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

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.