God’s Encouraging Word …When I wonder if I will go to heaven
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16
I saw my name on Santa’s list! I was so excited. I didn’t think it would be there. I got mad and hit my sister on Thanksgiving Day. I admitted my fault. Since then, I was very well behaved. After all, Santa brings good things to good boys, right? I saw MY name! I was getting a puppy for Christmas! I did it! I made up for my sin.
Christmas came and no puppy. I was crushed. I thought I deserved one. I thought Santa loved me. Was the name on Santa’s list someone else with the same name as mine? Did Santa think my apology was insincere? Was hitting my sister such a horrible thing that he would totally reject me? No puppy that Christmas. (It would be another 29 years before I got a puppy.)
What if God treated us like that? We would never be sure we are going to heaven. But God does not treat us like that, and we can be sure we are going to heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”
Notice what God did not say. “God so loved the ones that don’t hit their sisters…” “God so loved the good ones… the top 50%... those who help themselves.” No, God loves sinners, all sinners, you and me. He loves the whole world.
God gave us the greatest gift of all. Jesus, God’s Son, came at Christmas to save the world from sin and hell. God gave us a gift only he can give—eternal life. God did that by sending Jesus into this world to live a life without sin. Jesus never hit his sister. He never even thought angry or insulting thoughts about anyone. Jesus was punished for all our sins, in our place. Jesus rose from the dead to guarantee our sins are paid for. He did this for the whole world. That includes you.
Jesus is the greatest gift ever given. Trusting him as your Savior, you can be certain you will go to heaven. Enjoy God’s gift of Jesus this Christmas.
FROM THE PASTOR
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Have You Had Enough? One of the questions that I’m sure most of us will hear over the next month and a half is: Have you had enough? Most of the time that question will refer to the amount of food we have on our plate at many of the parties that get attended this time of year. It also is asked about people getting enough presents or have they had enough of the commercialism that is so prevalent around the Christmas season.
However, I want to ask you: Have you had enough of Luke 2? Have you had enough of hearing that Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph and they placed him in a manger? Have you had enough of listening to the same message over and over?
If you have, then maybe it’s time to reconsider your faith. What does it believe? What does it cherish the most? What will it take to remind you of what took place so you could have the gift of heaven?
I pray this is not the case. I pray that these words that are recorded in Luke for us still excite you, still bring joy to your heart and still remind you of the great thing that took place. God took on flesh and became man for you and for me. God submitted to being under the very laws he put in place. God became sin for us.
When we remember all that is here, we can never have enough. Rather, God instills in us a longing for more. We look forward to when children proclaim these words to us in speech and in song. We look forward to telling people “Merry Christmas.” We look forward to raising our voices in singing the many carols that share this good news to all creation. May you never have enough of the Christmas message. Merry Christmas!
SUNDAY WORSHIP is 9:30am each week. Sunday School follows worship at 11:00am.
Wednesday Advent Services will begin Dec.5 with Advent by Candlelight presented by our ladies. Soup & Sandwich will be served before the Wednesday services. Join us as we contemplate Jesus arrival as our brother and our Savior and, then, carry the message to the Ends of the Earth.·
· Sunday School meets at 11:00am following worship.
· Sunday morning Bible class meets at 11:00am following the worship service. We are studying the Book of John. Join us!
· Voyager Village Bible group meets Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 1:00pm. The topic is “Women in the Bible.” They will meet at the home of Paul & Rita Ryan until further notice (3855 Wintergreen Ln, Danbury, phone 715-259-3479). Please let Rita know if you plan to attend.
· Wednesday Bible study will resume in January.
· On Thursdays we are studying “God the Ultimate Humanitarian” written by Pastor Mark Cares wrote it to help people understand and speak to those seeking the Christian faith, in particular, Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Join us Thursdays (Dec 6, 13, 20 & 27) at 10:00am.
THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS by George Frideric Handel
Back in the day, we sang part of this song in public school during our Christmas choir concert each year. This was about the same period of time we were attending catechism classes at church. It adds beautiful music to what we know about our Lord. Just the mention of the title at this time of year brings the music and lyrics to life.
Here are a few of the phrases that remind us of our Lord and who He is. Look up the full lyrics or find it on YouTube and see for yourself.
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, Hallelujah
The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ
And He shall reign for ever and ever
King of Kings, For ever and ever
And Lord of Lords, Hallelujah
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords
And He shall reign for ever and ever, Hallelujah
The government shall be on His shoulders, Hallelujah
We praise You because You reign, Hallelujah
We praise You because You rule, Hallelujah
GOD’S GREAT GIFT - GRACE : Even though we have sins, the grace of the Holy Spirit does not allow them to harm us. For we are in the Christian Church, where there is nothing but continuous, uninterrupted forgiveness of sins. (Large Catechism, Creed, Article III 55)
Oh, for a faith that will not shrink,
Though pressed by many a foe;
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe!
Lord give us such a faith as this,
And then, whatever may come,
We’ll taste even here the hallowed bliss
Of an eternal home.
By William H. Bathurst 1831
Corinthians 9:12-14: This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
TWO FOR ONE SALE! You have often seen that ad in the paper or in the store window. Buy one and get one free. You get double for your money. What a deal!
Here’s a real deal. You can get double the thanks for your gifts to God! By your offerings to God, you give thanks to God for all his mercy to you in Jesus (2 Corinthians 8:9). Then God is thanked again when other people receive the benefit of your generosity. The saints in Corinth gave thanks to God with their gifts, and the saints in Jerusalem gave thanks to God for the Corinthians’ gifts. Double for your money!
Missionaries often convey the thanks of people in the far corners of the world for the support that people like you give to our synod’s mission work. You probably couldn’t afford to send a missionary somewhere by yourself. That’s why we gather our offerings together. Together we can do more than we can by ourselves. As a result, God receives double thanks!
BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR NEWS
Christmas Tea - Ladies, Mark your calendars and plan on joining us for the annual Christmas Tea Salad Luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 8th at 1:00pm.
We will enjoy a potluck salad lunch and have a short meeting followed by some entertainment and a craft to make and take home!
Please bring a salad to share for the lunch and 2 dozen cookies for us to nibble on throughout the afternoon and fellowship on Sunday.
If you have any questions, please see Lorri or call 715-635-7158.
We hope that you can join us!
The Sunday Fellowship Treat sign-up sheet hanging by the kitchen/fellowship counter. Please sign up so we can spread out the treats over different Sundays! Thanks for your contribution to this special time with fellow Christians!
The Deadline for the Calendar and Newsletter is the third Friday each month. Submit articles and calendar information by email to email@example.com or add “NEWSLETTER” to the subject and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or put them in the newsletter box on the counter in Pastor’s office.
Our Family Barcode: Thanks to all who help collect Our Family UPC Barcodes. We receive $25.00 for 500 barcodes. This money helps fund items needed for preschool. Just a reminder … we only need to mail in the “barcode” portion of the labels. Labels add up fast, so keep clipping What a great way to support our Preschool and students.
Save Moola for Preschool with Milk Moola: Please continue to save your Kwik Trip milk caps and plastic bag strips. We receive a nickel each. There is a box in the library area for the items. If you have any questions, please see Lorri McQuade. Thank you!
Missions Blogs: Some blogs are posted on the bulletin board in the back of the fellowship hall and online at wels.net/serving-others/missions/.
The Deadline for the Calendar and Newsletter is the third Friday each month. Submit articles and calendar information by emailing to email@example.com or just add “NEWSLETTER” to the subject and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or put them in the newsletter box on the counter in Pastor’s office.
TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH videos are available. Pick up a copy to watch and share with someone.
Advent by Candlelight will be during the first Advent Service on Dec 5. It is based on the movie “TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH " and focuses on Lydia. Who was Lydia? She was a provider, a seeker, a listener, a baptized child of God, a member of the body of Christ, and an evangelist. May her story inspire us to share her story, our story and most importantly Jesus' story TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.
Poinsettias! Poinsettias Now is the time for poinsettias for Christmas. For more information contact Sharon Baker or Peggy McKibben.
Free Rummage Event (FRE): Hello members of Beautiful Savior, as most of you know there was an (as we say in the military) after-action report on Nov. 11 concerning the FRE. We talked about the 2018 event and ideas for the 2019 event. There is still interest in keeping the FRE going, but with some changes that we think will interest all of you. It was decided to let you all in on the new marching orders. (Just can’t help using the military lingo having just come away from Veteran’s Day.) Below are the major items of interest. They are presented to you in very broad terms right now as we are still working on refining these ideas and looking for your input!
Please look forward to being contacted by a person previously involved in the FRE in order to talk about these, and maybe other, ideas that you have for fine tuning our event to the needs of our community and reaching out with the message of God’s love for the people around us.
- Families/Groups will be able to set their own dates for pre-event sorting.
- In an effort to allow more people to be involved on their own schedules, sorting can be done by groups that tell us which date(s) they are available; and we will provide an experienced person to help with all the sorting particulars. Take a look at your calendars and plan a day (or more) in May-July when you can help. IMPORTANT: Sorting does not take an entire day. Only 2-3 hours at the most.
- The scope of the FRE would be narrowed so that there would not be so many leftovers to deal with. This is dependent upon what we can work out with the thrift store managers. The idea is to take less women’s clothing and eliminate books and home décor items. Our space is limited, and we want to adequately serve the NEEDS of our community. It is hoped that we could find more of the following items: men’s work clothing, king- and queen-size clothing, children’s clothing, and winter items. Keep your eyes open for these
- Backpack/School Supply Give Away - In another effort to serve our community’s needs, a suggestion was made that we add a backpack program in which we purchase (or solicit donations for) school supplies and backpacks. We certainly want to gauge congregational interest in this as it will require both time and money on the part of the congregation.
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.-II Thessalonians 3:13 -- Debra Boelk
But when the set time had fully come,
God sent his Son, born of a woman,
born under the law,
to redeem those under the law,
that we might receive adoption to sonship.
gentle mary laid her child lowly in a manger;
there he lay the undefiled, to the world a stranger.
such a babe in such a place–can he be the savior?
ask the saved of all the race who have found his favor.
by Joseph Cook
“the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,
and they will call him immanuel”—
which means, “god with us.”
CROOKED OR STRAIGHT by Pastor Mark Jeske
A Meaningful Christmas Experience will not come to you. You must go to it.
If you do nothing, all you will notice is that most stores are closed on Dec. 25 and there isn’t much traffic. If you are interested in an encounter with the Savior of all mankind, listen to the public relations agent that God himself commissioned during the first Advent time of preparation: “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him,” John the Baptist said (Luke 3:4). What on earth does that mean?
It means using the precious days before the celebration of the birth to straighten out crooked thinking in our minds, to fill in the ditches of despair and fear, and to level the obstructing hills of pride. It means recognizing that what drove God’s Son to come to earth as a human being was the wretched and damnable evil that lurks in every human heart. It means humbling yourself before a love so great that it agreed to be born in a barn.
Has your house preparation begun? Have some fun with all you do. Spend within your means; take on what you can handle joyfully. Shop, decorate, wrap, bake, give with a smile.
Has your heart preparation begun? Will Jesus Christ feel like the most important treasure there?
Used by permission of Time of Grace®. Time of Grace posts and videos are a great way to receive encouragement and guidance. For more information visit timeofgrace.org. Posted 12/7/2017.
NEWS FROM THE WELS
Christmas music on WELS Radio will begin soon! Watch for it at: http://wels.net/news-media/radio/ for traditional, contemporary and seasonal music (when available).
For the Generations to Come - WELS Congregational Services exists to help congregations engage in faithful and fruitful ministry. Programs are being developed to help congregations in evangelism, worship, compassion ministries, discipleship, and outreach through WELS schools. By strengthening our members and congregations, WELS will be able to continue proclaiming the gospel message around the world. To learn more about how Congregational Services is helping our synod for future generations, visit wels.net/forthegenerationstocome.
Youth ministry – Lord Jesus, you encourage us to have child-like faith. Through your Holy Spirit and the gospel encouragement of parents and others in the church, we ask you to keep our young people strong in their Christian faith as they confront many spiritual struggles growing up. May young and old alike turn to your Word for direction and faithfully approach you in in our prayer for strength in all circumstances. Amen.
Evangelism – Lord, the successful work of your Son Jesus—keeping the law perfectly while taking on the punishment for sin—changes everything. Jesus’ resurrection dramatically shifts our perspective. Help us to feel that impact of oneness with you. May that joy in our lives make the sharing of your gospel our highest privilege and priority. Bless our synod’s “C18” effort to invite one million people to services this Christmas, that so many more may know the peace of your light in the darkness of this world. Amen,
Ethiopia – Lord Jesus, the book of Acts records your sending Philip to teach and baptize the Ethiopian official. Today you continue to seek your people in Ethiopia through the Lutheran Church of Ethiopia, which shares our confession of faith. Please bless their zealous efforts to reach the lost in Africa, particularly through ministries to those in prison, the visually impaired, and children. Amen.
Christian Aid and Relief – Thank you, heavenly Father, for the work of WELS Christian Aid and Relief to provide assistance to victims of disasters and humanitarian aid to those in need. We praise you that these loving actions have opened doors to ministry all over the world. Help us to always see the opportunities you give us to “build bridges for the gospel” through loving actions that come from our faith in you. Amen.
Whatever you set your heart on and put your trust in is truly your god (Large Catechism, First Commandment 3)
DEAREST JESUS, HOLY CHILD, David's Son, yet David's Lord, we celebrate once again your humble coming to this earth as the God-Man and Savior of all. Your great love is incomprehensible to our feeble minds which once were dead in sin! Work in us through your Word to live godly lives expressing thanks that you came into our hearts and made us heirs of eternal life. We look forward with eagerness and readiness to your great Second Coming when all the world will bow at your majesty and glory. Increase our trust in you, dear Savior, that we might daily repent of our sins and rejoice in your full forgiveness. O Babe of Bethlehem, empower us daily to live for you. Amen.
Reprinted with permission of Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society, posted 12/16/2016.
The night I (accidentally) picked up a prostitute
I thought I was just being a good Samaritan.
It was a brutally cold winter night in Wisconsin, and I was pulling out of the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant when I saw a woman shuffling down the sidewalk, hunched over and freezing.
I rolled down the window of my toasty Saturn SL2 and asked, “You okay?”
“No,” her teeth chattered. “My car broke down at that gas station.”
“Can I give you a ride home?” I offered.
“That would be amazing,” she replied as she jumped into the passenger seat.
But before I made it to the first stoplight, she popped the question. “So . . . are you a freak?”
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“Are you a freak?” she repeated. “Do you like to have sex?”
What ensued was, to say the least, one of the more memorable conversations of my ministry. I assured her my interest in sex was exclusively for my wife. She asked what I did for a living . . . and gasped when I told her the answer! (I believe her quote was, “A pastor? Just my luck.”). And then, since her car actually was broken down, I drove her home safely. We talked about our children, their ages, and their favorite breakfast cereals. I invited her to our Christmas Eve service at church. She seemed interested. We said goodbye.
And the next morning, I had the best story to tell my wife!
Looking back on that night, a few spiritual lessons struck me:
Prostitutes (and all sinners) are people—I know this should be obvious, but prostitutes have names, stories, and sometimes even kids who like Lucky Charms. It felt surreal to be talking about cereal with a prostitute, but I did, because prostitutes’ kids eat breakfast too. And that simple fact reminded me that everyone, no matter what his or her sin or struggle, is a person. A teenager dealing with gender dysphoria is a person. Your cousin with a meth addiction is a person. The homeless man you see near work is a person. Your story and struggle might be radically different, but everyone you see today will be a real person with a real soul and a real life. And Paul says you both have this in common: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23,24). In other words, you have way more common ground than baffling differences. Start there and God just might open doors for understanding, empathy, and unconditional love.
KINDNESS STICKS—When I invited this woman to our church, her immediate reaction was positive. Why? She said, “Churches have helped me in the past.” Those words reminded me that, despite the ugly examples of hypocrisy in the church, there are still plenty of loving, sincere, forgiving people in the family of God. Jesus’ “let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16) and Paul’s “be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32) are powerful ways to connect with those who are searching for something more. Although I didn’t see her at our church that Christmas, I hope that act of kindness opened some doors for the next Christian who crossed her path. And the same is true for you. You might not see the fruit of your good works, but you are planting seeds. And God will make those seeds grow in his time, in his ways, to his glory.
I have a hunch you might not get propositioned by a prostitute today. But God will put plenty of people in your path in the upcoming hours. They might be freezing or lost or lonely or angry. But each one is an opportunity to introduce someone to God’s grace.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
Blog reprinted with permission of Time of Grace ©. Written by Pastor Mike Novotny, posted 10/23/2018.
Time of Grace posts and videos are a great way to receive encouragement and guidance for living a Christian life in the world today. As the writers cover timely topics and issues, from God’s Word as they relate to the joys and challenges you. For more encouragement visit timeofgrace.org/connect and sign up to receive Time of Grace Bible-based posts in your inbox.
NEWS FROM SUNDAY, SCHOOL, PRESCHOOL
PRESCHOOL NEWS: Please mark your calendars for our Christmas program on Friday the 7th at 6:30. The children have been working very hard on their songs so that they can tell about the true meaning of Christmas. . . Jesus!!
During the month of December, we do not work on letters or numbers or colors so that we can spend more time learning about Jesus our very best gift!!
The children and I want to wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas and a hope filled and joyous New Year as we rejoice because we have the peace that comes from knowing our Savior and king was born to save us all!
God's blessings to you and yours in 2019 and always!! Mrs. McQuade
SUNDAY SCHOOL/YOUTH NEWS:
Sunday School Offering: The fourth through eighth grade Sunday School students have unanimously selected their Sunday offerings to be sent to help our sister church Amazing Grace, Panama City, Florida. The church, parsonage, and many members’ homes were damaged or destroyed in hurricane Michael. WELS Kingdom Workers, Builders for Christ, along with WELS Christian Aid & Relief, are going to help rebuild. A recent post from Kingdom Workers pointed out one of our callings in their call for volunteers: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2
Christmas Service: The Christmas program service will be held Sunday, Dec. 23 at 9:30 am. The Sunday School and Youth Group have begun practicing the Christmas program before Sunday School each Sunday.
Extra practices for the service with an adult choir will be:
Lunch will need to be provided the two Sundays for the Sunday School and Youth. We will need volunteers to bring food, and to set up, serve, and clean up. If you can help, please speak to Gary, Carole, or Diane. Thank you.
- Sunday, Dec. 9, 12:00 to 12:30 Children and adults work on choir music. 12:30 to 12:50 children eat lunch. 12:50 to 2:00 children rehearse program
- Sunday, Dec. 16, same schedule.
- Saturday Dec. 22, 9:00 to 9:30 children and adults rehearse music, 9:30 to 10:30 children rehearse program.
From heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing.
This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford;
He will Himself your Savior be,
From all your sins to make you free.
From Heaven Above to Earth I Come, verses 1 & 3
Written by Martin Luther
CHRISTIAN DISCIPLINE IS . . .THANKING GOD FOR YOUR CHILD
- · Teaching your child to pray.
- · Teaching Jesus songs.
- · Telling your child about Jesus’ love.
- · Teaching your child how to be thankful for Jesus’ love.
- · Telling your child you love him or her.
- · Expecting your child to show God-pleasing behavior.
- · Teaching your child to obey and honor those in authority.
- · Setting and enforcing limits.
- · Being a good role model for your child.
- · “Catching your child being good” and letting your child know you are pleased.
- · Teaching your child to be kind to others.
- · Giving your time to your child.
- · Expecting your child to do chores.
- · Talking with your child in a loving way.
- · Setting and following through on consequences for wrong behavior.
- · Being consistent and ?rm, but not in?exible, with rules.
- · Helping your child memorize important Scripture passages.
- · Asking God to protect and bless your child.
- ·Talking about Jesus in daily conversation.
- ·Telling your child what you expect of him or her.
- Continuing to pray for your child, even when he or she no longer lives at home.
The key to Christian discipline is found in the words of Proverbs 22:6, which says,
Posted 11/8/2018 by Northwestern Publishing House: www.nph.net; reprinted with permission.
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
I John 1:5, 7