From the Senior Pastor
Which Race
Are You Running?

Pr. Randy Gehring

“…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1–2)

Fact: Life can very easily become a rat race. We’re doing the things we’re supposed to be doing, and probably a few more, but we don’t seem to be getting anywhere. It feels like each day, though full of activity, isn’t necessarily filled with meaning or purpose. Sometimes, it makes us stop and wonder, “What am I even doing this for? Wasn’t I created for more than this?”

The book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament is the personal reflection of “the Teacher,” an elder who is looking back over his life and reflecting on the many things he has learned. Most notably, he has found that chasing after things that, in the moment, seem so important—things like riches, pleasure, success, and even wisdom—is like chasing after the wind, an exercise in futility. Such striving brings only frustration rather than fulfillment and purpose.

The Greek word from which “futility” derives literally means “void of meaning.” Futility is when something looks meaningful but at its core means little or nothing. When you look around and wonder what is it all for—this is the frustration of futility. In those moments, sin has crept in and found a way to get us to focus on things that do not matter. Our priorities are misaligned and we end up feeling like the Teacher: “All is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

But, dear friends, we were not made for futility. We were made for kingdom living, living a life that is shaped by our baptismal identity and the call to serve God and neighbor. So how do we move from futility to future? How do we make sure we’re running the right race? The pastor and author Josh Baird suggests these three helpful tips for tired Christians:

Create Margin in Your Life
Richard Swenson, the author of Margin, describes margin as “the space between our load and our limits.” Most of us don’t live with margin. We don’t have time to nurture that which feeds our souls—our relationships with God, ourselves, and each other.

At the core of those relationships is love. As Swenson says, “Love is the currency of the relational life.” The more you spend, the richer you become. In fact, spending and receiving love is the best part of kingdom living. But love needs margin to exist and thrive.

Run the Right Race
The rat race is the wrong race. There is nothing wrong with having a job and providing for your family. There is nothing wrong with busyness. The problem arises when we run toward the wrong finish line.

What race are you running? What are you doing it for? Hebrews 12:1 tells us that there is already a race for us to run—a race God has set before us. What is God calling you to do? What purpose has God put on your life?

Live with a Kingdom Perspective
When we look to Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), we not only see what perfect love is and what it can accomplish, but we are also drawn into a life of love for the sake of the kingdom of God. And this is the secret to escaping the futility of the rat race.

As a new school year begins and the demands of daily living put us at risk of living a marginless life, ask yourself, “Is running the rat race the reason God put me on this earth?” If you’re honest, you’ll be reminded of a higher calling, a higher purpose, and when you choose to pursue that race that God has put before you, you will unlock the key to living the abundant life God intends for each of us.

Be well and love deeply.

Pr. Randy Gehring

Baptisms
August 19, 2018
Hailey Lynn Appl, the daughter of Jason and Tracy Appl.

Lincoln Adam Seefeldt, the son of Cedric and Alexis Seefeldt.

Memorials
In Memory of Loren Amundson
Judy Dedrickson

In Memory of Joan Bakke
Shirly Hillgren

In Memory of Jim Dedrickson
Carol Nielsen
Betty Pfeifle
Mark and Marilyn Schempp

In Memory of Clarice Eitrheim
Judy Dedrickson

In Memory of Bessie Engstrom (Mother of Sarah Abbas)
Shirly Hillgren

In Memory of Judy Johnson
Lester and Alice Brue
Floyd Florey
Beverly Hallstrom
Willis and Phyllis Hanson
Carol Nielsen
Joyce Olson
Floyd and Carol Prouty
Arlen Viste
Don and Coryill Weeg

In Memory of Dr. Harry Krueger
Dick and Jan Boe
Eloise Elmen
Eldon and Pauline Nelson
Margaret Novak
Curt and Shirley Schafer
Carol Weisz
Roger White
Arlen Viste

In Memory of Alyce Scott
Barry and Judith Bauer
Todd and Joanne Egge
Cynthia Engels
Steve and Kathleen Geis
Joyce Hoefert
Leo and Rogene Lorang
Richard and Cindy Oyen
Beverly Remme
Alvin and Connie Scholten

In Memory of Ellen Unzicker
Don and Coryill Weeg
Arlen Viste

In Memory of Jim Westby
Charles and Judy Berdahl
Alfred Borgen
Judy Dedrickson
Thomas and James Ersland
Phil and Kiki Hegg
Thomas and Dorothy Lemonds
Ronald and Barbara Thomas
Craig Thompson

In Memory of Maxine Wilson
LuAnn Decker

Flowers
August 19, 2018
Flowers are given in honor of Harold and Phyllis Krueger on what would have been their 68th wedding anniversary (August 20), by their family.

Telecasts
August 5, 2018
Telecasts are sponsored in honor of Dorothy Kruse on her 90th birthday, by her husband, Al, and her children.

Your Offering Makes a Difference
Your generosity is making a real difference in people’s lives through the mission and ministry of OSL. Thank you for your faithfulness in giving and your passionate commitment to God’s work through this congregation. Your continued generosity helps us reach our congregational goal of fully funding our ministry of connecting faith to everyday life.

Ministry Support through July 31, 2018

Annual Giving
Pledged $1,849,306
Received YTD $1,116,591
Remaining $732,715
Projected YTD $1,047,089
Ahead/(Behind) $69,502

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