Jesus In Disguise


 There is a popular song playing on Christian radio called “Jesus in Disguise.”  One of lines is “Jesus in Disguise; Jehovah passing by.”  It reminds me of the many times that someone was put in my path to help me or steer me in a different direction or to get me to think and react to a situation in a Christian way instead of how I might otherwise want to behave.  These people never look like Jesus, but they are certainly doing his work.  

Several years ago on Mardi Gras evening I said, half-jokingly to Beverly, that we should go out to eat close to home in west Mobile and avoid all of the drunks in downtown Mobile.  We were about three miles from our home and unfortunately had a terrible accident with a drunk driver.  Briefly unconscious, then smoke and confusion, then Beverly screaming that she’s on fire and can’t open her door!  I pop both our seat belts loose and run to her side, but somehow she crawled over to the driver’s side and got out.  I’m sure there were a lot of short prayers.  Help us, Lord!  We need you! I did not realize it at the time, but several “Jesus in disguise” people appeared.  An off-duty nurse stopped and checked Beverly out, then got her an ice pack from Burger King for her facial burns.  An off-duty sheriff stopped and approached me with his back to me to tell me “off-the-record” that I should request a breathalyzer test, and then he disappeared into the night.  A man stopped and gave me his business card and said that he would testify in court that the other driver was at fault.  The ambulance arrived quickly and took Beverly to the hospital.  I insisted on going with her, but was told I would be arrested on the spot if I left the scene.  I argued, but lost.  The sheriff on duty did take me to the hospital later that night.  Beverly’s uncle drove us home from the hospital.  

During that difficult time so many people were the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus.  So many countless people are a positive Christian influence in my life.  It’s always ordinary people doing extraordinary things or seemingly little insignificant things that make a huge impact in my life.  No, they don’t look like Jesus, and sometimes they are strangers just passing by, but they make a big difference in my life.


Matthew 25: 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


Heavenly Father,

Thank you for bringing ordinary people into my life as “Jesus in disguise.”  Lord, help me to do your will and be that same blessing for others.

Gary Kubina

Stewardship Chair 

Men's Ministry

In the wake of the pandemic and the recent losses within our congregation, our families and our circle of friends,  we share these words from a grief/loss recovery program that offer straight answers, practical advice… and hope.

1. Shock & Denial

You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. The shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

This type of grief is probably one of the biggest and most important stages that people go through once they start processing through the stages of grief after suicide.

Examples of emotions during this stage of grief:

2. Pain & Guilt

As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn’t do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

Out of all the stages of grief after an affair, this is the one that might be most prevalent because realization sets in that their choice was something that could have been prevented and stopped and that this suffering and pain were preventable.

Examples of emotions during this stage of grief:

3. Anger & Bargaining

Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is not a time for the release of bottled-up emotion. You may rail against fate, questioning “Why me?” You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair: “I will never drink again if you just bring him back”!

Depending on if you’re ready for grief counseling, this is a step that it might be a good choice to look into.

Examples of emotions during this stage of grief:

4. “Depression”, Reflection, Loneliness

Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

Examples of emotions during this stage of grief:

5. The Upward Turn

As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your “depression” begins to lift slightly.

This is the part of the grieving process that you’ll start to see the light a bit at the end of the tunnel. It’s a middle ground of all the grief symptoms that you’ll go through but it’s one that you can build upon.

Examples of emotions during this stage of grief:

6. Reconstruction & Working Through

As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.

Examples of emotions during this stage of grief:

7. Acceptance & Hope

During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness.

Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward. You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future.

Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain. Sadness, yes! But the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living. You have made it through the 7 stages of grief.

Martin Luther’s Pandemic Advice Goes Viral 

The largest Lutheran denomination in the United States gave the reformer’s pandemic advice the meme treatment in August on its Facebook page, accompanied by an illustration of the reformer in a blue disposable face mask and the caption, “We pray AND we act.” 

In 1517 Luther wrote that letter in the midst of an outbreak of the bubonic plague in Wittenberg. He was responding to a Lutheran leader in Breslau, who asked whether a Christian ought to leave a city in the midst of a plague outbreak for someplace safer.

In his treatise, Luther wrote: “Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. … See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

Luther himself had been ordered to leave the university in Wittenberg, where he taught, but he refused. Instead, he and his pregnant wife, Katharina von Bora, a former nun who had learned some nursing skills in the cloister, stayed behind and opened a wing of their home as a clinic.

Those who are responsible for the spiritual and physical well-being of others must not flee an outbreak, but rather stay and care for people in the midst of it, Luther advised. However, they also must be careful not to make matters worse. The ELCA has embraced Luther’s message throughout the pandemic.