Shepherd of the Sierra Newsletter
SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Since the beginning of December of last year we’ve been focusing on Jesus Christ. We celebrated His birth, His ministry, His death and resurrection. Last month we celebrated His ascension back to heaven where He is our intercessor to God the Father.
At the end of May we focused on the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples and changing their lives forever! When they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they gave witness to Jesus Christ and were bold to tell whoever would listen that He was God come to earth and suffered and died in our place!
The people who heard this sermon were cut to the heart because they realized the error they had committed. They had gotten wrapped up in others’ thinking and went along with the crowd! Before we look at them with condemnation, we need to ask ourselves, don’t we still do the same thing?
The Holy Spirit’s filling made the disciples active, true ambassadors for the Jesus Christ. They had been so concerned after Jesus had been crucified that they spent most of their time together behind locked doors! When He ascended, they spent time looking into heaven wondering, “What Happens Now?”
They didn’t realize what a special gift Jesus was going to give them in the Holy Spirit. They would spend the rest of their lives testifying to Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Their witness would change the world forever!
When you and I go out of ourselves with the Holy Spirit’s filling, and share Jesus Christ, the same thing can happen! I don’t think any of you would say that the world is just fine and believes in God totally. The nation’s churches, for the most part, are getting older and older and smaller and smaller. There are those who are very large and successful, but unfortunately, many of them are not preaching sin or salvation. That means all those people are being misguided.
But you and I have the true message! It is one everyone needs to hear. Everyone lives in sin and is in need of a Savior. Jesus Christ IS that Savior and He loves each and every person! Because of His presence and the presence of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible!
As summer approaches, take time to see God in the wonderful world He created, but don’t take a vacation from Church! Make it a point to included worship and Christian fellowship into your summer. To be surrounded by others in faith is one of the best gifts we can receive. Never forget, you’re not in this alone!
May the Holy Spirit fill you to overflowing with His grace that it might change your life forever!
Pastor Norm Milz
THE JOY OF GIVING
There is a story about a woman who saw a poor barefoot child roaming the street of a large city. She tool the child by the hand to the closest shoe store, and bought the little girl socks and shoes. With “happy feet” the little girl ran joyfully from the store.
The woman was disappointed that she didn’t even receive a word of thanks from the child, but she paid for the socks and shoes. As the woman walked out the store door, the little girl came back to the store, eyes bright with excitement. “Are you God’s wife?” she asked the woman. Smiling, the woman said, “No, but I am God’s child.” The little girl said, I knew that you were some kin of His!”
As God’s people, nurtured by Word and Sacrament, we are transformed into His likeness. Christ’s character becomes our character, and we become more like Him. Because His goodness flows through us, we are able to offer shoes and socks and all types of things to to those who are in need. Our eyes are opened to opportunities that need our support and our hearts willingly share what we are able. We are stewards of God’s love and generosity to the whole world. As Jesus said in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give, than to receive.”
If, by chance, you are not experiencing the joy of giving, ask God to change your heart so you can grow in your giving and become a cheerful giver!
The world around you is giving you all sorts of reasons why giving isn’t important, or being an active member of a church. Besides the giving of your treasures, God is also asking that you willingly give your talents and abilities. He also asks for your time. He asks for your total devotion.
Solomon said in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
As you see in our attendance and giving reports on the next page, we are behind in both. Both are in need of your devoted prayerful commitment.
Please join the congregation as we, with God’s grace, take a leap of faith in our giving our all for the work of the Kingdom, being built up as His children.
Birthdays in June:
Dennis Buehn – June 2
Tiffany Patrick – June 3
Paul Logan – June 7
Sandra Hartley – June 8
Terri Fiske – June 9
Hannon Callahan – June 11
Zander Smokey – June 12
George Taylor – June 12
Corey Markwardt – June 14
Lakoda Smokey – June 15
Rebekah Pratt – June 17
Dylan Collier – June 18
Pat Colon – June 18
Jack McCormack – June 18
Joe Woolery – June 20
Ray Flanagan – June 21
Colleen SIevers – June 21
Herb Witt – June 27
Anniversaries in June:
Dennis & Janet Gordon – June 2 (6 years)
Phillip & Rebekah Pratt – June 2 (1 year)
Richard & Sandra Hartley – June 3 (7 years)
Craig & Caren Witt – June 5 (31 years)
Al & Dona Neudauer – June 7 (61 years)
Chauna Renaud – June 13 (21 years)
Richard & Mary Laursen – June 14 (64 years)
Jim & Joann Markwardt – June 24 (52 years)
Bruce & Nan Monteith – June 24 (52 years)
Ward & Theresa Patrick – June 24 (24 years)
Tom & Grace Jameson – June 25 (65 years)
Jack & Joyce McCormack – June 30 (51 years)