Saturday, August 29, 2015

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

On this day you can come and rejoice in the Lord with us at LICL.  We have a Saturday worship service today at 5 pm with Deacon Jerry Klink preaching and music from Pat Herman and her group.

Tomorrow, join us for services at 8 and 10:45 am with Bible classes for all ages beginning at 9:20 in the morning.

God bless your day!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Top 10 Things People Think About While Singing Hymns

10) "Hey! Is that the new Apple Watch?"

9) "I could sing 'A Mighty Fortress Is Our God' every week!"

8) "Some people should only be allowed to hum the hymns."

7) "I'm glad my hope is built on nothing less than Christ Jesus!"

6) "Those Cheerios' are going to be all over the floor by the end of the service."

5) "The music for 'Lift High the Cross' gives me goosebumps!"

4) "Why are we standing to sing? I though Lutherans sat while singing?"

3) "'Chief of Sinners, Though I Be' reminds me of who I am and whose I am."

2) "I hope I picked the right football teams in the office pool!"

And the number one thing people think about while singing hymns:

1) "Yes, Jesus is my beautiful Savior!"

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Martin Luther on why opposition to the Gospel is good

For the more violently the world rages against the Gospel, the better the position of the Gospel is.

This should be a very pleasant comfort for us.  For it is sure that the world hates and persecutes us for no other reason than that we present the truth of the Gospel.  It does not accuse us of being thieves, adulterers, murderers, etc.; but what it despises in us is solely this, that we teach Christ faithfully and purely, and that we do not forsake the heritage of the truth.

Therefore we should know for certain that our doctrine is holy and divine, because the world hates it so bitterly.  Otherwise there is no doctrine too wicked, stupid, ridiculous or dangerous for the world to accept it, embrace  and defend it gladly, in fact, to treat it reverently, support it, fawn upon it, and convert everyone to it.

The teaching of godliness, life and salvation, together with its ministers, is the only one that it despises and treats in an utterly shameful way.  This is evident proof that the world is angry with us only because of its hatred of the Word.  Therefore when our opponents raise the objection against us that our doctrine produces nothing but war, sedition, stumbling blocks, sects, and endless other evil, let us reply: "Blessed be the day when it becomes possible to see all this! But the whole world is in an uproar.  All right.  If it were not in an uproar, and if the devil were not in such a rage and we not creating such havoc everywhere, we would not have the pure doctrine which such tumults and havoc inevitably follow.  Therefore what you see as evil we regard as the highest good."

From Luther's Words, notes on Galatians, page 47.

Interestingly, Luther wrote this in 1535.  Yet, his words describe almost perfectly the condition of our world today.  Opposition to the Gospel never changes.  It seems that Luther would say, "Good! Get the Gospel out to the world now!"

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Connected to God the Father

A wonderful insight from Norman Nagel:

It is only because God has come to be our Father that we can pray to Him.  Only because Christ has taken away our sins on Himself and wiped them out by His victorious death can we stand before God, forgiven, His children in Christ.  Only as we are bound to Christ can we come before God as His children, for then God sees us in Christ, wearing the garment of Christ's righteousness.  This is the key to a living connection with God our Father.  All contact, all prayer with Him must be in Christ, in the name of Jesus, that is, with faith in Him.

Isn't that good news!

From "Selected Sermons" page 139.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cherish the quiet

Last week was a very long and very stressful week for me.

I really looked forward to having a day off yesterday.  And I determined that it would be a quiet day.

No television (except during the lunch hour to watch English football team, Liverpool, play).  No music.  No iPads and no iPods.

I read.  I rested.  I relaxed.

It was wonderful.

I finished one book and starting reading two others (one for review which will be posted later on this blog).

I went over my stack of 52 verse cards making sure I had them memorized.  I also realized what a blessing it has been to spend time treasuring God's Word.  Over the past few weeks many of these verses have come to mind, offering the comfort and help that God gives to His children.

I spent time praying some of the Psalms, finding my voice in the words of David.

It was a good day.

I know that for many of you, carving out a day or even a few hours for a time of quiet rest and meditation seems like a pipe dream.

Still, I encourage you to look for ways to slow down and let God catch up with you.

Look for times when you can turn off the TV in the evening and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Grab even a few minutes in the morning after the kids have gone off to school or before you begin another day at work.

Read a psalm.  Meditate on a 52 verse card.  Have a word with the Lord.

If it is at all possible, cherish the quiet.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Listening to the Lord

This year some in our church family are memorizing one Bible verse each week.  By the end of the year those of us working at it will have 52 verses firmly tucked away in our hearts.

Years ago I remember reading how author Charles Swindoll wrote about the joy he received from memorizing parts of the Bible.  This week was one of the hardest I've experienced in ministry.  I'm grateful to God for the comfort He gave me through His Word.

In our 28th week of memorization we memorized 1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  I've never though of it like this but it seems that in this verse and others, anxiety and prayer go hand in hand.  Are you anxious or worried? Toss it over to the Lord.  Say, "Here, God, you can have this."  We can unburden ourselves because of the assurance that God cares for us.

In week 30 our memorization verse was Psalm 50:15 - Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.  A person I know used to criticize people whom he referred to as "good time Charlies."  They were the people who were always there for you when life was good but impossible to find in times of need.  This Psalm verse reminds us that God is definitely not a good time Charlie.  The Lord is always there for His people, especially when we are faced with troubling people or situations.

Praying these two verses last night helped calm my mind and heart and made sleep much easier. That's just one more reason to treasure God's Word.

Soon we will start putting up the weekly 52 verse on the website.  I'll be sure to point it out when we do so.  Join us in memorizing God's Holy Word!

This Saturday a communion service will be held at 5 pm.  On Sunday, worship takes place at 8 and 10:45 am.  The Sunday school children will sing at the second service and we will recognize our teachers and leaders.  Later the families from the Sunday school will be having a potluck picnic at a nearby park.  Join us this week at Life in Christ to learn more!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Top 10 Comments Pastors Never Hear While Greeting People After the Service

10) "Pastor, it must be hard to write a sermon that connects with such a large and varied group of people.  Good job!"

9) "I love the nice, unhurried way that communion is served in our church."

8) "Do you think the organist could play a little louder? I think we'd really sing out!"

7) "The temperature is the sanctuary today was perfect!"

6) "Someone was sitting in my pew today, Pastor.  I gladly found another place to sit."

5) "I'm glad you're willing to remind us to be generous with our tithes and offerings."

4) "Pastor, the men's room was out of toilet paper this morning.  But don't worry, I replaced it."

3) "I love to sing hymns with eight verses!"

2) "Today you preached for 20 minutes.  I wish you'd gone on longer."

And the number one comment pastors never hear while greeting people after the service:

1) "Don't you just love the sound of crying babies in the church?"

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A timeless prayer

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous
teach me to serve You as You deserve
to give and not to count the cost
to fight and not heed the wounds
to toil and not to seek for rest
to labor and not to seek reward
except that of knowing that 
I do Your will

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Lord Speaks

Often I tell people that if you want to hear the voice of the Lord, open your Bible and start to read.  I needed to hear from the Lord this morning.  And I did.

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers, do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass, and like the green grass fade away.

Put your trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord, and he shall give you your heart's desire.
Commit your way to the Lord and put your trust in Him, and He will bring it to pass.

The Lord cares for the lives of the godly, and their inheritance shall last for ever.

But the deliverance of the righteous comes from the Lord, He is their stronghold in time of trouble.

The Lord will help them and rescue them; He will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them, because they seek refuge in Him.

Selected verses from Psalm 37.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Have you ever suddenly lost a loved one or had a retirement nest egg evaporate or felt the pain of a messy divorce?

You need to meet Clayton King.

King, author of "Stronger - How Hard Times Reveal God's Greatest Power," offers a variety of stories from his own life to demonstrate how God's power and presence can see a person through the most difficult or hurtful tragedy.

Over the course of 10 chapters, King describes how God upheld him through the passing of family members, the pressure of building and leading a growing ministry and trying to be a loving husband and father, just as his father had been to him and his family.

King makes it clear that no one is exempt from trouble.  But he offers hope as he writes, "What we crave deep down in our hearts is the presence of a companion who walks with us through whatever we have to endure.  God himself promises to be that companion, and he also sends us lots of other people as his little ambassadors to hold our hands and lift us up when it feels like the wheels are coming off our lives."  (pages 91-92)

King has seen plenty of trouble in his life.  Through the power of God in his life, Clayton King has been made "stronger."

"Stronger - How Hard Times Reveal God's Greatest Power" is published by Baker Books.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

It's time for my annual summer blog vacation

What does one do on a summer blog vacation?

Good question.

What I won't be doing is blogging.  And, unlike most vacations, I won't be getting out of town either.

I am thinking that I'm going to do more reading.  I've been working my way through David McCullough's biography on Harry Truman.  I've become an on-line book reviewer for Baker Books so I'm reading the first selection they've sent me.  I'll be blogging about that later.  I picked up an oral history of the Beatles that contains some stuff that I haven't read before.  That should keep me busy.

So I'll see you back here on August 18.  Y'all come back now!

Oh, by the way, Life in Christ will have a service this Saturday at 5 pm and two services tomorrow at 8 and 10:45 am.  Bible classes for all ages will begin at 9:20 am.  Hope to see you this weekend!