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A Thought From Your Pastor November 22, 2020

Thanksgiving:—2020 may be a celebrated a little differently this year because of all of the concerns and all that is going on.

We still need to take time to especially thank our Lord and Savior for what He has done for us.

A thought from your Pastor!

Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV) 1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

In America, this Thursday will be Thanksgiving Day. Its roots go back to 1621 when the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the New World. But it was not until 1863 that it became an official U.S. observance at the initiation of President Abraham Lincoln.

In the most general terms, the way to give thanks was expanded from the Old Testament to the New Testament. In the Old Testament, God was normally thanked “for” things-His works, His attributes, and His blessings Psalm 106:1  Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. While that focus is maintained in the New Testament, it is expanded to giving thanks “in” all things 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 That is, in all circumstances. We can do that because we know God causes “all things” to work together for our good Romans 8:28 (NIV) we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

So why not do both today?   Give thanks to God for His blessings and give thanks for whatever circumstances you are experiencing. Fill this day with thanksgiving to God.

Psalm 100:1-5  1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is

He who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Thanksgiving refocuses our attention: Life is filled with distractions that can make it harder to notice all that God has done for us.  Instead of living with the weight of the world on our shoulders, it’s good to try refocusing on the Lord by thanking Him for His faithfulness.

Thanksgiving refocuses our relationship: Gratitude keeps us from thinking that the Christian walk is about us and our needs.  Our fellowship with God is enhanced when we focus on Him.

When we’re overwhelmed, thanking God is probably not on your radar.  But I’ve learned from experience that acknowledging all the Lord had done is a sure way to change attitudes and re-energize

In the Book of Common Prayer (1549 forms of service for daily worship & Sunday worship in England) we read; “Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we, thy unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving kindness to us, and to all men.”

Even if our gatherings have to be small and maybe only immediate family, be sure to invite your Heavenly Father and Jesus.  They should be your most honored guests.

Always be on your guard, because satan wants to fool you into thinking that God doesn’t care for you or He is upset with you. Always remember Jesus loves you and wants the best for you.

Don’t’ be like this turkey and let Satan fool you.

God’s Blessings, Pastor and Carolyn

A Thought From Your Pastor

It’s raising its ugly head again!

As most of you know the “Covid Numbers” are getting dangerously high in Illinois again.  We need to wear our masks and social distance.  We also need to stay home as much as possible.  The church will be also closed until at least December.  Please keep praying for God’s guidance.

A thought from your Pastor!

With all this going on I am not fearful.  My God and His Son Jesus are still in control.  I don’t know why He is allowing all this to happen: but I do know that 2 Timothy 1:7  7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  Scripture also tells us that Romans 8:28  28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

The one thing that bothers me most about the different churches shutting down is the lack of interest about Jesus and the Word.  Since people don’t go to church regularly and are not feeding on the Word, it seems to me the interest in Jesus is put on the shelf with a lot of Bibles.

I believe now is especially an important period to spend time in the Bible, listen or watch good TV ministries, sing some old Gospel songs at home, take time to pray and praise our Heavenly Father.

Call a friend and tell them what Jesus has done for you.  Send a note to a loved one to encourage and strengthen them.  Copy these verses:

 2 Timothy 1:7  7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mindRomans 8:28  28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  And put them on your frig or send them to someone you know.

The church may be closed but Jesus is still alive and well.  Take this time to grow in your faith.  Don’t let it become stagnate.  God has given us a tremendous blessing in:

1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV) 9  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy..

When too many people are cooling off during this time, let us stand up and be that light to those that we can touch with cards, letters, notes and phone calls.  Satan is still a defeated enemy.  Let’s stand firm in the Word and proclaim it (maybe not on the house tops but there are many other ways God has given us). 

Make a point of praying for each other in our church family to have good health.  Let’s stand together in victory.

Keep smiling and rejoicing; God is still in control!

If you need anything please call.

Blessing to all,

Pastor and Carolyn Steele

Devotions for November 2020

“The Letter”

Dear Friend,

If I were to write you a letter and share the most important thing I could ever tell you, it would be this.  Accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as your Savior today.  You have heard how He came to earth as a baby and grew up to be a man teaching others about God the Father’s love for each one of us.  Jesus even gave His life at the age of 33 for us on the cross for our sins, because He loves you and me.  He is the sinless Son of God.  But He arose victoriously 3 days later on Easter morn proving He was the Son of God.  He promises to always be with us through the power of the Holy Spirit.  When we die, we can know for sure that we will go to heaven and be with Jesus and those folks who have accepted Christ through the years.

So, my dear friend, I truly love you and care about you.  I know this letter is something to think about, but don’t put it off.  Today is the day of salvation.  Believe and put your faith in Jesus Christ.

Your Friend in Christ,

Put your name here

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The Cross

October Devotions 2020: THE CROSS

The cross is the symbol of our Christian Faith.  Without what Jesus did by dying on the cross for our sins we would not have eternal life.  Being a good person or giving a large sum of money to help others or trying to live a moral life are fine things to do, but nothing you can do will be enough to assure you a place in heaven.  We have all sinned.  God sent His only son that whosoever believes in Him will have life forever.  God did not send His only son, Jesus, into the world to condemn the world but that through Him, we might be saved.  (from John 3:16,17) All those good deeds are fine and we will want to do them when we believe.  Most importantly, we want others to see their need to know Jesus and believe in Him as their Savior.

Have you thought you could get to heaven without the CROSS?  My friend, you are mistaken.  Come to Jesus.  His love is there for you.  Life is not perfect.  Ask Him to help you along this way in life and He will.  You have to believe in Him.  Please sincerely have faith in Him.

Call us at 815 246 9890.  If we aren’t there at that very moment, leave a message, and we promise to get back with you!

      Your friends at St. Petrie Lutheran

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The Hearer & The Doer

The Hearer & The Doer     September, 2020

James 1: 22-24 says:  But be doers of the word (Bible), and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.”

I forget to be a “doer” when my prayer and Bible reading time with Jesus are neglected and I try to do something in my own strength.  I get lazy or too self-sufficient.  I have forgotten Ephesians 2:8,9 where I am saved by grace and it’s a free gift of God and not of works lest any man should boast.  Jesus reminds me to look in the mirror of His image and be filled with His Holy Spirit to be a truly effective “doer.”

Verse 25 of James 1 completes the focus on Jesus whose death and resurrection for my sins personally gives me that eternal hope of heaven.

             “But the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

September is the time for school to begin.  May it be your time to begin anew to “do” His will and learn to lean on Him for everything.

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