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, October 17, 2014

What Might Have Been

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

She came with a new, pink blanket in her hands. She should have been carrying something else. But, she wasn’t. They should have been heading home to family in the Midwest. But they weren’t. Instead, they were standing with two strangers in a cold and windswept cemetery.

They had come to bury their baby. She could not bear the thought of her little one lying in the cold ground—thus the blanket. Their minds were plagued by thoughts of what might have been.

He had returned safely from Vietnam and been discharged from the Marines two weeks earlier. He stayed on in North Carolina because his wife was in the hospital with a difficult pregnancy. They had plans for a baby shower when they returned to family and friends. They had planned what color to paint the baby’s room. They had planned for the joy of parenthood. They had not planned for the word “stillborn” to be echoing in their minds.

It seemed cruel. Both parents had been baptized as infants. They had gone to Sunday School and church. They had been confirmed. They had lived the Christian life while teenagers. So why was God so heartless?

He wasn’t. But his plans for them were different from what they were expecting. As they stared at the small grave on that December day, they may have felt that their plans were better than God’s plans. God’s plans hurt.

But human eyes are not able to see the future. Human minds cannot see how all the pieces of life’s puzzle might fit together. Human hearts cannot love to the depth of God’s surprising grace.

So, it is a good thing that God has plans for each of those he calls his own. Good thing that he can absolutely carry his plans out. Good thing that his plans are to prosper us in ways that cannot imagine—plans that will give hope and a future.

Good thing there is God!

Perhaps this grieving couple became the parents of other children. Maybe one of them grew up to be a Marine. Maybe one of them became a pastor. Who knows? God knows, and he already knew as he watched that pink blanket tenderly placed over that tiny casket.

With sorrow we may sometimes wonder why things don’t work out the way we had planned. With faith, we can be assured that all things will work together for our good.

What might have been is not as important as, according to God’s plans, what will be.

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
If you would like to receive Pastor Ziemer’s weekly devotions, please visit

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

Friday, October 10, 2014

Love that Changes the World Isn’t Always Easy

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy

Nothing you can make that can't be made
No one you can save that can't be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
It's easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

"All You Need Is Love" (John Lennon and Paul McCartney)

John Lennon and Paul McCartney had a way with music and words. When they joined the two all the pieces of the puzzle of life seemed to come together. A quick glance at the lyrics of the song “All You Need Is Love” without the melodious voices of the Beatles in the background, however, focuses our attention on the meaning of the words. As we soak in the message we suddenly realize that there isn’t much of a message at all. Of course someone might say, “It’s all about love.” But therein lies the problem. What exactly is the love which the Beatles are describing?

No matter how one defines human love, it is rarely easy, it is never “all you need” and often it appears to be ineffective.

In one of the most famous love passages in the Bible, the Apostle John describes love far more specifically and effectively than the Beatles. Love that actually does something, love that can change peoples’ lives is love that originates from the source of all love – God. In the person of Jesus Christ we have a living definition of love which we not only can understand in practical terms but are able to experience personally and then reflect in the way we live on a daily basis.

Love is far more than a cliché or concept. Love is a Person, the Person who changed everything.

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

Friday, October 3, 2014

When There Is No Place for Gray

We’re told over and over that life is so complicated, that no one can know for sure what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong. We live in what people would call a “gray world” in which things are neither black or white. They say we can have no certainty about anything.

At times it is very convenient to live in a gray world. We can rationalize just about any behavior even though we know deep down it is wrong. We just tell ourselves, “For me, it’s okay to do that kind of thing because it makes me happy.”

Some wonder why even today certain people have such a violent reaction to the person and teaching of Jesus Christ. They ask “He talked about love and helping one another. Who could possibly react negatively to those ideas?”

The answer to that question is, “Those who understand how strongly and specifically Jesus insisted on those characteristics.” He didn’t just say, “Be nice when it fits your schedule.” He said, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

When people said, “Your teaching is too hard!” Jesus replied, “Is it worth it to go easy on yourself and lose your soul in eternity?” He didn’t back down. He didn’t make his teaching gray just to accommodate people. He came to bring certainty and in doing so he drew a line in the sand for all people. He claimed to be the Son of God, the Savior all people need. He demanded a life of total commitment by those who follow him. He left no doubt about truth and error, right and wrong.

The Apostle John, in describing the lifestyle of a follower of Jesus, said the way we live demonstrates which side of the line we are on which Jesus drew in the sand of humanity. He challenges us to go beyond the gray of moral compromise and strive to live in the black and white truth of himself.

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Don’t Make It More Complicated Than It Is

There are times when we make things more complicated than they need be. The reasons for doing this are varied, but the result is the same – we end up frustrating ourselves and confusing others. Unfortunately, Christians can have the tendency to make our relationship with God more complicated than it needs to be with the predictable results. We often feel like we aren’t getting much out of our faith life and people who ask us about what it means to be a Christian walk away wondering what we actually do believe.

The Apostle John wrote a letter many years ago as a resource guide to anyone who wanted a short Christianity 101 class. This Sunday we’re going to be looking at a small portion of that letter, but what we’ll find is a simple yet powerful explanation of how Christians live, what they believe and what they avoid. John’s presentation is accessible to a young child yet deep enough to keep a scholar pondering his thoughts. Most important, this apostle unleashes the life changing message of Jesus Christ in a way that removes possible misunderstandings.

If you want Christianity plain and simple, join us for one of our weekend worship services!

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Speaking to Be Understood

Trying to understand exactly what some politicians mean to say can be a frustrating exercise. Their vocabulary, style and presentation are superb but one can walk away wondering, “What did he mean to say?”

Such was not the case with a man named John. Late in his life he wrote a letter to Christians scattered throughout modern day Turkey. Since John was the last of the original 12 apostles to remain alive, he wanted to make sure there was no doubt in anyone’s mind about who Jesus Christ is and what he did when he was on this earth.

The vocabulary and grammar of the letter have been called basic. The message, however, is at the same time, radically controversial and life changing. John spells it out for people. God has come to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ. People saw him. Talked with him. Ate with him. He was as real as real can get.

But there is more. John tells us Jesus didn’t come just to show us God is real – he came to rescue us. The problem we needed to be rescued from is what we commonly call evil or sin. John is to the point: God is holy, we’re not. Since God is not going to change, God came to change us and he offers just that when we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

The change Jesus Christ brings to our lives not only affects our standing before God, it changes our behavior towards other people. We start to become more and more like Christ in the way we talk and act and think.

The controversy is in John’s conclusion. He said, if you want to know God, you have to know Jesus. If a person doesn’t want Jesus, he can’t get God. To our modern ears that proposition has the sound of intolerance and elitism. To John and the readers of his day it had the ring of truth. And it was truth that John was after because in the end, it is the truth about God that is all that matters.

Join us for one of our weekend services as we begin a six week study of 1 John – a short letter that has changed lives for thousands of years!

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

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sunday Worship at the Beach

Finally, the long awaited Sunday Worship at the Beach has arrived. Join us for an inspirational time of Bible readings, hymns and prayer. Afterward we’ll join together for a potluck lunch. Hot dogs, hamburgers, bratwurst and drinks will be supplied. Please bring a dish to pass. After lunch, feel free to spend the afternoon at our own family friendly, private beach or playing lawn games (volleyball, horseshoes, croquet, etc.). If you have a favorite game to share, please bring it along.

We’ll begin our worship service at 10:00 am. The location of the service is Pililaau Army Recreation Center. Click here for a map and here for more info on Pililaau.

For those who can’t make the Sunday worship service at the beach, we will be holding our weekly Saturday evening service at church beginning at 6:00 pm

Saturday evening worship at church: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship at the beach: 10:00 am

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Growing Crisis of the Passionless Life

In an effort to comprehend the reason for increasing numbers of American young men traveling to the Mideast for the purpose of becoming part of a Muslim jihad, pundits have begun talking about the boredom of the American people. For so long the primary goal in the lives of many Americans has been a pursuit of peace and affluence. But young people are beginning to ask, “Isn’t there more to life?” They are looking for a cause, something bigger than themselves to fight for, and yes, even die for. What a tragedy that some are finding their reason for being in such a twisted idealogy as terrorism!

The fact that young people are attracted to violence as a way to make sense out of their lives should be a wake-up call for every church in America. We have failed to present not only the urgency but the exciting purpose representing Christ gives to those who follow him. In contrast to Islam, Christianity, in its infancy, turned the world upside down not through military conquest but by standing firm in the midst of persecution and reaching out with acts of love and kindness to those discarded by the rest of society.

It is time for Christians to regain the urgency of the early church, not because we are afraid of the advance of radical Islam, but to demonstrate our gratitude to Jesus Christ. He did not save us by taking an easy path filled with affluence and physical comfort – he took the way of the cross because it was the only way to save us. People may be bored with life, but Christians have no right to feel that way. Time is short. We have so much to do. And what we have to do matters for eternity. Join us for one of our weekend services. Start getting passionate about life again.

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

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Is Church Really Necessary?

The words, “Get dressed, we’re going to church in 10 minutes,” generates a much different reaction than the way we respond to, “Get dressed, we’re going to the beach in 10 minutes”. Even for people who attend church regularly, it is often seen more as a necessary obligation than an enjoyable experience.

There may be many different reasons for a less than positive attitude towards church, but one can’t read much in the New Testament before it becomes very apparent that the church is very important to Jesus Christ. Before we answer the question, “Is the church really necessary,” we need to first answer questions such as, “What is the church? What is its purpose? What is my role in the church?”

It may be our experience with church has not been better because we haven’t understood what Christ intended when he founded it. Join us for one of our weekend services as explore what church means to God, ourselves and others. It could be the beginning of a very positive change in thinking!

Saturday evening 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.