Friday, February 3, 2023

Yes! The Foundation Does Matter!

 


About the only people who are very interested in building foundations are architectural engineers. Foundations just aren’t the kind of thing which catch most peoples’ attention. If you can see them at all, they usually consist of drab, unpainted concrete. The photo, however, graphically demonstrates how vital it is for a home or building to have a foundation of integrity. 

The Wexner Center for the Performing Arts at Ohio State University has been named America’s first postmodern building because the architect designed it with no design in mind. He explained that just as life is an unplanned accident, so the building has no plan or specific design. There are pillars which have no purpose, stairways that go nowhere. However, there is one part of the building which was planned, designed, and constructed according to strict building codes. You know which part that is. Certainly – the foundation! 

Near the end of his most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ talked about foundations even more important than those of buildings. He said that every person builds a foundation for their life. And it is that foundation which will determine not only the course of one’s life, but their resistance to life’s problems. Jesus’ foundation plans are challenging to say the least. But following them will have consequences which cannot be measured. 

You and I have only one life to live, one foundation to build. Isn’t it worth finding out Jesus’ plan for the foundation of our lives?   

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


Saturday, January 28, 2023

Managing Your Mind

 


Almost four hundred years ago a Frenchman by the name of Descartes wrote, “I think, therefore I am.” Throughout the centuries people have debated and discussed the meaning of these words. Thousands of PhD candidates have written their doctoral dissertations on Descartes’ statement in order to unlock the mysterious power of the mind. One thing we can say to which few will object, the mind is absolutely critical to the outcome of a human life. What a person thinks will lead to what they say and what they do. It is in our minds we develop our priorities which direct the course of our day-to-day speech and behavior. 

Given the massive influence our minds have on our lives, it is not surprising that Jesus spoke often of our thoughts. What he said is strongly criticized by some, while for others, those same teachings have radically transformed lives. Unlike current thinking, Jesus taught our minds are much more than a complex sequence of chemical reactions. In his most famous discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, he said what is produced in our minds ultimately depends on our relationship with God. He made the unpopular statement that there is a right way and a wrong way to think. He said that motives matter. And what goes on in our minds has eternal consequences. 

Maybe most shocking of all, Jesus said that when a human being is rightly related to God, that person can powerfully manage their mind for their own personal good and the benefit of others. We are not helpless victims of circumstance to the most powerful part of our being. That’s not just good news, that’s life-changing news. Your mind matters. How you manage your mind matters. Join us for one of our weekend services. Together, let’s begin the journey with Jesus in making the most of managing our minds. 

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


Friday, January 20, 2023

The Higher Calling

 


“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.” 

Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Chapter 1. Originally published in 1854

A grim description of life indeed, especially since when these words were written the world was on the cusp of the Industrial revolution when there seemed to be few limits on the advancement of mankind. 

Almost 175 years have passed. We have witnessed the bloodbaths of the Civil War, World War I and World II. Human beings have killed more of our own kind in less than two centuries than during all the rest of recorded history combined. Incredible technological advances have led to increased prosperity while at the same time there is an ever creeping, widespread and deeply ingrained apathy settling in the souls of men and women. Indeed, Thoreau may have been right – what is described as emotional resignation to the grayness of life, could well be the desperate realization that life offers little meaning or purpose. 

In the midst of this psychological fog blazes the brilliant alternative of Jesus Christ. In a discourse called the “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus set forth his manifesto for human life. It is nothing short of the most radical revolution humanity has seen. In no way is it a comfortable life. It is the opposite of the all consuming “meism” so many worship today. It requires effort. It demands sacrifice. But the life which Jesus Christ offers is nothing short of mankind’s highest calling. 

Join us this weekend for one of our worship services. Maybe it’s time to start on the road less traveled. 

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


Friday, January 13, 2023

Have We Domesticated Jesus?

 


Tough not to want a dog like the one pictured above. Beautiful, clean, and so well behaved. Best of all, it comes at walk time with the leash in its mouth, asking apologetically, “Oh master, I know you are so busy, but if you could find a small place in your heart to take me for a short walk, I would be so grateful.” It’s a wonderful description of a pet. It’s a terrible description of a Savior. 

Sounds like a disconnect in thinking. What does a well-trained dog have to do with Jesus? Today – a whole lot. 

For some, Jesus is a Savior who never tells us anything we don’t like to hear. Never makes a demand on us which requires any kind of sacrifice. Jesus would not dare to say something which everyone, even those who don’t believe in him, might find the least bit offensive. And ask us to change something in our lives? He’s far too polite for that. He knows we all have our own way of living and respects us far too highly than to ask us to do something we don’t want to do. 

The Jesus of history, however, is a far cry from the Jesus described above. Unfortunately, over the years Christians have inaccurately portrayed his acts and sayings so that for many, the sheer audacity of his claims about himself and his claim on peoples’ lives have been sanitized. 

It wasn’t so for those who met Jesus personally. One night a very refined, cultured man by the name of Nicodemus came to speak with Jesus. He entered the interview curious. He left shocked to his very core. Jesus didn’t patronize Nicodemus. He didn’t try to make him feel good. No, Jesus told this man the truth he needed to hear. 

If your view of Jesus is limited to a 15th century painting of a rather insipid, overly mild, skinny man with a vacant look, join us for one of our weekend worship services. The real Jesus won’t make you feel warm and fuzzy, but he will give you what you need. 

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


Friday, January 6, 2023

Oblivious

 


Some of us go to the extreme of planning for the worst. We’re not going to be taken by surprise and so we plan for every possible problem and put great effort in being prepared to deal with whatever may go wrong. Others of us don’t even think about the possibilities of unexpected troubles. And we live our lives like the man with his head in the sand, blissfully unaware of all the danger which surrounds us. 

There is one area in our lives, however, where most of us truly are oblivious to peril and that is in the matter of temptation. We become so absorbed in the overwhelmingly urgent tasks of each day that we forget there are two powerful forces battling for our attention, our loyalty. Despite the present disdain for the war between good and evil, historically every generation of humanity has acknowledged that each individual lives in a moral battleground which will determine the path in life that person takes. Try as some might to explain away the reality of good and evil, there is too much daily evidence to suggest any other conclusion than that which the Bible gives – there is a war going on for our souls. 

In one of the first recorded events of the ministry of Jesus Christ, we find him engaged in the same struggle we have on a daily basis. He is tempted by Satan. What transpires in that epic battle helps us to understand his purpose for coming to this earth as a human being and what it means to us. Appreciating what happened in a remote desert 2000 years ago is the solution for the oblivious life. Join us for one of our weekend services. When it comes to spiritual danger, there is no such thing as blissful ignorance. 

Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 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.