The Theology of Suffering (Bad Things Happening to Good People)

This is the Sunday School Lesson for Dec 2, 2018, changed because of events in the life of our congregation.  The only difference from this and the lesson used is this one lacks the graphics.   The Theology of Glory versus the Theology of the Cross Before we look into suffering, we need to look […]

A “Onesie” Sunday School Lesson on Bad Things Happening to Good People

Early Saturday morning, a tree fell in our pastor’s yard, only a few feet away from crushing him and part of his house.  a minute later, our church building suffered significant damage.  The question that always pops into our heads is, “Why does God allow this to happen?”  This will be the topic of the lesson, […]

Church to meet in the multipurpose building on December 2

Because of wind damage, Church will meet in the multipurpose building on Dec 2.  The older structure of our facility is still declared unsafe.  All are to enter through the side entrances, not the main front entrance. Both Sunday School and Service times are unaffected. The inside of our sanctuary is almost completely unscathed.  We […]

Psalm 103: Thanksgiving

My soul, bless the Lord; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.  Praise the Lord and do not forget all His benefits.  Oh, if only, if every wish of my heart, bone, and being, thought and breath, contained the strength to esteem our Lord! How impossible!  For when I tell my being not to […]

All Saints: Tobit 3:7-8, 7:10-12; Revelation 7:9-17; Matthew 22:23-29: Who’s Doing the Counting?

All the counting in Scripture.  On its first page, the words, “In the beginning” ring out, commencing the count.  So tabulate the days as they unfold.  “The evening came and morning followed—the first day” all the way to “the seventh day” when the Creator “finished his work” (Genesis 1:5, 2:2). Much later, after recounting so […]

Making Sense of God when Our World Doesn’t

This is our pastor’s newsletter for November 2018.   In our grief, we sigh, “Why, Lord?”  Such words formed in my mouth when Dean Webb died, with Sandy, his wife, a short time later.  Today, as I write this article, I still am grappling with losing them both.  Though I am a pastor, God sends […]

Isaiah 66:1-2: Reformation, God Working Through Our Human Failures

A monk at Wittenberg, nails a document on a church door.  Written in Latin, he desires to spark a debate.  For this man spots others selling something called “indulgences,” which claim to cut short someone’s time in purgatory. So, what’s the issue?  For the Church of Rome, unless someone lives a super-virtuous life, he dies […]

Ecclesiastes 5:10-20, Luke 12:13-21: Enjoy All in Christ

In the realm of wealth, we listen today to an expert.  The teacher is Solomon, the wealthiest king of Israel.  To put his life in modern terms—he owned cars, houses, yachts.  Personal chefs, women, entertainment, the best food, an enormous wine cellar, gardens, and vineyards all occupied his life. In Ecclesiastes, he writes his report, […]

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, […]

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 […]