Grace By Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Norfolk

The power of prayer

God never promised we wouldn’t have trials. Yet, he does promise always to get us through them. He promises he will never leave nor forsake us, never give us more than we can handle, and always make it all work out for our good.

We may feel powerless under trials and temptations. Yet, through prayer, we have access to the unlimited power of God. “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” God not only wants us to ask for help, he wants us to persist, “continuing instant in prayer.” He encourages us to keep praying and not give up on his promises. Often, it may seem like he’s not listening, or that he doesn’t care. But, “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us.” The cross of Christ reminds us how much God truly cares, and gives us the assurance that he does hear us. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

Trials are not meant to harm us, but rather to help us. “The trying of your faith worketh patience.” He wants our faith to grow. He wants us to trust in him, pray to him, and find comfort and assurance in his promises. Whatever our trial may be, Jesus says, “All things are possible to him that believeth … All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

— The Rev. Wyatt Rosebrock

First Presbyterian Church, Norfolk

Speaking plainly

One of the qualities we admire in our leaders is honesty. We have stories about our national leaders — people like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln — that tell of their honesty growing up. Some of those stories are, shall we say, more reliable than others. But in any case, we want our leaders and our friends to be folks who will be straight with us, giving us the plain truth.

In this week’s passage from the book of Mark, Jesus is talking with his disciples about some things that they don’t really want to hear. Jesus is being straight with them, but the head disciple, Peter, goes so far as to rebuke the master. Jesus quickly and firmly corrects Peter and tells all the disciples that some very difficult events are going to come. These events must come to fulfill the prophecies about the Messiah.

So while we do want honesty in our relationships, we must be prepared for some of that honesty to challenge us. Jesus says that we should take up our cross and follow him, an image of sacrifice. But the important thing to note is that Jesus will always be with us, no matter what.

Our worship service this Sunday is open to all; safety measures will be practiced. We also have recorded worship on Facebook. Come and worship our Lord Jesus, who is open with us and loves us.

— The Rev. Brian Johnson

In other news

The state is opening up. Governor Ricketts stated that he wants Nebraska to go back to green despite the governor refusing to test for the COVID variants here in Nebraska he says we are ready to go back to the green this is a bad idea.

What is everywhere and annoying, but one of the most important things happening worldwide today? If you guessed COVID-19 restrictions, you’d be correct. It is time once again to talk about restrictions because of a new development: The easing of restrictions specifically, in Nebraska. This i…

Recently, Nebraska has been easing the restrictions from COVID. More people are being allowed at the different events that are being held in the state. Is that really a good thing? In some ways, it can be considered good, but in other ways, it can be considered pretty bad.

On a roller coaster, people are taken in circles, turned upside down, and plummeted toward the ground; however, the ride eventually ends and everything goes back to normal.

It has been a full year since COVID-19 has entered the United States. Since then, everyone’s lives have changed forever. COVID death numbers have risen, fallen, and then risen again. Now, numbers are falling again, and it seems that we may have been able to flatten the curve.

According to the New York Times, Nebraska has seen a 14% decrease in new COVID cases over the past two weeks in comparison to the weeks prior. Nebraska is among the best states at keeping cases to a minimum.

HUMPHREY — Despite the frenetic pace established by Humphrey St. Francis that tested Elgin Public/Pope John’s stamina, the Wolfpack persevered during the first half. But the combination of the Flyers’ defensive pressure and transition offense ultimately took its toll in the second half.