Saturday, June 14, 2003

My colleague, Pastor Glen VanderKloot of Faith Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois, publishes a daily e-mailed inspiration. The Saturday editions are always a bit longer and I love them. Here, copied and pasted, is today's edition. To subscribe to OnLine with Faith, e-mail Glen at

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WELCOME to the Saturday issue of ONLINE WITH FAITH. Saturday is intended for
youngsters but may also apply to those who are older. Some folks have
discovered that it works very well to read them along with or to your children.
Saturday editions are written by Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy of Grace Lutheran
Church, Springfield, IL.

ONLINE WITH FAITH is a ministry of Faith Lutheran Church, Springfield, IL,
Glen VanderKloot, Pastor.

If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests please be in touch with
us at

You are encouraged to pass this on to others.
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Transitions surround us. All around us people are in a state of change.
Things change and that is life.

Caroline finished second grade. Sarah is quickly finishing preschool in
anticipate of starting to Kindergarten next fall. Katie graduated from High
School last week and her sister Amy is getting married today. We celebrated
the Affirmation of Baptism (also known as “Confirmation”) as two young ladies
publicly affirmed their faith. Two weeks ago we baptized two infants and two
adults. Frances is dealing with health issues and an uncertain future. Hal is
moving into a senior center. Christy is waiting to become a new mother – again!

All around us people are dealing with change. People move. People have health
issues. People change jobs either out of necessity when a job is terminated or
by choice. We get older and we have decisions to make that affect others as
well. Transition surrounds us.

Transitions also help us grow. Transitions can challenge us. Transitions can
test us. Transitions can be painful. But transitions can also be good. We
grow and we learn. We may decide to do things differently. We might learn to
rely on others around us.

In the midst of all of the change around us, we must remember that Jesus never
changes. Before Jesus died, he promised to send his followers a helper. That
helper we call the Holy Spirit.

God calls all believers around the world to testify to the love of God through
Jesus Christ. That witness, that sharing, comes from your personal experience
with Christ. Jesus has been with you since the beginning of your life of
faith. You know Christ and you have the Spirit as your helper to give you the
words to speak about that relationship with Christ. The 16th chapter of John
assures all who believe that they will not face the future alone or

The Spirit keeps us connected to Jesus and to one another. According to Jesus’
Farewell Discourse in the Gospel of John, the Holy Spirit has five roles:

To be with us forever (John 14:16)
To teach and remind us of Jesus’ words (John 14:26)
To testify and witness on Jesus’ behalf (John 15:26)
To prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness & judgment (John 16:7-11)
To guide us into all truth (John 16:12-15)

Then the presence of the Spirit was necessary because the community of
believers was being persecuted. In Acts, the Spirit gave the believers great
powers and boldness in their witness. The Spirit gave and still gives the
followers the words to speak.

Jesus was telling the disciples that he had to go. They were sad because their
friend was saying good-bye. But Jesus also told them that it was to their
advantage that things change. Things would be even better because the
Advocate, the Spirit of truth would come to be with them.

Things around us change and life goes on. But we are never alone. We may not
be able to see the Holy Spirit. But Jesus has assured us that the Spirit is
with us today, tomorrow and forever.


"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When
the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will
not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to
you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what
is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this
reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
John 16:12-15 NRSV


Dear Jesus, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me in my
words and deeds. Amen


Make a list of transitions you have had in your life. Be sure to include the
happy times as well as the sad. Pick one or two to talk about as a family.
What happened? Who was involved? How was the Spirit involved helping you
through that time? What was the outcome?

For example: the birth of a new baby can cause a lot of changes in a
household. While it is a joyous time, suddenly there is one more person in the
family. An older brother or sister might have to share space, toys, clothes,
mom and dad’s time and attention. Perhaps mom and dad are not getting as much
sleep as they are used to getting. Things have to be better organized to get
to work and school on time. But in time, the family learns to work together.
They grow closer and have another person to share in that love. AS they teach
that new baby about God’s love, they grow deeper in their own love for God.

When everyone is done sharing, be sure to thank God for those times, the people
who were there and the difference it has made in your life.

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