Friday, October 28, 2022

Reality Check


The older woman looked up from her hospital bed into the sad eyes of her doctor. “Loretta, how many times in the last 20 years have we talked about changing your diet. I’m so sorry, but I can’t promise anything about recovering from this heart attack.”

      Reality check.

 “You’re broke, John, that’s the plain truth. There’s nothing left. For the last three years I warned you about this every single month I did your financial report. There’s nothing more to say.”

      Reality check.

 “Son, I can’t give you this job. You just aren’t qualified to do much of anything. I mean, what did you do during high school? Didn’t you listen to what your teachers said about the need to study?”

      Reality check.

We’ve all heard people warn us, “What you are doing is going to have consequences and they’re not going to be pleasant.” But so often, we brush off those wake-up calls as unneeded advice from grumpy old people. But when their predictions come true, then it is a whole different matter. Reality checks aren’t usually pleasant.

For the last several months we’ve been studying the incredible history of the people of Israel during the period we call the Old Testament. During this era, God chose that nation to be his representative in the world – a privilege of incredible proportions. Tragically, that privilege went unrecognized and as the centuries progressed, God’s chosen people became his rebellious people. The only way to call them back was a reality check. And what a reality check it was; today we call it the Babylonian exile. In short, a nation which had existed for 1000 years was shattered in less than one.        

Had God lost his mind? Did he give in to his violent side? No, it was the only way to call his people back to him.

Rebelliousness runs through the veins of even the most dedicated believer in Christ. It will until we enter into his physical presence in eternity. Until then, we need to pay attention to the reality checks Jesus sends into our lives. It is, put simply, a matter of life and death.

         Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 10:00 am 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

The Danger of Blending In


For most of us, it is very awkward to stand out, especially when what calls attention to us is not favorable to the people around us. To disagree with the opinion of the majority or to look different than the rest of the crowd is so powerfully uncomfortable that our most frequent reaction is to try to just blend in. Definitely, there are times when blending in is wise. To be different just for the sake of being different not only undermines credibility, but it’s also obnoxious. 

There are, however, times when blending in cannot be an option. Think of all the great characters of history. Most were people who spoke against the status quo and suffered greatly for it. But in their stubborn defiance of the majority, peoples’ minds were changed, and the course of history altered. 

In no other area of life is it more disastrous to blend in than in our relationship with Jesus Christ. In his own words Jesus called his followers to be light and salt in the world. Those metaphors don’t exactly describe people who go along to get along. During the Old Testament, there was a time when the people of Israel chose to blend in rather than carry out their responsibility of representing God in this world. The results were shockingly disastrous. 

We live in a time when people are told to “leave your religion at home.” For disciples of Jesus Christ, that is impossible. To blend in is to lose what we have been given. If you feel that you are being carried along by the current of popular opinion but have the uneasy feeling that current is going in the wrong direction, join us for one of our weekend worship services. Standing out can be a refreshing alternative to blending in. 

Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 10:00 am 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Don’t Play with Fire


It is hard to imagine life without fire. We wouldn’t be able to cook our meals, warm our houses, drive our cars, or manufacture most of our goods. Fire is a key part of so many things which make up our lives. Without it, we would be lost. But for all the good fire produces, we take very seriously the warning, “Don’t play with fire!”  The thinking behind that caution is obvious for anyone who has witnessed an out of control, scorching blaze. 

The same warning about not playing with danger needs to be applied to God. We don’t usually think of God as dangerous, but if we treat him lightly or as irrelevant, we will find reality to be very different. God’s committed love for human beings is indissolubly tied to his justice. If God’s goodness and righteousness are assaulted by human rebellion, He cannot sit idly by without asserting his justice on behalf of goodness and righteousness. We don’t often consider the truth that God cannot be good and loving if he is not also just and holy. It is, what we call, one of those inconvenient truths because it demands that we take God far more seriously than we typically do. 

When things are going well, we find it very natural to put God into a little corner of our lives with the intention that he is going to be quiet and mind his own business while we go about ours. If things go south and we need some help, then we demand him to take action. In essence, God becomes a genie in a bottle, only with the unlimited wish subscription. That’s playing with God. But playing with God is not only unwise, it is unsafe. God isn’t molded into what we want Him to be nor is He mocked by our attempt to manipulate Him. He is “all” everything in every way. You don’t mess with that. But why would you want to mess with God…especially when you look at the cross of Christ and understand how much He wants you to be part of his family? 

If you sense you’ve been playing with God recently, join us for one of our weekend worship services. Now, rather than later, is to get serious about the One who is eternally serious about you. 

Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.