RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
First, thank you for the support I have felt from many of you who shared in various ways during this time of transition. You assured me that you cared and understood my move. I now live in an efficiency apartment at Northwester Manor in Fergus Falls [since 2003 Joseph Rangen moved and is residing at Broen Memorial Home] in Fergus Falls. It is serving me well. Among other things, I have my desk and bookshelf from Fort Shaw. Two meals a day are provided along with weekly cleaning of my apartment. Since I lived in Fergus during seminary, while I served the Lutheran Brethren church here, and also during my association with Alpha Way (Bible School) I still have a number of friends here. Along with Northwestern Manor, Sheridan House (apartments) and Broen Memorial Home are all part of the Lutheran Brethren Homes campus. There is a full program ministering to physical and spiritual needs.
My second point is Thanksgiving. By the time you receive this, Thanksgiving may have passed. Nevertheless, Thanksgiving is not only a day, but a life-long experience. In Ephesians 5:20 we read, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God." At our first call, serving the Lutheran Brethren church in New Bedford, Massachusetts, we visited Plymouth Rock. Looking at the grave markers on Burial Hill, I shall never forget reading, "What your forefathers wrought with great sacrifice don't let easily slip from you!" Thanksgiving is a gift from God. Let us exercise that gift in this very needy time. "Thanks be to God who gives us the victory." Also, thanks to you who have been a blessing to me and my family. The Lutheran brethren have given me the opportunity to serve, and have encouraged me.
My third concern is Christmas. Let Isaiah 9:6 remind us, "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and these will be his royal titles: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end." Matthew writes in chapter one, verse one, "Thou shalt call His Name Jesus." Frederik Wisloff writes, "The Name of Jesus is the hope of the world, it is the radiant dawn of a generation living in night of sin. It is salvation and victory for the sinner, it is release for who is in captivity, it is hope for the future. Without Jesus the world is hopeless darkness, with Jesus something of Heaven came to earth."
Remember II Corinthians 9:8: "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that all things, at all times having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
Thank you for taking time to read these thoughts. Thank you for all you have done to encourage me and my family in serving our precious Savior.
In Christian love, Joe Rangen