Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rejoice! There will be coffee and donuts!

Our long nightmare is over! Coffee and donuts will return tomorrow to Life in Christ!

Now, I realize that I'm being a bit sarcastic.  But when you've been in the habit of having some coffee and a donut every Sunday for 11 years, well, having that taken away is a real shock to the system.

But tomorrow at LICL, all is well.  The south entrance to our building will be available.  Also available will be most of the parking spaces we've lost the last two weeks because of construction. This is all good!

Construction continued at a brisk pace this week.  The frame to the new music room and chapel is up, giving us a sense of what that part of the new construction looks like.  Work also continued on the new offices on the north side of the building and our foreman hopes to complete that work soon.  You can now identify where the elevator shaft and stairwells are in relation to the new building. Excitement continues to build for our expansion project.

Come and worship with us this weekend.  Saturday service begins at 5 pm and my little music group provides the songs to sing.  Sunday morning we gather at 8 and 10:45 for worship and Bible classes for all ages meets at 9:20 am.  Hope to see you this weekend at LICL!

My soul thirsts for You

This Sunday during the Bible class hour at 9:20 am, our adult class will continue taking a look at the film, "War Room."  We will learn some of the elements of developing a strategy of faithfulness in spending time with the Lord.

One important admonition is to eliminate all distractions so that you can focus completely on God. The Psalm reading from the "Treasury of Daily Prayer" was portions of Psalm 63.  This psalm of David begins with these words: "O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water...."

We are told that David wrote this psalm "when he was in the wilderness of Judah."

Wilderness wanderings aren't much fun.  In fact, they can be downright devastating. The sense of hopelessness becomes overwhelming.  You can't see a solution to your problem.  You can't find a soul who can offer a pinch of hope.

But David stands that thinking on its head.

When he remembers God, when he meditates on all the ways that the Lord has been with him, helped him and blessed him, David finds a song in his heart.  "I will sing for joy."

In faith, David will do even more: "My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."

In the wilderness of suffering and confusion, you always have a choice.  You can choose, with the hands of faith, to cling to the Lord.  When you believe that you can't take another step, the Lord will hold you up, give you His strength to keep on going and to keep on trusting.

Psalm 63 does not end with how the Lord led David out of the wilderness.  At this point, David has no idea what God's solution might be.  But David trusts that God has the solution and knows the way. That's is good enough for David.

May it always be enough for you.  Rejoice in God!.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

This is what discipleship looks like

A woman in a small Arkansas community was a single mom with a frail baby.  Her neighbor would stop by every few days and keep the child so she could shop.  After some weeks her neighbor shared more than time; she shared her faith, and the woman did what Matthew the tax collector did.  She followed Christ.

The friends of the young mother objected.  "Do you know what those people teach?" they contested.

"Here is what I know," she told them.  "They held my baby."

God's amazing offer

The principle of service is what separates true leaders from glory seekers.  Jesus, the leader, served His people.  Most religions teach that we are put here to serve God; yet in Jesus, God is offering to serve us.  True service inspires service.  The true attitude of serving is a softening agent that works on the hardest of hearts and situations.

Laurie Beth Jones, as quoted in "Cracking Your Congregation's Code" page 135

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Friday Funny on Thursday

Too funny to wait until tomorrow...

The story is told of a great, never-say-die general who was taken captive and thrown into a deep, wide pit along with a number of his soldiers.  In that pit was a huge pile of horse manure.

"Follow me," the general cried to his men as he dove into the pile, "There has to be a horse in here somewhere!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lord, do for the father what you did for the son

Dan and Janelle Berteau are two of the dearest friends Sherri and I have.  We first met as I was getting ready for my first year at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  Janelle showed up, unannounced, to help us move into the home we would live in while going to school.  Later, we were invited over to the Berteau's apartment for dinner and I met Dan.  19 years later our friendship has grown deeper and we continually give thanks to God for the friendship and love we've received from Dan and Janelle and their family.

Yesterday afternoon, the Berteau's youngest son, Ben, who is following in his father's footsteps by attending Concordia, received his vicarage assignment.  Ben, who is dealing with some health issues, was assigned to serve as Vicar at his field education church, St. John's Lutheran in Arnold, Missouri. This is a large, dynamic congregation in south St. Louis country and will provide Ben with a rich ministry experience.

Dan is preparing to retire as a US Navy chaplain.  In just a few months he will be free to pursue other ministry opportunities.  Dan is a compassionate, understanding pastor.  He passionately proclaims the Gospel of Jesus.  He knows how to engage with people and point them to the hope we have in Christ Jesus.  He will be an outstanding pastor for some congregation.

Would you join me in praying for Dan? He's been telling me that clergy retiring from serving in the military are having a difficult time receiving a call to serve as pastor.  Dan knows that the Lord sees his future clearly.  He is trusting that the Lord already has a church picked out for him to serve at. But the waiting is challenging.

I'm praying that it would be the Lord's will that Dan not wait too long.  I'm praying that the Lord will send Dan to a place where he can be most effective in sharing the Word and administering the Sacraments.  I'm praying that the Lord will bless Dan and Janelle with a congregation that will love and welcome them as they partner together in telling their community about the hope of Jesus.

Would you join me in praying for my brother, Dan?  Thank you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The best seat at last night's Diamondbacks game...

Was on my couch!

I've reached that point in my life where it is a whole lot easier and more enjoyable to watch sporting events from the comfort of my couch as opposed to making my way to one of our stadiums to see the game in person.

I've been told this is a sign of old age; it is certainly a sign of my old age!

Still, I didn't have to drive to downtown Phoenix...didn't have to pay to park my car in some garage...didn't have to pay an outrageous sum of money for a hot dog and an adult beverage...didn't have to listen to the guy next to me complain about the umps or the stupid manager who doesn't know what he's doing or why he's glad to have a night out without his wife.

And since neither my wife nor I were feeling very well, I felt no guilt at all in turning off the game in the 5th inning and calling it an early night (this was good since the D-Backs scored 9 runs in the next inning to put the game away - it's going to be a long season for Cardinals fans).

So there you have it.  I'll probably catch some additional games this week from my favorite seat.  Now if I can just get the attention of the concession girl, I mean, my dear, sweet wife! Beer here!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gloria Gray Memorial Sermon

Gloria Gray Memorial

            It was the signature song of “old blue eyes.”  Frank Sinatra would come to the end of a concert with one final tune to sing.  The lights would go down until there was just one spotlight on the singer who had entertained generations.  He would begin, “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.  My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.”

            The song would continue to build to a crescendo and then Sinatra sang its spine-tingling conclusion: “To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels.  The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!”  And before the last note was played, the crowd was on its feet, saluting the man who, for better or worse, did it his way.

            On the Sunday that she fell asleep in Jesus, I heard stories about Gloria.  We were gathered in a hospice room, Mike and Lori and some other family members.  People reminisced and told stories.  I was glad to be there to hear about Gloria’s life.  And I heard a phrase that seemed to describe her.  She did things her way, Gloria’s way.

            If you know of Gloria’s battle with cancer, she certainly followed a type of treatment that was her way.  She didn’t have a lot of use for traditional medicine.  She didn’t care much for “idiot doctors.”  My apologies to any doctors here today.  In talking with Gloria one day I came to realize that she had done extensive reading on cancer treatments and medications.  She was not going to let some doctor poison her with a treatment that would do more harm than good.  So she dealt with cancer her way.  If she had to battle cancer, she would do so on her terms.  That was the way it was going to be.

            On the other hand, the “my way” of doing things served Gloria well in reaching out to other people.  Lori and Mike talked about the way that Gloria took such “lost souls” under her wing, so to speak, those who were in need of love and friendship.  Gloria was not concerned with befriending the successful or well connected.  She discovered people who were in need of a little love and a little grace.  She reached out and cared for them.  Gloria made such people feel special.  Wouldn’t we all want a friend who made us feel that way?

            Gloria was a gifted and talented person.  I had no idea she was an engineer with the phone company.  Even more impressive was that she was a woman engineer in a place that was dominated by men.  She had to be smart and quick to compete in that environment.  She was also a talented seamstress.  Did I get this story right, Mike? Gloria used to make clothing for you and David to wear?  Like matching shirts? And you weren’t too happy when David came out of the house wearing the same shirt as you? Gloria thought it looked cute.  You weren’t so sure.

            So this gifted and talented person did lots of things her way.  In fact, you might say that God gave Gloria a lot of freedom to deal with certain aspects of her life in the manner that she wanted.  But there was one thing that God said “no” to Gloria.  And there isn’t anything in this world that Gloria could have done to have changed God’s mind.  That was regarding Gloria’s salvation.  She would not earn salvation “her way.”  God said “no way” to Gloria’s way.  Instead, God would give salvation and eternal life to Gloria Gray.  He would do it His way.

            You and I needed God to come to our rescue and work salvation for us.  Go all the back to the beginning of creation.  Adam and Eve had been given the role of caretaker of all that God had made.  Their lives were full of bliss and happiness.  God had given them everything they needed.  He also gave them one rule – don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they would die.

            Adam and Eve would be completely safe as long as they stood on the firm ground of God’s Word.  But they did it their way.  They listened to the lies of the devil.  They did not trust the loving God than had given them everything.  One bite of the forbidden fruit was all that it took.  By doing it their way, Adam and Eve brought sin into the world.  You and I have been infected by this sin disease.

            And as Gloria did battle with cancer on her terms, you and I try to deal with sin on our terms.  We decide that if we just try harder, work at living a good and honest life, that God should accept us.  Unfortunately, trying harder doesn’t remove sin or make us holy.  And that’s what God demands – perfection, holiness.

            Or our way to deal with sin might be to try to make up for the bad things we do by doing good things.  If we can tip the scales in our favor, God will surely have to accept us.  But again, the idea of trying to cancel out our sin with good deeds doesn’t remove the sin that is already in our lives.  The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Your iniquities have separated you from your God.”

            And if all else fails we can resort to the “good old comparison game.”  We look at the people around us and say, “I’m not perfect but I’m a lot better than many people I know.  That must count for something!”  But that way of dealing with sin is a losing way too.  You see, it’s not our holiness against others that counts but it’s how you and I measure up to God’s holiness.  In Leviticus, the Lord says, “Be holy as I the Lord Your God am holy.” 

            Anyone tempted to stand before the Lord and say, “I did it my way,” is certain to suffer eternal condemnation.  We cannot save ourselves no matter how hard we try.  Indeed, as we gather here today, we can give thanks and praise God that in the matter of our salvation, how grateful we are that He did it “His way.”

            God’s way began with the giving of His Son.  God the Father sent God the Son into the world to become one of us.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary and was made man.

            The God-man, Jesus, lived a perfectly holy life.  He was tempted by the devil and constantly tested by His enemies but not once did Jesus think an evil thought, speak an evil word or do an evil deed.  Once, when Jesus was verbally sparring with His critics He said to them, “Can any of you prove me of sin?” They could only stand before Jesus, speechless. 

            And we too are left speechless when we consider the next part of God’s plan of salvation.  The perfect Jesus died on a cross for imperfect people – people like Gloria and you and me.  The Bible teaches that “The Lord laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.  This was God’s way, to transfer our sins to Jesus and to have Him pay the penalty for them, which is death – separation from God.

            This helps us to understand why Jesus, near the end of his six hour ordeal on the cross, cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Jesus is suffering the wages of sin which is complete separation from God – it’s called hell.  God’s own Son, forsaken by God.  Why? Because resting on Jesus were the sins that bring with them the just penalty of death.

            Then just before He died, Jesus cried out again, saying, “It is finished!”  This was not a cry of defeat but of victory.  The word means, “Paid in full!”

            This was God’s way, His plan for our salvation.  Jesus paid our way in, paid the penalty in full, taking our sins upon Himself so that we could be in a right relationship with God.

            This you and I can be certain of.  For in return for our sins, Jesus gave to us exactly what we needed – His righteousness.  Now, we have the holiness that God demands and so, in God’s eyes, we are truly righteous and holy people.

            So all those who died, trusting in Jesus for salvation and eternal life, have these gifts of grace.  We don’t do salvation our way; instead, we trust in the One who is “the way and the truth and the life.”  We trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

            And we can celebrate today because Gloria trusted in Jesus to be her personal Savior.  She confessed that Jesus had won her from sin, death and the power of the devil.  She knelt here at this table, confident that Jesus had come to her in the bread and wine, giving her His true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.

            Knowing this gave Mike the courage to say to his Mom that it was alright to let go and take the hand of Jesus, who would lead her through the valley of the shadow of death and to her eternal rest.  Mike could say this because, as we confess in the third article of the Creed, we believe in “the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting.”

            Mike and David and all the rest of us who believe will be with Gloria again.  She will be so beautiful.  There will be no signs of the cancer that wracked her body.  She will be whole again with a new glorified body.

            We’ll gather around the throne of God and the Lamb.  We will use our voices to give glory and praise to God for the eternal life that we have in Jesus.  We will sing with a great heavenly choir, voices too numerous to count: “Great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty.  Just and true are Your ways.”  What joy it will give us all to sing, “Thank you, Lord.  You did it Your way!”  And just think – Gloria is there, waiting for us to join her.  And join her, we will.  Praise God! Amen.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Ready, set, go!

Here's today's schedule:

9 am - New Member's Class

10 am - Encouragement Team

1 pm - Gloria Gray Memorial

3:30 pm - Practice

5 pm - Saturday worship (preach, play, serve communion)

6 pm - Cheryl Woods birthday party

That should be enough, I think.

Then, on Sunday, I'll be preaching at the 8 and 10:45 services and leading the 9:20 am Bible class as we continue to focus on prayer by watching segments of "War Room."  Join us this weekend for services at LICL!

Friday, April 22, 2016

This job would be great if it weren't for the people

Lee Griess tells about a Peanuts comic strip that tickled his funny bone.  Lucy stands with her arms folded and a resolute expression on her face, while Charlie Brown pleads with her.

"Lucy," he says, "you must be more loving.  The world needs love.  Make this world a better place, Lucy, by loving someone else."

At that Lucy whirls around angrily and Charlie goes flipping over backwards.  "Look, you blockhead," Lucy screams, "The world I love.  It's the people I can't stand!"

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What should ministers do?

I view ministry as a vocation of meaning.  Ministers are meaning-givers not merely for a parish, but in everything ministers do.  All of which means that ministers must study every day of their lives.  They can.  They can because lay people can manage churches very well, design programs, write church newspapers, and all the rest.  Lay people are also excellent at giving comfort, visiting the sick, helping in other meaningful ways.  Ministers can assist in giving meaning to programs and deep meaning to desperate people in crisis moments.  These days ministers are beset; too many demands assail them.  But they may be dodging their primary concern - meaning.

David Buttrick, in "The Sermon Maker," page 109

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

No excuses!

If any member of Life in Christ needed an excuse to skip church last Sunday, they had all the excuses they could ever want.

Because of construction issues we had only one way in and out of the building - the north entrance. Also, we lost 10 or more of our precious parking places.  And as we joked, the worst set back of all was that there would be no coffee and donuts for everyone's enjoyment - we had no place to serve them.

So what happened? We had one of our largest weekend crowds of the year.   In spite of the inconveniences our people came to worship.  We received a large group of new members.  And at our voters meeting we chose a name for our new building - The Christian Life Center.  We also received an update from the Building Committee on how the project was progressing.  We have a long way to go but the excitement is building among our people.  More and more we can see how this expansion project will help us "expand" our reach into our community so that more folks can know and believe in Jesus as the only hope and Savior of the world.

I told the congregation that they had really cheered my heart.  It was so good that so many put up with the inconveniences and came to receive the gifts God gives in worship.  No excuses.  No excuses at all.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cracking the Code

In 7th grade a friend of mine and I developed our own secret code so that we could pass messages to each other that no one else would be able to understand.  We thought we were so clever.  That is, until one day a classmate found the key to our code in a notebook.  Suddenly, all of our deepest and most secret messages were revealed.  It was embarassing!

According to this week's Gospel lesson, our Good Shepherd, Jesus, has the key to your code and mine.  No secret is secret from Him.  Our deepest thoughts are known by Him.  What does that mean for us? Join us this Sunday for worship and find out.  We have two Sunday services - 8 and 10:45 am. Bible classes begin at 9:20 am.

Or you might want to join us this afternoon for our 5 pm worship.  My little musical group is playing and we'd love to have you join us.  Either way, do come and worship with us this weekend at LICL!

Friday, April 15, 2016

One way to deal with the devil

Satan has no recourse to your testimony.  Your best weapon against His attacks is a good memory.

Max Lucado, from "Glory Days," page 64

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hope - you can't live without it

Hope - you can't live without it.  It's the thing that keeps us going during the darkest night of the soul. It's the power that keeps us moving when we're ready to give up.  It moved Job, who was tested and tried, to confidently write, "I know that my Redeemer lives."  Even as he faced death, it led the apostle Paul to pen, "Yet I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day."  That's hope - pure and simple!

A favorite verse of my is Hebrews 6:19a: "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."  On this verse one pastor wrote, "Few things were more important to the sailor in a storm than a good anchor and a good ground for it.  Believers in Christ have both.  They have an 'anchor for the soul, firm and secure.'  Like some anchors whose strong flukes cannot be twisted out of shape,  so we have in Christ and absolute strong and reliable hope."

In Christ Jesus we have safe harbor.  The storms of life, while threatening to us, cannot destroy us. We flee to Christ.  Anchored in the solid ground of His Holy Word, we can stand firm against the temptations of the old evil foe.  The devil can't steal our soul.  Christ's comeback victory on the third day ensures us of new life now and eternal life in heaven.  As Jane Fryer writes, "Flee for refuge to Him! Take hold of the hope He offers you! Live in great courage! You are His now and forever!"

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What in the world???

The sainted John Jeske was a WELS pastor, author and seminary professor.  An Old Testament scholar, he had the wonderful gift of showing how those 39 books continually point to Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.  I am using Jeske's "Peoples Bible" commentary for research with the daily readings found in our "Treasuring God's Word" daily devotional which we offer each week.  Here is a nugget I discovered the other day:

The world is not only Satan's playpen, but the workshop of our God.  (page 285)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

First learn and then apply to life

The first part of Psalm 86:11 - Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth.

The psalmist makes it clear that before you can walk you have to be taught.

This make such perfect sense, right?

Before you can live out the truth of God's Word in your daily life, you have to know this Word.

I get frustrated with people, especially some parents, who say things like, "I don't want my child cooped up in some classroom going through a boring Catechism class.  I want my child learning how to serve other and help others.  That's how they learn the faith."


Our works and service are a result of our learning the truth of God's Word.  First, we are taught the truth and then we put the truth into practice.

Besides, if a parent's thinking about Catechism class that it's boring, it's not hard to know what their child's attitude toward the Catechism will be, right?

Don't despise the teaching of God's Word.  Pray with the psalmist, "Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth."

God bless your learning and your walking!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rest in Jesus, Gloria

One of our members, Gloria Gray, fell asleep in Jesus last evening.  She was one of those quiet, unassuming people that a church can't do without.  She blessed our church with her service at our Saturday evening worship.  That group will especially miss Gloria.

While doing my devotional reading this morning, in the Treasury of Daily Prayer, I can across this entry from Martin Luther.  Although I had read it before, it brought so much comfort, peace and hope.

From the Gospel of today and from the son of the widow (of Nain) we should learn to perceive the great power which God, through Christ, will apply to us at the last day, when, by a word, He will recall to life all men and give everlasting salvation to believers.  This will be done in the twinkling of an eye, in order that we may not doubt in the least either the power of our Lord Jesus to do this or His will gladly to do it.  for here we have the example.  The son of the widow is dead; he has lost the gift of hearing and all other senses.  But when Christ speaks to him, he hears.  This is certainly a strange and wonderful incident.  He that does not hear, hears; and he that does not live, lives.  Nothing is done but that Christ opens His mouth and bids him arise.  The single word is so powerful that death has to vanish and life return...

Before the Lord death is not death at all.  For us it is called and is death when we die.  But before God it is a light sleep which could not be any lighter.

These very facts our Lord Jesus wishes to impress upon our minds, so that we may not fear when pestilence and death itself draw near, but that we may learn to say: O death, what can you do even in your worst form? You have terrible teeth, which you show to frighten me, for I do not like to die.  But I will not merely behold your work when you, like an executioner, draw the sword; but I will remember what our Lord can and will do when you have slain me; namely, that He is not afraid of you and does not care for you raging and destroying, but says, "O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction."  If you can kill my Christians, I can destroy and recall them to life again.

Page 228

Saturday, April 9, 2016

If you're neither hot or cold...

Almost 100 people were on hand last Sunday morning for our first segment of the "War Room" Bible study, based on the popular 2015 film.  This week's lesson will challenge us all to take our spiritual temperature and we'll follow up with a look at Revelation 3:14-22.  The class meets at 9:20 am so come and join us!

Today, worship at LICL at 5 pm or tomorrow at 8 and 10:45 am.  Hope to see you this weekend!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Watch out, you whale!

My father in law introduced me to motivational speaker, Zig Zigler.  I had the opportunity to hear the man speak and I always appreciated his enthusiasm and humor.  He knew how to captivate a crowd and communicate hope for people struggling to make more of their lives.  He was an unabashed Christian who taught a weekly Bible study class.  Here's one of his most well known quotes:

"I'm so optimistic, I'd go after Moby Dick in a row boat and take the tartar sauce with me!"

How's that to get your Friday started?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The secret oil

What, then, is this secret oil that's so indispensibly necessary? It is faith, the faith that unites us with Christ and lets us live inside of us.  Where that faith exists is where you're ready to meet Him when He comes.  Through that faith you constantly live in the forgiveness of sins.  Even when you can think about Jesus.  Even when you sleep.  Even if you lie unconscious and near death.

What can you do to get the oil? The answer: use God's Words and pray, diligently go to Your Savior's communion, watch over your heart so that you don't extinguish the Spirit and don't close the door to the Savior.

Bo Giertz, "To Live with Christ," pages 734-35, in reference to Matthew 25:1-13

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Two church elders were having a beer...

Two elders drove to a nearby Applebee's after an early evening meeting at church.  While waiting for a table, they sat in the bar drinking a beer.  When their pastor walked by, one quickly said, "Oh, I hope Pastor didn't see us."

"What difference does that make?" asked the other.  "God knows we're having a beer."

"Sure," replied the first, "but God won't tell my wife."

From a dear friend, George Kottwitz, a member of our LCMS home congregation in Edwardsville, Illinois.  He never failed to have a joke to share and he never failed to put a smile on my face.  I've lost track of George but I sure haven't forgotten him.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cheap Discipleship?

My concern is that many of our churches in America have gone from being sanctuaries to becoming stadiums.  And every week all the fans  come to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following Him.  The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren't actually interested in following Christ.  They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.

Kyle Idleman, from his book, "Not a Fan," as taken from Tim Challies' blog

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Practice, practice, practice

Yesterday, Connie, our office administrator extraordinaire, experienced her kind of day.

Our little musical group, of which she is the rock while playing the piano, practiced four songs for one hour and 25 minutes!

We had a new bass player sitting in with us, a multi-talented guy named Dale, a friend of Dan, our drummer.  Since the music was pretty new to Dale we worked on each arrangement and practiced each song until Dale felt confident with his part.

By the end of the practice we sounded pretty good.  And Connie was very happy.

So join us this afternoon for our 5 pm, Evening Prayer service at LICL.  We'll provide the music and Deacon Jerry Klink will proclaim God's Word.

Or join us tomorrow for worship at 8 and 10:45 am with Bible classes for all ages at 9:20 am.

As you arrive you'll notice construction fence on the north and west sides of the building.  The new entry way will be made next week and work on the new music room is to get started soon as well.

Exciting days for sure at Life in Christ.  Worship with us this weekend, won't you?

Friday, April 1, 2016

War Room Bible Study begins this Sunday

I learned an interesting fact yesterday.  The film, "War Room" was made for about 3 million dollars. At the box office it earned 73 million dollars!

And you wonder why there is such a rash of faith-based films being released in theaters these days.

Christianity, is some ways, is the Rodney Dangerfield of religions.  Remember Rodney's refrain as he did stand-up comedy? "I don't get no respect!"

Well, Hollywood is giving Christians some respect.  This spring we've seen a number of faith-based films in the theaters, led by the strong box office showing of "Risen."   Coming up next is "God's Not Dead 2."

"War Room" is the most successful in a long line of films written, produced and directed by the Kendrick brothers.

The film seemed to ask viewers, "What is your plan or strategy for daily relying on the Lord for faith, strength and hope?"

This Sunday, we'll start a study on the subject of prayer, using the "War Room" film as a guide of sorts.  We'll watch portions of the movie and then look for Biblical applications to what we've watched.

The goal is two fold - first, encourage those who have a plan for daily Bible reading and prayer to keep it going.  Second, help those who lack such a plan to find a way each day into their war room to listen to God speak from His Holy Word and then to speak back to God in prayer.

I'm expecting a large crowd.  Seems like there's a lot of interest from folks I've talked with at church.

We'll have room for you to attend.  Join us at 9:20 am!