Words of Grace
“I commend you to God and to the word of His grace which is able to build you up.” Acts 20:32
Volume 15, Issue 7 July, 2017
This 4th of July our country celebrates 241 years under the same Constitution. Constitutions of other countries last about 17 years on average. What makes our Constitution so enduring? As our founders were writing this document, they prayed that God would guide them. Benjamin Franklin accurately summarized the situation the delegates faced.
“In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.
One might have thought that they would have provided someone to pray at the beginning of the proceedings. But at least Franklin recognized the missing element that proved to frustrate their efforts. In the end, the Constitution that emerged from their meetings has proved to be God-directed indeed. No other explanation could account for its enduring effectiveness. It is the best system of governance the world has ever seen to deal the problem of the curse of sin.
Our country still needs God’s guidance and direction. May God raise up another Benjamin Franklin who will be able to eloquently remind everyone in Congress that the missing element is God Himself. And may God be restored to His rightful place in the proceedings of our present day government! That is where true hope for America lies!
Thursday, July 20 – 1:00pm
This month we will watch episode 2 in our series Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis: What is Life? This is an amazing series, filled with thought provoking insight and beautiful pictures of our world. We will start the afternoon with a pot-blessing at 1:00. All are welcome, so make your favorite dish-to-pass and join us! You won’t be disappointed.
There were several items of business discussed and election of officers Sunday, June 25. We welcome Kris Houchin and Dale Starks to our church council as deacon and trustee, respectively. Thank you gentlemen for filling these much needed positions! We are still in need of one more trustee. A thank you was given to all our officers who continue to serve and have served for many years; a special thanks to outgoing deacon, Joel Heilmann for his years of service and God’s blessings on his last year of law school.
Also, with Pastor Steve retiring June, 2018, we are forming a call committee to research getting another pastor. All are welcome and encouraged to be a part of this process. If interested, please contact chairman Dan Chapman at 815-236-3087.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
MIGHTY FORTRESS: IN JESUS, THE VICTORY IS WON!
“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
27 boys and girls filled our fellowship hall with love and laughter as each night they heard Bible lessons, did crafts, and played games that reinforced the above theme and Scripture verse! Daily offerings were given in support of the AFLC World Missions family, the Raans, serving our God in Uganda. $166.30 was given, exceeding our goal of $100! A friendly competition again with girls vs boys, gave this year’s victory to the GIRLS! It is always good to know that the time, effort, and finances put into our VBS program are worth it. One little boy shared with his mom, “Jesus is my life!”
See the poster board in lower entryway and bulletin board in fellowship hall for photos and a note from the AFLBS Zion team! Thanks to Katie Ranallo and ALL who helped! And thank you to Bill and Mary Smith for once again housing the team: Caleb, Cooper, Hannah, & Annie!
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Shoebox love gifts for July: flip flops and sunglasses
ASSISTING IN OUR WORSHIP SERVICES DURING JULY
Organist: Jenny Rohr
Scripture Reader: Lyle Hecht
Ushers: Lyle Hecht and Carter Laudeman
Remembering To Pray for Our Church Family & Friends
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” Philippians 4:6
In Need of Healing:
Katie Becker, Everett Brue, Beth Carlson, Bob Coop, Marcia Davidson, Don Edmondson, Betty Findlay, Jason Hecht, Ron Lenninger, Diane Mitchell, Don Neushwander, Bob Williams
Serving our Country: Tracy Graham, US Coast Guard Reserves
PLEASE let us know if you would like to add or remove a name from the “pray for” list.
1 – Kjeld Torkelson
2 – Ty Torkelson
3 – Kaitlyn Hamilton
7 – Debbie Steffes
9 – Julie Starks
11 – Barb Johnson
12 – Tom Borchelt, Jr.
16 – Jon Larson
Don Neushwander, Jr.
18 – Emily Ranallo
26 – Michael Ranallo
4 – Harry & Carol Breen
6 – Mike & Sherryl Graham
12 – Adam & Jami Salinas
14 – Craig & Dottie Laudeman
“If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
President Ronald Reagan
Independence Day, July 4