September 28, 2014 Bulletin Announcements

Blood Drive  Our 2nd annual blood drive will be on Monday, September 29th from 2-6pm.  You may sign-up on the sheet in the narthex or at www.redcross.org and follow the “donate blood” box.  Sign-ups are also available for baked goods, helping at the reception desk or in the canteen (where food and drink are served after giving the gift of life).  If you have never given and need a reassuring word, please speak with Pastor Lueck, a long-time blood donor.

Portals of Prayer  The October – December Portals of Prayer are available on the bookrack located in the narthex.  Large print also available.  Pick up your free copy today.

Dave Orr Website  Our family has created a page about Dave’s health issues and what is still needed for him on a website entitled caringbridge.com.  Once the website is accessed just enter Dave Orr to access his page.  We truly are blessed with the outpouring of prayers and concern the members of Good Shepherd have shown us.  Many thanks and God Bless!  Dave and Pat Orr

Thank you  The church has received a “Thank you” note from Seminarian Chris Suggitt thanking the congregation for your continued support.  The letter is posted on the bulletin board outside of the church office.

Fellowship Hosts  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

Lost & Found  If you are missing an item please check out the Lost & Found located on the bulletin board in the church office.

LWML Lutheran World Relief  The LWML ladies will be working on Health Kits again this year.  We would like to solicit your help in purchasing items for the Health Kits which will be sent to Lutheran World Relief.  The stores will soon have these items marked down for the college students that will be returning.  This is a wonderful opportunity to get great specials.  A list of items needed is on the table in the narthex.  If  you have questions, please feel free to call Joann Hart.  Thank you.

You are invited  Our Redeemer Lutheran Church of Eureka will hold its 25th annual hog roast on this coming Saturday, October 4th from 4-7 pm.  Tickets are $10 in advance and $11 at the door for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.  Carryout is also available.  The menu is roast pork, barbeque sauce, potato salad, applesauce, baked beans, rolls and butter, cake or pie, and a drink.  Pastor Lueck has two complimentary tickets.  You can reserve tickets by calling Our Redeemer’s church office.

The Lutheran Hour  Show Me the Money?  No, Show Me Jesus!  is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Ephesians 2:8-10.  St. Paul urges us to get down to brass tacks, face faith facts, and trust in the Good News of God’s grace in Jesus.  (Footsteps of St. Paul; Part 4)  The speaker will be Reverend Gregory Seltz.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720 AM) at 6am; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3pm.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7am and 7pm.  Tune in!  You can listen to the Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org

September 28, 2014 Sermon

September 28, 2014                                        Text:  Philippians 2:1-4, 14-18

Dear Friends in Christ,

            Don’t fall out of your pew on this one – but I watch a lot of sports.  I know you are shocked, but it is true.  One thing I hear the announcers talk about periodically is that a certain player is “a difference maker.”  They are conveying to the audience that some players have skills and abilities that can change a game.  They run faster, hit harder, pitch better than their fellow players.  They make a difference for their team, which usually leads to winning.

            How about you?  Do you consider yourself a difference maker?  Not in the sports arena but in the life arena.  Do you like to just sit on the sidelines and complain about people and the world?  Or do you like to get in the game, use your God-given skills and abilities to further advance the cause of Christianity down the field?

            This morning Paul is addressing his brothers and sisters in Christ at Philippi.  A congregation founded by Paul and one he still watched over.  He knew the challenges they were up against.  But he had a game plan they could each be a part of.  This morning so can you . . .

“BEING A DIFFERENCE MAKER”

            Paul knew what his fellow Christians were battling.  He said they were “in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.” (v. 15b)  Don’t we hear the same words being used about the times we live in?  Crooked in the generation that has left the straight paths of the Lord.  Crooked in mind and in heart and thus in acts means lying thought.  Truth is straight but lies are crooked or twisted.

            Have you heard or seen this one?  It is called “the blasphemy challenge” and it is used by atheists to further their agenda and to expose the “crock that is Christian doctrine.”  They want their followers to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and this verse from Mark 3:29:  “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”  This is how twisted things are.  People who supposedly don’t believe in the Trinity want to sin against it.  But, of course, they wouldn’t call it a sin.

            In the political arena two agendas have been advanced.  Marijuana and same-sex marriage.  Having grown up in the 70’s and 80’s I didn’t think I would see a day when marijuana was looked on more favorably than smoking.  I don’t want to argue the medicinal purposes but we know this will lead to abuses as we are already seeing.

            When it comes to same-sex marriage and parenting I read this interesting quote:  “You encourage a consumerist model of parenting.  It encourages the idea that individuals have a right to a kid, instead of viewing children as a gift and a great blessing.”

            In this crooked and twisted generation we live in a “social revolution that attempts to define what you’re allowed to think and do in the public square.”

            So, how do you and I make a difference?  First, Paul’s advice:  “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (vs. 3-4)  These admonitions all come because of our connection to Christ.

            Gandhi had this interesting quote during his lifetime:  “I don’t refuse Christianity because of the Christian Scriptures but because of Christians.”  Ouch!  We can’t be self-righteous but we must make an honest assessment of ourselves.  We can be crooked in thoughts and deeds.  We can become twisted in our thinking if it fits an agenda or manipulates a situation.  We are not immune to the garbage that is coming our way, day by day by day.  And then some of us don’t want to be difference-makers because we think there isn’t anything that can stop the tide that is sweeping over us.  Satan and sin and the world win when we become apathetic.  Talk about the sidelines, some don’t want to leave the locker room.

            But leave it we must.  Contact with the world cannot be avoided.  Ever and ever we must have it impressed upon us that we are different from the world, must be told what is the matter with the world, and what we have that makes us different.  Look at Paul’s encouragement, “Holding fast to the word of life.” (16a)  Paul labored because of his confidence in the Word of God.

            Do you have that same confidence in the Word?  As Scripture says, “These words…are life.”  They increase our spiritual life.  This Word called us in the waters of Holy Baptism.  This Word strengthens are daily walk.  Holding fast to the Word of Life continuously reminds us of the forgiveness and life we have in Christ.  This Word of Life is power as the Holy Spirit helps us to become difference makers.  The Word of Life in Holy Communion can make the weak strong.  It is a spiritual boost for the days ahead.

            As the text tells us, we are to “shine as lights in the world.” (v. 15c)  Even imperfect Christians shine.  When Jesus spoke to his imperfect disciples he did not use the future tense:  “You shall be the light of the world,” but the present:  “You are the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14)  And you are you know?  The littlest things you do for others can make a difference.  The big things you shout from the rooftops can make a difference.  As with a ballplayer, God has gifted you with certain gifts and abilities that start to make the crooked straight, and the twisted start to untangle.

            The social scientist I quoted earlier on same-sex parenting had this to say later in his presentation.  France is proof “of signs that people are fed up with the fruits of the sexual revolution.  Human nature is reasserting itself.”

            Be faithful.  That is all that is asked of a difference maker.

                                                                                                                        Amen.

September 14, 2014 Bulletin Announcements

Adult Instruction Class continues tomorrow, Monday, September 15th at 7pm and lasts about an hour.  The class is designed for non-members who would like to learn more about the Lutheran Church and its teachings.  It is also a good refresher course for members.

Today is our monthly door offering for Reverend Michael Kearney and Seminarian Chris Suggitt.

The Ladies Morning Bible Study will meet this Tuesday, September 16th at 9:30 am at the church.  If you have any questions please see or contact Angelina Isaac.

Next Sunday is the deadline for items to be submitted for the October Newsletter.  Mandy Kluender is our Editor for the church newsletter and any announcements you want to be published in the Newsletter should be submitted to her at mgkluender@hotmail.com.

Quilting  We will be pinning and sewing quilt hems this coming Saturday, September 20th from 9am – 12pm for Lutheran World Relief.  If you have a portable machine to bring and would like to sew hems or pin hems, we would appreciate your help.  Any questions, call Luanne Huth.

Blood Drive  Our 2nd annual blood drive will be on Monday, September 29th from 2-6pm.  You may sign-up on the sheet in the narthex or at www.redcross.org and follow the “donate blood” box.  Sign-ups are also available for baked goods, helping at the reception desk or in the canteen (where food and drink are served after giving the gift of life).  If you have never given and need a reassuring word, please speak with Pastor Lueck, a long-time blood donor.

Dave Orr Website  Our family has created a page about Dave’s health issues and what is still needed for him on a website entitled caringbridge.com.  Once the website is accessed just enter Dave Orr to access his page.  We truly are blessed with the outpouring of prayers and concern the members of Good Shepherd have shown us.  Many thanks and God Bless!  Dave and Pat Orr

Fellowship Hosts  The sign-up for help with coffee/doughnuts is posted on the wall by the north stairwell.  We need an individual/family to sign up each week to pick up the donuts and make the coffee.  If no one is signed up by Friday of each week, the order will be cancelled.  We thank everybody who continues to help with this part of our church fellowship.

The Pregnancy Resource Center’s Annual Life Banquet is Thursday, September 18th from 7-9pm at the Double Tree Hotel.  Advance reservations can be made until Monday, September 15th at Bloomington@hopeforafuture.com or by calling (309)454-5433.  There is no cost to attend.  This year’s speaker is former Presidential candidate and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

LWML Lutheran World Relief  The LWML ladies will be working on Health Kits again this year.  We would like to solicit your help in purchasing items for the Health Kits which will be sent to Lutheran World Relief.  The stores will soon have these items marked down for the college students that will be returning.  This is a wonderful opportunity to get great specials.  A list of items needed is on the table in the narthex.  If  you have questions, please feel free to call Joann Hart.  Thank you.

Marriage Seminar  Christ Lutheran Church is Normal is hosting a Marriage Seminar on Saturday, September 20, 2014.  Details on the Seminar and information on how to register is posted on the bulletin board outside the church office.

The Lutheran Hour  The Gospel Comes to Law and Order People is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Acts 28:11-16,28-31.  God used the Roman Legal system to bring the Apostle Paul and the Gospel message to Rome.  (Footsteps of St. Paul; Part2.)   The speaker will be Reverend Gregory Seltz.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720 AM) at 6am; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3pm.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7am and 7pm.  Tune in!  You can listen to the Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org

September 7, 2014 Bulletin Announcements

Adult Instruction Class will begin tomorrow, Monday, September 8th.  The class, which runs for ten weeks, begins at 7pm and lasts about an hour.  The class is designed for non-members who would like to learn more about the Lutheran Church and its teachings.  It is also a good refresher course for members.  If you know of someone you would like Pastor to invite please call or email him at: revbci@yahoo.com

Church Work Day  The Trustees are organizing a Church Work Day this coming Saturday, September 13th from 8am to noon.  The focus will be on outside work but there are several inside tasks that need to be completed.  Please notify Ron Kwasny at 309-530-6257 or ron.kwasny@comcast.net if you will be able to help. Thank you.

Next Sunday, September 14th, is our monthly door offering for Reverend Michael Kearney and Seminarian Chris Suggitt.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Family Movie Night is Friday, September 19th starting at 6pm.  The movie is “The Great Escape“.  Come join us in the fun and fellowship.

Blood Drive  Our 2nd annual blood drive will be on Monday, September 29th from 2-6pm.  You may sign-up on the sheet in the narthex or at www.redcross.org and follow the “donate blood” box.  Sign-ups are also available for baked goods, helping at the reception desk or in the canteen (where food and drink are served after giving the gift of life).  If you have never given and need a reassuring word, please speak with Pastor Lueck, a long-time blood donor.

Dave Orr Website  Our family has created a page about Dave’s health issues and what is still needed for him on a website entitled caringbridge.com.  Once the website is accessed just enter Dave Orr to access his page.  We truly are blessed with the outpouring of prayers and concern the members of Good Shepherd have shown us.  Many thanks and God Bless!  Dave and Pat Orr

From the Trustees  The fence from the playground area is going to be taken down.  If you are interested in the fence, please speak with or call Andy Benjamin (309)724-8520 or Ron Kwasny (309)662-4995.

The Pregnancy Resource Center’s Annual Life Banquet is Thursday, September 18th from 7-9pm at the Double Tree Hotel.  Advance reservations can be made until Monday, September 15th at Bloomington@hopeforafuture.com or by calling (309)454-5433.  There is no cost to attend.  This year’s speaker is former Presidential candidate and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

LWML Lutheran World Relief  The LWML ladies will be working on Health Kits again this year.  We would like to solicit your help in purchasing items for the Health Kits which will be sent to Lutheran World Relief.  The stores will soon have these items marked down for the college students that will be returning.  This is a wonderful opportunity to get great specials.  A list of items needed is on the table in the narthex.  If  you have questions, please feel free to call Joann Hart.  Thank you.

Marriage Seminar  Christ Lutheran Church is Normal is hosting a Marriage Seminar on Saturday, September 20, 2014.  Details on the Seminar and information on how to register is posted on the bulletin board outside the church office.

The Lutheran Hour  That’s Just Who God Is is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Acts 2:1-39.  The journeys of St. Paul teach us how God’s message of grace has been translated so that all might believe.  (Footsteps of St. Paul; Part1.)   The speaker will be Reverend Gregory Seltz.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720 AM) at 6am; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3pm.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7am and 7pm.  Tune in!  You can listen to the Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org

September 2014 Usher/Elder Schedule

Date
8:30
Elder
10:30
Sep 7Daryle Schempp, Gerald Semelka, Lucas Schempp, Paul GerikeMike FieldMike Huth, Theron Noth
Sep 14Mike Field, Steve DavisNathan KluenderBud Kessler, Curt Kessler, Marvin Huth, Ryan Kleiboeker
Sep 21Charles Nottingham, Craig Culp, Gene Fuller, Richard RossJohn HardyBryan Reichert, Karson Lueck
Sep 28Joshua Parry, Nathan KluenderSteve ParryBrian Dirks, Greg McNeely, Holden Lueck, Travis Henson

Stewardship Corner

Stewardship Corner 

The Gospels are filled with irony. Death itself is defeated by the death of Jesus. Jesus, the Son of God the Father, is given to Pilate in exchange for Barabbas, which means “son of the father.” But one particularly puzzling bit of irony is that Judas was given charge of the moneybag.

In response to Mary Magdelene’s lavish gift, when she poured out almost a year’s wages to anoint Jesus’ feet, Judas replied, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor” (John 12:5)? And then John tells us, “He said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6).

So, why is Judas put in charge of the money? Jesus could have put any of his disciples in charge of it. He could have put Nathaniel in charge, of whom Jesus said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit” (John 1:47), or John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:20), or Levi, the tax collector, who was financially savvy (Luke 5:27). But he didn’t. He chose Judas, whom He called “a devil” (John 6:70). Why?

Jesus put His money where his mouth was. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19–20). Our Lord put not His trust in earthly treasures, but in the word and will of His Father. The Lord will provide.

In Judas, we see the heart and gut-wrenching end of one who treasured the wrong thing. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34). “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). It’s an alarming example, a visceral image, of what loving money and hating God can look like.

But no one, save Jesus, was the wiser. During Jesus’ three-year ministry, Judas looked, talked, and acted like the other eleven. He seemed to be about the right things. But “love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:10). And this craving led Judas to sell Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, which the chief priests used to buy his own grave — an ironic transaction indeed.

All of this is to say that money is a good thing but it is not God. Use it for the purpose which God gives it. Spend it on providing for your family. Spend it on support of your community. Give it to support and provide for the work of God among you in church, the ministry of Word and Sacrament, through which you receive forgiveness, life, and salvation. Invest in all these things. Put your treasure where God calls you to put it, and your heart will follow. Your hearts will be set on things above, for these things — family, society, and church — are of God. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all this will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

So, do not be anxious, but trust in the mercies of God. All you need will be given by your Father in heaven. “For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). The Father can easily out-give what any thief can steal. And the beauty is: He not only can, but does. There is nothing ironic about that.