Friday, June 28, 2013

When Taking a Stand Is Necessary

It’s tough to say “yes” when everyone else says “no”. The majority doesn’t like the dissenting voice, it doesn’t welcome the challenge. Often, the reaction of the majority is sudden and harsh. The power of peer pressure is one of the strongest molding forces of human behavior. If, in a culture, we voluntarily dress alike, eat the same things, cut our hair according to prescribed rules, how much more apt are people going to go along with the flow when it comes to subjects like God, heaven and hell, right and wrong?

At the present moment in the history of our nation, the people of the United States of America are being showered with media propaganda to accept a morality which according to the Bible is just plain wrong. Anyone who disagrees with these powerful opinion makers is labeled as ignorant, mean and uncaring. Regardless of the consequences, Christians must take a stand against popular opinion today, just as we have in the past. 2000 years ago Christians were confronted with a compromise we view today as minor. It wasn’t at that time. Believers of that era courageously took a strong stand with the result that Christianity spread throughout the Roman empire in less than 30 years.

God blesses his people when we trust him to stand up for what is right. He acts in history no differently today than in the past. Join us this Saturday (6:00 pm) or Sunday (10:00 am) to take a stand for Christ.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Is Being Happy the Most Important Thing in Life?

So how do you answer that question? Is the appropriate response a “no brainer” as it seems to be? What’s the point of living if not to be happy? Maybe the heart of the issue is how we define this word. Most people would probably indicate that happiness is having life, for the most part, the way we want it. That would seem to make sense. Who enjoys not getting their way? The only thing is, much of the time we don’t get what we want. And if we look at history, we see that if we define happiness on the basis of getting the creature comforts in life, some of the most influential and respected people in history weren’t anywhere near being happy. If having a comfortable, pleasant life is happiness, it’s hard to imagine Moses or Abraham Lincoln being happy. Based on such a definition, would we say Jesus was happy?

This week in our study of the book of Acts we’ll begin to look at the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. These trips literally changed the course of history, but they were not at all filled with what we would call “happy” times. So, maybe being happy isn’t the most important thing in life. Maybe it’s more important to do what is right, to be the person God intends for us to be. If you’ve been chasing the “happy” life but seem to be always coming up short, join us either this Saturday (6:00 pm) or Sunday (10:00 am). You just might discover the life you really have wanted all the time has been a whole lot more accessible than you ever imagined.

Friday, June 14, 2013

No Excuse

But Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He answered, “I will certainly be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will all worship God at this mountain.” (Exodus 3:11,12)

The Lord God has a plan for each one of his people. His plan includes missions to carry out and responsibilities to fulfill. He does not have the exact same plan for everyone. When God issues marching orders, they correspond to the gifts he has given to the individual and the work that he wants to accomplish through that person.

Moses was ordered to personally go to Pharaoh to announce that the Israelites would leave Egypt under his leadership. Moses’ response was, “Who am I?” He was saying that he was not equal to the task. He was offering an excuse. God countered with the words: “I certainly will be with you.” He backed up those words of assurance by giving Moses a glimpse of the future. Moses had no excuse. Neither do we.

One of the greatest missions we can receive is to be a parent, to be responsible for the protection, nurture, and development of a child. Parents are charged with the task of being faithful to their assignment. It is not an easy job. It is tempting to say, “Who am I?” making the excuse that parenting is beyond our ability.

On Father’s Day we especially think of the serious responsibility God has assigned to fathers as the servant-leader of the family. If our grandfathers thought it was difficult to carry out that assignment years ago, how much more difficult in the world of today? But, difficulty is no excuse. Neither are personal inadequacies. As he said to Moses, so our God says to fathers today: “I will certainly be with you.” We have no excuse. What we do have is a promise! And that divine promise is more than enough to enable us to carry out our mission – successfully!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

We like the obvious. We prefer clear cut choices. It bothers us when we have to make a decision without knowing for sure how things are going to turn out. And we get very upset when we have the wrong impression about someone or something which leads to an unpleasant surprise. We want life to be “what you see is what you get”. Unfortunately, as we well know, that is not the way life is.

What may surprise us is that even as Christians, the things in our lives are not always the way they seem to be. Nor does the way God accomplishes his will always make sense to us. We find a shocking example of this in the early history of the Christian Church. For a while, everything seems to be going great. But then there is a sudden and violent persecution which takes out one church leader and scatters most of the Christians from their homes in Jerusalem. It seems like the tragic end of a beautiful movement which had such a positive beginning.

Looking back on that event from a perspective of 2000 years we can see how God was working to spread Christians from one geographic place so that the Church would spread throughout the world. A simple maxim by which Christians need to live is: “Regardless of the way things might seem, God is going to do something through us.” What a tremendous way to live! What confidence that truth gives us to face each day!

You are invited to our Saturday evening service at 6:00 pm or our Sunday morning worship at 10:00 am. Together let’s see what God can do through us.

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.