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, May 22, 2015

Flags and Flowers

Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you (Deuteronomy 32:7).

When he was 9, he wove red, white and blue crepe paper through the spokes of his bicycle and proudly rode after the high school band in the Memorial Day parade. His mother smiled.

When he was 19, he marched as a Soldier in a Memorial Day parade. His parents came to see it. His mother smiled.

Before he turned 21, the hometown Memorial Day parade turned into a place where freshly turned dirt lay before a headstone with his name on it. His mother felt she would never smile again.

There are those who scoff at Memorial Day events, and write them off as an attempt by the government to cover over the horror of war with flags and flowers. In reality, it is a chance to remember and explain.

A veteran of warfare wrote: “The beginning of the end of the war is in remembrance.” Those who have lost sons or daughters or comrades in war need to remember their names and their deeds. It is a debt that is owed. It is a step toward healing.

The pain of loss may be numbed by many means, including stuffing the memory into a dark, far corner of the mind. But that doesn’t make it fade. It just festers there. It must be brought into the light of day and the brightness of God’s Word in order to be accepted and understood.

The dream of no more wars will always prove empty as long as this world stands. It is not God’s fault. It is the outgrowth of sin. But, while sin may be the root cause of war, waging war to protect others is not sin. It is carrying out the command of God in the Commandment that protects life.

Evil is a deadly threat. Peace treaties and negotiations cannot keep it subdued for long. All too soon it breaks out of its cell, and threatens the weak. Sometimes it requires bloodshed in order to put it down. Sometimes it is the blood of the defenders of life that spills onto the ground.

The young do not know this. It must be explained to them. They need to learn of the sacrifices that past generations have made on their behalf. They need to learn that sometimes freedom from evil is bought with blood.

Christians understand this. They remember the story of the Son of God on earth. They know that it was his blood that set them free from the tyranny of sin, death, and the devil. They know that if they are called upon to lay down their life for their country, their Savior will one day raise that body to join its soul in a place where there will never be any war.

Flags and flowers—they help us remember, they help us explain, they help us heal.

We pray:
Lord of grace and glory, Americans remember their fallen on the holiday we call Memorial Day. Help us to remember the cause of war, the horrors of war, and, at some times, the need for war. Help us explain to a new generation the reality of evil, the need for sacrifice, but above all, the need for you. Without you, any victory is fleeting, and any healing is short-lived. Without you, America is at the mercy of its enemies—and its enemies do not possess mercy. Therefore, shower us with your mercy from on high that we may never forget those who died for our freedom, and the One who died to make us free forever.

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain

“What do you think God looks for in Christians?”

We know what to look for in a CEO. We know what skill set a person needs to be an NFL quarterback. But what does God want to find when he peers into the heart of a Christian?

Beginning this weekend, we’ll be starting a sermon study series on one of the most famous men in the Bible – King David. We know more about this man than any other person in the Bible except Jesus Christ himself.

If you’ve done some reading in the Old Testament, you know that David was not what anyone would describe as an ivory tower saint. No, he was a man full of flaws – capable of committing the worst of sins. And yet, Bible writers describe him as a “man after God’s own heart”!

The story of David is no different than our story with God. He takes us as we are and then molds us into the person he wants us to be so that he then can use us to accomplish what he has planned. When we step across the threshold of death, no one will be interested in CEOs or NFL quarterbacks. All that will matter at that moment will be what we did for God.

If you haven’t thought much about what God is looking for in your life, how about joining us this Saturday evening or Sunday morning to give it some consideration? Someday, the most important statement anyone will make about your life will be, “You were a person after God’s own heart.”

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

Saturday, May 16, 2015

“The Invitation”

You’ve been waiting for weeks. The days have dragged on for what has seemed like an eternity. The waiting and wondering have stolen your attention. You can think of nothing else. Then it comes. The invitation you’ve been counting on, dreaming about, even living for. Maybe it is an invitation to study at a certain university. Maybe it is an invitation to assume a new career. And maybe it is an invitation from a certain person with whom you have fallen in love. Whatever the invitation might be, when it comes, everything changes.

On the day of Pentecost things changed dramatically in the spiritual world. For century after century God had been planning, working and preparing for the arrival of Jesus Christ. Suddenly, he appeared in history – God in human flesh – and just as suddenly he ascended into heaven to appear to human eyes again only on Judgment Day. The work was done. The relationship God intended for humans was restored through the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Now all that was left was to invite people to receive what Christ had won. And that is where the day of Pentecost comes in.

When we hear the word “Pentecost” we tend to think of wind and fire, but it is really about an invitation – the invitation God offers every one of us to become part of his family, part of his eternity and part of his working in this world. What is most startling is that invitation comes through people – ordinary, everyday people like you and me. From today until the moment Christ returns, we have the opportunity – no – the privilege to offer the invitation of Pentecost to the people in our lives. If you have been sensing a certain dullness in your life as a Christian, Pentecost is the cure. Start sharing the invitation!

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

Friday, May 8, 2015

"It's Time to Go Home"

After a long day at work, a trip away from home or a deployment in a distant land, the sweetest words a person can hear are, “It’s time to go home!” Home, where everything is familiar. Home, that place where we are accepted for who we are, even with our idiosyncrasies and faults. Home, where we feel secure and safe.

One of life’s most heartbreaking experiences is to witness an elderly person having to leave the home they have treasured for many years. The anguish they feel is almost unbearable for all that is dear and familiar is being ripped from them. But it is the way of human life. Our bodies break down and we get to the point where we can no longer take care of the home we love. In fact, we need help even caring for our own personal needs. And so, when we are least prepared, we are forced to adapt to something new, an unknown place, an unfamiliar routine.

There is a passage in the Bible that helps us deal with the constant and often unpleasant change of mortal life. It says, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord, Christ Jesus.” Heaven, that is our home which no one nor anything will ever be able to take from us. Heaven, that place Jesus said he is preparing for us. Heaven, that place where we’ll never again cry, scream in pain or face the ugly jaws of death. Heaven, that is home.

When Jesus ascended into heaven his disciples were speechless. What were they to do without him? Suddenly a couple of angels shook them back to their senses with the words, “What are you doing standing there looking up into the sky with your mouths hanging open? Jesus went up to heaven and he is coming back. So get out there and tell people about their real home – home with Jesus in heaven.”

Are you battling the nagging feelings of depression because you just don’t feel “at home” where you are? Are you worried about where you will live in the coming years? Do you wonder if you will ever again find that place you can, in your heart, call “home”? Then join us this Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Hear the soul steadying message that Jesus has got exactly the home you need – for all of eternity. What a way to live! No matter what happens today, we’re on our way home!

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

Friday, May 1, 2015

When Being Happy Isn’t Most Important

Christians are being backed up to the wall these days by those who support gay, bi-sexual and transgender lifestyles. The question we are repeatedly asked is,

“Why do you think you have the right to deny happiness to people who choose a different sexual lifestyle?”

It is a piercing question, but it is also a question which ignores the basis of how anyone answers any question about moral behavior. Christians believe that all living beings, including humans, have our origin in a personal God who not only created us but is personally involved in our lives. The answer to any question about how we are to live has to be based on what he has revealed to us.

If God does not exist and human beings are not held accountable for their actions after death, then no one does have the right to say one type of behavior is better or worse than the other. Of course, such a view of life can’t work in the real world, but those are the implications of taking God out of human life.

But if Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, then everything changes concerning morality, good and evil, right and wrong. The resurrection of Christ means he is God and what he says about gender and sexuality is not only valid, it is the basis of our understanding of gender and sexuality.

So the question for Christians isn’t, “What makes us happy?” No, the question is, “What does Jesus Christ tell us is best for us?” And when it comes to the issues of gender and sexuality, he is very clear. But rather than restrict or repress us, Jesus said that everything he has done for us or taught us is meant to set us free, to give us the abundant life. Don’t you think his rising from the dead gives him some credibility on the subject?

This Sunday we are going to be celebrating Mother’s Day. Join us as we not only affirm all the blessings God has given us through our mothers, but also through women in general. God made humans to work best as male and female, men and women, complementing each other. Christian women need all the encouragement they can get to live out their essential role in today’s challenging world. Help us to give them that encouragement.

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

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?”

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

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

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

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

My Photo
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.