Dear Friends and Members of Shepherd of the Hills,


I wanted to spend a moment in thanksgiving and praise to God our Heavenly Father who provides for all that we need as individuals, families and as a congregation.  In the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” we are taught by the scriptures as Martin Luther summarized:

God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in the petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread?  Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.


Here at Shepherd of the Hills, I am thankful for the daily bread God gives to us as a community through all of you.  Your blessed stewardship of your time, talents, money and energy is what makes our community flourish with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Your good stewardship provides for me and my family and therefore the faithful preaching of the Gospel, teaching of the Word and equipping of the saints. It provides for a beautiful place to gather in the study of God’s Word and the Divine service.  It allows us to bless the world around us with acts of mission and mercy.  It is how we fulfill the great commission in going and making disciples of all nations.  Thank you. 


I’m so thankful for all the work and sacrifices we make together as the church here in Ruidoso to make the love of Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd, known in word and deed.  As St. Paul shares with the churches in Philippi, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).”  I am always encouraged by how you all work to press toward the goal.  I admire how you all make those sacrifices of time, talents, money and treasure and honor when we are challenged and struggle with those sacrifices.  


You remain in my prayers as I am sure I am in your prayers.  I look forward to all the wonderful ways the Lord has given us to serve and be served here in this place even as we take this same service to the world around us.  


In His Love and Service,

Pastor Rust