I Need More… STRENGTH
After several attempts of twisting and tapping, the lid just wouldn’t budge. “Honey, can you open this for me?” Her teenage son is eager to flex his muscles. He opens the jar and hands it back to his mother.
Life is sometimes like that jar, isn’t it? Sometimes we just don’t have the strength we need to tackle what’s in front of us. Not the strength it takes to move a piano or change a flat tire, but the strength we need to raise our children or stay married to someone who is difficult to live with. We need the strength it takes to go to work and deal with people who are rude, inconsiderate, and lazy, or to walk to the mailbox that contains bills we’ll have difficulty paying.
I need more strength!
Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth… He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak… Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).
What should we do when we need more strength? Hand that jar over to the Lord. He has all the strength we need and so much more. After all, he is the One who created the earth and everything in it. More than that, this strong, wise, loving God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. The all-powerful God came in human weakness to rescue us from sin and death. He was condemned and crucified. Weakness, right? No! Strength! Jesus used his strength to remain on that cross until every last sin of ours had been paid for. His empty tomb proves it. “Jesus was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Death has been defeated! The guilt of sin before God has been removed! By trusting in Jesus, life in heaven is waiting for us.
Need more strength? The One who created the earth has it. The One who died and rose for you has it. He is the One who gives us the strength to face each day with fresh confidence. Find that strength in his Word. And then be ready to soar. Be ready to soar on eagles’ wings with renewed strength and through every challenge of life! Be ready to soar on eagles’ wings to the home that Jesus has prepared for you in heaven!
FROM THE PASTOR
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee ?... When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others…But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” (Luke 24:5-12)
Are you puzzled by the resurrection? Evidently the women and Peter were. They were looking for a dead person in the grave. The body was nowhere to be found. This was a very unnatural thing. They had seen people come out of the grave and raised from the dead. Peter was at the tomb of Lazarus and with Jesus when he raised the young man from Nain back to life. All of the dead bodies that I have seen have never come back to life for me to see, talk to and touch. Peter had. He knew that it was possible for someone to come back to life. Yet, it eluded him that it was possible for his Jesus to come back to life.
What is hard to understand about this from our point of view is that Peter, not only had he seen people come back to life, but he had also heard Jesus himself say several times that he would do that very thing. Christ had laid out the events in detail for his disciples so they would not be surprised when they took place. Still, Peter wondered what had happened.
I wonder if part of Peter’s issue was that his denial of his Lord was still very fresh on his mind. He had not had the chance to say he was sorry for doing everything he said he would not do. After all, he couldn’t even stay awake and pray with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. His sins clouded his ability to comprehend what was taking place.
Even today the idea of the resurrection eludes sinful humans. Satan will try to get us to not accept it as real. Because I have not seen someone come back to life after having been dead for 3 days, it would be easy for me to deny the possibility of it happening. Thanks be to God! It does not depend on me. The facts established tell us that Christ did rise from the dead. The grave did not hold him. The Father placed his stamp of approval on the sacrifice Jesus paid as sufficient.
That is what we get to place our hope and faith on. The Father did exactly what he said he would do. The Son did exactly what he said he would do. The disciples saw him alive. The women saw him alive. There are many more that saw him alive. Even though our sinful minds may not fully grasp it, the facts do not change. Christ rose from the dead. He lives. There is no longer any puzzle about the resurrection. Because he lives, we too will live for eternity by his side.
BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR VIETNAM MISSION SPECIAL OFFERING through March 20 is $1,370. This does not include anything that individuals sent directly to synod. Submitted by Charlie Faught
EACH OF YOU SHOULD GIVE what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8.
STEWARDSHIP: Pastor’s sermon for the second Wednesday Lent service spoke of Jesus command to the disciples to ‘love one another’. While we often may think that stewardship deals more with using God’s gifts of time, talent and treasure for the church, the command to love one another is obviously also tied to stewardship. One only need look to the Bible for examples, and one of first that comes to mind is the good Samaritan. The Samaritan obviously took the time and spent his own money to help a complete stranger in dire need.
We do not need to look far to find people in need. They may be the person sitting next to you on Sunday morning, a neighbor, friend, relative, someone in another state or maybe even across a border. Luke 10:27 points out we are to love our neighbor. Then the question was asked ‘who is my neighbor?’, and Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. The need may be as minor as needing a ride, or snow shoveled, but some are deeper. Many have health conditions, financial problems, or family breakup issues. Just watch the news, we see our love needed near and far due to poverty, drugs, oppression, gang violence, ethnic cleansing, the list could go on.
Do we view some of these others in need as a threat and find excuses or erect barriers to wall us off from others’ hardship, or do we pray to find ways to serve one another in love? Galatians 5:13.
There are plenty of good works out there for us to accomplish which God prepared in advance for use to do. Ephesians 2:10.
So, let us look beyond stewardship for church and use our time, talents and treasures to help those in need of not only earthly things, but also finding God’s treasure of eternal life. – Submitted by Gary Dunsmoor
SPRING IS JUST ABOUT TO BUST OUT. The snow and ice are melting. That means that outside cleanup will be coming soon. The council has approved Friday, May 3, to clean up the outside. In case of bad weather, the work will be done Friday, May 10. Start time will be announced the previous Sunday.
The signup sheet for lawn mowing will be posted by April 13. Please sign up if you can help.
Maintenance can always use extra set of eyes locating maintenance problems. If you see something, say something. Please contact me, John Schultz or Jerry Sexton. We will do our best to address the problem.
Maintenance will be proposing items for the budget. These include
* Replacing the front doors to the church.
* Replace windows that have seals that are breaking. Thus far three windows have been found that are bad.
Submitted by Paul Ryan
FIVE MINUTES WITH LUTHER
O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. Psalm 119:97-98.
The chief lesson and study in Divinity is well and rightly to learn to know Christ, for in it He is very graciously and kindly pictured to us. Therefore St. Peter says: Grow in the knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). And Christ himself also teaches that we should learn to know Him only out of the Scriptures, when He says: “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me” (John 5:39). We ought not to measure, censure and understand the Scriptures according to our own natural sense and reason, but we ought to meditate in them diligently with prayer, and to search after Christ there. The devil and temptations also give us opportunity somewhat to learn and understand the Scriptures by experience and practice. Without trials and temptations we would never understand anything of them; no, not even though we diligently read and heard them. The Holy Ghost must be the only Master and Tutor to teach us from Scripture, and let youth and scholars not be ashamed to learn from this Tutor. When I find myself in temptation, then I quickly lay hold of and fasten onto some text in the Bible which Christ Jesus lays before me; namely, that He died for me, from which I possess and receive comfort.
Divine Instructor, gracious Lord!
Be Thou forever near;
Teach me to love Thy sacred Word,
And view my Savior there
Used with permission from Daily Lessons from the Writings of Martin Luther by John Theodore Mueller, Professor of Systematic Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, reprinted 2008. Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross,
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
“by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
MINISTRY: WHO CAN STOP OUR WORSHIP?
The local government recently prohibited an unregistered church we work with in China (that is, a church that is not part of the government-sanctioned denomination) from worshiping in its building.
Church members have moved to another place for worship and fellowship gathering. The leader of that group writes:
The government can't shut up our hearts, our spiritual relationship with God. People who don't know God think that, when they close the church door, God is shut in. They think God can’t get out and believers can't get in to meet with him.
We pray, “Father! Forgive them because they don't know what they're doing.” They can close the visible building, but they can't shut the heavenly window where God pours out blessings on us. Today we are still gathering together because of the spirit of worship in Jesus Christ is free. Who can stop our spiritual worship to God! No one!
What you can do: The closure of churches throughout China happens week after week. Pray for these Christians whose church buildings have been taken from them. Ask the Spirit to help them understand that God’s peace and protection is always with them, even when they must secretively gather together in the name of Jesus. Then pray that, because of this persecution, Christians are emboldened to share their faith with more people.
From News, Blog posted 2019/03/11. Reprinted with permission. For additional info go to: www.316now.org/.
316NOW is an educational, humanitarian organization led by Confessional Lutherans that equips and mentors Christian leaders in China for their service to others.
BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR NEWS
LWMS Spring Rally Date Set
The LWMS Spring Rally will be held on Saturday, May 4 beginning at 8:00 AM at Redeemer Lutheran in Rice Lake. Their ladies will be serving a Breakfast Buffet first thing in the morning instead of serving a lunch after the rally. The guest speaker will be Pastor Paul Schupmann, Mission Pastor from Juneau, Wisconsin. His theme "The Mission of the Church" will focus on his work in light of the Bible passage Matthew 28:5-7. There will be a sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall so the RSVP to the rally can be sent by April 26. Talk to some of the ladies and consider a carpool road trip to Redeemer. If you have never attended a rally, give it some thought and some prayer. You will be spending the morning with 80 to 100 ladies (and men) who are your sisters and brothers in Christ.
In the fall Beautiful Savior will be hosting the rally.
Mite box money is due April 14.
Please pray for God's blessings on these events.
Rose Sexton, Reporter, Ladies of Beautiful Savior
IN GOD’S EYES I’M FORGIVEN by Pastor Mark Jeske
Billy Crystal used to appear on Saturday Night Live doing a smarmy parody of actor Fernando Lamas that he called “Fernando’s Hideaway.” He would do “interviews” with celebrity guests, assuring them, “You look mahvelous, simply mahvelous. Remember, it’s not how you feel but how you look.”
In a strange coincidence, God could say that same thing about your relationship with him. I have talked to any number of people over the years who didn’t seem to be following active Christianity in any serious way, but they assured me that they “felt good” about going to heaven someday. Feelings are often wrong. But what God sees is never wrong. He knows who the fakers and poseurs and hypocrites are. He also knows who the real believers are.
When you came to faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, your appearance changed. Washed of your sins; wearing now the holiness of Christ as though it were a robe; connected by faith to Christ’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection; you are a new person. “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’” (Isaiah 1:18). You can rejoice in your new identity. You have new strength and motivation to live your new identity.
You know, in God’s eyes you look mahvelous, simply mahvelous.
Copyright © 2018 Time of Grace Ministry, posted 8/26/2018. Devotion used by permission of Time of Grace®. For more information visit timeofgrace.org.
Luther Quote: Christ fights with the devil in a curious way: The devil with great numbers, cleverness, and steadfastness, and Christ with few people, with weakness, simplicity and contempt—and yet Christ wins. So, he wished us to be sheep and our adversaries to be wolves. . . . I think it's a remarkable war and a strange fight in which the sheep are killed and the wolves stay alive. But they'll all go to ruin as a result, because God alone performs miracles. He'll preserve his sheep in the midst of the wolves and he'll crush the jaws of the wolves forever. (American Edition of Luther’s Works 54:379)
Appeals Court Rules Ohio Can Defund Planned Parenthood
In 11-6 decision, Ohio's law upheld to bar state funding of entities that perform or promote abortions.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, 11-6, to uphold an Ohio law preventing state money from being directed towards abortion facilities -- clearing the way for the state to defund Planned Parenthood.
Recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Texas can also defund Planned Parenthood after vindicating the undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood by the Center for Medical Progress.
The Ohio case will almost certainly now head to the Supreme Court, although it has previously refused to hear cases of other states.
[SOURCE: 3/12/19 - Live Action News] Portions from Christian Life Resources (CLR) 2019/03/14 post. Reprinted with permission of CLR (www.christianliferesources.com).
THE MOON, THE MIND.
In my studies to get my degree in my profession back in the 70’s, we had to learn to establish “True North” by technical observations of the North Star. Many think of “North” as being just north but there are a number of different terminologies for the definition of north. One being assumed north, another being magnetic north and finally True North. Assumed north meaning just that, you assume that if you walk in this general direction it is north. Magnetic north is somewhat more accurate but can be influenced by local metal attraction (just put a metal nail next to a magnetic needle and see what happens). Using a magnetic compass will not get you to the exact spot of the North Pole but will get you close but perhaps miles off. True North means that you can get on a line and walk exactly on that line and you will come absolutely, directly to the North Pole and will be able to stand right on it. To me it was an interesting class. Our Professor was your normal liberal, science influenced person, non-believing person, by self-admission. To him, things are the way they are just because that is the way they are.
Consider this. The Moon’s diameter is 2,159 miles at its equator. The Sun’s diameter at 864,340 miles at its equator. The Earth’s diameter is 7,928 miles at its equator. The Moon is 40 times smaller than the Sun. The Moon is 40 times further away from the Sun than the Earth is to the Moon. This is precisely why we can observe a “total eclipse of the Sun” caused by the Moon. If the Moon was 2,155 miles wide at its equator rather than 2,159 miles, this phenomenon would not be able to happen. Even being a young Christian at the time, I did not buy into the thinking of this Professor’s Mind. This was all explained in the first few Chapters of Genesis. Just think about that the Earth is tilted on its axis (which is affected by the Moon) and without the draw of the Moon on the Earth, there would be no tilt, perhaps no seasons, perhaps no life.
God had this all designed by creation.
It is estimated that about 3 percent of the world’s population consider themselves to be atheist. Some of the most brilliant people are atheists, commonly scientists. Consider Kathrine Hepburn, a self-proclaimed atheist. She holds the record for the most Academy Award wins of 4. She said she has thought a lot of Jesus but added that there is nothing more we can know than that we should be kind and do what we can do to help others, in other words, works. Be a good person and that direction will get you there.
We know that God tells us that our righteous acts are as filthy rags to Him.
The most brilliant of men is silliness to God.
To be continued in the May issue
Humbly submitted by Mike Norton, a recipient of the gift of salvation; and this not by human decision, a husband’s will or by effort or desire but by Grace so that no man can boost.
You have a unique opportunity to bring the hope of Christ’s promise to those who need it this Easter.
Many residents of The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA) need physical care. But many more also need spiritual care.
Today, I’m asking you to sign a digital Easter greeting by April 15 so that a resident will receive your card at Easter brunch.
This message could be the very encouragement someone needs to accept Christ or find renewed hope in Him!
As you sign the free digital card, please consider contributing a financial gift to help each resident continue receiving the level of spiritual care they need. To sign the digital card, go to: www.tlha.org/tlha0319-easter-campaign.
Excerpt from TLHA message of 2019/03/14 by Michael Klatt. Reprinted by permission www.tlha.org
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
NEWS FROM THE WELS
2019 WELS Night tickets now available - Tickets are now on sale for the sixth annual WELS Night at Miller Park. Plan to join thousands of WELS members for the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the San Francisco Giants on Fri., July 12. Game time is 7:10 PM. More information and discounted tickets are now available, for purchase online go to brewers.com/wels.
Support for Christian Parents - Forward in Christ magazine’s parenting column, Heart to heart: Parent conversations, features a topic each month that relates to Christian parenting in our modern world. Are you struggling with how to support someone who is sick? Read Kerry Ognenoff’s article at https://forwardinchrist.net. The site also features a webcast with Ognenoff as well as articles, podcasts, and webcasts on other Christian parenting topics.
“Grace—Hmong Outreach in Vietnam”
WELS is collecting a special offering through June 2019, with the goal of raising $2million to purchase land, construct the campus, and cover the initial two years of operational costs.
$791,000 Special offerings collected to date
$2,000,000 Special offering goal
Thank You for Your Support!
To keep up to date go to: wels.net/serving-others/missions/asia/vietnam/.
Follow Missions on Facebook - Like the new WELS Missions Facebook page to stay up to date on news from Home and World Mission fields, read inspiring stories of the gospel at work and take advantage of the many resources WELS Missions has to offer - fb.com/WELSMissions.
What About Jesus -Want to learn more your Savior and the Bible? Visit the What About Jesus website (http://www.whataboutjesus.com/) to learn about Jesus, the Bible, and your Christian life.
Through My Bible, Wels Daily Devotions and loads of other WELS.net content is available for you by email subscription (wels.net/subscribe/), mobile application for both the iOS and Android cell phone platforms.
Q & A @ WELS (wels.net/serving-you/wels-topical-qa/) – At the site you can search for questions or submit your own, questions like:
· * Who determines how often we have Communion at church? Pastor or congregation?
· * What is the difference between confessional Lutheran beliefs and the beliefs of Baptists?
Ascension, Harrisburg, Pa. – Dear Lord, by your grace, you have allowed the gospel to be shared at Ascension Lutheran Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for more than 40 years. Bless the congregation with a new pastor and reinvigorate the people in their ministry. Send your Holy Spirit to strengthen them. Remind them that your Word never returns empty but always accomplishes what you desire. Give them courage and confidence to share the Savior with their friends and neighbors. Bless their efforts, Lord. Amen.
MLC staff ministry program – Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for all the called workers you provide to our congregations through our ministerial education schools. We especially thank you for providing staff ministers through the staff ministry program at Martin Luther College over the past 25 years. Continue to use this program to educate Christian men and women in the Scriptures and to train them for service in the public ministry. Provide opportunities to staff ministry graduates that bless our congregations and benefit your kingdom. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ROCK BALANCING?
Some people can stack stone upon stone, higher than they can reach. It’s incredible.
God likes to stack rocks too, but He makes His own stones.
He creates us—living stones—designed with His own hand, then smooths the rough spots as He allows wave after wave to come crashing down on our lives. He has a very specific plan for us, with God’s will we can start to see His greater purpose. God’s design for us—His love for us—shape us.
Romans 5:3-5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
He forms stacks of stones; placing each living stone with others to work toward the same, divine purpose.
1 Peter 2:9: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
It’s about finding the perfect place and purpose for each stone to balance and strengthen the whole sculpture. God places each of us to reinforce the whole.
You are a living stone, designed to serve a unique and special role in His greater purpose… - Jes Woller
Join women from across the Synod, July 18-20 at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, WI, to find out what “you also, like living stones" means for your life. Be nurtured by God’s Word to understand what that looks like at home and in the world. Be encouraged by sisters in Christ in similar circumstances. Be equipped with ideas and resources for life as a living stone. Most importantly, see God’s design from God’s perspective.
Visit wels.net/wmconference for registration, information, resources and updates!
During March our Bible stories will be Jesus blesses the children, Palm Sunday, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Jesus before Pilate. Our shapes will be diamond, clover, and cross and our letters will be T,U,V and W.
We will not work on letters, numbers or shapes from March 25 through April 12 in order to devote more time to the true meaning of Easter, Jesus' death and resurrection!!
Please check out our progressive bulletin board in the Preschool hallway. The children will make pictures that depict the Easter story from Palm Sunday through the empty tomb.
This is always a favorite part of this time of year for me! God's Blessing's, Mrs. McQuade
SUNDAY SCHOOL/YOUTH NEWS- April 2019
Carol Lyons is working with the children each Sunday to beautify our Palm Sunday and Confirmation services with singing. Practices begin before Sunday School at 10:45 AM
Kids Connection videos continue be shown the second Sunday each month, the same as the WELS Connection, at 10:45 AM. A reminder- the children’s Sunday School offerings are going to help our sister congregation Amazing Grace, Panama City, Florida, recover from hurricane Michael. The church, parsonage, and many members’ homes were damaged or destroyed in this catastrophic weather event last year. Parents, please help your children remember their offerings and help set an example of Christian stewardship.
There will be no Sunday School on Easter Sunday.
The last day of Sunday School will be Sunday, June 9.
The Youth Group students are currently studying lessons on Sins of Society an excellent assistance to parents raising up children in the way they should go according to what God says in his Word, rather than what they see in the world.
Parents are asked to please help see that their children are ready for and be to music, Kids Connection and Sunday School at the proper times.
Please keep the Sunday School and Youth programs, students and teachers in your prayers.
Thank you, Gary Dunsmoor
Healthy Marriage Enrichmen & Getaway Weekend
Grace Center, Grace Lutheran Church, Milwaukee
September 20-21, 2019
How is your marriage? Would you like it to be healthier? God designed marriage and only he can improve the health of your marriage. Join us for a two-day marriage enrichment event September 20-21, 2019. The cost is $185 per couple and includes a traditional Spanish family-style dinner Friday evening & lunch catered by Olde Madrid of Racine, continental breakfast Saturday morning, and all enrichment sessions. Spend two days learning how to know each other better, appreciate each other more, gain trust, manage conflict, nurture intimacy and connect with each other intentionally – all in the light of God’s grace. The result? A healthier marriage. Space is limited, so register early. See the poster on our bulletin board or visit www.wels.net/marriage-enrichment for more information and to register.
Mikey's Funnies,Today'sThot: The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever deal with watches you from the mirror every morning.
Pass it on! Yeah, you can send this Funny to anybody you want. And, if you're REAL nice, you'll tell them where you got it! www.mikeysFunnies.com . Posted 2019/03/20.