Randy and Katy Smelser

Americans living in Germany but citizens of heaven

Newspaper - Thoughts for Sunday PN 2021

Newspaper - Thoughts for Sunday PAZ 2021

Peine has two newspapers, PAZ and PN. One is for those looking west towards Hanover (PAZ) and the other is for those looking east towards Brunswick (PN). In January I wrote and article for PAZ and in March for PN. Below is a scan of the newspaper and the English translations of the January 31 „Thoughts for Sunday“ for the PAZ.

I was surprised to open the paper and see that the editors had added a picture and a very fitting subtitle. The subtitle reads: "A surgeon holds a scalpel in the had in an operating room. Plastic surgery is not the proper way to reach contentment." I had not expected this and I have never seen them do this with any devotional in the paper. Maybe it struck a cord with the editor?

PAZ Gedanken zum Sonntag 31-1-21

Thoughts for Sunday
By Randall Smelser
Preacher of the Christ Church Peine-Stederdorf

God is with you

Self-contentment is big on the wish list of many people, maybe even of most people. Somehow we are never content with ourselves. Cosmetic surgery is big business with 400,000 operations in Germany every year. Most of the operations are not necessary and on women. Many men work out but never reach a point where they are content with their bodies. A “six pack” remains allusive. There are numerous books, workshops and advisers to somehow arrive at “self-contentment.”
One of the greatest figures in world history was Moses. He had the best education one could have at his time. He was a leader and was gifted. But even so, when God gave him the assignment to lead the children out of Egypt, he hesitated. His excuse: Who am I to do this? And later he added: I am not one who can speak well. Recently I read this Bible story and was surprised how God responded to his objections. God did not use the current Psycho-Tips. God did not try to make understand how good he was in different things. God’s answer was: I am with you.
We will never be good enough, never beautiful enough, never popular enough, nor healthy enough, nor strong enough, nor faultless enough, nor sharp enough, never emotionally stable enough, nor sexy enough, etc. There will always be something about which we feel bad. Or something that we do not like, a weakness in our bodies, in our lives, in our pasts or something in our psyche. I am never good enough but I can go forwards and tackle the tasks of life because God is with me. Not in me lies the power and contentedness but in God. Moses learned and lived that – and thitherto ought we go.