Mark 4:35-41, Revelation 14:13: Donna Kind-Gappa’s Funeral Sermon: Blessed are the Dead Who Die in the Lord

The story is the tale of your life, soaked into the bones and marrow of your being.  The sun warms your face, but distant thunder cleaves your ears.  Soon, dark clouds banish the brightness, and blackness descends, unasked for and unwanted. The still waters rebel and lash out in chaos.  Venomous bile stings your throat, […]

Donna Kind-Gappa’s Memorial Service

Donna Kind Gappa’s Memorial service will be held at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Kimberling City, Missouri on Friday, September 21, at 2:00 PM. She was born January 26, 1932, in Elkhart, Indiana, daughter of Milton Raymond Lotz and Iler Bessie Badman Harmon Lotz and died on September 6, 2018. Her family moved to […]

Mark 9:14-29: Faith and Faithfulness

In today’s Gospel, Jesus triumphs in a spiritual miracle, casting out a demon.  For us, this is almost unrelatable because we can explain, in some way, people’s bizarre conduct.  In our world, people exhibit many weird behaviors.  Still, we almost always come up with some explanation, often traceable to an illness—Bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, a horrible […]

A Lesson on Grieving

With two deaths within a week, a lesson like this made sense.  For when someone you know and love dies, you suffer an enormous sense of loss.  It is like an amputation. Initially, there’s a sharp pain. Eventually, there’s healing—but there’s always a loss. Grief is the expression of this loss, which someone can express […]

Sandy Webb’s Funeral Homily: Baptism Does What?

John 3:1-7, 14-17; Genesis 7:11-13, 22-23; 8:1, 9:8-15; 1 Peter 3:18-21 Sometimes, someone enters your life who speaks the truth, flowing from a heart of love, without pretense or agenda.  Whenever a friend like this becomes part of your life, don’t let him go.  Such people are rare.  Don’t allow being comfortable to obstruct genuine […]

Mark 7:24-37: Knocked Down by Sin and Death

In less than a week, two deaths—Sandy Webb and Donna Kind-Gappa.  So close together, we are left unable to make sense of this.  Inside, we are a mess of emotions, disturbed and rattled. Somehow, this smacks of betrayal.  For if God is real, how can he let this happen, a few days apart?  Only a […]

Sandy Webb’s Funeral and Memorial Service

Sandy Webb passed away September 3, 2018, from complications of breast cancer.  Her services will be held at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church on September 15, 2018, at 11 am.  Pastor Richard Futrell will be officiating with Nancy Heine as the organist.  A graveside service will be scheduled at a later date at the Immanuel […]

Ephesians 5:22-33: Love and Submission?

Such a reviled word, submission.  Given a different worldview, which concerns itself for others, we set aside our desires and rights for the benefit of another.  Now, this is part of following Jesus because He did the same for us.  The rights and privileges of being God, He put away, becoming human, walking the road […]

Psalm 68:6, Dean Webb’s Funeral Sermon: God Brings Those in the Prison House to Where?

“The two ways—one of life and one of death, and a vast chasm exists between the two” (Didache 1:1).  So begins a 1st-century document, meant for Gentile converts entering a Church filled with Jewish Christians.  Such are the subjects Dean delighted in learning during my time as his pastor. Today, you will not find yourself […]

Dean Webb’s Memorial Service

The memorial service for Dean Webb will be on Saturday, August 11, 2018, at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Kimberling City, Mo. Roy “Dean” Webb, 81, of Branson West, died Saturday, June 30, 2018.  Born on March 28, 1937, in Independence, MO, as the son of Clarence and Carol Crawford Webb, he later […]