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 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 for the link. We can also help you work through any questions you might have.

To access worship materials, please go to 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


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.