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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

“Is Heaven Worth the Wait?”

Now that is an embarrassing question for Christians. The fundamental teaching of Jesus is that life after death is far, far better than even the best life a person could ever live here on this earth. He even went so far as to say that there is nothing in this world worth having in exchange for life in heaven.

But, every Christian has, at one time or another, wondered, “Can I be sure there actually is a heaven? And is it really going to be so good that it is worth giving up some things I’d really like to do now?”

If ever there is a time of year to talk about heaven, it’s the Easter season. Jesus physically coming back to life after being dead for three days is a most powerful proof that, yes, there is life after death and Jesus Christ is the One who opens its door to us. Not only did Jesus say he is the way to heaven, he also gives us a short glimpse of what it is going to be like - and it is overwhelming.

Now to the question, “But is heaven so great that it’s worth giving up everything that is fun at the present?” Maybe the question should be, “What’s my definition of fun?” The same Jesus who rose from the dead also said that he offers human beings the “abundant life” – both now and in eternity. If we think “fun” and following Christ are polar opposites, we’ve fallen victim to the ultimate con man of history – Satan.

Several years ago there was a song about heaven not being worth the wait. Its message was: “Have as much fun now and don’t worry about what happens later.” Ironically, the man who wrote the song was battling depression while living the “fun” life. It got so bad that he tried to commit suicide. Now if having fun is so great, why would a person do that?

Jesus never tells us to do or not do something if it isn’t in our best interests. If we can’t do something in front of Jesus, then it isn’t fun, it’s a lie. And lies only come from the devil.

Join us for one of our weekend services and get a little taste of heaven. It is worth the wait. It’s worth everything.

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

Friday, April 17, 2015

Resurrection Relationships

Jesus coming back to life after his crucifixion changed everything. Unfortunately, we limit the word “everything” to ourselves. We think of how the resurrection means our sins are forgiven, heaven’s door is open to us and the certainty of all of Jesus’ promises being fulfilled. But have you ever thought about how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes our relationships with other people?

Everything about Jesus’ resurrection which is true for us, is also true for other people. All six plus billion people living at the present moment are meant for eternity. Where they will spend forever will be determined by whether or not they have received the resurrection message into their hearts and minds. Have you ever thought about your role in God making that happen?

Jesus repeatedly talked about the little things in life as the means through which he does big things. As you interact with people the rest of the day, think about each one of them entering eternity. Where will they spend forever? Is there something you can do, even if it is only being courteous, to be a positive Christian influence? You may very well never see the results of those intentional acts of kindness, but you can be sure Jesus Christ will use every one of them in a special way. Best of all, as you become more and more conscious of what you can do to help show the way to heaven, you yourself start to enjoy the journey there more and more.

Join us for one of our weekend services and celebrate your resurrection relationships.

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

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Desert of Doubt

“Did Jesus physically rise from the dead?”
“Is the Bible true?”
“How could God allow such terrible things to happen to me?”
“Is God really there?”


Doubts!
They keep us up at night. They gnaw at our soul leaving us anxious and exhausted.

Doubts!
Christians sometimes hide them because we think no other believer has ever doubted.

Doubts!
They can undermine a person’s relationship with Christ if they are not dealt with honestly and openly.

Every follower of Christ has doubts at one time or another, and most of us have regular struggles with spiritual uncertainties. One of Jesus’ closest friends, one of the 12 disciples had overwhelming doubts even after the resurrection of Christ. You know his name – Thomas. Even today we call skeptical people “doubting Thomas’” because of his statement to the other disciples, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe Jesus rose from the dead.”

Whether our doubt is about something in the Bible or a heart wrenching situation we find ourselves in, it has to be dealt with. The worst thing we can do is pretend it doesn’t exist. Thomas expressed his doubt. Whatever the reason, he could not bring himself to believe what his friends where telling him. If you are going through a season of doubt in your life, join us this weekend as we see how Thomas and other believers in the past dealt with uncertainty. Jesus may not resolve your doubt the way he did with Thomas, but he will answer your questions in a way that will best meet your spiritual needs.

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

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Is about Second Chances

What do you think passed through Peter’s head on the night before the day of Jesus’ coming back to life? Lots of regrets, that is for sure!

“How could I have denied him?
I never got a chance to tell him I didn’t mean it.
How can I live with myself?”

Peter needed a second chance, but he never imagined he would get one. How do you get a second chance from a person who is dead? We don’t know exactly what Peter’s first reaction was when he arrived at the empty tomb on Easter Sunday and it began to dawn on him that Jesus had risen from the dead, but one thought must have exploded in his mind. “I’ve got another chance with Jesus!”

The core message of Easter is: second chances. Not just for Peter, but for all of us. Join us this Sunday (10:00 am). Claim your second chance. It can be as life changing as Peter’s.

No Saturday night service – this week only.
Sunday morning service: 10:00 am

Friday, March 27, 2015

A King in the 21st Century?

“Long live the King! Long live the King!”

Those words have an antiquated ring in the ears of 21st century Americans. The truth is, however, having a king was the only form of government people knew up until the 1700s. Abraham Lincoln even called democracy the “great experiment”.

After more than 200 years of democracy few Americans would want to go back to a monarchy, but that doesn’t mean kings have gone by the wayside. A king is someone who rules. And everybody has someone or something rule their life. Who is the king of your life? What is it that takes priority over everything else? Is it the way you feel? Is it a certain goal you have not yet reached? Is it another person?

On Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He did that for a very specific reason. 500 years earlier the prophet Zechariah had written that the coming Savior or Messiah promised throughout the pages of the Old Testament would signal his arrival by entering the capital city in just the way Jesus did.

The reaction of the people was predictable – they went crazy. Unfortunately, their enthusiasm was for all the wrong reasons. They thought Jesus was going to restore political power to Israel. When they found out that wasn’t the plan, five days later some of those same people shouted for his death. The misunderstanding of the people who made up the Palm Sunday crowd, however, doesn’t negate the truth that Jesus is King. It’s just his rule is different than they thought.

Jesus comes to each and every person with a revolutionary offer. He says, “Let me be your king and I will move heaven and earth to give you the truth about life, protect you from the devil, enable you to walk through death and finally open the door of heaven for you.” Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? So what’s the catch? Look at this same Jesus dying on the cross to make good on all those things he offers you and try to find the catch.

Maybe having a king isn’t so bad after all…if the king is Jesus!

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

Saturday, March 21, 2015

“What Will You Do With Jesus?”

Though the spring breeze had a chill to it, the tension of the moment made the air seem thick and stuffy.

“What was it with these people?”
“Why did they have such hatred?”
“What am I missing?”

Questions and more questions swirled in the mind of Roman governor Pontius Pilate as he stood before a crazed mob shouting “Crucify him! Crucify him!” The man they wanted nailed to a cross stood next to him. He didn’t seem like a threat. No, he wasn’t dangerous. In fact, there was something in the man that caught Pilate’s attention – that created a type of attraction to him.

Normally Pilate had little concern for human suffering. His job was to maintain Roman rule and keep the tax money flowing to the emperor. But today was different. There was something that compelled the Governor to set this Jesus of Nazareth free.

First there was the interrogation. Then Jesus was sent to King Herod. There was the flogging and the attempt to have the Nazarene set free instead of a killer named Barrabbas. But none of Pilate’s strategies worked. These people wanted the man dead. And not just dead, they wanted him humiliated, tortured!

In exasperation, Pilate turned toward the crowd. He looked into the contorted faces which seemed to have almost a diabolical twist. It was at that moment Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of the province of Judea during the reign of Emperor Tiberius shouted out the question which continues to ring in human ears today,

“What should I do with Jesus?”

The people who made up the mob on that day told Pilate to crucify him. They were done with Jesus. They hadn’t gotten what they wanted from him and now they were ready to move on to the next charismatic leader who would give them hope. But that was two thousand years ago. That was their decision. What about us? How will we answer the question, “What should I do with Jesus?”

While Pilate thought the story would end later that day after Jesus was executed, the following Sunday some inconvenient events took place which changed everything…for all time. Pilate was right. Jesus was different. He was special. He came back to life that Sunday. And so the question, “What should I do with Jesus?” remains as relevant today as it did when Pilate first asked it.

“What will you do with Jesus?” Eternity is determined by our answer.

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

Friday, March 13, 2015

“Good Eye”

Many years ago when kids eight or nine years old could still play outside without adult supervision, I would go to the nearby park in the Spring of the year to watch our neighborhood high school team, the Washington Purgolders, practice baseball. True to their name, each player wore what seemed to me a shockingly colorful uniform of purple and gold. Sitting in the bleachers I would dream of someday being out on that field wearing a purple and gold uniform, complete with a baseball hat and genuine metal cleats! That possibility seemed very far in the future at that time, so for the moment I would wait for cracked bats or look for lost baseballs in the woods behind the field.

And I also practiced the lingo. If I couldn’t play with the big guys, I could at least talk like them. One of their favorite sayings during batting practice was, “Good eye.” If the batter didn’t swing at a pitch outside the strike zone, inevitably, someone would say, “Good eye, good eye,” to which everyone would seriously nod their approval. The way they said, “Good eye” sounded so wise, so profound. So I decided to give it a try one day. A batter passed up a pitch that hit the dirt before the plate and with all the voice I could manage shouted, “GOOD EYE!” The coach and all those big players stopped, turned toward me and then let out a huge laugh before going back to their practice. Embarrassed, I kept my great wisdom to myself after that.

“Good eye!” Being able to determine whether to swing at a pitched baseball can be important, but far more critical is the way we see life. Do we have good eyes when it comes to seeing and knowing what is true and important in life? Do we see God’s priorities as our priorities or are we looking for happiness in all different places?

This weekend we will be continuing our study of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry. We will accompany him to the courtroom of Pontius Pilate. There we will be confronted with the Roman Governor’s haunting question, “What is truth?” Do you have a “good eye” when it comes to truth? According to Jesus, how you see truth all depends on how you see him.

If you are looking for some corrective spiritual eye surgery, join us this week end for one of our services. You might just start seeing life with a “good eye”!

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

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Enigma

For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. (I Corinthians 13:12)

They called it the enigma machine. It was a device that mechanically put messages into code. The most famous enigma machine was snatched off of a sinking Nazi U-boat in 1941. Using that machine as key, the Allies were able to decode Nazi naval messages for the rest of the war. Messages that otherwise would not have made sense, suddenly became crystal clear.

“Enigma” is a Greek word. It is the very same word that the apostle Paul used in this verse of the Bible. Translators have struggled to find a suitable word for our English language. The above translation uses the word “indistinctly.” Some translations read: “poor reflection” and “darkly.”

An enigma is a riddle, a puzzle.

With that in mind, the meaning of Paul’s words becomes easier to understand. Life often seems like a riddle. Sometimes God seems like a riddle to us. We wonder why God does this thing, but not that. We wonder how we fit into his greater plan. We wonder why he allowed certain things to come into our life—especially if they caused us anguish.

We simply do not have a clear vision of God. We have never seen him up close, and we are told that this is not possible during our earthly life.

Three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration caught a mere glimpse of him when the face and clothes of Jesus began to shine with a blinding light, and God the Father thundered from heaven: “This is my Son!”

It helps us to look into the account of what Jesus said and did while he lived on the earth. We gain insight as we listen to him throughout the pages of the Bible. We come to better understand the catastrophe that sin has caused this world, and the fierce anger of the holy God against it. We begin to grasp how high and wide is the mercy and love of God as we trace the unfolding of his plan of salvation through the pages of Scripture

The picture of heavenly things is not clear to those still living on earth. It’s like looking at a far off person’s reflection in a mirror. We see a general outline. We have some idea of his size. But, if that is all we can see, we still have questions.

How different if we stood face to face with the person! Then every detail would be clear.

It should not surprise us if we have questions about the details of God’s plans for us.

One day it will all be clear. One day we will understand everything perfectly. One day our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier will be an enigma no longer.

This devotion was written by Pastor Paul Ziemer

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service: 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.