P.O.Box 472 1720 N. 43rd Rd, Leland IL 60531 815-246-9890 stpetrielutheranchurch@yahoo.com Sunday Worship 9:30am Sunday School 10:45am Wednesday Bible Study 7:00pm

A Thought From Your Pastor 5/24/2020

5 21 20 bird and worm

Matthew 6:26-29 (ESV) 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

A Thought From Your Pastor!

One thing Carolyn and I enjoy doing is to pack a small lunch for supper and go down under the Illinois river bridge and eat our picnic lunch in the car.  Sometimes our friend Judy comes down and we talk from window to window (8 feet apart).  One day we were sitting there waiting for a barge to go by and I started watching this robin.  He would hop a few feet, sit for a second and then peck at the ground.  He only came up with a dirty beak.  He would hop a little farther and try again.  It took him many tries before he had success.  No matter what, he didn’t seem to get excited or upset he just kept hopping along and pecking the ground.  He kept doing what robins are meant to do and waited for the rewards.  With that patience he was finally rewarded. His countenance didn’t seem to change and he didn’t seem to get worried when he came up “empty–handed.”

Our scripture says: 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?   We had a shortage of toilet paper and now they are worried about meat. What’s next?

Scripture tells us: Psalm 50:10 (NIV):  for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  My God fed the thousands on the hills, He took care of the prophets needs, He created everything around us and we’re worried about toilet paper?  We need to get into His word and just see what a wonderful and powerful God we serve.

Romans 10:17 (ESV)  faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.  Since we have some extra time let’s make it productive and get into the Word of God.  Let the Word build that faith in you that we can smile through this pandemic knowing our God is in control.  James 1:2-4 (ESV) 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  Pray that you will come through this with joy knowing Jesus is walking through it with us.

5 21 20 Snoopy tree

Hold on tight—not to a tree but to Jesus!                                                                                      He will bring us through!

Of course as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                                   Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

5 21 20 Ugly Bug

Don’t let that evil scary bug bother you.  Call the exterminator; Jesus never fails!

 

A Thought From Your Pastor 5/17/2020

5 17 Martin Luther

Martin Luther, (1483-1546) German theologian and religious reformer who initiated the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. Through his words and actions, Luther precipitated a movement that reformulated certain basic tenets of Christian belief.

I was surprised to read this: History provides guidance. When a deadly plague hit Wittenberg, Germany, in 1527, Martin Luther modeled pastoral care: “I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.” But he added that if his neighbor needed him, he would go, taking precautions.

Luther experienced some of the same things we are.  It sounds like they had social distancing.  In those days viruses were even more dangerous without the health care we have.  We don’t hear any discontent or fear in Luther’s words.  There is a job to be done—reaching out to the lost and helping our brothers and sisters.  Helping people may be done by material needs but also putting a little joy or a little cheer in their lives. We have so many more ways available to us than Luther did.  The main things we need to maintain our joy and trust in God’s timing and direction.

Remember that Sunday school song: “The joy of the Lord is my strength!”  We need that joy as we go through these days of concern.  Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) 22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  Where does that joy come from?  Psalm 34:4-8 (ESV) 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

We have to make sure we don’t take Charlie’s thinking on loving people.  He only loves those that love him.  Listen to what Jesus tells us to do: Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV)  43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

5 17 Charlie Brown and Snoopy

“SORRY CHARLIE” you need to read your bible a little more.

My goal through this pandemic is to keep you looking to Jesus with joy in your heart and confidence that He will bring you through.  Now is the occasion to spend time in your Bible.  Confidence and joy only comes from our Lord Jesus Christ.  Take this special time to get to know Him better and more personal.  As you trust Him with your eternal life, trust Him in your day to day life.

I have to admit—-I really miss your smiling faces and hope we can get back together soon.

Of course as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                                      Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

 

 

A Thought From Your Pastor May 10 2020

5 10

Matthew Henry (18 October 1662 – 22 June 1714) was a nonconformist minister and author, born in Wales but spent much of his life in England. He is best known for the six-volume biblical commentary Exposition of the Old and New Testaments.

A Thought From Your Pastor!

Sometimes when we go through problems we think we are the only ones it is happening to.  Cabin fever is setting in on many of us.  There are many concerns:  Will this virus hit my small town?  We are not the only generation that has gone through these kinds of trails and trouble.  We just need to know how to handle them.

Matthew Henry can help us with that, he once said: “Days of trouble must be days of prayer.”  So that leads me to another question: “How is your prayer life?”   This is a time we need to be in close contact with the one that can make a difference in this upside down world.

Scripture tells us: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) 16  Rejoice always, 17  pray without ceasing, 18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 When you pray and turn these concerns over to Jesus, you can rejoice but also remember to give thanks.  We give thanks for two reasons: #1 because we are to be a thankful people, but #2 when we give thanks we are confessing that by faith we know God has it all under control.

Prayer is a serious and powerful tool that our heavenly Father has given us.  Remember the story of the fig tree.  Jesus tells us we can move mountains with our prayers and I believe this pandemic is a mountain that needs to be moved.

Matthew 21:21-22 (NIV) 21 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

We as a church and as a family need to take this time to be serious about prayer.  I wear a mask when I’m out, stay away from people and wash my hands, but that’s what I can do.  I am more trusting in what God can do.

Snoopy, who is on the lazy side, has another idea.  I like a good laugh and a nice nap but I trust Jesus and His power to solve this problem.

5 10 2020 snoopy and woodstock

Once again, I want to remind you of a verse that is becoming one of my favorites: Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all  understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I heard an evangelist say to make a Worry List.  Write down everything that concerns and upsets you. Then take a pencil and scratch out Worry and write in Prayer.  This will make a difference and bring that joy into your days of being home.

Of course as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                              Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

5 10 2020 Goofy

Don’t wonder about it—Know God is in control !

 

A Thought From Your Pastor May/3/2020

                                                         Alligator Minister                                 

                                                      A Thought From Your Pastor!                                                             Psalm 95:1-7 (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. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
6  Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7  for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice,

Bummer—–Do you realize this coming Sunday is Communion Sunday.  With this pandemic we will not be able to come to the Lord’s Supper together.  As Psalms 95 tells us to sing and shout aloud to the King of our Salvation.  I could probably do that by myself at home but how much better with my friends and family of St. Petrie.

Now let’s just perk up and realize how much Jesus loves each of us whether we are in the church building or sitting at home.  Augustine was accredited to saying “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”  Just think of the blessings God has given each of us.  Just think of the celebration we will have once we can worship together again.  Take some time to call some people and tell them that God loves them and you think there’re pretty great too.

I’m blessed because I have Carolyn with me and I hear from the girls at least once a day.  Some people are not that blessed soooooooo bless them and get blessed yourself.  Give someone that might be home alone a call and just talk—or—listen for a while.

We will be getting back together one day and I am truly looking forward to it.  This is a time to rejoice and be a blessing to people in telephone reach.  The Bible tells us in

 Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 On a lighter side look how Charlie’s gang is trying to encourage us— “May your day be filled with blessings of love, peace, and joy!”

Charlie Brown Pumpkin

I agree with Charlie and the gang, but I would add hope.  Whatever the world brings upon us, we have hope in God’s Word.  Scripture tells us: Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV)
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

In other words don’t worry about what is going on around you, but keep your eyes focused on Jesus.  He will bring us through with a smile on our faces.

Of course as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                                       Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

Tigger and Pooh

 

 

 

 

A Thought From Your Pastor 4/26/2020

pastor image

A Thought From Your Pastor!

 What makes you happy?  It is probably not this lock down we have been in. Watching the news sure doesn’t make you smile.  Carolyn is a great cook and I have been eating better than I ever have but I miss going out to eat.  It is such a fun social time and a chance to spend time with people.   I even miss going to the Chicago Outlet Mall and walking around watching people.  I am going to miss a concert that we were going to go to April 4th, it is rescheduled.   I have had to cancel some coffee meeting with friends too, I miss that uplift.

I’ll tell you what does make me happy; I know my name is written in the Book of Life.  No matter what happens, I will spend eternity with not only Jesus but also my family and friends that have received Him as their Lord and Savior.

Listen to what scripture tells us: Philippians 4:4-6 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

 We can’t let this world depress us because our God is in control.  Jesus never wants us to go around depressed without hope.  We don’t want to act stupid and not follow the government guidelines, but we are not to live in fear either.

 Scripture tells me (which is the true Word of God) in 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV) 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

 There has been some good things happen because of the lock-down.  Carolyn and I have been taking walks, working together around the house and enjoying things we never had time for before.  We even listen to a couple of old cassettes with messages on them.

Once again, I think Charlie Brown has some good insights.  Take an accounting of your life and make a list of all things you are blessed with.  Take time to thank God and rejoice in His blessing. 

                                                  4 26 2020 Charlie Brown

 

I agree with Charlie that our lives are not perfect, but without Jesus it would be so much worst.  So remember one thing: Matthew 6:21 (NIV) 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 Think about it this week: “Where is your treasure—Where is your heart?”

 Hang in there just like a statement I heard long ago “This too shall pass.”  Keep a smile on your face and appreciate what you have.

As always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                  Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

 

4 19 2020 hugs

A Thought From Your Pastor 4/19/2020

 

                                                 4 19 2020

A Thought From Your Pastor

Every time I turn on TV or my computer, people want to talk about COVID-19.  I am concerned about the devastating results of it on the physical body.  I see another problem also.  This stay at home order is necessary and I fully agree with it.  With that in mind we have to be careful we don’t turn into hermits, self centered people or just plain loners that are depressed.

What does scripture tell us?  Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 I miss you people but the stay at home order is so necessary.  We all need to be careful about spreading the Virus.

I friend of mine has a mother in the rest home which he cannot visit.  He set her up with a phone that they can see each other as they talk.  I saw on TV a family standing in a rest home yard singing Happy Birthday to a relative in the home.

4 19 2020 snoopy

Snoopy has an idea; let’s do a little more praying for those loved ones we can’t get with.  I got a crazy idea how about calling a loved one or even just a friend and talk to them on the phone and pray with them.  My daughter Chris and Carolyn are getting together first thing in the morning on the phone and having a devotional together.

Sometimes people alone at home get tired of cooking.  Could you possibly drop a meal off or even a fresh dessert? There are so many ways to stay in touch and show that you care for someone.

Jesus is our example: John 3:16 (NIV) 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

There are so many ways to reach out, stay in touch, show your love and still stay 8 feet apart.   You have the time so sit down and ask God to show you what you can do.

As I said before: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                              Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

4 19 2020 hugs

An Easter Thought From Your Pastor

Easter Cross

 

A thought from your Pastor!

 Happy Easter and May God Bless You!

 Can you believe? It’s one of the church’s most well attended Sundays and churches all over the United States will be closed.   Does that mean Christ is not raised?  Does that mean our Salvation is unstable?  Does that mean anything changes in our celebration of the risen Christ?

Not at all—Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday.  He is in my heart and directs my life whether we are in church or in our own homes.  Jesus is a personal Savior and when we receive Him, He is with us 24-7 whether we are in church or not.

Remember the Old Sunday school song: “God said it–I believe it–that settles it.”

 Jesus keeps His promises and some of them are:

He tells us—“He will never leave us or forsake us” That is a special promise.

He tells us —We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us—- You can move forward in His Name.

He tells us —He is a friend that will stick closer than a brother— You can count on Him when you’re in need.

He tells us —Come unto me if you’re heavy laden and I will give you rest—- You can relax in Him.

He tells you —In my Father’s house are many Mansions—I go to prepare a place for you— You have a home when you leave this earth.

And best of all—–He promises us: Romans 10:13 (ESV) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

He can only make and fulfill these promises if He walks with us day by day.  Jesus is with us in the church and He is just as much with us in our home.

We’re all going through tough times but Christ is with us through it all.  Always remember one of our favorite verses: Philippians 4:19 (NIV) My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Even if we can’t make a regular church service on Easter, take some extra time and celebrate the wonderful gift of Salvation that He has given us.  Encourage one another and lift Jesus up for the fabulous gift of Salvation.

Just like Snoopy, we may want to have some Easter Eggs, some chocolate and even some “Peeps.”  Easter is a time to have fun, but remember the real reason why it is so special.

Snoopy and eggs

And as always: Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Save me an extra chocolate egg.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,

Pastor Gerry and Carolyn

For God So Loved The World

A Thought From Your Pastor for Sunday April 5th

A thought from your Pastor!

 Psalm 33:3-11 (NIV) 3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. 4 For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. 5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. 9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Charlie Brown

 Did you ever think that you would be worrying about not having enough toilet paper?  What about when can we go out to eat rather than where are we going to go eat?

This world is pretty mixed up right now, but look at today’s scripture.  Of course, we need to realize that scripture is something we can count on and we can trust what is says.

We are to rejoice because no matter what—-God has it under control.  We should be praising Him (as Charlie would say) not for the bad stuff happening around us but for the good stuff.

 5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.”

 How does that compare to the virus?  I’ll take God’s care over worry about the virus any day.

That does not mean we get silly and do dumb stuff, but we follow the rules and trust God to take care of everything in the long run.

 Keep praying but also keep rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Hopefully we will be meeting together again in the near future.

God’s Blessing,                                                                                                                              Pastor Gerry and Carolyn