Prayers for family of Carol Kohrs

Carol Kohrs passed from death to eternal life New Years Day evening.

  She is now with her Lord Jesus and  her husband Dave who died almost exactly a month ago.

Visitation and Funeral will both be at Pitman Funeral Home in Wentzville this Tuesday, January 5.

Visitation - 9:30-11am

Funeral- 11am

Burial immediately following at Francis Howell cemetery.

Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S®4 Active™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Fwd: The Lutheran Hour: January 3, 2016 "Life in Context"

Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S®4 Active™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

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From: Lutheran Hour Ministries <>
Date: 2016/01/02 9:16 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: Jeremy Klaustermeier <>
Subject: The Lutheran Hour: January 3, 2016 "Life in Context"

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Email Us button greenSermon Text for January 3, 2016 

"Life in Context" #83-18

Presented on The Lutheran Hour on January 3, 2016
By Rev. Gregory Seltz, Lutheran Hour Speaker
(How Can I Be Free From Addiction?)
Copyright 2015 Lutheran Hour Ministries

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Text: Ephesians 1:3-14

"In [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Jesus Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth" (Ephesians 1:7-10).

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah! Amen!

Happy New Year! (Happy New Year!) I'm glad. I hope it is. What a beautiful thing. I pray that your New Year is a new beginning; a beginning filled with hope, with peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Who is our living, strong, and compassionate Savior. I hope that's the context of your New Year.

It's January 3rd today, so let me ask you this; are you experiencing the reality of this statement? Ready? It was a crushing loss; but it's only a game.

It's a crushing loss, but it's only a game. If you are like a lot of Americans these past few weeks, you've been watching a lot of football, right? 

Now, I have to admit that I have enjoyed watching my University of Michigan Wolverines a lot more this year. We have a new coach. His name is Harbaugh. He came in and he literally transformed our culture. There's actually more thrills than chills this year. But some of you know what happened about midway through this last year, right? Michigan played the dreaded Michigan State. I don't mean to be partisan here, but all my maize and blue guys needed to do, all they needed to do to win this game, was punt the ball at the very end. That's it! They punt the ball, they win! They messed it up. The Michigan State guy caught the punt and ran in for a touchdown and they won the game in the last ten seconds. I'm telling you there were some maize and blue fans that were literally crushed. 

Now it was really interesting. They panned to a fan and he was crying his eyes out. He really, truly was. He was heartbroken. It was funny; when they asked Coach Harbaugh what did it mean, he said this. He said "Well, it is a devastating loss, but we want to handle it better than anyone else has handled one of these kinds of games where victory is snatched. That will be our objective. That will be our goal." And then he said this. He said, "Because, guys, it's football, after all." Now, what was he saying? "It's only a game." 

But if you're listening in today, you and I know that our life is more than a game. 

Maybe you're entering into this New Year and you're thinking to yourself, the challenges of the past, they're still here. They didn't go away. It didn't change much at all. Instead of the rigors and challenges of a new life in a stadium that's comfortable, that's safe and secure, maybe you feel the weight of the world crushing in on you and you can't seem to get out of what you're struggling with today. Maybe you've got a seemingly endless flow of frustrations, guilts, worries; and you can't seem to run away from it no matter where you go. 

Is that all there is to New Year's; hopes and dreams, maybe a thrill of victory, more often the agony of defeat? Is your life being tossed to and fro right now? 

What I want you to understand is the Apostle Paul, who is the one that wrote the text for us, he had a life very much like yours and mine. If that's what you are going through, he had a life very much like that; up and down. Some of his friends were loyal, some were not. Some betrayed him. He wrestled with a load of guilt from his past life. He dealt with things like threats and rejections. He dealt with rejection by peers, hunger, thirst, and isolation. Maybe even you have had some of the same situations with your own physical health. He had all kinds of difficulties in his life. He also had some incredible experiences that he didn't deserve either. Blessings from God that he never could have anticipated, never deserved, but received nonetheless 

Here's what Paul says to us today and he wants you to discover what he knew to be true. Not just for him, but for everybody. He said it this way: "In [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.... (also) known to us the mystery of his will.... to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth" (Ephesians 1:7-10). That's the key to it all says Paul.

Did you hear the beginning of the sentence; "In Jesus Christ." That's huge. Let's talk about that for a minute. What does it mean that our life is in the context of Jesus Christ? On the one hand, you might be looking around and say, "Pastor, that's not what my context looks like. My context looks pretty frightening. My heart is grieving. My bank account is empty. My childhood still has memories that are wounding me still today. I need a job, Pastor. I'm worried. I'm stressed." That may be the context that you're experiencing right now and it may be causing you to lose hope. 

But Paul comes into the middle of that and says, "Well, that's not your only context. There is a bigger context in Jesus Christ." Now he says it this way, "In Christ we have redemption through his blood." In other words what he is saying is the stressful, scary, and strength-sapping circumstances that you are going through are only temporary. They may be real. They may be overwhelming, but they will not win out in the end. Jesus Christ has put Himself into the mix of your life and He has promised victory that only He can promise, that only He can secure, and He's done that all well for you through the redemption of His blood. 

Jesus' new life for you and me is part of that bigger context that your life, which you're living right now, it is part of that bigger context in which your life is in. You do not play outside of His stadium. How's that? You do not play outside of His grace. You do not play outside of His promise. You play inside of Who He is for you and what He has done for you.

Do you understand what I'm saying? Do you understand how powerful that really is? That's why Paul went on to highlight what it means to be in Jesus Christ. Something like this. If you're carrying a burden of guilt because you blew it, Christ says there is forgiveness in Me, and that's real forgiveness with God that can even reconcile you to your brother or your sister. 
If you are frustrated by life and it doesn't seem to be making sense to you right now, you've been hurt deeply, Paul says, "Know that God Himself pours His wisdom, His insight into your life, He's also made known the mystery of His will." What He is saying is He has a plan for you and this will not be the end of that plan. This is only something temporary. He has even more to be done through you, with you, and in you forever. Why, because of Jesus Christ. 

If you feel dissatisfied with the way that life is going and you feel like you're stuck in a dead-end existence, Paul is saying Jesus Christ has overcome the greatest obstacle in your life. He has overcome death itself so that you can live life even now, even more boldly no matter what you are facing. That's your context. That's the bigger context of the life in which you are living. That's your field of play. 

In Christ we have hope. In Christ we receive strength. In Christ you are given new life and you are held in the gracious hands of the Lord and Savior, your God Who went to the cross and burst through death itself by rising on the third day to say your life is eternal with Me. Count on it. 

So, let's talk about what a new day means in Him. Let's talk about what a New Year means in Him. Let's talk about your life when you realize that your life depends on Someone else, but Someone else is doing all things well for you. 

I hope I'm not bringing up a bad memory here but how many of you have ever experienced going into an ICU? And it's not a good thing, right? When you go into an ICU (intensive care unit) you are on the edge or somebody's on the edge and you don't have control over what's going on. Usually when you're in ICU situations, that's when you are like, "Where's God? What's going on?" You feel like life's out of control and your life is up for grabs. 

I want to tell you ....her name is Brie Gowen. She is in an intensive care unit and she wrote a blog about what's really going on in the ICU that you don't really, fully know is happening and it may be blessing you in ways you have no clue. She's talking about serving others at times when life seems up to grabs and she said this. "So," and she's talking in the first person, "so you walked in" she said, "and you heard me singing a song out loud as I hung that IV medicine, huh? You were a little bewildered, and thought, 'Is that the Sound of Music that you're singing? Why is she so inappropriately jolly considering my dad has a tube down his throat?' I'm not singing for my satisfaction. What you don't realize is I'm singing to calm my nerves, to keep me relaxed. Your dad almost died before I let you walk back in. I'm concerned for him, but I don't want you to see that on my face. I don't want you to worry about him. That's my job, to worry. Your job is to love him.

"I'm really sorry if I seemed short with you when you came in to visit. I know you thought I was being rude. I wasn't trying to be rude. I was focused on the change I just noticed on your dad's EKG. I was wondering what I could do to try to help him next, his blood pressure was plummeting again. You see, I'm giving him the maximum amount of all the drugs you see hanging there. I know you're not ready to say goodbye. I'm not ready to give up. That distracts me sometimes and makes me less than a perfect conversationalist." 

What is she saying? Things are not always what they appear to be to you. There are all kinds of things going on that are blessing that you have no idea until you see it another time. That's what she is saying. Sometimes when you feel abandoned, when you feel like things aren't really happening, that's not true. There are all kinds of things that are being done to bless you, to care about you. Gowen, she said, "I give my all for my patients. I give my all and that's what I want you to know. That's the blessing I want you to know is always there for you." Hear me clearly then. Jesus Christ gives His all for His people all the time and that is the context of the life that you and I are living. 

This is the remarkable context that God has given His all in the life, and the death, and resurrection of His Son and He still comes by the power of His Spirit to say, "You are Mine. You are never alone. I am always with you." That's the context of your life now, tomorrow, and forever. God cares about you and that's not just for this New Year, my friend, that is not just for this new day; that is for the next year and the year after that until there's an eternal group of years that never end. 

The Apostle Paul can say it this way, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ in every way. He has chosen us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless in him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 1:3-6). That's the purpose of His will.

So, think about what that's saying. Every spiritual blessing; that is your context in Jesus Christ. Chosen before the foundation of the world; that is your context in Jesus Christ. Predestined to be His children; that is your context in Jesus Christ. Chosen to reflect and show His holiness to others so that they get to know Him too; that is His context toward your life.

And Paul didn't even stop there. He said, as you wait for the culmination of all this stuff, he said God even gives the Holy Spirit as a gift and a guarantor of all that He has promised you in Him. 

I don't know if you have seen the movie "The Martian". Do you know what I am talking about? "The Martian"? Matt Damon. I'm not going to give away the movie if you haven't seen it. I heard it was a pretty good movie. I have not actually seen it. I read about it. I've read some reviews about it. It's written by Andy Weir. Matt Damon plays Mark Watney. He's an astronaut who is part of an expedition to the planet Mars. I guess we're going to get there someday. But what happens is something goes wrong and they leave him thinking he's dead. I'm not going to tell you the whole plot of the movie, how it all ends, but that's kind of the thing. They think he's dead. They leave him there. It would be tough to be alone on Mars. Wouldn't you agree? There he is and then they find out he is alive. He survives whatever comes against him and he somehow contacts the folks and he is alive, but they're not there. But as the movie goes on, here's the context. Yeah, he's in a tough situation and things look very bleak, but he's got NASA and the whole world rallying around him to try to save him. 

If your life seems desolate, let me give you some good news. God Himself in His Son Jesus Christ, He's come for you. He is your context. He's your reality. That's what's really true no matter what you're facing. 

If life seems desolate, be encouraged. Jesus says, "I am with you always to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). You count on it. If you're losing hope, listen to what God says: "The LORD goes before you. He'll be with you. He will never leave you. He will not forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged"(Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV). If you're wondering whether or not you can face what's coming on in your life, the Bible says: "The Holy Spirit is your Helper" (John 14:26). He literally even prays for you in words that we can't even muster with our own lips. Our Helper, our Comforter, our Encourager...your life is in the gracious context of Jesus Christ when you put your faith in Him. 

When the worrisome words of the world come your way, you have the context of the Word of God. When you are struggling with your identity, who am I, what am I supposed to do, the Lord says, "I baptized you. I put My Name on you. You are Mine. You're My heir." And when you are struggling to know whether life is really secure, the Lord comes and says "Taste and see. I'm good. This is My body and blood given and shed for you." It's His Supper where you can even see how much He loves you. 

You can even lift up your prayers to God because He really does hear them in Jesus' Name. So, for this New Year; for this New Year, I ask you and all the folks that are listening in on the radio with us today; will you let God be present in your life? Will you let Him, because that's His offer to you? Will you ask Him for His help and His strength? Will you live in His grace, in His mercy, and His forgiveness? Will you remember your life is in His context of forgiveness, salvation, by grace? That's His prayer for you. That's His offer to you. 

Believe it. Be blessed by it. And all of God's people said: (Amen.) Happy New Year. Amen.

LUTHERAN HOUR MAILBOX (Questions & Answers) for January 3, 2016
Topic: How Can I Be Free From Addiction?

ANNOUNCER: Now, Pastor Gregory Seltz responds to questions from listeners. I'm Mark Eischer. One of our listeners is looking for a new beginning in life and the question is how can one become free from addiction? 

SELTZ: Wow, that is a serious question, Mark. I'm so glad we're hearing this from our listener because asking the question is the beginning of a new beginning.

ANNOUNCER: And this really has broad application because addiction could mean a compulsive dependence on a chemical substance or it could be a behavior that's causing destructive consequences.

SELTZ: Right, so we're not only talking about drugs or alcohol, addiction can involve behaviors like gambling, spending, pornography, and outbursts of anger. The bottom line, though, is that all of us are addicted to sin. There are varying results from our addictions, but we all need help.

ANNOUNCER: I think that's what our listeners would like to hear today. So, what is the first step?

SELTZ: I'm glad you asked it that way, Mark. There are some helpful tools out there, using biblical truths to help overcome additions. One tool, you may have heard about it, the Twelve Steps, it was originally developed in 1938 for what became known as Alcoholics Anonymous. These steps are used around the world today for the process called recovery. The first step is to admit that we are powerless over our dependencies and that our lives have become unmanageable.

ANNOUNCER: It brings to mind what we read in Psalm 32: "I said, 'I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD,' and he forgave the iniquity of my sin" (Psalms 32:5 ESV).

SELTZ: Right, and these steps are rooted, then, in the understanding that the solution to addiction is outside of us, like the Bible talks about. Steps two and three focus on God--the only power greater than ourselves that can restore us to sanity and that only in an intentional relationship with God and in His care can a solution ultimately ever be found. 

ANNOUNCER: So that first step of recovery from addiction means understanding your need for help.

SELTZ: Yes, understanding your need and confessing your issues. In this process, steps four through seven involve making a "fearless moral inventory" of yourself; but all that really is talking about is admitting to God, yourself, and another human being the exact nature of your wrongs; and a readiness to have God remove these defects of character, if you will, or humbly asking Him to remove these shortcomings or help you to deal with them. 

ANNOUNCER: The answer to addiction, then, involves honesty and complete dependence on God's grace and strength.

SELTZ: It also involves restoring relationships and an ongoing walk of faith. Steps eight and nine involve the effort to try to make amends to those we've hurt if possible, except if there are times when making amends might still harm other people, so keep that in mind. Then steps ten and eleven call for ongoing continued personal inventory, especially in a walk with God through devotion to prayer and seeking His strength and His power.

ANNOUNCER: For Christians, this could especially mean reading God's Word and finding the support of a community of believers.

SELTZ: Exactly. Above all, the point is that we don't fight our brokenness and sin alone. We need help. We need God's help through Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He won on the cross for us. We need other forgiving, encouraging people around us in that kind of grace. I think of the verses from Hebrews, chapter ten: "Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together... but encouraging one another, all the more as you see the Day of the Lord drawing near" (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV).

ANNOUNCER: The twelfth step places that encouragement in relationship with others.

SELTZ: Yes, the twelfth step, when it comes to grace, faith, and restoration, this message isn't just for us; it is to be shared with others. We love because God in Christ first loved us. We share this message because God has given us a way through, even a way out of addiction or a way to deal with addiction. For our listener, and for all then, in Christ there is hope. 

ANNOUNCER: How can our listener connect with that help for addiction?

SELTZ: They can reach out to a local counselor or see if their church is connected to a recovery program, but they can also call us here at The Lutheran Hour and we can help get them connected. 

ANNOUNCER: You can also email This has been a presentation of Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Action in Ministry for December January 3, 2016 
Guest: Rev. Kurt Klaus

ANNOUNCER: You are listening to The Lutheran Hour and this is Action In Ministry. Pastor Seltz, Happy New Year!

SELTZ: Happy New Year to you too, Mark.

ANNOUNCER: What a hope-filled message you brought to us today. 

SELTZ: Thank you.

ANNOUNCER: But, you know, life's challenges do have a way of following us into the New Year, don't they? 

SELTZ: You're right. Just because the calendar page turns it doesn't mean that life is suddenly perfect. Many people, right now, are struggling with some pretty heavy stuff. They're feeling out of control, weary, some even feeling hopeless.

ANNOUNCER: They might say their life has come to resemble a disaster zone.

SELTZ: You're right. 

ANNOUNCER: Here to talk with us about that today is Pastor Kurt Klaus. He's hosted a thoughtful Bible study titled: Facing Disaster Like A Man and he joins us now via Skype. 

KLAUS: Thanks for having me, guys.

SELTZ: Yeah, Pastor Klaus, the subject hits home for all of us. We all can think of any number of disasters that can occur. So tell us about the disasters that this Bible study addresses. 

KLAUS: Well, there are all sorts of disasters but this Bible study really focused on narrowing it down to three types. One was natural disasters; tornados, tsunamis, hurricanes, that kind of thing. We also had unnatural disasters, which were things that were caused by other people, usually like an Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, the Paris attacks that happened. Then finally we ended up with basically self-inflicted disasters; things we've brought about on ourself-everything from drug abuse to adultery-things that we brought into our own lives that can bring disaster.

ANNOUNCER: Now what about that title though, Facing Disaster Like A Man? Obviously we all face struggles, men and women alike. 

KLAUS: Correct. Even though the study was done for the Men's ministry, Scripture tells us that we all face disasters-men and women alike-and that God's love and His grace and His forgiveness and everything that He showers down upon us in the midst of those disasters is for all His people.

SELTZ: Right. So, a lot of people can benefit from this, because these disasters we're talking about, they challenge all of us. Some may lead us to question God, to think He's stepped out of the room like He doesn't care. What does the Bible tell us then, Kurt, about God in the midst of all these tragedies?

KLAUS: It's really neat. The Bible talks all over the place about God being with us in tragedy. One of my favorites is Psalm 46: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear even though the earth gives way, the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling." In the midst of all this it's telling us that the world has gone crazy, but God is with us. 

ANNOUNCER: In one of these sessions, we meet a man whose wife was tragically killed in the Oklahoma City bombing and his pain is still so raw you can almost feel it. When someone robs you of a loved one like that, how do you deal with it?

KLAUS: We say things when people hurt us or disasters happen, "Don't worry about it. Just forget about it." And what we're kind of saying is it doesn't really matter, just let it go. That's why some of us have a hard time with forgiving because we see forgiving as saying it doesn't matter, it didn't really mean anything. But forgiving is actually the exact opposite. Forgiving is saying what you did actually did hurt me; and what we're saying is God has forgiven me even more than you've done to me and so now I'm going to forgive you, in response.

SELTZ: Wow, that story is gripping and there is so much more in the Bible study than we have time to cover here. While others can cause disasters in our life, sometimes we're pretty good at causing our own, so the last question: what about when we can only point the finger right back at ourselves? What do we do then?

KLAUS: Those are the ones we dislike the most. The thing is we don't just wake up one day and go, "You know, I would really like to destroy my life today." It's a slow fade. It's something we slowly bring about a lot of times; small stuff that kind of leads us up to the cliff or sometimes even over the cliff. David's a perfect example of that. He woke up one day and saw Bathsheba bathing and that led to adultery with her and that led to him killing her husband. But what was great was he found forgiveness in his Savior and his Lord. He found forgiveness there even for the things he caused. 

SELTZ: With any of these disasters, like you said, we must always go back to Jesus Christ because our life is in Christ. His death and His resurrection, it rescues us and that is great hope in the midst of all of these things.

ANNOUNCER: Pastor Kurt Klaus, thank you for hosting this powerful Bible study and thank you for being with us today. 

KLAUS: It's been a pleasure, guys. Thanks for having me.

SELTZ: And that's our Action In Ministry segment today; to bless, to empower, and strengthen your life in Christ for others.

ANNOUNCER: For more information on this resource, call 1-855-john316. To view or download this material for free, go to and look for the tab that says Action In Ministry. Our email address is: 

Music Selections for this program:
"A Mighty Fortress" arranged by Chris Bergmann. Used by permission.

"Within the Father's House" From The Concordia Organist (© 2009 Concordia Publishing House)

"O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe" From The Concordia Organist (© 2009 Concordia Publishing House)



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