Saturday, May 30, 2015

Let's glorify God

In worship we glorify God.  We give praise to our Maker and Creator.  The One is most deserving of praise is glad when those whom He created gladly give Him their worship and praise.

Come glorify God this weekend at Life in Christ.  Saturday worship is held at 5 pm.  Sunday worship takes place at 8 and 10:45 am.  Sunday school and Bible classes meet at 9:20 in the morning.

Hope to see you this weekend!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Top Ten Failed Church Mission Statements

It is fashionable and even very helpful for a church to have a mission statement.  Such statements provide a congregation direction and help as it seeks to carry out its ministry.  Unfortunately, some of those mission statements miss the mark.  Here's are some of those statements that failed.

10) A going church for a coming Lord seeking the people who got up and left.

9) Looking for a child-proof church? Try ours!

8) A church built on the teachings of the Apostles', the Prophets and Joel and Victoria Osteen.

7) We've got a wonderful story to tell, if you don't listen you're going to hell!

6) We proclaim God's Holy Word - the King James Bible!

5) We proudly serve a Jewish carpenter and Colombian coffee.

4) A searching church in search for those not being searched for.

3) Our church stands on the historic Creeds, Confessions and flooring from Lumber Liquidators.

2) Welcome to Jesusville!

1) We're saved - you're on your own!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One good reason for the liturgy

It was my vicarage year.  Pastor Mirly had asked me to visit one of the older members of the church. She was living in a care facility suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

I found my way to her room and wondered, "What do I do now?" I tried to make small talk.  Mostly she just sat there, looking me over, probably trying to determine if we'd ever met.  I had a feeling this was going to be a short visit.

Then I asked her, "Do you like singing hymns?" She just looked at me.  So I quickly found "Beautiful Savior," in my hymnal and started to sing.  And so did she.

She didn't remember all the words but she knew the hymn.  I took another shot with a "Mighty Fortress is our God."  She didn't sing but she smiled.

Next up was my favorite hymn, "My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less." She knew the first verse pretty well and she sang the refrain every time.  I was getting excited!

So I turned to the Confession and Absolution and asked her to join me.  "I a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto Thee all thy sins and iniquities..."  She didn't say all the words but she knew them.  I was sure of it.

Then she put a smile on my face as we both confessed the Apostles' Creed.  She knew the Creed. Probably learned it from her parents or her pastor.  Confessed it every Sunday in church.  "I believe in God the Father Almighty...I believe in His only begotten Son...I believe in the Holy Spirit..."

From there was spoke the Lord's Prayer together and as I pronounced the Benediction, she mumbled the words right along with me. As is often the case in visiting the sick and shut-in, I received the greater blessing from a woman who would probably never remember my visit but who knew and remembered the important parts of Lutheran Worship.

I got back to church and spoke to Pastor Mirly about my visit.  His simple reply, "That's why the liturgy is so important."

And it is.  Modern worship today in many churches either changes or eliminates the Creed, the prayers and the great hymns of the church.  Often worshipers are reduced to spectators.  If you don't know the tunes to the songs (culled from the playlist of K-LOVE or some such station) you probably won't open your mouth for the entire hour.

How important it is for us all to learn to confess the Christian faith in the Creeds.  How essential it is for all of us to be able to talk to God by learning the Lord's Prayer.  How blessed we are to have learned some of the great hymns of the church, especially those who teach the Christian faith to us in song.

Let's not lose these important elements of worship.  Without them I'd never been able to talk to this older woman with the failing memory.  Instead, we had so much in common and so much to talk about.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A.D.-The Bible...Sort of

A number of our members have been watching "A.D.-The Bible" and have been asking for an opinion.  I haven't been able to weigh in because weekends have been so busy I haven't been able to watch.

So I tried to catch up by watching a couple of episodes last night and came away with a couple of thoughts (do with them as you will - your mileage may vary).

The episodes I've watched have been more faithful to the text that I thought they would be.  I stopped watching "The Bible" mini-series because the producers and writers seemed to feel that they needed to "rewrite" so many stories.

I remember how they presented the Lazarus resurrection story - it was unrecognizable from what John reported in his Gospel.  And, frankly, how can you top John's narrative? Jesus commands, "Lazarus, come out!" Christ and the crowd stand at the entrance of the tomb.  How long they wait we don't know.  But when Lazarus finally walks out - can you believe it? He's alive! Oh, to have been there that day.

In "The Bible," Jesus doesn't stand in front of the tomb.  He enters it.  Rather than issuing a simple but powerful command, Jesus breaths on Lazarus.  Then, the brother of Mary and Martha finally rises. I guess the scene was designed to show a more gentle and heartwarming Jesus.  But really, to rewrite the Gospels? That's dangerous and finally I just couldn't watch anymore.

Aside from the running narrative between Pilate and Caiaphas (which we have no idea how the two dealt with each other, post-resurrection) I've found many of the scenes in "A.D.-The Bible"quite powerful.  Watching Peter confront Ananias and Sapphira over their deceit was exciting.  Even more so was Peter's testimony to them that the Holy Spirit is God.

On the other hand, I was quite confused when my oldest daughter called to ask me about Peter's daughter.  We know Peter was married (Jesus healed his mother-in-law) so I suppose that he probably had a family.  But there is no mention in the Gospels or Acts of Peter's children.  So the whole scene where Peter's daughter is near death and the disciple pleads with God to heal her is a needless contrivance.  I say, "Stick to the story!"  It's more than exciting.

On Sunday mornings during our Bible class we've been watching scenes from the film, "The Gospel of John."  This is, in my humble opinion, the best film on Jesus that I've ever seen.  The acting is superb - the actors deliver their lines without sounding too stilted or dramatic.  And the film sticks to the script.  Every word spoken comes from John, using the Good News translation of the Bible.  The film is three hours long so you might want to break it up into several segments.  But the movie is really good.  It's the Bible!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Preach the Word

When we lived in Missouri folks used to say, "If you don't like the weather, wait an hour. Something
different is sure to come."  That attitude was so true on May 25, 1997.

The morning was bright and sunny.  After lunch, storm clouds rolled in and began dumping sheets of water all through the area in which we lived.  But by 4 pm the sun returned along with milder temperatures. Just in time for the beginning of my ordination and installation in to the ministry of the Lutheran Church.

On call day I had been assigned to New Hope Lutheran Church is Festus, Missouri.  My dear, sweet wife and I were truly excited.  We had learned that the church was a mission start and had been planted by an enthusiastic group of people.  In their first year the church had experienced plenty of challenges but the Lord had carried them through each one.  They shared my enthusiasm.

People I had grown close to during my years at seminary participated in the service.  Rev. Ray Mirly, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette, Missouri, and 1st Vice President of the Missouri District, led the service.  Rev. Dr. Glenn Nielsen, my favorite professor from seminary preached a wonderful sermon on 2nd Timothy 4:2.  Rev. David Schultz, my pastor from the church my family and I grew up in - Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Mesa, AZ - was the Lector.  Marj Lang, who along with her husband, Rev. Ed Lang, (who we'd gotten to know so well at the Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens) sang for us.  And many of my classmates and pastors from the circuit also participated, including my best friends - Dan Berteau, Pete Varvaris and Paul Rueckert.

Since that glorious day, I've served three congregations.  But in each place I've tried hard to heed the word of Paul - Preach the Word.

God's Word is a life saving Word.

God's Word is a faith building Word.

God's Word does what it says.  It brings comfort to the hurting, relief to the suffering and hope for the hopeless.  We can live without a great many things in this life.  We cannot live without the holy Word of God.

On my ordination day I prayed, "Lord, if you would give me 20 good years of ministry, I'd be grateful."  Today, I celebrate 18 good years.  They've not been easy at times.  I lament so much - the words I failed to say or the words I said poorly...the times I failed to act or the actions that were not helpful...the times when I just didn't trust Jesus enough and worried myself sick over stuff that usually didn't happen.

In spite of my failings, God forgives me.  God loves me.  God cares for me.

That's what I'm celebrating.  God's forgiveness, love and compassion.

You can say the same.  God forgives, loves and cares for you.

As you give thanks for the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, you can give thanks also for your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who made a sacrifice that none of us could have made.  He took the burden of the world's sins on His shoulders and paid for them with His very life.

Celebrate and give thanks again today for God's forgiveness, love and compassion for you.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

We're having another baby!

Actually, another grandbaby!

Youngest daughter, Katie, has gone into labor.  This baby is in a hurry- three weeks early! My dear, sweet wife and oldest daughter are flying to Green Bay post haste and hope to be holding a bouncing baby boy later this evening.

In other news...

Life in Christ has a Saturday service at 5 pm.  Holy Communion will be celebrated.  And I'll be preaching at both Saturday and Sunday services.

Speaking of Sunday, you can worship with us at either 8 or 10:45 am.  Sunday school and adult Bible class begins at 9:20 am.  Hope you'll come and join us for worship this weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Top Ten Reasons You Know Your Organist Is Weird

10) Insists that Bach's name is pronounced "Back."

9) Insists that "Innagaddadavida" was first written by Bach.

8) Plays "I'm But a Stranger Here" on New Member Sundays.

7) Prefers to call the notes in the hymnal, "thingies."

6) Has the congregation wondering why every song sounds like "Hey Jude."

5) Insists on dressing up as Martin Luther when playing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"

4) As the pastor preaches, plays "Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted" in the background.

3) Asks people on the pulpit side to sing harmony on every hymn.

2) "I guess I shouldn't have taken that third Valium before the service."

And the number one reason you know your organist is weird:

1) Refuses to play the "evil" black keys.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Top Ten Reasons Why People Don't Go To Church

David Letterman ended his 30 plus years of hosting late night television last night.  I watched Letterman from time to time but I was a Johnny Carson and, later, Jay Leno man.  And although I don't watch much late time TV now, when I do watch I like to see what Jimmy Fallon is doing.  As one critic put is, "Jimmy Fallon makes television fun to watch."  Apparently the majority of late night viewers feel the same way - Fallon's show is number one in the ratings.

Letterman was known for lots of comedy bits but perhaps the most imitated was "The Top Ten List." In the first year of this blog I posted something called "The Top Ten Reasons Why People Don't Go to Church."  I didn't note where I found this list.  It seems to me that I used some of the original material and made up a few of my own.  Anyway, here goes...

10) The glare from the pastor's forehead is too blinding

9) Three letters - NFL

8) I don't have kids yet

7) I have kids

6) People that happy give me the creeps

5) I can worship God in the outdoors...with the roof open at University of Phoenix Stadium

4) I'm a good person and I want to avoid being told otherwise

3) They don't serve a good cappuccino during the coffee hour

2) When I want to feel guilty I just call my parents

1) No one asked me to go

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The wedding that almost didn't happen

I have a wedding coming up this Sunday afternoon.  Annie and Tyler are a neat young couple and it will be a joy to hear them make their vows before the Lord and their family and friends.  Thinking about them caused me to reflect on the first wedding I conducted as pastor.

The wedding rehearsal was on a Friday evening.  Everyone was there on time and ready to practice - except the bride and groom.  When they finally walked in I could see that there was trouble.  They both seemed very upset.  I walked over to them and in my most cheery voice asked, "What's up?"

The bride, with tears forming in her eyes, said, "I had 39 things to do today and I did every single one of them.  He had one thing to do today - pick up the marriage license - and he didn't do it!"

Well now, this was a situation that wasn't covered in Seminary.  I excused myself and called my Circuit Counselor.  He gave me the bad news: "George, in the state of Missouri you cannot conduct a marriage service without the license.  See if they can cancel the wedding until another time, maybe the following weekend.  Otherwise, you can have a service.  But it cannot contain vows or the pronouncement of marriage."

How do you cancel the service when the invitations have already been sent out and family has arrived from out of town? There was no chance to postpone so I told the couple that we could do a stripped down service but the actual marriage would have to wait until they could present the license to me. You can imagine how much fun we had at the rehearsal.

About 11 am the following morning I received a call from the groom's mother.  Her exact words were:"This disaster of a wedding is still on!" It turned out that the groom went to the office to talk with his boss.  While he was lamenting the fact that he had ruined the day for his bride a co-worker walked in.  The co-worked learned about the absent marriage license and said, "My wife works at the county office.  I'll have her go and get the license!"

And she did.  At two o'clock that afternoon the groom and I walked to the front of the altar and waited for the processional to begin.  And we waited.  And we waited.

Turned out that at the last second the bride didn't like her make up and decided to fix it.  While the congregation snickered at the delay (do you know how hard it is to keep a smile plastered on your face for seven minutes? You try it!), I wondered, "Maybe these guys aren't ever going to get married."

Ah, but the bride finally appeared.  The marriage service took place.  And a year later they wrote to me to say, "You probably can't believe it but we're still married! Our lives are still crazy but we are very happy together."

That's was one crazy day.  Which makes me wonder, "Did Annie and Tyler pick up the marriage license?" Of course, they did.  They've got it, I'm sure.

I'd better call and check.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Bucket List

Last night we were watching an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond."  It was the one where Ray has a mid-life crisis.  With inspiration from his friend, Andy, Ray decides to write down the "100 Things to Do Before I Die."  The list consists mostly of foods to each and avoid having a prostate exam.

It got me to thinking, "What would my bucket list look like?"  I've already had a few prostate exams so cross that off the list.  But here's some stuff I'd still like to do before I fall asleep in Jesus:

Take in a football game (soccer for Americans) in either Liverpool, England or Florence, Italy (where my two favorite football teams play).

Participate in Pat's Run.

Visit New York City.

Tour all the places where Martin Luther was born, worked and died.

Compile my radio devotions into a proper book.

Well, that's a start.

What does your list look like?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Encouragement from JS Bach

In the summer of 2011 my dear, sweet wife and I spent an unforgettable four days in Leipzig, Germany for Bachfest.  This is an annual celebration of the music of Bach and his contemporaries and the event draws singers and musicians from all over the world.

I don't know much about classical music.  But I could sit and listen to Bach all day long.  I'm sure it's the Lutheran connection that draws me to his music.  While at Bachfest we heard a beautiful and wonderful rendition of his St. Matthew's Passion at the Nicholas Church.  It was the best concert I've ever attended.

We also spent an evening at the Thomas Church - this was Bach's church - and we heard a program entitled "Christus," which featured music from Bach, Mendelssohn and Listz.  I've saved the programs for all of these events and occasionally will read from them.  Bach's libretto often provides some good devotional material.  Here's a passage that offered some needed encouragement:

It is well for me that I have Jesus;
  Oh, how firmly I hold Him
that He may restore my heart
  when I am ill and sad.

I have Jesus,who loves me
  and gives Himself to me for His own
ah, therefore I will not let go of Jesus
  even though my heart should break

It is God who powerfully strengthens you
  He will stir up in you the power of the Spirit
indeed, He will lay thanks and praise on your tongue.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Poor Preacher

A minister's care broke down on his way home from Sunday service.  He walked home, then called his mechanic on Monday morning.  The mechanic met the pastor where the stalled car sat and began his repairs.

"I'm going to go easy with you on the cost, Reverend," the mechanic said after several minutes.

"Thank you so much," said the man of the cloth.  "After all, I'm just a poor preacher."

The mechanic replied, " I know.  I heard your sermon yesterday."

From "A Laugh a Day - A Daily Dose of Heavenly Humor"

Thursday, May 14, 2015

God bless Chuck and Joyce

Last night at our Elders meeting we said "thank you" to our chairman, Chuck Haynes.

Chuck announced that he would be stepping down as chairman to be full-time caregiver to his wife, Joyce.

Joyce has had some health problems of late and Chuck feels that she needs his undivided attention.

That Chuck would make such a decision is not surprising.

He is one of the most compassionate people I've ever known.  The love his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has shown to him is what motivates Chuck to reach out with love to the people in our congregation.

He is an outstanding lay theologian.  He takes no credit for that.  As he recently told me, "I just grew into becoming a student of the Bible.  The more you study and search the Scriptures the more you learn and the more you want to know the truths that God has revealed in the Bible.  It's really exciting!"

Personally, I will always remember Chuck's support when I brought up the topic of taking a sabbatical a few years ago.

The idea of giving pastors an extended break for rest and renewal is not considered much in the LCMS.

But I was burned out.  I needed a break.  Chuck recognized this and supported a renewal for me.

He also spent a lot of time talking with those who were concerned that my absence would somehow harm the church.  Through his calm demeanor and willingness to listen Chuck was able to help some of the fence sitters to see the benefits of a renewal for me and for our church.

Chuck and Joyce aren't going anywhere.  They'll still be sitting in the second row, pulpit side.

Keep these two beloved people in your prayers.  May the Lord fill Joyce's heart with much joy even in the midst of some declining health.  And may He grant Chuck strength and endurance as he takes on a new role.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise God for Chuck and Joyce!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It's gonna be a long, hot summer

Waiting to discover the fate of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

My dear, sweet wife and I have only one "must see TV" program and that is the very popular "NCIS" starring Mark Harmon.  Very popular might be an understatement.  I've read in several publications that NCIS is the most popular television show in the world, seen in more than 50 countries.

Harmon is the glue that holds the show together.  His character, called by his subordinates as "Boss," is always the smartest and coolest guy in the room.  His job is simple - he want to catch "bad guys." He's always two or three steps ahead of everybody else in determining the plan and motives of these bad guys.  And, quite honestly, I like seeing the bad guys get their due from the toughest guy on TV.

But last night finale seemed to plant the seed that maybe Gibbs is going soft on us.  The last scene shows Gibbs being shot by the young boy he's been trying to protect.  Shot first in the leg and then the chest, we see Gibbs laying in the dirt of a village marketplace in Iraq.  Fade to black....

Surely this is not the end of Leroy Jethro Gibbs! It can't be.  He gets the bad guys! The bad guys do not prevail when Gibbs is on their tail.  Maybe Gibbs had on bullet-proof protection.  Maybe Gibbs had the young boy pretend to shoot him so the real bad guy could be drawn out and captured.  Maybe Gibbs was daydreaming while he was in the shower (wait, that ploy has already been tried - anyone remember "Dallas?").

Well, I've got all summer to figure this out!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Please leave a message

It seems that most every pastor has one story about getting chewed out by a parishioner. Why? Because the pastor didn't visit the parishioner (or family member) in the hospital.  Did the parishioner call the pastor about the hospital stay? Noooooooo! But somehow the pastor was supposed to know about this and make a visit. You say I'm exaggerating but it happens.

Something similar happened to me last Sunday.  A family approached me and wanted to know why no one answered the phone at church earlier in the week.  I thought, "How would I know?"  I asked why and they told me that they'd called the church to let us know about an illness in their family.  So I asked, "Did you leave a message?" The answer: No.

Serving in the ministry of the Lord is pure grace.  The Lord takes sinful people, like me for instance, and uses us to be His ambassadors to proclaim His love for all people in Christ Jesus.  There is nothing better than to share Jesus with others.

But it can be frustrating too.  I felt badly that this family was disappointed that no one picked up the phone to talk with them.  If they had only left a message.  Our staff would have heard it, contacted them and responded accordingly.

Please leave a message.  Thank you.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Luther reflects on Genesis, chapter 3

The sin underneath all our sins is the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and that we must take matters into our own hands.

Quoted in "Jesus + Nothing = Everything" pages 117-18

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Honor your Mother!

Mom, it's been a long time, almost 30 years, since we celebrated a Mother's Day with you.  But I'll bet you're not complaining.  On that Labor Day weekend in 1988 you fell asleep in Jesus.  After an often hard and difficult life you are resting in the arms of the One who loved you the most and the best.  

You'd be pleased with what's happened here.  You remember Stephanie.  She talks about how she would spend the night with you and how you would give her a small glass of Coke to drink and how you let her stay up after her bedtime.  She's married and the mother of two wonderful boys.  Eric, the little boy who couldn't get enough of shooting hoops and playing catch is someone of which you'd be proud.  He's become very successful in his work and he and his wife, Christina, are parents to beautiful Emily and are expecting a baby boy in October.  And Katie - remember how many times she made you watch "The Wizard of Oz," - is expecting a baby boy next month.  She and her husband and son live in Green Bay, Wisconsin - a place much too cold for you!

Mom, I've often thanked the Lord that you were the spiritual leader in our family.  You made sure that Laura and I went to church and Sunday school.  You loved going to worship and hearing God's Word.  And you lived out the faith in which you were baptized and confessed.  When we complained about having to get up and go to church on Sunday, you didn't give in.  When we moaned about our boring Sunday school classes you made sure we went anyway.  I'm so glad you stood your ground. Those lessons I grudgingly learned at the time helped to form my faith in Jesus and have blessed me again and again.

A day is coming when I see you again.  Jesus will return and He will gather us all around His throne of grace.  I can't wait to hug you and just be with you.  We'll have all eternity to catch up.  What a day that will be.


Join us for worship this weekend at LICL.  Saturday service begins at 5 pm; Sunday services take place at 8 and 10:45 am.  Sunday school and adult classes meet at 9:20 am. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

I apologize in advance

For the story you are about to read.  I confess - it made me laugh out loud.  So check it out (and as a pastor I know likes to say, "Your mileage may vary.").

The pastor climbed into the pulpit, lifted his eyes toward heaven and began to speak in a rapturous voice, "Dear Lord, without You we are but dust..."  

The pastor paused just for a moment but in the silence a four year old girl leaned close to her mother and asked in a stage whisper, "Mommy, what is butt dust?"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Join Us For National Day of Prayer

You're invited to stop by LICL today and observe the National Day of Prayer with us.  One of our ministries, The Nurturing Team, has prepared some materials which will be helpful for you as you offer your prayers and petitions to the Lord.

Normally, our sanctuary is filled on Sunday with worshippers.  It is different and very nice to walk into God's house and find it quiet as it is today.  Such a nice atmosphere in which to unburden a heart and to offer up concerns to the One who answers us in the day of trouble.  (Psalm 86:7).

The sanctuary is open until 6 pm this evening.  Come, join us and pray.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

You might be a Lutheran if...

Jeff Foxworthy is a great stand-up comedian.  But he'll always be known for one of his signature bits, "You might be a redneck if..."  Years ago I found that an LCMS pastor from Louisiana had written a take off on Foxworthy's routine and found it pretty amusing.  Check it out:

You Might Be a Lutheran if...
You think fine dining is attending a church pot luck dinner
You do not even have the word "change" in your vocabulary
You don't carry your Bible to church
You think personal evangelism means you need to have more children
You are upset that a visitor is sitting in "your" chair
You know who Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther is
You would rather eat bratwurst than a steak dinner
You define "tithing" as giving 3% of your income

You Know You're a Lutheran if...
You confess you are a sinner
You know that Jesus died for you and forgave all your sins
You know that you are saved by grace through faith in Jesus
You rejoice daily that you are a baptized child of God
You yearn to study God's Word
You enjoy telling others about Jesus
You love the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"
You desire to receive God's gift of Holy Communion at every opportunity
You know that you will be in heaven forever because of faith in Jesus' life, death and resurrection

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It does matter

I'm slowly working through a book that was recommended to me, "The Praying Life," by Paul E. Miller.  One emphasis in the book early on that I've appreciated is that we children of God should approach God as our Heavenly Father.  In this way, prayer becomes less a formal thing and, instead, it becomes more like a child coming to their father to talk about life - to ask questions, to seek help and answers and to make requests.

Miller also writes about a blogger friend he's made named Cathie.  She has been quoted several times in the book and popped up in the chapter, "Understanding Cynicism."Cathie responds to this thought and turns a neat phrase in doing so.  She writes:

I make the jump from optimism to darkness so quickly because I am not grounded in a deep, abiding faith that God is in the matter no matter what the matter is.

It's is important for us to remember that what matters to us, matters to God.

Monday, May 4, 2015

You Gotta Work Together

Have you heard this one...

A famous 19th century organist wowed audiences as he traveled from city to city giving concerts.  In each town he hired a young man to pump the organ while the organist played.  After one particular performance the organist made his way back to his hotel only to discover he was being followed the boy who had assisted him that night.

The young boy said to the organist, "We sure had a great concert tonight, didn't we?" The organist roared at him, "We? I had a great concert.  Now why don't you go home! I'll see you tomorrow."

The following night the organist began the concert by beginning to play a magnificent fugue. Suddenly, the organ quit.  Didn't make a sound.  The organist couldn't understand what had happened.

After a few moments, the boy stuck his head around the corner of the organ, looked up at the organist, grinned, and said, "We ain't having a very good concert tonight, are we?"

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Wedding, Worship and More

Let's at 2 pm Nancy Bertelsen and Alan Burkhart will be married at LICL.  The congregation is invited to the service.  We pray God's blessings for this wonderful couple.

At 5 pm our Evening Vespers service takes place.  Deacon Jerry Klink will be preaching on Acts 8:26-40.  Jerry is becoming an excellent preacher so be sure to be there for worship.

Sunday morning at 8 and 10:45 am Sunday worship will be held.  My sermon theme is "Be faithful...and watch what God does."  Sunday school and adult class meets at 9:20 am.

Then, if you like ice creme you'll want to be at LICL for the "Build a Sundae" event.  The fun begins at 3 pm.  Following ice creme (and who doesn't like ice creme?) our Mission:Possible 2 Team will provide an update on the proposed Education Building and hold an Open Forum so that folks can have an unlimited opportunity to ask questions and offer observations on this project.

We'll be this this weekend.  How about you?

Friday, May 1, 2015

It's a Boy!

The call came in last night around 9 pm.  Earlier in the day my son and daughter in law had been at her doctor's office for an ultrasound.  Finally, Eric and Christina would know whether Emily would have a baby sister or brother.

They didn't learn the results at that moment.  Instead, they went out to eat and the sex of the baby would be reveal by what kind of desert their server brought to their table.

When he unveiled a chocolate brownie, they knew the answer - a boy!

This news was especially thrilling for my son.  He absolutely loves Emily; she has brought out a tenderness in Eric that I hadn't really seen.  They will cherish a little boy as well and they already have a first name - Will.

God is good and He has so richly blessed our family.  We can't wait until October when we officially get to welcome Will to the Spicer family!