Thursday, August 23, 2012

DEVOTION: But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:41-42

"That's terrible, surely the story can't get any worse."

That's what I felt when I read the story of five men who are on trial in central China. The charge against them is: "trading in illegal human organs." Do you want to say it with me? "That's terrible, surely the story can't get any worse."

But it DOES get worse. One of the men, the ringleader of the group, put the whole operation together because he had to raise money to pay off a gambling debt. One more time... "That's terrible, surely the story can't get any worse."

It gets worse. The donor of the organ, which was a kidney, was paid for his trouble. Do you know why he needed money so desperately? Simple: he needed to raise money so he could buy himself an iPad and an iPhone.

And, yes, it gets worse. The surgery was botched and the student suffered renal failure. As a result, he is too sick to attend the court proceedings.

So that's the story. It is, from start to finish, a story of mixed up, messed up priorities. Paying off a gambling debt is more important than doing the right thing. Getting the latest technology is more important than the gift of health.

Mistaken priorities.

Almost from the very beginning, the story of humanity has been the story of mistaken priorities. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were offered a choice: listen to God or disobey their Maker and eat from the forbidden tree. To make a long story short, they saw the tree's fruit looked tasty and Satan seemed to be making sense, so they ate. Before they had swallowed that first bite, mistaken priorities had become part of our world.

All of us, like Adam and Eve, like Martha in our text above, have been guilty of having mistaken, messed up priorities. Did you have a drink or two and then drove home because you "could handle it"? That was a mistaken priority. Rushing after the "almighty dollar" at the expense of ignoring your family. That's a mistaken priority.

Look at your friends and family members. Can you recall the time their priorities were messed up and they did something foolish, dangerous, or sinful? I hope you can do that for them, because I'm sure they can bring to memory the time YOUR priorities were out of whack.

Thankfully, because of our crucified and risen Lord, for Christians there is forgiveness for mistaken priorities. The Redeemer not only forgives our transgressions, He sends the Holy Spirit upon us so that we may learn from the past and become wiser and more spiritually mature.

Which is the kind of thing which ought to be high on our list of right priorities.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive us for worrying about many things and forgetting the one thing which is needful. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Who saves us from our ins. In the future help us to have right priorities. In Jesus' Name. Amen

YESTERDAY'S QUIZ:  Where was Jeremiah imprisoned? Confined in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace of Judah (the house of Jonathan)  Thanks Dianne Hance and Bob Nitzschke
TODAY'S QUIZ: Who is the Righteous Branch that Jeremiah is speaking of in Jeremiah 23:5?
Question: How has Christ rescued you from death?
Through His suffering, death, and resurrection, Christ has triumphed over death.  Since He now gives me eternal life I need not fear death.
Fri- newsletter assembly 9am
Sat- worship 5pm
Sun- worship 8:30; Sunday school 9:45; worship 11am 
Get a babysitter and bring your wife or husband on a date!!  Come to the Schirr's house and enjoy some good food, some drinks, some good company, and relax.  $12 per person.    Payment should be made to Betty Schirr.  21 years old and older invited.
Call Donna Sherman at 456-4224 to let her know you are planning on coming and if you can drive.  Bring $5 for skates and any extra money you want to bring for snacks.  The group will leave together from church at 1:15.  BRING FRIENDS!!!! 
It will be a very simple time to lift each other up, and to lift up our church in prayer.  We will be gin with a devotion, have discussion about the situations and people that need our prayer, pray for them and go home refreshed and knowing that our Lord God is with us and caring for our needs. 
As many of you know, CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) does an after school program called "Good News Club".   The change to all elementary schools being preschool-5th grade has created an opportunity for us (St. John's) to host a GNC at Rebecca Boone.  CEF has leaders in place to help us get started (They would eventually step out of the way and let us take over fully.)  What we need is two or three volunteers, who like working with kids and want to see more of them come to Christ, to be a part of this exciting opportunity. 
Please call me at 359-1061 to let me know if you are interested!!
SAVE THE DATE:   Partners in Christ Married Couples Weekend Retreat
Immanuel Lutheran St. Charles invites you and your spouse along with other married couples throughout the Missouri District to the Partners in Christ Married Couples Weekend Retreat on  Oct. 12-13, 2012.  It is an updated regional adaptation of the former LCMS MO. District "Strands" weekend. It is designed for Christian Couples to get away from daily distractions, spend quality time together, rekindle romance, and celebrate our partnerships (with your Spouse, with Christ and with the other Christian Couples attending). The event will start with a "Meet and Greet" and build up to an "Old Fashioned Church Hall Wedding Reception"(Remember your special day?). Check out more details on Immanuel's Web site at

Projectors NEEDED for this weekend!!!
I still need people to sign up for the projector.  Here are the openings for the next few weeks:
Aug 26 8:30-                    11am-
Sept 2- 8:30-                    11am-
Sept 9- 11am-
Sept 16-  11am-
Sept 23- 8:30-     
Sept 30- 8:30-                    11am-
What a great opportunity to support a mission right here!  If you don't want to do the golf outing, but you still want to help Little Lambs just put a check in the offering plate that is specifically designated to Little Lambs.  They start school on August 16.  
For KEN FOSTER, as he is recovering from a severe case of vertigo.
For DOLORES DEBLAZE as she begins a course of five days of radiation today.
For MARY OFSTHUN, former member of St. John's, as she mourns the loss of her daughter. 
For Denise Schlesselman's grandma, DOROTHY SCHLESSELMAN, as the spinal tap the doctors did revealed an unidentified virus.  
For ERNA VANHORN who is recovering well from surgery.
For BILL MCKENZIE as he recovers from a stroke.   
For JOYCE SCHIEN as she recovers from a stroke.  She is at the DePaul rehab hospital.
For BOB LAMPEN, Karin Klaustermeier's dad, as his treatment is doing some good, and as he is starting a new treatment for his liver cancer.
For JEANETTE KOEHLER as she reocvers from vascular surgery to relieve pain and help with circulation in her foot and as she works hard to get back home.
For GENE SIEBOLD as he awaits the results of his cancer treatments as they are completed. 
For ALL OF OUR FARMERS AND ALL WHO DEPEND ON THE LAND AND ON RAIN, that God would provide for their needs even during this drought.