Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A collect for the anxious

Grant that I, Lord, may not be anxious about earthly things, but love things heavenly; and even now, while I am placed among things that are passing away, hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

From "The Divine Hours - Prayers for Summertime," by Phyllis Tickle

Friday, September 21, 2018

Today's funny - never heard this one before!

      A few minutes before the services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews and talking. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
      Soon everyone had exited the church except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seeming oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence. So Satan walked up to the old man and said, "Don't you know who I am?"
      The man replied, "Yep, sure do."
      "Aren't you afraid of me?" Satan asked.
      "Nope, sure ain't," said the man.
      "Don't you realize I can kill you with a word?" asked Satan.
      "Don't doubt it for a minute," returned the old man, in an even tone.
      "Did you know that I could cause you profound, horrifying, physical AGONY... for all eternity?" persisted Satan.
      "Yep," was the calm reply.
      "And you're still not afraid?" asked Satan.
      "Nope."
      More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, "Well, why aren't you afraid of me?"
      The man calmly replied, "Been married to your sister for the last 48 years.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

When we pray...

When we pray, we engage with the three persons of the Holy Trinity.  We pray to the Father, we pray together with the Son, and we pray by the power of the Holy Spirit.  What we do when we pray depends entirely on what the Son gives us in His Word and on what the Spirit does with us through our faith in Christ.

John Kleinig, "Grace Upon Grace," page 167

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Stacks of Books for Sale!

For the next couple of days our Lutheran Women in Mission ministry will be working to turn our Fellowship Hall into a Book Warehouse!

Each year our LWM hold a big fundraiser.  Monies raised are then used to support outreach ministries in our community and the world.  This year they are selling books.

Apparently, they have thousands of books to display.  Most prices run anywhere from 50 cents to 2 dollars.  Books will be set up according to catagory so if you love to read fiction, you'll easily find that section.  The same is true for the rest of the books.

Additionally, there will be tons of puzzles, DVD's, and CD's for sale too.  Something for everyone!

If you love to read, this is the event for you.  Bring your reading friends! Bring boxes so you can easily carry out your purchases.  And remember, all the monies raised will be used to support those who are sharing Jesus Christ with the searching and lost.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Coming to the cross of Christ

Every time I come to Jesus' cross it is with a heavy heart and a burden of guilt weighing me down. I know I have sinned and I know the sentence with which God punishes the sinner. My only hope is to plead for mercy. In an amazing display of love Jesus never turns me away. Nor does He ever tell me I have exceeded my limit for forgiveness. Neither does He demand to see some positive improvements before He can assure me my sins are removed. I come with filthy hands, a blackened heart, and a desperate plea for mercy, and Jesus purifies me from all my sins. It sets my heart soaring to know I can stand before Him deserving only judgment but receiving only mercy.

From WELS Mobile, Daily Devotional, September 16, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

I'm going to see Paul McCartney!

Ok, in my last post I mentioned that occasionally I would talk about personal stuff.

Today is that day. I'm going to see Paul McCartney!  Yeah, yeah, yeah!!

Late last week, one of my friends at church, Diana Strahl, sent me a text saying that advanced tickets for a Paul McCartney concert were going on sale Monday morning, Sept. 17.

What concert? I hadn't read or heard of McCartney coming to Phoenix.  It was all news to me, the guy who trolls the internet looking for any McCartney or Beatles news.  I must be slipping.

Then, last Saturday, I see the ad for the concert in the local paper.  I begin trying to figure out how we could get tickets.  They needed to be purchased online and they needed to be purchased fast because this concert is going to sell out fast.  Sherri sat quietly listening to me going on and on about my dilemma. Little did I know...

Yesterday, we celebrated two birthdays - mine and my grandson, Ethan. As we opened presents, a tie box lay before me. A tie? But when I opened the box I found not a tie but a poem.  It read like this:

To my dear, sweet husband:
 To make a baby it takes nine months long
But who would wait such a time to hear a song?
 We know you would travel afar to listen to your fave
And even though he's quite old, millions still rave
 We wonder will this be the last stage call
Of the magical mystery tour of Sir Paul
 I hope these tickets speak to your love language of gifts
And the long wait doesn't cause you to be miffed
 There is lots of time for the anticipation to build
May my prayers for a year of joy and excitement be fulfilled

Then I look at the second sheet and there they are - the tickets! Paul McCartney - The Freshen Up Tour, Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8 pm.  Wow, oh, wow!

The next question - "how did you get the tickets when they don't go on sale until tomorrow?"

Sherri explained that another of our friends at church, Connie Baker, told her that there was a pre-sale for holders of a certain credit card before Monday.  So, my dear, sweet wife went online and snagged two of the tickets.

In my sermon yesterday, I talked about all the waiting we seem to do each day.  Now, my waiting skills will be put to the test.  Obviously, I'd like to see Sir Paul tomorrow.

Since that won't happen, I'll have to do the next best thing - listen to his new music project!
His first number one album in over 30 years!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Cross Thoughts

I've been at this blog for seven years.  It seemed like it was more than ready for a name.

So, welcome to Cross Thoughts!

When I began to think about what I really want this blog to be about, my first thought was pretty obvious - Jesus.

Jesus...the Way and the Truth and the Life.  Jesus...the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep.  Jesus...the Vine who, through faith, enables believers to bear much fruit.

Jesus, the One who was crucified...nailed to a cross...raised from the dead...for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

From time to time I'll post some personal stuff.  It's hard not to write about your kids and grand kids. And personal interests like reading, music and sports will pop up on occasion.

But mostly what you'll find on this blog is stuff about Jesus.  All designed to encourage you in your new life in Christ.  God has given you life.  Those who believe have a blessed inheritance that will be received in full in heaven.

But life can also be hard. Lose a job and suffer both embarrassment and a missing paycheck. Lose a loved one and suffer grief and upheaval. Lose a relationship and suffer pain and hurt.

Where can we find encouragement and hope and the will to keep on going in these times of loss?

Jesus...the Cross...His Word...Your Baptism...His Holy Supper.

God uses these means to help and encourage us. My task is to point us to these grace-filled gifts with every entry.

So, again, welcome to Cross Thoughts!