Redeemer Lutheran Church Ministries

Lenten Midweek 3
March 23, 2011
Topic: Fasting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1wkb10vKL0

Have you ever heard of a fast food restaurant called The Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, Arizona?  They have a unique marketing plan.  All of their waitresses are dressed in nurses’ outfits and they take your order on a prescription pad.  The hamburgers are named the double, triple and quadruple bypass.  Their largest burger meal checks in at 8,000 calories.  Their motto is: “Food so bad for you it’s shocking!”

Gluttony, as you know, is one of the famous Seven Deadly Sins.  We generally associate gluttony with food, but it can really apply to anything which you consume in excess.  And all of us have this desire to consume more than we require.  And while that can relate to food, it can relate to other things as well. 

Here is one to think about.  What about shopping?  Obviously, we all need things.  We need clothes and shoes and certain material goods.  But I think we can also all agree that it is possible to go too far and slide into the sin of materialism, the belief that material goods will make you happy.  And if we’re not careful, we can easily fall into consumer debt, as we have been talking about in our Financial Peace class on Sunday evenings.

Think about environmental resources.  God has provided us with the trees and water and animals, land and air.  And He wants us to develop these and use them for the common good.  But how often do we misuse these gifts or waste them?  That kind of over-consumption is a form of gluttony too.

First Sunday in Lent
March 13, 2011
Text:  Matthew 4:1-11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeROKOsLY5E

I want you to know today that I have a confession to make.  There I was, standing in the room full of people.  Everyone was talking.  No one was looking at me.  On the tables next to me were at least 2 or 3 hundred tons of cookies, cupcakes, home-made candies, and F-U-D-G-E.   There was fruit too, but who needs fruit.  On one table I even saw a fountain gushing liquid chocolate.  It was a wedding reception and I was struggling with temptation.  One of my all-time biggest weaknesses is chocolate fudge.  I’m a fool for the stuff.  I’ll embarrass myself publicly for the sake of chocolate.

So how’d I do?  Was I good boy?  No.  Sneakily.  Stealthily.  I picked up one small bite-sized piece of the delectable delight and popped it into my mouth.  Then I chatted for a while with one of the guests.  And when he finally turned around, I grabbed another piece and “pop,” down it went.  Because you know that once you do it one time and get away with it, it becomes easier to do the next time.  One more quick look around the room.  No one noticed.  Talked to another guest.  This one took longer to get rid of.  Pop, down went another piece.   

How nice it would be if only our biggest temptations in life were just about fudge. 

What’s In It for Me?

Why It’s Still a Good Idea to Go to Church.

Nine reasons people give for not going to church and why it’s still a good idea.

  1. I’m spiritual, not religious.
  2. I’ve gotten out of the habit.
  3. The church just wants my money.
  4. I don’t like the pastor (or some other individual or group in the
  5. I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.
  6. I’m too busy and Sundays are my only time to rest.
  7. Church is boring.
  8. Church people are judgmental and hypocritical.
  9. I just don’t need God in my life.

Click here for a handy printable booklet version.

Introduction

You’ve got lots of stuff going on in your life. There is more to do than you have the time to do it in. Fitting in time for church is not easy. Maybe you were dragged to church as a kid and resented it so now as an adult, you are exercising your freedom by sleeping in on Sunday mornings. Maybe you have had a bad experience involving Christianity. Or maybe you just don’t see the point.

Whether or not you go to church is a personal decision. Everybody has his or her reasons. This booklet does not address every possible reason a person might have for not attending church. It is merely intended to be an overview of some of the more common reasons people give for staying away from church. The author has attempted to give an honest and realistic response.

If you haven’t been to church much recently, take a look at the reasons listed in this booklet to see if yours is covered. Read through some of the others too because the responses might give you something worth thinking over. Hopefully, after skimming over these pages, you will see going to church in a new way and feel encouraged to give it another go.

Sunday of the Transfiguration
March 6, 2011
Text: Matthew 17:1-9

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPLkxCVsDok

In June 1938, two young men, Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, introduced the world to its first comic book superhero, Superman. The thing about Superman that might remember from the comic books or the movies or the television programs about him, is that most of the time, he did not go around with his blue and red suit, with the big letter "S" plastered to his chest, and his cape. Most of the time, he walked around in a business suit and tie seeming as mundane as you or me, under his Clark Kent alter ego. But when he saw someone in danger, or when his services were called for, he would slip into the nearest phone booth and come out as Superman, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall building in a single bound. The key thing is the no one would ever look at the unassuming Clark Kent and think there was anything heroic about him.

In today's Gospel lesson, Jesus reveals a secret identity of sorts. The event is traditionally called the Transfiguration, which is a fancy Latin word that means essentially the same thing as transformation. The Greek version of the word is metamorphosis. Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a mountain one day and there in front of their eyes, he metamorphoses. He changes. "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light." I don't know about you but I find it very difficult to look at the sun without something to shade my eyes. To say that Jesus' face shone like the sun is saying something pretty remarkable. Here was Jesus as He never had appeared before to His disciples - Jesus in all of His glory as the eternal Son of God, standing together with Moses and Elijah. God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany
February 6, 2011
Text: Matthew 5:13-20

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVupRF2ZkG0

A man had 50 yard-line tickets for the Super Bowl. As he sat down, he noticed that the seat next to him was empty. He asked the man on the other side of the empty seat whether anyone was sitting there. "No," the man replied, "The seat is empty."

"This is incredible," said the first man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world and not use it?"

The second man replied, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This will be the first Super bowl we haven't been together since we got married in 1967."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else -- a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The man shook his head. "No, they're all at the funeral."

Redeemer Mission

Proclaiming to our community in word and deed the empowering love of God as demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Redeemer Lutheran Church

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