Wednesday’s Words
Wednesday’s WordsThursday's ThirstYesterday morning, as I began my day reading a devotion from “Portals of Prayer,” the Bible verse topping the page got my attention.  “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12.12)  I think these words will continue to ring in my ears for quite some time.  “Christian hope” can be defined as “knowing the what, just not the when.”  We rejoice because we know that eternal life is ours.  We just don’t know when we will see Jesus face to face.  Or another way to put it, we don’t know when the tribulation in which we live will end.  However, since we know that it will end (because of our Christian hope) we can patiently endure it.  And the best and healthiest way to endure is by being – you guessed it – “constant in prayer”. [...]
June 9, 2024 Bulletin
June 9, 2024 BulletinBulletinsSince we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. [...]
Prayer List
Prayer ListGeneral Articles / ResourcesAnd we remember those who protect and nurture life on this earth, along with all military families, emergency responders, and hospital, nursing home and hospice care workers. [...]
Holy Cow!
Holy Cow!Thursday's Thirst“Holy Cow!” is an expression I have used various times over the years to express amazement or delight, but I never thought much about the background of the statement.  In looking it up this week I discovered that the expression was used regularly by sportscasters Phil Rizzuto and Harry Carry.  Some people speculate it references Hinduism.  Others think its Irish Gaelic.  Personally I am more interested in the first half of the expression than the second. [...]
May 12, 2024 Bulletin
May 12, 2024 BulletinBulletinsAlmighty God in his mercy has given his Son to die for you and through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus, has paid for your transgressions, and defeated death and all your enemies. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you of all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. [...]
Still Praying
Still PrayingThursday's ThirstIt had been over a year since we had seen them, so it was great to finally get together.  We met at a restaurant about an hour away so that the drive would be similar for both couples.  As you can imagine, there were no lags in the conversation while we were with them – after all, in one way or another, we have been friends since day one. [...]
Fun Times
Fun TimesThursday's ThirstFun Times can be packaged in many different ways.  Something can be enjoyable without being amusing.  Pleasure can be found outside the realm of frivolity.  In fact some of the most pleasurable moments are often experienced while serving or even sweating.  Though some may not feel comfortable referring to some of these activities as “fun”, anything that brings a satisfactory smile to the face or warmth to the heart is going to be called “fun” in my book … and I believe our life in Christ is supposed to be fun! [...]
May 5, 2024 Bulletin
May 5, 2024 BulletinBulletinsLet us pray. We give thanks to You, almighty God, that You have refreshed us through this salutary gift, and we implore You that of Your mercy You would strengthen us through the same in faith toward You and in fervent love toward one another; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
Little Things
Little ThingsThursday's ThirstIt seems as though lately I have frequently been more sensitive to little things – perhaps I should really be calling them “little blessings” – in lots of different ways.  Sometimes it is in the narratives I am reading in the Scriptures.  Other times it is in the stories people are telling.  Sometimes it is just in nature or the circumstances surrounding me. [...]
April 28, 2024 Bulletin
April 28, 2024 BulletinBulletinsBeloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. [...]
April 21, 2024 Bulletin
April 21, 2024 BulletinBulletinsGod of power, you called from death our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep. Send us shepherds to rescue the lost, to heal the injured, and to feed one another with knowledge and understanding; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
Looking Back
Looking BackThursday's ThirstWhile I have no recollection of ever being worried about things, finances were quite tight for us during the early years of marriage and church work.  Looking back, it is fun piecing together the little stories of God’s provision and grace.  We live in the reality that God’s Word and promises are true:  “The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want.” (Psalm 23.1). [...]
April 14, 2024 Bulletin
April 14, 2024 BulletinBulletinsSee what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. [...]
April 7, 2024 Bulletin
April 7, 2024 BulletinBulletinsMost merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen. [...]
Baked Potatoes
Baked PotatoesThursday's ThirstPotatoes, as they come out of the field, are not much to look at.  They are an ugly brown, covered with dirt, and unshapely.  The “good ones” are rock hard.  Many have odd looking things projecting out from the main part of the body.  I wonder who ever thought of eating these ugly, useless looking items. [...]
March 31, 2024 Bulletin
March 31, 2024 BulletinBulletinsWhen the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large [...]
And the Lion!
And the Lion!Thursday's ThirstAs the snow covered our lawn and driveway this past Friday, my mind was on Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers – which happens to be today in Chicago.  Fortunately we have another week for the landscape to warm-up before the Home Opener on April 5.  And, at least at this point, the forecasts look good for both the first weekend of the season in Chicago and the second here in Detroit … with temperatures in the low 50’s all the way around. [...]
Lutheran Fraternities of America
Lutheran Fraternities of AmericaGeneral ArticlesYou have heard of and seen Knights of Columbus, Eagles, Kiwanis and Moose Clubs, but did you know that there is a Lutheran based Fraternal Organization?  More than likely your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were a part of a Lutheran Fraternities organization and there is still one around for you to be a part of. [...]
March 24, 2024 Bulletin
March 24, 2024 BulletinBulletinsThese stones remind us of the rocky road that Christ will stumble along on the way to the cross. They remind us of Peter, the Rock, who will lead the Church and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to the nations. [...]
March 17, 2023 Bulletin
March 17, 2023 BulletinBulletinsAlmighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your people that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
Not So Smooth
Not So SmoothThursday's ThirstWe are still watching “Heartland” reruns on UpTV.  We recently went through what seemed like an entire season in which one of the sub-plots was the pending engagement of Ty and Amy.  Early in the season Ty bought the ring and had an evening set up for the proposal.  Then Amy said something that made Ty think that she was not interested in being engaged at that time.  While he stepped out to reconsider, she accidently found the ring in a pocket of his jacket next to his ringing cell phone.  Thinking Amy wanted her independence, Ty put proposing in the back of his mind.  Meanwhile Amy, knowing of the ring, wondered why Ty was having second thoughts. [...]
March 10, 2024 Bulletin
March 10, 2024 BulletinBulletinsAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
March 3, 2024 Bulletin
March 3, 2024 BulletinBulletinsO God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
Lion and/or Lamb?
Lion and/or Lamb?Thursday's ThirstTomorrow is March 1st, and the age-old question is, “Will it come in like a lion or a lamb?”  The forecasts I have seen call for the weather to be dry and cool.  We may even see the sun poke its head out of the clouds in the middle of the day.  That sounds like a lamb to me, so we better be aware come Holy Week.  Easter this year is March 31 … [...]
Easter Plant Orders
Easter Plant OrdersGeneral ArticlesOrders will be accepted until March 10, 2024. Thank you for making our Altar beautiful for Easter. All Plants are only $13. [...]
February 25, 2024 Bulletin
February 25, 2024 BulletinBulletinsO God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
Struggles
StrugglesThursday's ThirstThis week I visited a lady at a nursing home whom I had never met before.  She is about 20 years older than I, and it sounded like she had been a resident of the home for a good many years.  She was confined to a wheelchair and spoke with a voice so soft I struggled to hear many of her words.  It sounded like she said that she had no family around who visited her.  She had called a church asking for a pastor to visit, so I stopped by.  As I exited the home, I praised God for her cheerful disposition that did not seem to have been dampened in the least by her struggles. [...]
Timing, Part 2
Timing, Part 2Thursday's ThirstFebruary 15, 2024 I will guess the conversation started around Labor Day, but to be honest, it was so long ago I really have no clue.  The issue was an unstable looking tree on our neighbor’s empty lot at Houghton Lake.  He was working on a plan to cut it down, but the path of its fall would produce a direct hit on our bunkhouse (this is the name we have given to the travel trailer we purchased last year to accommodate overnight sleeping space for our growing family).  I immediately agreed to move the bunkhouse to a different and temporary location on our lot … and that I would do so as soon as possible.  And then we drove home to celebrate Joel’s 40th birthday, though I may have actually tried to do this on my own – which, if you know me, is a thought that comes directly from fantasy land!  [...]
February 18, 2024 Bulletin
February 18, 2024 BulletinBulletinsIn those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” [...]
February 11, 2024 Bulletin
February 11, 2024 BulletinBulletinsMost merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your holy name. Amen. [...]