Dear St. Paul family and friends,
I am writing this on a Sunday morning and really missing everyone and worshiping together. I am very thankful for Pastor Brian’s online sermons and have really enjoyed listening to them. It is good to see our community slowly returning to some phase of normalcy. For people who live in care centers this won’t be happening anytime soon. In my thoughts and prayers each day is my mother-in-law, Marilyn. She lives at Azria Health in Winterset. Residents have been on quarantine since mid March which means spending most of the day in your room. She gets out of her room to take showers, have her room cleaned, and for some activities. I am very thankful for the staff and the care they give each day. We call her daily and visit her window at times. If I had to stay in a room all day I know it would be difficult for me and I know it is very difficult for her. She loved to have us take her to my mom’s house for Sunday dinners and have an afternoon away.
My grandson Bentley, known as B, recently made some mother’s day gifts with the help of his dad. He made great grandma a bright red bird feeder (her favorite color) and took it to her window when he recently visited. She watched him fill up the feeder and he got some help hanging it up. Yes, she already had some bird feeders and no we haven’t done a good job of filling them since the passing of John’s dad who lived with Marilyn at Azria. Two days later, I got a call from Marilyn, who also has dementia and macular degeneration, and she was very excited to tell me that she saw two birds with some colors on them at the feeder B had made. That made me think and appreciate a couple of things. One is that small acts of kindness can make a big difference and bring hope and joy to others. The other is that the littlest people can make a difference. I was very excited to call B and tell him Grandma had birds at her feeder. I now am on a mission to keep the feeders full as it brings joy to Grandma to see the birds. God’s provision of natural entertainment expressed in the beauty of his creation is a great blessing. That also got me thinking about how God works in our lives.
He is the God of hope. In Romans 15:13 it says:
13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 |NLT
To me, this means that God is our only lasting source of hope in our life on earth and in heaven. Our faith can bring us joy and peace in knowing that God will take care of us and see us through. The Holy Spirit is with us at all times.
He is a God of blessing. In Jeremiah 17:7-8 it says:
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
This means to me, that it pleases God when we trust in him and utterly rely on him no matter what our circumstances are. This is exactly what I need to remember during the coronavirus pandemic. I take comfort in that God’s care can speak to me through my grandson making a bird feeder and his great grandma finding happiness in seeing the birds. I pray that God will help me be patient through the pandemic and look for ways I can help others and bring them cheer and comfort. Please, my dear family and friends, pray for all who reside in various types of care centers and their caregivers. May the God of hope and blessing encourage you today.
Church office phone: 515-462-4270
Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867