From a Council Member – July 2012

Presented by Dean Hoffrogge at the June 19 council meeting. Dean is Treasurer of the Church Council and serves on the Easter Foundation Committee. This is his sixth year serving on Council. He and his wife Deb have two children.

Here’s a joke: What did one caterpillar say to the other when a butterfly flew by? You’ll never catch me up in one of those things! Ah, but little did the caterpillar know about the transformation that God had in store for him.

But what about you? Do you know what transformation God has waiting for you?

The well-known mission of Easter Lutheran Church is “To grow in faith and carry on the work of Jesus Christ” but our seemingly lesser-known vision is “Transforming Hearts and Lives for Christ.”

The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Romans (12:2), “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  The transformation Paul speaks of does not happen overnight any more than does the caterpillar’s metamorphosis.

Yes, this transformation takes time just like most things that are worthwhile in this life. Fortunately, we do not need to tackle this transformation alone.

The Holy Spirit is ready, willing and able to transform us.

Indeed, Paul does not say “transform yourself” but instead he tells us to “be transformed.” This transformation process starts from within through the renewal of our minds.

Thankfully, no cocoon is necessary! But make no mistake: this is God’s work, just the same. Our main responsibility is to cooperate with Him through disciplining ourselves.

If we will let Him, He will replace our thoughts of selfishness, pride and bitterness with thoughts of generosity, humility and forgiveness and we can begin to reject the ways of this world.

To carry on the work of Jesus Christ we must be the hands and feet of Jesus. But before we can do that we must first be His eyes. Then and only then, can we can start seeing things as God sees them. Seeing things as God does confirms our transformation is underway and we will be moved to think and act differently.

We will begin to see our money as not just something to spend but more as something to share.

Our concern over our time and talents transitions from “how important is our individual contribution” to “what did our company or organization accomplish.“

And when a relationship becomes strained, we will not dwell on the question of who was wronged, but instead, we will ask ourselves how we can make it right.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we fervently pray that you will transform us through the renewing of our minds. Help us to replace our sinful thoughts with your thoughts so that we may conform to your will rather than the pattern of this world. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

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