Friday, September 18, 2020

The Master’s Touch

 


Walking through the rooms filled with the work of budding young artists, people dutifully praised the developing talents of the students. In the corner of one of the rooms, however, a crowd gathered around a painting. Even the usual hushed tones reserved for libraries and art galleries had given way to exclamations which result when coming upon a masterpiece. “This couldn’t have been done by one of the students,” gasped one man. Another person said, “There’s something about this painting. It has to be the work of a master. It just doesn’t fit with the other pieces.”

There was a man who lived 4000 years ago. His name was Abraham. Although he was reasonably prosperous, there wasn’t much else about him that would lead people to call him a “masterpiece”. But then God got a hold of him and everything changed. The result? Through Abraham, God altered human history. But that’s what happens when the Master works in human lives. 

If you are feeling as though your life resembles more of a second hand piece of art rather than a masterpiece, join us for one of our worship services this weekend. If God made a masterpiece out of Abraham’s life, why can’t he do the same for us?

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. New Living Translation

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

 


The imagery is beautiful, a ray of light or a colorful rainbow in contrast with dark, menacing clouds. The saying embedded in the photo above means that for every hard, difficult or bad experience we go through, there is always something good which comes out of it. Sometimes we have to look long and hard for that good, but it’s there.

When we read the account of the Flood in the first book of the Bible, however, it can be hard to find a silver lining among so many dark clouds. It’s a familiar story: the ark, the animals, the flood, the rainbow. But what possible good would come out of the destruction of so many people?

One of the greatest obstacles we have in appreciating what God does in human history is our point of view. We limit God by forcing him to act within our limitations. When he doesn’t, we often accuse him of being unfair or just plain mean. No doubt, the Flood was a harsh judgment. But who rejected who? A quick glance at the opening chapters of the Bible make it very clear the Flood was never God’s intention. Instead, it was a reaction to human rejection.

Taking into account everything we know about God, Noah, and the people of that era, the Flood is all about fresh starts. And who doesn’t need one of those on a regular basis.

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, September 4, 2020

The “Hands On” God

 


When people talk about God’s involvement in the history of the human race they often describe him as rather “hands off” in his approach. Their view is that probably the Almighty had something to do with the beginning of everything, but once he got things started, stepped back and is now a casual observer of the human drama. 

Even the most superficial reading of the early chapters of the Bible dispels any notion that God is disinterested in what is going on in this world. Instead we find he is passionately involved in the minutest details of human life. While that tells us much about God, it should lead us to want to understand even more what God’s active participation in our existence means to us!

This coming weekend we’ll be starting a six week sermon series during which we’ll be studying how God revealed himself during the Old Testament and what affect it had on people. It will be fascinating, at times bewildering but always encouraging. God was most definitely “hands on” thousands of years ago and he continues to be today. And that is ultimately our greatest hope. For if we were on our own…well…the implications of such a tragedy are too terrifying to contemplate.

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, August 28, 2020

Who Found Who?

 

The man wildly chased through the dark woods. He had been frantically looking for his young son since the sun had gone down. The boy went out to play in the late afternoon but had not returned. Temperatures had plunged to the low 20s while the snow fell throughout the night. Now it was an hour or so before dawn. Choking back the tears the man stood leaning against a tree, trying to catch his breath. In frustration he kicked a log freshly covered with snow. Suddenly, the log moved, the snow fell to the side and the man saw the outline of a little boy. Looking up at him with glazed eyes, the boy mumbled, “Daddy, I finally found you!”

The boy’s reaction to seeing his father often reflects our response to God’s rescue mission in our lives. We human beings often say things like, “I was searching for God and found him….” But the truth is, God is the One who does the searching and the finding. And one of the primary ways he does that is through baptism. Through the lens of human reason, the baptizing of babies appears to be little more than a sentimental ritual. But when it is combined with the powerful love of our God, it becomes a beautiful means by which he brings little ones into his family.

It may be that you were baptized as a very small baby and have wondered if what happened on that day really had any tangible significance in your life. Join us for one of our weekend services and start accessing the blessings of your baptism.

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, August 21, 2020

How Do I Define Myself?

 

We define ourselves in many different ways. Some make their appearance the defining aspect of their lives. Others base their identity on the amount of money they have or their accomplishments. And still others might say, “My life is defined by my family.”

It very much is an important question. How we answer determines our priorities, how we will spend our time, money and efforts. We will base our sense of happiness and value on whether or not we are the person we want to be.

If you have received Christian baptism, it’s probably been a long time since you’ve thought about that event. It’s probably been even longer, if ever, that you have considered your identity as a person as being defined by your baptism. But that is exactly the case when you stop to consider what baptism is and how God works through it.

Are you satisfied with your definition of yourself? Most of us never really get to that point. We always have a few regrets and lots of uncertainties. Join us for one of our weekend services. You are going to be surprised by how your baptism defines you. But you are going to be absolutely shocked by what a powerful and positive difference God’s definition of your life can be.

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, August 14, 2020

Being There Is the Best Thing

 

In the late 1970s Bell telephone launched an ad campaign with the slogan, “Long Distance is the next best thing to being there.” There is an unspoken truth in its message which we often don’t give much thought – the best thing is actually to be in the presence of the people we love.

Letters, e-mails, texts, phone calls, Facetime, none of these means of communication comes close to matching the power and effect of personally being in the presence of other people. We can talk of long distance relationships, but what we all want and need are “being there” relationships. And that shouldn’t be surprising, that is the way God made us.

So why is it surprising that God has given us a sacred act in our worship of him in which he is present? That ritual is called Holy Communion. In an absolutely miraculous way Jesus Christ comes through simple objects like bread and wine and says, “This is my body, this is my blood, given for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

To our miracle cynical 21st century ears that sounds ridiculous. But to our ears which have come to be convinced of the truth of Jesus Christ’s death and physical resurrection, those words are music which bring comfort, strength and hope.

There are many convincing evidences and reasons to believe the truthfulness of Christianity. When it comes to Communion, though, then we must step out in faith as countless millions have in the past and say with a broken father of 2000 years ago, “I believe, Lord, help me overcome my unbelief.”

Jesus Christ doesn’t want a long distance relationship with you. Will you believe him?

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, August 7, 2020

 

 

Christians have struggled with the following questions for centuries.

      “How do I grow in my faith in Christ?”

      “It seems like so often I’m just going through the motions.”

      “Why don’t I feel more excited about being a Christian?”

Answers have usually drifted towards one of two extremes. On the one side, believers have looked to spiritual experiences to satisfy the hunger for a more meaningful relationship with Christ. Whether it has been dreams, visions, or supernatural events, the inevitable result is the need for increasingly powerful emotional events which have less and less to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The other extreme has been for Christians to develop a set of rules and regulations to follow in order to distinguish themselves from the “ordinary” believer. The result, however, is the same, a distancing from the cross and the empty tomb.

Whether you’ve lost the feeling or seem to be going through the motions in your life with Christ, the cure is the same as it has been for 2000 years, the message of God’s rescue through Jesus Christ. Yes, it’s simple, but it’s strong, reliable and unchanging. You can look for substitutes, but none will satisfy like the Good News. When it comes to experiencing God in your life, simple is always best!

 Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, July 31, 2020



The old man sat in the worn recliner, finishing his lunch while talking to one of the nursing aides. His eyes, with a vacant, distant gaze made the young woman sad. She had spent the last half hour with him to keep him company. Little had she expected the man to pour out a lifetime of regrets. As she took the tray, she wondered if she would feel the same when she got to his age. Would she ache at the thought of spending the best years of her life on things which she would later realize, were superficial and unimportant. Tragic was the only word to describe what she felt.

Some have many regrets, others few, but everybody has some. For all too many older Christians, a major regret in life is not having accepted Christ’s invitation to pray on a daily basis. During their busy years prayer was a chore, a ritual motivated by guilt or superstition, but rarely, if ever, a privilege, a solace, a refuge. But then the busyness ended. The activities ceased. Worse, no one needed them to do anything. And so, there was time, time to pray. And the more they prayed, the more they were blessed. In fact, it was prayer that would get them through the day. Their reaction to this unexpected blessing was bittersweet. For on the one hand they praised God for their times together, while on the other hand, they mourned it had taken them so long to experience the celebration of prayer.

Will we have the same regrets?

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, July 24, 2020

The Blindside


A quarterback’s worst nightmare is to hear from behind the sound of a gargantuan defensive end an instant before making contact. The impact is sudden, unexpected and often leads to severe injury. The downside of playing quarterback is “the blindside”.

But football players aren’t the only ones who take unexpected hits. Every day ordinary people throughout the world are blindsided by pain, suffering and problems of every size and shape. It happens so frequently you’d think we would come to expect such things. And yet, every time it happens, we are taken by surprise. We express our shock with statements like, “I never thought anything like this would happen to me?”

Jesus warned about having unrealistic expectations about life. He openly said there are going to be a lot of problems to be faced in this life. And that is why he told his followers to pray, “And deliver us from evil.” That each of us will have to face seasons of suffering, should come as no surprise. The world in which we live is not as God created it. Evil abounds in the place of God’s love. That’s why the best preparation for life’s blindsides is the prayer “deliver us from evil.”

Just as you don’t want to be unprepared for Hurricane Douglas, join us for one of our weekend services so you aren’t blindsided by Hurricane Life.

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, July 17, 2020


Normally, our reaction to an invitation is positive. We think of invitations to a dinner or a party or a wedding. What’s great about an invitation is that it is a request for us to participate, but only by our choice. We are usually not forced to either accept or turn down an invitation. It’s up to us.

After reading the title of this article, you might have thought it to be a little strange because temptation is seen as a way to get us to do something evil or diabolical, rather than an invitation. And yet, it is in every sense of the word. When we are tempted, we are not forced into any kind of behavior. What we choose to do is entirely up to us. We can embrace the temptation, or we can walk away from it.

What is essential to remember about temptation is that it is an invitation to live without God. It is an appeal to our egos to take control of our lives without having to answer to anyone or anything. To most of us, that’s very attractive. “No one telling us what to do! Living large! Taking control of our destiny!´ But it is all a deception, separating us from the One for whom and by whom we were created. Apart from God, our lives lose their value, purpose and sense. We become, as the old song goes, “Dust in the wind.”

If you sense it’s time to rethink some of the invitations you’ve been accepting lately, join us for one of our weekend services. The invitation of Jesus Christ will help you see which other invitations you should accept or turn down.

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, July 10, 2020

Bittersweet Forgiveness

There is nothing easier than to write a paragraph about the benefits of learning to forgive other people. There is nothing more difficult than to put what one wrote into real life practice. Learning to truly forgive another person from the heart after experiencing a vicious hurt from that individual can be an agonizing process.

While we can often see and feel our bitterness and resentment toward the other person dragging us down into a dungeon of unhappiness, there is something in us which refuses to believe forgiveness will lead to freedom from that prison. We deceive ourselves into believing that justice depends on us. We fall into the trap of thinking that to forgive is to humiliate ourselves, to become a doormat for other people. We feel forgiveness is only for those who are too weak to fight back. Deep down, we know these emotions are all lies, but for some reason we cannot give them up.

Jesus Christ encouraged his followers to pray, “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” It is a prescription for freedom, freedom to overcome the brutal hurts caused by others so that we can experience life in this broken world as God intends. If you’ve found yourself too often struggling to free yourself from the grasp of revenge, join us for one of our weekend worship services. It’s time to be free!

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Daily Bread In A Costco World

In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught us to ask God the Father to “give us this day our daily bread.” The words sound quaint but woefully antiquated. “Daily bread?!” How does that concept fit with a trip to Costco to buy 200 rolls of toilet paper and an 85” TV? From little on we are programmed by our society to consume. So, the idea of asking God each day for just the needed amount of food and other material products we need to stay alive, just doesn’t seem to fit.

Yes, we live in an incredibly blessed country at an incredibly blessed time in history, even during a corona virus crisis. We have more than we need every day. And that is just the point of seriously studying Jesus’ words, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It gives us the chance to think hard about from where these blessings come. We have the opportunity to consider how we are to gratefully use our wealth in the light of Christ’s death, resurrection and eternity.

Did you know that of all the different topics Jesus talked about, the use of money was one of his favorites? While he did talk about generous giving, his biggest concern was the deceptive power wealth and material things have on our spiritual lives! If you’re finding your life being driven more and more by your stuff, or lack of such stuff, join us for one of our Sunday services.

New worship service times: Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, June 26, 2020

God's Will or My Will?



Sometimes God’s will seems so mysterious. We wonder what he is doing. We’re at a loss as to how he might be accomplishing anything in our lives which could be remotely called good. While there certainly are times when God’s ways don’t make sense, more often than not, the mystery of God’s will is rooted in our ongoing battle with him to impose our will on him. Our confusion is not so much about why God is doing things the way he is but rather why he isn’t doing them the way we think he should!

The great mystery of God’s will is often resolved by realizing that what God wants for our lives very often is completely different from what we desire. If you feel that God is leaving you in the dark in regard to the direction your life is taking, join us for one of our weekend services. You might find God’s GPS, the Bible, will lay out a path for your life you never imagined.

New worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm; Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Who’s the Boss?


Usually that is a pretty easy question to answer? But what if someone asked you, “Who’s the Boss of your life?” That would probably leave most of us grasping for an answer. We are so busy living our lives we usually don’t think of things like that. And yet, it is a pretty important question. “Who or what drives you to live as you do?”

 Everyone has a Boss, whether or not we can identify who or what that is. There is someone or something which has the leading influence over all our decisions, plans, actions and conversation. Thinking about it that way, there is no more important question in life than, “Who’s the Boss.”

Jesus Christ was explicitly unequivocal in claiming to be the Boss of each one of our lives. In fact, when he taught his disciples how to pray, the second thing he said they should ask for on a daily basis was that he would be the Boss of their lives. Jesus said his followers were to pray, “Your kingdom come.” What he was saying was, “Let me be the King/Boss of your life, bringing you into my kingdom/family through the forgiveness of sins and then I will rule in your life as your loving Lord, molding you into the person I created you to be.”

Some people chaff at the thought of not being able to be their own boss. But when you know who Jesus is, what he did for us and what he wants for every living person, would you really want to be your own boss? Doesn’t the thought seem ridiculously childish when we think of our embarrassing limitations when it comes to how much control we actually have over what happens as we live and when we die?

If you are interested in some life leadership change, join us for one of our worship services this weekend. You might be surprised what you find!

New worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm; Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.



Friday, June 12, 2020



You’ve got to admit, if you saw the rock pictured in the photo laying on the ground, you’d probably pick it up. There would be a “it’s too good to be true” hope you had found a valuable piece of gold. Later on, unfortunately, you would discover your gem was only pyrite, which is commonly called Fools’ Gold. Pyrite is deceptive. It certainly does look like the real thing. The problem is, it isn’t.

We chase after all sorts of things in life which we think are important. But they are pyrite priorities. We’re all familiar with them: money, power, pleasure and status. Every day we get blasted with their appeals as we stare at our screens. Yet, as with pyrite, our culture’s neon gods aren’t the real thing, they are fakes. They cannot satisfy even at the present and have no meaning whatsoever in eternity.

The most valuable thing you can have in life is to be called a child of God. And that is why the most important thing you can ask for in prayer is that you honor as most precious God’s name. And that is exactly what we ask for each time we say in the Lord’s Prayer “Hallowed be your Name.”

If you are looking for the real thing instead of just flashy counterfeits, join us for one of our worship services this weekend as we study the words “Hallowed be your Name” from the Lord’s Prayer.

New worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm; Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, June 5, 2020


News outlets have run several reports that people have begun to pray much more regularly since the Covid-19 virus broke out. There could be many reasons for this happening. When people are scared and uncertain about the future, prayer tends to calm their fears. For others, prayer brings a sense of peace, the feeling that everything is going to be okay in the end. And, for some, prayer is a way to vent, to get their frustrations out in a way they feel is helpful. Those are all good and valid reasons to pray, but they aren’t the most important. 

The power of prayer is found in the first words of the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father”. The God who created the heavens and earth, the One who holds the universe together, is the same Lord who tells us he knows and cares about us so personally that he even has the hairs of our head counted! He is the God who refused to hold back anything to win us back to his family. And it is our Father who invites us to pray with the confidence that he not only hears our prayers but uses his perfect wisdom, power and love to answer us in the way which benefits us most for all of eternity. If you are questioning whether it is worth it or not to pray, join us for one of our weekend services. The more you know about our Father, the more you’ll want to pray. 

New worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm; Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.

Friday, May 29, 2020



It is one of those humbling experiences of life. There is this funny shaped part sitting on one of our shelves. We pass it every day, pick it up, examine it closely and then ask ourselves the agonizingly frustrating question, “What is this thing for?” We race through the past, trying to locate the memory of taking apart a machine to which it belongs. But we always draw a blank. This scene repeats itself regularly for months until finally, in exasperation we either throw the piece away or put it somewhere we’ll never find it again, just so we won’t have to look at it anymore.

And then it happens. Six months, maybe years later we remember what the part was for and we need it. But, it is either in the dump or tucked away in a box we’ll never locate. When we don’t understand the value of something, the consequences can be significant.

Prayer is one of those areas of our life with Jesus we tend not to appreciate. Now, we will talk about the importance of prayer. We’ll sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” with tears in our eyes. We will even tell a hurting friend, “I’ll pray for you.” Yet, after all our words, we rarely find ourselves praying. We need to be honest, we spend our time doing those things we think are most important. Does the amount of time you spent in prayer today reflect you believe it is crucial to your life?

This weekend we’re starting a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. It’s going to be a fascinating study. We’re all going to learn a lot. But there is really one key take away from the entire series: Just pray. In fact, why don’t you pray right now. Don’t wait to find out what a benefit it is!

New worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm; Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.

Friday, May 8, 2020


All love is not created equal. There is a huge difference between selfish and selfless love. Selfish love is what we express and experience in most relationships. We do nice things for other people because we expect them to give us something we want in return. Our motivation in loving the other person is selfish in the sense that we are being nice to ultimately get what we want.

Selfless love, on the other hand, does good things for the other person without keeping score as to whether the individual responds the way we want. It doesn’t count the cost of how much time, effort or money was required because the goal of selfless love is the betterment of the other person.

Each year on the second Sunday of May we celebrate Mother’s Day. It is a day we talk about selfless love because there is no other human relationship which better characterizes selfless love than that of a mother and her child. Mothers love their children regardless of what they look like or what they can do. It’s a love based on the incredibly strong connection which is begun at conception.

Selfless love, however, is not just for moms. It is something our world so desperately needs on every relationship level. A love which is able to look beyond ourselves to the needs of others. A love which ultimately, is rooted in the love Jesus Christ shows for us. If you’re serious about making a difference with your life, selfless love is going to be high on your priority list. Join us for our online service. Because of Jesus, you don’t have to be a mom to be a master of selfless love.

Friday, April 24, 2020



We’ve all had those frustrating experiences in which something doesn’t make sense. It seems the more we try to figure things out, the more confusing they become. Then suddenly, something happens and it all makes sense. The confusion becomes crystal clear. We have what is called an “aha moment”.

When it comes to God things, a lot of people are confused. Just listen to all their questions. “God why did you let this happen? How can you be good when I’m feeling so bad? What in the world is your plan for my messed up life?” There were a couple of men who felt pretty much like that on the first Easter Sunday. They were walking and talking with each other, trying to figure out why Jesus had been crucified and what had happened to his body, which was not in the tomb where it was supposed to be.

In his famous incognito hike called “The Road to Emmaus”, Jesus explains to the men why the cross and empty tomb were absolutely essential to his work as the Messiah. It isn’t until they reach their destination that the light bulb goes on and these disciples understand. But the moment it did, their lives were changed forever.

How would you rate your understanding of what Jesus means in your life? Still in the dark? The clouds starting to pass? Or, are things clear as day? Regardless of where you are at, spending time with Jesus is undoubtedly the best way to clear up your doubts and answer your questions.
Join us for our online service. Together let’s walk and talk with Jesus.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Seeing and Believing


Every year “Doubting” Thomas gets raked over the coals for not accepting his fellow disciples’ account of Jesus’ resurrection appearance. But can you really blame him? Can you say you wouldn’t at least have had a small doubt that your friends were a bit discombobulated from recent events and perhaps misinterpreted what they saw?

Doubts and uncertainties are part of being human. Throughout the Bible there are examples of people who sincerely questioned God, expressed their uncertainties and then received answers in a wide variety of ways.

As we continue our Easter celebrations this Sunday, we’re going to look at both the historical and personal evidences which strongly support the resurrection. You might be surprised at how much attestation there is to confirm the angels’ announcement, “He is not here, he has risen!” The point of this study, however, is much more than to satisfy intellectual curiosity. It is, rather, to lead us all to Thomas’ beautiful reaction when he saw Jesus, “My God and my Lord!”

Join us for our online service. See Jesus through the Gospel accounts and believe.

Friday, April 10, 2020


One of the best-known quotes from the character Rocky Balboa of the “Rocky” boxing films is, “It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. All that matters is how many times you get up.” In the context of the film, the application had to do specifically with boxing, but there are many ways we can apply that statement to each one of our daily lives.

No one goes through life without getting knocked down in some way. Knock downs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They can be failures, accidents, bad choices, other people hurting us, health issues, financial shortfalls, and the list can go on and on. Getting up after a fall can be hard. It takes courage and toughness to pick ourselves up and keep trying to succeed. After a while, the nagging question can begin to haunt us, “Is it worth it to keep getting up?” And when we can’t answer that question, we begin to lose hope.

Hope is the life changing application of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because he overcame death, we can trust that everything he said and promised is true. Which practically means, no matter how often or how hard we get knocked down, there is hope, powerful and eternal hope.

This Easter may seem like a downer since we’re isolated in our homes. But the underlying truths of what we celebrate on Resurrection Sunday aren’t restricted by geography. Jesus has risen, he has risen indeed! And that means you can have resilient hope – always, anywhere!

Our online service will be available Saturday evening.

Friday, April 3, 2020



There is just no other way to put it, the reports of what is going on are depressing. Regardless of the news source you choose, predictions for the future are dire. While it is good for us to be able to prepare for future challenges, to allow oneself to be continually bombarded with negatives can lead to despair and hysteria.

One of the purposes of making Sunday a day of worship is that it allows us to take a step back from the urgencies which dominate our lives and look at the big picture. As Christians we need to remind ourselves of what is most important. Given the current crises, it is all the more essential for us to do just that as we celebrate Palm Sunday.

You know the story well. Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey. A crowd of people pick up palm branches and shout, “Hosanna!” Palm Sunday is the happy beginning of a most dreadful week in the ministry of Jesus. For only five days later he would be crucified. And yet, there were no accidents or coincidences which caused Jesus to go from hero to scapegoat. It had all been planned out long before the events happened.

The message of Palm Sunday is pretty straightforward: Jesus claims to be our king in every sense of the word. And what a king he is, so committed to our good that he willingly allows himself to be sacrificed on a cross. The king dies for his people so that human death would be transformed into a transition rather than a finality.

Palm Sunday is the starting point of the Christian’s celebration that everything is going to work out in the end. There will be tragedy. The future is uncertain. But King Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms, the end is sure. And what an end it is!

Our online service will be available Saturday evening. Get your Palm Sunday boost!

Friday, March 27, 2020



God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
The God of Israel is our fortress. (Psalm 46)

It doesn’t mean you wash your hands one second less. It doesn’t mean you make an exception about social distancing. It doesn’t mean you are uninformed. It doesn’t mean you are anti-science. But sometimes the very best thing we can do in times of uncertainty is be still before the God who is still in control of his creation.

Be still and remember your God made all that exists with the command of his word. Remember that he continues to take care of his creation with his almighty power. Remember he knows the number of hairs on your head. Remember he sent his Son to die on a cross so that you could be with him forever.

The night before he went to the cross Jesus told his followers not to be troubled by challenging times. He promised them everything would work out in eternity. And that promise is as good today as it was when he first made it. The current crisis will certainly bring changes to all of us. For some, the change will be minor, for others it may drastically alter the course of their life. It will, however, fit in with his ultimate plan for our lives which is very simply, to enjoy eternity with him.

Our online service will be available early Sunday morning. Be still and spend some time with the One who loves you most and best.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020



Beginning with tomorrow night’s mid-week Lenten service we will be going 100% online for all of our worship services and Bible studies. That means no one will be physically attending services or Bible classes at the church until at least April 30. We want to do our part in flattening the curve of corona virus infections in our state and the best way we can do that is by offering all our activities digitally.

Even if you are not a tech type of person, watching a mid-week or Sunday service is as easy as clicking on www.lutheranhawaii.org. Scroll down just a little and you’ll come across the words, “Can’t make it into church this week? Stay connected by watching the live stream below:” You’ll see a large photograph with a play button in the middle. Press play and get ready to worship. The worship services are pre-recorded so you can watch them at any time.

We’re going to be offering live Bible classes through Google Hangouts. If you would like to join one, please contact Pastor Gumm at cfgumm@gmail.com for the link. We can also help you work through any questions you might have.

To access worship materials, please go to www.lutheranhawaii.org and then scroll down until you find the words on the left side CHURCH DOCUMENTS. Click on the “Download or View a Previous Church Bulletin” link. To open Bible Class materials, click on the link “Download or View a Previous Bible Study”.

Here’s our schedule for the coming week:

Wednesday, March 25
• Lenten Worship (any time after 6:00 pm): I Have the Promise of Eternal Life
Continue your Lenten preparations with a fascinating study of the two men who were crucified with Jesus and their different reactions to him.

Sunday, March 29
• Sunday worship service (any time): A continuation of our series “The I Am Sayings of Jesus”. This week we’ll study Jesus’ comforting and controversial claim, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
• New live Bible class at 9:00 am and 11:00 am – “Walking Through the Darkest Valleys”. Overnight, the corona virus has radically changed our lives. We are in uncertain territory. In the famous Psalm 23, we are promised that God is with us as he walks us through the darkest valleys in life. Together we’ll learn from Bible heroes how the Lord accomplished that in the past and still does the same today. Please contact Pastor Gumm if you are interested.

Friday, March 20, 2020


“Irresistible” is a contagiously positive word. It describes something so good it’s impossible not to want. And irresistible is the only way to describe Jesus Christ and the life he offers.

This weekend we’re going to be studying one of the most well-known “I am” sayings of Jesus. Just before he performed the incredible miracle of raising his friend Lazarus from the dead, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die.” These are words we need to hear and take to heart as we struggle through the uncertainty of our current crisis.

Death is the ultimate enemy of every human being. It frightens us and steals our happiness by making us constantly paranoid. The miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus after having been dead four days is beyond human comprehension, but Christ’s return to life after his own death definitively confirms with solid evidence the claims he makes about himself and us.

With Jesus, physical death isn’t your greatest enemy. He transforms it into the door of his destiny for you – heaven. Right now, he is preparing that heaven for you. Knowing that, what alternative is there but to live the irresistible life right now?

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

Friday, March 13, 2020


Maybe it’s the distraction. Maybe it’s being out in the fresh air. Whatever it is, there is something which enables us to open up the deepest recesses of our hearts to someone who genuinely cares when we walk together. The place really doesn’t matter. What is absolutely essential, however, is the person who takes a deep, compassionate interest in our well-being. Without that individual, the experience becomes little more than an ordeal.

Jesus described himself in many ways through his “I am” sayings which are scattered throughout the Gospel of John. None is more comforting or encouraging than, “I am the Good Shepherd.” The image of walking together with Jesus, listening to him and then sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings without the fear of being accused or judged or belittled is something we can look forward to each and every day of our lives, regardless of our circumstances.

If you need to begin taking some walks with Jesus, join us for one of our weekend services. We all need someone to guide and lead us through the chaos of life. No one does it better than Jesus.

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

Friday, March 6, 2020


In one word, how would you describe a fireworks display? You might use: stunning, gorgeous, overwhelming, or jaw-dropping. But what about the word fleeting? While that may not be the first word that comes to mind, it certainly is an accurate way to describe fireworks. They are impressive. They do get our attention. But normally they’re all over in 15 or 20 minutes and we’re back to normal life again. Fireworks are a great moment in time, but they are just that, a moment.

Jesus often warned that we can get so caught up in the moment that we forget about that which lasts. In one of his most radical claims, Jesus said that he is eternal, without beginning or end and that through him we can be connected with eternity. It’s not only a shocking offer, it’s one we should think about very seriously. Considering the size of our universe and the brevity of our life span on this earth, we are led to the conclusion that our lives are rather insignificant in the big scheme of things. We’re kind of like fireworks, only most of us aren’t that jaw-dropping.

Of course, what Jesus said about eternity goes directly against everything our culture tells us. We’re taught that the only thing which matters is the moment and what is good for us in that isolated point in time. “The future is now” we try to convince ourselves. Jesus Christ says it isn’t. Instead, he said that the future is either in heaven or hell. But he also said hell is entirely unnecessary because of what he did on the cross and through his resurrection.

Fireworks are fun. Jesus Christ is necessary – now and forever. Join us for one of our weekend services. Life was meant to be more than 15 or 20 minute explosions; it was meant to be lived to the fullest, for all of eternity.

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

Friday, February 28, 2020

Junkfood



One of the harsh realities of life is that there comes a time when we just can’t eat everything we like. During our growing years we can live on chips and soda without any apparent negative effects but when we reach thirty something that all changes. And it only gets worse as the years pile up. By 50 we become nutrition experts, not by choice but by necessity. If we want to be able to function throughout the day, we’ve got to eat the right foods.

Jesus often used picture language to describe how he impacts our lives. One time he said, “I am the Bread of life.” Bread, at the time Jesus lived on this earth, was the primary food. Every meal was pretty much bread as the main course with a little something else as a small side. By calling himself the Bread of Life, Jesus was saying, “If you’re going to survive spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically not only in this life but especially after death, I have got to be your power source.”

There is a lot of spiritual junk food being sold in the form of self-help materials. Some is just common sense, others make us feel good about ourselves, but none address the root cause for the problems we face nor provides a complete, long term solution. If you are feeling a little weak as you journey through life, join us for one of our weekend services and get some real spiritual food from the Bread of Life.

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

Friday, February 21, 2020

Let Loose!

Speakers at commencement ceremonies often encourage graduates to shoot for the moon in fulfilling their career dreams. Some will even promise, “You can do whatever you want!” What these individuals often fail to mention is the amount of hard work and sacrifice needed to achieve lofty goals. Even less do they mention that many give their very best efforts, but still do not achieve what they had planned. And no one tells the graduates about the disillusionment with life which develops from unfulfilled dreams.

There are many reasons people decide to play it safe when it comes to major commitments which could bring great benefits but also very well might lead to major disappointments. The old saying, “I’d rather be safe than sorry” governs the thinking of many.

In the New Testament there is a passage which says, “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” * That is an exciting proposition. It says we can fail and still succeed. God is the master at taking what we do and turning it into something eternally positive. And that is exactly what he does not only through individual believers, but also through his Church.

Some people believe that seriously living out a Christian life with the anticipation of heaven is a waste. A British comedian put it this way, “I think the idea that death is not the end, that your dog's just 'gone to live on the farm,' is limiting and can prevent you from making the most of all the time you have.” Just the opposite is true. Instead of risking the chance of personal failure and disillusion, giving oneself to a Christlike life enables people to free themselves of the power, selfishness and lust which drive so many personal goals in order that the living God can use their time and efforts for activities which will live on in their importance long after they have left this earth.

If you feel that your life is a bit stuck in a routine that isn’t all that thrilling when you consider it in light of what is important, join us for one of our weekend services. Maybe it’s time to let loose on life for Jesus Christ.

* 1 Corinthians 15:58

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

Friday, February 14, 2020



What is called “The Christian Church” has not come in for much good press lately and as a result, some of the so-called “faithful” are turning in their memberships; they are leaving. In some cases, these folks claim they have lost their faith, but with others, it is just a matter of feeling let down.

That there are problems within individual Christian congregations, that is a pretty obvious reality. To portray all Christian churches as groups of people who always get along and are united in doing the right thing on every occasion would be to describe a laughable fantasy. But to admit human weaknesses within the Church is very different from claiming this institution has no practical use or value. The problem we may have today is determining the point of view we need to have to correctly understand this organization which began so abruptly and unexpectedly more than 2000 years ago.

This weekend we’ll be studying the phrase, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints,” which is part of the Apostles’ Creed. We will ask the questions, “What did Jesus have to say about the Church? How did the first disciples and apostles view this organization and what did they write about it in the Bible?”

If your view of the Church is less than positive, please consider joining us for one of our worship services. At the very least, you’ll be challenged to look at the Church from a different perspective.

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

Friday, February 7, 2020


Which way did you take the title, “The God Who Bothers”? Did you see it as God bothers us by messing around in our lives trying to get us to stop doing what we want to do and start doing what he wants us to do? Or did you interpret that statement as meaning God is so concerned with us, he gets involved in our lives?

From a biblical point of view, one could take it either way. Standing before the cross of Jesus Christ and hearing him shout, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, there can be no doubt God is concerned with the human race, knowing that his agony was the result of making satisfaction for our sins. On the other hand, it is also very clear God continues to work in peoples’ lives after they come to faith in Christ. At times he will even use painful experiences to get rid of any behavior or attitude which would come between the person and himself. God is not content to leave us as we are until he has molded us into the people he intends for us to be. He loves us too much.

This weekend we continue our study of the work of the Holy Spirit. His ongoing presence in our lives grows our faith on a day to day basis. He is, in every sense, the God who bothers, in just the ways we need.

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

Friday, January 31, 2020


Imagine having a friend tell you, “I’ve got $10 million that I am going to give you.” Elated, you hug the person, maybe even jump up and down a few times and begin to plan all the wonderful things you are going to do with your fortune. But suddenly there is an uncomfortable silence as you wait for him to tell you when and how he is going to get the money to you. You become even more puzzled when your friend turns and says, “Have a good rest of the day.”

Frantic, you run after him and ask, “But where is the money?”

To which he replies, “Oh, that I’m not going to tell you.”

$10 million is a lot of money but it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t know where it is. A lot of people talk about God and how important he is, but then in the next breath say, “But we can never really know who he is or what he does.” An “unknowable God” is much like the hidden $10 million dollars – he’s out there but what good does he really do for us?

This weekend we’ll be considering the work of the Holy Spirit as we continue our study of the earliest Christian statement of belief, the Apostles’ Creed. Far from being a vague, ether like force, the Holy Spirit makes personal to us the saving work of Jesus Christ. It is his supernatural power working in the lives of human beings which opens hearts and minds to the forgiveness of Christ. Simply put, the Holy Spirit creates faith in Christ so that we can be a part of God’s family and receive all the blessings he gives his children.

If God seems to be hiding from you, join us for one of our services this weekend. It may be that someone else is doing the hiding.

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


Friday, January 24, 2020


We talk about “enjoying” a good dinner at a restaurant or an exciting football game or even a walk on the beach. When it comes to God, we may say he is our comfort and strength. We may describe a worship service as inspiring or encouraging. But how often have you said, “I enjoy having God in my life?”

We might say, “Enjoy isn’t a dignified enough term for God.” And that very well could be true. Be honest, though, don’t you really like the things you enjoy? Sure, we all do. And that is just the point, God created us to worship, reverence, respect and glorify him. But he also wants us to like him and enjoy having him be the center of our lives.

When we feel obligated to do something, like spend an evening with people we don’t much care for, we say, “I’ve got to go to this get together tonight.” On the other hand, if those people we’re going out with are close friends that we very much enjoy spending time with, we say, “I get to go out tonight with my friends.”

The man in the photo above has a “got to” relationship with God. He feels obligated possibly by peer pressure or guilt to fulfill certain religious duties. God made us with too much care and purpose for us to see him as an obligation. He created us to enjoy him and everything he is – forever.

Join us for one of our weekend worship services and start enjoying God!

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


Friday, January 17, 2020


The earliest formal statement of Christian beliefs begins with the straightforward sentence, “I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” We associate that affirmation with God’s creation of the material universe and all life. But have you ever stopped to think of what it means to call the One who created you, “Father”?

We live a pretty cold world which judges people on how much they benefit those around them. If a person can produce something everyone wants, their value is high. But what about those who can’t do those things, the “common” people. What is their value? And then, what about those who have trouble just getting through the day, people who have medical or emotional issues and need help surviving? Is the value of human life based on a competitive barter system? The declaration, “I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth,” blasts away such an idea.

The Bible describes God as the Father of Fathers, the One who knows us through and through and yet still loves us with a commitment that never wavers. There is a 3000 year old poem which describes our Father as a caring, protective shepherd who does whatever is necessary to do what is best for his sheep. As you prepare for the activities of the weekend, take a few moments to read Psalm 23 and then say a prayer beginning with these words, “Dear Father…”

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

Friday, January 10, 2020


Most people want God to be a part of their lives…as long as what he says and does agrees with their way of thinking. In recent years many people have expressed the idea that much of what the Bible says about God no longer applies to people living in the year 2020. The idea that God does not approve of certain types of behavior or is holy and just or even refuses to be adapted over the centuries to become more culturally acceptable, is repugnant to them. One particularly offensive teaching of the Bible is what Christians have called the Trinity. It means that God has revealed himself to human beings as One God, but in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Of course, the primary objection is, such a concept as the Trinity doesn’t make sense to human beings and therefore can’t be true. Christians have never claimed that it does make sense. But one must ask, does God depend on human beings to define who he is or does God define himself? Maybe the best answer to that question is another question, “Do you really want to put your eternal destiny in a god you yourself invented.”

The God who is, who has always existed and always will, refuses to be changed or tweaked by the people he himself created. It almost seems very logical that the infinite, all powerful, holy God would describe himself in ways beyond our human understanding.

The main reason, however, Christians gladly believe and hold sacred the teaching of the Trinity is what it means to our daily lives. We’re not in the dark about who God is or what he has done for us. Death is no longer the end of our existence and life after death is something to which we look forward. Let God be God and thank him for being exactly as he is!

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

Friday, January 3, 2020


As you look forward to this new year, think of each day as a door through which you must pass but through which you will never return. Will you blindly barge through those 365 doors, overwhelmed by the massive load of responsibilities which you feel obligated to carry? Will the doors represent the grinding routine of daily life, reducing existence to machine-like repetition? Or, will you see a connection between each one of those doors uniting what might at first glance seem to be random experiences into an exquisite mosaic of human life?

Will there be any kind of sign or message on the doors as you approach them day after day? Will they have the words, “Same old, same old”, “Fear”, “Uncertainty” painted on them? Or will your doors of 2020 have the engraved message, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”?

Every day is a fresh start for those who follow Jesus Christ, but the first days of the year are an especially appropriate time to focus on this new beginning. It is an opportunity to get first things first as we embark on one more chapter of our lives. Join us for one of our worship services this weekend. Together let’s enter 2020 with our hearts and minds fixed on what matters.

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

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

My photo
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.