Ways to Learn in March
               Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

Morning Bible Study – Morning Bible study will resume meeting on Thursday, March 21st. We meet at 10:30 a.m. in the Pastor’s Study for about an hour. Come join the conversation!

Faith Practice in daily life - And may [the Lord] so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”  (1 Thessalonians 3:13 NRSV) - It is a privilege to live among God’s faithful people, but is not always easy to do so. Unity does not mean we always agree with those who worship at our church.  Conflicts occur, adding tensions to a faith community.  Thus, Paul’s prayer to increase our love for one another and for all is particularly meaningful.  It could easily become our Advent prayer as we light candles in our Advent wreath or have our daily devotions.

  1. Who in your life needs to know that you are praying for them?

  2. How might you encourage someone this week?

  3. How might you include Paul’s prayer in your Advent activities?

  Prayer: Gracious God, increase and abound our love for one another, for all, and for you.  Strengthen our hearts in holiness that we may be blameless before you at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all the saints.  Amen

The Word of God - Pass It On Initiative - What better place to find the Word of God than in the House of God! If you look in the pew rack in front of you, you may notice a Bible. The Bibles currently in the pew rack are a gift given by Pastor Stephen Blenkush in memory of his father Rev. Dallas Blenkush. It is also part of a new initiative to both encourage worshipers to make use of the Bible during worship but also to provide Bibles to those who are in need of God's Word. So, if you are in need of a Bible, take it home. If you know someone in need of a Bible, pass it along. If you would like to participate in this ongoing initiative, contact either Pastor Bickford or the church office.

Online Reflections - Interested in keeping up with all the great opportunities and ministries going on within our Northeastern Minnesota Synod? Go to www.nemnsynod.org and click the Online Reflections tab and click to sign up to receive weekly updates. Now you too can stay on top of what’s going on in our synod and church!

    Read the Bible daily - one of the marks of discipleship is reading scripture every day. Make it easy - get a Daily Scripture reading in your email from Zion Online. Sign up and chose to receive every day in your email a Scripture passage, a Psalm, or a Psalm you can sing to a familiar hymn melody.

Adages— Let go and let God

As a piece of popular theology, “Let go and let God” is trite and profound, hurtful and helpful.
It’s hurtful when served with a side of “get over it already” or “you just have to trust.” The thinly veiled accompanying message might be “You are taking too long to grieve” or “If your faith was stronger you wouldn’t worry — consider the lilies of the field” (Matthew 6:25–29).
It’s trite when the perceived meaning reduces God to a Magic 8 Ball® decision-maker (“It is certain”) or absolves personal responsibility (“God’s work, not mine”).
Mary Lynn Hendrickson, a director of faith formation in Stoughton, Wis., wrote: “For people who are in recovery — who have been to hell and back — and found sobriety through Twelve Step programs, ‘Let go and let God’ is a powerful statement. I embrace that phrase from the likes of them and offer it as a supportive reminder in return. All it means is we let God be God instead of ourselves.”
In We Know How This Ends: Living While Dying, the late Bruce H. Kramer wrote: “The arrogance of my own able-bodied existence allowed me to believe that I was in complete control of my fate.”
“Let go and let God” becomes profound when we realize “let go” is not about ceding control as if it were ours to hand over to God. Instead, we come to understand the emphasis is on “let God.” When illness or other loss empties our arrogant notions of self-sufficiency and control, we have the grace-space to experience the fullness of God.    
                                                    – Sue Edison-Swift

Pick up a current copy ofLiving Lutheran magazine, the new flagship publication of the ELCA, and the daily devotional Christ in Our Home are available in the kiosk in the Narthex. Christ in Our Home is a quarterly devotional resource that encourage to live out their faith daily. Each reflective reading is accompanied by a daily scripture reference and prayer for the day. It is also available is large print.

Lutheran Marriage Encounter helps married husbands and wives celebrate their special relationship - and provides them with unique innsights and tools to improve their communication for the long haul. The experience is a whole weekend for a couple to escape chores, jobs, and kids in order to refresh and re-energize their love, learn a delightful new method of communication, and reap joyful long-term rewards for their relationship, their family, and their faith journey. Oct, 12–14 at Centerstone Plaza Hotel in Rochester. Apply now at GodLovesMarriage.org! Questions? Contact Pete & Phyllis McMahon mcmahonp@comcast.net or 763-561-1575. Pre-registration is required.

For Better...Forever - Couple's Retreat: Marriage and Pre-Marriage - "For Better...Forever" is an enjoyable couple's seminar. With wit, humor, and spirit, couples learn from the latest research what works for couples in happy and lasting marriages.
    *Gender and Personality Differences: How to keep them working for you rather than against you.
    *Communication: Everyone can learn to communicate better, the sooner the better
    *Spirituality/The Divine Love: Secrets to feeling your love is "heaven sent."
The day goes from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Cost: $125 per couple (includes refreshments, lunch, and the cost of all materials.
For more information or to register, go to Couples Retreat or Lakeside Center or call 218-829-3330. "For Better...Forever" is led by Ron Hunt, a licensed psychologist in Minnesota as well as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California. he is also an ordained pastor and Spiritual Director.