Thursday, July 30, 2015

Walking with God

There is an old hymn that goes this way,

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Those given to a cold, realistic view of life scoff at such a warm personal relationship with God. They mockingly ask the questions,

Where is God when the cancer is diagnosed?
Where is God when babies die of hunger?
Where is God when earthquakes instantly kill thousands of people?

And it is true, when those crushing moments happen all human beings are left in shock, left to grasp for answers. But even more important than answering the “Why?” questions of tragedy is the matter of finding a reason and the strength to carry on. It is precisely at this essential point the skeptic is left speechless. For his only response can be, “Carry on because it is the only alternative to giving up.”

It is God alone who walks with us on the path of agony, the God who at one point in history actually walked in our shoes, who comes to us with those reassuring words, “If I am for you, who can be against you? If I considered you worth dying for, you can believe I will somehow get you through this.”

Maybe the most powerful reassurance of God’s ongoing, personal presence in our lives is written in the 23rd Psalm. This weekend we are going to mine the treasures of that prayer. May it be the beginning of a lifetime of walking with God.

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service: 10:00 am

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Fake

Fake people – they’re hard to take. Most fakes are pretty easy to pick out. They say certain things or do something that just isn’t right and it betrays their true intentions. The good fakes, however, are the dangerous ones. They are the people you believe in, people who seem to be so consistent, so straight forward and honest. But when the time is right, when they are at the point of getting what they want, all the integrity and honesty vanishes and is replaced by only pure self-centeredness.

King David had a son who was a master fake. His name was Absalom. He was so good at faking he even fooled his father and that mistake almost cost David his life. Absalom was a man who thought only of himself. That attitude was the seed from which all his deception flowed.

For a while Absalom seemed to get away with his game. But in the end he self-destructed. Fakes, no matter how good they are, have the overwhelming tendency to be discovered and suffer the consequences of their actions.

Self-centered. Manipulative. Each one of us struggles with the Absalom syndrome. Sometimes we fake people without even knowing it. We just fall into a way of acting that we believe will get us what we want without even thinking about what we are doing. The only way to get rid of the fake in us is to expose it. It’s uncomfortable but necessary. Besides, no matter who we might fool, God sees through us. And regardless of what other people think of us, in the end, it’s only what God sees in us that matters.

Absalom was a man we find easy to condemn. But when we look closer at the mirror of our motives and intentions we see an Absalom staring back at us. The first step to eliminating him from our lives is to admit he is there. Join us for one of our weekend services and begin rooting out the Absalom in your life.

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service: 10:00 am

Friday, July 17, 2015

We Aren’t Condemned to Repeat History

David, the man who had been so incredibly blessed by God, blew it. And he messed up big time. He was taken down by his lust and pride. Satan didn’t need anything complicated – just a pretty woman taking a bath and a good dose of fear. That’s all it took to turn the rest of David’s life upside down.

The story of David and Bathsheba is well known. It shocks us. It makes us wonder what God saw in David. But more than anything else, it should warn us. If David could take such a fall, any of us can end up in the same predicament.

Adultery, murder and cover up – not the kinds of behavior one would expect from a person who is described as a “man after God’s heart”. But that is what the Bible calls David. And so there is a measure of hope in all the tragedy. If God could offer redemption to David, it will be available to us also.

Join us this weekend for one of our services. We all need a strong warning about giving in to temptation and a reminder of the hope which only Jesus can give when we fall flat on our faces.

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service: 10:00 am

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Committed God

The word commitment is one we don’t usually associate with God. Maybe that is because we have a hard time imagining to what God would need or want to be committed. Everything comes from his creating hand. All things are under his sovereign rule. And yet the story of the Bible, from beginning to end, is the account of a committed God who is dedicated to bring back to himself the uncommitted human beings he created. Some have called it the greatest love story of all time. One thing no one can deny about the story of the Bible is: God takes the initiative in restoring the broken relationship between himself and people.

The formal term the Bible uses for this commitment is “covenant”. In both the Old and New Testament we witness God making covenants, sometimes with individuals, at other times with the human race. What is incredible to consider is why, in the first place, God would invest so much of himself in us. But he does, and with an intense passion.

This Sunday we’re going to study a covenant which God made with David. It is a covenant that has long reaching implications and applications for every Christian because it is directly related to the person of Jesus Christ. More importantly, we’re going to look at the covenants God makes with each one of us as individual believers. There’s a Bible verse which says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Does our daily behavior reflect that kind of thinking? Join us this weekend for one of our worship services. It’s time for all of us to let the commitment God has for us begin to transform our lives.

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service: 10:00 am

Friday, July 3, 2015

Give Up or Stand Up?

Another 4th of July has come. It is a time to relax, go to the beach, barbecue and spend time with family. But it ought to be more than that. This holiday is meant to reflect on what America is all about and our role as individual Christian citizens of this country.

Over two hundred years ago the young United States of America was called “The Great Experiment”. The world had never witnessed a country founded and brought forth on democratic principles. The idea of government by the people, for the people and of the people was as strange to most at that time as the thought of a monarchy is to us today.

“The Great Experiment” has thrived. As a nation we have prospered incredibly. Our influence in the world is undeniable. The 4th of July, for Christians, is an opportunity to acknowledge God’s blessings on this country, of which we are privileged to be called citizens. It is also a time to consider our unique role in America’s future.

Recent events have led many Christians to become pessimistic about the future. There are those who claim the best of America has passed. Some are throwing up their hands in despair.

It is not the time for Christian Americans to give up, but rather to stand up, as light and salt disciples of Jesus Christ.

Jesus never gave a guarantee that American government or any government would be friendly to his followers. In fact, he said just the opposite. He said, “Expect suffering.” At the same time, though, he tells us to go out and make a difference for him even though there is resistance at every turn.

The outcome of America’s future is in God’s hands. What that will be we do not know. But one thing Christ has made very clear: as citizens of the United States, we do not have the option of retreating into isolation. Instead, we are to stand up, and with Christ as our Savior and Lord, live with powerful Christian integrity and be prepared to speak of Jesus with a respectful gentleness.

Join us this weekend and stoke your Christian light so you can keep on showing the way to Jesus, no matter how dark things may seem.

Saturday night service: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service: 10:00 am

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.