Various thoughts from the pastors at St John's Lutheran of Midland MI.
For years now I've thought that many churches waste a golden opportunity to proclaim the Good News of salvation in the person and work of Jesus Christ by putting up less than stellar messages on their exterior church signs. I don't think any church can plead complete innocence in this regard. So often, these signs promote upcoming events or even completely secular things. It's a way of trying to demonstrate that the church is made up of real people who care about the same things that non-Christi...
I have watched with some interest as the debate about "gay marriage" has unfolded in our culture, and as the supreme court has taken up the issue in a current case, the debate has blossomed into something very visceral and intense. Heated words have been exchanged, and a vast struggle is underway to prevail in public opinion.
I don't have a particular concern about this. People can come to their own conclusions, and I happen to think that vigorous debate can often be a healt...
“Teaching Our Kids to Hate Church?”
Pastor Matthew Makela
The basis for this newsletter article is God’s Third Commandment.
Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.
We see in this Commandment the importance of regularly hearing God’s Word, especially as it is preached by a pastor in a local c...
honest. When you saw from the title that
this article would touch on politics, did you feel a little wave of
that’s just me. We are in the home
stretch of a presidential election, after all, and the “tone” is as bad as
ever. Politics have become so
emotionally charged in our culture that true discourse is rarely seen. Good friends and family members sometimes
find their relationships a little strained, should they disagree on thei...
The Lord has blessed us at St. John’s,
and at the moment He is blessing us with the challenge of change in a number of
areas. It is my desire to keep you
informed on the thoughts, plans, and processes of these various changes as they
develop, beginning with the ministry of worship music in the 10:45 service,
known affectionately as “Joyful Praise.” This service has been set musically in a “contemporary” or “praise”
format for the past 15 years or so, beginning with ser...
(Or “A report on a work in
month’s article may be a little lopsided for those of you who only attend the
8:00 Sunday service or attend on Monday night, but I wish to report on the
plans, intentions, progress and challenges of the music ministry in the 10:45
service. Such a report ought to be
received, I hope, with an understanding spirit in the face of the challenges,
and an optimistic sense of what we look for God to do among us.
Being Afraid of Bad News
Pastor Matthew Makela
The extraordinary strength God gives
to His people to face difficult times is incredible. Countless Christians have
faced tragic deaths, fatal diagnoses, troubled relationships, loss of earthly
wealth, struggle with addictions, persecution for their confession of Christ,
and other terrible things with fortitude, courage, and hope for a better day.
It seems that we l...
An odd phenomenon is happening. As our country gets more secular, the population of pro-life people is growing. (See the Gallup poll numbers below). This is especially due to the fact that the post-Baby Boom generation is much more pro-life than its predecessor generation. Four years ago 51% of Americans self-identified as pro-choice, and only 41% self-identified as pro-life. Now, those numbers have flipped. Thanks be to God! There is still much work to do in defense of unborn life. I pray that ...
This was shared with me via e-mail by a member of St. John's. It gives all of us good cause to pause and consider how the "normal" way of life may not be good for us. ~Pastor Makela
SATAN IS OUT TO KILL AND DESTROY
A devotion was written
about Satan and his intervention into the lives of Christians, so as to cause
us to serve him rather than our God. Part of Satan’s plan is to intervene
into our lives and cause us to live in a frenetically busy mode, so...
On the seventeenth of this
month we will have the opportunity to celebrate our fathers and give thanks to
our heavenly Father for the blessing they were and are to us. Have you noticed
the trend (and maybe it’s not all that new) for television shows to portray
dads as bumbling idiots who may work a job and keep their families clothed and
fed but are worth next to nothing on top of that? To be sure, some men have
failed to be godl...