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. [...]
Prayer List
Prayer ListGeneral Articles / ResourcesAnd we remember those who protect and nurture life on this earth, this week remembering those receiving the vaccine, along with all military families, emergency responders, and hospital, nursing home and hospice care workers. [...]
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. [...]
Timing
TimingThursday's ThirstIt had all of the appearance of just being fortunate timing.  Monica and I had attended different Sunday morning churches with specific responsibilities.  Around 1:00 p.m. she returned to our condo with our oldest granddaughter, Brooklyn.  The three of us then drove to Joel’s condo to relax and have a few snacks.  Then we put our coats back on and walked over to view the ice sculptures on display in downtown Mount Clemens.  The first one had a hole in the center ideal for picture taking.  We had Brooklyn smile through the hole, took her picture, and then walked away to see the remaining 30 some sculptures.  [...]
February 4, 2024 Bulletin
February 4, 2024 BulletinBulletinsIf I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 1or if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. [...]
Tough Loss
Tough LossThursday's ThirstYes, I watched every one of the Lions’ playoff games – almost every minute of every game.  It felt really good to beat Matthew Stafford (whom I still like) and the Rams.  And then it felt even better to win again the next week.  Wow – those crowds at Ford Field really rocked!  As we approached the NFC championship game I had two thoughts.  The first was “Amazing – we are in the same conversation as the Chiefs, the Ravens, and the 49ers!  This is impressive company.”  The other was that if we had lost to Tampa Bay the disappointment would have been nearly intolerable. [...]
The Three P’s
The Three P’sThursday's ThirstNo, I am not referencing a TV commercial targeted at people my age … and, with last week’s “By G through F” in mind, I am not working on any sort of Alphabet Soup.  Rather, I am going through another basic catechetical thought as a means of reminding myself (and, perhaps, you too) of a few fundamental teachings of the Christian faith.  Thus, the “Three P’s” are not Price, Price, and Price … though they could be if we were to be focused on the price Christ paid for our salvation … incarnation … humiliation … damnation … “(Christ) being found in human form, humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2.8).  However, as I said, this is not the “Three P’s” I am thinking of today. [...]
January 28, 2024 Bulletin
January 28, 2024 BulletinBulletinsThey went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath [Jesus] entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee. [...]
January 21, 2024 Bulletin
January 21, 2024 BulletinBulletinsThen the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. . . . When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. [...]
By G Thru F
By G Thru FThursday's ThirstHow about those Lions?!  What a great and exciting victory over Matthew Stafford (I’m still a fan) and the LA Rams.  And now they are six-point favorites to win again … and if the Packers can pull another upset … Oh, the possibilities.  I hear that standing room only tickets for this Sunday’s game are commanding well over $400 – can you imagine what they will be if Green Bay is in town to determine who goes to the Super Bowl?  Life is good. [...]
January 14, 2024 Bulletin
January 14, 2024 BulletinBulletinsFather in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized into Christ faithful in their calling to be your children and inheritors with him of everlasting life; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!Thursday's ThirstIs it Thursday already!?  As I sit down at the keyboard this noon, I am thinking it is Wednesday and that I am ahead of schedule.  Then I looked at the calendar and realized today is Thursday – which I should have known because of the two places I already have been today!  Well, I hope “better late than never” is OK by you … because, now that I think about it, last week was a “never”.  2024 is not off to the best of starts in regard to Thursday’s Thirst. [...]
January 7th, 2024 Bulletin
January 7th, 2024 BulletinBulletinsLord God, heavenly Father, we here remember the sufferings and death of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ, for our salvation. Praising His victorious resurrection from the dead, we draw strength from His ascension before You, where He ever stands for us as our own High Priest. Graciously receive our prayers, deliver and preserve us, for to You alone we give all glory, honor and worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
Missing Out
Missing OutThursday's ThirstI officiated a wedding this past Saturday.  The couple chose their wedding date to be12.23.23, and not the 12.31.23 that a record setting number of other couples have chosen as this year ends.  Many times over the weekend I thought of them having their first Christmas together as Mr. and Mrs. in their new apartment.  I pray they have at least as many as Monica and I have now had as Mr. and Mrs.  I believe this is our 48th … which were preceded by 7 other Christmases together leading up to our marriage. [...]
December 31, 2023 Bulletin
December 31, 2023 BulletinBulletinsAs we close out this year and prepare for the arrival of the next, let us first reflect on our sins and shortcomings of this past year and confess them to God, our Father: Merciful God, we confess that during this past year we have not been faithful to You or Your word. The times we have sinned against You and against one another are too numerous to count. We have not been the disciples You have called us to be. [...]
December 24, 2023 Advent Bulletin
December 24, 2023 Advent BulletinBulletinsWe are gathered in His presence to hear His Word, call upon Him in prayer, and receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us, therefore, first consider our unworthiness and confess before God and one another that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed, and that we cannot save ourselves. Together as God’s people, let us take refuge in the infinite mercy of our heavenly Father, seeking His grace for the sake of Christ, and pray: [...]
December 24, 2023 Christmas Eve Bulletin
December 24, 2023 Christmas Eve BulletinBulletinsIt is in the name of Jesus that we come before you, heavenly Father, pleading the merits of his holy life, his innocent suffering and death. [...]
December 25, 2023 Bulletin
December 25, 2023 BulletinBulletinsMost merciful God, You gave Your eternal Word to become incarnate of the pure Virgin. Grant Your people grace to put away fleshly lusts, that they may be ready for Your visitation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [...]
December 2023 Congregational Connector
December 2023 Congregational ConnectorCongregational ConnectorTim Kruse and Fred Bauss are sitting on the call committee with other constituents from Historic Trinity. The group is off to a good start, with a strong list of pastoral candidates to review. Expect interviews and further discussions with a short list of candidates to carry into the first week of January with a call shortly thereafter. Any further developments will be shared with the St. Thomas congregation as they occur. Plans are in place to have a vacancy pastor preaching at St. Thomas beginning January 7th of the New Year.. [...]
A Christmas Story
A Christmas StoryThursday's ThirstThis Story for Christmas comes compliments of my cousin, Tim Hetzner, the (semi-retired) Ambassador for Spiritual Growth for Lutheran Church Charities of Chicago.  This was from his daily email devotion of yesterday.  As you read it, the suggestion is that you consider these words given to us by St. Paul: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9.15).  Here is the story: [...]
December 17, 2023 Bulletin
December 17, 2023 BulletinBulletinsRejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. [...]
Let’s Get Ready
Let’s Get ReadyThursday's ThirstWith Christmas less than two weeks away … and the number of “advent” calendars that actually talk about Advent decreasing … I suggest we do a little something together this week that is actually geared toward preparing our hearts for the coming (advent) celebration of the incarnation of our God and Savior Jesus.  God has promised to be at work in us through his Word, and I have found he frequently supports that work through music.  So, this week, I simply offer to you a little scripture enhanced by the words of a song. [...]
Impact
ImpactThursday's ThirstI like the second definition of “impact” found in the Oxford dictionary (online):  “have a strong effect on someone or something.”  Merriam-Webster says it this way: “to impinge or make contact especially forcefully.”  This one I do not like as much because impinge generally implies a negative effect, and I am thinking of impact in a positive way.  For the same reason neither pushy nor forceful work either.  Yet somehow I am sensing that the Spirit of our God was active in this way in my life on a pretty constant basis over this past week. [...]
December 10, 2023 Bulletin
December 10, 2023 BulletinBulletinsAdapted from the Advent Carol Service used at St. Paul’s Cathedral in England, today’s service is part of a long tradition of vivid Advent services whose purpose is to help us as we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and for his coming again in glory. Much of the service is drawn from ancient sources. Some of the images have been used from the beginnings of Israel, through the period of the New Testament, through the Middle Ages to the present day. Every age has found in them a new richness through which God’s continuous mercy, revealed most dramatically in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, can be seen. [...]