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Celebrations

Forty days from Easter is Ascension Day. This week on May 25, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord. ‘He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty’. Thanks be to God.

The 37th Biennial Convention of the LWML is just weeks away. We will also celebrate 75 years of serving the Lord with gladness. You will have the opportunity to meet some Heart to Heart Sisters before you even get there by checking our Facebook page regularly for H2H sister profiles. I am excited that we have so many people attending the Church Workers in Mission luncheon to learn and share in partnership, the mission and ministry of the LWML. Adding to our celebration are a record number of Young Woman Representatives attending convention. Something else to celebrate indeed.

It will be hard to hug all the estimated 3,500 people that will attend, so I plan to get started as soon as I get there. Walk-ins welcomed, so it is not too late to get in on the celebration. Stay in the area a while, and make it your family vacation.

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Celebrate in Albuquerque or at Home!

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As Lutheran Women in Mission, we are looking forward to the June 22-25, 2017 LWML Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico where we will celebrate 75 years of serving the Lord with gladness. We will reunite with old friends, find inspiration in stories from the mission field, and even conduct some necessary business! But what if you can’t travel and attend? You can celebrate in your own home and congregation!

Gather together with your friends and family and watch the convention as it is live-streamed. Sing and pray along with thousands of women and men, take a special LWML Thank Offering, and share some stories from the mission field found on this website with your group.

God has blessed the LWML and we are honored to share His blessings now and into the future. We have reason to celebrate!

In His service, filled with His joy,

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Gifts from the Heart

nullIt’s getting closer! The LWML 37th Biennial Convention in Albuquerque is just weeks away. So much to do, so many lists! Gifts from the Heart is on my list of things to bring. I hope it’s on your list too. School items, baby items, health items. So much need. These gifts will be going to four different recipients. Their information and specific items requested on the flier found at www.lwml.org/2017-convention.

All of the items are much needed gifts for many of God’s children. The women of the LWML have been bringing gifts to conventions for many, many years. Let’s make this 75th Anniversary year a year to remember.

If you are unable to come, gather items and send with your zone delegate or find a place near your congregation to share these same items. Most of all, pray for these organizations. They were selected because they share the Gospel of our Lord along with the mercy work that they do.

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Have you ever experienced THAT moment?

nullHave you ever experienced THAT moment in a large venue — a music concert or a sporting event, perhaps — when you realized that you are part of something so much bigger than yourself?

It happens to me at national LWML conventions, especially when the Young Woman Representatives and Heart to Heart Sisters carry in the flags of the countries that have received mission grants through the 75 years of LWML. The visual impact is amazing, but what those flags represent is overwhelming!

Together, God uses us to build up His kingdom and kingdom workers. He uses us to bring the Gospel. He uses us — individually — to be part of something oh-so-much bigger than ourselves. In Albuquerque as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of LWML, flags of 71 countries will be part of that progression. Thanks be to God!

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The force of a simple word …

Luke 24: 5–7
And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”

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If you read the Gospel of Luke concerning the resurrection of our Lord you will find a point of transition. The women journeyed to the tomb with the understanding that they were going to complete what was left undone. The spices were for the anointing of Jesus because He had died.

That morning, things didn’t seem right. The stone was rolled away and there was no body of Jesus. Perplexed is probably a mild word to reflect what was going on in their minds. It was the message they were given that changed everything; “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Not being in the tomb is one thing; being risen is completely another. The reality of our lives changes with one simple: but. A change, a transition, a reflection of new truth. Death no longer has power over us because of this victory by Jesus the Christ.

We express it still today with a historic proclamation: Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!  May God’s grace bring you joy today and always!

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Holy Saturday

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Holy Week waits in relative silence on Saturday. The tomb has been sealed, the guards stand watch, the disciples likely hide in confusion, fear, and devastation. And the Savior lies lifeless, having surrendered all to save his people from their sins.

Holy Saturday. A pause. A space between Good Friday and Easter. A full tomb and, except for the guard, an empty garden. Still. Silent.

Now 2,000 years later … oftentimes, this Holy Saturday is just another day of preparation for Easter Sunday. The youth group needs to get ready for the Easter breakfast. The altar guild is busy arranging lilies and preparing the altar. Grocery stores are filled. Eggs are dyed. We are occupied with busy anticipation. We have moved on from Good Friday. So, what is the rest of the story?

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56–57)

We know the rest of the story. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

 

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The Hour of Darkness

null“When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of Glory died, My richest gain I count but loss And pour contempt on all my pride” (LSB 425:1). There can be no doubt — Christ had it all. He is the Prince of Glory. Our Savior also gave it all. Isaiah 53 tells us He was stricken, smitten, afflicted, pierced, crushed, punished, led like a Lamb to the slaughter, cut off from the land of the living, and assigned a grave with the wicked. And Jesus delivers it all! The absolution declares it. The baptismal font seals it. The Holy Communion table celebrates it. This is the “good” in Good Friday! When these great truths strike our hearts, we cannot help but sing, “Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a tribute far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all!” (LSB 425:4).

 

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