Butterfly Effect: You're probably familiar with this theory... a butterfly flaps its wings in some faraway land and it has an effect on the other side of the world. The same is true in a spiritual sense. As a Christian what you do today has an effect on others. You may not see it and you may not know exactly how, but the Bible teaches us it does. This truth helps to get us ready for our lesson this weekend and the next nagging question we tackle: "Can I Really Make a Difference". We study 1 Peter 2:10-11 for the answer.
Is something missing?
You know that moment...uncertainty, indecision, the uneasy feeling of not knowing for sure what to do. Life can be that way sometimes. Because of sin we often struggle to understand what He is doing in our lives at that very moment.
God created every single one of us for a reason and with purpose, even though God does not dictate exactly what we are supposed to do every moment of the day. This week's lesson is Ecclesiastes 12:13 and answers that nagging question "what's my purpose," and it offers application for every moment of our lives.
No one likes to deal with the delay or inconveniences of repairs or reconstruction projects. At times it can be frustrating. But the most important reconstruction project that affects our lives is the one going on inside of us - in our hearts. As we celebrate the festival of Pentecost, we consider the most important repair God is doing in our lives as we study Psalm 51:10. King David's prayer is also our prayer to "Have a Heart".
Did you know that the average thunderstorm in Wisconsin lasts approximately 90 minutes? So what? Well, we tend to think in terms of "forever" when we are in the middle of a storm and have little appreciation for its benefits until the storm passes. I [Pastor Krause] keep hearing all kinds of promises made by various leaders and businesses that soon things will be back to normal, that this will pass. Truth is, only God knows for sure. And only God can make the kind of promise we study this weekend as we look at James 1:12 with the theme "Better Days Ahead".
I've [Pastor Krause] been reading about people getting a lot done during the virus quarantine: home projects or learning a new language. But I've also read some pretty humorous things too: getting caught having a Zoom meeting without pants and stores refusing to let people return thousands of rolls of toilet paper they obviously didn't need. What if I told you that your greatest quarantine accomplishment could be embracing the gift God wants to give you: learning to suffer well while trusting God's plans? That's our lesson this week as we study 1 Peter 1:18-21 with the theme "For You."
So, how are you spending your days during the quarantine? We miss normal life, but don't worry because something better is on its way. And I'm not just talking about normal life. I'm talking about the next lesson of our Easter sermon season "Something Better". We will study Hebrews 11:35 as the author tells us about a "Better Resurrection".
Good Friday really is a Good day! We journey with Jesus to the cross where we see Jesus win our freedom by being "Sacrificed."
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".