Friday, August 26, 2011

What Do You Do When You Don't Feel It?

"I don't feel like it."
"There's no feeling left in me."
"How can I do something without having the right feelings?"

Feelings play a major role in our lives. Very often they determine its course. People consider it sophisticated to live by their feelings. Usually it is said this way, "I live by what my heart says." That's code for, "I do what I feel like doing." The problem with a feeling driven life is our feelings are very often not based on facts or the way things really are. Our feelings change from moment to moment and very often are based on such variables as our physical condition, the way other people are treating us, our circumstances and our perceptions of each one of the items just listed. Even if we are a "feeling" type of person, we have to admit that many times acting on our feelings has gotten us into big trouble.

Our spiritual lives are no less affected by our feelings than any other aspect of our lives. There are those times when we feel like shouting, "I love you Lord!" and there are also moments when we actually do cry out, "Where are you Lord?" If our daily walk with Jesus is going to be determined by how we feel, we're in for a life of highs and lows that very often degenerate into a series of varying lows. When it comes to living as a Christian, the Bible tells us to keep our eyes fixed on the unchanging truths of what Christ has done for us, not on ourselves.

When Christian feelings go south and we're left wondering if we even still have a faith, it's time to look at the power God gives us through baptism. It's probably been a while since you've thought about your baptism. Chances are, you don't even remember it. So what good could an event that took place years ago possibly have today? Surprisingly, the answer is, "A whole lot!"

Join us this Sunday (August 28 at 10:00 am) and rediscover a source of power you may have forgotten. Your baptism was meant to be so much more than a page in your memory book!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Does It Pay To Live God's Way?

In 1939 baseball manager Leo Durocher looked over at an opposing ball team and said, "Take a look at them. They're all nice guys, but they'll finish last. Nice guys finish last." Was he right? In a recent article, The Week magazine reports that "Men who were below average in terms of agreeableness and cooperativeness make 18 percent more--almost $10,000 more per year--than their kinder, gentler office mates."

For the last several weeks we have been studying different aspects of the Christian life as described in the book of Proverbs. Much of what we've learned about being a "nice guy" requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice knowing that in some cases our efforts will not be recognized. So the question a lot of Christians have is, "Does living the Christian life actually pay off in the real world?"

If a person looks at life superficially, from a cynical, self-centered point of view, the honest answer is "no". But there are all sorts of consequences to such a view (which we are going to talk about Sunday) that would make anyone think twice about such a short-sighted way to live. Certainly there are exceptions, but what we see in the history of mankind is God's moral law engraved, to a greater or lesser extent, on the hearts of all people. When those laws are followed, even without a knowledge of the true God, the results are remarkably better than when those same laws are casually tossed aside. The true value of the Christian life is found, however, when it is placed in the light of the cross of Jesus Christ. The moment we receive what Christ has done for us and how that changes all of eternity, the Christian life here takes on a "forever" importance. Join us this Sunday (August 21 at 10:00 am) as we explore the blessings of living God's way.

Friday, August 12, 2011

When the Party's Over...Then What?

Take a look at the following two statements.

"All I want to do is have some fun."

"All I want to do is get to heaven."

Do you think that you have to choose between one of the two or can you have them both -- fun and heaven? How do you think most of your friends would respond to that question?

Probably most of the people you know would say a person has to choose; the reason being that the idea of "fun" today is something a little "dirty", something God certainly wouldn't approve of. Since heaven seems so far off and fun seems so much, a lot of folks opt for fun. That is a tragedy for three reasons. First, people mess up their lives big time when all they try to do is have some fun. Second, the kind of fun that leaves out God loses its impact very quickly and becomes more of a slave driver, always demanding greater doses. Thirdly, and most importantly, anything that keeps a human being from the God who created him/her causes that person to miss the whole reason for existing. God made us to live as part of his family.

It's time to cut through the deception. You don't have to toss God out of your life to have fun. In fact, the more Jesus Christ influences your life, the more you are going to discover what fun really is--without tragic consequences or a guilty conscience. Remember what Jesus promised, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Join us at 10:00 am this Sunday (August 14) to begin living the full life Jesus offers.

Friday, August 5, 2011

TV and Real Life

The whole season had been building up to this point. Patrick Jayne, The Mentalist, had finally confronted Red John, the killer of his wife and young daughter. The two stood, facing each other, in a crowded mall. As they were about to part Red John flashed a confident smirk, believing that Jayne was incapable of taking the law into his own hands and doing something violent. It seemed that evil had triumphed over good again when suddenly Jayne pulled a gun from his pocket and shot Red John dead with three bullets. Jayne then calmly sat down at a table and allowed himself to be arrested. And as the scene faded away we spectators experienced a fine sense of justice.

In the extraordinary case of Patrick Jayne and Red John, revenge seemed the only sane option. Red John was a proven ruthless serial killer who had destroyed the lives of countless people. If he were to be stopped, Jayne would have to take advantage of the one opportunity he had. Red John is dead, that's all that matters, right? It all seems so cut and dried, but....we're talking about a TV show here and not real life.

Anger, hurt, hate and revenge wreck havoc in the lives of real people, but usually as a result of offenses far, far less terrible than those suffered by Patrick Jayne at the hands of Red John. It may be interesting and entertaining to watch, week by week, a TV character channel his hate into achieving justice; it is absolutely destructive when everyday normal people let feelings of revenge drive them. At some point in all of our lives someone or something is going to so negatively impact us that it will seem everything in life has stopped and we can only focus on one thing: righting the wrong. If we give in to bitterness and resentment, they will consume our lives. People may say that forgiveness is for weaklings, but if that is true, then the God of all creation is a weakling. When it comes to real life and how we deal with revenge, it's time to turn off the TV and open the Bible. Join us this Sunday (August 7) at 10:00 am. Forgiveness is the choice to be free instead of being enslaved by hate.

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.