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 27, 2016

Remembering Taps

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).

The tapping stopped on Christmas Eve. The year was 1941. The place was Pearl Harbor. By then the fires had burned out. The memories, however, would burn for lifetimes.

The sight of the dead on December 7th, the moans of the wounded, and the smell of the burning ships would be seared into the minds of those who were there and survived. It was indeed a “day of infamy.” But it did not end when the sun slipped under the edge of the Pacific on that day. Sailors were trapped inside of the capsized vessels. They tapped on the hull of the ship to let would-be rescuers know that they were still alive—and waiting.

Heroic efforts ensued. With blowtorches and jacks and sweat, swarms of sailors attacked the walls of the steel prisons. Many were freed. Many were saved. But not all.

It was heart-wrenching to hear the tapping come from places that the rescuers could not reach. It was gut-wrenching to listen to the taps echoing out day after day, becoming softer and softer—until they finally stopped.

Those sailors would always remember the shock of the sound of bombs exploding. And they would never forget the anguish of the sound of shipmates pitifully tapping. They would spend the rest of their life remembering.

It is well for us to remember, too.

“Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past…” This is not just wise advice; it is the command of the Lord God.

The past teaches lessons about ourselves and our God. We learn about human pride and viciousness—and frailty. We learn about divine justice and power. We learn the meaning of grace, of amazing undeserved love.

We learn about the need for help from heaven; the need for a divine Rescuer.

We need to remember the sorrow that is part of Memorial Day. And then we need to remember Christmas, Good Friday and Easter—the answer to all sorrow.

The echo of the repeated taps on steel that came from below water still reaches America’s shores.

On this Memorial Day a somber sound will float over many a place where our warriors rest. To the 1941 tapping on steel we somberly reply with the sound of Taps—this time played with a trumpet

Those who know the closing words to the melody may whisper them softly:

Thanks and praise, For our days,
’Neath the sun, ‘Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Where to Turn When Life Goes South

Problems are nothing new. People have struggled with health issues, family crises, financial meltdowns, etc. since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. It’s not a question of whether or not we’ll face stormy times in life, no, the only uncertainty is when they’ll hit.

But there is another important question to ask and that is, “Where do we turn when life goes south?” Several thousand years ago a man named David wrote a type of spiritual diary narrating his journey through the ups and downs of daily living. Today, we call his work the Psalms. It’s the longest book in the Bible and one of the most read. Why? Because the psalms deal with life as it is. There’s no sugar coating, no pretending. There are times when reading this book you can almost picture the writer on his knees, face buried in his hands, pleading to God for help, crying for answers.

This summer we’re going to spend studying the Psalms, learning how believers of the past dealt with the tough times in life. It will be a journey well worth the effort as work through the unforgettable passages of Psalm 23, 46, 90 and various others. Join us this weekend as we begin our series with Psalm 1 – God’s blueprint for blessings.

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

Friday, May 13, 2016

Does the Church Still Matter?

Maybe the simplest answer to that question is, “Because Jesus said so.” And really, if Christ rose from the dead, then that should be enough. But we live in a culture which ridicules the Christian church, never missing an opportunity to point out its faults and shortcomings. According to millennials, churches are full of half-committed people who are overly judgmental of the rest of society. With such scorching criticism, how is a Christian to react? The only response is to go back to Christ. While the way Christians live reflects either positively or negatively on Christ, our behavior does not change in one iota the truth about him – that he is God.

The night before Jesus was crucified he spoke at length about the coming of the Holy Spirit. At that time the Spirit would open the minds of the disciples so that they would fully understand what was all going to happen over the next few days and then be able to take the message of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection to people throughout the world.

Fifty days later, what he promised happened. We call it the Day of Pentecost and it is the day the New Testament Christian church got its start. This Sunday we’re going to be studying what happened on that first Pentecost. We’ll see that the principles on which the early church was built remain the same for 21st century Christians. If the church was the body of Christ then, it still is today. If the church was the instrument through which God worked in the world at that time, it is no different now.

If you’ve been turned off by recent church experiences. If you question the value of being part of the church or are disgusted by the hypocrisy you see in it, give the church one more chance. Join us for one of our weekend services and maybe you might agree, the church still matters.

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

Friday, May 6, 2016

Pandora’s Box

In ancient Greek mythology there is a story about a woman named Pandora who received a box with a “Do Not Open” note attached to the lid. Unable to control her curiosity, one day Pandora felt overwhelmed with the desire to open the box and see what was inside. When she did, out flew all the bad things in the world today – envy, sickness, hate, disease, etc. She tried to shut the cover quickly, but it was too late.

The story of Pandora has been used through the years as a warning that there are some things which are better left alone, no matter how much we might have the desire to experiment with them. There is no more tragic example of this truth than the changing sexual values in America and the effect this change has had on the family.

Sunday we will be celebrating Mother’s Day. This holiday gives us the opportunity to look at God’s plan for the family and see that his way continues to be, far and away, the best, regardless of what so many in the media are telling us. At a time when the lines between men and women are being blurred, Christians need to reaffirm God’s great idea for the different but complementary roles he created men and women to carry out. Join this weekend for one of our services. Celebrate with us God’s gift of family!

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

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Legacy that Lasts

Everybody would like to be remembered for what they accomplished while they lived. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen too often. Really, how many people are remembered by anyone 100 years after their death.

To think that all our intense struggling to leave a mark on this earth only ends up being washed away like a sand castle on the beach is unnerving, to say the least. Even thinking about it right now, leads us to question, “For what am I working so hard?” And that is an excellent question for the very reason that it is extremely hard to answer – apart from Jesus Christ.

This Sunday we will be commemorating Christ’s return to heaven (Ascension) at which time he took back his full glory and power as true God. It is an event full of significance for the Christian. Above all, however, it is an invitation to a life on this earth that matters. Jesus left this final instruction with his followers:

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The same Jesus who spoke those words is the same one who broke the power of death over the human race through his resurrection from the dead. This “forever” victory he won, he now gives to us to offer other people. Think about what that means. If you offer Jesus to someone and they receive him as their Savior and Lord, what you did is never going to go away. How does that compare to the other things you’re working for right now?

The Ascension – it means your life right now matters for eternity.

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

Why We Make So Much Out of the Resurrection

The more time passes after a monumental event, the more people tend to forget its significance. Only 150 years have passed since the epic Civil War, yet many are unable to explain why that war started or its significance to American history. Unfortunately, that same type of na├»ve disinterest is true of many people in regard to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “What’s the big deal?” they ask. “It’s just some story about a guy who lived a long time ago. There are lots of those. Why make such a big deal out of this one?”

First of all, the resurrection is history, it really happened. Jesus of Nazareth was dead on Friday afternoon, buried and placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea. On Sunday morning, life came back to the corpse and Jesus was seen that day by more than 20 people on at least 5 different occasions. While our skeptical modern minds quickly dismiss the possibility of such a miracle, a close study of the evidence leads to the opposite conclusion – the resurrection is the best explanation for the empty tomb.

His coming back to life legitimizes and confirms all the claims and promises Jesus made during his teaching ministry. Suddenly, we’re no longer talking about legends, mythology or philosophy, but rather we are confronted by the living God who has a claim on our lives.

The resurrection means death is not the end nor life just a passing fling. Everything, from the sadness to the euphoria of life’s events, is embedded into the context of eternity with eternal implications. Easter changes everything, absolutely everything. Join us this weekend for one of our services and help us make the most out of the resurrection of Jesus!

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

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Second Chance and a Fresh Start

A fresh start – that phrase is so positive, so hopeful. It paints a picture of a new beginning after a long period of rough going. But how often do we really get a fresh start. If we’ve messed up bad, let’s face it, people remember. Sure, they can say it’s all in the past but the truth is, we can feel them just waiting for us to screw up again so they can say, “See, I told you so! You haven’t changed a bit.”

This Sunday we’re going to listen in on a conversation the risen Jesus had with Peter. It takes place maybe a couple of weeks after Easter Sunday. Jesus has appeared to his disciples several times, including a personal visit to Peter. Though he is overjoyed at seeing Jesus alive, there is still a black cloud which hangs over Peter. It is the uncomfortable memory of his denying Jesus three times the night before Christ was crucified.

The talk Jesus has with Peter takes place in the early morning on one of the fishing beaches on the Sea of Galilee. It is not a pleasant conversation but definitely a necessary one. Above all, it is the beginning of a fresh start for Peter as a follower of Jesus Christ. The resurrection means a second chance is available to us all. Not a second chance “with reservations” but rather with a clean slate.

How are you at giving second chances to other people? If you have a hard time with that, join us this weekend for one of our services. Understanding the second chance Jesus offers us is the key to giving people the fresh start they need.

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

Friday, April 8, 2016

Meeting Jesus in the Most Unexpected Places

They weren’t exploring nature, trying to get in touch with their surroundings. No, these two men only wanted to complete the journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus before the sun went down. It was a trip of 8 miles. Nothing out of the ordinary for a person in those days. Walking was the way people got around. It was often boring, usually tiring and always time consuming. And so these two men trudged along, expecting little from the experience. It was just too routine, too ordinary for anything special to happen.

But then Jesus showed up. They didn’t recognize him, at least at first. But they certainly knew he was someone special. What is important for us to consider is how Jesus changed the lives of these two men in a place we would least expect – the open road! At the Temple in Jerusalem, that would be a place we’d expect Jesus to be. Or maybe a synagogue. But not on the road. It’s just too…too common.

If the only place we look for Jesus is in church, we’re missing out on a whole lot of time with him. He promises to be with us everywhere we go. In one of his teachings Jesus said that when we do something kind for another person, we’re doing that act of kindness to him. Maybe we need to look at the routine events and meetings and relationships of our lives differently. Maybe if we looked for Jesus in the daily routine, he’d start showing up in our lives more often. What kind of difference do you think that would make in your life?

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.