Matthew 21:23-27: It All Comes Down to Authority

Authority (610x351)

The religious leaders asked Jesus, “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority?” There, they said it! In that question, they asserted that Jesus didn’t have the authority to do what He was doing. After all, THEY were the religious authorities, and they didn’t give Jesus permission to do what […]

What role do emotions have in the Christian Life?

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This topic goes back to an article I wrote about why we sing what we sing in church. In that article, I mentioned one hymn that wrongly points us to our subjective experiences as a way to “know” God. I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses; and the […]

Sermon for the Wedding of Richard Bell and Diane Sancken

The Two Become One (610x352)

Our pastor had the joy of joining Rick Bell and Diane Sancken in holy matrimony at Big Cedar Lodge, Ridgedale, Missouri. They are members of an LC-MS congregation in northern Illinois and received all their marriage counseling there. Then, wanting to be married amid the beauty of the local area, the actual marriage rite took […]

Acts, Lesson 16: The Church’s First Council

Jewish Circumcision Ceremony (610x352)

Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch (in Syria, not Pisidia) and remained there “no little time with the disciples.” Judaizers in the Church Read Acts 15:1 What were some in the Church insisting concerning Gentile believers?   Read Genesis 17:9-14 Leviticus 12:3: [The Lord told Moses,] “On the eighth day, the flesh of the baby’s […]

Dealing with Our Culture’s Sexual Standards

Unsure Way to Go (610x351)

This is our pastor’s article for our October, 2014 newsletter.   Dealing with Our Culture’s Sexual Standards By Pr. Rich Futrell An older person may feel out of step because he has spent much of his life living in another culture–the culture that once was. Think back to when you were a child. Do you […]

St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist– Matthew 20:1-16

Follow Me (610x351)

While walking one day, a pastor noticed a place where many people of Middle-Eastern descent would meet. Later, this pastor found out that the FBI was secretly watching that meeting place because ISIS was using it to recruit people to become terrorists. One day, while walking past that place, that same pastor met a man […]

What is our true comfort in death, our souls being in heaven or our body and soul being reunited on the Last Day?

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Introduction The typical North-American Christian worldview is one that values the spiritual but often sees little value in how God uses the physical. After all, Protestant America often views baptism as something that a Christian does to show that he is a Christian; the water may simply be incidental. The wine (or grape juice) and […]

Acts, Lesson 15: Paul’s First Missionary Journey, Part 2

Philemon and Baucis by Jeffrey Ackerman (610x351)

Last week, we finished with Paul and Barnabas in Asia Minor on a missionary journey. Today, we continue to learn about the second half of that missionary trip. At Iconium Iconium was the capitol of Lycaonia. In a 2nd-century account, Acts of Paul, an Onesiphorus described what Paul looked like when he met him in […]

The Difference Between Infant and Adult Faith

Infant Baptism2 (610x352)

What is faith? It’s important to understand what faith is–and what faith isn’t. If we don’t know what faith is, then we can misunderstand who may or may not have it. Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Within this verse, what does it […]

Sermon for Holy Cross Day

Holy Cross (610x351)

The great event took place in 326 AD. Helen, the mother of Constantine, the emperor of the eastern half of the Roman Empire, found the “true” cross of Christ. After her son had made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, Helen went searching the religious sites in the Holy Land. During an excavation, […]