Friday, July 27, 2012

The Church: Relic or Relevant?

In searching for some statistics on the church in the United States I was surprised at the large number of vitriolic blogs accusing the church of everything from being a safe haven for pedophiles to a tax evasion machine. And yet, in spite of all of its shortcomings and the bad press the church has gotten in recent years, more than 50 million Americans participate in some type of church service during any given week of the year. That statistic indicates that for many people the church still has a vital and important role in their lives.

Has the church outlived its usefulness? Maybe even more important to ask is, “What is the purpose of the church and from where did it come?” Those are just some of the many questions we’ll be addressing as we begin our new sermon study series on the church. Is it a relic of the past or a relevant institution which continues to change lives in our modern era? We invite you to join us either Saturday evening at 6:00 pm or Sunday morning at 10:00 am as we investigate these critical questions.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Temper Tantrums

What do you do when you don't get what you want? When we were little, most of us threw temper tantrums. Some of us may continue to use that tactic even as adults. However, we've probably suffered a great deal for that lack of self-discipline.  Even for those who have learned to control their emotions a little better than a two year old, it's still hard for all of us not to get our way. Some people might even say that the purpose of human life is to impose one's wants on others, no matter what.

Given the fact that we live in a culture which values very highly achieving our personal goals, it comes as a shock to read that the Bible teaches just the opposite: greatness comes from not always getting what we want. 

As Moses neared the end of his life, he had only one goal--get to the land God had promised to give the Israelite people. For forty years he had endured rejection, betrayal and the stress of leading 3 million people. It would all be worth it, he thought, once he could get them where God wanted. Then he would settle down, build a little house and enjoy the fruits of all those years of work. But God told him, "You're going to get a look of the land, but you won't live there." What a disappointment! What a let down! Was God joking or playing games with Moses?

No, God was doing what he always does, working out all things in the way he knows is best. There is a powerful lesson for us in the account of Moses not being allowed to enter the Promised Land. God has a plan for each one of us. But we need to remember that the plan is his, and we are only a part of that plan. He does not need us to do our part, he gives us the privilege of working with him. He has the right to change what we are doing for him or our location or our circumstances. At first it seems like kind of a raw deal. But then we look at the cross. We see the same One who created the world hanging on that cross to pay for our sins and we know: unlimited power combined with unlimited love--that's the God who is controlling our lives. 

Instead of letting temper tantrums destroy us when we don't get our way, join us this Saturday evening at 6:00 pm or Sunday morning at 10:00 am to begin enjoying the peace and contentment of working with the Lord. Remember, it really is his work that is going to matter in the end.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Do you feel rich? An economist by the name of Robert Heilbroner once challenged people to imagine doing the following: Move your family into a building the size of an old tool shed. Have no electricity, no running water, no bathroom. Get rid of all your clothes except for one set. Keep one pair of shoes. Destroy all written material. Toss out all food except for some flour, sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions and dried beans. Throw away all your investments, pensions and insurance policies. Reduce your savings to ten dollars. Live about a three-hour walk away from the nearest clinic. And support your entire family raising crops on a few acres of land. Give a third of your crops to your landlord and a tenth of your crops to your money lender.

If you do that, says Robert Heilbroner, then you’ll know how over a billion people are living in the world right now. And then, perhaps, you’ll realize how rich you really are.

Now imagine something else. The world you live in is dark, cynical, senseless. If there is a God, you haven’t met him. If there is some grand reason for living, you don’t know it. And so you go to work, come home, cash your check on payday, get groceries, watch TV, catch up with the laundry on weekends, take in a ballgame with friends, discuss current events, pursue a hobby, vacation during the summer, go to the dentist, go to the doctor, feel your body getting old, put in for retirement, mow your lawn and weed your garden, watch your life get slower and smaller. And then you wait to die—empty, puzzled and frightened.

If you can imagine that, then you can imagine life without Jesus, life without the forgiveness, peace, joy, security, purpose and certainty of heaven that are yours in your Savior. And then, you, too, can realize how rich you really are.

Join us this Saturday at 6:00 pm or Sunday at 10:00 am in giving thanks for all God has given us!

This week's devotion was provided by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. If you would like to receive their daily devotions, please visit the WELS website at

Friday, July 6, 2012

Get to Know God

What comes to mind when you think of the 10 Commandments:

* Charlton Heston,
* Two stone tablets,
* Getting in trouble,
* Laws that take away all the fun in life?

Due to some grossly unfair and uninformed press, many people have not only lost the significance of the Commandments, but have also missed what God reveals about himself in these commands.

If someone were describing a friend of theirs to you as an individual who never let them down, was always there when needed, valued them as a human being instead of for what they had, you would probably say to yourself, “I’d like to get to know that person!” The 10 Commandments are not a set of laws that God lives by and so imposes on us human beings. Rather, the Commandments are a living reflection of God’s characteristics—they describe for us what he is like. A brief glance at them show us that God is unique, he is present, he is faithful, and above all perfectly good. Sounds like Someone all of us need to get to know, doesn’t it? Join us this Saturday evening (6:00 pm) or Sunday morning (10:00 am) as we get to know better our great and good God.

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.