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Dear Congregational Family,

1. Pastor Osier: Last week you received a letter from Pastor Osier, and on Sunday he verbally informed our congregation that he had accepted a call to be the new Dean of our Bible School in MN. God has clearly called him to this, and we both have a peace about it, but we will certainly miss him at Ruthfred. I have so appreciated his growing partnership in ministry and personal friendship! We do know (as was the message on Sunday about God’s Mission), that just as God has called him to minister in MN, so God will also continue to provide for us here at Ruthfred as we continue to minister and to move forward into new areas of ministry which God is opening up before us. We will certainly make the most of these next months together!

2. Presidents Day: This coming Monday (18th) is the observance of Presidents’ Day. It originated as a celebration of President Washington’s birthday (22nd) and was started in 1800, one year after his death. Later it was expanded and understood to include President Lincoln (12th) as the date was moved to the third Monday of February which was between both of their birthdays. Now it has been expanded to encompass the honoring of all U.S. presidents. It is a good occasion for us to thank God for our many godly presidents, and to pray for our current president.

The president might appear so powerful, but God declares: “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.” – Proverbs 21:1

History is filled with examples of the smallest things being used as the means to build up and tear down great empires. God’s hand is at work, and prayer moves the hand of God. Be prayerful for our country!

· “So help me, God.” — President George Washington spontaneously added these unscripted words after taking the oath of office with his hand upon the open Bible. Since then, every president has repeated them after the oath of office.

· “It is impossible to rightly govern the world, without God and the Bible.”
– President George Washington

3. Black History Month: February is Black History Month, and for most of us, we have much to learn in this area. Fredrick Douglas claimed February 14th as his birthday (the real day was unknown). He was born a slave, escaped, and became a national leader in the abolitionist movement before (as well as during and after) the Civil War. He became a great orator for the cause of freedom and an influential author. President Lincoln was profoundly impacted by Douglass’ passionate speeches and writings for freedom for all.
In order to learn to read, Douglass copied verses from the Bible, and as a thirteen- year old, the power of the Word of God convicted him of his sin and convinced him of the grace of God and converted him to Christianity. He would go on to clearly distinguish between the “Christianity of Christ” and the “Christianity of America” as he saw the great evils (slavery in particular) which were defended and practiced by many Christians and churches. Douglass was a man of deep Christian faith and personal piety (godly living) who boldly called for the Christian public transformation of the culture of his day.

4. Martin Luther on Marriage: “Let the wife make her husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”

God bless you as we continue,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God”

Pastor Carlson

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