Friday, July 26, 2013

How Good Is Your Word?

There are a couple of important sayings that have gone by the wayside in recent years. One is: “A man’s word is his bond.” A little better known is the proverb, “A man is only as good as his word.” Both statements have pretty much the same meaning: “If you say you are going to do something, you do it.”

It seems, at the present moment in American history, how a person says something is more important than if he/she actually does what they say they will do. A current example of this is a New York City mayoral candidate who continually promises voters that he will stop sending naked pictures of himself electronically to women who aren’t his wife. On camera this gentleman is very sincere and emphatic that he has broken this inconvenient habit, but then some time passes and it is revealed he is up to his old tricks again.

The “say one thing but do another” syndrome is so prevalent that we are hesitant to talk about it because it has become a way of life for most. On a daily basis people make passionate promises which soon after they either forget or decide are too difficult to keep. The most tragic is the promise, “Till death do us part.” It is rare not to see at least a tear in the eye of the bride and groom as they make their wedding vows to each other. And yet, a few years later those solemn promises are set aside as either impractical or unrealistic. We have gotten to the point that it is acceptable if we mean what we say at the moment, however, if we change our minds in the future, then the promises of the past are cancelled out.

Our worship services this Saturday evening (6:00 pm) and Sunday morning (10:00 am) will involve the commitments of baptism and confirmation during which young people will commit their lives to serving Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. There will be emotional and inspirational moments during these services. But as important as what is said this weekend is the day to day living in the coming years of these young people. Such special services serve an important role in our own spiritual lives. As we watch other confess their faith in Christ, we should be asking ourselves the searching question, “Have I been a Christian man/woman of my word?

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Moment of Truth

“The moment of truth.” Just saying that phrase is dramatic, isn’t it? A glance at several dictionaries shows that the original meaning of this phrase refers to “the moment in a bullfight at which the matador is about to make the kill”. Picture the scene in your mind. The huge bull, with spears hanging from its neck, makes one last charge at the exhausted matador.

The young man, his gold encrusted outfit stained with bull’s blood waits, sword poised for the last mortal thrust. All eyes in the stadium are fixed on man and beast. It is a matter of life and death. But who will live? Who will die? Such a scene truly is “the moment of truth”.

In everyday language the term “moment of truth” has taken on the meaning of “a moment or crisis on whose outcome much or everything depends.” Think of some of the “moments of truth” in American history: the decision to write the Declaration of Independence, the battle of Gettysburg, the assassination of President Lincoln, the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. The outcomes and implications of each one of those events was uncertain and had they turned out differently, the United States might well be a much different country than it is today.

From a biblical way of looking at things, the moment of truth in the life of every human being is that moment when we understand who Jesus Christ is and what he did for us. But that is not where it ends. What defines the moment of truth is what we do with Jesus. Do we put our faith in him or walk away? That is THE moment of truth because our reaction determines our eternal future.
This Saturday evening (6:00 pm) and Sunday morning (10:00 am) we’ll meet two men who came face to face with Jesus Christ. In their moment of truth one got upset and walked away, the other thought for a moment and then blinked.

Have you had your “moment of truth”?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Paul’s Parting Words

What do you say to someone you care for deeply if you’re pretty sure it’s going to be the last time you’ll talk with them? Certainly your conversation would include those subjects most important to you. Even if you knew what you would say might upset the other person, you’d probably bring it up because you would think, “I’ll never get another chance.”

Paul was finishing up his third missionary journey. Over the course of the last 20 years he had traveled over 7000 miles going from city to city, preaching about Jesus Christ and starting local churches. While God accomplished great things through this man, Paul also experienced tremendous hardship and brutal persecution. He was tired. He had aged. He was convinced that he would soon meet death because of his bold and fearless mission work. And so he called together the leaders of the church in Ephesus to say “good-bye”. Paul had spent over two years in that city growing a vibrant congregation before he was forced to leave by irate silversmiths whose sales of pagan statues had dramatically decreased due to people receiving Christ.

As the great apostle looked at these fellow Christians he had come to love over the years, he opened his heart and shared with them words that continue to impact lives today. Join us this coming Saturday evening (6:00 pm) or Sunday morning at Foster Point (10:00 am) for a time of serious reflection on what is most important in life.

Friday, July 5, 2013


People in Maine love their lighthouses. If you ever get a chance to spend some time there you’ll find people wearing lighthouse sweatshirts in the fall and lighthouse tee shirts in the summer. A major tourist attraction is the “Lighthouse Tour” which runs almost the entire coast of Maine. Today many of the lighthouses are no longer in operation. They are historical sites to which people go to recreate in their minds a time of the past. But for hundreds of years those Maine lighthouses saved the lives of thousands of sailors, serving as the reference point for ships sailing through stormy seas. No matter how brutal the weather was, if the ship captain could see even the faintest light from the lighthouse, he knew where to go. He just had to follow the light.

Everyone needs a “lighthouse”. Each day we make hundreds of decisions which determine the course of our lives. But what is the basis of those decisions? What is the reference we use to determine if a choice is good or bad? A more important question might be, “Is there such a reference or must each person determine for themself what is best?”

Even though there is a very strong emphasis today on individualism and personal independence, we still sense that we ourselves don’t have enough information to always know what is best. Many years ago a Christian preacher named Paul went into the cultural center of the world at that time – Athens, Greece. As he walked through the downtown of Athens he saw statues to the many gods who the Greek people worshiped, such as Zeus and Hermes and Apollos. But then he saw a statue which was different from the rest. Instead of giving the name of the god to whom the statue was dedicated, there was an inscription, “To the unknown god.” Despite all their learning, culture and spirituality, the people of Athens were still looking for “The Lighthouse” of life, the unchanging reference point to serve as the guide for their lives. Paul didn’t leave those people in the dark. Join us either Saturday evening (6:00 pm) or Sunday morning (10:00 am) and bask with us in the same life changing light of Jesus Christ which Paul shared with those Athenians some 2000 years ago.

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.