Pastor Wayne Braun continues his sermon series, "Doorways to Growth" with his message on 9/16/18 entitled, "Prayer - A Way of Life" from Luke 11: 1-13. Prayer was also our Lord's way of life. (Mark 1:35, Luke 11:1) Jesus is inviting us to a life shaped by our relationship / conversations with Him. In prayer we come before God as beggars. In prayer we come to God as His beloved children! We pray in the confidence that our God desires to give us good gifts. "And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." Luke 11: 9-10
Pastor Wayne Braun has started a new sermon series entitled, "Doorways to Spiritual Growth". His message on 9/9/18 was entitled, "Jesus is at the Door" based on Revelation 3:20. Biblical stewardship is about how in response to God's love, and in partnership with Him, we manage everything He has given us in every area of our lives to His glory and in His service! "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." Rev 3:20. Jesus stands at each door. A faith that isn't moving forward is moving backwards. Why bother going through these doors? Because Jesus stands at these doors inviting us. As we walk through these doors, we walk into the hand of a God who finishes what He starts! “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Phil 1:6
Pastor Allen Bauer's message on 9/2/18 was entitled, "The Word of God - Beautiful Feet" from Isaiah 52:7. Do you have beautiful feet? "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." Romans 10:15b How do you get beautiful feet? People have beautiful feet who value God's word as a light, a heritage, a joy, and the truth. The Word of God is NOT of the world, just as Jesus was not of the world. How are you going to get your beautiful feet? "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7
Pastor Wayne Braun's message on 8/26/18 was entitled, "No Empty Words!" from Isaiah 55:10-11. Words matter and no words matter more than God's words. How can we be sure that there are no empty words in God's word? Because God's power is at work in God's word. "My word shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11 And because when God gives His word He puts His own "skin in the game". [John 1:14] The key is to plant the seed.
Sunday, August 19 was Youth Sunday at Fishers of Men. The youth participated in both services and the Youth Band played at the 11:00 service. Thank you to all of the youth who served last Sunday especially the Youth Band (complete with horns!). DCE Richard Crouch, Director of Youth Ministry, gave the message entitled Real, Present God. In addition, several youth gave their testimony about how their faith has been impacted by serving God on mission trips. Our Youth Group will be attending the LCMS National Youth Gathering next summer in Minneapolis. Richard Crouch shared how he and his wife, DCE Kellye Crouch felt God calling them to church work while attending a national youth gathering while in High School.
Pastor Wayne Braun concluded his sermon series on the Ten commandments with his message on 8/12/18 entitled, "The Good Way to go - What to Do with the Ten Commandments" from Exodus 20:20. First, what not to do with the Ten Commandments: Don't ignore the Ten Commandments. Don't pick and choose which ones you will obey. Don't depersonalize the commandments. Don't let the commandments replace the Gospel.
What you should do with these commandments: First, use the commandments to test your relationship with God. Use the commandments to enhance your fear of God. "that the fear of Him may be before you, that you may not sin." Exodus 20:20b In the end, the Ten Commandments always leave us no place to go except to the cross of Jesus.
Pastor Allen Bauer's message on 8/5/18, was entitled, "I AM the Bread of Life". Bread symbolized everything for life. God is the provider. (Psalm 145: 15-16) Jesus doesn't want to be a "bread king". (John 6:26) We need to rely on God and we need to work for food that is imperishable. "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man (Jesus) will give you." John 6:27a Jesus is the bread we need daily. "Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series - "The Ten Commandments" with his message on 7/29/18 entitled "9th and 10th commandments - To Have or Be Had". Coveting is a matter of what's going on in your heart. To covert is to have an inordinate, ungoverned, selfish desire for what belongs to someone else. The danger in covering things or people is the danger of a divided heart. (Matthew 6:19, 24) Do I own my things or do they own me? God desires you and I to be His own (John 3:16) God desires for you and me the contentment that is the only cure for coveting. You and I were created not to have but to be had by Him. (Matthew 6:25, 33) In Christ you have treasures that last. When Jesus has you, it doesn't matter what or who you have.
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series, "The Ten Commandments - A Good Way to Go" with his message on 7/22/18 entitled "If You Can't Say Something Nice...8th Commandment" based on Exodus 20:16. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor" The 8th commandment has a narrow sense and a broad sense. The narrow sense applies to telling the truth when you are in court. The broad sense is to forbid lying to someone or about someone. We live in a culture of lies. The Bible gives several reasons why people lie: guilt, fear, malice, pride, and approval. What's so wrong about lying? Words hurt and God hates lies. Truth matters to God. Jesus is the truth that God loves us in spite of our lies. The truth of God's love frees you to be unafraid of the truth. "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free." John 8:32
Pastor Wayne Braun continues his series , The Ten Commandments - A Good Way to Go" with his message on 7/15/18, "The Seventh Commandment - Thou Shall Not Steal" "The Art of Being Neighborly” based on Exodus 20:15. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. What better way to show this by helping him or her to keep, protect, and improve their property and business; by seeing ourselves as neighbors rather than competitors; and by realizing that God is the supplier of all we have and need.
Pastor Allen Bauer continued the sermon series, "The Ten Commandments" with his message on 7/8/18, 6th Commandment - Thou shall not commit adultery". Exodus 20:14. What is adultery? A relationship in thought, word, or deed outside of the marriage covenant. To serve the Lord we must obey his commands. How do we keep the sixth commandment? 1. Owe only a debt of love. Romans 13:8 2. Submit to one another. Ephesians 5:21 3. Flee from temptation. Philippians 4:8 4. Remember that you are a child of God. 1 Corinthians 6: 19 - 20 5. Seek forgiveness and give forgiveness. 1 John 1:9
This week's message, on 7/1/18, was delivered by our DCE Richard Crouch. He continued the sermon series, "The Ten Commandments - A Good Way to Go" with his message entitled "The Fifth Commandment - The Killing Fields". Exodus 20:13 - "You shall not murder" We are not to harm our neighbor in any way. Ephesians 4:31-32 and Matthew 5:22. We cannot love God and hate our brother. "And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother." 1John 4:21. Speak in a way that helps defend your neighbor. Treat your neighbor with kindness and compassion.
Pastor Wayne Braun continues his sermon series on the Ten Commandments called "A Good Way to Go" with his message on 6/24/18 entitled, "Parents: Honored and Honorable". This is based on the 4th Commandment from Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16. So what does it mean to honor parents? To honor your parents is to value them highly. It is to recognize that they are worth their weight in gold. We do this in three ways. first, we obey them. Second we imitate them. Third, we bless them. Honoring our parents isn't always easy. One reason it's not easy is simple - we are sinners. A second reason - there are parents who are not honorable. The key to it all is for your family relationships to be planted firmly in the soil of your faith in God.
Pastor Wayne Braun continues his sermon series on the Ten Commandments - "The Good Way to Go" with his message "Remember to Rest" on 6/17/18 based on Exodus 20:8-11. "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" Exodus 20:8. Sabbath means to retire, to withdraw, to rest. In Exodus 20:11, God is commanding us to have a sacred time in our lives. Why? Because we need it! We are paying a steep price for the lack of Sabbath time. Hurry is not of the devil, hurry is the devil. Often times we're worn out and don't know it. We end up working ourselves to death...worrying ourselves to death. True Sabbath is found only in Jesus. Jesus said "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. He and He alone has carried our burdens. Now He invites us to enter His rest. The Church is to be a place to be real with God and with one another. God's rest is entered only by repentance and faith.
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series on the Ten Commandments with his message on 6/10/18 entitled, "The Good Way to Go: Honoring God's Name" from Exodus 20:7. "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord". In His name God makes himself known. His names tell us who He is and what He has done. El Shaddai means "God of Mountains". Elohim means "God of god's". Immanuel means "God with us". Jesus means "God saves". Yahweh mean I AM. The gift of God's name is a great honor. There are all sorts of ways of abusing this honor. When we abuse God's name we empty it of its meaning. How you use or abuse His name reveals what's in your heart. Giving us His name reveals what's in God's heart. We are "baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" Matthew 28:19.
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series on the Ten Commandments with his message on 6/3/18 entitled, "God's Exclusive Rights" from Exodus 20: 1-3. "You shall have no other Gods" Exodus 20:3 First God is claiming exclusive rights on being God. Second, God is claiming exclusive rights on 100% of our love and life. Third, God is claiming exclusive rights to tell you how you are supposed to live. Fourth, in this commandment God is claiming exclusive rights to save us. What gives God the right to make all of these claims on your life? He created us! He redeemed us! "This is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and gave His one and only Son as the atoning sacrifice for your sins." 1 John 4:10
Pastor Wayne Braun's message on 5/27/18 was entitled, "Fences, Mirrors and a Good Way to Go" - An Introduction to the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are a gift of a loving father. Indeed the commandments can be summarized by one word - love. Commandments 1 through 3 are about loving God. Commandments 4 - 10 are about loving others. Three ways God uses the Commandments in our lives: as a fence, as a mirror, as a guide and a path. They lead us to ask questions only the Gospel can answer. "Your commandments are my heritage forever, they are the joy of my heart" Palm 119: 111.
On Confirmation Sunday, DCE Richard Crouch delivered the message based on the Old Testament reading from Ezekiel 37:1-14. Without God we are nothing but dry bones (useless); even with muscles and tissue we have no spirit (not believing in God), but at Baptism, God breathes His Holy Spirit into us! It is our duty as Christians to go out into the World, being guided by the Holy Spirit, to spread His Word to all people.