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 16, Issue 3 March, 2018
In this season of focusing on the price Jesus paid to satisfy His father on our behalf, it is good to also consider the “suffering” we endure in this life. A gardener took great pride in caring for his lawn. But one year it grew full of dandelions. He tried every method and product to get rid of them, but nothing worked. Exasperated, he wrote the Department of Agriculture explaining all he had done. “What shall I try next?” he wrote. “Try getting used to them,” came the reply. Accepting “suffering” as normal and having to get used to it is not an option for most people. We will do what we can to eliminate it without asking ourselves why God allowed it to be part of our life.
In the northeastern United States codfish are a big commercial business. There is a market for eastern cod all over, especially in sections farthest removed from the northeast coastline. But the public demand posed a problem to the shippers. At first they froze the cod, then shipped them elsewhere, but the freeze took away much of the flavor. So they experimented with shipping them alive, in tanks of seawater, but that proved even worse. Not only was it more expensive, the cod still lost its flavor and, in addition, became soft and mushy. The texture was seriously affected.
Finally, some creative person solved the problem in a most innovative manner. The codfish were placed in the tank of water along with their natural enemy — the catfish. From the time the cod left the East Coast until it arrived at its westernmost destination, those ornery catfish chased the cod all over the tank. And, you guessed it, when the cod arrived at the market, they were as fresh as when they were first caught. There was no loss of flavor nor was the texture affected. If anything, it was better than before.
Each one of us is in a tank of particular and inescapable circumstances. It is painful enough to stay in the tank. But in addition to our situation, there are God-appointed “catfish” to bring sufficient tension that keeps us alive, alert, fresh and growing. It’s all part of God’s project to shape our character so we will be more like his Son. Understand why the catfish are in your tank. Understand they are part of God’s method of producing character in your life and mine.
Considering what God accomplished through the suffering of His Son, it would be foolish to avoid and get rid of that which is designed by God to accomplish mature character in us. To suffer without purpose makes no sense. Suffering sent by God never lacks a purpose, and we would do well to accept it.
MIDWEEK LENTEN WORSHIP
Please join us beginning at 6pm for a light supper and stay through worship each Wednesday evening, March 7, 14, and 21. God will be looking for you.
Maundy Thursday worship with holy communion: March 29 at 7pm
Theme: Lessons from the Passion.
Monday, March 5 and 19
Spirit Lifters will meet this month on the above mentioned Mondays. March 5 at 1:30pm in the fellowship hall will conclude their study “Sermon on the Mount” with week 9. March 19 they will meet for lunch. Please watch the bulletin for time and place. All are welcome! Any questions, please call Jan Torkelson 815-685-6735.
Thursday, March 15 – 1:30 p.m.
Please join us as we continue our DVD study UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF GENESIS, Episode 9: Rise of Civilization. If all people except Noah and his family were destroyed in the Flood, how and when did civilizations rebuild? The latest discoveries in biology, medicine, archaeology, and anthropology help reveal the truth about man’s past. This study is SO interesting and you can still join us for these last 4 lessons!
Hostess: Debbie Steffes
Sign-up sheet in the lower entryway will have food items and cash donations they are in need of by Tuesday, March 20. Please sign the sheet so Spirit Lifters will know, and then deliver your donation to the Christian Youth Center that Tuesday afternoon around 5pm or place your cash in the box on the table in our lower entryway. Any questions please call Jan Torkelson or Debbie Steffes.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
March love gifts: hair brush, comb, hair accessories, toothbrushes – NO TOOTHPASTE, OCC tells us it’s not allowed into other countries; please place your gifts in the plastic box on the table in the lower entryway.
Please remember to read the update letters we receive from our AFLC world missionaries as well as those friends of Grace who are serving our Lord here in the US. Current letters are posted on the bulletin board in the fellowship hall. Always keep them in your prayers!
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME BEGINS Sunday, March 11, 2018
Turn your clocks ahead one (1) hour at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning (or maybe the night before.) Don’t be late for church!
If you would like to donate altar flowers to beautify our sanctuary Sunday mornings, please see flower chart on the bulletin board in the fellowship hall. $40 thru Mann’s Floral. Let Barb know if you will be providing your own flowers from another source.
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
Let us pray for:
Bob Arnsdorff, Katie Becker, Beth Carlson, Marcia Davidson, Don Edmondson, Betty Findlay, Jason Hecht, Jim Launius, Bob Williams
Baby Coming to: Chris and Naomi Parton
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.
3 – Howard Torkelson
14 – Carter Laudeman
17 – Howard Davidson
19 – Lupé Salinas
26 – Bob Johnson
27 – Cade Laudeman
28 – Dale Starks
3 – Jim & Neita Launius
11 – Bob & Barbara Johnson
27 – Tom & Vickie Borchelt
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
Palm Sunday, March 25
9:30 a.m. Worship
10:30 a.m. Sunday School for all Ages
Maundy Thursday, March 29
7:00 p.m. Worship with Holy Communion
Easter Sunday, April 1
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m. Resurrection Day Worship with Holy Communion