As we enter Holy Week, we begin a series of days where we see in action God’s love for us. This is the love we trust in and celebrate with our words!
As we continue our "Ouch - the 7 Deadly Stings of Sin" midweek Lenten series we ask a very important question, Who Is Jesus? as we see that He was "Condemned."
We continue our "JUST in Time" series with a study of Romans 5:8-11. "Are We Good?"
"Scorned" is the 4th lesson in the Lenten Mid-Week sermon series "OUCH - 7 Deadly stings of sin" in which we focus on seven different Old Testament passages and prophecies telling the world what God's own Son would suffer to pay for sin.
What Time Do You See?
See the Season You You're
There are some events that change the way the world looks. There are some experiences that make you see something different. We may very well be living in one of those times now with the concern over COVID-19/coronavirus. But however the current concerns may or may not change the way you see the world, there is a far greater event that can change the way you see the world and make you see something different. This weekend we studied Romans 5:6 and learned about the special gift of how we get to "See the Time."
It is an epidemic!
Lately a lot of our Abiding Shepherd family has either been fighting illness or have had surgery of one kind or another. Fortunately, no one has contracted the coronavirus (nor have we begun to panic as if God were not in control). But we all are part of another epidemic known to us as sin.
This weekend we tackle the next lesson in our "JUST in Time" Sunday Lenten series. We dissect Romans 4:25 and see one of the laws of nature at work: "Equal and Opposite".
In this sermon we consider the love our Savior has for us that moved Him to choose to be "Forsaken" for us. This is the 2nd installment in our "7 Deadly Stings of Sin" midweek Lenten series.
The other day I [Pastor Krause] pulled the last can of soda out of the fridge. I went to the pantry to find some more to restock the fridge, but couldn't find any. I mentioned this to my wife who immediately found three six packs in the very place I had just looked. What's that about? Sometimes we can be looking right at something and still not see it. Not a big deal when it comes to soda, but very dangerous when it comes to our faith. This week we study our final Epiphany lesson and it is part of the Transfiguration account. We take a deep dive into Luke 9:29 and ask one thing of God - "Lord, Open My Eyes!"
I didn't know that, did you?
I recently ran across a website explaining the use for many everyday objects I did not realize. Without someone telling or showing you, there are certain design features we may overlook or never fully appreciate.
Our lives can be like this - certain design elements God wisely gave us that we have never fully realized. Our good works, our outward lives as Christians is one of these areas. This weekend we study the second part to Matthew's epiphany lessons to "LIGHT-en our load". The lesson is Matthew 5:14-16 and our focus will be: "Designed to Shine".
Can you see it?
With all our modern technology so many skills of the past are being lost. As an example, when we want a picture of something we pull out our smart phones and just snap away.
Lost is the fine are of focusing. In times past good pictures required the skill of understanding your camera, how it operated, and what exactly was need to get the best results. Could the same be true of our faith, both in the skills that are lost over time and the necessary steps to get the best results? Let's find out this weekend as we study Matthew 4:12-17. Our theme is "Focus".
Don't you just love those moments in time when everything finally comes together and you just get it? What about such moments when God connects all the dots and something we have been wrestling with, something we have been trying to get our heads around, suddenly the Holy Spirit shows us the light?
This weekend we began our Epiphany sermon series: "Light-en Your Load". Our first lesson is from John 1:1-14 and God shows us how just one day can make all the difference in our lives and in this world.
Sad Tears or Happy Tears? Maybe both!
Could These Sad Tears Also Be Happy Tears? Sometimes tears are from sadness. Other times they are from joy. But our God knows how to take sad tears and turn them into tears of joy.
Looking at the spirit of Christmas - past, present and future. A Christmas Day message from Pastor Krause
The older I get (and yes, I am getting old) the more I seem to struggle to remember things. While forgetting things can sometimes be a problem, what if forgetting could be a good thing? What if there was something God actually told us we should forget? Our third Advent lesson “I'm forgetting something" teaches us about good forgetting as we study Isaiah 43:18-19.
Have you ever had a tree or plant that you tried to get rid of but it just kept coming back? No matter what you used: a saw, poison, digging up the roots - it just could not kill it. I know, it is a weird analogy, but that's how God's promises are - unkillable. No matter how many times we doubt them, reject them, or walk away from them, God's promises are always there. This week we begin the new church year and the Advent season. We start our series "New Beginnings" with a lesson from Jeremiah 33:1-16 with the theme: "Let's begin - Again".
You missed the point!
How many times have you heard a sermon on the feeding of the 5,000? Really, that many times - well get ready for one more. What if I told you that we have been missing the point of this miracle? While this miracle shows us God can provide everything we need, the truth it is about so much more than that. We will focus in on verses 16-18 of Matthew 14 with this thought in mind: "Expect More".
You're being lied to!
Not sure if you caught that, but every day you are hearing a lie. No, I'm not talking about that political ad you just saw on TV, or the story your kid just handed you about how they didn't do what you just saw them do.
I'm talking about your life. Every day we hear two stories - one heavenly and one earthly, and one of them has to be a lie. Which one is the subject of our 20th spiritual battle lesson and it just so happens to also fall on the observance of the Protestant Reformation. We will study 2 Timothy 4:10 and our theme is "The Problem with Jesus".
I'M ANGRY! I [Pastor Krause] was trying to find a good way to describe what we will be studying this weekend so I googled "anger" and the results kind of made me angry. Seems there is no perfect way to reference anger - I found one list identifying 4 kinds of anger, one says 7, one says 10 and another says 12 different kinds. Argh!
So I'm going to skip Google and go right to the expert, the man of our spiritual warfare lesson this week - Jonah. We will be studying chapter 4:9-10 with the theme "Anger Mismanagement".
I [Pastor Krause] think it is a pretty safe guess that you all know I am a huge Packer fan. I am excited the Pack is off to good start this season. But I am a bit concerned how our defense has been playing, especially with Sunday's upcoming game against Dallas.
I hope the Packers prepare for the game with a philosophy this weekend's lesson teaches us about spiritual warfare. We are going to study another prophet who was at the point of wanting to quit. And so God taught Jeremiah to "Bend, but not Break".
How strong are you? Strength can be measured in any number of ways: the amount of weight that can be lifted, the ability to stay focused in difficult circumstances, and even good old fashioned horsepower. As important as it is to be strong while fighting our spiritual battles, the real question is how much strength do we really have? Our next "I Quit" lesson shows us a man who thought he was weak but in reality he was really just afraid. We study Judges 6:11-16 and hear God tell Gideon, and us, "You are stronger than you know!"
The best time to win a spiritual battle is before it starts. Guard your heart! Our lesson comes from 2 Samuel 11:1. Let's strategize so we don't give up!
Words mean things. I am not a fan of people misusing words. Brain Anderson, one of the Brewer's TV announcers, often misuses the term "anxious" when the word he really should use is "eager" - “ i.e. so and so is eager to get another at-bat.
Many people also confuse the words "alone" and "lonely". Alone means being by one's self while lonely is that feeling of being unwanted by others, maybe even feeling unloved. Our next "I Quit" lesson is another look at the prophet Elijah and his spiritual battle with loneliness. Our lesson is 1 Kings 19:14 and our theme is "Alone or Lonely?
Ever been in a conversation where a person's words do not match their facial expression, that is, they are hiding what they are really thinking and feeling?
Ever try to have one of those conversations with God where we put on a brave face outwardly, but inwardly we are "dying". Our next "I Quit" lesson takes us to another Old Testament great - Elijah. But, like us, Elijah had his bad days too. This weekend we studied 1 Kings 19:4 and our theme is "Worth Less".
There is one universal topic you can discuss with just about anybody - the weather. Either it is too hot, too cold, too dry, to wet, etc. Everybody has an opinion about the weather. But the real hot topic is storms. How much rain did we get? Is it going to snow? Did you hear that thunder last night? Storms always get peoples' attention, especially the big ones. But what about spiritual storms? How many of us discuss the spiritual storms we need to weather? This week we have that discussion with our next "I Quit" lesson: Mark 4:38 “When the storm isn't really the problem!"
EVIL - How do you know for sure if a person is evil? And looks can be deceiving since we are unable to look into the hearts of others to examine if their motives match their words and actions. Often it seems we are unable to recognize true evil until it is too late, or so we may think. As we prepare for the next battle in our spiritual warfare on a personal level Jesus gives us a view of evil we might not ever considered. Our lesson comes from Matthew 13:24-30. And our study will be all about "Necessary Evil".
Problem Solving - Wouldn't it be nice if everything in life was simple, easy and fun? (That's the way it was supposed to be). But much like a muscle, without exercise, our faith would atrophy if everything were easy. And so God wisely allows challenges for our faith. Our next lesson in the "I Quit" series displays a challenge for the man whom this series is patterned from - Moses. Moses faced a big challenge and unfortunately he thought he had to face it alone - that became the real problem, the real spiritual battle Moses was fighting. Our lesson is specifically on Numbers 11:13-15 - but I'm adding verses 10-12 for a fuller understanding of the question on Moses' mind, "Why Me?"
NO END GAME?
Imagine this: I ask you to help out here at church but give you no information about how long the job will last or even how to know if you are meeting expectations. My goal here is not to describe how some churches recruit volunteers. It is about defining details. This week we begin the Trinity season and our new sermon series "I Quit" (spiritual warfare on a personal level). There is no better place to begin than with the details of what spiritual victory actually looks like as we study Luke 10:17-20. Our theme is one, glorious word: "Victory!"
FORGOTTEN HOLIDAY - Do you have your celebration planned yet and did you invite the relatives? Did you purchase the appropriate flower display to properly represent this next holiday? It is amazing how Christmas and Easter are off the chart holidays on the Christian calendar. Even the world pauses a few moments to "celebrate" these big days. So why does Pentecost, the third major festival of the church year, receive so little attention and celebration? I'm hoping we can change that, even a little bit, this weekend as we study Joel 2:28-32. Our theme is "Baggage Check" (and other blessings of Pentecost).
Because this is an expression that has been twisted and misused in recent times, allow me to define it for our purposes. The new normal is: the current state of being after some dramatic change has transpired. The new normal is what replaces what we previously expected. For instance, in high school I had a class to learn how to type on a typewriter. Now we do everything on computers - that is the new normal.
Easter presents us with a new normal for our earthly lives as we dig into our second last lesson of the Easter Epistles series from Romans 6:3-8.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It's not just at New Year's when people resolve to change and start over. It seems whenever there is a new fad, a new diet program, or a new self-help process, people are compelled to change. So how's that working out for you? Maybe you are not one of the millions to start over and over, again. But maybe part of you is, or at least you have considered changing something in your life. What if I told you there is one thing that actually does change your life? I will tell you this weekend as we study 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 and see how Jesus' resurrection compels us to see life from a new perspective of "Not what, but why".