Shepherd of the Sierra Newsletter
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”
Here we are at the beginning of another month. As we look back and evaluate the month of January that is finished, maybe we’ve felt a little dejected because we feel we could have done better.
The one thing that is most definite is that we seem to live our lives running from one place to another, going from one task to another, hoping that at some point we’ll be able to get some rest.
I hear this often from members who are retired. They’re always busy and some of them feel they’re busier now than when they were working!
At times we either wonder why we’re so busy running around, or if it’s even worth it. The writer of the book of Hebrews, in this short text, gives us some guidance as we get caught up in this race of life.
The race isn’t supposed to be because of our planning and direction, but of God’s. He’s the one who has set our race before us. This race isn’t to see how successful we can be, or what accolades we can receive, it’s a race through life looking to an eternal goal.
The things that move our focus away from running the race are of our own making. You and I are sinners. We turn against God and lose our focus on Him each and every day. Satan is working diligently to have us not reach the goal God has established for us.
As we run, we need to run with endurance, or keeping on keeping on! We need to look to Jesus who has loved us since before time began and will love us to the end. He willingly came to earth to suffer and die and take our place. Because of His sacrifice for us, and His broken body and shed blood, the blessings of heaven are ours through faith.
As we spend time in His Word, meditating on His message, may we receive rest to allow us to put the rush of life aside and take His Words to heart. May we share this wonderful news of the Savior with all those around us so they can come into a personal relationship with the Savior too.
May we keep our eyes on Him and as Paul confessed, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) God be with you as you run!
Pastor Norm Milz
Beginning February 13th we will begin the season of Lent, a time of penitence and remembrance. We will have Lenten services each Wednesday at 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm with a Soup Supper at 5:30 pm each week.
We will be following the theme of “Facing the Cross.” Just like Jesus set His face to Jerusalem to encounter the pain of the cross on our behalf, we set our faces on the cross of Christ that lies before us.
Weekly themes and their Scriptural basis are:
- Ash Wednesday: “Facing Our Sins” (Romans 3:23-24)
- Midweek 1: “Facing Temptations” (Hebrews 4:14-15)
- Midweek 2: “Facing Our Fears” (Isaiah 41:10)
- Midweek 3: “Facing Our Worldliness” (Matthew 6:19-21)
- Midweek 4: “Facing One Another” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
- Midweek 5: “Facing Suffering” (Isaiah 53:8)
Plan on attending each week as we learn from God’s Word and move our way facing the cross of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
GRACE – More than we Deserve – Greater than we Imagine!
We’ve begun our series on GRACE and will be continuing it throughout the Month of February.
In this series, we will have six more Grace sermons and small group studies that will help unravel the complexity and vastness of God’s grace.
The sermon titles remaining are:
- “Jesus Stooped Low to Take Our Place”
- “You Can Rest Now”
- “Accepting the Gift of Wet Feet”
- “Coming Clean Within Grace the Abounds”
- “Chosen to a Guaranteed Place in the Family”
- “Sustaining and Sufficient Grace”
Bible Studies will be on Sunday morning at 8:30 (shortened because of time), Wednesday morning at 10:30, and Thursday evening at 6:30. Please take time to read the book and become a part of a study with your fellow believers. If you do not have the book or study guide yet, please see Pastor to get them.
Birthdays in February
Mark Bailey – February 1
Ben Berg – February 1
Glen Rose – February 1
Annamarie Schober – February 6
Allison Collier – February 11
Gina Jones – February 12
Tim Suchsland – February 12
Tami Buehn – February 13
Marilyn Smith – February 15
Velma Meister – February 18
Alex Tessmann – February 20
Xyleah Callahan – February 23
Larisa Ediss – February 25
Michael Patrick – February 27
Anniversaries in February
Bill & Joan Rishel – February 3 (57 yrs)
Jim & Kay Hineman – February 19 (36 yrs)
Bud & Jean Walter – February 19 (58 yrs)
Del & Sue Thomas – February 24 (8 yrs)