• ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
    Weekend of October 17, 2021

    Wrong Place, Wrong Time

    Sometimes I'm jealous of Philip the Evangelist.


    Of course he would get the title of Evangelist. He is a part of one of the most well-known conversion stories in the Bible. But the Holy Spirit made it so easy for him!


    The Holy Spirit told him exactly where to go (Acts 8:26, "An angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.").


    The Holy Spirit told him exactly whom he should speak to (Acts 8:29, "The Spirit told Philip, 'Go over there and stay close to that chairiot.'").


    The Holy Spirit gave him a golden opportunity to share the word (Acts 8:30, "Philip ran up the chariot and heard the Ethiopian Eunuch reading Isaiah the prophet.").


    Philip took it from there. "Philip asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?'" The man replied, 'How can I unless someone explains it tom me?'"... Then Philip began to speak. Starting with that very passage of Scripture, he told him the good news about Jesus." (Acts 8:30-31, 35)


    How easy can it get?! The Holy Spirit put Philip in the right place at the right time. For us that seems rare.


    We always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to share the good news about Jesus.


    For a moment, however, don't look at this story from the perspective of Philip. Think about it from the perspective of the Ethiopian man.


    He was in the wrong place at the wrong time to learn about Jesus. He had obviously just missed the big party of Pentecost. He was traveling away from Jerusalem, where all the people who knew about Jesus were. He was reading Isaiah, but he had no one around to explain it to him. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.


    And yet God found a way to bring the good news to him.


    The same is true for you. When it comes to candidates for the kingdom of God, you were the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. You were born thousands of miles from Jerusalem, thousands of years after Jesus was born, with a sinful mind that is hostile to God.


    And yet God found a way to bring the good news to you. At the seemingly wrong place and wrong time, through a parent and preacher, through word and water, God brought the good news of Jesus to you.


    So don't be so jealous about Philip the Evangelist.


    The Holy Spirit brought him to the wrong place at the wrong time for the Ethiopian, and yet He worked through the gospel to bring someone to faith. That's how it always happens! God finds a way, with the seemingly wrong people in the seemingly wrong place and the seemingly wrong time, through the good news of Jesus. What a blessing whenever and wherever that happens to us and through us!


    Romans 10:14-15: "So then, how can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one about whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news of peace, who preach the gospel of good things!"




    *Painting by Alexandre Denis Abel de Pujol, 1848.


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    THIS SUNDAY (24th): MISSION FESTIVAL with Special Presentation During Bible Hour

    Potluck at 12:30!


    Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am


    Bible Class and Sunday School @ 9:15 at the School


    Monday Worship @ 6:30pm


    Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)


    Wednesday Bible Class @ 10am & 7pm


    Bulletins & Calendar


    Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)


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    Prayer requests:

    -- Thanksgiving to God that he has seen fit to grant swift recovery to all our teachers

    -- Ask God to give us opportunities to let our lights shine and to share the good news of Jesus

    -- That God give safe travels to our mission speaker, Larry Schlomer, and bless his preaching and presenting this weekend

    -- For our school, staff, students and families, that God make his word "a lamp to our feet and a light for our path."


    "O be our great deliv'rer still, the Lord of life and death;

    restore and quicken, soothe and bless, with your life-giving breath.

    To hands that work and eyes that see give wisdom's healing pow'r that whole and sick and weak and strong may praise you evermore."


    (Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old, stanza 3, New Hymnal 769)


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    1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
      Weekend of October 17, 2021

      Mourning in Victory

      One of my favorite songs to listen to is called "When David Heard" by Eric Whitacre. The lyrics are taken from 2 Samuel 18:33. Absalom had tried to take the kingdom of Israel from his father David; father had to go to war against his own son. When the battle was over, a messenger came to David and gave him what should have been good news. They had won! David was king again! But with this news came the message that Absalom had died in the battle.


      "When David heard that Absalom was slain, he went up into his chamber over the gate and wept, and thus he said, 'My son, my son, O Absalom my son, would God I had died for thee!'"


      The setting my Eric Whitacre communicates the turmoil of emotions. The words repeat over and over again, sometimes quieter, sometimes louder, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in dissonance. There are long moments of silence, then weeping again.


      I can't listen to it intently without crying myself, not just for David, but for all who suffer grief. I think of what it would be like to lose a son. I think of those I know who have gone to heaven in the past few years--young and old, parents and children. I think of the on average 17 Christians killed every day for their faith in Nigeria in 2021, let alone other places.


      It should be a time to celebrate victory! We know that as Christians! "Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your sting? Grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:54-57)!"


      And yet sometimes all you want to do is weep and cry out, to say, "God, why?! If only it had been me instead."


      When you don't feel the joy of victory, when you want to cry out to God in confusion, frustration, pain and anger, you may feel that God is far from you. But that's not true. "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted. He saves those whose spirits have been crushed (Psalm 34:17)."


      King David is simply a reminder of our greater King Jesus, who weeps over death, too.


      When Martha confronted Jesus at the grave of Lazarus, she felt that tension that comes from believing in the resurrection and yet grieving over death that Jesus had allowed. "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died (John 11:21)."


      Jesus was not callous to her pain and grief, nor to anybody else's. "When Jesus saw Mary weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled (33)." Jesus did not stand unmoved before the grave of someone he loved. "Jesus asked, 'Where have you lain him?' They told him, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept... Jesus was deeply moved again as he came to the tomb (34-35, 38)."


      King Jesus, who is victorious over sin, death and the grave, weeps over death, too.


      But not only does he know what it is like to say, "If only I had died in your place," that's also exactly what he did. "God shows his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)." Because his heart breaks over the death of anyone, Jesus, our king, didn't just weep for us. He died the eternal death we rebellious sons deserved. Jesus died for Absalom, for David, for Lazarus, for you and me, and for all those you love.


      If your Savior is so near to your grief, if he has such love, if he has truly conquered death... then you don't need to go up to the chamber above the gate to weep like King David did when victory was proclaimed. When the good news of the victory of another Christian entering eternal life comes with the grief of loss, you can go to King Jesus and weep with him. Trust in his love; he will bring our weeping to an end, and your hope-filled grieving will become joy.


      Paul Gerhardt, a hymn writer who lived through the Black Plague decimating his city and congregation, and who lost his wife and all but one child before he died, penned these words:


      Entrust your fear and doubting, and all that pains your life

      to him whose hand is guiding your way thro' storm and strife.

      He governs times and seasons in ways that none can see,

      so trust his hidden reasons, though dark your path may be.


      Have faith in God's vast mercy; consider all he's done:

      His mighty acts in hist'ry, salvation he has won.

      When sorrows overwhelm you and self-tormenting care,

      your worry will not help you--approach his throne in prayer.


      In vain the pow'rs of evil oppose the Lord's designs;

      in all of life's upheaval his promise ever shine.

      For God holds firm the ending, though now it seems unclear;

      his purpose is unbending, and thus you need not fear.


      Take hope, O weary spirit, be strong and unafraid;

      God promises a respite for hearts that are dismayed.

      Your Savior's perfect timing is governed by his grace;

      the day is surely coming when joy will light your face.


      These troubles that distress us, Lord, bring them to an end;

      with strength and courage bless us, your love to us commend,

      that we, till death accepting your hidden, loving ways,

      may then, new life attaining, give praise for endless days.


      (Hymn 841 in the New Hymnal)


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      NEXT SUNDAY (24th): MISSION FESTIVAL with Special Presentation During Bible Hour and Potluck at 12:30!


      Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am


      Bible Class and Sunday School @ 9:15 at the School


      Monday Worship @ 6:30pm


      Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)


      Wednesday Bible Class @ 10am & 7pm


      Bulletins & Calendar


      Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)


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      Prayer requests:

      -- Pastor Adam Seelow (Shepherd of the Lakes, Roscommon) and family, as Adam is hospitalized from the effects of a bout with covid.

      -- All those in our congregation that are suffering from illness, including our St. Paul's teachers, several of whom have become ill with covid.

      -- The Miller family, as Ron Miller (husband of Kathy and father of Mark) passed away last week.

      -- That God move our hearts to give generously to him in support of our ministry here at St. Paul's.

      -- That God move our hearts to give generously to him in support of Missions.


      "For me to live is Jesus, to die is gain for me; so, when my Savior pleases, I meet death willingly."


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      1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
        Weekend of October 10, 2021

        God Reaps Bountifully

        We finally planted some grass seed our front "yard," which is basically a field of dirt with some weeds in it. My kids got to help plant the grass seed. I had the very fancy seed spreader that makes sure the seed gets spread evenly. They... just grabbed handfuls of seed and plopped them down in piles.


        Now what do I have a month later? A field of dirt with some weeds in it and... 10 very concentrated, lush, circles of fresh grass. They sowed bountifully in a few particular locations, and they are reaping bountifully!


        I know that's probably not the right way to plant grass seed, but it is a good example of how we can "sow" our money. God blesses us with so many blessings and so many gifts. In America, almost all of us have been blessed financially beyond most people in the world and most people in history. And there are so many different places we can scatter our money. So sometimes we sow sparingly at church, thinking we have to save our seeds for someplace else. But when it comes to the church, it's not a bad thing to plop a bunch of seed down in one spot. It's not a bad thing to sow generously, because it doesn't just sprout up a small circle of grass--when we sow generously in God's church, God says we reap a generous harvest of people glorifying and thanking God (1 Cor 9:13, 11).


        Unlike us, God never sows sparingly. He who generously gave his only Son to forgive our selfish hearts, gives us even more!


        "God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will overflow in every good work... He who provides seed to the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed for sowing, and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you may be generous in every way, which produces thanksgiving to God through us." (1 Cor 9:8-11)


        Think about all the ways God has blessed you today. Think about how he has cared for you in the past, and always given you more than you need. And pray about how you can sow generously, especially for our local ministry at St. Paul's (more on that below). By God's grace, the harvest is always plentiful. What a joy when God allows us, like little children, to participate in the sowing!


        We give thee but thine own, whate'er the gift may be;

        All that we have is thine alone, a trust, O Lord from thee.


        May we thy bounties thus as stewards true receive

        and gladly, as thou blessest us, to thee our first-fruits give.


        +++


        Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am


        Bible Class and Sunday School @ 9:15 at the School


        Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



        Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)


        Wednesday Bible Class @ 10am & 7pm



        Bulletins & Calendar



        Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)


        God bless you as you serve him!


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        1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
          Weekend of October 3, 2021

          St. Michael and All Angels

          Though we won't celebrate the occasion this Sunday, this week the church celebrates the festival of "St. Michael and All Angels" (September 29th). Michael is one of two named angels in the Bible (the other being Gabriel). In typical vision picture language, he leads the armies of heaven against Satan (the dragon) and casts him down. This probably refers to Jesus' victory accomplished on the cross (see verse 11), but time is a slippery thing in visions of heaven (see Revelation 13:8, which talks about the Lamb, Jesus, being slain "from the foundation of the earth"). In Revelation 12:7-12 we read,


          7 There was also a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon. The dragon fought back along with his angels, 8 but he was not strong enough. There was no longer a place for them in heaven. 9 The great dragon was thrown down—the ancient serpent, the one called the Devil and Satan, the one who leads the whole inhabited earth astray—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

          10 I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying:

          Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God

          and the authority of his Christ,

          because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down,

          the one who accuses them before our God day and night.

          11 They conquered him

          because of the blood of the Lamb and

          because of the word of their testimony.

          They did not love their lives in the face of death.

          12 For this reason, rejoice, you heavens and those who dwell in them.

          Woe to the earth and the sea,

          for the Devil has gone down to you.

          He is full of rage, because he knows that his time is short.


          Christians battle against Satan and the spiritual forces of evil in this life. Yet we always do so knowing that the war is already won by Christ. Satan has been thrown down. And so we also conquer in our everyday battles against Satan's accusations and temptations by that victory--that is "because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony (verse 11)." We thank God that we are not alone in these battles, but are joined by wonderful and powerful allies like Michael, Gabriel, and all God's angel servants. As Phillip Melancthon writes in an old hymn included in the new hymnal (to the tune of "Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word):


          But watchful is the angel band,

          that follows Christ on ev'ry hand,

          to guard his people where they go,

          and break the counsel of the foe.


          O Lord, awaken songs of praise,

          for angel hosts that guard our days;

          teach us to serve you and adore,

          as angels do forever.


          +++


          Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am


          Bible Class and Sunday School @ 9:15 at the School


          Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



          Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)


          Wednesday Bible Class @ 10am & 7pm



          Bulletins & Calendar



          Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)


          God bless you as you serve him!


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          1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
            Weekend of September 26th, 2021

            Are you the biggest loser?

            In the TV show "The Biggest Loser," people compete to lose the most weight. If you lose the highest percentage of weight over the course of the show, you win!


            Rachel Frederickson has the distinction of not only losing the most weight in her season, but the most weight (percentage-wise) of all the winners of every season. She went from 260 pounds to 105 pounds, a loss of almost 60 % of her original body weight! She truly is the biggest loser of them all. And, paradoxically, that makes her the winner!


            Jesus says Christians are like the biggest losers. If you want to win in the kingdom of God, if you want to be first, then you must lose--you must be the very last of all. He's talking about the Christian life of humble service to others.


            Jesus is certainly the biggest of the biggest losers. He "lost" everything, setting aside the full use of his divine glory, to serve the lowest of the low--sinners like us. And, paradoxically, that made him the winner! He won the prize he truly desired: the salvation of our souls.


            "If anyone would be first, he must be the last of all and the servant of all." (Mark 9:35)


            +++


            Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am


            Bible Class and Sunday School @ 9:15 at the School


            Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



            Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)


            Wednesday Bible Class @ 10am & 7pm



            Bulletins & Calendar



            Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)


            God bless you as you serve him!


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            1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
              Weekend of September 19th, 2021

              Do you have earthly eyes or "Jesus" eyes?

              God told Jeremiah to share a message that would not be popular. As you might expect, it was not received well.


              "They took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They let Jeremiah down by ropes. There was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud." (Jeremiah 38:6)


              Jeremiah was faithful to God's Word, and what was the result? To earthly eyes, it seems the result was a terrible time sinking down into a muddy pit without food or water. To earthly eyes, his reward was death.


              But to Jesus' eyes?


              Jesus says in our gospel reading, "If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it (Mark 8:34-35)."


              Jeremiah was faithful to God's Word, and what was the result? According to Jesus, his life was saved!


              Join us this weekend to see what it means to lose our lives in faith in Christ, and so to be saved through the true life that he gives.



              +++


              Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am


              Bible Class and Sunday School @ 9:15 at the School


              Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



              Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)



              Bulletins & Calendar



              Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)


              God bless you as you serve him!


              +++

              1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
                Weekend of September 12th, 2021

                Heavenly Minded for Earthly Good

                Maybe you've heard the accusation that Christians are so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good. Paul's letter to Titus shows that the opposite is actually true--when we are heavenly minded, that is, when our minds are set on things above, when we have faith and hope in our Savior Jesus, then we are of earthly good!


                Titus 2:11-14 says, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. It trains us to reject ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, that is, the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are his own chosen people, eager to do good works."


                Sanctified (set apart for a holy purpose) by Jesus, we love to do good works in very practical ways: as citizens and neighbors. Titus 3:1 says, "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready to do any good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, to be gentle, and to display every courtesy toward all people."


                We do this not to look better than other people or to earn favor from God. We do this not to justify ourselves--that would not work (who of us can say we have been the perfect citizens and spoken evil of no one!?). We don't do this because we always agree with those in authority or think our neighbors deserve it. We strive to be of earthly good because Christ has justified us purely by his mercy, through baptism. With the hope of eternal life, we get busy doing earthly good out of thankfulness to our Savior and because we want to show what a wonderful Savior we have.


                Paul goes on to write, "For at one time we ourselves were also foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by many kinds of evil desires and pleasures, living in malice and jealousy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward mankind appeared, he saved us—not by righteous works that we did ourselves, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and the renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs in keeping with the hope of eternal life. This saying is trustworthy. And I want you to insist on these things, so that those who believe in God are intent on keeping busy with good works (Titus 3:3-8)."


                +++


                Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am (Switch!)


                Bible Class and Sunday School @ 9:15 at the School


                Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



                Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)



                Bulletins & Calendar



                Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)


                Keep in your prayers: Our school, teachers, staff, parents and students as we begin a new school year!


                God bless you as you serve him!


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                1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
                  Weekend of September 5th, 2021

                  Propitiation

                  A few weeks ago, we sang a hymn verse that talked about propitiation.


                  His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.

                  Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.

                  Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried, “Tis done!”

                  Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

                   

                  Maybe you wondered as you sang it, “How do I sing this word? What does it even mean?”


                  Propitiation (pronounced: pro-pi`-shee-ay-shun) is an act, usually a sacrifice, that appeases God’s wrath so that he is no longer angry with someone, but pleased. It’s different from atonement in that atonement means Jesus paid the price, or suffered the penalty, for our sins. Propitiation has the added idea that Christ’s atonement means that God is pleased with us because the source of his wrath has been removed, or covered.


                  Because propitiation includes the idea of God’s wrath, this concept can make people uncomfortable.


                  One reason people are uncomfortable with this idea is that appeasing an angry God sounds like something from some false, outdated religion, with human-like gods who get angry or irritated and need something to make them feel better. But God’s anger is not like that. It is a righteous, holy, proper anger because of people going against his will and bringing sin and suffering into His world. The Bible is not uncomfortable at all talking about God’s wrath over sin.


                  Lamentations 3:42-43 says, “We were disobedient and rebelled, so you did not forgive. You covered yourself with anger and pursued us. You killed and did not spare.”


                  Another reason people are uncomfortable with this idea is that they know that God is love. They reduce God to that single characteristic, and picture God as some doting, pushover, grandpa who sees people misbehave and sighs and says, “Oh well, I love them anyways.” But God’s love does not exclude the fact that God is just and righteous. He cannot overlook sin and remain just.


                  When we see what is going on in Afghanistan, when we see suicide bombers and tyrannical rulers oppressing and killing people, we get angry and want justice to be done.


                  How much more should our righteous God have perfect wrath when people—when we!—do horrible wrong by sinning against the perfect standard of his holy will! Ezekiel 7:8 says, “Now very soon I will pour out my wrath upon you, and I will exhaust my anger against you. I will judge you according to your ways, and I will place on you the penalty for all your abominations.”


                  When we understand God’s perfect wrath over sin, when his wrath leads us to repent and ask for mercy, then we see what it really means that God is love.


                  He is not a doting, pushover, grandpa. He is a God who takes the punishment and wrath over sin on himself. The truth of propitiation is that God the Father sent his Son to suffer that wrath in our place.


                  Romans 3:23-25 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation (often translated atonement seat/mercy seat) in his blood through faith.” (NASB)


                  God’s law shows God’s righteous anger over our own sins, every bit as deserving of wrath as anything on TV that makes us outraged.


                  Jesus’ blood shows us that God’s wrath has been appeased. This is how we really know God’s love!


                  1 John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (NASB)


                  Look back at that hymn verse above. See how the verse explains these truths (a lot faster than I just did). And then think about how the truth of propitiation affects your relationship with others. When people sin against you, you don’t say, “It’s ok,” and swallow your anger as if they have done nothing wrong. No, sin is not ok, it's wrong! But when you remember that God’s wrath over that sin is appeased on the cross, you, too, can set aside that anger and lovingly forgive.


                  Read 1 John 4:10 again and the verse immediately following. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”


                  With an understanding and appreciation of the truth of propitiation, we can marvel even more at the cost Jesus paid to save us.


                  I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:

                  Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.

                  Bought by such love, my life is not my own.

                  My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.



                  +++


                  Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am (Last week until switch to fall schedule!)


                  Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



                  Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)



                  Bulletins & Calendar



                  Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)



                  God bless you as you serve him!


                  +++

                  1. published a newsletter

                    ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
                    Weekend of August 29th, 2021

                    Heart-rending moments for the Lord

                    After we tore ourselves away from them...


                    That's how Acts chapter 21, a heart-rending chapter of the Bible, begins. Paul and his companions felt the pain like pulling a sliver out of your fingers (or nails out of your hands) when they left their fellow Christians from Ephesus after hugs and tears... And then more heartache happens!


                    In the next city, Tyre, all the Christians, with their wives and little children, follow Paul all the way out to the city after warning him not to go to Jerusalem. But he's going to go, so they kneel and pray with him on the beach, then say good-bye... And then more heartache!


                    Shorty afterwards, they come to the city of Caesarea, and a prophet tells Paul that he will be bound up in Jerusalem and "delivered into the hands of the Gentiles." All the Christians around him urge him not to go. But Paul says, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?"


                    Paul's heart is breaking! So why won't he stop?


                    Because of what he says next. "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."


                    Paul is ready to have his heart and yes, even his body, broken, for the name of the Lord Jesus.


                    Christ's love compels him! Paul is convinced that Christ died for him, and therefore he has already died with Christ, so that he no longer lives for himself, but for Jesus, who died for him and was raised again! He is ready to live, and die, for his Lord.


                    And Paul's friends are ready for that, too. The author of Acts, Luke, writes next: "Since Paul could not be persuaded, we said nothing more except, "May the Lord's will be done."


                    This life can be heart-rending, either when we have to go through difficult things for the sake of Jesus, or we have to say goodbye to those we love as they face things we can't face with them. But Christ's love compels us, and strengthens and heals our broken hearts. We, too, have already died with Christ, and so we no longer live for ourselves, but for Jesus, who died for us and was raised again.


                    Pray that God help us, in response to his word and his love, to say with courageous hearts: "I am ready to face _________ for the name of the Lord Jesus," and "May the Lord's will be done."



                    +++


                    Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am


                    Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



                    Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)



                    Bulletins & Calendar



                    Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)


                    Keep in your prayers: The Laubenstein Family, and all who mourn Rosa Laubenstein, whose funeral was held today. The Rux family, as Lori's father, Ron, passed away this past Sunday.



                    God bless you as you serve him!


                    +++

                    1. published a newsletter

                      ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
                      Weekend of August 22nd, 2021

                      Don't Hold the Directions Upside-Down

                      In a great scene from the fantastic movie Galaxy Quest, the crew is looking to Alan Rickman's character for directions. He holds out his super futuristic map device, points in a direction, and confidently says, "This way!" The whole crew walks forward after him... for three steps. Then Rickman stops, rotates the map device, turns completely around, points the opposite direction, and says, "This way!"


                      If you're holding the map upside down, it doesn't matter if you're walking forward with confidence and purpose. You're going the wrong way!


                      Our sinful nature is always holding the map of life upside down. We put self on top and God on the bottom, and then walk forward with confidence and purpose as if we're getting somewhere. But that will only bring us further the wrong way!


                      Walking the wrong way in proverbs is called (among other things) walking in simple ways, which is naively and confidently walking the wrong direction. That selfish way of life ends in death! So Proverbs 9:6 tells us, "Leave your simple ways and live! And walk in the way of insight."


                      See the simple, selfish path for what it is--upside down. Turn your map right-side up through the fear of the LORD.


                      God turns our map right side up by leading us to humbly repent of our selfishness and look to God for forgiveness and everything good. Through his grace, God reorients our map, so we can confidently walk forward in the path of insight, the path of true life, lived not for self, but out of gratefulness to God and to his glory.



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                      Back to School Giveaway

                      Thank you so much to all who helped! We told many about Jesus and handed out 50 bags of school supplies!


                      Sunday Worship @ 8 & 9:45am

                      Monday Worship @ 6:30pm



                      Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)



                      Bulletins & Calendar



                      Anniversary Information (Schedule, Inserts, Bible Studies & More)



                      God bless you as you serve him!


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