Thoughts and Ponderings from Pastor:
Most of us have some minor obsessions. Mine, as you know, include M&M’s, sports, and collecting ‘toys’ for my office! I am also fascinated by trivia or little unknown facts. Donna thinks I have a few more!
Now, I don’t see small obsessions as problematic. And, in a way, they are the spice of life. When we sit down and share our obsessions, we mutually enrich each other.
Sometimes obsessions become unhealthy.
Many people suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which usually involves triple checking things, or compulsive hand washing, or a pathological fear of making a mistake.
Most of us have OCD to some degree.
I can’t tell you how many times I have made up an ‘excuse’ to drive back down the street to make sure the garage door was down! And when I leave the house I walk around and unplug every single cord and make sure things are turned off, more than once.
But some people have these tendencies to such a degree that it interferes with ‘normal’ life. People who suffer from OCD often find relief in medication. There are also therapies that deliberately expose people to the things that they fear.
Sometimes, though, people fall victim to unhealthy obsessions that are larger and more consuming than the ones we’ve talked about. More than office toys or little-known facts…more than unplugging cords or checking garage doors…some people seem to be seized by obsessions that define their lives.
One example, ruled by obsession, Ebenezer Scrooge. His obsessive love of money made normal relationships with others impossible.
Lives defined by obsessions are not confined to fiction.
I think of William Sidis, an American child prodigy with exceptional mathematical and linguistic skills.
His parents were obsessed with turning him into a genius. They educated him so strongly that he could read by the age of two! He was admitted to Harvard at the age of eleven! And yet, eventually, he devoted his talents to his own obsession, collecting streetcar transfer tickets! Even though it wasted a great intellect, Sidis’ hobby was at least harmless.
But Adolf Hitler’s obsession with Jewish people brought horror to the twentieth century. And James Angleton of the CIA became so obsessed with finding a Russian “mole” in the CIA that he essentially crippled the Agency’s operations for years.
Sometimes people become obsessed with some wrong done to them by family or friend that they hang on to their resentment, and it poisons their relationships.
I remember, at a previous Church I served, a member stopped going to worship, 20 some years after I arrived, he still refused to come to worship…he had obsessed over the Church selling the Parsonage to the Pastor, and a few years later when he had left to serve another congregation, sold the house, for a profit, and never gave the Church the ‘extra’ money.
Obsessions can be terrible things.
But it also can be a glorious thing!
The great accomplishments of human history, did they not arise from obsessions? An obsession to cure a disease, an obsession to make communications more effective, an obsession to improve life.
We cannot look down upon such obsessions because they have made the world a better place!
Some obsessions are minor, some are destructive, and some bring blessings to the world.
To be honest, God is a little obsessive Himself. Obsessed…with us.
We turn our backs on Him when we fall to sin. Yet, He can’t let us go. How can I give you up (Hosea 11:8)? We remain on His mind, and in His heart. His love for us is so total that the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:30).
His love for us was so all consuming that He came up with a mind-blowing plan, He would become human like us. He would take our nature upon Himself. Now that is obsessive!
And He carried out this amazing plan. He embraced our human nature, and in that human nature He died for us. A radical plan, the most radical plan in history. All because God has an obsessive love for us that cannot let us go.
So, I am the beneficiary of a divine obsession. My sins are forgiven, my guilt is lifted, I am saved…because God’s love for me was so great that He could not let me go, but rather came into this world to save me. That’s an obsession! A glorious obsession! A magnificent obsession!
January Bible Readings:
3: Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12
10: Genesis 1:1-5, Romans 6:1-11, Mark 1:4-11
17: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20,
24: Jonah 3:1-5, 10, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31,
31: Deuteronomy 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, Mark 1:21-28
Sunday Morning Bible Study: The Sermon Text of the day.
Bibles and Coffee: Fire On The Mountain. Tuesdays at 10:00am. Look below for more information.
Hope Womens Center: Faith In The Home
Thank you to everyone who helped decorate the Church for the Advent and Christmas Seasons. The Church looked beautiful!
Special Days in January:
According to our records, this month Rita Kircherer (12th), Bea Whitaker (15th), Roberta Olson (20th), John Trapp III (23rd), Debbie Trapp (25th), Robert Glick (26th), and Robert Klingbeil (30th) celebrate their birthday, and, Gene and Anne Lackore (4th), Dick and Lorraine Krukeberg (24th), and, Jim and Samme Sweeney (31st) celebrate their wedding anniversary. God bless your special day!
Bibles and Coffee Bible Study:
Bibles and Coffee has resumed! We meet in the Fellowship area every Tuesday beginning at 10:00am.
We will be viewing and studying Ray Vander Laan’s, Fire On the Mountain, Displaying God In A Broken World.
When the Israelites left Egypt, they were finally free. Free from persecution, free from oppression, and free to worship their own God. But with that freedom comes a new challenge…learning how to live together the way God intends.
In this study we will discover how God teaches the Israelites what it means to be part of a community that loves Him and the lessons we can begin to live out in our lives today.
Hope Women’s Center Christmas Angel Tree:
Many thank to everyone who helped us with the Angel Tree for the women and families of the Hope Women’s Center. They were truly overjoyed by the blessings and love that we shared with them at Christmas.
This month our Member Spotlight is on Marilyn Glick!
1. Where do you live? I live in the old part of Coolidge.
2. Who makes up your family? Bob, 4 cats, and 1 big dog. We have 4 children and no grandchildren.
3. Have you always lived in Arizona? We lived in Mesa for 10 years, moved to Indiana to care for my mother, then came back to Arizona in 2017. Arizona is home for us.
4. What did you do? I was a software engineer, then went to graduate school, then college professor and data analyst.
5. What is your favorite Bible Passage? God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
6. What is your favorite food or meal? Steak, baked potato, and salad.
7. What is the last book you read? Hidden Valley Road, by Robert Kolker.
8. What is something interesting that we may not know about you? I moved to Arizona from California, it was the first place I chose to live.
The November 10th Council meeting was called to order by President Paul Roloff and Jack Henderson led us in prayer with Pastor sharing a devotion based on Veterans Day.
During the reporting section of the agenda:
Pastor reviewed items from his written report;
Robert Rowland (Head Elder) shared about our New Member Sunday and welcoming 5 new members, a possible loan agreement between Pastor/Donna and Christ Lutheran for a down payment towards the purchase of a home, and filling in for Pastor while he will be on vacation, December 27th;
Chuck Hess (Trustees) reported on the gas being turned on, receiving permission to hang the signs on the wall in the parking lot and asked the owner about the possibility of hanging signs on the wall, that we will get rid of the broke picnic table. There was much discussion regarding the internet and the trustees are looking into better service. Mark reported on the updated Security System (sensor, doorbell and 3 new cameras). The outside storage container shelving unit is completed, and the container needs to be cleaned out and organized;
Dorothy Roloff (Activities) reported on the Midweek Advent Dinners and the fellowship for our New Member welcome.
Under Old Business: The Building Committee will meet to look into obtaining a new bid from Gallo Construction since we were informed of a possible new gift. Rev. Tasler will be asked to join the Committee.
The Nomination Committee shared a report on the progress of a slate of officers for 2021.
Dave Erickson is working on the 2021 Budget.
Under New Business: A motion was made, seconded, and approved to regretfully accept the resignation of Brian Chipman as Vice President.
There was discussion regarding the dissemination of Council minutes. It was decided to have an article in Christ Connections (newsletter) of the approved Council minutes.
The next regular meeting of the Church Council will be Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
WOW (Women of Worth—LWML) News and Notes:
W.O.W. (LWML) has been gathering monthly Noisy Offerings. To help assist mission projects of the PSW (Pacific Southwest) LWML.
The mission projects for January-March will be:
January: Amberly’s Place. Quilts are made for Amberly’s Place for abused children. The grant will fund the batting and backing for the ladies at Sun Vista to make these quilts. The quilts are given yearly to help abused children.
February: Atonement Lutheran School Easel Arts Sets. Atonement Lutheran School envisions artwork reflecting God’s glory and the beauty of His creation through an enhanced art program. Through this grant, 25 wood table easels containing compartments filled with art supplies could be purchased, paving the way for students to give witness to their faith through art.
March: Homeless Native Americans Find Hope, Lutheran Indian Ministries of Phoenix. This project supports outreach to Native Americans struggling with homelessness, as well as drug and alcohol addiction in the greater Phoenix area. By demonstrating Christ’s love and providing assistance with transportation, food clothing, shelter, and Biblical programs, Native people will come to see and know the real Jesus.
News From Our Synod:
It’s been a year that no one could have predicted. But as 2020 comes to an end, the church continues its work.
What is The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) up to these days?
The State of the Synod content has taken on a new delivery form this year, available to a wider online audience in downloadable form at the LCMS website.
The State of the Synod this year includes “look back” reviews and “what’s next” summaries shared by key leaders in the Synod’s administrative team. These articles describe how the work of the LCMS continues during COVID-19 despite most Synod staff operating as a deployed workforce. The forward-looking portions of the report — presented in brief summary format — are meant to:
Connect the Synod’s key priorities with operating unit goals and plans, and
Demonstrate the Synod’s fervent desire to use Christ’s abundant gifts effectively to care for God’s people and witness to His saving and sustaining work.
Finally, readers will also want to take note of the LCMS Mission Advancement unit’s 2020 “Annual Report,” which had been previously published within and alongside the LW November State of the Synod issue.
The 2020 Annual Report, meant especially to inform the Synod’s contributors and constituents of financial gifts received and their various uses in LCMS domestic and international work, also has been moved online alongside the 2020 State of the Synod.
“We pray that these summary documents will well serve the people of the LCMS as we strive to transparently inform all of the marvelous impact of their participation in the Synod’s mission and ministry, which is Christ’s mission and ministry,” said LCMS Chief Mission Officer Rev. Kevin D. Robson.
To read these documents, go to lcms.org and search for 2020 State of the Synod report.
We are blessed to offer Online Worship via our Facebook page and website.
Every Sunday morning at 9:00am our service is on Facebook Live at CLC COOLIDGE, and, it is uploaded later on Sunday to our website at christlutherancoolidge.com.
One way in which you can ‘share the Word’ with family, friends, neighbors, and your ‘Facebook friends’ is to share the Live Feed. Simply hit the ‘share’ button! For our website, all you would need to do is tell people to go to christlutherancoolidge.com and they will find the service, the Newsletter, photos, and other information!
If you would like a copy of the bulletin, and have not been added to the lost yet, please send Pastor an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.