.  If God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to die for all people, shouldn’t we love them enough to tell them what he did?  While the door is still open.  Pastor Tom Konz