"God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it." Those were the words of Bishop Bruce Ough, who recently visited at United Methodist Church in Ellendale.
It's a statement we should all take to heart because God lets us know He is always there. When we are shrouded with trouble we wonder, "Where is He?," but never fear, He is there and just biding His time.
Easter is upon us and the stores are loaded with candy treats, Easter bunnies, eggs, and what have you. A jealous God could think, "But are you really celebrating Easter with the right attitude? What has all this commotion and merchandising got to do with Easter?”
Ask those at Baptist Church in Clarks Grove, who have hosted an Easter Egg hunt for many years. Or ask the residents of area nursing homes and various civic organizations, who experience the joy they share on this day. Of course, the children love it, and it brings some to church. It brings warmth to the heart of those who volunteer time and service and realize how important children are. The residents of nursing homes may have tears in their eyes, but smiles on their faces because during this time they are enjoying sharing the children and seeing what "happy" is.
Religion makes us happy if we take part in all the things it offers. It opens the doors for parents to share the Easter story and have a chance to tell their children about a loving and giving God. It is not a frivilous thing. It is sharing the love that is so essential in today’s world. It is a time when sharing the love of God is accomplished through the joining of the young, old, races and religions.
Today, plastic eggs are often provided for “the hunt” because they can be taken apart and little treasures placed inside like pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters or small toys — not just sugar treats. Parents can encourage children to share their prizes with other children, service people, and others they care about. That and games of interest are part of the fun and, of course, the sharing of the food — another way to introduce "those who have" to the reality there are "those who haven't."
Easter is the beginning of spring, a time when many kinds of spring animals are born, and are a new beginning. My doctor once said it seems like spring is a natural time for birth or rebirth. It is also a time of growth for children because of all the opportunities
That’s right. God loves you and there’s nothing you can do about it but open your heart wide and let all the goodness come in.
Speaking of babies, my nephew Kade’s three baby love birds are not babies any more. Freely feathered and frisky as all youngsters, they are so entertaining and a circus to watch as they swing and climb ladders and so on. All three are different in color and, like saints at the Lord’s Supper, they stand together to eat their food.
Mrs. Love Bird is "sitting" again. At last count she had four eggs in the nest. Wouldn't it be nice to have an Easter egg hatch?
More Minnesota... The weather is making it tempting to start digging and planting, but then we never know if there could still be more snow in the forecast. I can especially remember when my middle daughter, Kimberly, was born in April following a snow storm. Daryl wasn't able to get back home the night before and I had to get ahold of him and break the news. And then figure out how he was going to find a way to get back to Geneva and get us both back to Albert Lea.
Sorry to report the winter sports season for our local athletes has come to a close, but I have already saw a large number of our local athletes out preparing for the spring season. And then before we know it, prom will be here, and that, of course is followed by graduation. Hard to believe those "little ones" we once brought into the world have grown to this stage.
What do you think the style of Easter dresses will be? Expensive, but for some it is their one moment of feeling like a star. They would probably feel better in a pair of blue jeans and T-shirt, but it wouldn't be the same.
Everyone has their favorite season, but I like spring. Like I said earlier, it is a new beginning.
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Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, March 24th: Gail Ottesen, Seth Chad Staloch, Dave Meixner, Kurt Hanson, Laurie Phagan, Angie & Cory Klemmensen, Tony & Sandra Tonsing, Lonna & Dean Broitzman
• Friday, March 25th: Melissa & Brandon Van Hal, their second, Brad Hagen, Michelle Ritz, Pam Anderson, Faith Jensen, Tom Marlin, Trevor Loverink, Bernice Farr Mattson
• Sarurday, March 26th: Amber Luella Theobald, Nikita Zelpha Peterson, Jackie Draayer, David Hanson, Ray Coxworth, Lonnie Misgen, Ginger Cornelius, Dillon Hanson, Daryl Jensen, Amy Dobberstein, Marge Wobschall, Mary Lou Spurr, Gerrit & Jean Molenaar, Jeff & Robin Christensen, Jennifer & Matthew Dinneen
• Sunday, March 27th: Kim Weckwerth Farr, Jim Ottesen, Verona Winegar, Tom Lund, Tina Jensen Wangen, Jodi Loverink, Neil Born, Ralph Randall, Todd & Sheri Utpadel, Wes & Julie Schroenrock
• Monday, March 28th: Jordan Brye Wagner, Katie Ann Lee, her 11th; Daryl Van Ravenhorst, Alan Olson, Paul Marlin, Josh Stevens, Daniel Suleter,
• Tuesday, March 29th: Taran Waalkens, Heather Lyn Shearman, her 10th; Dylan Lee Ingvaldson, his 9th, Becky Johnson, Amanda Bergerson, Judy Strenge, Dorene Richards, Bruce Jensen, Linda Seykora
• Wednesday, March 30th: Leah Brittan Moststad, Gretchen Jensen Ray, Darrell Hanson, Kim Roberts Sletten, Aiden Michael Berg, his 9th, Matthew Cornelius, Fern Robertson Sommers
May your day be filled with sunshine and smiles!