St. John's Group Email Thursday, July 21, 2011

DEVOTION:  ... I knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Jonah 4:2b

We live in a world of technology.

It is a world where on the products we buy we increasingly see labels which read, "NO USER SERVICABLE PARTS INSIDE." That is just another way of saying, "You don't have the tools, the smarts or the capability of fixing anything here, so if it breaks, bring it to the experts."

I can't be sure, but it may be an accumulated frustration with this technological society that caused western Arizona's Lauriano Lawrence Lovato to do what he did.

And what did he do?

On April 13th Lovato went out to his car, a Camaro. Now normally Camaros are good vehicles, but Lovato's Camaro wouldn't start. Lovato tried all the tricks he knew to make that car start, but it just wouldn't go. Frustrated, furious and angry, Lovato got out his gun. Maybe he just meant to threaten his Camaro into starting. Maybe he drew his gun with malice in mind. Either way, Lovato fired two shots through the windshield and into the dashboard of his vehicle.

For his action, Lovato has been given 90 days in jail. As for the Camaro, it's expected to live.

Now those of you who have been blessed with an even temper may expect me to condemn this man's angry actions. And I do. On the other hand, having had a lawn mower which gave me blisters before it would even start, I can certainly understand why Lovato got angry.

It is also why I give thanks to the Lord for being "slow to anger" and "abounding in steadfast love."

You see, most of us who compose the human race are pretty much like that non-starting Camaro and lawnmower. As St. Paul said "the things we ought to do, we don't." Day after day, year after year we sinners don't do as the Lord wishes.

And how does the Lord react to our ongoing disobedience?

Although He is just and punishes unforgiven sin, the Lord remains slow to anger. He has, in His steadfast love sent His Son into this world. Here Jesus lived His life fulfilling the commandments we had broken, resisting the temptations which have tripped us up. In short, He lived, died and rose so we might be saved.

Now, all who are given faith in the Savior know they have forgiveness for the wrong they have done and the good they have left undone. Along with that forgiveness they hold fast to the sure and certain promise that the day will come when the Lord will take His believing children to heaven.

It is not what Lovato would have done if he had been in control of the universe. It is not what I would have done. But it is what God did. It is what He did because He is gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, every day I sin much. For all that I have done wrong, I am sincerely sorry. With a repentant heart, I give thanks that You have been gracious to me and sent Your Son to live, die and rise for me. May I, this day, try to do better. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

CATECHISM: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Question:  What does this mean?
Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie or deceive by his name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.
YESTERDAY'S QUIZ:    According to Isaiah 58, what kind of fasting does the Lord choose?  to loose the chains of injustice, and untie the chords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.  To share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for the poor wanderer, when you see the naked clothe them, and don't turn away from your own flesh and blood. 
TODAY'S QUIZ: Who are the "good" Isaiah talking about in chapter 65:8-10?
Thurs- nothing
Fri- Some leave for float trip
Sat- Float trip all day; worship 5pm
Sun- Bible study 8am; worship 9am; Bible study 10:30

Registration: 7am
Shotgun start: 8am
Details: 4 person scramble format, cash prizes per flight and special hole contest, Burgers and brats for lunch
Cost: $50 per person includes round of golf, cart, lunch, and attendance gift.  Hole sponsorship is $50 with proceeds going to Little Lambs.  There will be 50/50 tickets, mulligans and other incentives available for purchase as part of the fundraising portion of the event as well.
Registration forms and sign up sheet are on the table in the narthex.  You can call Alan Hofeldt at 456-3070 for more info or to sponsor a hole. 
Four full hook up campsites are reserved at Onandaga Cave State Park.  Cost is $54.50 for a site for the two days. 
Saturday will be on your own:  Please check your newsletter for all of the fun stuff there is to do. 
Sunday the floating group will leave from Ozark Outdoors at 10am to do a five mile float which should take 3-5 hours.  Cost to float in a canoe is $17.50 per person with two people per canoe.  Rafts are $22 a person and tubes are $20. 
Again, check the info in the newsletter for more info or call Teresa Scott at 359-0274 or email her at   
 It's Time to start thinking about our MEN'S RETREAT!!

The ninth annual T-3 Men's Retreat is set for Friday-Sunday, September 23-25, 2011.  This promises to be another great experience for the men of St John's and other Lutheran congregations in the St. Charles area.  In fact, men from all over the metro area have joined this special time in the past.  Men 18 years of age or older are eligible and they need not be Lutheran to attend.  The retreat will be held at Mark Twain State Park at the Si Coburn Group Camp.  This is a beautiful setting  for a weekend of adventure and growth.  The theme of this year's retreat is "Respectable Sins" and the study times during the retreat will be spent exploring the areas of our lives where we have come to accept less than God might want from us. 

The retreat will feature great food and a lot of activities  A scramble golf tournament, fishing tournament, trap and skeet shooting competition, and euchre tournament all take place on Saturday morning.   If none of these interest you, you may choose to spend time reading, hiking , biking, site seeing, or napping.  Prizes are awarded to tournament winners at dinner on Saturday evening. Campfires on Friday and Saturday nights provide the opportunity to get to know others better under the stars.   Music is a big part of the camp experience and you will enjoy hearing and singing familiar songs with the 100+ men who typically attend.  The culminating worship service on Sunday morning is a special time of praising God for all His gifts to us and a great way to prepare us to return to our homes and lives.

The cost of the retreat is only $42 and this includes meals and a commemorative tee-shirt.  Attendees have the option of staying in group cabins or tent camping on the grounds at no additional charge.  You can even arrange to stay in a local motel near the camp at reduced rates if you like.

A brochure with all information and a registration form will be available soon in the narthex.  You can also register online at using PayPal.  It is really easy and you can see pictures of the camp and facilities there, too.

This is the year for you to go to the T-3 (trap-tackle-tees) Retreat.  Sign up, meet new friends, bring old friends, and join in the fun of growing your faith.  For more information, contact  Don Hugo at Zion –636 441-7425 ext 246 or home 636 441-9954.

PRAYERS: (If I have missed anyone please let me know.)
For EVELYN SHERMAN who fell and broke her hip on Tuesday and had surgery to repair it yesterday. 
For LISA PEZOLD who is recovering from surgery.
For JONAS BORCHERT, Don Nolte's grandson who started chemotherapy yesterday.
For SANDY ROBINE'S FRIEND'S GRANDDAUGHTER, ANNA, who will be having heart valve replacement surgery.
For RUTH CANTRELL who is at home and recovering very slowly. 
For HOPE TINNIN  and the whole Tinnin family as her father passed from death to life just a week after her mother died. 

For EMOGENE FRIANT, a good friend of Marv and Molly who is experiencing problems with peritoneal dialysis.
For MICHELLE WOOLF who is home and recovering from having her thyroid removed on Friday.
For LIL WINTER who is struggling to regain strength in her knee. 
OUR CHURCH as we continue the CARE PROCESS.  

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St. John's Group Email Update on Jonas: from Don Nolte

From Don Nolte:

As it turns out, chemo treatment delivery is rather uneventful.  Somehow I had pictured them taking him to the "chemo station" where they hooked him up to a frightening machine or a team of doctors entering his room, turning on bright lights and administering some grizzly technique of secrecy.  But the nurse comes quietly into your room, just like when she adds any other medication to your course of treatment, explaines what she is doing, hangs the chemicals on the iv pole, and feeds them into your iv line. Done. As our doctor explained, Jonas will be taking 5 different chemo drugs. 3 one day, 2 two the next, 3, 2,3,2 for about a week.  Then he will have about a week off.  The first part of that second week is likely to be the worst.  His white blood count and electrolytes and his immune system will all be out of whack and he will be at his weakest.  The second part of that second week he will be on the upswing and starting to feel better.... and them bam.  Just as he is starting to feel better, they start back to week one.
This is the reality of chemo.  He will follow this routine for 6 cycles of chemo, roughly 12 weeks.

Cancer is a mass of rapidly dividing cells.  The job of the chemo medicines is to seek out the rapidly dividing cells in his body and destroy them.  That is why most people lose their hair during chemo.  Hair is made up of rapidly dividing cells at its roots.  So the chemo zaps it.  There are many kinds of chemo for different kinds of cancers and each one of them have their own side effects.  Vomitting, severe constipation, hair loss, mouth sores, pain swallowing and digesting, more jaw pain.  These are some of the things Jonas will have to endure.  So far, he has been vomiting every 2 hours since Monday night when he began his treatment.  He's a tough guy and has been a trooper about it.  The real issue the nurses are vigilant about is keeping him regularly going to the bathroom.  They don't want the chemicals to get backed up in his bladder or bowels.  They can be trapped in there and damage or burn his insides causing more irritation and possibilities for infection.  The problem with trekking to the bathroom regularly is that getting up makes him dizzy, sick to his stomach, increases his headaches, and robs him of his sleep. They have some great pain and nausea medicines to help with these issues, but they have their own side effects as well.  So you can see how one avenue of care plays on another.  It is almost overwhelming.  Last night, when he was so exhausted after throwing up, while I was cleaning around him, he called me back over to the bed, put his arms around me, held me close and said, "Mom, I hope you don't ever get cancer." boy.

Jonas had a few exiting moments over the weekend that should pay off for him in the near future.

 First, Audrey Lanier was able to get his skype account set up for him on his iPad!   Yay!  He's not up to interfacing yet, but has told me he is looking forward to it,.

Second, Jeffery Burrow and Jacob Bullimore were able to get his xBox live up and running!  You should have seen his face when he opened his eyes and saw the image on the TV.  A smile came to his face and his hands rose up into the air as if he had a controller in them, thumbs at the ready!  Half a dozen people in that quiet little room erupted with laughter.  Unfortunately, he didn't have his headset at the time and will have to wait for healthier days now.

Finally, Jonas was treated on Sunday evening with a visit from State Representative Jeff Grisamore.  He came because he is a good friend of the disability community and he, himself lost a child to a rare childhood illness years ago. He met with Jonas and then sat down with us to tell us about the foundation he belongs to as well as several other non-profit organizations that help families and kids struck by rare illnesses.  He was a wonderful resource and friendly, caring man.   Thank you to Amy Brockelmeyer for helping us to meet him.