• posted an announcement

    Northern Illinois Food Bank Packing Session

    The NIFB provides nutritious meals to residents in 13 counties in Northern Illinois. Join us for a volunteer food sorting & packing session! Ages 8+ are welcome.  Email Bill bdpeach@me.com to register.  Tuesday, Feb 8, 5:30-7:30 PM
    1. posted an announcement

      Feed My Starving Children Packing Session

      FMSC is a Christian nonprofit dedicated to seeing every child whole in body and spirit. FMSC works with food distribution partners that empower communities to move from relief to development. Join us for a volunteer packing session! All sessions are followed by an optional Portillo’s lunch. Anyone over the age of 5 can participate. Email Linda fasslinda@yahoo.com to register. Friday, Feb 11, 9:00-10:45 AM
      1. posted an announcement

        2021 Giving Statements

        The 2021 giving statements will be mailed out by Saturday, Jan 29th. You should be receiving these soon.
        1. The Last Day: Book of Life

          Rev 20:11-12

          Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

           

          Thought for Today

          The prophets called it the “great and terrible day of the Lord.” They proclaimed a day when justice would be restored on the earth. A day when God would gather all the people He so lovingly knit together in their mothers’ wombs. They will stand before Him to be judged. This is the moment most rightly fear. This is the moment for which many deny Him today. They want to be accountable to no one but themselves. They want to be lord, ruler, and judge of their lives. This is the very nature of sin within our hearts, to be a law unto ourselves. Long for it as we might, it is not true. We are accountable to our creator. We are accountable to the King of kings. We are accountable to His Law. On what basis shall we be judged? By what God has recorded about us in the stacks of books before His throne. In them He has recorded every thought, word, and action of our lives. They will be read for all the world to hear, to know that God’s judgment is right and true. However, it will not be the weighing of our good deeds verse our bad, but based on the contents of another book, a single book. Jesus declared to His gloating disciples that they should not rejoice that the demons obey them in His name, “but that your names are written in the Book of Life.” It is on the basis of this singular book that their eternity will hang. It is this book that will determine whether this is the great or terrible day of the Lord. For in this book are contained the names of all whose forgiveness was won at the cross and received in life. All those who have called on the name of Jesus will discover that all their sins have been erased from the books of bad deeds. On this basis, and this basis alone they will be welcomed into the kingdom prepared for God’s children since the foundations of the world. In this is our hope and our confidence. For Jesus declared whoever confesses with their lips that Jesus is Lord and believes in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead will be saved.” Their names are written in the Book of Life.

           

          Prayer

          My Lord and King, thank You for the gift of forgiveness from the cross and the promise that my name is written in your Book of Life so that for me the last day will be the great day of the Lord. Amen.  

           

          Devotional Quote

          To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. ― C.S. Lewis

           

          Quote of the Day

          There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. — R. Buckminster Fuller

          1. The Last Day: Flying with Jesus

            1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

            For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

             

            Thought for Today

            Have you ever wondered why mankind has such a fascination with flying? From the earliest times flying has captured the human imagination. From stories of Icarus’s wax wings to Leonardo Davinci’s flying contraptions we have dreamed to soaring through the air with the birds. Could it be that God placed this longing in our hearts for the joy it would bring when one day it came true? Jesus promised that He would return the same way His disciples watched Him float up into the air. God has planned a Great Last Day, when His risen people would soar through the air to join His triumphant return. Paul informs us that we will soar to Him and together we will return with our Savior and King. In this grand moment the longing of every human heart to soar with the eagles will be fulfilled. Imagine the joy and laughter that will ensue, for we will not be weightless spirits in the air, but the resurrected people of God in the flesh taking wing. It would be just like God to place this longing in us just for the joy He will experience when He fulfills it in a singular moment.

             

            Prayer

            Lord Jesus, I long to join You in the air at Your return. Thank You for the glimpses of joy You have planned for me. Amen.

             

            Devotional Quote

            The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings. ― J.M. Barrie

             

            Quote of the Day

            Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. ― Leonardo da Vinci

            1. I pray that God’s plan for learning how to fly will be easier than attempts as a child to learn to ride a bike! My recollection is that ‘it wasn’t pretty’.😉
          2. Last Day: The Dead will Rise

            Isaiah 26: 19

            Their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy…The earth will give birth to her dead.

             

            Thought for Today

            We have always been the people of the resurrection. Many people get fixated on going to heaven, and I get it. Barring the blast of the final trumpet, heaven is our next stop, but it is not our last stop. From the moment of the Fall God promised to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden. We were created in God’s image when He made us with body, mind, and spirit together. To leave human beings as spirits in heaven is to relegate them to something less than they were created to be. It would mean that we no longer exist in God’s image. This has never been God’s plan. Heaven and hell were created as the realms of the angels. Human beings have been temporarily allowed into them until Christ sets all things right. God has made it clear through the prophets, hundreds of years before Jesus, that we would be restored to all that God intended us to be. We will have new bodies and live on a new earth with God Himself in our midst. Just like God always dreamed it would be. What a glorious hope we have been given!   

             

            Prayer

            Lord God, thank You for promising to restore things to the way they were always intended to be. I look forward to seeing you face to face in the flesh. Amen.

             

            Devotional Quote

            What we have at the moment isn't as the old liturgies used to say, 'the sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead,' but a vague and fuzzy optimism that somehow things may work out in the end.  ― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope

             

            Quote of the Day

            A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. — Phyllis Diller

            1. I have always been amazed, captured by and infatuated with God’s grand mysteries being revealed in bite size tastes in this life. Call me weird or simple minded but when I see the sun rise each day, my first thought is of Him and His majesty being revealed in this new day. When I see the beauty of new spring life, I have the same wonder, awe and Hallelujah in my heart. For these, the ‘foretaste’ of His eternal presence: I’m starved! My soul is drooling!
          3.  — Edited

            The Last Day 1

            1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

            For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

             

            Thought for Today

            What many Christians misunderstand is that heaven is not our forever home. While heaven is the next stop on our journey until Jesus comes again it is not a permanent place for us. Paul tells us that Jesus revealed to him (v. 16) that Jesus Himself is coming again. It will be a spectacular affair. There will be the shout of an arch angel and the blast of a trumpet. The dead will rise from their graves and then, together with those who are still alive, we will be gathered together in the air to join Him in His procession back to earth. This is the beginning of the last day. We are not people of heaven. We are the people of the resurrection. We will not be ghosts floating about for all eternity. We were created tripartite, body, mind, and spirit. God’s plan is to restore us to the perfected version of ourselves. Our bodies will rise and be reunited with our mind and spirit. The Garden of Eden is the model for the resurrection. As Adam and Eve were so we shall be. We are the people of the resurrection. Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection. We will blossom in our risen form on the last day. So take heart, today is not all there is. You have an everlasting number of days to live, love and serve Him. 

             

            Prayer

            Heavenly Father, while I thank You for the knowledge of heaven as my next home, I thank You all the more that my future is to live in a perfected form of life as I know it, in my body, living and loving to Your glory. Amen.

             

            Devotional Quote

            Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of God's new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord's Prayer is about. ― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope

             

            Quote of the Day

            Love is what you've been through with somebody. — James Thurber

             

            1. Love is the living out of a committed covenant relationship from a point-in-time usually beginning in the past going forward, often into eternity!
          4. published a bulletin

            ReadImmanuel Lutheran Church
            Contemporary 01.23.22
          5. Afterlife: The Great Gathering

             Revelation 7:9-10, 13-14

            After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

             

            Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

             

            Thought for Today

            People regularly want to know who they will see in heaven and if they will be able to recognize their friends and families. In Revelation 7, John witnesses a miraculous sight, multitudes of people gathered in God’s throne room, singing hymns of praise and waving palm branches. John’s guide on his heavenly tour informs him that these are the people who have come out of the great tribulation and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. In Acts 2:17 Peter announces to the world that the great tribulation had begun on that first Pentecost, “in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh…” The people John saw gathered around the throne of Jesus were the people who were washed in baptism, looked to the cross of Jesus in repentance, and confessed Him as their Lord and Savior. These are our grandparents, parents, spouses, children and bothers and sisters in Christ. All who belong to Christ will be there to greet us. We will know them, embrace them, and join in worship with them. From this moment on nothing will ever be able to separate us from them again. This will make our entrance into heaven a truly grand event!  

             

            Prayer

            Heavenly Father, thank You for the gathering of Your beloved children in Your heavenly estate. I look forward to being with the loved ones who have gone before me, knowing that I will never be without them again. Amen.

             

            Devotional Quote

            Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. — C. S. Lewis

             

            Quote of the Day

            The connections we make in the course of a life--maybe that's what heaven is. ― Fred Rogers

            1. What a marvelous reunion we have to look forward to! All those thoughts we didn’t get to share, all those precious times together will be renewed, all the joy filled new experiences to look forward to! And Jesus will be in the middle of us all! Hallelujah!
          6. posted an announcement
             — Edited

            Altar Guild Meeting

            The next altar guild meeting is coming up soon! The altar guild team covers the duties of preparing worship spaces for services held in the church, chapel, or gym. Women and men alike are welcome to join in on the meeting and see what altar guild is all about. Contact Cynthia Evans with questions at cede199@comcast.net. Tuesday, February 1, 7:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall