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  • David Lyons

Atlas June Newsletter - text only

Seeking Reconciliation

David Lyons, Director

Much has changed recently in our nation. It seems like, as a nation, we are more divided than we have ever been. Furthermore, it seems like in many places lawlessness is abounding. What are we to do in the midst of all this turmoil and upheaval! Will grace, mercy, and peace prevail?

So my wife and I have two young children. The older girl, who is still a toddler, had a rough day today. She did not get much sleep, and we have had much on our plates the last weeks. I do believe she was overwhelmed today. And being a toddler, she could not process her emotions and remain calm, or rather become calm. However, through grace and persistence (mostly on part of my wife), she regained composure and had a pleasant evening the rest of the way.

What do these two (above) paragraphs have in common? There is a story in Genesis 33 where Jacob finally comes back to see his brother Esau. Esau is the brother who was wronged, who was harmed, and had his inheritance stolen from him. Jacob was the aggressor and agitator of the above sentence. Jacob is going to meet Esau for the first time in decades in the chapter. Jacob tries to appease his brother through gifts. They meet, and time has healed some wounds. Either way, they are reconciled. Then Jacob tells his brother something in verses 14 and 15. He tells Esau that he cannot rush ahead. He has to move ahead and forge ahead at the pace and speed of his herds and his children lest they die.

You see, these two brothers’ relationship had been fractured. Martin Luther King Jr was quoted as saying, “We must learn to live together as brothers or die separately as fools.” In our society today, we must learn to honor one another, even those with whom we do not see eye to eye. Deeper still, some of you reading today have had family relationships fractured. God is wanting to reconcile those families.

Like Jacob with his children and his herds, we must forge ahead. Perhaps we do not see the change in those addicted or in those making poor decisions or even with fractured relationships. However, we keep seeking God. And we keep seeking reconciliation. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5 that God has made us ministers of reconciliation.

Dear reader, may we always strive to be a blessing to others. May we seek to honor others – whether those that have harmed us or those whom we have harmed. May we pray for reconciliation in our families and in our communities. That is what I pray for. That is what we strive to do here at Atlas – to be a helping hand to those in need.

Rejoice, Be Gentle, Experience Peace Arvin Druvenga Anxious moments have become a regular occurrence for most of us over the last couple months as concerns related to the pandemic have spread throughout the world. We have faced various levels of anxiety for ourselves, our families and others while navigating the near daily change in circumstances through the initial transition of closing down many aspects of regular life and now the subsequent transition to gradually reopen many regular activities. Anxious feelings come from having little control over many of the circumstances surrounding us. We fret when trying to make wise choices in areas that previously required little thought. And often we nervously approach new situations, hopefully with concern not only for ourselves but also for those around us. May God strengthen our trust in Him and grant us wisdom and discernment in these challenges. May we experience true joy, a gentle spirit and supernatural peace each day through Him. For some in our community, anxious moments like these are not the result of the pandemic but are a part of life circumstances from which dealing with anxiety is an every day challenge. Atlas exists, in coordination with other area agencies and organizations, to walk along side anyone seeking guidance, friendship and God’s presence through these challenges. May God use our individual pandemic experience to further our genuine compassion for each person Atlas serves. It is through your support and encouragement that Atlas can help those in need strengthen their trust in God, seek from Him wisdom and discernment for each day and experience true joy, a gentle spirit and supernatural peace. Philippians 4: 4-7 gives this encouragement. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Digital Newsletter Option Atlas of Spencer would like to offer you the option of receiving our newsletter via e-mail. If you would like to receive your future newsletters in this way, please email us at: Newsletters will also be posted to our website at or out Facebook page ATLAS of Spencer.

Common Sense Parenting Update

Atlas of Spencer continues to be the Fiscal Agent for Common Sense Parenting Classes offered by Paulette Karolczak, an Independent Authorized Trainer for this Boys Town evidence-based curriculum. Paulette received a grant from the Clay County Foundation Grant this spring to offer two Common Sense Parenting sessions. She is currently offering the first 7-week session for parents of& Preschoolers. This session focuses on understanding the developmental stages of children, confirming that parents are the primary teachers of their children and then teaching skills to improve communicate, build relationships, avoid power struggles, teach social skills and raise responsible, caring children.

With the onset of Covid-19, new territories have been discovered by offering this session online instead of the usual in-person formatting. While in-person is still preferred, the GoTo meeting style has worked very well so far! Seven of the original eight participants are still actively participating - and the 8th regrettably dropped out due to busy children summer activities taking over as of June 1st.

A second session of classes will be offered early this fall for parents of school aged children. If offered in-person, they will be held in Spencer. Flyers will be sent out to social service agencies, churches, day cares, city offices and advertised in the area newspapers.People interested in registering for classes may call Paulette at #712-724-6513.

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