We pray that God will use these stories to guide, inspire, and encourage you in your faith journey. God’s blessing to each of you.
Craig’s prayer: I pray that we will continue to remember that we can best serve God by serving others. I thank Peace for giving me the opportunity to help serve others through community projects and to realize that our real value will be measured by how well we do in these important tasks. Amen.
Craig’s story: Serving others over my own special interests has not always been at the forefront of my daily thoughts or priorities. It is so easy to get caught up in the activities as we carry out what we think are the important tasks and projects surrounding our families or even our own personal interests. The media bombards us daily with images about self-gratification. My own thought processes often focus on what I need to get done today or something I can do for my own personal enjoyment. As a member of Peace, however, I have had the opportunity to participate in several projects that have reached out to help others in our community. Over the last several years, we had the privilege to help with recovery work after the floods in Grand Forks, to participate in serving meals at Place of Hope in St. Cloud, work on several building projects for Habitat for Humanity in St. Cloud, Paynesville, and St. Joseph, and many other opportunities in our own community of Cold Spring. Each time I have participated in a project that helps others, I realize that my time spent on self-centered activities is inconsequential compared to the time I spend doing the work of the Lord. Each of us that participate have seen, in the eyes of those being helped, the true appreciation, and gratitude that is heartfelt. Where we spend each minute or hour is something that we need to stop and really think about more often. October 2010
Jennifer’s prayer: Father, thank you for the gift of music and its ability to touch our hearts and fill them with love for you. Thank you for the gift of voices of our choir as it praises you during our worship service. Amen.
Jennifer’s story: Throughout my spiritual journey, music has ignited the presence of God in my life. As long as I can remember, I participated in church as a musician, from singing in choir to playing piano solos. Music was the unique way that I could share the glory of God with others. Never was that more true than when I sang with the Concordia Choir. The complexity of the choral pieces that we performed, in addition to the beauty of the spiritual messages we shared, was an ethereal experience. Although there were many songs that top my list of favorites, the most beloved choral piece was based on Isaiah 40:28-31. The message of this passage set to music reminds me that no matter the difficulties we face in life, how defeated or exhausted we may be, we can trust that our strength and hope will be renewed by the power of God.
Similar to Peace Lutheran, which is a host of ideas and dreams anchored in faith, a choral piece is a manuscript of ideas inspired by God’s word. The music on paper is transformed into a stunning musical experience through artistic collaboration and endless rehearsals. It is my sincere desire that through faith, hard work, and cooperation, the Peace community will reach its full potential to make our collective dream a reality. -October 2010
Jim’s prayer: Lord, slap us in the face when we need it and continue to surprise us with your eternal love. Amen.
Jim’s story: In our family, each of us has had a brush with death at some time during our lives. It has been a great gift, because every remaining minute is now more beautiful. I suppose we didn’t actually need that ‘slap in the face’ to see that each moment is beautiful. But that slap got our attention and we will be eternally grateful.
When we children of God are at our best, we are closest to God’s Plan for our lives. We become part of God’s musical harmony on Earth, as described in Ecclesiastes. But we are from time to time surprised by events around us. I have come to think of God as the “Great Surpriser”. As Jesus walked by, the blind man had one chance to see and he grabbed it. Because of that, because he grabbed it in that very moment, his faith healed him. What a miracle might we be a part of today? If only we were to grab it? -October 2010