A popular ad for a weight loss company begins with a person saying “I’m Sarah, and I lost 99 pounds and now I can be the person I was meant to be”. Every time I watch the commercial I want to turn off the T.V. I want to turn off the T.V because the implied thought is that you can only be the person you were meant to be if you are a certain weight. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for being healthy and losing weight, but Sarah and dear readers I have news for you. You can be the person you were created to be right now. Whether you are large or small, tall or short, healthy or sick, young or old you can be the person you were meant to be NOW! All you have to do is take your talents, your gifts, skills and abilities, those characteristics that make you, uniquely you and use them to make the world just a little more like the world Christ envisioned. A little more loving, a little more kind, just, fair and generous.
Remember who you are. You are God’s beloved. You are God’s child created in God’s image, by God’s hand for God’s purposes and God can use you just the way you are. You don’t have to be different than you are.Waiting for some magical day when you will be 100 pounds lighter, younger, older, retired, employed, wealthier, healthier, have whiter teeth does not help God or anyone else for that matter. What does help God and the people you love is using your gifts,as imperfect as you are, and letting your light shine so let that light of yours shine today no matter what your circumstances are.
We have had quite a week. The week started out great. On Monday night my brother and I went to US Bank Stadium to watch the Vikings play the Giants. It was a great game but I could tell I wasn’t feeling quite well. By Wednesday night, I was back in the hospital for the first time in six months. I had pneumonia (my 10th time in 18 months). By Saturday afternoon I was back home. Unfortunately, the Dr. forbid me to preach in person at Saint Andrew’s this morning or do anything else for a few days with the exception of traveling to medical appointments. The good news is that while I was hospitalized they did a CT scan of my head which revealed that the tumor has not grown. This experience has again shown me how fragile my health is and what a gift each day is. If you want to hear the audio message (the video was shown during church today) from St. Andrew’s today go, to www.saintandrews.org. Pastor Carlson includes my message within his sermon.
While all this was happening to me, our Yorkshire Terrier Lulu was at the pet hospital, my mother-in-law is in transitional care, and another family member had surgery. All of us hospitalized Hogenson’s are now home and seem to be doing well. While all this was going on, my wife was amazing and calm doing an incredible job of staying on top of everything. I try to never speak for anyone else, but I think it is fair to say that Ruth truly appreciates your prayers.
I am going to lay low for a bit this week and am planning on being part of a family and friends team who are walking and running (or rolling) to support the American Brain Tumor Assn. Thanks to the Berglund family for getting this going. The event is next Saturday, 10/15, at Como Lake and all are welcome to join or support the team – Hogenson’s Brain Trust-Birchwood. http://hope.abta.org/site/TR/BT5K/BT5K-2015?pg=entry&fr_id=3501
Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, for reading this and sharing it with others. Together, let us do what we can to serve and glorify God and “Look upward, travel onward and be not afraid”. Even if you feel fear, don’t let it stop you. God is with you and God loves you just as you are.
Blessings to you,
Pastor John Hogenson