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Lost in Translation

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The innocence of children creates the most precious moments. My two-year-old granddaughter’s version of the common table prayer goes something like this: “Come Lord sheep, be our chest, let gifts, us be best. Aaaaamen.” Amusing to hear, yet, if one is not familiar with the prayer, the true intent is lost in her translation. 

When called upon to share who we are and what we do as Lutheran Women in Mission, it is important that our words are not lost in translation. Do we converse with peculiar words, phrases, or acronyms vague in meaning to the listener? Can our words truly be heard and understood?

The “Who We Are” tab at lwml.org contains the LWML Mission Statement, Vision Statement, goals, and the much-loved League Pledge. Visit the page often; re-familiarize yourself with these valuable assets. Put the words to good use when the next person asks, “What is LWML anyway?” Give them plenty to think about!

Abounding in Hope,
Frances Molitor, President
LWML Texas District
2020–2024

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Giving Up that Special Treat

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and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them” (Luke 21:2–3).

When Jesus watched the widow give her two small coins, He saw in her heart that she had made the biggest gift of all those who had contributed; she gave all she had. Our LWML mites are based on this biblical story.

We are in the 40-day Lenten season, a time when many practice the tradition of “giving up something for Lent.” Have you ever given up chocolate, Starbucks coffee, or a special treat? It may remind us how Jesus willingly gave up “all He had” — His life — for the forgiveness of our sins.

This Lenten season, let’s drop those coins we would have spent for treats into our Mite Box, to continue spreading the Gospel to the lost and giving them hope in Jesus.

Deb Vinkemeier, President
LWML Minnesota South District
2018-2022

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Me, A Witness?

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As we go about our day, our common responses can show our witness to Christ. Since a Christian does not believe in luck, we can say “God bless you” instead of "good luck." When someone asks "how are you?" we can reply with "I'm blessed." No matter how we feel, we are always blessed. 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).

The LWML website has many resources about witnessing. Go to lwml.org and search for “witnessing.” The Christian Life and Gospel Outreach committees have many resources. The Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly also has many articles about witnessing. Share them with other LWML women and with your circle of friends.

Through our mite offerings, LWML supports witnessing to the end of the earth. Let us remember that witnessing begins with each of us. God bless you!

Marge Gruber, President
LWML Indiana District 

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Sharing Jesus’ Love

Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so!

As a preschool director I hear this song as I walk in the hallways, and it brings joy to my heart. Preschoolers are not shy about singing loud and strong. They love to tell everyone, everywhere how much Jesus loves them.

Do you have the joy of a little child as you communicate Jesus' love to the people you meet every day? Do you greet friends or family members with a smile, a greeting or a hug when you see them? We need to share those things with the people we meet, showing the love of God and reminding them that God’s love is real and is a constant in their lives.

I have loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Prayer: Jesus, help me to share Your love with the people around me today. Show me how to help others who are in need of that extra love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lisa Stirtz, President
LWML Nebraska North District
2018–2022
 

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The Witnessing Continuum

I think of witnessing as a continuum that runs from “anonymous” to “personal.” “Anonymous witnessing” includes the “Sure I’ll write a check!” response. “Personal witnessing” happens face-to-face, like what Jesus did. In between, there are many levels.  

The Gospel Outreach Committee has dozens of resources with ideas for how to witness at your level in the continuum. The Monthly Mission Service Activities usually contain a section titled “Mercy in Action,” with practical ways to reach out to others.

The Year’s Worth of Mission Service Activities calendars contain a three-level approach. The “Making our Faith Meaningful” suggestion has an “extra credit” element, encouraging face-to-face activities.

Wherever you are in the continuum, be confident that the Holy Spirit is with you; be bold in your witness!

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies … that … God may be glorified (1 Peter 4:10–11a).

Candy Habich
LWML Mid-South District President
2020–2024
 

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Shine Your Light

LWML district leaders are in the process of making tough decisions about canceling or postponing their conventions due to COVID-19. I have no doubt the conversations are full of angst, just as ours in the Louisiana-Mississippi District were, as we wrestle with God’s will for us.  

I noticed common themes among their announcements of decisions: we rejoice always, we are not fearful, and God is in control. Why do we rejoice? Because we know God is glorified when we put Him first in our decisions. We are not fearful because we have faith in Jesus, and we know that God has this.

Do other people see this in us? Are we beacons of light for others, showing them the love of Jesus? I am reminded of a hymn whose lyrics include a phrase about God sending stars to give light to the world and how the star of my life is Jesus.  

On the LWML website, there’s a section containing Spring Resources. One is a devotion, “Bloom and Grow!” Its uplifting message reminds us to be in the Word “so that the seeds of modeling God’s love that you drop are pure, strong, and seen by others.” The world is watching, so remember to be that beacon of light that shows the way to Jesus.

Anita Granger, President
LWML Louisiana-Mississippi District, 2016-2020

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A Purple Reminder

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

As the shuttle bus driver came around to load my luggage for my trip to the airport, he smiled and asked, “What’s the logo on your shirt?” I said, “Oh, it’s for LWML, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.” 

He replied, “That’s wonderful! My mom was a Lutheran. Your purple sweatshirt just brought back a wonderful memory! What are Lutheran women doing nowadays?” 

I didn’t spend my 45-minute ride looking out the window or staring at my phone. God had another plan. I had the opportunity to talk to Gary about the “reason for the hope” that is in me. Because of my studies of God’s Word and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I was prepared to remind him of the importance of a personal relationship with God. 

Our LWML Store volunteers often remind us how important it is to wear LWML items and share our faith with others. Wear yours and carry your LWML items every chance you get! 

Dianna Just
LWML Oklahoma District President
2016–2020

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