Daily Devotion: Monday, January 12, 2015

As the body of Christ, we strive to make disciples of all, focusing on the next generation, through growing...
UP in God's Word and Sacrament
OUT into the community by caring for physical and spiritual need
TOGETHER in fellowship to build lasting relationships in Christ

DEVOTION:  When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite.  They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekkah.  Genesis 26:34-35
This devotion might rub some people the wrong way, but here it goes. 
When you are looking for someone to marry, one of the most important things to consider is the faith of the person.  Does he or she share the same faith as you.  Is that person going to tear you down and demean your faith or is he going to lift you up, encourage, and support you in your faith? 

The reason Beeri and Basemath were sources of grief for Isaac and Rebekkah was because they were foreign people who didn't believe in the one true God, nor did they follow Him.  This was a problem over and over again for the people of Israel.  God warned them that they should not marry foreign, unbelieving women.  They still did, and guess what, it led to the downfall first of Israel and then Judah.  Just read about Solomon's downfall and the source of most of his discontent and grief. 
I thank God every day that God gave me Karin.  I had been searching for quite some time and had been dating several women with whom I tried to make it work, but their Religion and their faith was not in connection with mine.  They would not have lifted me up or supported me in my faith.  I take it for granted way too often that I have a wife who lifts me up and believes strongly in what the Scriptures say about God and faith!
That's not to say that we don't disagree on things.  There are probably more things that we disagree on than that we agree on.  But when it counts and when it means the difference between growing or weakening in faith and agreeing on the fact that Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin, death, the devil and hell, and how He rose again from the dead for us, we completely agree and that gives me more peace than any other agreement ever could! 
My prayer for you is that your significant other is on the same page as you when it comes to what you believe and that you both grow in faith daily until the day that the Lord makes your faith complete, and if you're not equally yoked when it comes to faith, God, the Holy Spirit,  will bring you in agreement that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died on the cross to save you, and that you are saved by grace through faith in Him! 
Prayer:  Lord God, bless the marriages and those looking forward to marriage with a strong bond of faith so that they can continue to grow together in you and love each other according to Your Word.  Amen.

YESTERDAY"S QUIZ ANSWER:    Who visited Abraham to tell him that Sarah was going to have a child?  God visited him in the form of three men.  (Some say it was God and two angels.  Others say it was God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in human form.)  Whatever the case, it was God who visited him. 
TODAY'S QUIZ:  Who were Isaac's two sons from Rebekkah?
Mon- Confirmation 5-6:15
Tues- Quilters 9-2; Bible Study 11:30-12:15; Trustees 7
Wed- Choir 7pm; Pastors' Circuit meeting at church 9-3;  NEWSLETTER DEADLINE
Thurs- Karate 5pm; Praise Band practice 6pm
Sat- Worship 5pm
Sun- Worship 8:30; Sunday school 9:45; Worship 11; Elder's meeting noon
Acolyte- 8:30- Patrick Schaumberg, 11- John Pezold
Ushers- Allan Dreyer, Lou Feldkamp, Kent Jacobsmeyer, Paul Klovver
Altar- Set up- Marilyn Foster and Sue Ruhl; Clean Up- Sandy Robine
Communion Assistants- Sat- Randy Fischer; 8:30- John Hachtel; 11- Dave Winter
Greeters- 8:30- Dave and Linda Callies  11- Joan Sexton
Lay readers- Sat- Kathy Fischer; 8:30- Jacob Nagel; 11- Sandy Robine
Sat Pianist- Kathy Barrow
Do like good, home cooked food?
Do you like to spend time with your church family?
Do you like to get into God's Word with your family?
Do you  find the time constraints of work, school, and other obligations squeezing out that God time?
We have the perfect thing for you!  We are starting family nights next Monday, January 19 at 6pm!
We will begin with a carry in/potluck supper from 6-6:30 and end with a devotion/Bible study time from 6:30-7.  The Bible study will be for all ages and all knowledge levels. 
Please bring a dish to share with the rest of the group.  Anything is welcome, salad, side dish, pasta dish, meat, dessert.... anything you think would be good for this kind of group.  There will be no main dish (meat)provided.
Tickets are $25 a piece!!

Raffle Tickets for the $500 drawing are also available.  1 ticket for $10 or 11 tickets for $20. 
It is always a BLAST!!!  Get your tickets this weekend before or after one of our worship services or contact your favorite youth to buy them from one of them. 
For years this event has become known as a great place to get good deals on things and help out our youth program at the same time!! 
I know a lot of you enjoy not having to flip through the hymnal and bulletin in order to participate in worship every week.  It is an extremely special blessing to visitors who aren't familiar with church and worship.  What a blessing technology can be.  Over the last few years there have been many who have volunteered to help keep this going by being projectionists. 
Unfortunately over the last couple years the number of volunteers has dwindled, down to five and they need YOUR help!!  All it requires is that you pay attention and follow along with the service and push a few keys on the keyboard.   I will give you a quick tutorial before you do it the first time.  And don't worry about making mistakes.  Everyone does, and most of the little hiccups and mistakes that happen with it are MY fault!   Please consider filling in some of the dates so that we can keep this going! 
I also want to publicly thank JOHN HACHTEL who faithfully, week after week, puts the whole service on the powerpoint for us.  This can take three hours or more a week depending on the service.  Thank you John!!  Please just hit reply and fill in the services you'd like to do.   If we don't have volunteers for a specific service we won't have it. 
Jan 17-
Jan 18-  8:30-  Julie                        11-
Jan 24-
Jan 25- 8:30-    Terry                       11-
Jan 30-
Feb 1- 8:30-                             11- Terry
Feb 7-
Feb 8- 8:30-                             11-
Feb 14-
Feb 15- 8:30- Terry                          11-
Feb 21-
Feb 22- 8:30-                           11-
Feb 28- Terry
Mar 1- 8:30-                            11-
Mar 7-
Mar 8- 8:30-                            11-
Mar 14-
Mar 15- 8:30-   Julie                       11-  Terry
Mar 28-
Mar 29- 8:30- Terry                         11-
Apr 2- (Maundy Thursday) 7- Terry
Apr 3- (Good Friday) 7-
Apr 5- (Easter) 6:30-               10-
Apr 11-
Apr 12- 8:30-   Terry                    11-
Apr. 18-
Apr. 19- 8:30-  Julie                       11- Terry
Apr. 25-
Apr. 26- 8:30-                         11-
May 2- Terry
May 3- 8:30-                           11-
May 9-
May 10- 8:30-  Julie                       11-
May 16-
May 17- 8:30- Terry                        11-
May 23-
May 24- 8:30-                         11-
May 30-
May 31- 8:30-  Terry                       11-
June 6-
June 7- 8:30-                           11-  Terry
June 20-  Terry
June 21- 8:30-                         11-
June 27-
June 28- 8:30- Terry                        11-

All kids in grades 1-12 are welcome to come along with their parents!!  Cost is $11 for members of St. John's and $22 for friends and other nonmembers. 
They will leave at 11:30 from church!  Depending on the number of people going there will be a big need for drivers. 
Deadline to register is Tuesday January 20!! 
For WLLIAM FISCHER, Randy Sr. Fischer's dad, who is hospitalized with many medical issues including congestive heart failure.
For DANIELLE MEINE, a senior at WHS, a friend to many kids at St. john's, and a rider on Karin's bus since kindergarten, who has a very serious form of cancer.
For ELTON TEMME, Harold Temme and Lois Frick's brother, who has had many seizures and is dealing with many other health problems.
For BEN HOELSCHER, who has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and has begun treatment for it.
For the CALLIES Family at the loss of Dave's stepmom.
For the STEVENS and CALLIES FAMILIES as Sarah lost her unborn baby last Thursday.
For THE PEZOLD FAMILY as Lisa's dad passed away last week.

For CLAIRE JOHNSON who is recovering from a bad car accident at SSM Rehab/Nursing home in Wentzville. 
For TODD PONDER, former band teacher/director and friend to many at St. John's, who suffered a massive stroke and can't do anything but move his eyes.  He is unable to breathe on his own. Here is a link to a fund that was started to help the family as they will have astronomical hospital and rehab bills for a long time to come.   At the bottom of the page it also has updates as to his progress.  http://www.gofundme.com/hp1ed8?pc=mb_em

For OUR CONTINUED FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND SPEECH in the United States, that we would continue to be able to freely speak the truth even in the face of opposition.

For our NATION'S MILITARY LEADERS AND SOLDIERS as they figure out what to do about the imminent threats from ISIS.
For MILLIONS OF CHRISTIANS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, who are being persecuted to the point of death for their faith.

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