Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Come hear the ensemble

Among the many blessings we enjoy at Life in Christ is our music ministry.  Our adult choir, under Lori's leadership has really blossomed in the past few years.  Our bell choir, under Ginny's leadership, continually lifts up our hearts.  Our children's and Sunday school choirs bless us every time they sing.

Tonight at our mid-week worship service we are excited for the debut of our new LICL Ensemble.  A group of 10 musicians have been practicing for a little while and are ready to perform for us.  The selection they will play is "As the Deer."  I haven't heard them practice but the buzz is that the ensemble is really good.  So join us tonight.  Quick supper is served at 5:30 pm.  Worship starts at 7 pm.  We continue to look at the life of God's wayward and disobedient prophet, Jonah.  Plus very special music from our ensemble.  Be here!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Battle Royale

The first Sunday in Lent usually focuses on the battle between Jesus and the devil in the wilderness.  Of course, Jesus wins the battle.  But what does that mean to you and me? Come and learn more this Sunday during our worship at 8 am and 10:45 am.  Sunday school, Confirmation, High School youth and adult Bible classes meet at 9:15 am.  Come and meet the friendliest people in town this Sunday at Life in Christ!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Are You Giving Up For Lent?

            As I understand it, Homer Simpson loves donuts.  So do I.

            In fact, I love just about anything that’s sweet – donuts, cookies, candy (especially anything with chocolate)!

            But I gave up all the sweet stuff for Lent.

            That means I’ll be bypassing the See’s Dark Chocolate candies that sit in a bowl in our living room.  That means I’ll not be eating those wonderful donuts that Gerry Schemers brings me every Friday.  That means that I’ll be ignoring those Snicker’s candy bars that are strategically positioned around the grocery checkout.

            Why give up anything? It seems that giving something up for Lent has gone the way of New Year’s resolutions.  We invariably fail to do what we said we were going to do so why try at all.

            I guess in the grand scheme of things, giving up sweet stuff isn’t a big deal.

            Still, I’ll miss it.  It might even hurt at times not to each all that sugar whenever I want it.

            But, maybe, in some small way, it will remind me of the greater sacrifice my Lord and Savior made for me.

            St. John called Jesus “the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”  Jesus sacrificed Himself for your sins and mine.  He did this so that we might again be one with God the Father.  Our relationship was destroyed with the Father because of sin.  Jesus has put things right again for us through His obedient life, His horrific death and victorious resurrection.

            Again, giving up sweets isn’t a great sacrifice.  But if it helps me to see better the sacrifice Jesus made for me, so much the better.

            What can you give up for Lent? What might help you see the sacrificial love of your Lord and Savior in an even greater way?




Friday, February 17, 2012

Wise Words from Phillip Gulley

Sometimes what we think we need isn't what we need at all, and what gets thrown in for good measure is that which fills our hearts.

From "Home to Harmony" page 16.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Always some kind of drama

It's what my dear, sweet wife said as she walked out the door for work on Monday.  Suddenly I had the inspiration I needed for this Sunday's sermon.  So join us this Sunday, OK? Worship at 8 and 10:45 am with Sunday school, Confirmation, High School youth and adult Bible class at 9:15 am.  We'd love to meet you this Sunday at Life in Christ!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Much Do You Love God's House?

One Sunday, the pastor of a church in Florida gathered the children in front of the altar for the children's message.  He began by asking the question, "What does the word 'holy' mean?"

After a pause of a moment of two, a little girl raised her hand.  She answered, "Being holy means that you do what your mother asked you to do the first time!"

Children's messages are just one of the reasons I love being in church on Sunday.  You never know what priceless answers you just might get to one of your questions!

But the main reason I love being in the Lord's house on Sunday is because this is the place where we encounter our gracious and merciful God. 

David writes in Psalm 27: One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what is seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

In Psalm 84, a chorus sings: Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere.

As the pilgrims made their way to the Temple during times of religious celebration, they would sing: I rejoice with those who said to me: 'Let us go to the house of the Lord'.

Not only is the Lord present in His house, He showers His people with rich gifts of grace - His Word of forgiveness, His very body and blood in, with and under the bread and wine of the Sacrament and the rich renewal of the Holy Spirit who comes to each of us in the Gospel.

I pray that the time you spend this week reading and meditating over God's Word lead you to exclaim on Sunday, "I love the house where You live, O Lord, the place where Your glory dwells!"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who is this Jesus?

Sometimes it's hard to understand Jesus.  In Mark 1:40-45, He works a mighty miracle, healing a leper.  But then He tells the healed man not to speak about this wonderful thing.  Who does that? Come and learn more this Sunday.  Worship at 8 and 10:45 am with Sunday school, Confirmation, High School and Adult Bible class at 9:15 am.  You won't regret visiting Life in Christ!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Encouragement Comes In Unexpected Ways

Some of the folks here at Life in Christ joined me a few weeks ago in making a New Year's resolution.  We resolved that before we worshipped or went to Bible study or read our Bibles at home we would pray, "Speak, O Lord, for Your servant is listening."

Today, two of our members - Chuck and Pat - both told me about their experiences over the last week or so where the Lord had really spoken to them through His Holy Word.  Both talked about the joy of discovering God's direction in their lives as they read the Scriptures and of the spiritual growth taking place in their lives through the work of the Holy Spirit.

During the Epiphany season of 1522, Martin Luther preached a sermon in which he shared these words: Therefore into the Bible, into the Bible, dear Christians...that we may grasp and taste the simple, pure Word of God and stay with it; for there alone God dwells in Zion.

Where does God dwell? In His Word! From where does the Lord speak? Through His Word.  Will God speak to you? He did to Chuck and Pat.  Open His Word and hear God speak to you of His forgiveness for all your sins, His peace that can calm a troubled heart, His salvation which is His gift to you through His Son, Your Savior, Jesus Christ.  Read your Bible.  Be ready to listen to the Lord.  He speaks to you in every word of Scripture.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Your Personal Trainer

Every runner - whether for sprinting or distance - has a personal trainer.  The trainer's goal is to help the runner get into peak condition and run at top form.  Every Christian has a personal trainer too.  This trainer's goal is to help every disciple of Jesus run to win the race.  Who is the trainer that is working with you?  What is the race that you are involved in? Join us this Sunday at Life in Christ and find out.  Worship at 8 and 10:45 am.  Sunday school, Confirmation, High School and Adult Bible class at 9:15 am.  Come and meet some of the nicest people on the west side of the Valley this Sunday morning!