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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why We Need to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Using the word “my” just comes so naturally, doesn’t it? Especially when we are talking about things which we believe belong exclusively to us. We say,

“My health”
“My time”
“My money”
“My family”
“My house”
“My car”
“MY LIFE!!!”


The possessive pronoun “my” effortlessly rolls off our tongues. Why? It’s all in the grammatical description of the word – possessive. We human beings love to possess things. In fact, most of our problems are about some dispute over possessions!

But then we read an inconvenient passage like Psalm 24:1:

“The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”

Oops, maybe we need to rethink the whole subject of what we possess and what we don’t. About 3500 years ago God warned the nation of Israel about falling into a false pride over their possessions. He said,

“Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God… You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:12ff)

Giving thanks just doesn’t come naturally. It is something we need to work on. And that is why Thanksgiving Day is such a healthy holiday. We take time to focus on the true source of our blessings – the God who made us. Join us tomorrow for a joyous celebration of thanks. You’ll be happier for it!

Thanksgiving Day Worship: 10:00 am
Thanksgiving Dinner: 11:00 am

Friday, November 21, 2014

How Will It All End?

Depending on what source you read, scientists tell us that the sun will burn out in either 2.8 or 4.6 billion years. At that time, the planet earth will become uninhabitable. Since most of us are probably not going to be around (even if the sun only lasts 2.8 billion years), this prediction doesn’t bother us much. If we think a little deeper of how life on earth will end, however, there are some unsettling conclusions about the “burned out” sun theory.

If human life is going to continue in its current cycle (people are born, live and die) until a certain point when the earth will no longer support human beings, but it will continue to exist in the universe – just without people – what does that mean about all those folks who were born, lived and died? What was the point of our being on the earth?

When Jesus Christ walked the planet, he talked quite a bit about returning a second time – but this return would be very different from his first coming. He said that the second time he would come to the earth it would be in all his glory and power as God to bring an end to life as we know it. More importantly for human beings, he claimed he would bring about a definitive judgment of all people – a judgment that would be in effect forever.

Jesus talked about this Day of Judgment frequently because it has so much to do with the way we live right now. According to him, how we will be judged then depends on what happens while we are living and breathing right now. Have you ever thought about your life from that point of view?

One of the key questions everybody wonders about from time to time is, “What happens when I die?” This weekend, we’re going to be studying what Jesus said about that question. His answers are pretty exciting.

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

Saturday, November 15, 2014

How Much Are You Willing to Suffer for What You Believe In?

It’s an uncomfortable question, isn’t it? When it comes to pain, most of us are more cowardly than we would like to admit. If something hurts, we try to avoid it. And yet, when it comes to following Jesus Christ, hurting is part of the walk.

Even a cursory reading of the Gospels is enough to realize that Jesus frequently talked about suffering because of our relationship with him. He said things like,

“No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:20)

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.” (Matthew 10:16)

And yet he always encouraged his followers not to give up, to remain faithful even to the point of death because what awaited them in eternity was far more valuable than anything they might have in this life.

Two thousand years later we must ask ourselves, “Am I ready to suffer for the One I believe in?” It’s a serious question, one we must think deeply about. Jesus always advised his disciples to “count the cost” of following him.

This Sunday we will be bringing before the Lord in prayer those who are currently paying a very high price for confessing Christ. But we also need to prepare ourselves for that day of persecution. It may not come in the same form as our brothers and sisters are undergoing in Syria and Iraq and North Korea – but it will come. Will we be ready? Together, let’s begin making preparations.

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

Friday, November 7, 2014

Grace and Fairness

Grace is getting what you don’t deserve. Fairness is getting what you do deserve. If you have been brought up as a Christian you know a lot about the word grace. You know that the Bible teaches we are saved by grace, which specifically means God forgives our sins because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Being saved by grace means getting to heaven is a gift we receive, not something we earn. Throughout the years we are told to appreciate grace as God’s most important blessing to humanity. And most of the time we humbly acknowledge this.

But we have moments of doubt. There are things Jesus said which make us wonder about grace. One example is a story Jesus told about workers in a vineyard. On a certain day, some men worked 12 hours, some worked 10, some worked 6 and some only put in an hour’s worth of labor, yet all of them received the same pay! The story Jesus told wasn’t about pay scales, it was about grace. He was teaching people that it doesn’t matter how long a person is a Christian or how much work he/she has done in the service of Christ, in the end, those who have received grace go to the same place – heaven.

We all like the story of the thief on the cross converting in the last moments of his life and hearing Jesus’ words, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” But it also leaves us a little uncomfortable, like the story of the workers in the vineyard. We don’t like to admit it, but some of us might feel a little resentful about “being good” all our lives and then getting the same reward as some folks who had all the fun and then suddenly had a “God experience” at the end and snuck their way into heaven. That just doesn’t seem fair! Or, maybe we don’t really understand grace as well as we think.

Join us for worship Saturday or Sunday. You might find grace is much more than you ever imagined.

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

God’s Armies of One

What can one person do to make a difference in the world? Consider the following people:

Noah
Abraham
Paul
Martin Luther

Noah built a football sized boat with the help of only his family and preserved the human race. Abraham left all his worldly possessions and extended family and went solo to a land his descendants would someday inhabit. That people altered the course of history. Paul singlehandedly planted Christian churches throughout much of the Roman empire in a period of about 30 years. The result is today there are some 2 billion Christians throughout the world. Martin Luther, by himself, took on the most powerful institution of his time, the Catholic Church, and confronted it with a reformation which has lasted to this day.

What can one person do? When that individual is part of God’s army – he can change the world.

You may not be a student of history, but if you believe that God is all powerful and uses that power in personally working through human beings, then Martin Luther and the Reformation have to matter to you. Luther’s life and legacy are a testimony of what God can do through a single human being. No earthly pleasure will reward you for wasting the present God has given you to make a difference in the forever of people. Have you ever looked at life that way? Luther did. You can too.

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

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 www.welsmilitary.net


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

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.