Friday, May 25, 2018


There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow (Ecclesiastes 1:11).

“The end of war is in remembrance.”

This old saying may surprise us. Few who have survived the trauma of war are anxious to relive those days in memory. The pain of the disorder from post-traumatic stress is often caused by the mental replaying of those traumatic events. Thus, the natural inclination is to avoid the memories of war, and many veterans have become quite good at doing that.
That is not necessarily good. Avoiding memories can prevent healing.
Memorial Day is a good time for us to remember war with its casualties of bodies and minds. King Solomon of old would encourage us to do this.
For all of his wealth, wisdom, and power, Solomon had much to lament. In the God-inspired Book of Ecclesiastes, he groans out his misery in life. He opens the book with the words: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
He soon moves to his complaint about remembrance. He says there is none. Thus, there is no meaning to what people have done.
As flags are lowered and wreaths are laid on tombstones at this time of year, the phrase that may come to our ears is, “They have not died in vain.”
This declares that the death of those who have fallen in service to our nation was not meaningless.
Not everyone agrees. Not everyone follows the parade to the burial ground. Not everyone acknowledges the flag at half-mast. Not everyone stands still at the sound of taps.
Not everyone appreciates the sacrifices of those who lost their life to preserve our freedoms.
But those who, like Solomon, lament the lack of remembrance of what was accomplished by those who came before, they will see the meaning of Memorial Day.
The Christian will see the day through God’s eyes. The Christian will remember that our nation does not deserve the blessings of freedom that float down upon it. The Christian will remember how close our nation has come to losing these freedoms at times. The Christian will remember that those who stepped forward to defend our nation were gifts provided by the hand of God.
It is a time to acknowledge the gifts we have received through the wars that have been waged and the sacrifices that others have made.
It is a time to consider the cost that the loved ones of the fallen have paid.
Remembrance allows us to see the larger picture, to weigh the fuller cost, and to appreciate the greater value of what has been handed down.
We will remember God’s promise that the day will come when, “Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Micah 4:3).
Until that time comes, on a Memorial Day we will repeat the prayer of those who have gone before us:
“Lord God of hosts, be with us yet.
Lest we forget. Lest we forget.” Amen.

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Warts and All

If someone tells you a story about themself and says, “I’ve got to tell you what happened, warts and all,” you know you might be in for some uncomfortable moments because they are going to tell you things about themself which are embarrassing. Normally, people do just the opposite, they cover up the things in their lives that make them look bad. When it comes to our person, we definitely like to promote our strong points and hide the defects.

It is interesting that the Bible writers make no such attempt to put mascara on the moral flaws of some of its main characters. This Saturday we’re going to watch the newly released movie on the life of Samson. The following four Sundays we’ll be studying different accounts in his life. Without a doubt, Samson is a flawed man in many ways. He was a womanizer who made rash decisions which led to the loss of peoples’ lives. At times, he seemed unaware that God had given him incredible strength for a specific reason.

But throughout his life we notice one thing: for all the messes Samson gets himself into, God carries out His plan for Samson’s life. And that should be a tremendous encouragement to us. Each one of us has our share of warts. In fact, those warts sometimes lead us to the idea we aren’t qualified to do much for God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s whole purpose in leaving his people in this world is to remove those warts one by one so that we become more powerful workers for good in this world. Samson is an example that God can use anyone to accomplish what he intends. That’s an exciting message for us!

Saturday evening dinner & movie: 5:30 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, May 11, 2018


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

We did not pick our mothers, nor did they pick us. Someone else was in charge of the selections.

If we wonder why we were not born in Bangladesh, or in the year 1496, the answer lies not in our genes, but with our God. Without his direct action, we would not be. Before our mother was born, we were already chosen to be her child. It was foreordained.

But that does not mean that we are the product of some mechanical formula worked out eons before our birth. We are the result of individual, careful, and loving decisions by the same one who formed the stars and calls them out by name.

Our heart and lungs, our brain and nervous system, were custom made. Our fingerprints were designed just for us.

As one knits a blanket to a certain size and with a certain pattern, so the Creator fashioned us. The psalmist calls out in the next verse, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

But the pattern we were made from was not completely new. Pieces of us match pieces of our parents and relatives before them. Maybe it is said that we have our father’s ears, or our mother’s smile. Someone may have pointed out that we have our grandfather’s eyes. Maybe when we look at old pictures we notice that, as a child, we looked much like one of our great-grandparents when they were young.

We are not an accident. We are not merely the product of a biological process. We are the handiwork of God. We are wonderfully made.

He could have decided to call us into being out of nothing, as he did the sun and moon. Instead, he chose to form us inside of a woman. He picked out our extended family. He set the time and place for us to draw our first breath.

He selected our mother.

Our father was also of his choosing. A dad’s role is different, however. But both deserve special treatment. “Honor your father and mother!” is an order from our Creator.

That command stands no matter how good of parents we think they are. By honoring them, we honor God.

But mothers stand out as extra special. It was a female that was chosen as the one to serve mankind in a very special way. It was a woman who gave birth to the incarnate Son of God.

Jesus of Nazareth called Mary, “Mama.” He was both her son and her Savior. He brought her pain. He gave her heaven. It’s the same gift he offers us.

We were fashioned according to God’s pattern for God’s purpose. We were designed to live forever. Mary’s Son has made this possible.

For that, we thank our Savior God and acknowledge the wonder of his greatness. He has blessed us in many wondrous ways.

As one of his wonders, he has given us our moms.

We pray: God of mercy and might, as we consider how wonderfully we are made, we are compelled to declare, “How great thou art!” We thank you for giving us life. We ask you to use us for the purposes you have chosen for us. We thank you for our moms. Amen.

Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain

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

Friday, May 4, 2018

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. It 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 weekend 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. Above all, 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 to other people. Think about what that means! If, in some way, your actions and words influence a person to receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord, what you did is never going to be forgotten. How does that compare to the other things you’re working for right now?

The Ascension – it means your life today matters for eternity.

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.