Pastor Annette K Ruhs Kruse
Yes, I use the full name Annette K Ruhs Kruse in ministry. My father encouraged my call but didn’t live to experience it. So I honor him in this way. Also, since my mother has been gone for almost ten years, I also remember her. She was my biggest cheerleader and supporter through the process. Growing up in a Christian home and always encouraged to follow my dreams, to seek after God’s plan, and to share the gifts God has given me. As a result I graduated from Morningside College with a BME. Then I taught vocal music for three years. Dave and I met the fall of my first year teaching and married the following June. Dave’s background is working with the physically and mentally challenged. Perhaps this is why he has enjoyed life in ministry. Dave is now retired, but driving for Uber and will drive school buses this fall.
We have been in pastoral ministry since 1984. We have three children who have been on our journey as well. Sarah, is married to Joey Svejda and living in Atkins. They have a son, Jacob, who is growing up much too fast! Samuel was born the summer we began seminary. He is married to Nichole. They reside in Las Vegas and have two sons; Elijah, 2, and Andrew 3 months. (This Grandma is still waiting to meet and hold this precious bundle!) Samuel live and works in Sioux City and has a girlfriend, Nancy, who also lives and works in Sioux City. All three of our children are musical and talented. We are so proud of them. The have also chosen partners in life who are just as talented. God has truly blessed us.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Pastors are fortunate for a variety of reasons: sermons to write and share, people to care for and love, and newsletter articles to write! I feel especially blessed because I am in need of your grace and mercy! J Sunday, May 27 I got so excited with the message that I ended up weaving Bible stories that were totally disconnected! So I want to clarify the stories and perhaps draw you into my enthusiasm for the Holy Spirit at work in our lives!!
The Old Testament lesson was Isaiah 6:1-8. This is the story of the calling of Isaiah to be a prophet. Isaiah was already a man living out a mission, sharing God’s words and telling the truth of God’s plan.
Even the name “Isaiah” means “the Lord saves.” How appropriate then, that his message begins with the condemnation of the Israelites and the judgment to come.
Isaiah was then able to comfort the Jews and to give them hope for the future. Whether for their generation or the next, they would return and fully trust their future to the Almighty. Finally, Isaiah reminds the Jews that for the rebuilding to fully come, changing their ways was a must. Of course, they still await the coming of the Messiah.
Isaiah’s words were difficult, full of truth, and the hope promised by God. Through it all Isaiah spoke from the heart and felt the heavy burden. What a story! Isaiah’s empowerment was definitely the work of the Spirit of God at work in him.
For whatever reason, I tied this into the story of the calling of Samuel. Knowing both stories well, it leaves me a bit embarrassed!! Isaiah experienced the prophetic calling as an adult. Samuel began his journey much younger beginning with his mother Hannah. Hannah was so desperate to have a child that she gave her child to God if only she could become pregnant and give birth to a child. God heard her prayer and she gave birth to Samuel.
Samuel was still a young child, but Hannah stuck to her promise and “lent” her son to God. She took him to Eli the priest to be trained and raised up for the work of God. There are stories of Samuel ministering to others while he was yet a child. Then as a youth God called him in the night. He was to bring God’s judgment to light and to boldly proclaim the word of God. The Spirit of God was at work in Samuel.
In each situation the message was difficult to proclaim and only the infilling of God’s power could give these prophets the courage to loudly proclaim what God had called them to do. So when Jesus speaks to Nicodemus of repentance, the prophetic message continues. This truth lives today and we are God’s vessels. God has offered unending love and grace even sacrificing his only Son on the cross. Jesus, free of sin, gave his life for us. This cleared the way for us to actively open and receive the Holy Spirit!!
Even when we feel weak and ill prepared for the leading of God, the Holy Spirit surprises us with the strength to do what we think is impossible! This is my prayer for us. May we respond boldly as the Holy Spirit calls us to be about living and proclaiming God’s truth. May others see Jesus in us!!
With love and thanksgiving,
Scripture references to check out: Isaiah 6:1-8; I Samuel 1:8-2:11; John 3:1-21.