Pastor Truog graduated
from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1983 with a Master’s of Divinity
and a Sacred Theology Masters. He served at Hope Lutheran in Aurora,
Illinois from 1983-1987. His next church was Cross Lutheran in
Yorkville, Illinois where he served from 1987-2011. In 2011 he accepted
the Call to Christ Our Savior Lutheran in Loudon, Tennessee.
“My greatest joy in ministry is seeing the “light bulb” go on for
someone when the Holy Spirit enables them to grasp the free gift of
God’s grace for salvation. At Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church we have
an opportunity to nurture and share this gift of God with people from
all over the country who have chosen to retire in East Tennessee as well
as with those who have had the privilege of living here all their
lives. We are a congregation that stands squarely on the Bible as the
very Word of God. We are known for our friendliness and our desire to
serve our community. We welcome you to get to know us and to discover a place to worship, a place to learn, and a place to serve with your Christian brothers and sisters at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church.”
January is a time when we often think of new beginnings...a new year...new resolutions... new hope... new opportunities. Martin Luther would remind us that every day is a new be-ginning as we remind ourselves that we are a child of God made new in the promise and wa-ter of our baptism.
Sometimes new beginnings get us all excited, but then we soon become disappointed (maybe our New Year’s resolutions go this way). Sometimes new beginnings frighten us and we seek comfort and familiarity in our old ways. Sometimes we see new beginnings as opportunities to manipulate others to do things “our” way. Sometimes new beginnings aren’t new at all, but just the same old same old wrapped in a different package. “There’s nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
We have to admit, we aren’t very good at being new. (For that matter, we aren’t very good at being old either!) That’s why Luther’s advice to go back to our baptism “renewal” every morning is great advice. We aren’t so good at being new, but God is great at making new.
Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Psalm 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Isaiah 65:17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
2 Peter 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Being the "God of new things," He can even make us new. Beyond forgiveness, beyond cleansing, He makes us holy through Jesus. Let's use the opportunity of a New Year as a springboard to living the fresh and new life God has given us! What “new thing” is God calling you to be a part of this year?