Friday, September 29, 2017

Ideas that Rocked the World

Everybody put notices on church doors back then. That was the community bulletin board. So, when a monk climbed the stairs of the church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, no one imagined how the piece of paper he would nail to the door would change things. For Martin Luther, his was a quest for truth. He thought that by becoming a priest he would find his way in life. To his surprise, it only led to more questions. He had tried to find answers but it seemed the ones he was coming up with were at odds with the status quo. And so, with his 95 theses Luther made the debate public and started what is called the Reformation.

The influence of the Reformation is vast and diverse. It most intensely affected the Christian Church but it also greatly influenced education, economics and government. For the next five weeks in our worship services we’ll be studying how Reformation teaching continues to touch our lives today. Our series theme is: Reformation Roots.

October 1 – Rooted in the Bible
October 8 – Rooted in Grace
October 15 – Rooted in our Calling
October 22 – Rooted in the Kingdom
October 29 – Rooted in the Sacraments

This Sunday join us for one of our weekend services as we look at what the Bible means to us and why it is the foundation on which we rest our faith and build our lives.

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

Friday, September 22, 2017

Are You a Prayer Hare or a Prayer Tortoise?

Everybody knows the old story about the race between the Tortoise and the Hare. It’s a good story with an even better moral – keep on going because persistence pays off.

Unfortunately, the story of the Tortoise and the Hare can be applied to the prayer lives of all too many Christians, in a negative way. We talk a lot about prayer. We offer to pray for people at the drop of a hat. But our prayer discipline is much like the race strategy of the Hare. We start off well enough, with lots of enthusiasm, but our attention is very short-lived and our perseverance wanes quickly. To be honest, we pray about something a few times for a few minutes and that’s about it. Whatever the reason, we find it one of the most difficult spiritual disciplines to pray long and hard over a matter for an extended period of time. And yet that is exactly what Jesus tells us God the Father is looking for in a parable he told called “The Persistent Widow”.

Someone once said prayer needs to be like breathing. We’re to live in an ongoing conversation with God. Maybe one reason so many of us feel like were gasping in our relationship with God is for our lack of serious prayer on a regular basis. If you need a jumpstart in your prayer life, join us for one of our weekend services and start breathing easier!

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

When God Isn’t Fair (and why that’s good!)

Our relationships are based on an invisible bartering system more than we care to admit. Who of us hasn’t felt a certain resentment when a friend or family member didn’t respond to a gift the way we expected? We felt used and taken for granted. Only when an apology is offered or the other person does something to return the kindness will our resentment begin to subside. Such thinking may be the way the human race operates, but when we come to the way we relate to God, Jesus makes the shocking statement: “Forget trying to pay back God.” Now it’s not that God doesn’t appreciate us trying to do nice things for him. The problem is our motivation.

If our thinking is, “I’ll do something that God likes, then he’ll feel indebted to me and he’ll give me something in return,” we’re all wrong. God doesn’t need us. We may like to think he does, but that just isn’t the way things are. What we need is the humility to acknowledge our dependence on God and that anything he does for us is an act of grace (getting what we don’t deserve). So instead of trying to pay him back, our motivation needs to change to one of thankfulness. Doing something nice for someone after they have done something for us that is so fantastic we could never pay them back is a lot different than buying that same person a birthday present of equal value to the one they recently gave us.

If you are struggling with a growing resentment for God because you feel he isn’t paying you back for your believing in him, join us this weekend for one of our services. The story Jesus told about some field workers is confrontational to our thinking, but if we get what he is saying, it can revolutionize our life as a disciple of Christ.

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

Friday, September 8, 2017

Finding Out about God from the Source

People usually begin their description of God with words similar to these,

“Well, for me, God is like….”

Regardless of what they say about God, their reliability comes into question because their data comes from a very biased source – themselves. Much of our information about God comes from what people think about him based on what they’ve heard, seen and experienced. Some of their material might be legitimate, but wouldn’t it be nice if God opened up about himself and tell us what he is like?

Jesus Christ told three stories about God which serve as some very helpful first hand information about the Almighty. The reason we can say Jesus has this kind of credibility is that he not only claimed to be God, but went a long way in proving that statement through his resurrection from the dead. What is shocking about Jesus’ description of God is that it is so positive! For the last 50 years or so people have felt the need to put God in his place. As a result, many have only a distorted cartoon caricature of the One who made them. What Jesus says, however, erases any such possibilities.

When we let God speak for himself, the news is too good not to pay attention. If you have been down on God lately, join us for one of our services this weekend. You need to get your information from the source!

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

Friday, September 1, 2017

Having to Think More Than We Want

There are many reasons why we tend to shy away from talking about religion and politics with people who do not share our views. One is that we are forced to reevaluate our beliefs based on how other people disagree with us. And that is hard work, especially when we’re discussing something important to us. It makes us uncomfortable because we are challenged with the possibility we might be wrong. While it might be comfortable to put our beliefs on cruise control, that is not something Jesus encouraged. He was constantly confronting people about what they believed concerning God, daily life and eternity. And to be honest, many didn’t appreciate what he had to say.

In two short stories, one about a man who found a treasure chest in an empty field and another about a pearl merchant who came across the mother of all pearls, Jesus talks about priorities – what is most important to us. What makes these stories confrontational is that he asks if we consider him to be such a priority in our lives that we would be willing to give up everything for him. Now that requires some soul searching! But that is the way Jesus is, always pushing us to a deeper appreciation of what he has done for us and a more intense commitment to becoming the people he wants us to be.

Join us for one of our services this weekend. Maybe you’ll have to think about some things you’d rather not consider, but whenever it’s something about Jesus, you can be sure your efforts will bring benefits.

Saturday evening 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.