• ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
    Weekend of November 28, 2021 - Advent 1

    A Thanksgiving with Love

    Sitcoms often have thanksgiving episodes that depict Thanksgiving as a stressful time that people don't enjoy because they have to be around people and opinions that they normally avoid. Maybe you personally wind up at dinner tables where there is a feast of wonderful food, but you would rather eat a bowl of Mac & Cheese alone at home. Solomon talked about this situation in a funny proverb.


    "Better a meal of vegetables where there is love, than a fattened calf with hatred." (Proverbs 15:17)


    What makes the best meal, at Thanksgiving or any time? Love! And the good news is, wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving, this is a dish that is provided by your Savior. Wherever you are, and whomever you are with, the love of God in Christ will be there too.


    God says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love." (Jeremiah 31:3)


    This dish always has plenty to go around. So wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving, may it be a meal where hatred is conquered with Christ's forgiveness, and all your food is seasoned with God's love.



    +++



    Special Thanksgiving Service - Wednesday @ 6:30pm


    Note: After the Wednesday service, we ask for help once again to move red hymnals out and new hymnals in. Thank you! And thank you to those who helped prepare the hymnals last Thursday. Many hands made light work!


    Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am


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


    Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)


    Monday Night Services Resume January 3rd

    Wednesday Bible Classes Resume in January


    Bulletins & Calendar


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


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    Prayer requests:


    -- Continued prayers for those hospitalized and recovering, including Marilyn Roekle and Tom Boyd


    -- Prayers of thanksgiving to God for all his good gifts to his Church and to us personally


    +++

    1. ReadFuneral Announcement
      + Mary Elisa Pingel +

      Our dear sister in Christ, Mary Elisa Pingel, was called to her eternal home yesterday. Even as we mourn, we rejoice in the promises God made to Mary in her baptism, promises she firmly believed. Her body, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, now rests until the last day. Her soul, purchased by the blood of Christ, rejoices in the loving presence of her Father.


      The funeral will take place at St. Paul's this Friday, November 19th, at 2pm, with visitation from 1pm. All are welcome to gather around Christ's promises, receive comfort from God's Word, and to comfort the family. Please keep them all in your prayers.


      Mary's obituary can be found here: https://www.casefuneralhome.com/obituaries/Mary-Elisa-Pingel?obId=23102124


      The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

      He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

      he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:

      he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

      I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

      thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

      Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

      thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

      Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

      and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


      Psalm 23

      1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
        Weekend of November 21, 2021 - Christ the King

        Out of Control

        This weekend we celebrate “Christ the King” Sunday, when we remember that Christ is in control of everything! The one who “laid aside his crown for my soul” as he died on the cross is the one who took it up again, rising and ascending to rule all from the right hand of God.


        Christ’s rule gets even more impressive when we think of all the things we can’t control.


        This week in our Wednesday evening Bible class we’re talking about the 8th commandment, and how difficult it is to control the tongue. As James 3:8 says, “No one is able to tame the human tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Jesus controls the universe—I can’t even control my tongue! Instead of being quick to listen, and slow to speak (James 1:19), I let my tongue get out of control:


        • Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but only in revealing his opinions.” My tongue is out of control when I would rather hear my own opinions instead of understanding others first.
        • Proverbs 18:13 says, “If a person answers before he listens, that is foolishness that brings disgrace.” My tongue is out of control when I already have my answers ready before I even listen.
        • Proverbs 11:9 says, “With his mouth, the godless person destroys his neighbor.” My tongue is out of control when I use my words for harm, and not for good.
        • Proverbs 26:20 says, “When there is no more wood, a fire goes out, and without gossip, a quarrel dies down.” My tongue is out of control when instead of letting gossip die out, I add fuel to the fire.


        And James says that when I can’t get something as small as my tongue under control, it’s as if my whole life is set on fire. “Consider how a little flame can set a large forest on fire! And the tongue is a fire. It is set among the parts of our body as a world of unrighteousness that stains the whole body, sets the whole course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell (James 3:5, 6).”


        In other words, if things were left to my control, even something as small as my own tongue would ignite my life into an uncontrollable hell.


        But that’s the comfort of Christ the King Sunday. Christ isn’t just king of the gigantic universe; he is king of every tiny tongue too.

        Christ laid aside his heavenly crown to drink the deadly poison of every lying tongue in our place. He allowed himself to be burned with the fires of hell, ignited by false accusations and foolish talk and harmful words. Even as he burned, he controlled his tongue perfectly, using his mouth to bless us and not to curse us, to forgive us and not to condemn us, to have his love cover over a multitude of our sins. And when he rose from the dead as king of sin, death, the devil and hell, he also rose as king of our hearts and mouths. With hearts changed by our king, and mouths confessing him as Lord, we are given not uncontrollable mouths, but the mouths of those who are righteous through faith in Christ. Instead of igniting the fires of hell, these mouths share the life-giving waters of God’s Word. As Proverbs 10:11 says, “The mouth of a righteous person is a fountain of life.”


        Christ is King! And he is in control! Even over my uncontrollable tongue.


        “God also highly exalted Jesus and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 4:9-11).”


        +++


        Sunday Worship @ 8 & 10:30am


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


        Livestream (Sunday 8:00am)


        Wednesday Bible Class @ 10am & 7pm


        Monday Night Services Resume January 3rd


        Bulletins & Calendar


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


        +++


        Special request for help: We need to break in the binding of our new hymnals. We are asking whoever is available and willing to meet at the church at 9:30am on Thursday the 18th. If you can open a book and press down 10 pages at a time, you're able to help! Thank you!


        +++


        Prayer requests:


        -- Continued prayers for those hospitalized and recovering, including Gerald Jahn, Marilyn Roekle, and Tom Boyd, and for Steve Trapp, son-in-law of Eunice Peterson who is hospitalized as well.


        +++

        1. published a newsletter

          ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
          Weekend of November 14, 2021 - All Saints' Day

          How Much Is Enough?

          It’s been said that when a wealthy person was asked, “How much is enough?” he responded. “Always one more dollar.”


          King Solomon knew the allure of wealth better than anyone. He was one of the richest people who ever lived. “The weight of gold which came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents, not counting what he collected from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the land (1 Kings 10:14-15).” The EHV footnote says this was almost 50,000 pounds of gold (the equivalent of over 1 billion dollars’ worth today), and that wasn’t even counting it all!


          Solomon says, “I piled up silver and gold for myself, as well as treasures from kings and provinces…Whatever my eyes desired I did not withhold from them. I did not hold my heart back from any pleasure (Ecclesiastes 2:8, 10).


          But if you asked Solomon how much was enough, what would he answer?


          "When I turned my attention to everything that my hands had done and to how hard I had worked for it—note this—it was all vapor, all chasing the wind. There was no benefit under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11).”


          Solomon said all his hard work and all the pleasure it bought him did not benefit him at all. It would never be enough. Because it isn’t an issue of amount; it’s an issue of the heart. As he wrote in Proverbs 21:17, “Whoever loves pleasure will be poor. Whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.”


          Solomon knew that when it comes to wealth and pleasure, no amount will ever be enough.


          You can pile up all the nothing you want in your heart, and in the end it will still be a big pile of nothing. You can invest your heart in the stocks with the best track record, but in the end the value it will yields for you is 0.00. So the LORD turned Solomon to what could really satisfy his heart: wisdom--true wisdom, that is, trusting in the LORD Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:30, Proverbs 1:7).


          In Proverbs 3:13-15, Solomon says, “How blessed is the person who finds wisdom, the person who acquires understanding, because the profit it gives is better than the profit from silver, and its yield is better than gold! It is more valuable than gems, and nothing you desire can equal it.”


          How much is enough? Wrong question. Who is enough? Only Jesus, and the joy of knowing him (1 Corinthians 1:30).


          This weekend we celebrate All Saints' Day, when we rejoice that God has brought many dear fellow believers home to himself in heaven. Their earthly blessings have faded away, but they are truly blessed now in a way they could never be on earth, however much silver or gold they may have had. We look forward to the day when we shall join them and enjoy in full the true wealth of eternity with our Savior, whose blessings are more than enough to satisfy us forever.


          All depends on our possessing God’s abundant grace and blessing, though all earthly wealth depart. They who trust with faith unshaken in their God are not forsaken and will keep a dauntless heart.


          Many spend their lives in fretting over trifles and in getting things that have no solid ground. I shall strive to win a treasure that will bring me lasting pleasure and that now is seldom found.


          If my days on earth he lengthen, he my weary soul will strengthen; all my trust in him I place. Earthly wealth is not abiding, like a stream away is gliding; safe I anchor in his grace.


          -- CW807:1, 3, 6


          +++


          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)


          +++


          Special request for help: We need to break in the binding of our new hymnals. We are asking whoever is available and willing to meet at the church at 9:30am on Thursday the 18th. If you can open a book and press down 10 pages at a time, you're able to help! Thank you!


          +++


          Prayer requests:


          -- That God continue to give comfort to those who have lost loved ones with the knowledge that they are in glory with Jesus, far better off than we are! And that God make us heavenly minded, fixing our eyes on Jesus and the eternal blessings he gives.


          --Praise God from whom all blessings flow for a wonderful anniversary celebration this past weekend and the wonderful organ concert.


          +++

          1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
            Weekend of November 7, 2021 - Anniversary Sunday

            A lonely bird on a roof

            "I lie awake. I have become like a lonely bird on a roof."


            I love the picture and the circumstance of this verse. Many of you know the frustration and loneliness of sitting in bed awake, unable to sleep. As you're sitting there trying to slow down your thoughts and relax, more and more thoughts keep popping up in your head, some of them strange. This verse strikes me as one of those. I picture the psalmist unable to sleep, lonely and weary, and then this picture pops into his head: "I'm like a solitary bird, sitting on the roof. Not cozy in a nest. Just sitting up high, with no one else close by, looking around and ultimately doing nothing."


            I love how this picture and circumstance can unite Christians lying awake in bed throughout history. "Yep, I'm still up. Yep, still awake... sigh..."


            But more than that, I love that this is a prayer.


            The heading the Holy Spirit gave Psalm 102 reads: "A prayer for an afflicted person who is weary and pours out his complaints before the LORD." That's a good definition of what prayer is sometimes. Prayer is an afflicted, sinful person, living in a sinful world, wearily pouring out his complaints before the LORD. Complaints like Psalm 102:7.


            "God, I'm awake. Still. I'm like a lonely bird on a roof."


            You may be awake like a lonely bird on a roof, but you're not alone. And when you pour out a prayer like this, or any prayer, that's proof that you're not alone, because you know as a child of God that your Father is near you, and he is listening and watching with you.


            "God, I'm awake. Still. I'm like a lonely bird on a roof. But I pray to you because I believe you're up here too. And because of your love for me in Jesus, I know you always will be."


            +++


            Plan on attending our Special Anniversary Worship this Weekend!


            And plan on attending our Special Organ Recital and Hymn Fest this Sunday at 2:30.


            Dr. Brent Nolte, former St. Paul's minister of music, will showcase the antiphonal pipes and play original compositions based on familiar hymns. Stay afterwards for a light reception in the newly remodeled basement!


            Invite family and friends to worship and to the organ recital and hymn fest!


            ***


            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)


            +++


            Prayer requests:


            -- Safe travels to our anniversary guest preacher, John Gensmer, our guest organist, Brent Nolte and their families!


            +++

            1. ReadSt. Paul's Weekly Update
              Weekend of October 31, 2021 - Reformation Sunday

              Our God is With Us

              How can Christians give such confident answers?


              When facing the accusations and troubles of the world, sin, sickness, death, and the devil, how can Christians respond with confidence?


              How did Luther go from asking for more time to think about his answer, to the very next day giving his famous, "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise," speech?


              How did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, exiled young men of a conquered people, give a confident answer to the raging Emperor of the world, Nebuchadnezzar, when he threatened to throw them in the furnace if they did not bow down to his idol?


              They knew their God was with them.


              Luther said, "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen."


              The three men about to suffer in the fiery furnace said, "Since our God, whom we serve, does exist, he is able to save us from the blazing fiery furnace." (Daniel 3:17)


              In Psalm 46, the Psalm appointed for Reformation Sunday, believers of all time proclaim the same thing:


              "The LORD of Armies is with us.

              The God of Jacob is a fortress for us."


              The troubles and accusations of the world, sin, sickness, death and the devil may be with us this side of heaven, but so is our God. Our Savior conquered all those things on the cross for us, and promises that nothing can separate us from his love. And when he has finally done away with everything that could ever threaten us, he will still be with us, forever and ever.


              So this Reformation, we can answer confidently in the face of whatever may threaten us.


              "God is our refuge and strength,

              a helper who can always be found in times of trouble.

              That is why we will not fear..."


              (Psalm 46:1-2)


              +++


              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)


              +++


              Prayer requests:

              -- God strengthen the faith of those who are struggling spiritually through his word and sacrament

              -- Thanksgiving for a wonderful mission festival weekend

              -- That God teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wise hearts eager to live for the gospel, to die in peace, and to rejoice in heaven, through faith in Christ


              "With might of ours can naught be done,

              soon were our loss effected;

              but for us fights the valiant one

              whom God himself elected.

              You ask 'Who is this?'

              Jesus Christ it is, the almighty Lord,

              and there's no other God;

              he holds the field forever."


              (A Mighty Fortress is Our God, verse 2)


              +++

              1. 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.


                +++


                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)


                +++


                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)


                +++

                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)


                  +++


                  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)


                  +++


                  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."


                  +++

                  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.


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                      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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