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   Building  A Neighborhood for Christ
































Office News

Good February,

The month when we think of hearts and presidents.  And how often do we use both of those words in the same sentence???  February is also the month when we Nebraskans begin to feel a change coming in the weather.  We are almost finished with another winter.  Spring is so very close.  Change is coming.  A great and good change for me.

Change.  If one agrees with the expression, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," change might be considered a close call for some of us.  Not all changes are welcomed.  Some of us do not handle change with zeal or approach it with enthusiasm.  Change is not something we request from most of our days.  Yet on any day of our lives change exists.  Sometimes huge and earth shaking.  Other times so small and undefined we barely notice.  Changes do not always feel comfortable.

And yet, how dull our lives would be without change.  How lacking in challenge.  How miserably always the same.  Without change strangers would not be brought together and bound with new friendship.  We would not find our way into new situations and never have new experiences.  And what are we if not the accumulation of our experiences?

As I approach February, 2005, I ask that God may grant me the courage to accept each new change and recognize it as an opportunity to learn and to grow.  That I may come to appreciate change as dearly as I appreciate being here at First Lutheran Church serving with you.

Blessed February to everyone.

Joyous 2005 Everyone!!!

A brand new year.  What will it bring?  And if we knew, how differently would we approach 2005?

For each one of us there will be joy and sorrow, gains and losses.  We will love and if we are very lucky, we will be loved.  We will hurt and be hurt.  We will tire of the evening news and rejoice at each new dawn.  Some will hunger and some of the fortunate will be part of the process of feeding the hungry.  We will count our blessings and be counted.

As I look to the new year, I will count among my blessings my place here and each one of you who wanders in and out of the office and my life each day, each week.  The real question I find myself asking today is not what 2005 will bring but what will I?  Among other things, I ask that I serve First Lutheran Church well in 2005.  That I give my best and give a smile to each one who passes by in 2005.  That I am able to maintain the intricate weaving between my "home" life and my home here that maintains a balance that is fair to all.  That I never forget to praise God for the gifts.  HE gives that makes it possible for me to live my life to the fullest--health, strength, friendship, patience, humor.

Happy New Year to you all.  Let's live it to the fullest together.

Ruth Ann

Diciembre Feliz,

Thank you to First Lutheran for the opportunity to attend a Conversation Spanish class through Metro.  I am hopeful that this class will enable me to communicate--even if just a little--with those who pass through speaking no English and alleviate some of the frustration for all of us!  Gracias repetidas veces.

December!!!  How many ways are there to spell it?  Busy.  Exciting.  Joyous.  Blessed.  Overwhelming.  Awesome.  Magical.  Holy.  Gifts.  Parties.  Carols.  PHEW.  I hope that December finds you in a place where there is enough peace that you may enjoy the true "reason for the season" and let it shine through you to others.  When I read the book "Skipping Christmas"  I was struck with the idea that we might be better off if we were to skip some of the holiday customs that have developed.  And yet........

What a mystical place our world become when we sing together songs of peace and love and joy.  What a wondrous event when hearts of stone melt when seeing young hands place a worn star at the top of a tree or hearing often off key carolers down the block.  And when we stop for just a breath or two and thank God for many gifts we are blessed with all the time.  All of you, my new found friends, and the opportunity to serve you at First Lutheran are precious gifts to me and I will rejoice with gratitude that you have been added to the amazing blessings in my life.

I wish each of you peace, joy, and love.

Dias de fiesta Bendecidos

Greetings and Blessed November,

November As I look at the word all I can see is NO...NO, it cannot already be November.  Where did the summer and our beautiful autumn run off to?

Two very special people in my life love winter.  I have never pretended to understand why or share their enthusiasm.  And when the Whismans brought me what they believed to be the last roses of the season a couple of weeks ago, I immediately began waiting for spring.  What I do enjoy, however, about this season are the holidays that begin at this time of year.

Thanksgiving.  Is there a better day than one that is dedicated to reminding us to look around at our wonderful lives, our families, our friends, our work, our country and give thanks?  Actually, shouldn't we make each of our days one of thanks and praise?

November.  The beginning of the time for counting blessings, sharing, lifting our hearts to God with thanksgiving and praise.  And this November, as I begin to present my list of gratitudes, I will give thanks for First Lutheran, the joy I find in my work here, and for each of you who have come into my life.  May you be blessed with much for which you give thanks.

Ruth Ann