Friday, November 24, 2017

How Much Is Enough?

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” ― Socrates

Socrates was said to have been a very wise philosopher so we tend to respect what he said. But there is something about his statement above which creates two very different reactions within us. On the one hand there is something within us which acknowledges the truth of his statement, but on the other hand, there is the cynical intuition, “No, he’s wrong. If I had all the things I want, I’d be happy. No doubt about it!” Maybe the latter reaction is even stronger today knowing that it is Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year!

Still, most Americans would admit that in spite of our society being the wealthiest in the history of the world, contentment is often difficult to be found. So, we are left with the contradiction that our personal experience demonstrates more stuff does not equal more contentment and happiness while our gut feeling tells us the exact opposite.

This weekend we’ll be studying the last chapter of Paul’s “Joy No Matter What” letter which he wrote 2000 years ago to a small group of Christians in the Greek city of Philippi. Paul was in prison at the time he wrote this letter. Probably he was hungry. There is a good chance he was sick with some kind of disease and for sure he was absolutely filthy. Yet, in his closing paragraphs he makes the incredible statement,

Philippians 4:12 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

How does someone develop that kind of attitude under those kinds of conditions? Paul would have been quick to answer, “Jesus Christ.” If contentment is an elusive commodity in your life but you are sick of the never ending grab for stuff, join us for one of our services. Begin the journey to joyful contentment.

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

Friday, November 17, 2017

Where Are You Going?

“Where are you going?” Seems like such a simple question. We ask it all the time. But that simple question takes on a much greater significance if it is made in reference to one’s journey in life. In that context, it asks, “What’s your life all about? What is your purpose and goal?” It’s easy to get so distracted with all that goes on each day that we just shove these kinds of questions under the carpet of our minds. And if we are not experiencing any great problem at the moment, we might even find it more convenient to leave such deep things for another time.

But tragedy, suffering, pain and death have a way of ripping off the mask of complacency. To be able to work through our difficulties we need solid, trustworthy answers to the question, “Where am I going in my life?”

If there was a person who knew what his life was all about, it was the Apostle Paul. Convinced that Jesus Christ rose from the dead in his mission to win forgiveness of sins for all people, Paul dedicated his life to serving Christ with everything he had. His words continue to inspire us today:

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

If you feel like the direction of your life looks more like a rudderless sailboat on a stormy sea than a direct bee line to the God who made you, join us for one of our weekend services. The third chapter of Paul’s letter to his Philippian Christian friends has plenty of joyful answers for the journey.

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

Friday, November 10, 2017

When Jesus Matters

There are times when we listen to the message of the Bible and it seems to go in one ear and out the other. It isn’t that we intentionally do this, but we’re so caught up in living that Jesus just doesn’t seem to have much to do with what we are experiencing. And then something happens that hits us straight on and shouts, “Only Jesus is going to get you through this!” I had one of those experiences this past week.

On Wednesday my mom passed away quietly in our home. It was beautiful that just a few moments before she went to meet Jesus I had read powerful passages of the resurrection to her. Still, at the moment of death there is that question for those of us who must remain: “How do I get through this?” For the Christian, the answer is “Jesus” and “only Jesus”. He is the almighty God. He is the One who conquered death so that we can follow in his footsteps. He is the One who gives hope when we can find it nowhere else.

I have a friend who receives these weekly e-mails. Frequently he responds with the single encouragement: “Rejoice! The tomb is empty. He has risen!” In the past I have often just glanced at that reply and moved on. Not today. For it is the fact that Jesus is the risen, living Lord that we can be confident he will shepherd us through even the darkest of valleys.

Rejoice! The tomb is empty. Jesus has risen!

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

Friday, November 3, 2017

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

When it comes to truth, the singing group “The Rolling Stones” is not going to be a go-to source. Most of their songs present life from a very unrealistic and deceptive perspective. But one popular phrase they wrote years ago still rings true today: “You can’t always get what you want.” The irony of that statement is that deep down we believe we should always get what we want. And when that does not happen, we are miserable.

The greatest joy thief in human life is not the pain and suffering we must all endure (although these things are very significant), it is rather the expectation that we should always have our way and the total horror and disgust we experience when things don’t turn out as we wish.
So, the great question is: How can we be happy and joyful in life when that which makes us happy and joyful is an impossibility?

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a group of Christians in a Greek city called Philippi. He was in jail at the time he penned the letter. We could say he was in about the worst possible situation a person could be in. He probably wasn’t getting anything he wanted. Yet, the one word he repeats over and over again is “rejoice”! How can a man say “be joyful like me” when he is in prison? Is he a big fake or, did Paul know something we don’t.

One thing for sure – Paul knew Jesus Christ. And it was Jesus Christ that served as the bedrock for his joy, even in a horrible prison cell. Are you struggling with being joyful in your life? Maybe you’re letting it be stolen from you. Join us for one of our services this weekend. Start experiencing the joy Jesus Christ wants you to have.

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.