Archive for August, 2011

Servant Leaders

August 29, 2011

A synod colleague of Dave’s had the opportunity this summer of  taking a sabbatical.  Dave had the privilege of preaching in his congregation this morning.  This pastor is doing his own set of readings as he leads them this year through the Bible. He assigned Dave the last half of the gsopel of Mark for this morning.  Key was Jesus word to the disciples and the crowd,  “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus was a servant leader who showed the power of God in his life of service.  The power of His leadership grew out of the service He gave.  Many of us know those who seek to “serve first” and because they do are held in high esteem by those around them.  We can’t be Jesus, but perhaps we can be more like Jesus in our lives of service.

We’re thankful for those in the medical field who continue to serve Mary Jo.  She had good reports in her visits to the doctors this week.  The mammograms were clear, and we are thankful.  She had several blood tests and the results so far are very good(still waiting for 2 to come back).  She’s about to return to school tomorrow with teacher in-service days for the next three days.  School starts with kids on September 1.  We continue to pray and to believe that God will give her the strength for this year.  She does enjoy working with the students.

Thinking of students returning to school and Sunday School, Dave used the story of Jesus’ blessing of the children as a children’s message this morning.  God continues to bless children as they learn and grow and live in God’s great love for them.

 

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Confirming the gifts

August 22, 2011

I helped confirm thirty-eight 10th graders today.  The whole church confirms for them that God has given them the gift of faith and a specific gift to use as they live out that faith for the sake of the world.  One of the readings for the day  reminded them that God has created them not to conform to the powers that be,  but  God is in the process of transforming them through the renewal of their minds.  We asked the young people to confess their faith in God, knowing all along that confession is God’s gift.   It was a privilege to be with them today after spending most of the last three years watching them grow into men and women.  May God keep God’s promise and bless their lives daily.

It was a real privilege to be invited back for this special occasion.  It was good to see people who were and still are important in our lives.  We thank Pastor Grow and the confirmation class for this opportunity.

Ellen Mostrom Bersagel 1912-2011

August 3, 2011

Dave’s Mother died on Saturday, July 30 at the age of 99.  She was born at home in July of 1912, and she died peacefully in that same home with family present.

We celebrated her 99th birthday on Wednesday.  She was able to greet us, celebrate with us (she sang along on “Happy Birthday),  and hear our words of love for her.

She was and will continue to be a blessing to us as her family.  Her faith, her wit which she never lost even at the end, her sly smile, and her deep sense of gratitude about life are a great legacy for us. My sisters Marie and Ruth faithfully cared for her in the home they shared.  Over the last 3 weeks they had the wonderful help of a Comfort Care Team from the area. Dave is grateful to his sisters for the constant and loving care they gave.

We’ll have a funeral service for her and celebrate God’s grace in her life on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 at Elk Creek Church near Northwood, Iowa.  She was baptized, confirmed and married in that church and now will be buried from it in the cemetery there.   She returned to Elk Creek Church after she and Dave’s father served parishes in Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois.  He died in 1973 at the age of 62.

We will remember her as a talented musician (choir director, organist, pianist), a lover of puzzles and gadgets, but especially as a person who saw her life as richly blessed by God.  We will miss her presence in our lives but claim God’s promise given through Jesus of resurrection to eternal life. May God bless her memory among us.