Friday, December 30, 2016

You Have a Part in God’s 2017

How do you feel about the coming of the new year – 2017? Some people are extremely pessimistic while others believe this year might be the beginning of good things for them. Christians have emotions like everyone else, yet, for whatever we feel, we are part of something much bigger. When Jesus left this earth he made it clear he wasn’t abandoning it, just ruling it in a less visible way.

As you look ahead to the future, give the following passage some thought.

Ephesians 1:22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.

The church is made up of all people who have received Jesus Christ into their hearts as Savior and Lord. Now that passage from Ephesians says that Christ is ruling human history so that the church will be blessed.

After Jesus rose from the dead he told his followers that they would be his visible, physical representatives in this world. That means in 2017 we will have a part in Christ carrying out his plan for each human being and humanity as a whole. That massive truth shatters any fear we might have of the coming year and it overwhelms any positive expectations. To put it simply, you have a role to play in God shaping eternity. What could be more exciting?

There is no better way to begin the new year than to be in the presence of your Lord with other Christians: worshiping, singing, praising, praying, confessing, learning and taking Holy Communion.

New Year’s Eve worship at Rainbow Pavilion: 5:30 pm
New Year’s Day worship: 10:00 am

Friday, December 23, 2016


The message of Christmas is shocking! There is no other way to put it. Unfortunately, over the years our culture has so watered it down that for most Christmas is just a time of relaxation, enjoying a break at the end of the year, exchanging gifts and hoping for just a little more peace in our violence driven world. That, however, is a far, far cry from what actually happened.

Matthew, Luke and John leave no doubt – Christmas is about God entering the planet earth as a human being and living in history among the people he created.

Don’t read over the previous sentence too fast. If it is true, none of us can be the same. If God came into the world to tell us about himself, can anything even come close to matching that in importance? Really, if we can know God, how could money, or power or anything compare to that? Knowing God is the holy grail of human life! And it is exactly for that reason Christians make so much out of Christmas. God coming into this world did change everything, forever.

Skeptics wonder, “God was born as a human being of a woman who was a virgin?” Well, a lot of people believe everything came from nothing. That takes a lot of faith too! If you are skeptical about Christmas, think about all the things you have to take by faith such as the origin of matter and life, the exquisite fine tuning of the universe, that human life has a meaning and purpose. Yes, everyone lives by faith in something. What matters is that what we put our faith in is reliable.

Give the Christmas message the chance this year to demonstrate that it is worthy, very worthy of your trust.

Christmas Eve worship: 7:00 pm
Christmas Day worship: 10:00 am

Friday, December 16, 2016

Never the Same

They were just a small group of “nobody” shepherds. Men and boys who lived solitary, lonely lives. So disregarded was the profession of the shepherd that their testimony in a court of law held less weight than that of other people.

But the night of Christmas changed everything for those shepherds watching over their sheep on the plains of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. While they were overwhelmed by the supernatural concert put on by the angels, little did they know how much what they had seen and heard would alter the course of not only human history, but of eternity.

And that night changed those men. They would never be the same. No one can see Jesus Christ face to face without something happening to them. After leaving the manger scene, they could not hold in the news. As they returned to their sheep these usually timid men enthusiastically shared with all they met what they had seen and heard.

Years later the older people of Bethlehem would shake their heads in disbelief when the subject of those shepherds came up. And one phrase was repeated by all those who had known them. “They were never the same after that night!”

Join us this weekend for one of our services. And may the same be said of our reaction to the angels’ announcement, “They were never the same!”

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Loss of Innocence

The veteran Christmas gift giver will sneer with cynicism at the words, “It is better to give than to receive.” Not so for a young child. Watch the little ones at Christmas who have reached the age at which they can save a little money to buy a gift for their mom and dad – they are the most excited. And it isn’t because of the gifts they will receive. No, their anticipation is to see the reaction of mom and dad when they open the hard earned gift the little one has bought for them.

The present may cost only a few dollars. It may be something the child has made. But to that youngster, it is an expression of all they feel for the ones they love most in this world. It’s a gift that is meant to please and to see that pleasure on their parent’s face is what they most want at Christmas.

Unfortunately, such enthusiasm for giving quickly vanishes and the little child soon begins to learn the art of buying an acceptable gift at the lowest price possible in order to fulfill a social obligation. The child has lost its gift giving innocence.

Giving something we own to someone else is extremely difficult in most cases. And yet Jesus talked more about giving than he did about heaven or prayer. To him, the way we use our time, abilities and material possessions is a reflection on our relationship with him. While it is easy to say, “Jesus is my Savior and the Lord of my life,” our ability or inability to freely give is a pretty accurate indicator if we truly mean that statement.

Most people think the most dangerous sins are the ones that give us pleasure. According to Jesus, what really threatens us is the idol of the attitude: “my time and my stuff” which secretly resides in our hearts. The wise men worshiped Jesus as King. They confirmed their words with their gifts. Because of Christmas, there’s no reason to lose the giving innocence.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Take Christ Out of Christmas and There Isn’t Much Left

Three situations:

A restless child in a car trying to get out of its child seat.
A man who is overwhelmed with debts and could lose his home.
A woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

While the circumstances are very different, the cry for help of each person probably is the same: “Oh God, save me!” When we are at wits end, when we can find nothing within ourselves to solve our problems, we turn with great or little faith to God and plead for salvation.

People have many different ideas about Christmas and its meaning, but the description of the angels on that first Christmas night continues to be the only legitimate reason for celebrating. They told the shepherds, “Today in the town of David (Bethlehem) a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

A lot will be said about peace on earth and the lack of it during the coming weeks. But to speak of world peace apart from the salvation Jesus Christ brought makes little sense. Salvation has to come from God, human history has proven that. And salvation has to be from sin, for that is the root of all the evils which we lament in our society.

The historic message of Christmas – Jesus Christ came to save sinners – might cause yawns among some. It is, however, what continues to rock heaven and earth in the spiritual world. And regardless of what people may say, there will come a day when all people of all time will fall to their knees and in awe proclaim, “Jesus is Savior and Lord.” But for this statement to mean anything at that moment, it needs to be spoken today.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, November 25, 2016


Christmas is a time to celebrate, and believe it or not, our celebration doesn’t have much to do with the presents we give and receive. The announcement of the angels to the shepherds on that first frigid Christmas night says it all, “I bring you good news of great joy which is for all people. A Savior has been born. He is Christ the Lord.” The implications of those short, simple statements shake the foundations of every aspect of human life. Take a look at just a few ways life has changed for us as a result of Christmas.

• We can personally know God.
• Evil will not overcome good.
• Human life has eternal significance.
• Heaven is a reality.
• God is committed to offering heaven to everyone.

The sales might have been excellent this Black Friday, but nothing, absolutely nothing in the stores even comes close to what the message of Christmas offers us. No matter what situation you may find yourself in, what happened at Christmas can and will get you through. And that is reason enough to celebrate your whole life!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Saturday, November 19, 2016

“If There’s a Reason…”

Human beings are capable of extraordinary accomplishments which demand seemingly superhuman sacrifices. For some it is just wanting to know what is beyond the horizon. For others it has been the lure of power and fame. But whatever it may be that drives a person on in the midst of obstacles, there has to be a reason. If there’s a reason for sacrificing, people will withstand tremendous difficulties.

And yet, so often as we look back on history, what people sacrificed for turned out to be what many consider today as evil. How many soldiers fought in wars believing they were serving their country, giving their lives for what they believed to be right and just. Years later however, these same people were judged to be evil oppressors. Others have sacrificed everything to achieve their financial fortune, only to find that the money they thought was worth everything only brought even more troubles. Yes, it is worth it to suffer, but the reason for suffering has to be legitimately worthwhile.

Peter’s entire first letter to a group of churches in modern day Turkey is about suffering. He tells these believers to get used to it, that suffering is part of being a disciple of Christ. But he points to the cross and empty tomb of Christ and says, “But it is worth it. You won’t be disappointed, no matter what you go through.” Many today don’t think there is anything worth suffering for. The only thing they dedicate themselves to is avoiding anything which brings pain. But is that all life is about – avoid pain and then die? Something inside us shouts we are on this earth for more. That voice was put in us by the God who made us and saved us. He is worth sacrificing everything for. He gave it all for us on the cross. His empty tomb assures us we will not be disappointed when we give him back our all.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Meeting to Make

We are hoping to conclude the purchase of our worship facility in the coming weeks. This Sunday we will hold a Voters’ Meeting to formally approve a loan from the WELS Church Extension Fund and authorize the Church Council to proceed with the purchase of the building within the parameters of the CEF loan. Please make every effort to be a part of this historic event in the history of our congregation. The meeting will begin after the Sunday morning worship service at 11:15 am.

Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, November 4, 2016

Making Marriage Work in Tough Times

The apostle Peter’s first letter was written to Christians living in modern Turkey who were undergoing intense persecution. After reminding them of the foundational truths of Christianity Peter turns his attention to living out those truths within marriage.

What Peter teaches runs counter-culture to prevailing attitudes in our American society. In fact, many would probably say the Apostle was a chauvinist. On closer study, however, we see that the Holy Spirit led this man to write down timeless truths which not only still relate to marriage today, but which are the only antidote to the crumbling family structure. Far from being antiquated or outdated, Peter’s message on marriage cuts through the self-centered teachings of secular marriage gurus enabling us to identify what matters most in our marriages.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, October 28, 2016

Power to the People

Forty years ago the chant “Power to the People” was popular as many individuals expressed a strong desire for their opinions and beliefs to be heard by those in political decision making positions. Whether or not the average person has more political influence today is subject to debate. It is an issue which will probably never be fully resolved.

Five hundred years ago one man shouted “Power to the People”. But it wasn’t based on a political ideology. The man’s name was Martin Luther. His appeal was based on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The power he was calling for was to give all Christians the affirmation that before God every believer is on equal standing through faith in Jesus. He called for the Church of that day to unleash the power of the people in the pew to read the Bible, share Christ with others and be a part of the Church’s mission of taking the Gospel to all nations.

Luther’s appeal worked. We know it today as the Protestant Reformation, a time in history which dramatically changed the course of humanity. The power which Luther talked about 500 years ago is still present and available to Christians today. What a privilege believers have to be part of God’s working in this world. Join us this Sunday. Get the power God offers you!

Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, October 21, 2016

Taking on Tough Times – The Fundamentals

The apostle Peter was a practical man living in tumultuous times. He knew well enough that things were not going to get easier for the young Christian Church and he openly told that to a group of Christians living in modern day Turkey. But rather than write a letter filled with doomsday predictions and hopeless despair, Peter penned a powerful manual on how to handle tough times as a Christian.

Whether problems come from a crumbling society or within our households or even our own bodies, hard difficulties will confront us throughout life. Join us this Saturday evening or Sunday morning as we begin a study of Peter’s first letter. Be prepared not just to survive suffering, but to make a difference for Christ through it.

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

Saturday, October 15, 2016

God’s Will – Less Complicated Than You Think

Have you ever tried to surprise a person by doing something you thought they would greatly appreciate, only to discover what you did was the exact opposite of what they wanted? It’s a pretty disappointing experience to say the least.

It isn’t hard to fall into that trap in our relationship with God when we’re trying to figure out what his will is for our lives. Our problem usually develops because we don’t spend a whole lot of time seriously looking at what God says about his will. Instead, we come up with our own ideas, which are typically based on what we like, and then we just assume our plan for our life is God’s plan. When things don’t work out the way we expect, our spiritual life can fall apart. We get mad at God or feel he is unfairly punishing us.

This weekend we’re going to be looking at what God says about his will for our lives and the surprising thing is, it isn’t complicated at all. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising, because God isn’t in to making things harder than they need to be.

If you’re confused about where God is leading you in life, join us for one of our services and make a start on enjoying the life the Lord intends for you.

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

Thursday, October 6, 2016


“You Christians talk so much about how loving your God is but then you say he sends people to hell where they suffer forever. How can that be loving?!?!”

There’s no getting around it, the whole subject of hell is a challenging one. The Bible does clearly teach there is a hell and yet on the other hand tells us that God made the ultimate sacrifice of his Son to keep human beings out of hell. The two concepts put side by side seem almost contradictory.

While it is impossible to talk about the subject of hell without affecting our emotions, we do need to look at this issue from God’s point of view. And doesn’t that make sense since he is the One who tells us about the afterlife?

Certainly no one sermon or Bible class will satisfy all our doubts and fears in regard to human life after death, but we can make a good start at coming to grips with these teachings both on a personal basis and also in our witnessing to others. Yes, it’s a serious topic. But so is dying. To face death without knowing about heaven and hell, well…that seems almost impossible.

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

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Tolerance Is Not Always Best

Living in a society which emphasizes being tolerant of differing ways of thinking and behavior has led to the unfortunate label that Christians are against everything. But it is just common sense that no one is tolerant of everything. Can you imagine asking even the most tolerant of people to be tolerant of the fact that his brand new car has been stolen and totaled?

Over the past few years Christians have been so fiercely criticized for our beliefs concerning abortion and homosexuality that many are afraid even to bring these subjects up. Names like “wingnut” and “homophobe” are common descriptions of Christians who hold to the value of human life and Christian sexuality.

While we may be tempted to “go along” in order to “get along”, such thinking doesn’t fit with Jesus’ description of his followers: “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” We as Christ’s representatives in this world need to embrace our role in reaching out to people and that involves a serious study of these controversial subjects. Join us for one of our services this weekend. Be a part of transforming the Church from the “people who are against” to the “people who care enough to reach out to others in love”.

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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Where Is God When It Hurts?

We all have our fair share of questions for God, but the one which seems most pressing and personal is, “God, why do you let such bad things happen to me?” Where is God when life hurts? So often it is at just the times we need him most, he seems so distant, so far away. Does he do that on purpose? Is he playing games with us? Or maybe it’s because he just can’t do much about our problems? As a popular author wrote, “God wants the righteous to live peaceful, happy lives, but sometimes even He can’t bring that about. It is too difficult even for God to keep cruelty and chaos from claiming their innocent victims.” 1 But if there are some things God just can’t keep from happening, exactly what can he do? Where does his ability to help us begin and end?

It is rather an unnerving thought to look at all the evil in the world – past and present – and know that the Bible says God has always been in control over everything that happens and always will be. But that means God, at the very least, allows some pretty horrible things to take place without raising a finger to stop it. Are we left between a rock and a hard place? Do we either have a limited, restricted God or a God who doesn’t care about the people he created?

This weekend we’re going to work through the above questions by seeing what the Scriptures say. What we’ll find won’t answer all our questions but it will be a whole lot better than either a God with his hands tied behind his back or a God who doesn’t care. When we’re hurting bad, we need help that is the size of the God of the Bible. The good news, in spite of all the hard questions, is that he is worthy of our trust always, especially in the worst of times.

1 Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (New York: Avon, 1983), pp. 43, 81.

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

Friday, September 16, 2016


Somebody says something that is just simply not true, but if they say it with enough emphasis and repeat themselves often enough, people begin to believe what they say even though there is little or no evidence to support their claim.

A couple of hundred years ago some German theology professors wanted to make some excitement for themselves and began to come up with all sorts of arguments to support what they believed to be true: that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions and that it is no more than a collection of legends. Although the evidence for their claims was weak, their message was repeated so often that even the average person on the street with little or no Bible knowledge will instinctively respond to questions about the reliability of the Bible with a response like, “Of course not. It’s an ancient book that is just a collection of myths and legends.”

Fortunately, in recent times faithful Christian Bible experts are setting the record straight on the trustworthiness of the Bible, demonstrating that the arguments of the past two centuries are based on skewered scholarship. The unfortunate side of our current situation is that these rumors of the past still greatly influence people.

This weekend we’re going to address this question, “Isn’t the Bible full of contradictions and errors?” The simple answer is “No”. While there are difficult and challenging portions of the Bible, it remains what it has always claimed to be and is – the Word of God. And there are all sorts of good reasons why we can believe that without feeling antiquated or uninformed. There’s no reason to be afraid of questions by non-Christians about the Bible. Its reliability hasn’t changed in 3500 years and that is a pretty good indication it won’t change in the future.

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

Friday, September 9, 2016

Is Faith Believing Something You Know Isn’t True?

There are a lot of people who would like to describe faith as a blind leap of trust, a grabbing at straws when the cause is lost. But that has never been the definition of faith and is not today. The benefits of faith depend much more on what a person believes in rather than the intensity of the individual’s belief. For instance, a man can jump out of an airplane without a parachute believing with all his heart that he can fly only to find out he was wrong. On the other hand, a man may be so distrusting of the parachute he is wearing that he needs to be pushed out of the airplane. But even though he has very little faith, the parachute enables him to land safely on the ground.

One of the shocking observations one makes in reading the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus Christ was his invitation to check him out, to do the research on him in order to verify that what he was saying about himself was true. Jesus always called for an informed faith.

This Sunday we are starting a new sermon and Bible class series called Questions Christians Dread. Each week we’re going to take a question which challenges Biblical Christianity. How do we answer these questions? Can we answer them? What affect do these questions have on us? We’re going to begin the series with the question: “How do you know God exists when you can’t see, hear or touch him?”

Join us for one of our weekend services. You may be surprised to find that the Christian faith is far from believing something we know isn’t true, but instead based on solid and robust evidences accessible to anyone.

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

Friday, September 2, 2016

The God Who Knows

King David wrote the following about God in one of his Psalms:

“Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.”

How does the thought of God knowing you so personally, so individually make you feel? If God already has heard what we are going to say even before we say it, that means he has a direct line to our thoughts! On the one hand, it is a great comfort to understand that the One who made the universe, of which we are but a speck, is concerned about the smallest details of our lives. On the other hand, it us unnerving to think God takes into account what passes through our minds. It leads us to wonder, “What does he think of us?”

The incredible truth of the Bible is that our God, in spite of being aware of all the ugly details of our lives, is completely committed to changing us, making us into the people he intends for us to be. As we study Psalm 139 together this Sunday morning consider these great truths: while God recognizes the depth of the evil within us, he has done everything necessary to make it possible for every single human being on earth to have a second chance with him and ultimately to spend eternity with him in heaven.

God knows us for one reason – so that we might come to know him. Join us this Sunday. Get to know the One who knows you better than you know yourself.

Saturday night worship cancelled this week only
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, August 26, 2016

“Are You Taking Your Medicine?”

When it comes to taking medicine, things are a little different today than they were a few years ago. With all the incredible new drugs which are being developed, most people can’t wait to pop a pill in the hope that it’s going to miraculously make all their health problems go away. But it wasn’t always like that. In the past, most had a certain distrust of medication and the common thinking was that as soon as a person started feeling better, they stopped taking their medicine because they thought they didn’t need it anymore. Of course, that wasn’t the case, but that was the mindset with the result being they would have a relapse and have to go back to the doctor. And, as you would guess, the first words out of the doc’s mouth were, “Are you taking your medicine?” To which people would respond after a forced cough and a sheepish look on their face with the admission, “No, doctor, I stopped when I started feeling better.”

Fortunately, most understand the importance of continuing to take medication until the health professional prescribes otherwise, but that is not the case when it comes to our Bible reading. In the midst of a dark time in life, we become regular Bible readers as we look for answers and strength to get through tough times. But when the sun comes out and the rain of problems dissipates, so does our Bible reading. As we might guess would happen, often the troubles come right back.

This weekend we’ll be studying the longest chapter in the entire Bible – Psalm 119. Check it out for yourself; it’s all of 176 verses! While we won’t need to read every verse of the Psalm to understand what it is saying, it is absolutely essential to get the main point, which is: the Bible is our greatest treasure through the journey of life. Have you stopped taking your “spiritual medicine” lately because you don’t really think it is necessary? Join us for one of our services. Now is the time to build up resistance to fight through the next temptation, test or trial.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Movie Night – Tomorrow – Friday, August 19th “Risen”

The body is gone and no one is providing a convincing answer as to where it is. So Pontius Pilate orders his centurion to make an investigation and come up with the corpse of the crucified Galilean rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth. But as the centurion vainly searches for the body, he comes to realize the mind boggling truth – there is no body to find – Jesus has risen from the dead.

Join us tomorrow night to watch the powerful film “Risen”. Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided. If you can bring a side dish to pass, that would be fantastic. The movie will begin at 6:30 pm and runs about 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Check out the movie trailer here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Spiritual Dementia

Dementia is becoming increasingly common as our population continues to live longer. For those who have personally experienced dementia, it can only be described as massively tragic. And yet, those who seem to be able to deal with this drastic change, often handle it humor. One wife described how she sent her husband to the store for eggs, sugar and coffee. By the time he got to the store he had already forgotten what he was supposed to buy. Since this happened in pre-cell phone days the well intentioned husband decided to redo his wife’s list – his way.

Being an avid outdoor cook the man went to the meat department and picked up various steaks. Then he headed to the other sections of the supermarket and proceeded to buy enough food to have a BBQ for ten people. Happy as could be, the good husband returned home, burst through the door and to his wife’s amazement said, “Honey, I got everything you told me to get.” Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, his wife smiled and said, “You got everything we need for our dinner with the kids tonight. Thank you dear.”

Everything worked out for this committed couple but when, as individuals, we suffer from spiritual dementia, things don’t turn out so well. Spiritual dementia is common to people of all ages and comes in many forms. But the common symptom of spiritual dementia is people forget that God is the reference point of their lives and begin to think and live as though the world revolves around them and what they like. In other words, they ignore the God who created them, the One who is responsible for their existence. Instead, people think they are in control of their lives and have the right to do whatever they feel is best.

Sometime during the next few days, take a quick look at Psalm 90. It’s an excellent antidote for spiritual dementia. Then join us for one of our weekend services as we explore the theme: God’s Take on What Matters and What Doesn’t.

Worship Services
Saturday night: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning: 10:00 am

Friday, August 5, 2016

When What You See Is Not What You Get

Sometimes we look at the lives of other people and we get a little (maybe even a lot) resentful. It seems like they have everything we want and yet all those things come to them so easily, while for us, every little good thing in life demands the greatest of efforts.

If that is the way you feel, you’re not alone. A man by the name of Asaph wrote a Psalm about 3000 years ago which starts out pretty much like this:

“God, all my life I’ve been taught that you are good to the people who believe in you, but I’m looking at my life right now and I got to be honest, things sure don’t appear that way!”

The good guys don’t always win. In fact, it seems that the bad guys tend to get ahead more than the good. So what is going on? Isn’t God supposed to be holy and just. If he can’t stand evil, why does he put up with it so much? If God never lets human beings get away with anything, why are so many people getting away with “murder”?

Those are honest questions we’ve all asked. This weekend we’re going to study the answers Asaph came up with in Psalm 73. If you’re dealing with some resentment against God for your life not being the way you think it should be, Psalm 73 is for you.

Worship Services
Saturday night: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning: 10:00 am

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Worship When You’re Hurting

Pain and suffering have a powerful way of discouraging worship. And yet so many of the Psalms are prayers of worship coming from people who are mired in a pit of troubles. This Sunday we’re going to study Psalm 42, a prayer written by a man who was cornered by problems. He didn’t understand why God was allowing so many horrible things to happen, but in spite of it all, he also knew he didn’t have anywhere else to turn.

If you’re going through a challenging period in your life and you feel it difficult to worship and praise God, join us this weekend for one of our services. You’ll find you’re not alone. Believers throughout the ages have struggled with their feelings about God in the midst of suffering. God doesn’t expect us to enjoy the hard times, but he does invite us to trust him to bring us through.

Are you convinced Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead? That’s the place to begin. If the Son of God would make that kind of sacrifice for us so that we can spend eternity with him, he is not going to needlessly put us through the ringer of life. Worship the Lord in your pain. In his way, he will begin to help you work through it. And you will be showing your love for him in a way you couldn’t apart from the suffering you are enduring.

Worship Services
Saturday night: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning: 10:00 am

Friday, July 22, 2016

When Guilt Won’t Go Away

The word guilt does not bring a pleasant image to mind. Rather, we can almost feel its crushing effect on our lives, weighing us down with feelings of failure, gnawing at us with accusations of moral responsibility for the pain and suffering of others.

Psychologists have written volumes on the impact of guilt on the human psyche. Some have even suggested that the majority of mental health issues find their origin in some form of guilt.

When you first looked at the photo above, how did you react? Did you feel empathy? Did you identify with the agony expressed by the individual?

We’ve all experienced guilt. We’ve seen it destroy peoples’ lives. But what to do about it? How does a human being get rid of guilt when it won’t go away?

A Jewish king who lived about three thousand years ago named David was no stranger to guilt. If you’ve read his story, you know his guilt was not imaginary or invented, it was as real as guilt gets. He tried to hide it. He tried to pretend it didn’t matter. But he was found out. His lies exposed. The naked truth confronted him like the noon day sun and he realized he had nowhere to turn, except to the very One against whom he had sinned so terribly – God.

Join us for one of our weekend services as we study what David learned about getting rid of guilt God’s way. What he writes is good news, news that all of us need to hear.

Worship Services
Saturday night: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning: 10:00 am

Friday, July 15, 2016

Being Part of Something Huge

Every person wants their life to mean something. Nothing causes depression more effectively than the gnawing sensation that, no matter how hard we try, our lives don’t matter.

On the day Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, he shattered any notion that his followers would lead meaningless existences. He gave them just one directive, but what a command it was:

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

As a disciple of Jesus, you are part of that mission. At the time he first sent out his disciples, there were only about 120 who trusted in him as their Savior and Lord. Today, people who call themselves “Christian” number in the billions. And yet, there are still billions of people needing to hear the message of Christ’s forgiveness and to have contact with his representatives in this world.

Jesus offers us the opportunity to be part of something not only worldwide, but eternal. Now that is huge!

Worship Services
Saturday night: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning: 10:00 am

Friday, July 1, 2016

Being Part of the Solution

The unfortunate truth is, the longer we enjoy any type of favorable situation, we begin to see it as something we deserve, a right which is owed us. On the eve of this 4th of July weekend Christian Americans throughout the country should spend some time in thoughtful consideration of our attitude towards these United States of which we are privileged to be called citizens.
We do well to ask ourselves, “Have we become so accustomed to the freedoms, opportunities and lavish prosperity which our country enjoys that we have come to expect these blessings which are unknown to most of the world?”

Many people are predicting a gloomy future for America. Anyone who has even read a short history of our country knows that there have been many perilous times which we have faced and overcome. For Christian Americans, our responsibility to our country is certainly not to criticize and complain, but to roll up our sleeves and be a part of the solution to our many problems. It is very evident that government programs, no matter how well planned and executed, will resolve the problems of the day. What our country needs are Christians living, talking and thinking like the One they profess as Savior and Lord.

Difficult times may be in the future. What an exciting thought that the all powerful God of heaven and earth will give us the opportunity to be a part of his solution.

Join us this weekend for one of our services. Celebrate America by recommitting yourself to living like a Christian each and every day!

Saturday evening: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning: 10:00 am

Friday, June 17, 2016

Being a Great Dad Begins with Knowing a Great Savior

This Sunday is Father’s Day. Like Mother’s Day, it’s one day out of the year we try to give our dads a little bit more TLC than usual. But it’s also a day that can bring a certain amount of regret to a lot of men. Why? Because many of us don’t think we do a particularly good job of being a dad. There seems to be so much on the plate of fathers that parenting so easily can be unconsciously shoved to the side. And then suddenly, we look at our kids, see they have grown up and feel that maybe we were so busy with life that we might have missed what is most important – being a dad.

Like moms, dads need to be encouraged, not torn down with criticism. There isn’t a father in the world who hasn’t, at times, questioned if he was doing enough for his kids. The past can’t be changed, but each day is a fresh start at parenting – especially for Christian fathers.

What we need is not another book or article to read about how we men have failed in our attempt to raise our children, but rather an encouraging reminder that being a great dad begins with knowing our Great Savior – Jesus Christ. Join us this weekend for one of our services. When men see what kind of God we have, regardless of our past, we’ll be motivated to become the father Christ saved us to be. And that, in his eyes, is a great dad!

Saturday evening worship – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship – 10:00 am

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Cure for the Distorted Life

Very few people will disagree with the observation that we live in stressful times. What is debated, however, is the cause of that stress. While busy schedules, increasing demands on our time and ever rising prices all contribute to a frenetic pace of life, one has to admit that today we have many, many benefits which people of past generations could not even imagine.

Could it be that maybe our view of life and ourselves is distorted? Like the man looking at himself in the carnival mirror doesn’t get an accurate reflection of his appearance, it may be that our way of looking at what is important in life may be just as skewered.

As we continue our study through the book of Psalms, we have the opportunity this Sunday, to meditate on one of the best known chapters of the Bible, Psalm 23. We have all read those beautiful words often, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want…..” Just hearing them gives one a sense of calm. But this Psalm offers much more to us than just a temporary sense of peace. It can change the way we see our lives.

If you feel like you’ve been watching your life go by through a carnival mirror, it’s time to get a reality check – for the better. You’ll be amazed at how good life can be when you see things through the eyes of your Good Shepherd.

Friday, June 3, 2016

“What Should I Do?”

“What should I do?” That is a very uncomfortable question to ask because it means that there are various ways to respond to that question, we’re not really sure which one to choose and most often, regardless of the answer we decide on, there is a likely chance we’re going to experience some difficulties in our lives.

“What should I do?” times demand a source of answers that have more to offer than, “I think this might be a good way to go”. We look for someone with some experience in what we are dealing with, who has the qualifications to say, “Look, this is what is best for you. You can count on it.”

In Psalm 19 David (the same David who killed the giant Goliath and then became the greatest king of Israel about 1000 BC) tells us where to go for the “What should I do?” moments – God’s Word. In a beautiful prayer David encourages us to open our ears, minds and hearts to the One who made the heavens and the earth. Why? Because what he has to say is both true and exactly what we need to hear.

When you have tough questions to answer in life, have you opened your Bible to find those answers? Join us for one of our weekend services. You may find life isn’t so confusing after all!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 27, 2016

Remembering Taps

Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you (Deuteronomy 32:7).

The tapping stopped on Christmas Eve. The year was 1941. The place was Pearl Harbor. By then the fires had burned out. The memories, however, would burn for lifetimes.

The sight of the dead on December 7th, the moans of the wounded, and the smell of the burning ships would be seared into the minds of those who were there and survived. It was indeed a “day of infamy.” But it did not end when the sun slipped under the edge of the Pacific on that day. Sailors were trapped inside of the capsized vessels. They tapped on the hull of the ship to let would-be rescuers know that they were still alive—and waiting.

Heroic efforts ensued. With blowtorches and jacks and sweat, swarms of sailors attacked the walls of the steel prisons. Many were freed. Many were saved. But not all.

It was heart-wrenching to hear the tapping come from places that the rescuers could not reach. It was gut-wrenching to listen to the taps echoing out day after day, becoming softer and softer—until they finally stopped.

Those sailors would always remember the shock of the sound of bombs exploding. And they would never forget the anguish of the sound of shipmates pitifully tapping. They would spend the rest of their life remembering.

It is well for us to remember, too.

“Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past…” This is not just wise advice; it is the command of the Lord God.

The past teaches lessons about ourselves and our God. We learn about human pride and viciousness—and frailty. We learn about divine justice and power. We learn the meaning of grace, of amazing undeserved love.

We learn about the need for help from heaven; the need for a divine Rescuer.

We need to remember the sorrow that is part of Memorial Day. And then we need to remember Christmas, Good Friday and Easter—the answer to all sorrow.

The echo of the repeated taps on steel that came from below water still reaches America’s shores.

On this Memorial Day a somber sound will float over many a place where our warriors rest. To the 1941 tapping on steel we somberly reply with the sound of Taps—this time played with a trumpet

Those who know the closing words to the melody may whisper them softly:

Thanks and praise, For our days,
’Neath the sun, ‘Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Where to Turn When Life Goes South

Problems are nothing new. People have struggled with health issues, family crises, financial meltdowns, etc. since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. It’s not a question of whether or not we’ll face stormy times in life, no, the only uncertainty is when they’ll hit.

But there is another important question to ask and that is, “Where do we turn when life goes south?” Several thousand years ago a man named David wrote a type of spiritual diary narrating his journey through the ups and downs of daily living. Today, we call his work the Psalms. It’s the longest book in the Bible and one of the most read. Why? Because the psalms deal with life as it is. There’s no sugar coating, no pretending. There are times when reading this book you can almost picture the writer on his knees, face buried in his hands, pleading to God for help, crying for answers.

This summer we’re going to spend studying the Psalms, learning how believers of the past dealt with the tough times in life. It will be a journey well worth the effort as work through the unforgettable passages of Psalm 23, 46, 90 and various others. Join us this weekend as we begin our series with Psalm 1 – God’s blueprint for blessings.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 13, 2016

Does the Church Still Matter?

Maybe the simplest answer to that question is, “Because Jesus said so.” And really, if Christ rose from the dead, then that should be enough. But we live in a culture which ridicules the Christian church, never missing an opportunity to point out its faults and shortcomings. According to millennials, churches are full of half-committed people who are overly judgmental of the rest of society. With such scorching criticism, how is a Christian to react? The only response is to go back to Christ. While the way Christians live reflects either positively or negatively on Christ, our behavior does not change in one iota the truth about him – that he is God.

The night before Jesus was crucified he spoke at length about the coming of the Holy Spirit. At that time the Spirit would open the minds of the disciples so that they would fully understand what was all going to happen over the next few days and then be able to take the message of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection to people throughout the world.

Fifty days later, what he promised happened. We call it the Day of Pentecost and it is the day the New Testament Christian church got its start. This Sunday we’re going to be studying what happened on that first Pentecost. We’ll see that the principles on which the early church was built remain the same for 21st century Christians. If the church was the body of Christ then, it still is today. If the church was the instrument through which God worked in the world at that time, it is no different now.

If you’ve been turned off by recent church experiences. If you question the value of being part of the church or are disgusted by the hypocrisy you see in it, give the church one more chance. Join us for one of our weekend services and maybe you might agree, the church still matters.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 6, 2016

Pandora’s Box

In ancient Greek mythology there is a story about a woman named Pandora who received a box with a “Do Not Open” note attached to the lid. Unable to control her curiosity, one day Pandora felt overwhelmed with the desire to open the box and see what was inside. When she did, out flew all the bad things in the world today – envy, sickness, hate, disease, etc. She tried to shut the cover quickly, but it was too late.

The story of Pandora has been used through the years as a warning that there are some things which are better left alone, no matter how much we might have the desire to experiment with them. There is no more tragic example of this truth than the changing sexual values in America and the effect this change has had on the family.

Sunday we will be celebrating Mother’s Day. This holiday gives us the opportunity to look at God’s plan for the family and see that his way continues to be, far and away, the best, regardless of what so many in the media are telling us. At a time when the lines between men and women are being blurred, Christians need to reaffirm God’s great idea for the different but complementary roles he created men and women to carry out. Join this weekend for one of our services. Celebrate with us God’s gift of family!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Legacy that Lasts

Everybody would like to be remembered for what they accomplished while they lived. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen too often. Really, how many people are remembered by anyone 100 years after their death.

To think that all our intense struggling to leave a mark on this earth only ends up being washed away like a sand castle on the beach is unnerving, to say the least. Even thinking about it right now, leads us to question, “For what am I working so hard?” And that is an excellent question for the very reason that it is extremely hard to answer – apart from Jesus Christ.

This Sunday we will be commemorating Christ’s return to heaven (Ascension) at which time he took back his full glory and power as true God. It is an event full of significance for the Christian. Above all, however, it is an invitation to a life on this earth that matters. Jesus left this final instruction with his followers:

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The same Jesus who spoke those words is the same one who broke the power of death over the human race through his resurrection from the dead. This “forever” victory he won, he now gives to us to offer other people. Think about what that means. If you offer Jesus to someone and they receive him as their Savior and Lord, what you did is never going to go away. How does that compare to the other things you’re working for right now?

The Ascension – it means your life right now matters for eternity.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 22, 2016

Why We Make So Much Out of the Resurrection

The more time passes after a monumental event, the more people tend to forget its significance. Only 150 years have passed since the epic Civil War, yet many are unable to explain why that war started or its significance to American history. Unfortunately, that same type of naïve disinterest is true of many people in regard to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “What’s the big deal?” they ask. “It’s just some story about a guy who lived a long time ago. There are lots of those. Why make such a big deal out of this one?”

First of all, the resurrection is history, it really happened. Jesus of Nazareth was dead on Friday afternoon, buried and placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea. On Sunday morning, life came back to the corpse and Jesus was seen that day by more than 20 people on at least 5 different occasions. While our skeptical modern minds quickly dismiss the possibility of such a miracle, a close study of the evidence leads to the opposite conclusion – the resurrection is the best explanation for the empty tomb.

His coming back to life legitimizes and confirms all the claims and promises Jesus made during his teaching ministry. Suddenly, we’re no longer talking about legends, mythology or philosophy, but rather we are confronted by the living God who has a claim on our lives.

The resurrection means death is not the end nor life just a passing fling. Everything, from the sadness to the euphoria of life’s events, is embedded into the context of eternity with eternal implications. Easter changes everything, absolutely everything. Join us this weekend for one of our services and help us make the most out of the resurrection of Jesus!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Second Chance and a Fresh Start

A fresh start – that phrase is so positive, so hopeful. It paints a picture of a new beginning after a long period of rough going. But how often do we really get a fresh start. If we’ve messed up bad, let’s face it, people remember. Sure, they can say it’s all in the past but the truth is, we can feel them just waiting for us to screw up again so they can say, “See, I told you so! You haven’t changed a bit.”

This Sunday we’re going to listen in on a conversation the risen Jesus had with Peter. It takes place maybe a couple of weeks after Easter Sunday. Jesus has appeared to his disciples several times, including a personal visit to Peter. Though he is overjoyed at seeing Jesus alive, there is still a black cloud which hangs over Peter. It is the uncomfortable memory of his denying Jesus three times the night before Christ was crucified.

The talk Jesus has with Peter takes place in the early morning on one of the fishing beaches on the Sea of Galilee. It is not a pleasant conversation but definitely a necessary one. Above all, it is the beginning of a fresh start for Peter as a follower of Jesus Christ. The resurrection means a second chance is available to us all. Not a second chance “with reservations” but rather with a clean slate.

How are you at giving second chances to other people? If you have a hard time with that, join us this weekend for one of our services. Understanding the second chance Jesus offers us is the key to giving people the fresh start they need.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 8, 2016

Meeting Jesus in the Most Unexpected Places

They weren’t exploring nature, trying to get in touch with their surroundings. No, these two men only wanted to complete the journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus before the sun went down. It was a trip of 8 miles. Nothing out of the ordinary for a person in those days. Walking was the way people got around. It was often boring, usually tiring and always time consuming. And so these two men trudged along, expecting little from the experience. It was just too routine, too ordinary for anything special to happen.

But then Jesus showed up. They didn’t recognize him, at least at first. But they certainly knew he was someone special. What is important for us to consider is how Jesus changed the lives of these two men in a place we would least expect – the open road! At the Temple in Jerusalem, that would be a place we’d expect Jesus to be. Or maybe a synagogue. But not on the road. It’s just too…too common.

If the only place we look for Jesus is in church, we’re missing out on a whole lot of time with him. He promises to be with us everywhere we go. In one of his teachings Jesus said that when we do something kind for another person, we’re doing that act of kindness to him. Maybe we need to look at the routine events and meetings and relationships of our lives differently. Maybe if we looked for Jesus in the daily routine, he’d start showing up in our lives more often. What kind of difference do you think that would make in your life?

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Empty Tomb: The Place to Start When Life Falls Apart

One of the great deceptions we often fall for is the idea that no matter what problem we go through in life we need to return to the way things were before the troubles began. Yet, in many cases, that just can’t happen. Situations and people are changed permanently and we can’t just put our lives on rewind. The lie is that we are irreparably broken and any thought of happiness is an impossibility.

When the storms of life hit, the empty tomb of Jesus Christ is the place to go as we begin to rebuild our lives. So often we think of the resurrection as just being a theological principle. While that is true, it is definitely the most practical of all biblical teachings and serves as the foundation on which we can build a new life after things have fallen apart.

Join us as we journey to the empty tomb this Sunday with Mary Magdalene. What she found that early morning changed her life forever. It can do the same for you and me!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter IS the Best Day of the Year

Probably you don’t have time to read this. Maybe it’s the kids who need to go to some activity or you have an appointment or maybe you are just dog tired from an exhausting day and the best thing you can do is relax. You’ve got a lot on your plate – too much at times.

But is Easter the best day of the year? Isn’t Christmas better? Well, consider all the stuff that is stressing you out. If Jesus did physically rise from the dead, how important is it all? Now I’m not trying to minimize your issues, but think about it.

What are all the bills you have to pay going to mean the day Jesus raises you to eternal life with him? How important, as you enter heaven, will it be that the kids got to all their sports practices? Your job with all the responsibilities you have, will it still be stressing you out as Jesus says, “Welcome home!” Even the real tough stuff like cancer is no match for Easter. Jesus rising from the dead overwhelms any disease because he says that his resurrection guarantees us that in heaven there will be no more pain or disease. And the hole in your heart that’s there because the one you so dearly love is no longer with you, Easter Sunday means the separation is only temporary, very temporary.

Easter is the best day of the year because it changes everything. It turns human life on its ear. Human beings go from meaningless chemical containers who lead empty, unimportant lives to people made to love and be loved for eternity, whose every day has eternal significance no matter how insignificant it may seem. May you experience all the best of the best day of the year!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Who Needs a King in 2016?

To be honest, for most of us the idea of serving a king would be a step backward. After having enjoyed democracy for so many years in a country where everyone has a voice and a vote, it would be hard to swallow to have one person call all the shots for everyone else. The sense of equality does a lot for our sense of self-worth!

So, when we talk about Palm Sunday and Jesus coming as a king, the concept doesn’t have much appeal. That is, unless we think about what kind of king he is.

While we may not want a king to rule us politically, it is a whole different matter when it comes to death. No election, no human consensus no matter how intelligent the people involved may be will ever be able to resolve our problem with death. And that is exactly where Jesus comes in. When he lived on this earth, he pretty much ignored the topic of politics. It just wasn’t important to him. His focus was on death. And his message was pretty simple. People live a relatively short time on this earth and an enormously long time after physical death. The purpose of this earthly life is to get ready for the next life in eternity.

It is in the preparations for the next life that Jesus as our King comes into play. When he rode into Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday on a rather inconspicuous donkey no one understood what he would accomplish in the next several days. And yet, by the following Sunday Jesus of Nazareth would demonstrate that he is the King over Satan, sin and death. His crucifixion would satisfy divine justice for human sin. His physical resurrection would make eternal life for human beings a reality.

When it comes to death, democracy is not the answer. There is only one solution – King Jesus. Come worship him with us this weekend as your King!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, March 11, 2016

From Compromise to Capitulation

There is an old children’s story about a little boy who was passing by a small dam and noticed that water was trickling through the wall of the dam. Knowing that this trickle would soon become a torrent and eventually wash away the entire dam, the boy put his finger in the hole until some men came to make the necessary repairs.

Compromise in the Christian life is a lot like that small leak in the dam. It is hardly noticeable at first. We convince ourselves that our behavior might not be the ideal, but it certainly isn’t the worst. But what starts as something small begins to take over our lives more and more until it completely dominates everything we do.

This weekend we’ll be studying the account of Jesus before Pilate. It is a story of compromise – on the part of Pilate, the Jewish religious leaders and even the mob of people who demanded Christ’s crucifixion. These were people who, for the most part, thought they were doing what was right, but ended up committing the most unjust act in the history of the world. What happened? How did things go so drastically wrong? It began with compromise – the same kind of compromise we are tempted with on a daily basis.

Join us for one of our weekend services. Together let’s begin repairing those areas of our lives where we’ve let compromise creep in.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, March 4, 2016

How Much Would You Suffer for Someone Else?

Sacrificial love is really the measure by which we determine the depth of our relationships. When someone gives up something for the well-being of another person, that is commitment! On the other hand, a lack of desire to sacrifice anything for the good of the other person sends a very strong signal that the relationship probably won’t last.

Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knows what lies ahead of him in the next 12 hours. As he talks to God the Father he pleads for another way to obtain forgiveness for the human race. But there is none. There is but one path to take – the path of the cross.

He is not obligated nor forced to take that path. There is only one motivation which drives Jesus from his knees to meet Judas and those sent to arrest him – committed love.

Are you going through a time of life when you wonder if God really does love you? Join us this weekend for one of our worship services. Let’s go to Gethsemane together. Let’s watch with Jesus for a time and consider what was taking place. Let’s think about what we have done to earn that kind of limitless commitment. We might just leave thinking about God a whole lot differently.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, February 19, 2016

Do You Have to Understand Something to Benefit from It?

Living in a world which values data, we would like to think of ourselves as people who make good, solid decisions based on the hard data available to us. The truth is, however, we do a lot of things based on emotions, what other people say and gut feelings. Sometimes, we even ignore that hard data because it tells us to do the exact opposite of what we want to do.

When it comes to our relationship with the Lord, however, we very often change the rules and demand from him thorough and detailed explanations which we can understand on our terms for everything he does in our lives. It’s really an impossible demand, but only because of us – we’re just too limited in every way to be able to grasp what the unlimited God of our universe is doing in our lives.

This weekend we are going to be studying the first time Jesus celebrated Communion with his disciples. It is a powerful celebration of God’s commitment to forgive us. But to be honest, what happens in Communion is something beyond us. It is, to put it mildly, a God thing. For some, what Jesus offers in Communion is so incredible, so miraculous, they change the meaning of his words to make it more appealing to our human reason. But in the process, they lose the benefits.

If you are serious about going on in your Christian life. If you want to see growth. If you believe God has got more blessings for you than you are currently experiencing, join us this weekend. Let the words of Jesus stand as he spoke them. You’ll be opening up your life to blessing – guaranteed. Jesus said so!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, February 12, 2016

Who is the Greatest?

“Pride is your greatest enemy; humility is your greatest friend.”
John R.W. Stott

On the night before his crucifixion Jesus’ disciples were have what they thought (and our society would agree) was a critical discussion concerning which one of them was the greatest. Jesus’ response was unexpected. He pretty much told them to get the focus off themselves and look to meeting the needs of other people.

Having just witnessed one more Super Bowl, which is a non-stop celebration of personal achievement and athletic greatness, it’s hard to get our thinking around terms like “humility” and “looking out for the needs of others”. And yet, that is exactly what Jesus Christ’s earthly life was all about. In one part of the Bible it says that even though Jesus is in every way God himself, he didn’t tenaciously cling to his rights and privileges as God but instead humbled himself to become a human being and then allowed that he be put to death on a cross! That is a quantum leap from jumping up and down shouting, “I’m Number One”.

During the next six Sundays we will be commemorating the season of Lent which is a forty day period leading up to Easter Sunday. It’s a time of serious reflection about who Jesus Christ is and for what reason he came to this earth. Even a casual reading of the Gospel accounts shows clearly he didn’t come to flaunt his greatness but to change our eternal future through humility.

“Pride is your greatest enemy; humility is your greatest friend.” If humility was the path of God, will it be any different for us?

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, February 5, 2016

Afraid of Dying? Check out the Jesus Solution!

According to some, the whole subject of death has become passé. Even though no one can say, “Been there and done that,” about death, it seems that people have heard the subject discussed so much they are bored with it. Maybe that is possible when a person is healthy, happy with their situation in life and with little prospect of dying in the next 50 years.

As the inevitable day approaches, however, it is difficult to imagine that any human being would not begin to take more of an interest in discovering what happens after death. It is one thing to enjoy a certain spontaneity in life, but it is just plain dumb to be totally unprepared for what will definitely be the most significant moment of one’s life.

When it comes to what happens after death, everyone goes by faith. No one can prove beyond a shadow of human doubt what happens. Everyone believes something. But as we all know, some things are worth believing and others aren’t. Join us for one of our weekend services as we discuss the subject of the fear of dying. While there are many views about life after death circulating in our society, the Jesus solution remains after all these years the most powerfully convincing.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, January 29, 2016

Build Your Family on the Rock

The young couple gaze into each other’s eyes as he slowly repeats the words, “I promise to be faithful to you, as long as we both shall live.” A tear drop falls from her cheek as she does everything to hold herself together at this moment she has dreamed of all her life.

And yet, the magic moment is fleeting. The months and years go by and something is lost in the relationship. The romance, the tenderness…it just isn’t there like it used to be. Then the doubts begin. “Was he really the right one? Why did he change?” The cracks in their marriage have become noticeable and if something is not done, they will turn into gaping holes which will eventually tear the two apart.

Family is hard. Let’s be honest. Husbands, wives, children – we’re all self-centered and without the right motivation, that “me first” attitude will destroy all our close relationships.

Jesus talked about building our lives on the “rock” of his person and his teaching. This weekend we are celebrating God’s gift of family in the most effective way possible – by seeing what he teaches us about the family unit which he himself instituted. Join us for our Saturday seminar and one of the two weekend worship services. Get your family back on the rock solid foundation it needs to go the distance – Jesus Christ!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, January 22, 2016

What Is More Important to You: To Be Accepted by People or God?

It would be nice to answer that question with, “God”, but the reality of everyday living demonstrates a much different priority for most people. The way we dress, the music we listen to, the cars we drive (and the list can go on and on) demonstrate we human beings have a tremendous fear of being rejected by other people. No, it may not be a blatant, verbal, “Get out of here, I can’t stand you” type of rejection. But simply being ignored has just as powerful an effect on us.

Our concern over what people think of us leads to a yo-yo life which is often based on our own impressions and hypotheses. How often don’t we conclude people dislike us based only on a look or a single statement or even on the fact that the other person didn’t say something we thought they should have said. And we end up building a self-image whose foundation is made up of our personal impressions and feelings. It really is enough to drive anyone crazy!

Some of the most crucial teachings of Christianity deal directly with the issue of our worth as an individual and our reason for being on this earth. In both cases, the answers the Bible gives have nothing to do with what other people think of us. If you’ve been living a yo-yo life, worrying about what other people think about you, it’s time to put an end to being a slave to endless highs and lows and start building your life on the rock solid foundation of who God is and what he means to you.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, January 15, 2016

Are You Frozen in a Fear of Failing?

It is all too easy to settle into a routine of life, even if that routine isn’t all that fulfilling. After a few years the known seems safe and secure, even if we dream of a life with more significant activities.

Maybe it was a bad experience in the past when we tried something new, something different and we failed miserably. Or, it might be our parents tended to be negative about anything we tried which was different from their way of looking at life. Whatever the reason, it is easy to find oneself reluctant to try new things or get involved in challenging projects. When we do make the attempt, we sabotage ourselves, falling victim to procrastination or excessive anxiety. We end up telling ourselves, “I should have never tried in the first place. I knew it wasn’t going to work.” And so, unless our success is 100% guaranteed, we settle for a mediocre life of the “same old, same old”.

Fear isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. There are some dangers which should definitely cause us to be afraid because if we ignore those fears, we could end up hurting ourselves or someone else very seriously. But that kind of fear is usually pretty easy to identify. The fear which cripples us from growing as Christian people can be subtle and difficult to uncover.

Join us for one of our weekend services as we continue our series “Facing Fear with Jesus”. We’ll be looking at what Jesus said about debilitating fear and how we can overcome it with his help. If you are frozen in a fear of failing, maybe it’s time to hear what Jesus has to say and start thawing out!

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Saturday, January 9, 2016

What Do You Fear?

Fear has a way of paralyzing our ability to act, leaving us helpless to take the needed action to overcome whatever it is we are afraid of. For some it is a fear of failing, for others pain and probably for all of us, there is the fear of dying.

What about God? Do you fear God? For most Christians, we would say, “No, I don’t fear God, I love him because he loves me!” And that would be a good answer. Still, there are dozens of verses in the Bible which speak of the necessity of fearing God. In fact, it isn’t until we learn to have a healthy fear of God that we are able to fully overcome the other fears in our lives.

This Sunday we are going to start a new sermon series entitled “Facing Fear with Jesus”. Maybe you are worried about the future or taking on a new responsibility or entering a relationship. We’ll be looking at those things which cause us to be afraid to move ahead in our lives and what Jesus says about them. But the basis of any victory over fear in this life begins with a proper fear of God.

Join us for one of our weekend services and start overcoming your fears.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 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.