Serving Our Beautiful Savior
(Communion 1st & 3rd Sundays)
Sunday Worship Service (Masked service), 8:00 AM*
Sunday Worship Service (Mask optional), 9:30AM
Ash Wednesday Service / Communion, February 17, 7:00 PM
Lenten Services, Wednesdays February 24 & 31, 7:00 PM
Sunday School & Bible Study, 10:45 AM*
Danbury Bible Study, February 3 & 17, at the Berg Residence, 10:00AM
Address, 29829 Cranberry Lake Drive, Danbury,
phone: 651-271-7906 or 651-894-3500
Thursday Bible Study, 10:00 AM*
Prayer Circle February 20, 12:30 PM
* Broadcast Live on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bslcspooner1/ :
Sunday 8:00 AM Worship, Bible study 10:45 AM;
and Thursday 10:00 AM Bible Study
Our God is…love
“How much do you love me?” Brenda asked her two-year-old son. Jonah held out his hands about a foot apart and said, “I love you this much.”
Paul turned to Jonah’s twin sister and asked her, “Hannah, how much do you love me?” Hannah extended her hands as far apart as they would go. “I love you this much,” she said.
Four-year-old Kevin was watching closely. When Brenda and Paul asked him how much he loved them, they expected him to copy the actions of his younger brother and sister. Instead, he spread his arms out in front of him as wide as possible and then curled them down and behind his back until they met. Kevin said, “this is how much I love you, all the way around.”
Brenda and Paul looked at each other in amazement. Kevin understood that the greatest love is all-encompassing!
If your sweetheart asks you how much you love her on Valentine’s day, you probably should not just stretch out your arms. You probably shouldn’t even curl them behind your back, unless you have a gift hidden there!
Yet, it is in the outstretched arms of Jesus that we know the love God has for us—all of us.
Perhaps you have seen pictures of Jesus with his arms spread wide on the cross. “this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Valentine’s day is a good day to express your love for the special people in your life. It is also a good time as Christians to remember that “we know and rely on the love god has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in god, and god in them” (1 John 4:16).
Join us at church to celebrate more of God’s love.
From the Pastor
Where you stand on a street corner when an accident happens affects the account you tell police as an eyewitness. Where you stand at the Grand Canyon affects what you can see. If you are on either rim you see grand colors and a small stream winding through at the bottom. If you stop on a trail halfway down, you can see neither the river nor the extent of the canyon. If you are at the raging river in the bottom at Phantom Ranch, you might see some of the lights of the Lodge on the South Rim at night off in the distance while staring at the sheer cliff walls rising from the floor.
Where we are at in our stage of life does affect the perspective and priorities we have. When we are children, we tend to focus on making it through the school day and having fun with our friends. When we hit the college years, we are looking ahead to becoming a productive member of society, securing a decent job and possibly contemplating starting a family. In our 30’s and 40’s home ownership and family are the focus. Maybe some health issues start to creep in and we have to address those. In our retirement years we look forward to spoiling the grandkids, maybe taking a few more trips, dealing with decaying bodies and contemplating the end of life a little more.
It has been a year since the pandemic was announced. What was your perspective on life at the beginning? How has it changed or has it changed? Did you learn anything about your preparedness for a major emergency? Did you learn anything about where you are in your faith life? We have been given a great opportunity to evaluate that very thing.
One thing that this year has reminded us of is this: “For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31) As far as my senses are concerned, this world seems to be pretty permanent. I go to bed and the next day I get up. The sun is there. The moon and stars are there, even when the clouds hide them. The seasons continue to change. The snow comes and it eventually melts. The Robins come back and the grass turns green as the leaves come forth once again.
Even with this evidence of “permanence,” I also see signs of decay. The leaves from the trees that fell last fall are being turned into soil underneath the snow. Trees fall down in windstorms and from age. Buildings are built and then torn down to be replaced. Babies are born and people die. This world is not permanent. It is passing away.
With that in mind, we need to ask ourselves some solid questions. Am I living to preserve this life that is passing away? Am I making decisions that show a greater concern for this life instead of making decisions that prepare me for the permanent life? Am I looking to encourage my fellow believers in their faith, or am I looking to pass blame on things out of our control? Is my perspective driven by faith or by fear? Am I doing things that give testimony to unbelievers about my trust in the gospel or am I showing trust in something else? Am I allowing man’s ideas and agendas about this life govern what I do?
Have I bought into the lies Satan is spewing my direction to distract me from my Savior’s promises and separate me from my fellow believers?
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we must admit that many of the decisions we make look to preserve this life. Why? What is so great about this life, this life filled with sin and death, heartache and strife, unrest and war? Look at how Peter did the same thing the night Jesus stood trial. When we do these things, we are failing in our trust of God and His promises. When we do these things, we say we are not certain that God’s Word is true. We are acting with weak or no faith.
Yet, isn’t this why Jesus came to this earth? Isn’t this why he took on flesh and blood? Isn’t this why he became one of us to deal with these issues in us? He came not to simply be an example, but to give us hope, to give us confidence, to look beyond this world and this life to the eternal one where He lives and rules for the benefit of His church, His people. He came to help us always have a proper perspective in this life. He came to reassure us that the life we have in him on this earth, which is passing away, leads to the eternal, permanent life with Him in heaven.
With this reassurance and knowledge, let us be bold in how we live for him. Let us be confident of the salvation He has earned and given to us. Let us show the world the hope of the permanent life waiting for those who trust in Him. Let us find opportunities to join our brothers and sisters and encourage each other to look beyond this world, to the permanent world to come. Let us keep this as our perspective in Christ.
The Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday service on February 17, 7 PM; Lenten services follow each Wednesday at 7 PM. Soup and Sandwich meals will be served prior to the services at 6 PM.
The Prayer Circle will meet on Saturday, February 20, at 12:30. We will be meeting at the church. Everyone is welcome.
Men of the congregation we need your help. We have had several council members resign for personal reasons during the year. As a result there are currently several open positions on the Church Council. They are as follows:
1. Full term-3 years
2. Full term-3 years
3. Partial term-2 years
4. Partial term-1 year
Current council positions not finalized are:
1. Financial Secretary
Many of you have the talent and ability to serve and we ask that you prayerfully consider stepping forward to help fill these needs.
Going forward, let us rejoice, be glad, and pray that the Lord will continue to bless and guide us as we serve our Beautiful Savior.
Mike Bingen, President, Beautiful Savior
Our Family Barcodes: Thank you to all who help collect Our Family UPC Barcodes. For every 500 we collect and mail in, we receive a check for $25.00. This helps fund items needed in our preschool. Just a reminder, we only need to mail the “barcode” portion of the labels. Keep clipping and put them in the box in the library. This a great way to support our Preschool and students.
Support the Washburn County Food Pantry with donations of non-perishable food items. The donation box is in the fellowship area on the greeting card table.
Difficulty hearing the sermon? Ask for an assisted listening device for a little boost in volume during worship services. If you would like to try one, tell Pastor or an usher. Parents, these devices even work in the education wing. If you wish, you may sit in the last classroom on the left and still hear the service.
ADDRESS CHANGE? Are you a SNOW BIRD? GOING AWAY TO SCHOOL? MOVING? Please, let us know your address, when you are leaving and when you plan to return. Please mail it, drop it off, phone it in (715-635-7672), or email it to beautiful0001@ centurytel.net. That way we can keep in touch with you and send your newsletter to you. Thank you.
Resources for Teens: The Transformed teen devotions ae more than just good for teens, they are good devotions for those of us who are “teens” at heart. Weekly Transformed devotions can be found at (wels.net/serving-you/devotions/teen-devotions) and check out these other youth ministry tools (wels.net/youth-and-family-ministry).
God’s blessings on display: “Your gifts, God’s blessings: An annual report to our members” is now available online. The report includes photos of Christian brothers and sisters around the world, stories of faith, and updates on WELS’ ministry. “Despite the challenges, disruptions, and distractions of the past year, God enabled our congregations to preach the saving gospel and find creative ways to worship,” …
Read more at wels.net/gods-blessings-on-display/.
Support Home Missions - Thank you for supporting home mission work through your prayers, congregational offerings, and special offerings. You can make mission offerings directly to WELS, or in your offering envelope at church by adding the notation “missions” to your offering envelope along with the amount. If you'd like to learn how to support Home Missions, visit wels.net/missions.
NEW! Marriage Maintenance Bible Studies
“Marriage Maintenance” are online Bible studies to help couples as they deal with common issues that cause marital wear and tear. Each study is introduced with a short lead-in video that sets up the topic followed by an activity to put it into practice.
For Marriage Maintenance resources go to welscongregationalservices.net/marriage-maintenance/.
Christian Giving Counselors
WELS Christian giving counselors continue to be available during this pandemic to assist WELS members with will planning, gifts of appreciated assets (e.g., securities), and other special gifts that provide a tax-wise way to support loved ones and WELS ministry efforts. There is no cost or obligation, and their assistance can be given via phone, web conference, or in person, depending on the comfort level of the individuals being served.
WELS Christian giving counselors continue to be available during this pandemic to assist WELS members with will planning, gifts of appreciated assets (e.g., securities), and other special gifts that provide a tax-wise way to support loved ones and WELS ministry efforts.
To view the directory go to wels.net/giving/ministry-of-christian-giving/christiangivingcounselordirectory/.
What About Jesus
Many people have questions about Christianity; they wonder about what God says and does. Some of these questions you might have asked yourself.
What about Jesus exists to help answer those questions.
RECENT POSTS include:
DEVOTIONS: Browse the Daily Devotions archive, which has several months' worth of devotions to uplift and encourage you with the Word.
And he brought him to Jesus
What Andrew had found made everything else on the to-do list fade away. This discovery was of such importance that Andrew went right away to find his brother Peter. Andrew told Peter that they had found the Messiah (John 1:41-42).
What greater thing can a person do?
When John, a Chinese member of Reformation Lutheran Church in San Diego, brought his Chinese friend Mark to a Thanksgiving church event, Mark was introduced as a brother in the faith. The event was a reminder for everyone in attendance that we are always able to give thanks when Jesus is our focus. Mark’s family also heard a clear law and gospel message in Mandarin from Vicar David Choi (from our sister synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod).
Mark was eager to talk with the pastors and vicar afterward to learn more about the life of a pastor. The desire has been in Mark’s heart to find a path to study for full-time ministry. The pastors and vicar at Reformation have been able to share more information with Mark about our synod’s Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI) wels.net/serving-others/missions/jointmissions/psi/ as a possible path for Mark to study for the pastoral ministry.
The first step is for Mark to study Reformation’s Bible information class (pictured) and become a member. Thanks to translation efforts in the past, Reformation’s membership courses are available in Mandarin. Mark’s studies are well under way, and he is cherishing the time to be brought closer to Jesus.
Andrew and Peter would go on to share the truths they had learned from Jesus. They brought others to Jesus by sharing what Jesus had taught them. These brothers knew the best they could offer anyone would be to welcome them into the family of believers with the Good News of Jesus.
All of us have friends we can invite to join the family in spending time with Jesus..
Please keep Mark, John, Vicar Choi, and the growing outreach ministry to our Chinese neighbors in San Diego in your prayers.
Condensed from a Mission blog article written by Rev. Neil Birkholz, WELS Asian ministry consultant and Associate Pastor at Reformation Lutheran Church in San Diego, CA.
Learn more about Asian outreach occurring throughout North America at wels.net/asianministry.
Forward in Christ (FIC) - February: Give to Caesar and to God
If you're sick of politics, you're not alone. Yet each Christian does have a role to play. Prof. Samuel Degner examines what that role is in his February 2021
Forward in Christ article, "Give to Caesar and to God
.." The Forward in Christ magazine is put in your mailbox at church each month.
God's story of salvation: FIC's 2021 Bible-reading plan
Trace God's story of grace in this new Bible-reading plan. You won't be reading every verse or chapter, but you'll grow in faith as you read chronologically through sections of the Bible and see God's grace in each account. Participate online (forwardinchrist.net/bible-readings-2021/) and you'll have access to the full Bible passages for each week. Worried that you missed the first few weeks? No problem! You can catch up.
Did you read these articles in the January issue go to forwardinchrist.net/ and scroll down to January)?
Reprint granted by Forward in Christ (FIC) (forwardinchrist.net) the official magazine of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. All rights reserved.
There is no wisdom,
that can succeed
against the Lord.
–Jesus, Lord of the Church, we praise you for your goodness to us in 2020 despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. When we thought ministry would slow because of less face-to-face connections, you allowed us to reach more people digitally. We thank you for our home and world missions and ask that you continue to grant success to their efforts. Thank you for steady enrollments at our ministerial education schools where young men and women are eager to serve in our churches and schools. Thank you for gospel resources, including a new hymnal, to enhance worship and Bible study at our congregations. May your Spirit continue to work in us as we proclaim the victory you have earned for us. Amen.
– Lord, 2020 was another school year filled with challenges and difficult decisions. Yet you have continued to bless the students, faculty, and administrators of our ministerial education schools in countless ways. We ask that you keep all students and faculty safe and healthy. May God-pleasing decisions be made for the good of all and for the good of the kingdom as these young people learn and continue to grow in their knowledge of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.
– Lord, you invite us to speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. So many beautiful hymns and songs of praise are near and dear to our hearts as the truths of your Word are combined with music. We thank you for the efforts of the WELS Hymns for Life Committee in crafting the new hymnology curriculum. May their efforts help our young people to appreciate the beauty of music and the scriptural truths contained in our musical heritage. May they—and we—keep these cherished truths close to our hearts all our days. Amen.
Hope, Houston, Texas
– Lord, you want all people to be saved, and you tell us that the harvest is plentiful. We ask that you continue to guide our mission congregations as they seek to share the good news of Jesus with people in new areas of our country. We thank you especially for blessing the congregation of Hope in Houston, Texas, with a successful opening service this past September. Give them continued zeal and gospel motivation to reach the lost in their community and bring many people to hear of your love for them. Amen.
– Lord Jesus, you commission us to make disciples of all nations. We pray that you would bless the efforts of our sister church body, the Ukrainian Lutheran Church, to do that eternally important work. Give them answers and peace as they face both internal and external challenges. As you promise, your Word doesn’t return to you empty, so help them to continue their faithful gospel ministry. If it is your will, grant them success in their long-term goal of self-support and self-sufficiency. Amen.
Joan: Herb, if you don't stop snoring, I'm going to toss you out on your ear!
John: Does it upset you that much?
Joan: Not just me, the entire congregation.
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
How do you eat an elephant?
16NOW is wrestling with that question. Our elephant is 10% of the 50 million Chinese nationals that are scattered around the globe.
Why 10%? Because about 10% of Chinese are Christian. So, if the demographics of these 50 million expatriates are the same, some 5,000,000 of them are believers.
Training Christian leaders
Our goal is to invite the church leaders among those 5,000,000 Chinese to attend our online Bible institute.
How do we eat this elephant? Ten percent of 50 million Chinese is a lot of people. How do we invite millions of Chinese Christian leaders who live outside of China to learn more about the Bible, to shepherd other believers, to share the gospel with people who aren't believers?
The answer: One bite at a time.*
316NOW is in the process of developing a strategy to recruit expatriate Chinese Christians for our Bible institute. Some of the advice from a professional marketing expert was to start with small bites. Identify a handful of these Christians.
Start with Chinese Christians who are in the U.S.
- Invite them to be your consultants. Ask for their advice.
- Find out how they communicate within their networks.
- Explore the role of social media, email, texts.
- Next: expand the pool to other countries.
One bite at a time.
* There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time (Desmond Tutu).
Read the complete article, view blogs and/or subscribe at www.316now.org/connect. Taken from 316NOW, Blog, Ministry, post of 2020/12/28.
Reprinted with permission. 316NOW is an educational, humanitarian organization led by Confessional Lutherans that equips and mentors Christian leaders in China for their service to others.