Sunday Bible Class: 8:45 a.m.
Sunday Worship Service: 10:00 a.m.

Saturday Evening Worship Service: 6:00 p.m.

A Member Church of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter IS the Best Day of the Year

Probably you don’t have time to read this. Maybe it’s the kids who need to go to some activity or you have an appointment or maybe you are just dog tired from an exhausting day and the best thing you can do is relax. You’ve got a lot on your plate – too much at times.

But is Easter the best day of the year? Isn’t Christmas better? Well, consider all the stuff that is stressing you out. If Jesus did physically rise from the dead, how important is it all? Now I’m not trying to minimize your issues, but think about it.

What are all the bills you have to pay going to mean the day Jesus raises you to eternal life with him? How important, as you enter heaven, will it be that the kids got to all their soccer practices? Your job with all the responsibilities you have, will it still be stressing you out as Jesus says, “Welcome home!” Even the real tough stuff like cancer is no match for Easter. Jesus rising from the dead overwhelms any disease because he says that his resurrection guarantees us that in heaven there will be no more pain or disease. And the hole in your heart that’s there because the one you so dearly love is no longer with you, Easter Sunday means the separation is only temporary, very temporary.

Easter is the best day of the year because it changes everything. It turns human life on its ear. Human beings go from meaningless chemical containers who lead empty, unimportant lives to people made to love and be loved for eternity, whose every day has eternal significance no matter how insignificant it may seem. May you experience all the best of the best day of the year!

Saturday worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 11, 2014

Who Is Your King?

Palm Sunday, which we will celebrate this weekend, is the powerful beginning to the most significant week in the history of the world. While we often wonder how people could shout their praises to Jesus on Sunday and then demand his crucifixion on Friday, the more important question of Palm Sunday is what Jesus was declaring by his spectacular entrance into Jerusalem that day.

In no uncertain terms he was declaring himself to be the long awaited Messiah or Savior King whom the Jewish people had been looking forward to for centuries. This is no small claim. Nor is it restricted to only the Jewish people of the first century. Palm Sunday is a healthy opportunity for us to be confronted with the question, “Who is my king?” It is so easy in our fast paced lives to just assume Jesus is our Lord, while in reality, almost every waking moment is devoted to anything or anyone BUT him.

We may feel uncomfortable by honestly answering the question, “Who really calls the shots in my life?” But for as difficult as it is, it is the best spiritual exercise we can do to prepare for eternity. We need to remember Jesus’ words often, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” For as interesting and exciting as life may seem, nothing even begins to compare with what Jesus offers us both now and in heaven. Don’t let the distractions of life keep him from being your King – today and forever.

Saturday worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 4, 2014

Justice in the Making

From a legal standpoint, the trial of Jesus before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate was a judicial travesty. The decision Pilate handed down was not based on convincing evidence provided by reliable witnesses. Rather, the verdict was clearly forced by politics. The Governor was afraid the Jewish leaders would incite civil disobedience demanding Roman military intervention and that surely would mean the end of his career. There was nothing just about the entire process. Such an interpretation of the events of that Friday morning would be superficial, however.

When we view Christ’s trial before Pilate through the lens of the Gospels and the Apostle Paul’s letters we see that what happened in the Roman legal system was just the backdrop for something infinitely more important. Pilate, the Jewish leaders, the people in the crowd shouting, “Crucify, crucify,” were only bit players in a side show. The action which mattered was taking place in the spiritual world.

Justice was in the making. Since Adam and Eve first chose to go their own way in life without God, there was the plan for Jesus Christ to right that first wrong and all subsequent wrongs. The trial before Pilate, was in a sense, a tragic representation of what had been going on in the world since the first sin: human beings thinking they were in control of their destiny. While Pilate thought he was making the final decision concerning the fate of Jesus, and the Jewish leaders reveled in their belief that they were finally rid of the man who was such a threat to their power, it was God the Father who was using human spite to bring about the justice making death of his Son.

The cross is where God’s justice was accomplished, once and for all, and then welded to his perfect love for mankind. The trial was only the means the Father used to get Jesus to the cross.

Join us for one of our weekend worship services as we contemplate the massive truth of God turning human arrogance and defiance into an eternity changing event.

Saturday: 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am

Friday, March 28, 2014

Is Prayer About Getting What We Want?

“No, I’m not a Christian. Not anymore,” said the twenty something man. “What’s the point? I asked God for help so many times and I never got what I asked for. Not once! So why should I believe in him?”

The outrage of the young man is not uncommon today. Somehow quite a few people have been led to believe that if they declare their allegiance to Jesus, he will answer all their prayers the way they want. When that does not happen (primarily because Jesus never said it would), they become disillusioned and walk out on Christ.

This weekend we’re going to journey with Christ to the darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane. There we will hear him pray – pray with an intensity the world has never seen nor will ever witness again. And yet, the One who of all people, deserved to receive what he asked for, humbly ends his request to his Father with the words, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

For Jesus Christ, prayer was about doing what he came to do. Yes, he was afraid. He had doubts about his impending encounter with sin, death and Satan. But when all was said and done, Jesus was about accomplishing his mission.

Is prayer different for us? Did Jesus save us to spoil us or for us to serve him? The Bible is pretty clear about that. Maybe it’s our attitude about prayer we need to change. And that change can only come at the foot of the cross where we appreciate our absolute necessity of Christ fulfilling his mission.

If your prayer life has become stale because you really aren’t sure it works, maybe some time with Jesus in Gethsemane will bring about a prayer revolution that might change your life beyond anything you imagined.

At least consider the words of this prayer written many years ago.

I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but eveything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

Join us for one of our weekend worship services:
Saturday: 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am

Friday, March 21, 2014

By Design

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.” (John 12:7)

Our life is a puzzle. We can see the pieces that have already been put into place, but we can only guess at what the entire picture will look like when it is finished.

When we are quite young it is easy for us to think that we can see the way the pieces of our life will come together. We picture ourselves living the life we expect to have, living where we think we want to be, and expecting that we will live happily ever after.

One’s life almost never turns out the way we had imagined. Unexpected pieces suddenly fall into place. Sometimes that brings us delight. Sometimes we are dismayed.

As we grow older we begin to suspect that we have, at least, caught on to the pattern that our life will follow. We find ourselves thinking: “Well, I guess I will never be rich!”Or, “It looks like I’ll spend my life in this or that career!”But, the reality is we will never see the complete picture of our life until it is completed. Many surprises may lie down the road. That thought can be unnerving.

If our life’s picture were formed by random pieces happening to fit here and there, how helpless and often hopeless we would feel.

But, if our picture has been designed by someone who loves us, and knows exactly which pieces should become part of our life, and exactly how they should fit in, then we can relax.

The woman Jesus was referring to in John 12 was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. She had just given Jesus an expensive gift—it cost an entire year’s wages of an average person. Yet, the gift wasn’t something that Jesus could keep for long. It was a pint of pure nard, a perfume that Mary had poured onto his feet, and then wiped off with her hair. The whole house was filled with the wonderful aroma, but soon it would be gone.

“What a waste!” was the impression of Judas Iscariot. “Many hungry people could have been fed if the perfume had been sold.” Maybe others would have agreed with him.

Jesus did not. Jesus knew how this piece fit into the larger picture of his life and the salvation of the world. He said, “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.”

He was only a few days away from his death. No one else in the room knew that a piece of his puzzle was going to be called Golgotha. No one expected that women would gather in closing darkness to wrap his corpse with the customary burial ointments. No one could see that this would be followed with the bright light of Easter.

We don’t know how Mary bought the perfume. We don’t know how long she had been saving it. But, even though she did not realize it, this was all by God’s great design.

So it is with us. That same One is shaping our life’s picture—and the design is just as wonderful.

Join us this weekend to worship Him!

Saturday: 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am

This devotion was written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain. If you would like to receive his weekly devotions, please click here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Why Did Judas Do It?

Why, after being in the presence of perfect love, compassion and holiness for three years could Judas turn his back on Jesus? He had seen the miracles and heard the sermons. He had been privy to the fireside chats and the question and answer sessions which took place on the road. He had seen Lazarus come back from the dead! What in the world got into Judas that he betrayed Jesus? The answer is a name: Satan.

The Gospel writer Luke describes what happened tersely, “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.”

Jesus called Satan the “father of lies”. The devil lied to Adam and Eve, he lied to Judas and he continues to tell lies every day to you and me. Those lies are so dangerous because they are masterfully told. He plays with our emotions. He tickles our egos. Satan makes his lies sound so very reasonable and good. Adam and Eve thought so. So did Judas. At least at first they did. But once the truth was revealed, how crushing the guilt was! How overwhelming the consequences of their deception!

We live in a culture which looks on the existence of Satan with a condescending smile. “Spirits, evil beings,” people object, “that was for long ago. We’re way past that kind of thinking today.” What easy targets we humans make. This supernatural force for evil whose only purpose is to destroy us eternally, and we choose to believe he doesn’t even exist.

This coming weekend at our worship services we’re going to be studying Satan’s strategy with Judas. We’ve got a lot to learn from this sad story. The advice, “to be forewarned is to be forearmed” finds its ultimate application when applied to Satan’s tempting tactics of Judas.

Saturday: 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am

Friday, March 7, 2014

How Do You Define the “Good Life”?

Whatever you may think of what makes up the “good life”, if you are like most people, you’re probably not thinking about Jesus. We’ve been brought up in a culture in which the “good life” means having everything we want and more. It’s about getting things our way and having the material possessions we desire. It’s kicking back on the beach of an exclusive resort without a care in the world.

There is a verse tucked away in the middle of the Gospel of John which challenges us to think about the “good life” on different terms. In that particular passage Jesus says,

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

It sure sounds like Jesus is talking about the “good life” there. But if you know anything about what Jesus said and did, you know he wasn’t much into kicking back at exclusive resorts. He was more about doing the kind of things nobody else could or would do. The kind of things that need to be done. So how does Jesus and the “good life” fit together? Maybe it’s all in the definition of that little word “good”. Maybe what we think is “good” really isn’t all that good for us after all. Maybe what Jesus calls “good” is better for us in the long run.

Join us for one of our weekend services. We’re going to be looking at some of Jesus’ most challenging and controversial statements. Who knows, you might find what he has to say is just what you have been needing to hear.

Saturday: 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am

Friday, February 28, 2014

What It Means To Be a Follower of Jesus

Recent polls show that at least 70% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. However, of those Christians, 18% have not prayed to God in the last year, 57% haven’t read the Bible in the last week and 33% haven’t been to a Christian church in the last year. From those statistics, it seems that there is a broad range of interpretation in regard to how being a Christian influences one’s daily life.

This Sunday we’re going to be studying various teachings Jesus gave to those who followed him. What he says pierces any idea that being a Christian is like belonging to a club or an organization. The message of Christ is challenging, but then the one who offers the tough words demonstrates his incredible authority.

Everybody follows someone. Who do you follow? If you are not sure or are considering making a change, join us this weekend and learn what it means to follow Jesus Christ. It could be the start of something better than you ever imagined.

Saturday night worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.