April 1, 2019
Hello again, dear friends and family of KOG!
Happy Lent! I hope you are enjoying our Sunday guest sermon series and Growth Group focus on Max Lucado’s book Grace. I am taking a little break from talking about grace for a moment and instead wanted to focus on a recent Netflix program I’ve been obsessing over: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Have you seen it? It’s about a Japanese woman, Marie Kondo, who helps transform people’s lives by helping them tidy and declutter their homes. It’s addicting and touching and inspiring. Each episode has not only reminded me of how much our physical spaces effect our emotional and mental health, but it has also made me want to do some major spring cleaning and purging of my own. And it seems like this is the perfect liturgical season to do it, right? After all, Lent is a time when we are called to declutter and purge the things that have clouded our souls, minds and lives. This is the season when we try to do a fresh sweep of our selfishness and ask God to give our hearts a good cleansing. What in your life needs to be purged? Bookshelves? Office files? Kitchen cupboards? Or perhaps it’s constant busyness? Perfectionism? Past hurts and grudges? I know it is difficult, but only by devoting intentional energy and effort to this physical and spiritual process can we open up and prepare ourselves to receive the new and unexpected blessings God desires for our lives.
I was feeling all ready to go with my Lenten purge . . . then Josh and I sold our condo. This, of course, was/is a wonderful thing, but it also meant there was no time to purge, only pack, and pack we did and then move in the flurry of one weekend with the help of some very gracious church members. We are currently living out of suitcases and boxes at my in-laws in Placentia waiting to move into our new home. My dreams of tidiness had to be packed up as well during this process, to be opened another day. Just as I was about to begin feeling discouraged, I came across a wonderful thought in my new favorite devotion book: Gracelaced. In it, the author, Ruth Chou Simons, discusses Psalm 92:2 in which the Psalmist writes, “I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’” Chou Simons writes about how her tidy home used to be her refuge (before she had 4 boys!) and of her struggle to maintain that refuge with her growing family and busy schedule. Rather than bemoaning it as a loss, however, she says it helped her realize that a tidy home, or office, or man-cave, were never meant to be our refuge. God is our true refuge. Only when we seek to find our rest, peace, and strength in God, will we be satisfied.
Now, you may be thinking, “Pastor Lund, you’re confusing me. First you said that tidiness is good and now you’re saying it’s not?” Yes, it may sound like a bit of a flip-flop, but here’s my point: it’s necessary and good to do our Lenten practice of spiritual tidying, but let us not forget that tidying itself is not the answer to peace and happiness. Let us not let our newly purged and organized homes and hearts become our new idol. Instead, do the tidying, do the hard work of Lent, but then remember that in the end it is not your work that is the answer. The answer is always God and the work God did through Jesus Christ for you. It all comes back to Grace. God’s grace is our true refuge and strength; the one and only place that deserves our trust and devotion. As Lent draws to a close, let us all say to God as the Psalmist does, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
Blessings to you on the rest of your Lenten journey and whatever tidying you undergo, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Peace, Pastor Kinndlee
Happy March to you all! This month marks the beginning of Lent, so I have a few exciting things I wanted to share with you regarding that and then an update from our office.
First, let’s talk about Lent. This Lenten season we will be doing our regular Wednesday evening schedule, beginning Wednesday, March 6th, with our special Ash Wednesday services. Those services will be at both 12 noon and 6:15 pm. The schedule for the other Wednesdays in Lent will be a Soup Supper at 5:30 pm, Worship at 6:15 pm, and Growth Groups from 6:45-7:45 pm. As you may have heard, we are doing our Growth Group study on Max Lucado’s book Grace: More than We Deserve, Greater than We Imagine. For Wednesday worship, we are trying something different with the music—each song will be by request, so come ready with your favorite hymns (just so long as they don’t have an “alleluia” in them). On Sundays, we’re going to have some new fun things planned too. For the 8 am Traditional Service, we will be trying a new liturgy called Chosen People which will have its own liturgy books from which the service will be led. And at both services throughout Lent, we’ll be hearing personal stories from our own KOG members regarding ways God’s grace has touched their lives. I’m really excited for these next 6 weeks and their focus on God’s amazing grace and how it changes and enriches the lives of those among us.
Secondly, I wanted to share a couple pieces of news from our office. On a sad note, our new bookkeeper, Christy Borack, resigned effective Friday, March 1. She received an unexpected offer for a full-time job with the school district, which she just couldn’t pass up. We are overjoyed at the opportunity she has been given even though we had already come to enjoy and appreciate her presence so much on the staff. Filling in as our interim bookkeeper will be a phenomenal lady named Jera Ricktersen. Jera is the bookkeeper for Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Huntington Beach and Christ Lutheran Church in Orange. We’re lucky that she is fitting us into her busy schedule, which will mean that her office hours will not always parallel the hours our office is open. We’re going to give this a try and see how it works as Jera brings with her a fantastic level of experience and expertise and ringing endorsements. Another change in our office is that Heather Stolte, our Office Manager, has changed her position to be our Campus Administrator. Simply put, this means that Heather’s responsibilities are more focused on the scheduling and coordination of our facility use as well as general office duties and Catherine Marcum will now be the point person for all things that have to do with Sunday morning worship. In conjunction with this change, Heather has reduced her office hours to Monday and Wednesday from 9 to 3 and Thursdays from 10 to 1. Lastly, this also prompted a change in her email address, so there is no longer an [email protected] email address. Instead you can reach Heather at [email protected] We’ve had more changes in the office than anticipated this early into 2019, but hopefully it’s setting us up for a successful year.
Blessings to you all during this upcoming Lenten season,