Friday, December 1, 2023

Do You Believe in Fairy Tales?


Fairy tales are great stories. All of us remember Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella, and many more. Not only were they exciting, but they also taught us important lessons we still remember. Yet, fairy tales are just that – tales. They are not true stories. Somebody created these myths in their minds and then put them down on paper. They are entertaining and insightful, but they never took place. 

A significant number of people today would like to put the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the same fairy tale category. The problem with that proposition, however, is a great deal of evidence exists to the exact contrary conclusion. When we examine closely the history of the Gospels, we find there is a wealth of information supporting the truthfulness of these documents. 

This is no dry academic matter. If what Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote about Jesus is not historically accurate, then we as Christians, have no basis for our belief in Christ or the promises he makes to us. The Jesus of faith rests on the Jesus of history. 

For the next six months, each Sunday we’re going to be examining the life, ministry, death, resurrection and meaning of the life of Jesus Christ. Before we embark on that quest, we need to know why we can be confident that what we are going to find out about Jesus is true. Join us this Sunday for our worship service. The Gospels always have been and continue to be: “The Greatest True Story Ever Told”. 

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:00 am

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The War We Tend to Ignore


What’s threatening you right now? 

      A deadline

      A conflict with another person

      A money problem

      A health concern

      Just about everything that’s going on 

It might not be much of a consolation, but if you identify with any of the above problems, you are in good company. Probably 95% of the human race feels the same way. 

The bad news is, the problems which are overwhelming you at the moment may not be anywhere near as important as you think. Suppose there is an invisible, cosmic war going on over good and evil and we are part of it! Sounds like science fiction, but is it? We live in a world governed by right and wrong. In fact, all the problems mentioned above probably have to do with right and wrong. If our day-to-day lives are governed by right and wrong, why is it so incredible to believe that there is something much bigger happening in this regard? 

Jesus Christ was very straightforward on the subject of right and wrong, good and evil. He taught clearly there is a supernaturally powerful force of evil which God has allowed to operate in our world for a limited amount of time. This force of evil, which is called Satan or the Devil, is in no way a threat to God’s sovereign rule, but he is a massive threat to us. 

The war Satan wages in our world is normally invisible, taking place in our minds, but it has eternal consequences. For him, the goal of the war is very simple, distract people from Christ and what he has done for us. Satan is not only powerful, he is deceitful. His tactics often fly under our radar, leaving us unaware of the influence he is having on our lives. 

Fortunately, God does not leave us unprotected. We have a defense, it’s called the Armor of God and you can find it in Ephesians 6:10-17. If you don’t have an antivirus program on your computer, most IT folks would encourage you to get one. While you can always pick up a new computer, you can’t pick up a new soul once you’ve left this life. Join us for our Sunday worship. Together, let’s put on the Armor of God. 

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:00 am

Friday, November 17, 2023

The Very Practical


A common criticism of Christianity is that it doesn’t seem to deal with real life, with the things we human beings experience on a day-to-day basis. Sure, it’s great to love God and other people, but, many ask, “What exactly does that look like in real time?” The problem of seeing the practical side of following Jesus Christ is probably not due to a lack of information, but rather what that information calls for us to do! 

God’s love for us couldn’t be more tangible or practical. Every human being has died and will die. No one gets out of it. We can accept death as an inevitability, but that doesn’t in any way diminish the annihilating affect it has on not only life itself, but our reason and purpose for being alive. What does God do about it? He personally gets involved, becomes one of us for the sole purpose of overturning death! His love is sacrificial and completely effective at the same time. The death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the dead are irresistible evidence of God’s tangible love for human beings. Jesus himself once said, “Because I live, you also will live.” How much more practical can love be than to offer a human being escape from the consequences of death? 

It would seem to make sense that if God’s love for us is practical, he would intend for us to be practical in our love for him and other people. And that is exactly what we find. Last week we saw the specific and profoundly relevant Christian teachings on marriage. This week, we’re going to see what God says about parent-child relationships. The teachings are brief but leave little to the imagination. We have a supernatural script to follow as we live out these crucial areas of our lives. 

The statement, “Get real and get to the point,” is often used when a person speaks a lot of words to say very little. If that’s what you are looking for in your relationship with God and other people, join us for our Sunday morning service. What God says is not only very practical, it is much more than that. It is very, very good! 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, November 10, 2023

Is It True?


So many of our decisions throughout the day are based on one question: “How will my choice make me feel?” That is definitely a legitimate concern. Who wants to make choices that will make a person feel horrible? And yet, we’ve all had the experience that there are times in life when we have to do something that causes us pain and suffering because there is a greater good that takes precedence over our feelings. For a person who is serious about going beyond the superficiality of feelings, the question “Is it true?” is much more important than “How does it make me feel?”. 

The subject of marriage is a relevant case in point regarding the matter of feelings and truth. For the last 60 years feelings have been the driving force in many marriages. All too often, when desired feelings diminished or disappeared, the marriage ended. Over that same period of time, biblical teaching on marriage came under intense scrutiny and attack. Some, even in the church, decried the biblical model of marriage as at best, hopelessly outdated, and at worst, primitive. 

The psychological and emotional carnage which millions have experienced in recent years due to failed marriages is a strong indication we owe it to ourselves to reevaluate the question of whether feelings or truth are most important when it comes to how we as human beings live out our marriages. For Christians, there is the powerful connection between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and everything that he taught. If Christ physically rose from the dead at a historical moment in human history, then he is God. And as God, what he tells us about any subject, even marriage, must be the truth. 

But anyone knows, who is familiar with even a few events in the life of Jesus, that he did not come to coldly present the facts of life regardless of the consequences. Christ embodied compassion, sacrificial love, authentic concern – all the characteristics which make for a rewarding marriage that goes the distance. What he tells us about marriage may seem impractical to our modern ears. Yet, it very well could be just that, an impression. A closer study shows that not only what Jesus says about marriage is true, it also works. And who doesn’t want a marriage that works? 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Saturday, November 4, 2023



A sure conflict starter is to tell someone, “You’ve got to change!” And yet, each one of us knows there are areas of our lives which need to be changed. Think about some of the major players in the Bible. After the Bathsheba debacle, don’t you think David realized some major changes needed to happen in his life. When Peter’s eyes locked in with those of Jesus after he had just shouted, “I swear by God I don’t know the man,” he realized that if he was going to continue to be a follower of Christ, there would have to be serious modifications in his thinking, speech, and behavior. And then there is that man Paul. He spent the entire second half of his life talking about the miraculous, marvelous changes God worked in his life. 

For the Christian, change is an ongoing experience. It may be a cliché, but it is also true, “God loves us too much to let us stay the way we are.” The same Paul who God changed so drastically (see Acts 9 for his story) wrote to a group of Christians in the city of Ephesus about the kind of change God works in the lives of all who trust in him as their Savior and Lord. The list is long and intimidating. It causes one to wonder, “What will my life be like if God works these attitudes and characteristics in my life?” But there is also the sense that these changes will bring goodness and wholeness. We are compelled to admit that what we deep down are longing for is very much what God wants us to become. 

God’s changes are neither easy nor comfortable. But they are exactly what we need not only to be transformed into the person he saved us to be, but also to experience the good life he intends for us. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, October 27, 2023

Stand Fast


An influential government leader prays, even when he is commanded to stop. An unknown Catholic monk continues to speak even when he is threatened with death. Following Jesus Christ has always been risky. When he comes into a person’s life, he demands first place. He will take no other position. That kind of commitment though, is dangerous in a world that is driven by human self-centeredness, pride, and lust. To stand fast for Christ can mean losing everything. 

Some twenty-five hundred years ago Daniel disregarded the law prohibiting him to pray to the living God and was thrown into a lion’s den. Martin Luther nailed a document on a church door on October 31, 1517, calling for a return to a Christ centered, grace-based Christianity. He was condemned, excommunicated, and threatened with death throughout his life.

Both Daniel and Martin Luther were supernaturally protected throughout their earthly lives. They died of natural causes. But it is not always the case. John the Baptist stood fast for Christ and lost his head. Thousands of early Christians refused to renounce Jesus as their Lord and Savior and died by some of the most horrible means imaginable. Tragically, such suffering among believers continues today. 

What motivates a believer to disregard persecution, pain and even death? There can be only one answer: the death which Christ endured for us all and his resurrection which gives us the certainty that the crucifixion opened eternal life for us. It is this belief which enables a Christian to confidently declare, “The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us. Romans 8:18”. 

Jesus once said, “If a person has all the money in the world, but ends up separated from God in hell after their death, what good is that?” Those words remind us of what is not only most important, but what is best. He gives us what we need. Never give up on Christ. Stand fast in him! 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am 

Friday, October 20, 2023

The Hospital Church


     Years ago, an influential preacher sent shockwaves through the Christian community when he said that churches had become like country clubs and needed to become more like bars. His point was the church has to be more welcoming. The popular sitcom “Cheers” created the impression that a bar is a place where everyone gets along with everyone else, like a big happy family. That may have been the case with the bar run by Ted Danson and his friends, but the truth is, bars are much more apt to turn people into alcoholics and break up marriages than provide the kind of friendships people need.

      Singer Billie Joel described the social environment of bars well in his song Piano Man with the words,


And the waitress is practicing politics     As the businessmen slowly get stoned Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness     But it's better than drinkin' alone

      A much better comparison for the church would be that of a hospital. Hospitals are where people go for healing, regardless of who they are. But there is a key difference between the church and a hospital. In the church, everyone is both a patient and a healthcare worker. At times one Christian is struggling in their walk with God and needs the help of other believers. Later, when that same Christian has overcome the times of testing, they are able to help other brothers and sisters in Christ. The life of the church is meant to be one of working together in whatever way necessary, encouraging each other to heaven.

      Despite the spectacular prosperity our country has experienced over the last 60 years, people seem to be struggling more today than ever before emotionally and psychologically. There is a sense of emptiness, boredom, and futility. Many are looking desperately for solutions in places that only bring more pain. The purpose of the Christian church is to be a group of people to whom those who are hurting can go for healing. A healing that is not temporary, but eternal. Join us for our Sunday morning worship. Be a part of the healing process! 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, October 13, 2023

Jesus Cares. Will We?


They are some of the most piercing words Jesus spoke. They challenge his followers to the core. In speaking of the day of Judgment Jesus described the contrasting lifestyles of those who  are heaven bound and those headed for hell. He said,   

        Matthew 25:34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36I was lacking clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’

        37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or lacking clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

        40“The King will answer them, ‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’

        41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you did not give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you did not give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, lacking clothes and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not take care of me.’

        44“Then they will also answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or lacking clothes or sick or in prison and did not serve you?’

        45“At that time he will answer them, ‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46And they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” 

While it is clear from so many other teachings of Jesus and the writers of the Bible that a human being is saved by trusting in the forgiveness Christ won for us on the cross, there can be no denying the importance Jesus puts on his followers translating his love for them into love they show towards others – especially the weak and vulnerable. 

Our worship service this Sunday gives us an opportunity to live out what Jesus taught – care for those who have difficulty caring for themselves. Pastor Joel Gaertner will be leading a worship service intended to instill in us the caring concern for some of the most vulnerable in our community, those dealing with developmental disabilities, with the hope our congregation might have the opportunity to start an outreach designed for people with such challenges. Salvation is a free gift from God. Service in his kingdom is a necessary by-product of the gift of being saved. Jesus cares for the least of us! Will we? 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, October 6, 2023

The Unity Prayer


Having a serious, ongoing disagreement with another person is not only exhausting, it also disrupts every part of our lives, leaving us in a constantly irritable disposition. Fights lead even the most spiritually skeptical of people to pray for some kind of peace. Living in open hostility takes a huge toll on human beings. 

Unfortunately, our prayers for peace too often seem to go unanswered. That may be because we are praying for God to profoundly change the person with whom we are fighting and forget completely about the need for Him to change us! 

In an intense prayer for unity in the New Testament book of Ephesians, a shocking peace principle is proposed. We will get along with others only until we appreciate how God gets along with us. While conflict resolution always requires that both parties make attitude and behavioral changes, the key is the motivating drive behind those changes. Peace for the sake of peace rarely is a strong enough reason for a person to make significant long-term changes in the way they treat other people. Knowing and experiencing the power, strength and love of Jesus Christ is! 

If you are looking to improve your relationships with other people, first look to Jesus. Join us for our worship service this Sunday. Together let’s take a good long look at Him! And then let’s see how we get along with others. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Glue of Unity


You probably haven’t thought about rebar recently. Maybe you’ve never thought about it in your entire life. You’ve certainly seen rebar if you have ever taken a ride in an automobile. But no one ever said, “Hey, look at that rebar over there. Is that cool or what?” Rebar is one of those unsung hero products that makes a huge difference in every type of large construction project. Rebar is what gives concrete the strength to resist cracking and crumbling for decades. 

Human relationships are even more fragile than concrete without rebar. Everything is fine as long as everyone is getting what they want. But that delicate harmony is usually shattered by the least little problem or disagreement. Someone once wrote a song with the refrain, “Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends?” That song echoes a frustration people have experienced for centuries. It’s hard to get along. It’s easy to fight. We’ve been on a never-ending search for the formula for unity. 

The short, six chapter book of Ephesians in the New Testament of the Bible is a book about God’s plan for unity. That plan begins with our relationship with God and how God himself is the one who establishes unity between us and him. It then goes on to explain how unity with God affects our relationships with other people. 

If you need some rebar to reinforce the unity in your relationships with other people, join us for our Sunday morning worship service. Unity can be a reality and not just something we longingly sing about. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, September 22, 2023

Blame God!


Have you ever noticed when you are watching several people who are not getting along well how easy it is to understand why they aren’t getting along? Just listening and watching for a few moments often is enough to identify reasons for each person having some responsibility for the conflict. However, when we are personally involved in a fight, then it becomes very difficult to accurately place the blame. Since we couldn’t possibly be at fault, that must mean everyone else is the culprit! As a race, we humans certainly demonstrate that tendency. 

No one argues that there are plenty of problems to go around in our world, but when it comes to answering, “Who is responsible?” the default response is often “God!” People say it all the time, “If God were really loving and good, he wouldn’t allow such terrible things to happen.” The problem with blaming God for all the bad things we witness each day is that not only does it keep us from identifying the real source of all our pain and suffering, but it also prevents us from finding the solution. 

Accepting blame for a broken relationship is never easy, but it has to happen if that relationship will heal. This truth is even more important in our relationship with God. If we are going to get along with other people, we’ve first got to get along with God. As long as we keep blaming God for all our problems, we’ll live in a near constant state of conflict not only with other people, but also with ourselves. 

If you are getting the impression that God probably isn’t the cause of your difficulties, join us for our Sunday morning worship service. We’re going to be studying Ephesians 2:1-10. There’s no clearer or more encouraging section of the Bible when it comes to not only placing the blame for problems, but more than that, finding solutions. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am 

Friday, September 15, 2023

Chosen to Be Changed


It was enough to bring a tear to anybody’s eyes. The scrawny little boy, head down shuffling away from the group of other boys gathered on an outdoor basketball court. By the look on his face, this was a scene which was often repeated. The other kids didn’t even notice him leave. They were too intent on the game to which he was refused entry. It was a tragic example of the cold competition of pre-teen pickup basketball. There is a deep sense of isolation in being left out. 

Imagine an outcome very different. Picture Michael Jordan, former NBA superstar and owner of the Charlotte Hornets walking out onto that same court and of all the players, picks the boy who is always left out and says, “I choose you to play on my team. But if you are going to play for me, I have to change you.” How do you think the boy would respond? That’s a no brainer. 

If you are a Christian, have you ever considered that the God who brought all the universe into being simply by speaking, the One who puts all that exists in his back pocket, he chose you to be a part of his family, to be a part of what he is doing in this world? But in choosing you, he also promises to change you. Are you ready for that? Are you ready to become the person God himself created and saved you to be? If the idea of that kind of change creates in you a certain attractive curiosity, join us for our Sunday worship service. You really do have reason to be excited. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Holding Back on God


It’s easy to break into a condescending smile looking at the little girl refusing to give Jesus the small teddy bear in her hands when he is ready to give her the big new teddy behind his back. But how often don’t we act in the same way? God asks us to make a sacrifice of something we very much like, but we hold back on God. “Why Lord? There’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing, and I really do enjoy it,” we reason.     

The Lord replies, “You don’t understand right now, but I have something much bigger and better I want to give you. First though, you need to give me what you are clinging to.”     

Frequently, God needs to empty us of habits, attitudes and material possessions which keep us from experiencing the kind of life he saved us for. Tragically, we miss out on so many blessings because we’re unwilling to give up what we need to relinquish. It’s like the little boy playing in a mud puddle who refuses an offer to go to the beach saying, “Why would I want to go to the beach when I have everything right here?”     

Many years ago, a group of people couldn’t figure out why their lives were so frustrating. A man by the name of Malachi gave these people a very straight forward explanation, “You are holding back on God. Give him what he deserves and watch how things will change.”     

It is no different today. Jesus gave his all to rescue us for all of eternity. In response to that kind of overwhelming committed love, he invites us to give our all to him so that he can remake us into the people he intends us to be. The question is, “Will we trust him and take that step of faith, or will we hold back on him, maintaining our commonsense status quo?” 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Keep Going


When it comes to the subject of perseverance, there are few with more credibility than Sir Winston Churchill, the man who in many ways willed England to fight off the waves of German air attacks from 1940 to 1943. Those were very dark years of bombings, death, and destruction. The only strategy was to keep going. 

Giving one’s best day in and day out is challenging even in the best of situations. We get tired. We get bored. We just get sick of going all out to do what is right. When life gets tough and we don’t see the kind of results we feel we should, the despair which leads to giving up mounts steadily. This is especially true in our lives as followers of Jesus Christ. There is always the lurking temptation to cut corners, compromise or just take the easy way out instead of intensely living the Christlike life. 

More than 2500 years ago a man named Zechariah spoke to a group of people that was exhausted and discouraged. They thought they were doing what God wanted, but the situation in which they found themselves screamed a different message. “Why keep going? Is it worth it?” Those questions were as commonplace then as they are today. Zechariah’s response? Keep going! Keep your eyes and minds on the God you serve! You don’t have to see the results you would like to have to be sure God is worthy of your trust! 

If you are having trouble believing God is doing much of anything in your life, you aren’t the first and won’t be the last. What you do need to hear is what Zechariah said to the people of his time, and to us all. Join us for worship this Sunday! 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Saturday, August 26, 2023



Some might disagree, but the art of multi-tasking very well could be one of the most overrated concepts in the history of the human race. While we may feel as though attempting to accomplish several tasks at once is an efficient use of time, more often than not, we become so distracted that we’re not able to effectively complete any of the projects we set out to do. Even more serious is the tendency to leave out some important step or not be aware of a potential danger. Certainly, no one would want to be driving behind the man in the above photo. 

To say distractions can be dangerous is something of an understatement. How many lives have been lost because people just weren’t paying attention. It isn’t that they purposely brought about a tragedy, it’s that they took their eyes off what was most important. 

Spiritual distractions are subtle but often fatal. Well intentioned believers earnestly want to serve Christ each day, but those good intentions quickly end up being forgotten simply because we get so caught up in living our daily lives. Jesus repeatedly warned his followers about even good and healthy activities becoming bigger in our lives than they should be. One of the most challenging temptations we face is putting Christ ahead of those good things in our lives which so easily can crowd Jesus out of the first place in our hearts. 

Many years ago, a group of people struggled with putting God before other pressing concerns. God used a man named Haggai to write a little book about it. If you’re dealing with distraction on a daily basis, you might want to check out what Haggai has to say. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Is God Twiddling His Thumbs?


It can be a very frustrating experience to provide an essential service to people without their realizing it. To make matters worse, those same people often complain that you really aren’t doing much of anything and wonder why you don’t do so much more. Parents go through this drama on a regular basis!   

One wonders how God endures the constant criticisms of human beings who accuse him of either doing too little or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. And there is a growing consensus that God is just basically twiddling his thumbs. 

A cursory reading of the Bible makes it pretty clear that far from just passing time looking at his naval, God is intensely and intimately involved in human life in an extremely active way. What muddles our understanding of how much and what he is doing is found in our way of looking at life. We see it from our perspective and assume God shares the same vision. It should be pretty obvious to us, but he doesn’t. God’s determination of good and evil, happiness and unhappiness, success and failure are often worlds apart from ours. And that not only causes misunderstanding, it creates conflict. 

A close study of God’s working in this world shows consistently that his activity is always driven by his committed, loving concern for the creatures he calls his children – creatures like you and me. No, God is not twiddling his thumbs, he is urgently and powerfully working toward one purpose – to bring you into his presence for all of eternity. Join us this Sunday and spend some  time thinking about what that can mean to you. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, August 11, 2023

Can I Trust God?


He had been distracted going into the doctor’s office. It was a routine check-up after which he had planned several other appointments, all of which were on the high priority list. Walking out of the doctor’s office everything had changed. Within 30 minutes he went from life in the fast lane to tying up loose ends. He had been a Christian all his life. He had heard that God is good all the time and all the time God is good, but never really had considered what that meant. Now he wondered if God was good any of the time. How could God be good letting a man in his prime wither away from disease? How could God be good dashing all his hopes and dreams prematurely? Wasn’t God supposed to be about helping us out? Where was all that help when the doctor gave his diagnosis? 

It’s easy to say “God is good” when life is good. It’s a whole other matter when life falls apart, when we feel as if we were falling into an abyss with no one to catch us. 

Many years ago, a man with the curious name of Habakkuk, was in a free fall. But instead of walking away from God in bitterness and resentment, this man talked to God. He asked the tough questions, questions like “Why are you doing what you’re doing? It doesn’t make any sense!” Today, we can still read Habakkuk’s questions and more importantly, God’s answers. If you aren’t sure if God is worthy of your trust, join us for our Sunday morning service. God’s responses to the tough questions we have for him aren’t always the easiest to swallow, but they do give us a reason to hope. And that is what we need most when we’re stuck in a spiritual black hole.

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Give Peace a Chance


In the late 1960s there were a series of hit songs which appealed to the need for peace. The melodies were contagious, the lyrics basic – Give peace a chance. Every generation of humanity has felt the need for peace. We realize that it is far better than conflict. We admit that openly. But we human beings keep fighting. 

We hold peace talks. We go to seminars to learn how to get along more effectively with each other. But we have to ask ourselves, “Is it working?” For those who have a financially comfortable lifestyle, maybe the answer is “Yes”. But what happens if that comfortable lifestyle ends. It seems that our definition of peace is: extended periods of getting what we want. 

And what about the times we don’t get what we want? Are we condemned to unending conflict as we pursue obtaining the kind of life we covet? 

Many centuries ago, a man named Micah talked about someone very special who would be born in Bethlehem. His specialness would be that he would not only bring peace, he would be the source of peace. 700 years after Micah spoke of that Peace Bringer, he came in the person of Jesus Christ. He came to bring a peace that wasn’t subject to the ups and downs of our erratic lives, but rather a consistent, sturdy, supernatural peace. Best of all, that peace is accessible to all of us. 

If you are looking to give peace a chance in your life, join us this Sunday for our worship service. The peace Jesus offers you is too important to ignore. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, July 28, 2023

Fighting Against God


It happened on a radio talk show years ago. A man who had spent several years in prison and then later remade his life going on to become a successful lawyer was explaining how such a transformation came about. At the end of the conversation, the interviewer asked, “If you could go back in the past and change something, what would it be?” There was a brief silence and the convict turned lawyer quietly responded, “Nothing.” The talk show host was taken by surprise and weakly repeated, “Nothing?” His guest went on to explain. “I had to go to prison to learn what I needed to learn. When I was young, I was so hellbent on living my life the way I wanted that nobody or nothing was going to keep me from doing just that. I had to learn the hard way.” 

Many years before a man by the name of Jonah had similar thoughts. God had told him to do one thing and Jonah was bound and determined to do the exact opposite. He knew better. He knew what he was doing was not wise, but he went ahead and did what he wanted. Jonah didn’t go to prison; he just spent a few days in the belly of a fish. But the lesson was the same as that of the man being interviewed, a human being can’t fight against God and win. 

The book of Jonah isn’t just for runaway prophets or convicted felons – it’s for each one of us. There isn’t a human being alive who hasn’t experienced the conflict of knowing what God wants us to do and then defiantly turning our back on that clear command. And many of us have also recognized the futility of fighting against God. Somehow, someway, he gets us where he wants us to go. Unfortunately, the process is so often much more painful than it needs to be. 

For some, the book of Jonah is the ultimate fish story. For those who can dig deeper and honestly look at themselves and their lives in relation to God, there are a whole lot of lessons to learn from this defiant man who still wanted to serve God. If you find, too often, that you are putting on the gloves and wanting to duke it out with God when it comes to his guiding and directing your life, join us this Sunday! 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, July 21, 2023

Too Big to Fail


Like most novel terms, the saying “Too Big to Fail” can have various meanings, but for most it leaves the impression of a person or group of people who believe they are so important, so necessary that no matter what they do, someone is going to rescue them. It’s a term that is almost always linked to extreme pride. 

Only until recently pride was typically seen as a serious moral defect. Today, however, arrogance has been not only legitimized, it’s been glorified! The bigger, badder, meaner a person can be, the more reason to be proud. It’s a sign of strength to get in someone’s face and say, “I’m better than you and what are you going to do about it?” 

The irony about pride is that though we admire and seek it, we detest it in other people. That should be an indication our view of pride is warped and needs re-evaluation. As you can probably imagine, the Bible writers have a good deal to say about pride and it is very different from what we see and hear in our day-to-day lives. 

Near the end of the Old Testament, there is a short book, only one chapter, by a man named Obadiah. It’s all about a group of people who thought they were too big to fail. History bears out the fallacy of that thinking. Obadiah’s message is brief, to the point and extremely important – no one is “too big to fail” in their relationship with God. To get it right with Him, humility, not pride, is the key concept. If you don’t struggle with pride, check your pulse to see if you are alive. If you are, think about joining us this Sunday for a healthy examination of pride, people and God.

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Thursday, July 13, 2023

“Until Then!”


It’s usually a positive parting of ways when one person says to the other, “Until then!” It means that they have some kind of future meeting planned and they are both looking forward to that encounter. “Until then!” means there is going to be a next time. 

The cataclysmic effect of human rebellion against God’s rightful rule of the world created the most permanent “good-bye” imaginable – death. It is the singular traumatic event we experience when we speak for the last time with someone we care for deeply. In those gut-wrenching moments, the only emotions we feel are those of loneliness and intense separation. The pain is so devastating, people have debated for thousands of years if there is some kind of life after death in which people will be reunited. Some have eagerly latched on to such hope, others have dismissed it as wishful thinking. But then something happened two thousand years ago on an early Sunday morning which exploded the after-death reunion discussion. 

A man who had made spectacular claims about himself did something to back up those claims in an irrefutable way – he came back from the dead after being executed on a cross three days earlier. Jesus Christ, the most controversial figure in history settled the question of life after death with his own physical return to life. The evidence which he left to support his historical resurrection is as strong today as it was when his first followers announced the news to the world. 

What does an event which took place 2000 years ago mean to you? It means you don’t have to say “good-bye” to those you love. Through Christ, you can say, “Until then!”, even as they take their last breath. That’s a message too good to pass on. Join us for our worship service this Sunday and begin living an “Until then!” life. 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, July 7, 2023

Living Large


It’s hard not to want to jump into the photo above. What’s not to like about it? A gorgeous pool, a comfortable lounge chair, the warm sun, a refreshing beverage, and a peaceful environment. It’s the ultimate vacation scene. It’s what we dream our lives should be. It’s “living large”! Maybe we don’t want to sit by a gorgeous pool all day, every day, but we do want to have life on our terms all day, every day. It’s addictive, having nice things to eat, pleasant activities, no stress, and enough money so that we never have to ask, “How much is it?” 

Enjoying the creation God gave human beings is part of his plan for our lives. What he did not plan for, however, is that our sole objective in life be to dedicate our entire selves to leisure, comfort and the pleasure of satisfying our physical and sensual desires. The difference between appreciating what God has given us and living large is perspective. The believer understands that our happiness in life happens when we put God first in every part of our lives, even the enjoyment of physical blessings. Living large sees those physical enjoyments as the ultimate goal of life – the reason for living..

Living large is a subtle trap so many Christians fall into, especially in our very prosperous United States. We may not be able to live large all the time, but we experience the sensation enough that it becomes intoxicating. 

A man by the name of Amos talked about the Living Large Syndrome. Before you blow him off as an irrelevant fanatic who lived 3000 years ago, join us for our Sunday worship service. You’re going to be surprised at how little the living large temptation has changed in three millennia. 

Sunday Worship Time: 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.