Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouragin one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  Hebrews 10:24-25
Worship attendance.....  It is a phrase that I have both taken joy in and also hated over the years.  Going to a Lutheran school as a kid every Monday morning the teacher took church attendance records.  It was wonderful if you were in church, but if you missed there was trouble, especially if you missed more than a week or two in a row.  It was a requirement for us to go to church. 
As a pastor, it has continued to be a love/hate relationship with that phrase.  It is wonderful to see the church full!  I am overjoyed almost ot the point of tears on Christmas Eve and Easter when the church is packed.  I often catch myself saying, "If it could only be this way every Sunday"  Instead of enjoying God's full house on that day, I dread the following week when there will be, most likely, half of the people there. 
Worship attendance and "meeting together" isn't a new issue.  It was already an issue during the time of the writing of the book of Hebrews.  It has been an issue since the time right after Jesus ascended into heaven. 
Still, what does the writer say today in our reading?  Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together.... but encouragin one another.... 
If we were to go on in this section of scripture, we would see that the warning gets more and more severe, even arning against the loss of salvation for those who spurn the Son of God.  It is indeed a serious thing. 
So to day I want to consider what we can do to stir one another up.  How can we encourage one another to continue to meet together on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings?  What can I, as your leader, be doing to keep you faithful and diligent in your worship attendance and in your fellowship with the rest of the saints?  If you have any ideas, or encouragements for me, please don't hesitate to call or email.  I'd love to hear from you! 
Prayer:  Lord God, help us to consider how to spur one naother on to love and good works so that your house may be full and your name honored and praise at St. John's and every other place.  Amen. 

YESTERDAY'S QUIZ:  What were some of the restrictions on the king of Israel according to the Lord.  (Hint: The answer is in Deuteronomy.)
he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you: 'Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.' Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. His heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel  Deuteronomy 17:16-17

TODAY'S QUIZ: Who is the "avenger of blood" as spoken about several times in the OT? 
Question: What is original sin?
Answer: Original sin is that total corruption of our whole human nature which we have inheritied from Adam and through our parents.
Tues- Quilters 9-2; Bible study 11:30
Wed- Supper (pork loin, stuffing, corn, applesauce, rolls, dessert)
Thurs- nothing
Fri- H.S. youth 30 hour famine starts at noon; High school lock in begins at 7pm
Sat- worship 5pm; 30 hour famine ends 6pm
Sun- Bible Study 8; worship 9;Sunday School and Bible class 10:15; WORSHIP 11am 

Supper- 5:30---Roasted pork loin, stuffing, corn, applesauce, rolls, dessert
LOCK IN AND 30 HOUR FAMINE Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3. 
All high school youth are invited to this lock in!!!!!!  Bring your friends and bring lots of stuff to do: video games, movies, board games, whatever else you can think of.  
We will stop eating after lunch on Friday and go without eating until 6pm on Saturday. 
We are doing this to raise money for starving children throughout the world.  World Vision is the group we will be donating the money to.
Next Monday evening at our regular meeting we will be learning about Jehovah's Witnesses.  If you have a friend who is Jehovah's Witness bring them with you so that we can learn straight from the source. 
Every first Monday night of the month we are gong to do something fun.  In march we are doing paintball if it is available.  I still have to see if they do evening paintball, but if they do, IT IS ON!!!
What is it?  Bible 101 is a new online product from Concordia Publishing House that increases Biblical literacy in adults. 
It is for all levels of learning and knowledge.  Even pastors learn things from this course. 
Participants simply log into Bible 101 and enter an online learning environment.  Members start out by learning essential Bible basics from "square one" and then build upon that as they progress through the course.
Here are som of the features of Bible 101
online- uses proven online educational strategies and models that facilitate retention among multiple learning styles.
videos- throughout the week, participants can access videos that relate to the lesson
discussion forum- participants are not left on their own as they are connected to a community where they can correspond, question, and encourage each other.
podcasts- daily devotional for each weekday
quizzes- test your knowledge and easily benchmakr where you are in your learning cycle.
printing- easily print the materials for even more easy access. 
Please call or reply to this email to let me know that you want to sign up for this wonderful opportunity.  I will sign you up!  The congregation has already paid the annual fee so IT IS FREE for you!!! 
PRAYERS: (If I have missed anyone please let me know.)
For JEANETTE KOEHLER who fell and broke her hip in two places as well as her wrist.
For VERNON HEICHELBECH who is hospitalized at the VA in Columbia with severe dehydration and complications due to parkinsons.
For DOLORES DEBLAZE as she will soon begin treatments for cancer.  She is undergoing more tests this week.
For A GOOD FRIEND OF CHRISTY WINN who has been diagnosed with cancer for the fifth time and is pregnant. 
For HANK SCHMIDT who is going through radiation treatments for stage 2 lung cancer.
For JONAS BORCHERT, grandson of Don Nolte, who continues to be up and down because of chemotherapy treatments.