Showing posts from March, 2021

But those who hope in the Lord...

By Patrick A. Gregory, Parish Ministry Associate (PMA), Spiritual Director, & Co-facilitator of Drinking from the Well 31 But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  --Isaiah 40:31 (NIV) As persons of faith, we depend on God as our source of hope and strength.  However, even the strongest people get tired at times, but God’s power and strength never diminish.  God is never too tired or too busy to help and listen.  When you feel all of life crushing you and you cannot go another step, remember that you can call upon God to renew your strength.  Hope in the Lord means expecting that God’s promise of strength will help us to rise above life’s distractions and difficulties.  It also means trusting God to fulfill this promise found in his Word.  There is always hope. Just like many people, you probably have a toolbox full of various tools to make home repairs.  Just like a home repair toolbox, you can build a spiritual toolbox of resources to answer God’s invitation for

What does it mean to hope in the Lord

 By Sr Anne Hall, Nebraska Synod Council I am sure many of us have a story to describe our experiences of the last year.  We watched the long lines for food on the evening news and the despair that many people have felt losing their jobs and sometimes their homes.  The elderly felt the isolation from friends and family and children struggled to keep up with their school work. Many years ago, my husband and I served a congregation in Texas that was deep in conflict. It was during the time when the ELCA was discerning the vote for the Ordination of LGBTQ individuals.  We had been searching for new calls for two years with no success. Finally, we decided to resign without calls for the sake of our family.  We were given three months of severance pay and the search for calls continued.  He had a few interviews and no word came by New Year’s Eve when our last check arrived.  Our families helped us out financially and asked why we didn't find another career.  We knew in our hearts that G

Isaiah 40:31

 By Rev. Ron Youngerman, Bishop's Associate For The Panhandle “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”  --  Isaiah 40:31 The phone rang. Our deputy sheriff said, Pastor, I need you to come with me. Something terrible has happened. On their way home from a baseball game, two of our local high school boys had been killed in a head on collision on a hilly Nebraska country road. And we were on our way to break the news to their families. On the way to break the news to their families, the deputy said, Pastor, can you do the talking. I’m not good at this sort of thing. As we pulled into the driveway, we saw both moms on the front porch. Once we got out of the car, they both knew. Why else would a deputy, and your Pastor, come to your home together? Their hands went to their mouths and both sobbed, No, No, No! I took their hands and uttered the terrible news of the boys' deaths. Also on the porch was grandpa, smelling of booze. He poked his finger in my chest. Well

Hope in the Lord

 By Bishop Brian Maas But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. (Isa 40:31 NIV) I don’t know about you, but I could use some renewed strength right about now. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the first of the pandemic lockdowns. Do you remember the panic-buying of groceries and toilet paper? The apocalyptic predictions regarding our infrastructure and our economy? How we first thought it would only be for a couple of weeks? Even though the intensity of the pandemic’s consequences hasn’t been as severe as many first thought, the sheer, seemingly endless duration of it has more than made up the difference. Like everybody else, I’m ready for this to be done. I’m ready to be out and about, and with people, and maskless again. This has gone on long enough! Yet it’s not done; we have a way to go. It’s awful, isn’t it?  Still, let’s be honest. Every generation thinks it’s special; that our suffering is nearly incomparable. But others have had it worse. Take God’s p