Friday, October 15, 2021

The End

 


In some instances, we look forward to the end.

      The end of the test.

      The end of the workday.

      The end of the week.

In other cases, we dread the end.

      The end of a delicious dinner.

      The end of the weekend.

      The end of vacation

There is one “The End” that we don’t even want to think about. In fact, more and more people are saying they choose to ignore it, that they are just too engaged to give it any thought. “The End” they are avoiding is, of course, death. 

It is a strange relationship we have with death. It is inevitable. It is, along with birth, the one major event in which we all participate. One would think we would talk about it more since it should bond us all together. But we avoid this subject, more than the Covid. 

Still, questions occasionally float through our minds about “The End”. Is there a heaven? Is there a hell? Is there anything? Will I be aware of anything? How long will it last? 

The last question might be the most unnerving – “How long will it last?” One thing a person can say for sure is, “We’re going to be dead a whole lot longer than we live on this earth.” 

Another question one might ask is, “How can a human being live well without having any information about ‘The End’?” If we don’t know what happens after our earthly life, how can we be sure of what is important in the here and now? Is each one of us left to make our educated guess about what life now is all about? 

“The End” is worth thinking and talking about. This weekend we’re going to study one of the most powerful and inspiring chapters in the Bible – 1 Corinthians 15. It is appropriately called “The Resurrection Chapter”. The message is very simple, through Jesus Christ, “The End” becomes “The Beginning”! 

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


Friday, October 8, 2021

Hipster Love

 


They looked like two movie stars walking down the boardwalk in their fashion clothes and dark sunglasses. She said something cute and romantic like, “To hear your voice is the reason I get up in the morning.” To which he smirked and kept walking. Suddenly a homeless man came out of nowhere, approached them asking for money. Calmly the young man pulled out a $20, handed it to the beggar and said in a low voice, “You can make your life work.” 

The rest of the day continued for the couple in much the same way. In fact, that was the pattern of their lives – living chic. The homeless man took the $20 and the advice he had been given and used it to become a world-renowned artist. The young man and woman were passionately in love every day of their lives, never losing their air of sophistication through the years. It was a story of hipster love, a story that is pure fantasy. 

Hipster love is beautiful to the eye. Hipster love always works out the way everyone wants. Hipster love never is ugly or dirty. Hipster love is…well…it’s just cool. And hipster love never lasts very long. 

Love is one of the most overused words in the English language. Sometimes it’s hard to understand how differently one word can be used. Love is, however, seen by most people as the solution to our world’s problems. So, a more important word is hard to find. But exactly what does the word love mean? 

About 2000 years ago a man by the name of Paul explained love in a way that is shockingly opposite of hipster love. Paul’s love is not concerned with appearance, personal benefits or even, at times, results. This love is difficult, challenging. It can be downright gut wrenching for those who practice it. But it is the love that will change the world. Most importantly, it is a love rooted in the God of perfect love. 

If the superficial explanations of love have left you disappointed and disillusioned, join us for one of our weekend services. Love, rightly understood, really can change the world. 

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


Friday, October 1, 2021

Part of Something Bigger

 


Stamps were his life. He spent hours studying them, years working to buy special collections. His life was very planned, predictable, but when he talked about stamps his eyes lit up, the fire of passion was stoked. The years passed, his stamp collection grew in size and value. And then he died. His son, who inherited the man’s beloved stamps, could not spend less time in finding a buyer. The son, you see, detested his father’s stamp collection and never could understand why he spent so many hours doing something which seemed to him, so utterly pointless, and so few hours with his own child. The son then took the money and went to Vegas. Spent it all in a week and returned home to his own very planned and predictable life. 

It might be stamps. It might be football. It might be Facebook. It might be money. Most of us live planned and predictable lives like the two men in the story and we seek an escape from the crushing sameness of life. Something to distract us from the feeling that we are just meaningless cogs in the giant gear of human existence. It often works, but there are the moments when something inside us yearns to be part of something bigger, something more important, something more permanent. And it leaves us empty. 

Years ago someone said, “There is an emptiness inside each of us the size which only Jesus Christ can fill.” And that is exactly what he does. When you are part of what Jesus is doing in this world, you are part of something that is of eternal importance. One Bible writer called it being part of the body of Christ, the Christian Church. God tells us he is always at work in this world, always active. And he offers us the invitation to be a part of what he is doing. 

Looking to fill a void? Join us for one of our worship services this weekend. Be a part of something far bigger than anything we can begin to imagine. 

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


Friday, September 24, 2021

Wake-Up Call


 

It is not unusual for a sports team to experience a long string of victories and then suddenly get beat by a team everyone considered to be very much inferior. In the post-game commentaries, the analysts say, “This defeat was a wake-up call.” The idea being the coaches and players needed a painful loss to remind them to be prepared not just for the tough opponents, but for all opponents. 

It is difficult to maintain an intense, urgent vigilance in any area of our lives, but especially so in our relationship with God. When our lives are pain and trouble free, there develops unknowingly a complacent attitude towards the spiritual war going on within us. Evil doesn’t seem all that evil and God doesn’t seem all that important. We just take it for granted he is there and that he will keep sending the physical blessings we crave. 

Periodic wake-up calls from God are not only necessary, but they are also a blessing. Without them we can very easily slide into a deep freeze relationship with our God and lose the greatest blessing he has given us – eternal life. If all that sounds like scare tactics, think back to some of the wake-up calls you’ve experienced in other areas of your life. They were important, weren’t they? What could be more important than the God who made you, who saved you to be with him forever, giving you a wake-up call to bring you back to him? 

Whether you might need a God wake-up call or not, join us for one of our worship services this weekend. Not one of us can hear often enough the urgency of Jesus Christ’s call to follow him. 

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


Friday, September 17, 2021

Leakage

 


It seems like so little. A single drop every 15 seconds or so. Yet, over time a leaky faucet will waste thousands of gallons of water. 

The little things in life add up, especially in our relationship with God. With so much to do every day, it’s easy to start leaking. Spiritual leakage begins in small, unnoticeable ways: not reading the Bible for periods of time, stale prayers, small moral compromises here and there, and maybe most damaging – too much fun doing our own thing. 

God slowly becomes less and less relevant to our daily lives so that when we do think about him at all, he seems more like a cosmic force than our personal Creator and Savior. When tragedy hits, our first reaction is to blame him rather than run to him. 

Worship is about fixing the leaks, stopping them up and recommitting ourselves to not only acknowledge Christ as our Savior but to live each day with him as the Lord of our lives. Remember, leaks are ultimately a waste, they don’t do anyone any good. The time to fix them is now. Each weekend we offer three worship opportunities. This Sunday, however, we encourage you to join us at 10:30 am for a special worship service of powerful music and Bible readings. It will be just the kind of thing to fill up a soul empty from leakage. 

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


Friday, September 10, 2021

The Rights Revolution

 


Over the centuries, hundreds of millions of people have been taken advantage of, persecuted, and oppressed. In some cases, they have received worse treatment than animals. As individuals, these human beings had few or no rights in the eyes of those who ruled over them. 

In recent years, especially in the western part of the world, we have seen the movement of human rights grow with incredible speed. It has, in many ways, improved the lives of countless people. But in the midst of this progress, there is a growing sense of “right fixation”. We focus all our attention on our individual rights to such an extent that we forget that other people also have rights and that we have the responsibility to do our part in making sure their rights are respected. 

Much of the so-called polarization of the United States population can be attributed to this rights revolution. 

For anyone who takes seriously their relationship with Jesus Christ, there has to be a profound interest in what he teaches his followers about the matter of their rights in the world in which they live. And Jesus does indeed speak, but as usual, not the way we might want. For Jesus, the exercise of individual rights came down to one thing: “Did it fit in with God the Father’s plan for his life?” That question became immensely relevant when he prayed in a Garden late one Thursday night. Jesus had the right to avoid the cross, to continue his ministry but he didn’t use it. He simply prayed, “Your will be done.” 

For the follower of Jesus Christ, it really isn’t about “my rights”. It’s about, “What is going to fit into God’s plan for my life and the lives of the people around me?” That kind of thinking has a powerfully transforming affect on a person’s life. If you are interested in a different, challenging, yet refreshing look at the subject of individual human rights, join us for one of our worship services this weekend. At the very least, you’ll get some ideas you don’t often come across. 

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


Friday, September 3, 2021

The Right Reason

 


A lot of harsh words have been exchanged between Christians and those who follow a more secular view of life over the subject of sexuality. While followers of Jesus have pointed out the very negative consequences of an “anything goes” view of sex, non-religious people have questioned if Christians aren’t just mad about not being able to have the same kind of “fun”. 

While there is much evidence to affirm the destructive results which came to be from the sexual revolution of the 1960s, Christians do have reason to take seriously the suggestion to do some soul-searching about our own motives for morality. Some studies have shown that fits of anger are actually a result of uncertainty and insecurity. If we, as believers in the resurrected Jesus Christ, find ourselves verbally tearing apart people because of their sexual practices in ways which do not in any way serve to bring about a positive change in their behavior, we need to reexamine our reasons for such harsh criticisms. 

If any of us have ever secretly wished that we could “walk on the wild side” and get away with it, even if for a very brief time, then maybe we ought to demonstrate a little humility. If our reason for “being good” is so that we don’t get “fried” by God’s judgment, we can do better. 

The Christians in the city of Corinth 2000 years ago also had challenges with the subject of sexuality – maybe to even a larger degree than we do today. But the counsel of the Apostle Paul wasn’t to grit their teeth and gut it out. Instead, he told them to get a heart transplant. When it comes to living according to God’s plan for sexuality, there’s only one right reason: Because Jesus lives in my heart. 

Join us for one of our weekend worship services. Regardless of what area in your life you have a struggle with sin, the one right reason to keep fighting that sin is: Jesus lives in your heart. 

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



Friday, August 27, 2021

Numb

 


It’s a strange experience when a hand or foot goes numb. We’re so used to feelings that we have a hard time navigating ourselves without them. I had a friend whose leg went numb after a motorcycle accident. Years later he was pinned to the ground by a tractor which had tipped over while he was driving it on a hill. It took several minutes to get the tractor off him. When he was finally able to get up, he was shocked to see that the tractor exhaust pipe had burned his numb leg severely. Sometimes numbness can be disastrous. 

There is a spiritual numbness which is equally destructive. It starts to creep into a person’s relationship with God when the individual begins to dabble in things the Lord has clearly instructed us to leave alone. As time goes on, their sensitivity to right and wrong begins to blur. The serious consequences of sin diminish and a sort of cheap grace thinking sets in: “I’m forgiven, right? So, what’s the big deal if I walk on the wild side a little?” 

The core truth of Christianity is God makes us right with him through what Christ did for all humans on the cross and through his coming back to life. People receive the benefits of what Jesus did not by working to earn them, but by believing them to be true. Belief, however, is always followed by changed behavior. If one’s behavior doesn’t change, there is a good chance what one believes is not in Jesus. 

If you see a disconnect between what you believe about Jesus and what you see in your life, join us for one of our weekend services. It may be time to get rid of the numbness and let Jesus put feeling into your heart again. 

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


Friday, August 20, 2021

Why Do We Always Need to Be Right?

 


We’ve come to the end of another week. How many heated discussions did you have with friends or family members over who was right about some very minor, unimportant issue? Surely at least one and probably more. In fact, you might even still be on bad terms with that person over your battle about who was right and who was wrong. What makes the whole issue even more incredibly ridiculous is that in most of these disagreements, there is no right or wrong. Can anyone say definitively that there is only one distinct place on the kitchen shelf where the salt and pepper must be placed? 

Still, we pass our lives reliving petty debates, agonizing over what we could have said to have been more convincing, justifying our angry emotions at being contradicted. Why? Why do we live this way? It all has to do with the way we look at ourselves. We are looking out for #1. If you are a Christian, you know that shouldn’t be, but still there seems to be this irresistible urge to make everyone conform to the way you want them to be. That is why God has to change you and all the rest of us who claim to be followers of Jesus. 

We’re studying the New Testament book of First Corinthians. It’s a letter the apostle Paul wrote to a group of Christians in the Greek city of Corinth about 52 AD. Not surprisingly, those believers were just like Christians today. They didn’t get along all that well because each one always had to be right. Isn’t it about time to break the mold? If you’re ready for a change, a God change, in your dealings with other people, join us for one of our weekend services. The changes God works aren’t always pleasant at first, but they are always revolutionary. 

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


Friday, August 13, 2021

Foolish or Wise?

 


“Am I foolish or wise?”

An important question. A sensitive question. A highly controversial question.

Nobody wants to play the fool. Everybody wants to be known as wise. To err in this matter means a person has pretty much wasted their life. And that certainly is not anyone’s goal!

But what is wisdom and where does a person get it? Those are questions philosophers have wrestled with for centuries. But they aren’t the only ones who are concerned with wisdom and foolishness. Almost every human being struggles with these issues on a daily basis.

Dedicating one’s life to following a crucified Jewish preacher who lived 2000 years ago seems like near insane foolishness to many people. And some even express this opinion quite vociferously. It’s an attitude that has been around as long as people have followed that Jewish preacher named Jesus. What they do not accept or understand is that the crucified preacher didn’t stay dead and there is excellent historical evidence to support that statement.

If Jesus is alive, then he is exactly who he said he is – God. And if he is God, then the most foolish thing a human being could do is reject the wisdom he offers.

This week we begin a sermon series on the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians named: God’s Change in Our Lives. That change begins with our thinking – especially in respect to what is wise and foolish. If you feel like you are living in a world in which wisdom and foolishness are fluid, changing from day to day, join us for one of our weekend services. Your thinking about wise and foolish might experience a revolution. 

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


Saturday, August 7, 2021

Angry With God

 


“God, I have a right to be ticked! I have a right to some answers! You took away everything. My kids, my health, everything I loved. Why? What’s the point? What did I do to deserve this? I’ve had enough. Yes God, I’m angry with you!” 

If you had been a personal friend of a man named Job who lived a few years ago and said these very things, you might have been tempted to agree with him. What happened to this man did seem to justify his angry attitude towards God. You can read the account of his rant in the Bible. It’s a long one, but the story has an interesting ending. God finally gives Job the interview he requested, but it is more of a God monologue. Yet, by the end, Job’s attitude has changed dramatically. No more demands. No more taunts. No more anger. What happened? Job got a close up, real life experience with God. Immediately, arrogance turned to humility, questions became irrelevant. It was enough just to know God. 

Some years later there was another man named Jonah. He had similar experiences with God, but for some reason, his reaction was very different from Job’s. He stayed angry with God. When you read his story it’s hard to understand why he continued with that kind of thinking. But when we look at our own lives, all too often we also find slices of anger with God. We might shrug it off and say, “I’m just disappointed God didn’t work things out for me differently. That’s all. I’m not really mad at him.” But it’s there, a certain resentment, a sense of bitterness, a feeling of being shortchanged by the One we say loves us so much. 

Usually, we study the lives of people in the Bible who got things right with God. In Jonah’s case, he didn’t. But we may well find we have more to learn from God’s working in this wayward man’s life than we care to admit. 

If you have some hidden anger toward God tucked away in the corner of your heart, join us for one of our worship services. Anger doesn’t have to be forever, especially when it meets grace. 

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


Friday, July 30, 2021

God's Grace on Display


 The “Angry God” image is quite popular today among some circles of people. These folks usually point to a few Old Testament passages describing God bringing judgment on an individual or even a nation and asking, “How can you say that God is loving?” What is strange about this discussion is why God would even concern himself with human beings in the first place. Now that sounds kind of degrading to our species, but really, what do we have to offer God which would offset all the trouble we cause? It very definitely is a question we need to take seriously for even we ourselves wonder out loud about the craziness of human behavior! 

If God is involved in human affairs, it must mean he is up to something, he has a plan. And if people take the time to read enough of the Bible, they will see it is the PLAN of all plans. Think back to the book of Jonah which we have been studying. God certainly has shown his tough side, but why? To get peoples’ attention so that they will recognize him, worship him and be blessed by him. That surely doesn’t seem to be a nefarious plot to punish the people he created. 

What may turn people off is the honesty of the Bible writers in regard to our situation. We need help, help that is not only outside of ourselves, but help which is supernatural and undeserved. All that makes for a huge serving of humble pie. That’s not a plate many of us enjoy. But if it is true…then there is no more important message to consider.  Grace is getting what one doesn’t deserve. That’s the message of Jonah, it’s the message of the Bible. And it’s the message which all of us can’t get enough of. Join us for one of our weekend worship services in which God’s grace will be on full display! 

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


Friday, July 23, 2021

Are You Where God Wants You to Be?

 


Do you ever ask yourself that question? I think we all spend a lot of time considering where we want to be in life and very often we find ourselves dissatisfied that we aren’t where we think we should be. There may be many different reasons why we haven’t met our life goals, but one very important cause may be God wants us to be somewhere very different. That truth is literally played out in the life of a believer named Jonah. God wanted him in Nineveh and Jonah wanted to be in Spain vacationing on the Mediterranean. Jonah forced God’s hand by getting on a ship headed for the Airbnb he had rented and so God sends a fish to swallow him for a few days in order to get this man where the Almighty wanted him to be. 

Some people ridicule the Bible for the shocking miracles we find in the story of Jonah. A man surviving three days in the intestines of a fish!!! But if you are into communication, can you think of a more powerful way to get across the point: “You can’t fight God and win”? And this is where each of us finds a personal application. God has a very definite plan and purpose for our lives. When we resist that plan it upsets him, yes, because to tell the Creator of all things he is wrong, well, that is just a bit arrogant, wouldn’t you say? But more than that, God is committed to us and in spite of our delusional thinking about what’s best for us, God uses whatever means necessary to get us back on track, to get us where we need to be. 

You may be feeling a bit let down by God. Why don’t you join us for one of our weekend services? It could be that what happened to Jonah is happening to you, a life course readjustment. It may not be pleasant (at least you probably won’t have to spend time in the stomach of a fish), but some day you will be eternally thankful that the Lord stepped in and put you back on the right path. 

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


Friday, July 16, 2021

Ignoring God

 


Sometimes we ignore God intentionally, but most of the time it happens because we’re so caught up in making our lives turn out according to our hopes and dreams that we just leave God out of the picture. We’re so sure our ideas of how our lives should go is spot on that we just assume God agrees with us. We lose sight of the fact that what is important to us might not be important to him and vice versa. 

In the Bible there’s a story about a guy named Jonah. You probably know it. In fact, when most people hear the name Jonah the first thing that comes to mind is this poor man huddled in a ball inside the belly of a huge fish. No doubt about it, Jonah is a fish story, but it is so much more than that. It’s a story about ignoring God and then running from him. It’s a story about God and how he reacts to people who run from him. And it is a story about what is truly most important in life. 

You and I probably will not spend any time inside a fish’s intestines, but we do live in the same kind of a world in which Jonah lived. It is a world of ups and downs, ecstasy and tragedy, good and evil, happiness and sadness – all served up in varying degrees and quantities. It’s a world that is hard to make sense of, especially if we ignore God. 

If God is just an occasional afterthought in your daily life, the lessons Jonah learned thousands of years ago might be a refreshing alternative to what you experience each day. Far from being just the account of a wayward believer, the story of Jonah presents truths that transform our lives. 

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


Friday, July 9, 2021

Are You a Worry Wart?

 


The vast majority of us are compelled to answer that question with a definite “yes”. And those of us who are honest suspect that those who don’t affirm they are worry warts are not being truthful. Worry seems to be a part of human life. If we aren’t worrying about something we did or said in the past, we’re worrying about what will happen 20 years in the future. We can be healthy and we still worry about contracting a fatal disease. Our finances can be sound and we fear ending up in poverty. Regardless of how hard we try to sleep at night, for some reason, we wake up at 2:00 am in order to worry about something, either real or imagined. 

The strange thing is that very often we realize we are wasting our time by worrying. We know we worry about things we can’t change. But, we still worry. Why? We’re not sure. But for some reason worrying makes us feel we are still somewhat in control of an out-of-control situation. We even convince ourselves that if we didn’t worry, it would be a sign that we didn’t care! 

Jesus talked about two types of worry: healthy and unhealthy worry. What he had to say literally can change the direction of our lives. If you find yourself with a case of chronic worry which is dragging you down, join us for one of our weekend worship services. Worry is a part of life in this broken world, but what we do with it makes all the difference! 

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


Friday, July 2, 2021

It's Not My Fault!

 


How many of the following statements do you relate to?

 

“I didn’t do it. It was my brother/sister’s fault!”

“My teachers are boring. Why should I pay attention?”

“My parents are ruining my life!”

“The coach is an idiot! That’s why I quit.”

“College is a waste of time. I’m dropping out.”

“No one could stand my boss. He’s making my life miserable!”

“If only my wife/husband would change. Then I would be happy.”

“The kids are driving me nuts! I can’t take it anymore.”

“Younger people just don’t care. The country is falling apart.” 


The above list could go on and on, but those few statements make very clear the truth that we have an inbred tendency to blame other people for our problems when in reality, most of the time we share much of the blame. And yet, rather than confront ourselves, and with God’s empowering work in us, make the changes necessary to address our problems, we live in the deception that we are victims of circumstance, condemned to live a life of unhappiness caused by others. 

If it is time for a change, if you’re tired of passing the buck on the problem areas of your life, join us for one of our weekend services. Jesus didn’t save us only to take us to heaven. He died and rose from the dead to demonstrate his transforming power in our lives right now! 

Worship service times: Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, June 25, 2021

The Alternative

Tragedy – that word is meant for other people, not us. At least, that is what we would like to pretend. But tragedy visits every human life. Each of us will face our own personal tragedies. While we might compare our tragedies with those of others and try to come up with some type of measuring standard to determine who has suffered more or less, the truth is, we all have, or will someday, face moments when our world explodes. 

A man named Job had his life fall to pieces one day. He literally lost everything. You might have read his story in the Bible. It is a long one, over forty chapters. At times it is confusing, at times repetitious. But one message comes through as clearly as the sun breaking through the clouds after a rainstorm – he never gave up on God, no matter what. 

You might remember Job’s words, “The Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” No, he didn’t say that with a big smile on his face; his heart was not singing with joy. He may well have muttered those sentences through clenched teeth while hot tears poured down his face. So why did he say them? Because he knew the alternative. He knew that if he gave up on God, he had nowhere to turn, no hope – not for that moment, not for eternity. While Job didn’t have an understanding of Christ the way we New Testament Christians do, he did comprehend that nothing could separate him from the love of God – not even tragedy. 

If you are struggling with doubts about God’s goodness in the middle of a time of suffering in your life, join us for one of our Sunday morning services. God is and always will be your best alternative. 

Worship service times: Sunday: 9:00 am & 10:30 am.


Friday, June 18, 2021

I Would Be Happy If…

 


How did you finish that statement? Did you have to think about what would make you happy or were you able to answer in a split second? Maybe you just aren’t sure? 

The pursuit of happiness is elusive, even though we dedicate most of our lives to achieving it. Sometimes we are frustrated in that pursuit, other times, we get what we think will make us happy and then, to our great disappointment, find that what we thought was so important for us to have, really wasn’t. 

Even a definition of happiness is hard to pinpoint because what makes some people happy makes others miserable. 

And maybe the most frustrating aspect of our search for happiness is that we try so hard to be happy and so often when we ask ourselves, “Am I happy?” the answer is negative! 

As with all the major questions in our lives, we need to go to God for the answer which will satisfy us consistently for the long term. This weekend we continue our series Fact Checking Urban Legends by looking at the statement, “I’ll be happy when I get what I want.” At first glance that thinking might seem right, but when we compare it with what Jesus Christ said about happiness, we find a huge difference. If you are exhausted from the rollercoaster of trying to find happiness on your terms, join us for one of our worship services. Happiness doesn’t have to be an all-consuming obsession. 

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


Friday, June 11, 2021

Are We Victims of Circumstance?

 


The question of whether a human being can make significant changes in behavior is undergoing a drastic re-evaluation. The idea of humans having the capacity to make moral choices which reflect the principles of right and wrong/good and evil are fast giving way to the belief that all human behavior is caused by physical, chemical reactions over which the individual has little if any control. The upshot of such a hypothesis is people see themselves more and more as victims of circumstance. “Why try to change destructive lifestyle habits if my behavior is already pre-determined by chemistry?” If such thinking is true, it paints a grim picture for the future!

The good news is, the idea “I can’t change!” is another of the many popular urban legends which sound sophisticated but have little substance to support such views. We are not victims of circumstance. Just the opposite, we not only have the ability to change our lifestyle, we have the promise of the God who created us that he will be the primary driver in that change. You’ve heard the saying, “God loves us too much to leave us the way we are.” That’s true! Join us for one of our weekend services and learn what that means in your life. It could be the beginning of the change you’ve been looking for. 

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


Friday, June 4, 2021


Nothing tears apart the human psyche like a gnawing, deep seated hurt which settles into our souls like a cold winter storm. Depression takes over, tears flow spontaneously, and we wonder if there is hope. And often, we doubt there is a God who cares. Pain has a way of shaking the foundations of what we build our lives on and what we believe to be most important. Questions ricochet inside our minds asking, “Why me? Is God angry? What possible good can come out of this?” Above all, we want it to end, to be free from the hurt. But sometimes, that just doesn’t happen, or maybe it doesn’t happen as quickly as we think it should.

In times of hurting, our natural reaction is to wonder if God has lost his temper, his control or even his mind. We’re so programmed to associating pleasure with blessing and pain with punishment that we don’t even entertain the thought that through the hurt God might well be bringing about a healing we would never imagine.

Someone has said, “If you’re not suffering now, you’re near someone who is. If you’re not suffering now, you will someday.” To pretend to ignore the pain of human life is to live outside of reality. For if there is no greater reason for the hurt we feel other than a series of random chance coincidences over which we have no control, then we are lost in a sea of hopelessness. Human suffering must be faced head on and we must find a solution for it. Jesus Christ is that solution. Join us for one of our weekend services. Together let’s start the process of God turning our hurt into healing.

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


Friday, May 28, 2021

God Hates Us All


 

It was a depressing photo. An Army outpost in the middle of a barren middle eastern wasteland. There were sandbags piled up, a barbed wire fence and a small, hand painted sign: “God Hates Us All”. The message was clear, some in that camp had witnessed so much violence, pain and loss they could no longer bring themselves to believe that God had even an ounce of goodwill towards humanity. Tragically, those soldiers are joined by millions throughout the world who feel the same way – God hates us all!

Is it true? Are all the stories we’ve heard about a loving God just legends we were told as children? Or is the idea that God hates us all another one of those urban legends which has taken hold as a result of our increasing denial of the supernatural? If you are struggling with the questions, “Does God care? Why doesn’t He want me to have any fun? Can I ever please God?”, then join us for one of our weekend services. To deny the enormity of human suffering would be naïve, but to place the blame on God would not only be foolish, it would create total hopelessness.

Have you thought that maybe the suffering we experience in our lives is not because God hates us, but in a distorted, broken way, we hate ourselves? Regardless of where you are in your relationship with God, join us for one of our services. Together, let’s do some fact checking on what God is really like.

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


Friday, May 21, 2021

Debunking Urban Legends

 


People say things that catch on, even if what they said isn’t true. These are what are called Urban Legends – untruths which are believed by many simply because they haven’t taken the time to check them out.

Christianity has been a frequent target of the Urban Legend movement with stunning success. Caught up in an overload of information which often makes meaningful study obsolete, individuals rely on 30-word tweets and 30 second videos to determine the important truths which govern their lives. Two urban legends regarding Christianity which have taken hold are: faith does not have any fact to support it and most people are Christians because they are afraid of a vicious, vengeful God. Both propositions could not be farther from the truth, however, it does take some serious thought and a little time to understand why.

If you have the uncomfortable feeling that casually dismissing the claims of Christ as an outdated psychological crutch for past generations isn’t a wise decision, join us for one of our worship services this week. You’ll find that going beyond emotional impressions and digging deep for what is actually true is not only refreshing, but also life changing.

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


Friday, May 14, 2021

What Is God Doing?


 

Reading or watching the news can quickly become a depressing experience. One writer, describing an international conflict which seems permanently unsolvable, wrote of the wisdom of pessimism – to not expect that things will get better between the two hostile factions.     

Human beings realize we have so much potential to make life better, and yet so often we seem incapable of harnessing that capacity to accomplish anything meaningful. In our frustration, we begin to attack God.

“If God really cared, he would do something about the injustice, violence and greed which dominate our existence.”

“Is God just a casual observer? Doesn’t he care about what is going on?”

“Maybe he really can’t do anything to make a difference after all.”

One thing we don’t have to worry about is that God is not doing anything. What should concern us very much is that we don’t recognize what he is doing. There is a lesser known holiday of the Christian Church called Pentecost. Even some Christians aren’t really sure of why it is significant. But if you are sincerely interested in what God is doing in our world in the year 2021, you’d do well to give some time to understanding what happened on that day and what it means to us at the present.

What it really comes down to is priorities. What we think is important clashes with what matters most to God.

If you want to know what God is doing today, why it is important, and what it means to you, join us for one of our worship services. It might rub you the wrong way at first, but if you let it sink in, the benefits will never end.    

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


Friday, May 7, 2021

The Last Piece of the Puzzle


Poets have written that the days of our lives are like pieces of a puzzle which all fit together to form the mosaic of human life. For many of us, that emerging mosaic can often seem downright confusing. And we struggle with God over this issue. We say that we believe that he is ordering everything according to his good and perfect plan but so much of what happens in our lives is certainly not what we would call good or beneficial or even productive. Then we look at human history and the whole scene becomes mind boggling in its complexities.

The problem may be two-fold. First, it very well could be that we are imposing our view of what should happen in our lives and world history on God. And that just isn’t going to happen. He knows a whole lot more than we do. It is much better that, as the old song goes, “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” than us having the whole world in our hands! The second point worth considering is that God’s ways are usually much more simple than ours. We tend to complicate things, pretty much because we are so compromised in our outlook.

Before Jesus ascended into heaven he gave his disciples the last piece of the Divine Puzzle for humanity. The incredible thing is, he gives us an opportunity to be a part of putting that piece into its place. If you want to be part of something which is going to last a very long time, join us for one of our weekend worship services!

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


Friday, April 30, 2021

The Resurrection: Why It Still Matters 2000 Years Later


 

In the Spring of 1916 Henry Ford said,

History is more or less bunk. It is tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s dam is the history we make today.

While there may not be much value in memorizing lists of names and dates and places for a test after which we quickly forget everything we jammed into our minds, to say that past history doesn’t matter seems to be a bit of an overkill. Take for example your birth – it was a historical event. And to you, that event is pretty important because if it hadn’t happened, you would be alive.

It is also hard to deny that there is a profound influence on our lives today because the colonists won the Revolutionary War, the North defeated the South in the Civil War and the Allies were victorious in World War II.

Of all those historical events, however, none comes close to matching the resurrection of Jesus Christ in significance. Throughout his ministry he made outrageous claims about being the Son of God, the only One to give eternal life to human beings. He even went so far as to say that he is equal to God the Father. Some people thought he was insane to say such things. Others said he was a deceiver. And some believed him. Then he was crucified, and no one knew what to think. But then three days later the reports started to come out: “He’s alive. He has risen from the dead!”

The risen Christ appeared to over 500 people on at least 10 different occasions in all different types of settings at various times of the day. The people who saw him did not suffer from visions or hallucinations, they witnessed the results of the greatest historical event in human history – the Resurrection.

The influence of the massive wars mentioned earlier will continue to shape the future of our planet, but the moment each one of us dies, the effect they have on us ends immediately. For in death, the only historical event which will have any meaning or worth will be the Resurrection of Jesus. That’s why it still matters 2000 years later.

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


Friday, April 23, 2021

A Changed Eternity Means a Changed Now

 


The principal truth of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is that in one moment in human history God himself accomplished the reconciliation of the human race with himself. The payment for sin which Jesus made on the cross when he experienced God’s righteous anger over all the evil, pain and suffering from the past, present and future was once, for all and 100% effective. While we typically apply how this massive truth influences where we will spend eternity, the effects of the crucifixion when applied to our lives in the here and now can only serve to strengthen our confidence in what we look forward to in heaven.

Chances are that at this very moment there are at least a few things which are making your life less than perfect. Probably, the cause of that sense of dissatisfaction has something to do with people in general, family members specifically, self-centered pride and a gnawing feeling that life is so hard while at the same time seems so insignificant. If you are nodding your head right now, know this, the most effective way to deal with all those issues is to bring them into the light of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. What Christ accomplished that day changes us, changes other people and changes what is important.

If you are looking for a change in your life right now, join us this weekend for one of our worship services. Jesus’ crucifixion is too powerful to be isolated in the future.

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


Friday, April 16, 2021


Justice: Are You Getting What You Deserve? 
So, what do you think? Is life being fair with you or are you being unjustly treated? Those are questions people ask throughout their lives. And for some, those same issues have destroyed their inner lives. When we feel that we’ve not gotten what is coming to us while others we know have received what we haven’t, it is easy for an acidic-like bitterness to creep through every part of our lives, causing us to be negative and cynical about everything. 

There is the saying, “Life is not fair.” That is spot on, especially when it comes to human justice. This weekend we’re going to be studying the various trials of Jesus which led to his crucifixion. Each one was a mockery of justice to say the least. What is startling is Jesus did nothing to stop the outrage. It seems he had confidence in a higher justice, one that was able to take the injustice which was going on in his life and transform it into the greatest good. And that is exactly what happened on Easter Sunday morning! 

One of the great mistakes in life is to compare what’s going on in our lives with what is taking place in the lives of other people around us. All too often, we sense ourselves coming out on the short end. The great message of Easter is that we don’t get what we deserve, we get what God won for us. If you are feeling a little let down by life because you aren’t getting what you want, join us for one of our worship services this weekend and get filled up with what God wants to give you. Once you experience that, you won’t need to feel cheated out of anything. 

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