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Pastor's Newsletter FEB 2017

Dear Church Family,

It’s wonderful to be writing in this new year 2017.  We have already had some special times in Sunday morning services, and February is now here.

For several years I have been developing a concept of “January Discontentment” (my own original term) and maybe have mentioned it from time to time in different stories during my messages.  The idea is that this past month seems to carry a load for us here in northwest Missouri that is not easy to bear.

In my own meditation I have looked a lot at nature this past month and it is a time for animals to hunker down in the ground to stay warm.  Hibernation and living off the storage of food from last summer and fall is essential to survive. 

In the world of plants everything seems dead or dormant, with very little verdant except for evergreen trees.  We see from the study of trees that they continue to grow during the winter, whether adding deeper roots to avail of warmth and moisture, or adding rings to the trunk to allow for more strength in the years ahead.  Yet we don’t see much happening above ground.

The mechanical world seems to take it hard as well, whether with the increase of potholes in the roads, needs on the house that looked okay even a month or so ago, and common car problems like dead batteries or bad tires.  Winter is the most common time of year for house fires and safety is critical with all the furnaces running to keep us warm.

People have there own tendencies too whether it is simply to avoid it all by going south to Arizona, Texas, or Florida, or procrastinating tasks until Spring. And if these are viable options they can be good choices in the right context.  Personally, I feel like my arthritis has been more of a problem than past winters and I am reminded to be careful, take pain medicine, and pace myself wisely.

Having said all of this I am leading to the essential value of God’s Word as we study the book of Colossians together and plan to finish it during February.  Our key passage talks about being “rooted and built up in Christ” and “overflowing with thankfulness”  (Col. 2:6,7).  Now that is a challenge when January discontentment leaves me feeling overwhelmed or apathetic towards the Lord, His Word and His Church.

Sometimes I feel that my time in God’s Word is SO essential that there would be nothing in life to be happy about at all without this renewed presence of God in my heart.  I would probably just go back to the complaining negativism or pointless materialism that is so prevalent in the secular people around me in this world. 

The exhortation is to “preach the Word in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2) These are important days for us to continue “growing together in Christ Jesus” (our church motto) and to keep teaching God’s Word.  It is not a time to neglect fellowship or to avoid meeting together as some are in the habit of doing (see Hebrews 10:24,25).  And as your pastor I will always make a special effort to remember and to visit those who cannot get out during this season.

If you are there in discontentment use these cold days and dark evenings to deepen your roots and gain strength for the days ahead.  I have found just extra reading of God’s Word for a few minutes helps.  Listening to music is essential.  I start with praise music and allow some time for classical music in the evenings or while driving.  Watching young people play basketball helps me, a good chess game on line, or a favorite old TV show from youtube are all gifts of God that help me enjoy these days.  When my mind is then renewed I actually find that some of my best planning for the future can come during these winter days.  And we will be SO ready when more productive days of sowing and reaping come into our lives.

With you in the Lord’s service, 

Richard Boettner, pastor