Pastor Allen Bauer's message on 11/18/18 was entitled, "How to Live Thank-filled Lives" . Have you ever struggled with being thankful? You are NOT alone. There are benefits to living a thankful life. How do we know what God wants? Choose to live a thank-filled life. It is NOT about things. Follow God alone. Come to worship. Make it an Act of Faith. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Pastor Wayne Braun preached his final sermon in his series, "Doorways to Spiritual Growth" on 11/11/18 entitled, "Jesus is the Door!" from John 10:9 and Philippians 3:4b-16. "I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:9 Jesus not only knocks at the door, Jesus is the door. He is the only door into the green pastures of God's grace and forgiveness. Spiritual growth is not learning about God. Its about knowing God. Growing in Christ is a life-long process.
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series, "Doorways to Growth" with his message on 11/4/18 entitled, "Giving - Growing in the Grace of Giving" from 2 Corinthians 8:7-9. Giving as an adult is no different than giving as a kid - we gave what our parents provided. Now we give from what God provides. God does not provide for us so that we can be stingy and live a life worrying about our stuff. He has provided all that we have that we might be generous in our giving to family, to friends, to others in need, to church and more. The problem is ownership. The things we think we own, end up owning us. The only owner of everything is God! When He owns us, those other things can no longer own you or me.
In addition, it was Lutheran Women Missionary League Sunday and Tracie Hollis, President of Lady Fishers (our LWML chapter) gave a temple talk about what LWML does.
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series, “Doorways to Growth”, with his message entitled, "Worship and Music That Transforms" from Psalm 27:4-7 and John 4:19 - 24. When we make those things the issue in worship and music we are majoring in the minors! The worship that He desires is that you and I have faith in Him. Worship and music that transforms us, is worship and music that first offers us God's gifts. Jesus is the greatest gift God gives to us in every aspect of worship. He fills us with his good gifts so that we can offer Him the worship He desires. "When in our music God is glorified and adoration leaves no room for pride, it is as though the whole creation cried: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! LW Hymn 449 stanza 1
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series, "Doorways to Spiritual Growth with his message on 10/21/18, entitled, "Christian Relationships: Loving Like Jesus" from Ephesians 4:15 - 16. Christ wants his church to be unshockable. Having such relationships with other believers is essential to growing in faith. You will only really love and be loved by God as you allow yourself to love and be loved by others. You will only really allow yourself to know and be known by God as you allow yourself to know and be known by other godly people. "If anyone says, "I love God" and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." 1 John 4:20 Yet as essential as such friendships are we work hard to avoid them. He is not a God who is content to stay at arms length. His adoption has made us brothers and sisters, members together of His family.
In addition, Lynn Dassow, head of small groups ministry team, talked about getting involved in a small group.
Pastor Lonnie Gonzales, City Director of LINC Houston, gave the message on October 14, entitled, "Called to Witness". What is our purpose here on earth? "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," Matthew 28: 18 - 19 (NIV) "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 Pastor Lonnie emphasized how it is up to ALL of us to go and be witnesses to the ends of the earth as we proclaim the message of grace and salvation.
In addition, several members of our mission team spoke about opportunities here at Fishers of Men to be witnesses as we act out the mission Jesus gave to us.
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series, "Doorways to Spiritual Growth" with his message on 9/30/18, "Hearing and Doing the Word" based on James 1:18-25. "I read my Bible. I hear the sermon. I attend Bible study. Sometimes I feel better for awhile. Yet I never really change. Why?" Too often we keep God out on the front porch, but never allow His word to take up residence in our lives. Being a doer of the word means letting God do something about the mess in our lives. He has purpose for giving us His word: He wants to save us. He wants to transform us. He wants to reshape us in the image of Christ. He is a God who practices what He promises. He is the God who blesses us by giving His promises and keeping them. We need not fear stepping out in faith to be both a hearer and a doer of the word. That's when the word of God becomes a doorway to spiritual growth in your life...when by faith you become a hearer and a doer.
Pastor Wayne Braun continued his sermon series, "Doorways to Growth" with his message on 9/23/18, entitled, "Times of Testing - Embracing Your Weakness" from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. We grow more in difficult times than in easy times. Times of testing will come to all of us. Such times of testing can either be shut doors blocking your way or open doors leading to growth. Our Lord invites us to see times of testing as doorways to growth. The greatest growth happens when by God's grace you embrace your weakness. The God who hung on His own cross is with you on your crosses. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9b
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.