The Lutheran Hour: May 31, 2015 "Enough is Enough"

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Subject: The Lutheran Hour: May 31, 2015 "Enough is Enough"

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"Enough Is Enough"

Presented on The Lutheran Hour on May 31, 2015
By Rev. Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Copyright 2015 Lutheran Hour Ministries

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Text: 2 Peter 3:9-10

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed. Before the Lord looks at this sad and sorry sinful world and says, "Enough is enough," may those words of life be our words of salvation. Grant this, Lord, to us all. Amen. 

Enough is enough. This past week, in the grocery store, Pam and I followed a woman and her child through the store. We weren't trying to follow her, but somehow our shopping lists coincided so we kept bumping into the pair. Each time we did so, mother and child were interacting. Maybe I should also say the interaction was not positive. The first time we met, the mother was looking for a clerk to clean up a great, big jar of pickles which her little one had pulled from the shelf and dropped. The second time we encountered the pair, the mother was restocking a shelf of beans. It seems her son had taken a can from the bottom of the stack and not from the top. The third time we had a meeting, mom had discovered her tiny tyke had been putting his finger through the plastic wrap on some packages of meat.

The last and final time we saw the two, mother and child were in the checkout line - a line which was four carts deep. This time the boy was demanding, not requesting, not asking, not pleading for, but demanding a candy bar. Mom said, "No," and he howled. She said, "Not now," and he screamed. She said, "Mark my words, never again for the rest of your life will you every receive a candy bar from my hands." In the heat of the battle, I am fully convinced that Mom meant that threat. Well, her words were countered with a shriek which caused everyone in the store to stop dead in their tracks. It was at that moment the red-faced mother lowered her voice, looked her little one in the eye and said, "Enough is enough." She picked him up from his seat in the cart, pushed her groceries off to the side, got the attention of the clerk and said, "I'm sorry someone is going to have to restock these groceries, but I have some important business I have to take care of." Then, deliberately, firmly, and gently, Mom escorted Junior out of the store. That, my friends, defines "Enough is enough." 

In the course of my life, the Lord has blessed me with two wonderful women: my mother and my wife. They are, in ways too numerous to mention, different individuals. That being said, there is one thing they share in common. When I am being good and cooperative, they speak to me nicely. Mom used to call me "Kenny," and Pam calls me "Honey." When I was a little bit cantankerous, those names would become "Ken" and "Dear." When I was a lot bit cantankerous, Mom would give me a warning by saying "Kenneth" and my wife would do the same. Still, and I'm sure you will have a tough time believing this of me, there have been those moments, exceedingly rare moments, when I had, quite unintentionally, managed to push their buttons. As I say, they are different women, but they came together in chewing me out using my entire name: "Kenneth Richard Klaus." Their voices sounded like a funeral bell as they let me know, "enough had been enough." 

No doubt you can recall moments in your life when enough was enough. The divorce courts of our nation are filled with people who, once upon a time, had pledged unending love and support to each other. Still, over time they had rubbed each other the wrong way. Finally they reached that point in time when enough was enough. People leave their jobs when they are unrecognized, unappreciated, and unapplauded. When enough is enough, they turn in their two week notice and start looking for something else, something better. 

Enough is enough. Yes, almost every human being can be pushed to a breaking point; almost every one of us has, somewhere in time, been taken to that place where enough had been enough. Thankfully, the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is a Deity who has, as one of His attributes, an attitude of long-suffering. Long-suffering means that while He has every authority, grievance, and power to punish us for our repeated and ongoing wrongdoings, He oftentimes patiently stays His hand from dishing out the temporal and eternal punishments we deserve. 

Again and again Scripture points to God's undeserved and unexpected patience. In the Old Testament book of Exodus (34:6 ESV) Moses was inspired to write, "...the Lord,(is) a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." In Ezekiel (18:23), the Lord tells us He gets no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Indeed, He would much rather everyone be turned from their wicked ways and live. Hundreds of years later, through the Apostle Peter, the Lord reiterated His commitment to giving us time to repent. In 2 Peter (3:9) it reads, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."

Now, it is a nice thing that God is patiently waiting for us to see and be turned from, the error of our ways. But you should know that the Lord doesn't spend all His time sitting on His heavenly throne, twiddling His thumbs. God doesn't do that because He knows sin has permeated every bit of us and we are helpless to straighten things out... at least on our own. 

No, God didn't just wait for us, He took the matter of our salvation into His own hands and, in the Person of His Son, cleared a path for us to heaven. Indeed, His love for the world was so great that He gave His only Son to be our Substitute under the law. His Son, Jesus, came into this world as a Man and lived a perfect life on our behalf. Not only did Jesus keep all the Commandments which we had broken, He resisted the temptations which have tripped us up. As part of His Divinely directed work, Jesus carried our sins and, almost 2,000 years ago, died the death which our transgressions had deserved. Now, whoever is brought to faith in Jesus as Savior, will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). In other words (Romans 6:23), the wages of sin is death, but, because of the Redeemer, "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Eternal life is what happens when a sinful soul is forgiven and brought to faith. In truth, it is God's greatest desire to give salvation to sinful human beings. Unfortunately, many folks don't want, or refuse to receive, the Lord's gracious, blood-bought present. In many cases that is because the Lord IS patient, long-suffering, and doesn't immediately give in to an enough is enough attitude. That means the same gift of time which the Holy Spirit uses to bring people to faith is misused by Satan and the world to lull others into believing the Lord is unconcerned, or is going to be eternally patient, or He just isn't out there at all. And, as we said, because God's sentence against our evil deeds is not executed speedily, the hearts of many people feel quite comfortable wallowing in their sin (see: Ecclesiastes 8:11).

Well, my friends, the Lord is out there; He is concerned and, while He is patient, He will not be eternally so. The prophet Nahum made that abundantly evident when he wrote (1:3), "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." Of course you don't have to take Nahum's word. Read the Bible. It gives abundant examples of times in human history when the Lord looked down on us and said, "Enough is enough." 

The Lord had said 'Enough is enough" to Adam and Eve after they broke His single commandment in the Garden of Eden. If it had not been for God's immediate intervention and promise of a Savior, temporal and eternal death would have been their punishment. But the lesson was not learned. Not so many generations had come and gone before the Bible reports, "the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and filled with violence. ...13 And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth" (Excerpts Gen. 6:11-13). In other words, God said, "Enough is enough," and humanity, with the exception of eight people, was destroyed. 

Centuries later, Abraham's nephew, Lot, went to live in the party towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. Having observed the sinful shenanigans going on in the twin cities, God revealed to His man Abraham, that He intended to destroy the cities. Immediately Abraham entered into negotiations and received the Lord's assurance that if there were ten righteous people in those towns He would spare them. Well, you can forget about finding ten righteous souls in Sodom and Gomorrah; you can forget about finding seven or five. God had to almost redefine the word righteous so Lot and his family could qualify and get out of town. They had just wandered down the road a piece when the sky opened up raining sulfur and fire. The Lord had shown He's not eternally patient; He had shown He could be pushed into saying, "Enough is enough." 

When the Children of Israel, who had just been freed from slavery in Egypt, decided to desert God and worship an idol shaped like a golden calf, the Lord said, something like, "Moses, I'm really angry and I'm going to destroy the people and start over. I'll make a great nation of you and your crew" (Exodus 32:10). Once again God had said, "Enough is enough." 

Do you think the people learned? They didn't. Not so much later God's people refused to follow the Lord and enter the Promised Land. The people, the cities, everything frightened them. That's when the Lord said, "If they don't want to get what I've promised, that's fine. They can die in the wilderness." It took 40 years for all of them, with the exception of Moses, Joshua, and Caleb to die out. Enough had been enough (Numbers 14:30).

Look at the book of Judges. It sounds like a broken record. Each event in that volume begins with: "The Children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord" and that information is followed by, "and God delivered them into the hands of their enemies." Eventually God's people repented, the Lord restored them to favor, and everything was all right until the people's sins drove the Lord to say, "Enough is enough" and the cycle repeated. 

For almost 1,000 years that process kept up until God reached a final "enough is enough" and both the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel were taken captive and relocated. Never again would God's people enjoy the freedom, the independence, the self-sufficiency they had once had. Never again would they have the complete confidence that the Lord was smiling upon them, blessing them, and protecting them from their enemies. That is what can happen when the Lord says, "Enough is enough" to a nation. 

You notice I have been speaking about countries here. Today I'm more concerned about what happens when the Lord says, "enough is enough" to an individual. He can do that, you know. Numerous times the prophet Moses visited with Pharaoh and tried to negotiate the release of God's people. Five times it says "Pharaoh's heart was hardened" or "Pharaoh hardened his heart." But things changed with the sixth visit which preceded the sixth plague. There, and most of the time after that, it says, 'God hardened Pharaoh's heart.' In other words, the Lord had said, "Pharaoh, I'm through with you. Enough is enough." 

It is a frightening thing when the Lord says "enough" to you. It is a terrible thing; it is a damning thing. And nowhere in Scripture can I find anywhere where the Lord indicates how many times He is going to try and reach someone; how many times He's going to keep knocking at the door of someone's heart when that person insists on staying on the other side throwing the locks and barricading the door against God's invitation. I do know after Jesus began His ministry He went back to His childhood home of Nazareth a number of times. He tried to reach them, to get them to see He had come to save them. They didn't listen and He didn't come back. Enough had been enough.

When Jesus was in Galilee, the fishing village of Capernaum was His center of operations. That community saw His miracles, heard His teachings, and were privileged to be closer to the Savior for a longer period of time than just about anyone. Unfortunately being near to Jesus is not the same as believing in Jesus. Many citizens of those communities were glad to eat the food Jesus could miraculously provide; they were eager to have their sick healed by His almighty hand, but being brought to faith in Him was something many declined. That is why Jesus sadly said, "And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? (No,) You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you" (Matthew 11:23-24 ESV). Enough is enough. 

Years ago I called on a man, a member of my church, who was a good man, at least in the eyes of the community. By that I mean the fellow was honest in his dealings with others; he took good care of his family, didn't drink, gamble, or swear. He was always faithful and conscientious in paying his bills and taking care of his other debts. During our visit I asked, 'Tell me, you pay all your other debts, but I never see you in church; I never see you at Communion, and the church offering plate never sees a dollar from your account. Why are you faithful in paying your debts to others, but not to the Lord?" He thought for a minute and then, without being flip, he replied, "Well, pastor, I don't pay so much attention to God, because He doesn't push as hard as everybody else." 

Listeners, that guy had it right. The Lord is not going to push; He is not going to beg; He is not going to twist your arm. What He is going to do is say, "Look at My Son who gave His life to save your soul. With faith in Him You will be in heaven; without faith, you are headed for hell. Jesus is the best thing which has ever happened to you and for you. Don't turn your back on Jesus. Be ready for the day when He will say to this world, 'enough is enough.' When that day arrives, I want everyone to be glad to see Me." 

And if you aren't ready now, you should know, right now, we at The Lutheran Hour are ready to help you get ready. To that end, I extend this invitation, "Please, call us at The Lutheran Hour." Amen. 

LUTHERAN HOUR MAILBOX (Questions & Answers) for May 31, 2015 
Topic: Hypocrisy

ANNOUNCER: Now, Pastor Ken Klaus responds to questions from listeners. I'm Mark Eischer.

KLAUS: Hello, Mark. Good to see you.

ANNOUNCER: Today we're going to talk about hypocrisy. I don't recall we've ever really covered that topic here in all the years we've been doing this segment.

KLAUS: I'm surprised. People like to accuse Christians of being hypocrites. That's one of the top complaints-or excuses.

ANNOUNCER: Generally speaking, a hypocrite is someone who pretends to be one thing when they're actually another.

KLAUS: And one thing to keep in mind is that Christians are, at the same time, both saints and sinners. Also, the visible Church is made up of both believers and fakers, for want of a better word.

ANNOUNCER: And this may confuse those who look at us, look at the Church from the outside. We don't claim to be perfect, and we certainly aren't. That's why we need Jesus and the forgiveness He won for us on the cross.

KLAUS: I like what someone said, that as redeemed sinners, we despise sin and struggle against it and we earnestly wish we were as holy as God declares us to be, in Christ Jesus.

ANNOUNCER: Or, as someone else has said, "I wish I were as good a man as my dog thinks I am."

KLAUS: Now, on to the listener's question.

ANNOUNCER: Okay. Our listener has a friend who for years and years has refused to attend church. Why? "Full of hypocrites," that's what she said.

KLAUS: That's one way for an individual to show that--unlike those Christian pretenders--they are truly open, honest, and have nothing to hide.

ANNOUNCER: But now hear this-our listener's friend has recently begun attending church on a regular basis. Our listener wondered what had changed. The friend replied, "Oh, nothing. I don't necessarily believe all this stuff, but I figure I've got nothing to lose."

KLAUS: Okay...

ANNOUNCER: Is she now being the hypocrite? Don't you find it ironic that a person who once complained about hypocrites has seemingly become one herself? Finally, should our listener blow the whistle and tell the pastor about this?

KLAUS: First, I think something happened to this friend, the one who has complained about the hypocrites. I don't have the gift of prophecy, but something got to this lady. It may have been a traumatic event in her life. Maybe it's a concern for the future. Maybe she's just not as sure and confident about things as she once was-but something happened.

ANNOUNCER: And now that church that seemed so false and fake doesn't look so bad after all.

KLAUS: Absolutely. But until she is more established in what she believes, she's not about to recant all the ranting and raving she did in the past. 

ANNOUNCER: What else can you say?

KLAUS: The second thing is this: I don't think this lady is laughing at the Church anymore. That may have been the case at one point, but it's not anymore. Otherwise, she wouldn't be investing that kind of time and effort in attending as she is.

ANNOUNCER: So our listener need not go on the defensive.

KLAUS: Probably not.

ANNOUNCER: How, then, should our listener react in such a way as to encourage her friend?

KLAUS: First, I wouldn't tell other people what she knows or suspects about her friend's ongoing doubts. The friend is on a journey of sorts and does not need to be confronted and challenged by a swarm of well-meaning parishioners. Second, we need to realize that this woman, whether she is sincere or not, is still being exposed to Christ and the story of salvation. Every Sunday, she's hearing the Word of God and the Holy Spirit works through that Word to create and sustain saving faith.

ANNOUNCER: Just as the Holy Spirit does that work in us. So you're saying, let the Lord do His work.

KLAUS: Yeah. That's right. We need to encourage this lady in her worship and not try to second-guess and figure out all the things that are going on in her heart and mind. 

ANNOUNCER: Anything else?

KLAUS: Yes. Isaiah, speaking about the Savior's work, says "a bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench." Simply put, the Lord will not pour cold water on a faith that seems to be sputtering. Rather, He gives the Holy Spirit room to fan that burning wick into a bright flame, to enable that bruised reed to stand strong.

ANNOUNCER: And He also enables His Church to aid in that encouragement.

KLAUS: Yeah. Even as we confess that we also are sinners who need the forgiveness only Christ can give.

ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Pastor Klaus. This has been a presentation of Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Music Selections for this program:

"A Mighty Fortress" arranged by Chris Bergmann. Used by permission.

"O Day of Rest and Gladness" From The Concordia Organist (© 2009 Concordia Publishing House)

"Come Down, O Love Divine" From The Concordia Organist (© 2009 Concordia Publishing House)


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Denise Schlesselmann: May newsletter

Hi,I hope you are all enjoying a nice almost summer. I look forward to seeing many people when I return for a month this summer. More details in the newsletter.

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Prayer request

 Please pray for BETTY TUNNELL, a friend to many in the congregation who is very sick with pneumonia and other infections as well.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

DEVOTION:  What does a man get for all his toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?  All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest.  This too is meaningless.  A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.  Ecclesiastes 2:24
The other day I was thinking how nice it would be to have a new car, then I remembered that I also like that I don't have any car payments anymore and I don't like it when I do.  I also thought that it would be nice to have a bigger back yard with maybe some woods behind it so that I can go for a hike or just enjoy it more, and then I thought about how much work it would be to take care of all that.  When I get hungry I think about the big meal I want to have, and after I have that meal I still find myself unsatisfied.  As the old saying goes, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." 
Solomon knew this better than anyone.  He says, "I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.  My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for my labor.  Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." 
I have seen a lot of people over the years striving after the almighty dollar and always coming up short.  These people are never satisfied.  They never have enough, and so they never have enough to give.  Maybe you are one of them. 
Stop striving after meaninglessness.  Stop coveting what you don't have at the expense of what you do have.  Stop living life for the next thing or the next achievement, or the next whatever.  Instead REST in God's grace.  Eat and drink and find satisfaction in your work.  If there is not satisfaction in your work, maybe you need to find something else to do.  Maybe you can find satisfaction in working for the Lord. 
Don't take my word for it.  Take Solomon's word.  He had everything imaginable.  If he wanted it he got it.  The trouble was that he kept on wanting and was never satisfied with what he had although he had everything.  Do you get my point here? 
There is a peace that passes all understanding.  it doesn't come from things.  It comes from a relationship with Almighty God.  It comes from and through and with Jesus.  Strive for Jesus, or better yet, let Jesus strive for you!  Rest in Jesus!  Find hope, comfort, satisfaction, joy, peace, love, and everything else under the sun in Jesus! 
Let us pray:  Lord stop my striving for meaningless things.  Help me to rest in you.  Amen.
What other book besides the actual book of Jeremiah, did Jeremiah write?
Fri- Assemble newsletter
Sat- Worship 5
Sun- Worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school 9:45
Acolyte-  8:30- Ian Brunson; 11- Jack Bunge
Ushers-  Marv Hendershot, Don Luebke, Dave Callies, Don Nolte

Altar- Set up- Terry McKenzie; Clean Up- Lois Boeger
Communion Assistants- Sat- Randy Fischer; 8:30- Don Turnure; 11- Charlie Figura

Greeters- 8:30- Randy and Patty Sweet; 11- Charlie and Lynn Figura
Lay readers- Sat- Kathy Fischer 8:30- ????  11- Sandy Robine
Organist: Melissa Pedersen
Pianist- Tim Sherman
Projectionists: Sat- Pam Bueltmann; 8:30- Terry McKenzie; 11am- ????
My goal is to raise $1,500 for Lead a Child!  One of, if not the, best mission organization within the Synod.  We provide funds for kids in Third World countries to go to Christian schools. 
Please go to, click on the "donate" button and follow the instructions.  Or you can just give me a check and I will send it on to them. 
A special thank you to those who have already donated!  Right now I am at $650!  Almost half way there!
1. What do we do well?
2. What do we need to improve our ministry?
The answers to these two questions will help us to focus our efforts and put together a master plan so that we can focus on building to fit our ministry needs and goals.
They will have dinner and the J. Huston Tavern in Arrow Rock and then enjoy a live play "Driving Miss Daisy" at the Lyceum Theater.  Cost will be determined by number of people going, but should run between $60 and $70 per person.  SIGN UP SOON!  A $25 deposit is due by this Sunday!! Please give your deposit to Marilyn or put it in her mailbox or on her desk.  Don't put it in the offering plate.
Check your drawers and laundry piles and bring them back!   
If you have never been involved in one of our church activities (and even if you have), here is a new challenge for you!!  There will be a cake/dessert booth at the carnival on September 12!  The carnival will be open from 11am until dusk!  Donations of baked good and workers to man the booth will be needed!!  Desserts needing refrigeration cannot be accepted.  Work shifts will be for two hours beginning at 10am and will go till closing time.  To eliminate many, many phone calls, a sign up sheet has been placed on the narthex where you can volunteer!! 
Only a few spaces left!  Get those registrations in today!!  Get your registration forms from the preschool or from the church office.
Register online and have it swiped each time you shop. 
We are looking for ideas for carnival games and also donations of carnival game prizes for the vent.  Please donate prizes into the cardboard box in the narthex.  Also, if any one has an idea for a carnival game, or a game itself they would like to donate please contact Joanna Hoelscher at 636-485-0635 or Karla Christophene at 314-397-1375.

For CARA KLAUSTERMEIER who is recovering well at home.
For DAVE AND CAROL KOHRS, who are now BOTH on hospice care.
 For BONNIE FRENZIA, who is undergoing radiation treatments at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.

For OUR DCE INTERN, KELSEY OVERBECK, that the Lord's will is done concerning her call to a church to be a full time DCE.


For LIL WINTER recovering at home.


For MOLLY HENDERSHOT recovering at home.


For DAVE TINNIN'S MOM, JANE, as she continues to recover from several strokes and seizures.
For WILMA WEIGLE as she is having a lot of difficulty with congestion and possible pneumonia. .

For DENISE SCHLESSELMANN as she continues to work hard to bring the people of the Czech Republic to Christ. .


Church building planning committee tonight 6:00 PM

Just a reminder about the meeting tonight at 6:00 at the church.


Hope to see you there




Unforgiveness is the Poison We Drink

Unforgiveness is the Poison We Drink
Unforgiveness-Poison w-TextDear Congregation,
In 21 years of reconciliation ministry, I have found that the most challenging issue for many Christians to overcome is unforgiveness. Here is a brief sampling of what I have witnessed:
  • Gary1 and Becky1 were fighting over the custody of their nine-year-old son Jason. Both had married other spouses. Although they had shared custody for a few years, they could not agree on a parenting plan when Becky learned she would be moving over 2000 miles away. Unforgiveness of past offenses kept them from trusting one another and negotiating a deal. Yet, both wanted to avoid a court battle.  READ MORE
In this case and others, unforgiveness led to other problems in the lives of the individuals who struggled to forgive. Some of the problems included physical health issues, bitterness, lingering anger, fear and mistrust of others, loneliness, and more broken relationships.  

Make your tax deductible gift today!

In Christ's service,

Signature - Ted
 Ted Kober
1 Although the situations are based on real cases, names and details have been changed to protect confidences. 

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The Lutheran Hour: May 24, 2015

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Date: 05/23/2015 9:16 PM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: The Lutheran Hour: May 24, 2015

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"Power Connection" #82-38

Presented on The Lutheran Hour on May 24, 2015
By Rev. Gregory Seltz, Lutheran Hour Speaker
(Does It Matter What You Believe?)
Copyright 2015 Lutheran Hour Ministries

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Text: John 15:26-27, 16:14-15

Jesus said, "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning... He (the Spirit) will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."

Christ is risen, He is risen, indeed, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, His Good News can be yours today by faith. Amen.

At one time or another all of us have probably experienced a blackout where, for some reason, there was no electricity because a fuse burned out, some electrical lines went down in the midst of a storm, or, perhaps, a transformer burned out. There was a broken connection. The refrigerator did not work, the heating and air-conditioning did not work, computers and phones were useless. There was no power.

In our Bible reading for today, on the very night when Jesus was betrayed, He told His disciples that they were going to experience a loss of power. On their own, they would soon realize that they were powerless to deal with the deep issues of life. But the good news was that He, Jesus the Messiah, was not only their strength at the moment; He would be their power for life forever.

Now, at that very moment, I think that they all believed that but times and events were coming that would test that confidence. They had witnessed Christ's power as He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed 5,000 people at one time, as he forgave sins, and calmed the stormy seas. But the very events of Jesus' upcoming death on the cross, His bodily resurrection and ascension into heaven would challenge their confidence, their faith, and tempt them to trust in their own power alone!

So, try to imagine with me for a moment that you were with Jesus at that very moment in history. It is Maundy Thursday, the day before Jesus would be crucified. He had spent time in the upper room celebrating the Feast of the Passover with His disciples. He had humbly knelt to wash their dusty feet, something only the servant of the house would do. Then He rose and led them through the Passover Feast which the leader of the house would do. He even transformed that sacred meal into a supper of His continued presence with His followers, giving them His forgiveness and power for life, assuring them that He would be there with them whenever they celebrated this meal together.

There would be walks together to the Garden of Gethsemane, conversations about what was going to happen. Then Jesus would be arrested and hear the mobs cry out, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" Now with fear surging through their veins, and I'm sure ours, all would desert Jesus and hide behind locked doors.

Jesus' conversation is filled with honesty and comfort. The connection with Jesus would seem to be broken by His suffering and death. It would look like a blackout experience for all who put their faith in Him. Amidst honest words of the challenges for the lives of those who followed Him, Jesus quickly added words of comfort, assurance, and power to those who were His. Could this be true when everything looked so chaotic? Could there be blessing amidst suffering and struggle?

A question I'm sure they asked, maybe one you are asking today is, "Why did Jesus have to leave this earth? Why did things have to change for them? Wouldn't it have been much easier to believe if we could see Him in person?"

Truth be told, as long as He was here on earth and not exalted in Heaven as the God/Man for all, He would allow Himself to be limited. He was located in only one place at a time. During His earthly ministry, His physical, human body was not present everywhere. This would change, though, once for all after He ascended into heaven and was glorified at the right hand of the Father. It was indeed wonderful and necessary for Him to be here on earth, fully human, to take our place, to live our life, to die our death, and to rise again. Because of that He knows what it is like to be human, to be tempted. He understands us better than we do ourselves. Like us, He experienced temptation, hunger, pain, suffering, and even death. He was truly human.

At the same time, it was vitally important for His disciples then and now, to understand that He is also true God, with a divine and infinite connection with God the Father. Jesus' promise to His disciples that night as they walked to Gethsemane was that on the day of Pentecost a new connection would be available to them, a spirit-filled connection to the God-Man who now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. The Savior for all who is coming again to judge the living and the dead!

The day of Pentecost, the day that the Spirit of God would be poured out onto the world, to bring the blessings of Jesus, the One sent by the Father to all who would believe, that's the day that the presence of Jesus would be expanded from being a limited, local Savior to One who could be for you, within you, wherever you might be in this entire world, and even through you as the One who loves you eternally!

Who could grasp such a thing? Who could believe such a thing? The disciples would need the very power of God for such a wonderful thing. And that's what today is all about!

The Holy Spirit would fix that broken connection with Jesus and light up their understanding in a new and a powerful way. What they didn't understand about Jesus Christ at the moment would finally make sense. When the Comforter would come as a gift from the Father and the Son, it would be like the lights coming back on in their hearts and in their minds!

You see, when the power of the Holy Spirit is at your disposal, through the Word of God, just like them, you too can begin to understand that Jesus' life, and death, and resurrection, they were literally the eternal payment for your sins and the sins of the world. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you too can be reconnected to God by believing and trusting in this incredibly Good News. This new power was so electrifying; the disciples, then and now, would no longer be able to keep this message only for themselves. Now those who believe in Christ would have the opportunity to light up other people's lives. As Jesus' disciples share this great news, the very same Spirit empowers others to believe as well.

For the three years that Jesus was with His disciples, they depended on Him. Now, that His physical form would be leaving them, they feared losing Him. Yet Jesus gives these words of comfort, "You will not be forsaken. You will not be left alone. The Holy Spirit, the Counselor, will be there to provide for all your needs." These are still His promises to you and to me.

Jesus says it then; He says it now. "But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me."

Today's a day, then, to celebrate this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit as a Counselor, Comforter sent by Jesus to bless you!

The Greek word for this Encourager, Counselor is paracletos, which we translate as paraclete. It brings to mind a legal context, a time when you are standing before the judge in need of an advocate. One who could come alongside you just when you need it most! The Holy Spirit, as a gift of Jesus by the Father, is like an eternally good defense lawyer as your advocate, as your help, as your guide.

That's why Jesus would ascend into heaven. They would still have Him present in their lives, but not merely in the flesh, but totally present within them by the power of the Holy Spirit! Wow!

In fact, the Spirit's job is to make the things of Christ ours, just as He did with those disciples then. He would be Christ's representative here on earth, even closer than a brother. He would give confidence in Christ to all who would believe. He would make the teachings of Jesus Christ clear, meaningful, and understandable for us, even giving us the confidence and courage we need to spread this truth to the ends of the earth.

That's God's power to be connected to Christ no matter what you're facing today. If today you are trusting in Christ, yearning to know and follow His Word, if you are confident in Him to face the challenges of today, that's the Spirit.

The Bible is clear, "The Spirit will glorify Jesus, for He will take the things of Christ and make them known to you!" Reconnected, empowered, the Holy Spirit through the word of the Bible and the sacraments of the church, He brings you to Christ, empowers and strengthens your faith. That's a power connection that lasts forever!

He will assure you that Christ's forgiveness for the world; is a forgiveness for you. He will strengthen you to walk in that faith, now and forever no matter what you're facing. It's a power connection beyond our strength, one that can only come from God as a gift! That's the Spirit!

Several years ago engineers building a new bridge over the East River in New York, they discovered a wrecked hull of a ship, sunken many years before, lying right where the center piers were supposed to be built. Powerful machinery was brought in to remove the ship, but the ship wouldn't budge.

Then, one of the engineers had an unusual idea - why not have the tide raise the ship. Some strong cables were attached to the hull of the sunken ship when the tide was low. The other ends were fastened to a barge floating above. As the tide came in, the barge gradually lifted the sunken ship powerfully out of its sandy grave. It was then towed out into the ocean and sunk at a spot that would not cause future problems.

This is how the Holy Spirit works with us even today. He comes with great power. He lifts us up from unbelief to faith or from a weak faith to a strong faith. He comes to make the connection with the things of Jesus Christ possible. As we read and listen to God's Word, the Holy Spirit is there to help us understand, to help us see Jesus Christ more clearly. In Holy Baptism the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is there through water and the Word, bringing Jesus Christ into our lives, assuring us of God's love and the forgiveness of our sins. In the Lord's Supper the Holy Spirit is there reminding us that Jesus Christ is truly present in this holy meal assuring us that He loves us and will forgive our repentant hearts. One of the most important works or tasks of the Holy Spirit is to convict us about our need for a Savior (John 16:8-11).

The Holy Spirit was a Gift to the disciples which changed their lives then. Fear, doubt, lack of confidence, a lack of understanding, they were no longer holding them back. By the power of the Holy Spirit, they now knew with confidence, the Christ of faith. When Pentecost came, the doors of their hiding place where thrown open, and they began to let everyone know about this wonderful gift that God had given them in Jesus Christ. In fact, they went from being silent cowards to confident public witnesses of Jesus, their Savior, the Savior of the world. How, by the power of the Spirit!

You see, when you realize that you have something that is an incredible gift, that changes your life because of the One who gave it to you. It's easy to talk about that with others. You're no longer afraid because of your inabilities or struggles; the gift overcomes all that.

If someone were to give you an expensive or priceless gift that you were not expecting, one that you could never afford, such as a huge diamond ring, a new elite sports car, a three-iron once owned by Rory McIlroy, or an all-expenses paid trip to Disneyland or Hawaii, you couldn't wait to tell your friends, or anyone who would listen, about your good fortune.

That's just a glimpse of the joy that the disciples felt on that first Pentecost. This gift was far beyond their expectation. By the Spirit, now, they fully understood why Jesus had to die. The Resurrection made sense. They were connected! The Holy Spirit filled them with a new power and a full understanding. They ran out into the street saying, "Look what I have. Look what you can have too!"

They were different people. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, by faith in Jesus Christ, you are too.

By the Spirit, believers realize the eternal weight of what it means that Jesus died on the cross to totally pay for your sins and mine. Incredibly, in Christ, we become righteous in God's eyes, and by the power of the Spirit, the connection is made, the light comes on. The Apostle Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For our sake he made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." To be a witness of Jesus is to be prepared to share what you have received from Him.

Or like Peter and John said in Acts 4:20, "We cannot help but speak the things which we have seen and heard." This Jesus is incredible, they are saying, His blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation, they are so powerful, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, a witness wants you to know that too.

That's what I hope to do for you today, my friend. Jesus doesn't call believers to be lawyers arguing and debating with people about Him, so I'm not going to do that. He doesn't tell us to get in people's faces and make them angry and upset. Our task is simply to testify to the truth of ourselves without Christ and to be witnesses of Him as the only One who can and did call us out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Corinthians 12:3 says it best. "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit." That includes every one of us. If we talk about truth here, it's biblical truth, it's Christ's truth. His Word calls us to repentance and to faith. His Word tells us what is right and wrong. His Word brings life and salvation to light. I'm testifying so that you too can believe in Him for yourself!

In World War II, the American and British prisoners of war in one camp had built a homemade radio. One day, they heard the news that the German High Command had surrendered and the war was over. They roared in celebration; men walked around singing and shouting, waving at the guards, even laughing at the dogs. They knew something the Germans didn't. Three nights later, the Germans finally heard the news. They fled into the darkness, leaving the gates unlocked. The next morning, the British and Americans walked out free. Yet they had truly been set free three days earlier by the news that the war was over.

This is the power of Pentecost. This is the power of the Holy Spirit as we come to faith in Jesus Christ in this broken, sinful world. By the death and resurrection of Jesus, real freedom has been won for us, for all. It's true, right now and by the power of the Spirit, it's a freedom that can be yours by faith today. The Bible brings us a freedom that most of the world doesn't know anything about. We are free from sin. We're free from death and the devil. We're free to live abundantly now and into eternity. We are free to live for others, because God in Christ has done all things well for us. By the Spirit, through God's Word, we've been connected to Christ, who has reconnected us to God the Father. That's victory. The broken connection with God has been fixed; it's been delivered. Connected to His Word; the power is flowing. The light is burning bright. It's the power of faith in Jesus, by the Spirit, that will change your life forever. Count on it. Amen.

LUTHERAN HOUR MAILBOX (Questions & Answers) for May 24, 2015
Topic: Does It Matter What You Believe?

ANNOUNCER: Does it matter what you believe? That's our question today for Pastor Gregory Seltz. I'm Mark Eischer. The word believe has kind of become a slogan, as though you just have to be sincere and whatever you believe, somehow it helps you.

SELTZ: Yeah, I've seen that slogan on plaques, and rings, and necklaces, and tee shirts, all over the place. Mark, that question assumes that there is really no absolute truth in which to believe; and then, as long as we are convinced that something is true and believe in it, that is all that is necessary.

ANNOUNCER: Sort of like saying if you believe in something strong enough, it will surely happen. It'll come true for you.

SELTZ: Right, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Just believing in something will not make it come true. Truth is something independent of belief. For example, I can believe with all my heart that my team will win the March Madness basketball tournament, but that doesn't guarantee that they will. In fact, this year, my team didn't even make the tournament.

ANNOUNCER: Then, belief, really, is only as good as the object in which you put that trust.

SELTZ: Exactly. The power of faith is not the act of believing. When the Bible talks about faith, it doesn't emphasize the act of believing so much, but rather the object of our belief. In John 3, it says, "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36 KJV). Jesus Himself says it very clearly, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6 KJV).

ANNOUNCER: Contrast that with how things are today, people are putting more emphasis on believing whatever they want rather than believing in what they can trust.

SELTZ: I think you are right, but now believing in the right thing is vital, but passionately trusting in the truth is important too. Faith is not just accepting the facts. It is believing with trust! For example, faith in Jesus is believing what the Bible says about Him is true, and because of that I am willing to put my life in His hands. I trust He can forgive me. I trust He can grant me eternal life. I trust that He can guide me with His Word. He's the power of true faith.

ANNOUNCER: I think that puts faith in the right perspective. Jesus is unique, that's why the Bible says there is only one faith in which we can put full trust and confidence. It's because of Jesus; it's because of what He uniquely has done for all, that's why faith in Him is powerful and unique.

SELTZ: Well said. Just look in the Bible and you'll see all kinds of stories and events to that effect. Remember the story of Paul and Silas in the book of Acts when they were in prison and God caused an earthquake to free them from prison. The doors swung open, the chains were broken. When the guard saw this, he knew that if these prisoners escaped, it would mean his life. This event would change his life. Then, he saw Paul and Silas didn't escape, so he cries out, "What must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas said it very simply, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your whole household."

ANNOUNCER: And it wasn't just generically "believe and you'll be saved" or "trust in your own efforts and you'll be saved."

SELTZ: Absolutely not. He said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ." In the Bible, Jesus must be the object of true faith. He is the One in which you can trust. He is the One who suffered and died on the cross for our sins. He is the One that rose from the dead and promised us that we too would rise one day to join Him in our heavenly home.

ANNOUNCER: Scripture makes it clear that to believe doesn't mean that we merely accept some facts about something or even passionately believe in something; that makes it true. It is more than going through the motions of acknowledging something or getting all fired up for a cause.

SELTZ: Right, what makes the difference is the object of our belief. And, of course, we passionately believe in Him. The writers of Proverbs says it this way, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." And the Apostle Peter said it even more plainly, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

ANNOUNCER: Passion in the right place!

SELTZ: Absolutely.

ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Pastor Seltz. The power of true faith is its object and there is no better object for our faith than the Lord Jesus Christ. This has been a presentation of Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Music Selections for this program:

"A Mighty Fortress" arranged by Chris Bergmann. Used by permission.

"From All That Dwell Below the Skies" arr. Henry Gerike. Used by permission.

"He's Risen, He's Risen" From The Concordia Organist (© 2009 Concordia Publishing House)

"If Christ Had Not Been Raised from Death" From The Concordia Organist (© 2009 Concordia Publishing House) 


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660 Mason Ridge Center Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63141

Cara is home!

 Cara had a good night and a good morning!  Everything is going well!  She is home and resting comfortably!
Thank you for all your prayers, care, and friendship!  It means a lot to us to know that God has put so many wonderful people into our lives!
See you tonight or tomorrow for worship!

Building Committee Meeting Moved to 6pm on Wed!!

 Our building committee meeting has been moved to 6pm on Wed, May 27 so that choir members can attend if they wish! 
Please mark your calendars and make note of the change!!  Thank you!

Quiz for today

 Sorry, my mind is a bit elsewhere today.  I meant to leave a blank at the word "beating". 
Here's another one:
"When words are __________ sin is not absent, but he who __________ his tongue is wise." 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

DEVOTION:  1 Peter 1:6-7  "In this you rejoice, though now for a while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
As I have sat and watched Cara suffer quite a bit the last couple days, I was reminded of this verse.  I'm also reminded of the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." 
As much as I want to help Cara and as much as I just want to take the pain away from her, I know that this "testing", this "trial"  will give her a bigger and greater perspective and will make her a tougher more resolute and resilient human being. She is going to have a story to tell her own kids some day.  She will also be able to relate to those who are truly suffering better as well. 
The main thing is that she will have at least a little better understanding of what Jesus went through on the cross.  It wasn't the pretty thing we make it out to be on our crucifixes and pretty cross pictures.  It was gory.  It was excruciatingly painful.  It was the worst pain anyone could ever go through.  Then imagine all that physical pain and to top it all off, being forsaken by the Father, suffering actual hell.  Nothing can compare. 
Being in pain also helps you to realize how helpless and out of control you really are.  It makes you, forces you, to rely on the Lord Almighty for help, strength, and your very life. 
Soon Cara's pain will be gone and this will be a distant memory for her.  Right now it is acute and real.... and it is good.  It is good because as Paul says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Cara is learning that full well today!  Praise be to God!
Prayer: Thank you God for carrying Cara through this journey.  Help her to bear the pain with confidence that you are with her and that you are strengthening her through it.  Amen. 
What did Solomon ask for when God told him to ask for anything he wanted? 
2 Chronicles 1:7-12   Wisdom and Knowledge were requested by Solomon.  Because he did not ask for riches, wealth or
honor God gave him all the riches and honor any king ever had or ever will have.  By the way, the wisdom and knowledge
were granted.
Fill in the blank:  A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.
Fri- Last day of school (1/2 day)
Sat- Worship 5
Sun- Worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school 9:45
Acolyte-  8:30- Dustin Toedebusch; 11- Kailyn Blechle
Ushers-  8:30- George, Gary, and Ben Hoelscher, and Brent Davis

Altar- Set up- Lucille Luebke; Clean Up- Lynn Russell and Elaine Schauer
Communion Assistants- Sat- Dave Winter; 8:30- Rich Talbert; 11- Steve Robine

Greeters- 8:30- Sharon Spoede; 11- Mike and Naomi Johnson
Lay readers- Sat- Kathy Fischer?? 8:30- Jacob Nagel  11- Steve Robine
Organist: Melissa Pedersen
Pianist- Kathy Barrow
Projectionists: Sat- Pam Bueltmann; 8:30- Kailyn Blechle; 11am- Hannah Johnson
Elmer Wind with LCEF and Wind Architecture will be there to give direction and to help us to move forward and go in the right direction. 
Many signed up to attend and participate in this meeting yesterday, but all are welcome to attend to hear what he has to say and to understand the procedure we will be following for the future of the building program. 
Please let us know you are coming by replying to this email!  Thanks!
Our current organist, Melissa Pedersen, has accepted a call to teach in Fort Dodge, Iowa being in August.  Therefore we will need a new FULL TIME organist by then.  If you know of anyone who is available every Sunday, please give me their name and number!  THANK YOU!
Do you like little children?  Do you like to hold babies?  Do you want to help out our many young families that are joining church?   Here's your chance!
Karla Christophene
Dawn Frye
Jayme Vessell
Nicky Sellman
(If I had one more for this service it would be excellent, especially when there are 5 Sundays in a month and when the person scheduled can't make it.)
If you'd like to do the 8:30 service or Saturday night, please let me know! 
You don't have to be a mom to do this.  You just have to love kids and be able to take care of them for an hour on Sunday morning.
As much as I need to get in shape, this is more to raise money for   If you'd like to donate to this most worthy cause, go to the website, click on the donate button, find the space that says "Lead a Child Bible club, enter your amount and enter my name.  Then you can pay by check, e-check, or credit/debit card.
Thank you for your support!
If you have never been involved in one of our church activities (and even if you have), here is a new challenge for you!!  There will be a cake/dessert booth at the carnival on September 12!  The carnival will be open from 11am until dusk!  Donations of baked good and workers to man the booth will be needed!!  Desserts needing refrigeration cannot be accepted.  Work shifts will be for two hours beginning at 10am and will go till closing time.  To eliminate many, many phone calls, a sign up sheet has been placed on the narthex where you can volunteer!! 
Only a few spaces left!  Get those registrations in today!!  Get your registration forms from the preschool or from the church office.
Register online and have it swiped each time you shop. 
We are looking for ideas for carnival games and also donations of carnival game prizes for the vent.  Please donate prizes into the cardboard box in the narthex.  Also, if any one has an idea for a carnival game, or a game itself they would like to donate please contact Joanna Hoelscher at 636-485-0635 or Karla Christophene at 314-397-1375.

For CARA KLAUSTERMEIER who is recovering from surgery to repair her sunken ribcage.  She will be in the hospital the rest of this week.
For CAROL KOHRS, who is hospitalized with another infection.
For MARV HENDERSHOT who is home and recovering after a brief hospitalization due to weakness and illness.
For BONNIE FRENZIA, who is hospitalized with a mass on her lung.

For OUR DCE INTERN, KELSEY OVERBECK, that the Lord's will is done concerning her call to a church to be a full time DCE.


For LIL WINTER who has gone home to recover after surgery


For MOLLY HENDERSHOT who is at home and recovering well.


For DAVE KOHRS who has stopped receiving chemo treatments and has placed himself on hospice care. .


For DAVE TINNIN'S MOM, JANE, as she continues to recover from several strokes and seizures.
For WILMA WEIGLE as she is having a lot of difficulty with congestion and possible pneumonia. .

For DENISE SCHLESSELMANN as she continues to work hard to bring the people of the Czech Republic to Christ. .