Hello Cross of Glory Family and Friends!
He is risen! He is risen indeed! And the Church has gloried in the Easter message for 2000 years! Because Jesus lives, we live also! What is left behind in the tomb is all that would otherwise keep us from heaven. Our sin, our shame, our humiliation is buried in the grave. When Jesus stepped into the sunlight of that Easter morning, He brought with Him a new beginning. No longer would sin, death or the devil reign. God’s victory is our victory!
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Biblical scholars generally agree that the Gospel According to Mark was the first of the gospel accounts to be written. It is shorter than Matthew, Luke and John. It does not contain the Christmas story. Its sixteen chapters concern themselves with the public ministry of Jesus, His death and consequent resurrection. Matthew and Luke seem to use Mark’s Gospel in writing their own stories of Jesus’ significance. John, already assuming his audience to know the Jesus story, explains that Jesus is truly God in the Flesh, the Word Incarnate, the Messiah of the Old Testament. John does not use much of Mark, Matthew or Luke in his narrative.
It is interesting that the Easter story contained in Mark’s gospel has a couple of endings! Look at Chapter 16, Verse 8: “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them: and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” The women had gone to the tomb early Easter Sunday morning to attend to Jesus’ dead body. No doubt, they had not slept much given the terrible events of two days before. When Jesus had been crucified, darkness blanketed Golgotha as early as high noon! Religious Jews bewildered, if not terrified by the mid-day darkness, interpreted that the all-holy Sabbath was at hand (always beginning at sundown on Fridays). Work was forbidden on the Sabbath. Little work was consequently done on Jesus’ body in preparation for His burial. The women, followers, lovers of Jesus, went to the Easter tomb that morning with their spices to anoint Christ’s body. They wished to pay their Lord one final act of homage, of love, of gratitude. But when they arrived at the grave, to their “amazement and terror,” Jesus was nowhere to be found! The stone had been rolled away from the entrance to the tomb! A “young man dressed in a white robe” relayed to them the astounding news that Jesus had been raised from the dead. The women were instructed to tell the disciples, particularly Peter, that Jesus would soon be with them again.
And then one version of the ending of Mark’s Gospel concludes with Verse 6 from Chapter 16: “So they (the women) went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” The very first Gospel account written of Jesus’ triumph over death ENDS with NO Easter fanfare: NO Easter egg hunts; NO Easter breakfasts; NO Red Rocks sunrise services; NO trumpets, tympanis nor trombones! Mark ends his Gospel with the women running away from the tomb because they were terrified and bewildered! NO jellybeans, NO bunnies, NO lilies… just fear and wonder! How very, very disappointing!
Now if you or I had written the first story of Jesus’ resurrection, we would have jazzed it up a bit… a lot!!! We would have had Jesus sitting on the top of the Easter stone, waiting for any and all those who crucified Him to come near! We would have noted how the disciples, now full of belief, would have run to the tomb, no longer afraid. Our Gospel accounts would have had all the world understanding that Jesus fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament. The women with their spices, Peter with his church-building leadership, all Jerusalem and beyond trusting in Christ… OUR Easter stories would not have ended so wimpy-like!
But the Bible is a lot truer than we are! It DARED to tell the Easter story the way it really happened. Of course, the Good News, the Great News of Jesus being alive would have been absolutely phenomenal to believe! The lovers of Jesus would have forever been traumatized by the events of Good Friday. The story of Christ’s resurrection would have seemed far too unbelievable to believe. But the accounting of Jesus’ Easter, Christ’s victory, our victory is told by ALL four Gospel writers. He is risen! He is risen indeed! As incredible a story as a dead man coming to life again is, the world has not been able to refute it.
Christianity was born in the very city it would have been easiest to disprove its claims. As empowered disciples preached Jesus in Jerusalem, and Him alive, on Pentecost, less than two months after Easter, the crowds could have pointed to the nearby tomb scoffing, “Your God is still in there!” But He wasn’t! And the crowds couldn’t! Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed!
Our lives will never, ever be the same. We no longer have to live as people without hope. Our God, alive, loves us so very much. He breathes new life into us. We can face the challenges of today knowing we are never, ever alone. God forever is pulling for us. And the Bible, daring to tell the truth, IS truth! It informs us of what kind of God this Jesus is, encouraging us to follow in His footsteps.
God’s Peace and Love!
Pastor Mike Lemke
Dear Cross of Glory Family and Friends!
The following newsletter piece is a departure from what I normally do. I am writing this piece a day after my brother Steve and his wife Jillene decided to put their cocker spaniel Valley to sleep. Valley has struggled with ill health. It was time. My thoughts today are with Steve, Jillene and Valley…and consequently, it seemed like God directed me to pen what follows. You will not be able to relate to some of the details. You understand I am writing to Steve and Jillene with a familiarity that only members of our family will fully understand. But I wanted to share this generally with you for a couple of reasons. Firstly, many of you know Steve and Jillene and you join me in appreciating their support of our Cross of Glory ministry. Secondly, some of you knew of Valley’s decline. You have been asking about Steve, Jillene and Valley, sharing your warmest regards and loving prayers. And lastly, I share this piece with you because of the magnificence of our Lutheran theology and the powerful point even Valley’s death makes: Christ’s victory over sin, the devil and DEATH is not only Jesus’ victory. Linked in baptism to Jesus’ death and consequent resurrection, Christ’s victory is OUR victory as well. BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Look for instance at Romans 8. Christ’s victory over sin, the devil and death is CREATION’S VICTORY! Humans were not the only ones marred in the Original Sin! All creation was tainted. God redeems EVERYTHING in His Amazing Grace of costly, costly price: The death of His only Begotten! Valley was indeed rescued by Steve and Jillene 4 years ago in Phoenix…but truly…beautifully…lovingly…Valley was rescued BY JESUS 2000 years ago on a “Hill Far Away” where there stood an “Old, Rugged Cross.” Here goes. Steve and Jillene have not seen this sacred note…nor do they know that I included you in this sentiment from my heart. They will read this from Arizona perhaps at the same time you are reading it. Go with it, okay?
To my brother Steve and his amazing, sweet wife Jillene!
How many times have I been to the Puerto Vallarta airport? Figuring that Mom and Dad bought the timeshare in 1992…and that we have been able to visit PV every year thereafter, arriving AT the airport and returning back to Denver FROM the airport means at least 50 trips, right? But then add the frequent trips to Vallarta’s airport to greet “incoming” family members once we had arrived. I would guess, without exaggeration, I have been to the Puerto Vallarta airport…80, maybe 90 times over the decades! It occurs to me as I write to you, that in EACH of those trips, whether coming or going, my heart was full of expectation and joy, excitement and thanksgiving.
You know the special place Puerto Vallarta has in my heart. Barb and I talk about retiring there, most likely keeping our home in Colorado, but living hopefully at Los Tules for at least half of each year. As we have been SO fortunate over the years to visit PV, our home away from home, we always come back to Denver, to reality, with new and heartwarming stories. We watched Hector grow up at Los Tules from being the bellboy of 18 years to the fishing boat captain that he is today. How many times have we heard him talk about red snappers and that his soccer team is either in (or about to be in) some championship match? And then there’s Rocio who cleans 4-103 with a sweet smile and gentle spirit. Don’t forget about your good friend, Magdalena at the front desk, who Mom adores, but I detest! I still say Magdalena tried to rip us off for that lost towel back in the day. And security guard Leo, who upon learning that I was a pastor, spontaneously preaches sermons in Spanish to me about the marvels of God and the soon-to-be Kingdom of Heaven on Earth! Apart from the unparalleled, dear people of PV, there have been the cherished memories of purple sunsets, cobble-stoned streets, snorkeling trips in icy cold, take-your-breath-away ocean waters and the cry of the Muffin Man just beyond Chapultepec near the beach wall. If I have been to the PV airport 90 times, I certainly have been to that sacred wall overlooking the Pacific 300 times over the years! Either alone, with you and/or other family members, we hear the ocean kissing the beach as we peer across the bay on starry nights appreciating the twinkling lights of Centro and the malecon. I have prayed a thousand prayers from that Los Tules wall as perhaps my most heartwarming times with God have been spent there.
As I write you, I realize Puerto Vallarta is enchanting for a NUMBER of different reasons, but PRIMARILY because we, as family, have been able to spend good times TOGETHER there. No doubt, my love of Vallarta would be minimized to be sure, if I, we, spent times alone there. The magic of the place in large part is because we have laughed often there and have appreciated Mom and Dad all the more for making the decision nearly 30 years ago to buy for all of us a piece of Heaven on Earth. I smile, as I’m sure you do, when we think of Dad in a Ricardo Montalban accent, speaking not Spanish, but ENGLISH, to Chan while dickering over the price of ironwood. And then Dad after the sport of dickering, would pay Chan and/or the other beach vendors, the WHOLE PRICE they had initially requested! No wonder “Roberto” was well-known on the beach!
But back to the Puerto Vallarta airport! I think of the many times with overflowing heart, in great anticipation and excitement, I have waited in the PV airport. Just to be there…to see the faces of those we love, emerge from customs into the main terminal! You know! I run to the “Arrival” monitor near the Subway sandwich place to check the flight status of Denver flights hoping not to miss family members emerging from customs. I longed to greet them with a kiss and/or “brazos fuertes,” a hug. Anymore, our relatives come to Vallarta tired, worn and hobbling! Mom, who used to walk the beach with us to Centro (nearly 2 miles!), now arrives to Vallarta in a wheelchair…as do Aunt Joanie and Cousin Kathy. None of us, have the strength, the health, of 30 years ago!
The whole point of this letter to you, Steve and Jillene, is to remind you of the joy and love, the family and friends, the soon-to-be new adventures and the makings of forever memories for Valley as SHE arrives in heaven. Your decision to put her to sleep after these many last months of discomfort, imbalance and fatigue was a LOVING one. You have entrusted Valley to God…and to those who in great anticipation, greet her in Heaven’s Kingdom. She arrives to the terminal with wobbly legs and tiredness, but Valley is about to get out of her wheelchair, kissed upon and hugged, swamped, by Dad and Grandma, Ginger, Precious and Honey (Barb reminded me to add Qi! Haha!). It is as though all our loved ones in heaven will push God to the side (!!!) to get FIRST dibs at greeting and loving Valley! They will take her back to Los Tules, get her out of those confining Arizona clothes and whisk her away to the John Smith swimming pool (ASAP)! Together, they will run to the Los Tules wall upon hearing someone yell, “Ballena!” They will look at the majesty that is God’s creation, Banderas Bay, and TOGETHER, hearts pounding, anticipate the spray of water through the blowhole, the flop and splash of a tail and the breaching of humpback underneath orange, Mexican afternoon sun! How Valley would love to join all the ocean ballenas, or dolphins, or pelicans having practiced a few times with those ducks at her baptism park!
The both of you could not have been better parents to your precious little girl. With sleepless nights, you prayed constantly, hoping for her relief. It was any number of trips to the vet office as you wondered about a new diet, a possible procedure or even a telling diagnosis, a direction for healing. YOU LOVED VALLEY EVERY DAY, even over the years, as she was entrusted to your care. You would be the first to say that she gave you so much more in return! But be reminded of the Bible verse that says: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no imagination wild enough, to comprehend the beauty and the marvel, that is God and Heaven. Valley is arriving at the Puerto Vallarta airport…and is met there with unmatched love and embrace, promise and future. God Himself wipes away EVERY tear. No more crying, no more pain, no more worry. Because of God’s love, because of Jesus’ victory over sin, the devil, and even DEATH, Valley passes INTO greater life. You will have this hole in your heart for the rest of your lives…but as I have said to you now many times, that is NOT a bad thing. It means that you have loved deeply and without reservation. You would not want it any other way! We look to that day when in Heaven’s Kingdom, we are able to be with those who have gone before us, who even now, are experiencing the splendor and beauty, the joy and love of a place, a reality, just beyond our faculties, but certainly NOT beyond God’s grace and care… Hola Valley! Want to go fishing? Love, Me
Dear Cross of Glory Family,
With thanksgiving, I thank you for encouraging me to take a Sabbatical this year. As most of you are aware, in the 34 years I have been a pastor I have never had one. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), of which we are a part, hopes that pastors will take a Sabbatical once every 6-7 years. Sabbaticals are intended to give pastors the chance to re-create, re-educate, and re-energize themselves. They normally last 3 months. The hope (and expectation) of course is that pastors return to their congregations re-freshed, re-vitalized and re-newed to do even better ministry with congregants.
When my wife Barb, pastor at Bethel Lutheran Church, heard that Cross of Glory was encouraging me to take a Sabbatical, she approached her own church council about taking one. Bethel was wonderful. Barb’s council unanimously voted to allow Barb a Sabbatical as well. Barb, who has been a Lutheran pastor even longer than I have, has not had a Sabbatical over the years either.
Barb’s congregation had not budgeted for HER being on Sabbatical in 2018. Of course, Barb and I want to do our Sabbaticals, at least part of them, together. Consequently, it is THIS year that we will try to take ours. Beginning Monday, March 25, we hope to begin our mutual Sabbaticals. Though Barb will be away from her congregation for 3 months straight, I am choosing to split my 3-month Sabbatical with the first segment beginning on Monday, March 25 until May 11, the Saturday before Mother’s Day. I hope to take the remainder of my Sabbatical in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico come mid-October until right after Thanksgiving and the beginning of Advent. I am thrilled at the prospect of taking Intensive Spanish classes in an accredited Puerto Vallarta school, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 AM until noon.
Though I am excited about the benefits of a Sabbatical, for me, for us, I am also apprehensive about being away from Cross of Glory for extended time. Though I have full confidence that the pastors who will cover Sunday worship and emergencies in my absence will do marvelous ministry (and you with them), I am VERY concerned about the growing number of truly “shut-in” members of our congregation. Could you, would you, consider joining the class I teach on Tuesday mornings at 10 AM on “Christian Caregiving?” More and more of our members are attending the class. I would feel better knowing that YOU, people our “shut-ins” KNOW, would be visiting our dear ones. I would think our “shut-ins” would feel better knowing familiar faces, friends, would be seeing them! The class gives some practical, helpful suggestions about visitation. PLEASE! PLEASE! Consider attending the class. How about it?
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Dear Cross of Glory Family and Friends,
Can you believe it? Just about the time we wondered where 2018 went, today, we wonder where the month of January went! How is it that we can already be moving into February? I pray that this last month has allowed you opportunity to regroup from a busy, oftentimes hectic, December.
As we leave January, we continue to embrace the sacred season of the church year called Epiphany. Epiphany accents the Divinity of Jesus. Consequently, our Sunday Bible readings highlight Jesus’ extra-ordinary abilities. During Epiphany, we note how Jesus walks on water. He exorcises the demons. Jesus teaches with astonishing authority. Christ stills the wind and the sea. All our Sunday morning texts, during the sacred season of Epiphany, accent Jesus’ “Otherness.” How wonderful to know that we have a God so very “Other” YET PERSONAL who knowing us through and through, even better than we know ourselves. In extra-ordinary ways, God meets us where we are in both better and worst times. Jesus, the Divine One, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Ever-Loving, Emmanuel in our midst, promises to hold us in His care.
What an Epiphany!
Yesterday, as I visited Bert Carlson at Cherry Creek Care Center, (Edie his wife having had an eye surgery), I left the center with an Epiphany of my own. As I walked to my car, I saw a frisky little brown dog prancing in the snow. Perhaps he was prancing because it was cold. Maybe he was jumping about because he enjoyed the outdoors. Who knows? He seemed to be having a glorious time, until that is, he threw up in the middle of the street! As I looked more closely at this cute, playful puppy, I realized he was not wearing a collar. Immediately, I looked around for a concerned owner. No one was in sight. I wondered if the puppy was lost or maybe even sick. Perhaps he was prancing around because he had hurt a paw or jumping about because his paws were so very cold. I approached the little, brown, playful, cute, but now scared puppy. I still remember his eyes as he looked at me with both curiosity and fear. What thoughts must have run through his little head as he wondered about this stranger approaching him!
I tried speaking tenderly to the puppy to coax him to come closer. This puppy, suspect of my intentions no doubt, decided to prance in a different direction! With his tail between his legs, he ran off away from my reach. For the next 10 minutes I drove around the apartment complex across the street from Cherry Creek worried about this lost, perhaps even hurt puppy. I tried, in vain, to find where he had run.
Just about the time I had given up on his whereabouts, I had an Epiphany of my own. As I was walking back to my car, I saw his brown little body in the distance, outlined by the white snow backdrop. I approached the puppy again, this time from my car. Pulling up close to him, pleading lovingly, “C’mon Honey, come here,” I opened my car door in the hopes he would jump in. No such luck! The puppy, continuing to be scared, hurried off in a quick attempt to get away from my voice and presence. Once again, I drove around the apartment complex looking for him. I prayed to God asking that the Jesus of Epiphany, the Divine one, Ever-Knowing, Ever-Powerful, Ever-Loving, would show compassion for this precious, scared, maybe even sick little one. I prayed that he would be safe and reunited with a family of love and care.
About the time I had resolved I would not find the puppy, there was a lady who ran at me from the shadows, waving her hands and yelling, “Hey you! Hey!” She was disheveled, her hair a matted mess. She was wearing a bathrobe and bedroom slippers. She must have seen me slowing driving through her neighborhood, scouring the apartment complex. She had concluded that I was searching for something. Looking both exasperated and relieved, out of breath, she managed to tell me that she had found her lost little dog. She informed me that the puppy’s name was Milo and that Milo was too smart for his own little good! He had learned how to open his in/out door on his own! The lady (Margaret) thanked me for my interest and assured me Milo was home and drinking water from his dish that moment. I thought to myself, “Wow, God sure answered that prayer in a hurry!” My heart was at ease knowing this little brown puppy, Milo, was now at home.
How often do we go through a day with our cares, anxieties and worries choosing to run from the One who wants to help us? How frustrating it must be for God to drive around our neighborhoods, calling our name, hoping we all jump in the car to him! If only we would but trust! If only we would heed the call of the One who loves us so very much. This Epiphany God is so very capable, doing far more than we could ever imagine and yet we distrust Him. We choose to prance around any number of places before…coming home.
As we move through the season of Epiphany, with new revelations about Jesus and our faith, may we resolve quickly to depend on God’s promises this new year? The groundhog may choose to hide his head on February 2nd. Let US choose not to burrow in our apprehensions and worries but instead call on the Epiphany God who always calls out to us in love. Let us trust that Jesus is both willing and wanting to help us. Let us run to Him instead of running away from Him! What’s an Epiphany to know of Jesus’ always searching, always loving heart towards us! Let’s jump in the car with Christ this year, allowing Him to do the driving, as we trust, as we count, on God’s love, care and grace!
Happy Epiphany, Cross of Glory!
Pastor Mike Lemke
Happy New Year Cross of Glory!
Yes! As we continue to move through the Twelve Days of Christmas, we experience yet another brand new year! We welcome 2019! Over the past year, there have been the special times and tougher occasions. We hope that 2019 will be even better for us congregationally and personally.
As the ball dropped in Times Square December 31st, now with Ryan Seacrest replacing the ageless Dick Clark, did you begin to FEEL new? Now that January is here, do you FEEL different, newer, than you did a month ago?
Consider what was going on a month ago. We resolved around Thanksgiving that we would not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of too often December rushes. Then the first week of December came, and to our surprise, our intentions to slow down were left to the wayside like cookies left for Santa! We tried to keep it together. We tried to remain calm! But Christmas cards needed addressing. Aunt Doris decided out of the blue to drop over for the holidays. Our Thanksgiving resolution to ENJOY December raced past us like Santa’s magical sleigh!
Too often, the beauty of the Christmas season is blanketed not so much with snow as it is our stress. After the parties and pageants, the malls and the mailings, the New Year comes upon us and we feel anything but new! We instead feel worn-out and wearied. We feel beat and battered.
I lived in Sioux Falls as a kid. Gary lived next door to us. I remember Mom asking him one day what was new. Gary, probably six at the time, responded, “Nothing! All we have is old stuff!”
I think we are pitied people if to the question, “What’s new?” we respond, “The same old, same old!” At the very least, as Christians, we should be able to say to our friends, “I am!” “I am new!” “I’m not quite yet what I hope to be, but I thank God I am not longer what I used to be!”
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore if any person is in Christ, he/she is a new creation. The old has passed away. The new has come!” John, given a revelation on Patmos wrote, “And God Himself will wipe away our tears.There will be no more crying, no more pain. The former things will have passed away. Behold, He who sits upon the throne makes all things new!” As Christians, daily, we are encouraged to conform to the image of Christ. We are to lay aside those things impeding our ability to be more like Jesus. Each day we should be working on our “newness.”
There is a church around the corner from where I live that puts cutesy sayings on its outdoor sign. Recently the sign read, “Christianity is a journey not a destination.” I need to remember that. When I get discouraged, I need to remember that tomorrow is another day… a new chance for me to be all that God wants me to be. When I allow sin to get the better of me… when I am failing miserably in following Jesus… I need to remember that regardless of HOW I FEEL, “I AM NEW in Christ!” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all who wander are lost.” There are those times we FEEL pretty lost. But it is precisely at those times that we need to believe God knows where we are and that God, Emmanuel presence, will direct our ways. Jesus redeemed us. God bought us. We are His… and… we are new. We are brand new! As we face the joys and challenges of a new year, congregationally and personally, we can be assured of God’s support and lead. Baptized, Called,
Equipped, Sent, we DO ministry knowing the God who made us, RE-CREATES US, RE-FRESHES US, and MAKES US new indeed. We do not know what 2019 has in store for us, but God does!
Over the centuries, there have been so many exaggerated stories about Martin Luther. As his influence spread well beyond Germany, tales about him turned into far-out legends. Some say for instance that Luther was responsible for the Christmas tree. Looking out his window one snowy afternoon, many contend he remarked to his wife Katie, “My, how beautiful that pine tree is! It is white… though forever green… ever green… hmmmm, EVERGREEN! Let’s run outside right now, chop it down and put candles on it! We will call it a Christmas tree and urge all villagers to do the same.” This is most certainly true… NOT!
I would like to believe certain fanciful stories told about Luther, principally, the one about his throwing ink bottles at the devil and the one about his hanging a sign around his neck that said, “I am baptized!” You see, if great people like Luther needed to go to such lengths, even hokey ones, to remind themselves they belong to God while FEELING defeated, I might just believe that I, we, are taking steps towards the Kingdom even when occasionally taking steps backwards! We ARE journeying towards a distant country, this a Heavenly one… even while FEELING old and not new.
I want to thank Cross of Glory ahead of time for helping ME attempt to be NEW, refreshed and better equipped to responsibly BE your pastor. For the last year, your Church Council has encouraged me to take a Sabbatical. A Sabbatical is a three-month educational experience AWAY from the congregation, in addition to vacation, that hopefully translates into practical ministry-building helps. Our Rocky Mountain Synod urges pastors to take a Sabbatical every “three to five years in the present call.” I have been a pastor for close to thirty-four years. I have never gone on Sabbatical. I am excited about the prospect and I have begun to share with your Church Council some ideas about how I intend to spend Sabbatical months away from church this 2019.
Of course, whether this happens is speculative. So much depends on pressing needs in our congregation and the ability to responsibly cover and expand present pastoral and congregational ministry obligations and opportunities. I will try to take Sabbatical in conjunction with my wife, Pastor Barb Lemke. Her congregation, Bethel Lutheran, is encouraging Barb to take a Sabbatical in 2019 also. Barb and I hope to spend part of our Sabbaticals together, learning alongside one another while being refreshed (and better equipped and energized) to DO ministry with you.
Thank you for your kind consideration ALWAYS but especially as I wonder about the ability (responsibly, practically and financially) to be physically away from Denver for extended time this year. I know that I will not be taking Sabbatical in a three-month block. I envision the three-month period split up between one 6-week segment this Spring and the other 6-week segment later on this year. I will be very busy this month, working with your Church Council, in making preparations. I look forward to visiting with you soon as I may be asking you to “take on” certain tasks, needed helps. Please start thinking now about practical ways you may help us additionally at Cross of Glory. Share with me your ideas. I WOULD SO APPRECIATE IT!
So Happy New Year Cross of Glory! Let’s lean on one another in 2019! Dick Clark may have SEEMED like the ageless one. In reality, it is God who is ageless. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. God holds the ages, and us, in His care and it is God who promises to make us NEW this year and beyond. This is most certainly true!
Pastor Mike Lemke