Friday, March 29, 2019

Can We Really Change?

Our first reaction to that question is, “Of course! People can always change. It all depends if they want to.” Statistics, however, paint a very different picture of change – that it is often temporary and always excruciatingly difficult. Whether the issue is drugs, alcohol, food, sex, shopping (and the list goes on and on), we human beings find ourselves enslaved by behaviors which destroy us and no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to change.

One writer put it this way, “Finite, sinful people are neither smart enough, selfless enough, nor strong enough to overcome the downward pull of self-interest and self-preservation that characterizes all of us some of the time, and many of us most of the time.”

The reason the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important event in human history is because it explodes the straight-jacket of a finite life. Being restricted to an existence spanning only between our birth and death diminishes profoundly the motivation to make the necessary sacrifices to bring about real change. Jesus returning to life three days after his crucifixion confirms what we’ve already suspected – there is life after physical death. And it is the same Jesus Christ who offers anyone and everyone the opportunity to spend that life after death with him.

Knowing there is more to come, to look forward to, human beings have every reason to open themselves up to the changes Christ rose from the dead to bring about in their lives. The full effect of those changes may not come until we see Jesus face to face, but come they will!

Join us for our Sunday morning service and let the change begin.

This Saturday only – Dinner & Movie Night – 5:30 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, March 22, 2019


It’s another gorgeous Aloha Friday in Paradise, so if you did some daydreaming about the weekend, that’s pretty normal. So what did you dream about? Going to the beach? Doing some shopping? Taking a mini vacation? Just sleeping in?

Daydreaming is a way of escaping the routine of our day to day lives. We jettison to another world in which we have life exactly the way we think it would be best. Unfortunately, for most of us reality and our daydreams remain two very separate worlds for our entire lives. And that can leave us a little depressed at best and cynically bitter at worst. Our daydream worlds reflect what we think we need most to be happy and fulfilled. Yet, when we aren’t able to achieve what we think we need, we feel cheated by life.

Jesus Christ regularly talked about what we need to be successful, happy and fulfilled. However, what he considers necessary shocks us. In the daydream of Jesus we don’t find a ton of money, beautiful people laughing or fast cars. All we see is a bloody cross on a lonely hill. Our reaction is, “How can that make me happy?” To which he replies, “Trust me, what I did on that cross will make you happy not for five minutes or five hours or five years, but forever. It’s what you need most. It’s all you really need.”

There’s one more huge difference between our daydreams and that of Jesus. Ours don’t come true. His does.

If you’re feeling a little cheated by life, join us for one of our worship services. You’ll find what you need most. And…you might even find your daydreams coming true!

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

God’s Take on Greatness

The disciples of Jesus get a lot of unfair criticism over their constant debates about which one of them was the greatest. It’s not that their obsession to be considered the best was pretty childlike, it’s because we all are just like Peter, John and the others. From little on we dream of greatness, of appearing on TV or having people ask for our autograph. As adults, we still find ourselves fantasizing in a Walter Mitty world of greatness. We want to be acknowledged and valued. To be honest, we all secretly or openly want to be the greatest…just like those disciples of Jesus.

Jesus Christ was, is and always will be The Greatest. But his concept of greatness is so tremendously different from our thinking. Our desire for greatness is selfish and pride driven, it serves primarily us. The greatness of Jesus is all about the good of other people. His greatness accomplished the liberation of the human race from all which makes us miserable. Christ’s greatness comes from serving, ours comes from asserting.

On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus’ disciples were still arguing over which one of them was the greatest. In a shocking reversal of roles, Jesus gets down on his knees and begins to wash each man’s feet in a vivid lesson of what true greatness is – serving.

It’s no secret that God’s take on greatness isn’t too popular. It never has been. And that is one reason human history is drenched in the blood of war. And it has to be that way. No one will ever submit to the greatness of another without the use of force. That is, unless it is the greatness of Christ.

The mystery of God is that he never forces anyone to acknowledge the truth about his greatness – he only invites. And his invitation comes to each one of us personally through his Son Jesus Christ who says, “I have come so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” John 10:10 Message Bible

Is it time to reconsider what greatness means to you? Join us for one of our weekend services. You might find the greatness God offers is exactly what you’re needing.

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

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Future Is Uncertain, But the End…That’s a Given

There are times when it seems that Jesus and Satan are involved in a massive arm-wrestling contest over the control of our planet. When there is peace and prosperity, we imagine Jesus is winning. During times of war and poverty, we think Satan has the edge.

The last book of the Bible, Revelation, is also the most confusing. Leading the reader through a series of almost psychedelic visions describing what will take place before the end of the world, the apostle John leaves us not only uncertain, but downright scared. Life for human beings in general, and Christians especially, is going to get progressively more difficult as we approach the end of life as we know it.

But if there is any doubt about the final outcome, John’s revelation leaves no question the victor is and can only be Jesus Christ. In one terse sentence the defeat of Satan and all evil is described. One sentence! And then the triumphant depiction of heaven begins! It’s majestic, breath taking and inspiring. Life as we experience it today ends. The only fitting description for heaven is to imagine everything Satan used to make our lives miserable in the here and now will be absent. It will be different and it will be mind-blowing!

Are you experiencing one of those times in life when you’re starting to wonder who’s winning the cosmic war between good and evil? Join us for one of our services this week end. You need to hear what’s coming! It’s too good to leave for another time!

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

Friday, March 1, 2019

Going the Distance

One of the most bittersweet books of the Bible is a short letter the Apostle Paul wrote to a young colleague and friend named Timothy. Paul is probably writing from the Mamertine prison in Rome. It is a dungeon with only one entrance, a hole 15 feet from the floor. Most were left to die there. No one escaped. Paul was waiting for his death sentence to be carried out.

Paul is down. He is in a horrible place. His legal sentence is worse. And even some of the people he called friends and Christians have turned their backs on him. From the words he writes we can almost picture an old man sitting in filth. Cold, alone, he desperately asks his younger friend to come quickly to help him die well. If ever there was a scene to remind us that Jesus Christ never promised a problem free life to his followers, this is it.

But the letter ends on a powerfully triumphant note.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. *

Paul knew that the One he trusted in was rock solid. Despite the tragedy he was experiencing, he believed with all his heart that the life Jesus saved him for could not be compared with anything he would have to endure in this life. And so, Paul went the distance. Will we?

* 2 Timothy 4:7-8

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.