Blessed to Receive
In 2013 I learned a lesson about weakness and being in need. It has something to do with messing up my back and with losing my mother-in-law. While feeling as good as I have ever had in my whole life, for my age, I thought myself invincible enough to do a back strengthening exercise that only resulted in weakening it. The ensuing months reminded me that this life is about service, not personal success. What we gain in this life is lost when our bodies ultimately fail us. While I wait for that day in God’s time, I am relying on His grace for healing and help to do what is His work for me in this life. Weakness is no fun, but it’s a good path to perspective on mortality and eternity.
Being in need and learning to receive is not a position I’ve occupied too often lately. It came upon our family during the passing and afterward of my wife’s mother Helen. Helpless in the hospital, helpless in the Hospice, helpless to keep up with all the details, transportation, meals and logistics of the week—we have learned the blessing of receiving from our human family in and outside of the Church.
I say all that to encourage you, before you are forced to, to reflect on your own mortality. Fitness is fleeting, as it must be, because the body is only for this life. Be fit in your Spirit. Work-out with the Word of God. Grow in prayer and faith. A time may come when it is all you have. Secondly, cherish the love of those who are there to bless you. There is a season to serve and a season to be served. You bless others by letting them bless you. It demonstrates the illustration of the Body of Christ being many members of one body.
Christ our Lord came to serve and desires that we let Him serve us his grace. That means we need to know our need for it. In weakness we know His strength, which makes us strong. Then do we use that strength not to be served only, but to serve.
May 2014 further open your eyes to the grace of God and the love of His people.
Sunday Worship Themes in January
January 5th “Where Is He?” Matthew 2:1–12
Epiphany of our Lord
January 12th “Is the Water Safe?” Matthew 3:13–17
The Baptism of our Lord
January 19th “Behold, the Lamb of God” John 1:29
January 26th “This Big Gospel Light” Isaiah 9:1-4
SERVING FAITH IN JANUARY
8:15 a.m. Service:
Usher: Chet Cameron & Troy Kimbrough
Greeter: Bob & Sheila Small
Altar: Cindy Franz
Acolyte: 5: Tara Garza, 12: Kason Seider, 19: Jamee Nelson, 26: Aidan Espinoza
10:45 a.m. Service:
Usher: Jeff Stroebel & John Franz
Greeter: Cindy Franz
Altar: Cindy Franz
Acolyte: 5: Landry Stroebel, 12: Noah Ashley, 19: Karlee Easterling, 26: Tristan Hanna
If you are at a service and the scheduled server is not present, please step up and volunteer
Snack Snack Snack Drink/Server
5 Cameron Carlson B. Stroebel Febinger
12 Franz Gallagher Hatton Carrasco
19 Kimbrough Stafford Mitchell Keilers
26 Tarpley Pack Lovin Quade
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
Faith Lutheran Youth
Happy New Year! Please see the schedule below for all this month’s activities.
Confirmation classes will resume on Wednesday, January 8th at 4:45 p.m.
EPIPHANY CELEBRATION: Wednesday, January 8th
Knoll House – 1250 N. Ollie
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Join Ms. Cathy and the entire FLY crew as we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord!
January 15th, 22nd & 29th – Confirmation 4:45 p.m. FLY and LSF – 5:45 p.m.
Camp Shiloh dates are June 15-20. 2014: A non-refundable deposit of $50 is due by March 1st to reserve your spot. The balance will be due by May 1st. The cost is $400 per camper. We will provide fundraising opportunities to help you earn your way to camp. See Kim Mitchell if you have any questions or would like to sponsor a camper.
The Executive Committee did not meet in December; however, our ladies continued to serve in many ways.
- Thanksgiving baskets—8 family groups were provided bountiful stacks of food
- Faith School Thanksgiving Feast—LWML and Evangelism Committee served the meal and cleaned the kitchen
- Christmas Caroling on Dec. 8—Because of ice conditions, we cancelled
- Angel Tree tags—MOW clients and 16 children received gifts on Dec. 19
- Lois Teinert (LWML District President) will present a program on Jan 26th to tell about the Mission Trip toPoland. Lunch and baby sitting will be provided.
- With help from others, LWML provided sacks of goodies to children following the Faith Sunday School Christmas Program on Dec. 15
- Christmas gifts were donated—$25 to each: Lutheran Social Services, Lutheran Bible Translator and Christmas Tree of All Nations (Pastor Karim of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church atDallas)
- Will gather LWR kits with Faith School—collect items for kits by March 28
- Jan.11—2:00-3:30 Host a baby shower for Mallory (Fredrickson’s 1st grandbaby) in Narthex. Selections at Wal-Mart and buybuybaby.com
- Feb 2—Diaper baby shower for Jeriah, baby boy of Brit An (Dee Ann Nelson’s grandson and Ola Merck’s great-grandbaby) on Feb. 2 during Sunday School Brunch
- Zone Retreat in GlenLake in Granbury—Feb 21-22–$32—sign up sheet in Narthex
- Next business meeting will be on January 8th
We always are blessed with the congregational help as we “Serve the Lord with Gladness.”
In the LWML room, nine members met on Dec. 5th to celebrate with Cheryl Konz for her birthday and enjoy snacks provided by Cheryl, Pat Weber and Lynann Simpson. Pastor Tom, who was ready with a 20 question quiz about facts of the Nativity, kept our interest throughout the morning as we used Bible passages to understand the importance of the names used with Jesus from the article titled “What’s In A Name?” in the December issue of The Lutheran Witness. Members also signed Christmas cards for Bernice Reese andJane Sweeny.
On Dec. 19thS.A.I.L. celebrated our annual Christmas lunch at Soup and More. All the arrangements and decorations really set the mood for a great time with a delicious meal. Cindy andSarah Franz were great hostesses for our fourteen in attendance. PastorDon Kirklen had a marvelous devotion as well as prayers on short notice so that Pastor Tom could be with Cheryl; our thoughts and prayers for comforts were included in the card we signed for Helen Brehmer. Besides the Christmas party, we sang Happy Birthday and signed cards for Lyder Quade and Leonard Kelly.
We pray for a Blessed Christmas for all. Hopefully, you will follow the star of the wise men to find our Savior as we begin 2014. Help us kick off the New Year with Bible study on Jan 2. Then join us on Jan. 16 when Brent Stroebel will share his experiences regarding his trip to the Big Apple to run in the marathon.
We thank you for your excitement about the ESV pew Bibles being a part of your worship! We need to determine if we have enough and/or if they need to be moved to different pews. Please let us know if you have suggestions about that.
The four Faith Lutheran highway signs have arrived and we are waiting to hear from the State Highway Department before installing them. If anyone knows of property owners who might allow us to install a sign coming in to Stephenville – Hwy. 377 and Hwy. 281, please give us their contact information so we can ask them. Thank you again, to the congregant for the generosity of this donation!
We are looking at “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” poster ideas for a wall in the Prayer Retreat. We pray that all of us will daily read God’s Word and spend time listening to Him.
Recycling: In December we received $15 for our youth from your aluminum can recycling. Please continue to bring your aluminum cans to the kitchen by the sanctuary and we will see that they are recycled. This is good for the environment and for our youth.
Meals on Wheels: Jan. 3: Walter, Jan. 10: Sparkman, Jan 17: Pack
Jan. 24: Simpson, Jan. 31: West
CONGRATULATIONS!!! Bill and Kim Leaverton were blessed with the arrival of Jake William Leaverton on Dec 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm. He weighed 7 lbs 7 oz & was 19 1/2 inches long.
THANKS from Your Servants in Christ:
Thank you all for the generous Christmas gift. What a blessing to share with you the wondrous Christmas story told in such a special way by our Sunday School. Blessings abound, and I am very grateful to be a part of the Faith Family. Cindy Stafford
Thank you all for the generous love offering. It has been such a blessing to work for such a sweet church family. Thank you all so much for making my first year working for the church a great year. Nichole Monroe
As always, it is a pleasure to serve the members of Faith. May God bless all of you a happy and safe Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year. Thank you so much for the generous Love gift. Yours in Christ, Shirley Febinger
Faith Family – Thank you so much for the generous love offering I received on the night of the children’s Christmas program. I am humbled by your generosity and thankful for your continued support of our children and youth programs here at Faith. God bless you in this New Year! Kim Mitchell
Mange Tussend Tak! Many thousand thanks to the congregation for the generous Christmas gift! It is my pleasure to serve you and to assist in our offering of praises to God. Your voices and your presence are the most important parts of making our worship service a communal experience. I hope that I support you in this offering of praise. Thanks for the monetary gift. Mary Walter
To our friends at Faith, we so appreciate not only your generosity in remembering us at Christmas, but especially your prayers and aid as Helen prepares to be heaven bound. We rejoice to see the Word taking root in your hearts and the fruit of faith active in your works. That’s all any pastor can hope for. Danke schön and Gracias, Pastor Tom and Cheryl Konz
Church family, Thank you all for your generosity toward our love offerings this year. The token of appreciation is very gracious. Serving this church is one of the great joys of my life. The Lord had done beautiful things here at Faith and I am blessed to be standing beside you all during this time. Magan Carrasco
Thank you all for you generous gift. Moises Espinoza
James Synatzske 1/2 Mark Cogburn 1/21
Tom Konz 1/5 Eli Espinoza 1/23
Adelaide Ashley 1/6 Sloan Weber 1/23
Kim Leaverton 1/6 Donna Crew 1/25
Kason Seider 1/6 Jason Young 1/25
Erika Barlow 1/7 Charles Hamaker 1/28
Darlene Hufstutler 1/9 Ricky Osterloh 1/29
Sarah Franz 1/18 Lynann Simpson 1/30
Cheryl Hatton 1/19 Elliot Nehring 1/31
Robert Schermerhorn 1/19 Emery Nehring 1/31
Cary Strohmeyer 1/20