Faith Through The Storm

I-Am-Ready-for-the-StormThis weekend’s Gospel, Mark 4:35-41, described how Jesus dealt with the disciples who were with Him during a storm. Here are key points relating to how we can overcome storms such as trials, afflictions and persecutions faced in everyday life:

  1. Focus on the promise of the Lord to “comfort and guide you”: Glorify God by living as hopefully as possible, during the ‘stormy’ difficulties, anxious or boring routine. Don’t fear every unknown ebb and flow of life. We may wonder, Lord, will I ever reach my destination? We may say as Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
  2. Trust and obey God’s law of love: Love one another. Love your enemy and so, keep your hopes alive. It’s not too late for new life in faith, hope and living out your charity/love.
  3. Keep your faithfulness in the storm. We prove God’s Word in adversity — not in calm ‘waters’. We prove it when the storm has lasted for two weeks or two months or two years or two decades. In storms when the frail ship would be blasted to bits the angel of God says, “Fear not in the storms…”
  4. Keep your anchor deep in God’s Word. We need security in the surface storm, seeing that God never forsakes us. Our assurance must be rooted in the faithfulness of God to keep us…for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in life and in death.
  5. Don’t make up rules of life and expect God to submit. Don’t insist for He  to do everything the same in every occasion. We can’t remain in the shallows, but maturity in faith means seeking and doing His will, acknowledging His Lordship in the deep or on the rocks.
  6. Don’t let anger become a self-defeating habit. Hate eats away inside the hater. Do not let the sun set on your anger. Forgive and forget. Don’t second-guess God; believe His love is for you.
  7. Stay with the ‘ship’ of faith so you will make it safely to the other shore. You see ‘storms’. Some will blow up and calm down in a hurry. Some will last a while and threaten your tranquility for long periods of time. You may even see a few shipwrecks, where life is a challenge.
  8. Find the truth to help you to endure through every day. Life offers cloudy days, and there have been many. All power is in the name of Jesus and not in any other name.
  9. Call on the name of Jesus as His Spirit is always with you and He calms down the storms that hit you.
  10. Obey the Word of God completely and you will have the power to handle any situation that you may face in life. Jesus never fails us. He is the same today as He was yesterday and will be. And He loves you and me so much.
  11. Find Jesus and the real Way to be saved and then the void you feel in your life is filled. You will never have been so happy in your life. Why not jump into the arms of a loving God? Though the storms rage high and the dark clouds roll, you don’t need to worry. You’ll be sheltered, safe within the arms of God.

Our Heavenly Father

n-FATHERHOOD-large570Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:9-11 NIV

Most fathers have a natural desire to give good gifts to their children. If their children ask for a fish, do they give him a snake? Of course not! If they ask for bread, will they give them a stone? No way! God, who is the Model Parent, has placed within each one the natural desire to father/mother our children.

While this may have been God’s perfect plan before our fall in the Garden, today because of our sinful nature, and the sinful nature of those around us, our ability to express these parental instincts can become damaged or distorted in varying degrees. But the truth remains, whether we can express our love in tangible ways or not, that deep down within each one of us, we all carry in our heart a desire to give good gifts to our children.

I know that I have disappointed my own children on many occasions and will probably do so more in the future, yet with all my frailties and faults, there is nothing more that I want than to bless my kids with good gifts. I really want them to have God’s best in their lives because I am their father and I love them with my limited father’s heart.

I believe that God has given each one of us parental instincts in order that we might identify in a small way with how He feels toward His creation. As the Perfect Father, His love is not marred by sin or tainted by selfish motives. While ours is a limited father’s love, His is a limitless Father’s love!

If we, though we are evil, want God’s best for our children, HOW MUCH MORE does He want the best for us? Pull out a picture of your child from your wallet and see if it makes you smile. Now think about the grin on your Heavenly Father’s face when He looks at you!

If we could capture the natural affection that we feel toward our children and multiply it by infinity, perhaps then, we could begin to comprehend the incredible Father’s heart that God has toward us. He wants to give us so much MORE than our earthly parents ever could, if we would simply come to Him in childlike faith and ask Him!


Father, I confess that I have related to You in the same way that I have related to my earthly father. I thought You would treat me the same way that my earthly father treated me. Help me to see the truth that You love me MUCH MORE than my earthly father ever could and You delight in giving me good gifts MUCH MORE than my earthly father ever could. So Father, I come to You today with my needs, because I know that You love me and want to give me good gifts! Bless me today, Papa! In the name of Your beloved Son, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications © 1999

Save the Date!

ck_summer_events_mainI love parties, especially when they are outdoors in the summer! We have several BIG events coming up this summer, so I wanted to get information to you to “Save the Date!”

New Pastor: Rev. Matt Conrad and his family (wife, Danelle; children, Nathan, Myanna and Isaiah) will arrive in Yorkville June 19-20. If you are able to help them move into their new home, please contact the church office or get in touch with Paul Mueller. The July 4-5 worship services will feature an interview with Pastor Conrad as part of our “Fired Up” sermon series.

Installation: Pastor Matt will be installed on Sunday, July 19 at 3 PM. We will host a cake and punch reception immediately following the service. Rev. Kurt Klaus of Messiah Lutheran Church in Mounds View, MN is scheduled to be the guest preacher. This is a very special service in the life of a congregation. Everyone is invited!

County Fair: Sunday, August 2 will be our outdoor worship service at the Kendall County Fairgrounds. This is a great opportunity as it offers free admission to the fairgrounds that day!

Concert: The City of Yorkville has asked us to partner with them during the Hometown Days Festival (Labor Day weekend). Cross will be providing the band Citizen Way as the featured artist on Friday evening, September 4.

Church Picnic: On Sunday, September 6, we will attempt an old fashioned church picnic. It will be held at Hometown Days Festival that morning. We will use the concert grounds as our worship space. This will make the picnic not just about us but emphasize our effort to be in the community. Our prayer is that this will be a safe, fun place for each of us to invite a friend or neighbor that we have begun spiritual conversations with, as well as an opportunity to meet other people of Cross that worship at different services!

Pastor Ramirez: This date is not set, but sometime late summer Vicar Walter Ramirez will be ordained as a pastor in the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod! Please prepare for this exciting celebration!

“The Lord will keep you from all harm — He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  Psalm 121:7-8 NIV

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss

The Hurt and the Healer


This week we will begin a new series called The Hurt and the Healer. Each week will be about how Jesus brings healing to hurting people. God’s primary concern is spiritual health which leads to eternal life, but He is also concerned about wholistic health. Jesus didn’t come to bring spiritual life in a broken world; He came to bring full life and restoration to every aspect of our world. During this series we will discuss how Jesus brings physical healing, spiritual healing, emotional healing and relational healing.

Last week, this topic hit close to home in a very real way. Daniel Konrath, the 40 year-old stepson of our part-time HR/Business Manager Mary Konrath, was hospitalized with pancreatitis. The situation took a turn for the worse as he seemed to develop a secondary infection which caused his lungs to fill with fluid, laboring his breathing. As the complications increased, Dan was placed in a medical coma, put on a respirator, and has been fed artificially. Dan is showing some improvement, and the family is asking for your prayers.

Dan is the father of five children and was perfectly healthy till he went into the hospital with sudden and unbearable abdominal pain. I was privileged to meet the extended family in the ICU waiting room and pray with them. The only two people I knew were Mary and her husband, Al, yet this room filled with 25 people was eager to hear the hope that God might bring for Dan and each of them. Dan is still in a partial coma and his prognosis is “months” for a full recovery. The family has set up a GoFundMe account if you would like more information or to further support them at this time:

What are your hurts? How has Christ brought healing? How might we receive that full healing in Christ and bring hope to the world? The possibilities are endless, but first, let us come to the Cross of Christ and offer our hurts to Him for He truly cares for us. Then receive His grace that it may fill us to overflowing. “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.”   Nahum 1:7

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Summer Living

BBQSummer is a time of scheduling chaos and unique opportunities. People are outside and about, activity levels are high, and this can be a time we get distracted from our normal routines. Summer can be a dangerous time to get distracted from our faith, but it can also be an amazing time to reach people whom we don’t normally have opportunity to reach. Here are a few easy ideas to keep Christ’s mission at the center of our summer:

Fire Pit – It is amazing what a fire will do on a nice evening. It can draw the neighbors like a moth to a light. It will also inspire people to share stories of what is really happening in their neighborhood and life.

Barbeques – Sharing a meal is always a great idea but somehow, when it is cooked over a flame, it is even more communal. Have a BBQ and invite both Christians and non-believers to rub shoulders and build relationships.

Projects – See a neighbor doing a project? Offer a hand, even if you are no good at projects. Having an extra set of hands is great even if it is just holding a ladder, carrying a tool, offering a drink, or standing back to say what a great job they are doing!

Vacations – Vacations are not a vacation from God. In fact, you may be able to have even better conversations because the whole family is finally together! Visit a church, take a devotion book, read the Bible together; allow the time away to be a time to reconnect!

Sports/Activities – Do you spend all summer going from one activity to the next? Try not to “drop the kid and run” and instead connect with other people in the activity waiting for their child. Help the coaches before, during or after, or host a get-together to celebrate the end of the season. (See Fire Pit and Barbeque above.) Make sure the invitation goes to the kids, and invite the adults, too!

Action Teams – Have a great idea? See a need but don’t have the resources to provide help? That is what your church is for. We will help you find the resources to meet the need. One Christian organization called Thrivent is offering $250 for any member to create a “Community Action Team.” What a great start! Information is on their website,, or a Cross staff member can help you!

Blessings on a great summer! Let’s avoid the summer faith slump and allow God to do amazing things in us and through us! “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss