FROM OUR WMF PRESIDENT

Lynn 5-2014 SMALL web readyBy Lynn Wellumson

My wonderful, trustworthy, twelve year old maroon car that faithfully carried me for over 100,000 miles was totaled by a pickup truck.  It was a sad day!  I could turn on the radio, hit the windshield wipers, and turn on the lights without looking.  My coffee mug fit perfectly in the rack and I hadn’t changed the six CD’s in the console in over a year.

At the car dealership, we explained the make, model, year range, and price range of our desired “new” vehicle .  The salesman gently explained that it would be very rare to find one not only in Williston, but anywhere.  He was encouraging us to buy a new Pilot and we had to inform him we would not be comfortable driving anything that was the cost of our home twenty six years ago.  At that moment of impasse, he suddenly jumped up and said “Let me look into something”.  When he came back, he was all smiles!  A pilot matching our criteria had come in that morning.  We went out to test drive it and decided to make an offer.

On the second day of ownership of this blue beauty, we noticed part of the key fob was missing.  We retraced our steps, to no avail.  It didn’t keep anything from working, just kind of annoying and the battery could easily fall out.

Arriving at church the next day, one of our faithful ushers showed us he had found a piece of plastic and didn’t know what to do with it.  The lost was found.

Our family has been praying for six months for a job for our newest college graduate.  What a great reminder that God hasn’t abandoned us ( I will never leave you nor forsake you.   Joshua 1:5 b NIV) ; forgot about us (For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  ESV);  or brushed us off ( The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise.   II Peter 3:9 a ESV) .  He has a plan and in His timing, He will open the right doors. 

In the middle of our being concerned about our son  finding a job, our experience of finding this vehicle reminds us God is in control of every aspect of our lives.  He is faithful!

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From Our WMF President Lynn Wellumson

At our worship service this past week  we began with the hymn “Come, Christians, Join to Sing” which includes phrases “Come, lift your hearts on high, Let praises fill the sky”, “Life shall not end the strain”, “Praise is His gracious choice”, and “Singing forevermore, Alleluia! Amen”.  We used a corporate confession of sins from the Ambassador Hymnal.  We acknowledged that we have sinned against God and are unworthy of His goodness and love.  Our confession of faith was the meaning of the second article from the Apostles Creed. Familiar phrases “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten from the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord” assured us God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.   I John 1:9 was read for the declaration of grace: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.  Time between Sunday School and church provided opportunity to check in with a man recently diagnosed with a treatable ailment, an elderly woman concerned for her grandson, a college student celebrating her birthday, and a young man seeking employment.

Outside, the weather graphically illustrated the point “though our sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”  The grueling wind chill kept many home .  We missed them, but trust they had opportunity through self-study of the Bible, TV, or radio to hear God’s Word.

Sunday, the day set aside for rest, gives us the opportunity to gather together around God’s Word for instruction, encouragement, and fellowship.

Hebrews 10:25:  “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

No Root System

By Lynn Wellumson
WMF National President

When we were returning our home to normal after Christmas, we put out our live Christmas tree out in the front yard. There was just enough snow that it stood upright and we awaited the notice in the paper where trees could be disposed of properly. We, then, happily made a grandparent visit across state and took a little vacation. When we returned home, the notice concerning trees was prominently posted, which was all well and good, but new snow had fallen and frozen several times and our little tree wasn’t going anywhere until spring. Several times looking out our bay window this winter, I have realized that a tree planted exactly where our Christmas tree is standing would be a very good idea. It actually looks planned, well-trimmed, just waiting for the birds to come back this spring. Just this week the truth about this tree is becoming evident. It’s getting brown and a little shriveled looking. With no root system, no way to get water, with brutal weather elements, it cannot stand the truth of its condition.

On our own, we are just like that tree. God loved us too much to leave us that way and has provided salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. With His promises, we can know the assurance of sins forgiven, the hope of a heavenly home, and peace through trials. His Word, the Bible, contains all we need to know of Jesus’ finished work on our behalf. Ephesians 3: 17b-19 reassures us:

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  (NIV)

God Goes Before Us

by Lynn Wellumson

We have enjoyed for years getting Christmas cards and letters from friends and family.  They, without exception, highlight the good times had by the family through the past year.  This has included new births, job promotions, children with stellar grades, new homes, and exotic vacations.  We have most years written a letter of our own recalling the blessings and joys of the past year.

One author, after a glowing report, of unusually gifted and talented children, job promotions, and a dog with perfect manners closed his letter with a P.S which read “other things happened too, but they don’t look good in print”.

How thankful we are that God has gone before us in 2013.  We can trust His mercy and grace will not only be sufficient but will cover us.  We are thankful for His promise of forgiveness and mercy to those who call upon His name and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  In our humanness we need His promise of eternal life and the joy of entering His kingdom.  We can face the future with optimism and hope even with the knowledge that things will happen that wouldn’t look good in print.

Our God Who Never Fails!

by Lynn Wellumson

Don’t you love taking everyday conveniences for granted?  Appliances, cars, computers, I love them all as long as they function as promised.

We tend to think of ourselves as reasonably handy with home repairs.  Our main bathroom shower had a slow leak that while not getting worse, did not seem to be healing itself either.  We had our two assistants (sons) home for thanksgiving break.  With an afternoon free, while the rest of the world was shopping on Black Friday, they decided to tackle this hopefully, simple pipe replacement job.  The tub did not have it’s own shut off valve, so this task required turning off the water to the entire house.  While removing the damaged pipe, not only did it break, but the two next to it did also.  It seemed to be miraculous that not only was a plumber on duty, but he arrived within half an hour to assess the damages.  He was able to seal off the pipes which resulted in water being restored to the rest of the house.  He also promised to return within a week to actually fix the pipes.  In an amazing show of bathroom fixtures solidarity, the toilet handle broke after he left.  In case we were carrying a virus that was causing our house to fall into itself, we escaped to the local Chinese restaurant.  When our fortune cookies arrived at the end of the meal, mine said, “We will not know the worth of water ’til the well is dry.”  We got a chuckle out of that!  Jon’s read “It’s time to complete some unfinished business.”  As of this moment, the plumber has not returned resulting in using the basement shower which is down to a trickle of water due to the pipes being sealed off upstairs.  Serious gymnastic movements are required to even get wet.  Suffering, no; inconvenient, absolutely.

How thankful I am for a God who never fails!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23

While other things may fail us, we can always count on His promises!

The Family of God

by Lynn Wellumson

My dad and mom had five children in five and a half years. Thankfully we had a brother in the middle to keep us on our toes.  My mom and her mom liked to make us matching dresses for holidays occasionally.  When our oldest sister hit junior high she mentioned, and the idea grew, that this was something we were no longer interested in doing.  (This must have been especially burdensome to the youngest, who probably ended up wearing all four of them for several years. )

My sisters and I were able to attend a women’s retreat a few years back.  We all came from different directions and had made plans to meet in the motel lobby at a designated time.  You can already hear the laughs as we gathered and found we all had on the same color green sweater.  Our roots were showing.

Whether we are meeting members of God’s family for the first time or if we have been friends for years, there is a commonality in purpose and bond of love.  I recently took part in the Black Hills Shepherds Retreat and fellowshipped with pastors and wives from a variety of denominations.  The love of God and the love of Christ’s finished work on our behalf was the center of our workshops.

I can say along with Bill Gaither “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God, I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood.  Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, for I’m part of the family, the family of God”.

 

God Knows Our Needs

Jon and I had the pleasure of spending the first week of October at a cabin located on the north shore of Lake Superior.  Another couple was able to come also and we had great fellowship and hiking.  Early one morning, I went out to the shore to have devotions.  During my prayer time, I prayed that my words and actions for the entire day would benefit the group and that I would put their needs above my own.

Minutes later, upon returning to the cabin, I found I had locked myself out.  The entire bottom of the cabin is garage with the living quarters on the second floor.  I didn’t want to run any risk of breaking or chipping a window, so I found a stick and attempted to get someone’s attention by hitting the second floor window.  I am so grateful that our family finances aren’t dependent upon my pitching in a professional baseball team, as we would be dead broke.  After several feeble (and that’s being generous) attempts I managed to hit the window which went unnoticed.  I was finally missed and someone came to look for me.  I’m thankful that God knows when I need others to help me even when I haven’t asked.

The “Big Picture”

I was assisting a young man with an appointment recently.  He shared how busy he was with his full time job, having been married only over a year, and a new baby.  “A new baby” I gushed, “oh, do you have pictures?”  He smiled and reached for his cell phone and promptly showed me several poses on the 1 inch X 1 inch screen.  I was rejoicing with him as we huddled over the phone when all of a sudden, he jumped up and said, “Wait a minute”.  He ran out to his car and came back in with a baby car seat with the star attraction cooing and smiling.

How often in life are we huddled around a “small screen” of our life when we can rest assured that God has the big picture completely under control.

Hope

by Lorilee Mundfrom

What does the word “hope” say to you?  I’ve come to love that word, “hope”.  To me, one who has hope has confidence.  A person who is hopeful cannot help but be positive in their outlook.

I have a goal of doing a Scripture word study on the word “hope”.  Do you know how many times the word hope is used in the Word of God? On the BibleGateway.com website, I put in a search for the number of times the word hope occurs in the New International Version of the Bible, and it gave me 174 times.  18 of those occurrences were in the book of Job and 31 of those were in the book of Psalms.  The “weeping prophet” Jeremiah used the word hope 14 times in Jeremiah and Lamentations (certainly some, but surely not all, of those were references to when he had lost hope or the Israelites had lost hope).

Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Lamentations 3:21-22 says, Yet this I call to mind and therefore I havehope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

Psalms 42: 5, 42:11, and 43:5 all say the same thing:  Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

I have struggled on and off with feelings of “hopelessness” in my life.  Sometimes these feelings come because of physical difficulties.  Sometimes they come because of being emotionally drained.  But when I go to the Word of God and find Scriptures like the ones quoted above, I cannot help but find comfort and peace in the Lord because He is my Hope and my Comfort.  He is my Peace and my Salvation.  He is faithful to His word and He is the One I can praise. As I praise Him I find Hope!

Some time ago I was listening to a radio broadcast on my way to work.  The program was about a man who had been a minister of the Word for many years.  When he was age 47 he went through a very difficult time of depression in his life.  He had such a hard time continuing on with his ministry.  But he did because he knew God had called him.  He stated the times before going to church on Sunday morning were probably the darkest times for him.  It was most difficult for him to get the courage to go.  But he did and he found that as he gathered with other believers and worshipped the Lord, and shared the Word of God with them, he was most encouraged and found great hope!  It took time for him to come out of these difficult days, but eventually he realized that when he focused his thoughts on God and the Hope that he had in Him, he was able to get through each day stronger and more hopeful than the day before.

HOPE – what does that word mean to you?  To me it is a confidence that I can have, even when days are hard, that God is with me and He will get me through even the most difficult times.  We don’t know what the future holds for any of us.  But we do have HOPE because we know our future is in His hands!

HOPE – I know Heaven is in my future!  When my work on this earth is done, however long or short that time may be, I have HOPE (confidence)  of going to Heaven, being reunited with loved ones who have gone on before, and seeing Jesus face to face.  This has nothing to do with me – it is all to do with what Jesus has done for me.  What a glorious time that will be!