Sermon 9-18-2016

September 18, 2016                                                              Text:  Luke 16:1-15

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

Who here doesn’t like to get a good deal?  I don’t mean an extra donut in your dozen or more off that blouse than you anticipated.  I mean a deal that through your shrewdness you planned for.  To me with my sportscentric background everything is a game.  With shopping it is my goal to beat “the man.”  At Kroger when you get your cash register receipt they tell you what your savings are.  I have my top three savings amounts on my desk at home.  On a recent shopping trip I came close to adding another one to my top three.  Between their deals, coupons and my shrewd shopping our family saves money which can then be used for things like college tuition and the like.

The opposite can also happen which prompted a recent e-mail from me to the company.  Toni purchased what was supposed to be an eight-piece grilled chicken.  When it was opened at home it only had 7 pieces, a thigh replaced a breast and the legs had to be from the littlest chicken that ever roamed the earth.  That evening I was on my computer letting the company know they had failed to provide what they had promised.  We do not get what we paid for.

The parable of the unjust steward reminds each of us today that God always gives infinitely more than we pay for, and his blessings motivate us to share His grace.  As the Master has been merciful to us, we can now extend His Kingdom by being . . .

“SHREWD IN FAITH”

Let’s get something out of the way, right away.  This is one of the hardest parables in Scripture to understand.  We studied it at the Bloomington North Pastor’s Conference this past week and even these learned men have a hard time with the meaning the Lord is trying to convey.  So let’s not get bogged down in semantics here this morning.

The steward in the parable has been unfaithful.  He has squandered his master’s wealth.  When confronted, he has nothing to say.  He was given great responsibility and he squandered it.  As a result of this unfaithfulness, he is being removed from his position.

How many times have we squandered the blessings the Lord has given to us?  We have been given great responsibility and sometimes we throw it all away to chase the dream of great wealth that never materializes.

The master could have put the unjust steward into prison until the debt was paid, but he chose to be gracious and let him go.  Mercy moved him to take the action that he did.

Don’t we have a merciful God who acts the same way?  We owe a debt we could never pay.  Our sins pile up into one big pile of unpaid loans and there is nothing we can do it about.  We deserve an eternal prison for our misdeeds.  Yet God is merciful and grants us forgiveness.  While forgiveness is free for us, it was not free for God.  In the parable, the debtors received the benefit of the master’s forgiveness of their debt.  In our lives, God was willing to make the sacrifice of His Son on the cross that our debt might not just be reduced but erased totally.  The loan officer can’t find that we owe anything!  This forgiveness won by Jesus means we are no longer accountable for the sins we’ve committed.  You and I can celebrate living in the freedom of the Gospel, with the assurance of eternal life.

With this freedom comes great privilege.  We can live through the Spirit shrewd in faith.  When looking up synonyms for the word “shrewd” some take on a negative tone, words like cunning, sly, wily, and crafty.  Other synonyms are more positive, words such as astute, sharp, keen and discerning.  In our text when Jesus uses the word shrewd He means it in a positive way.  Our Savior knows that being shrewd can be a good thing in the right context.

The words of Jesus in verse 9, “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into eternal dwellings.”  This directs our attention to the purpose of our earthly blessings received from God.

The steward of the parable used physical possessions shrewdly to obtain a physical place to dwell.  Jesus turns this idea around and tells us to use our physical possessions shrewdly to obtain eternal dwellings.  That is being faithful!  Shrewd in faith.  What is the purpose of receiving abundance from God if not to use it to extend His Kingdom?  The generosity of the master and the mercy he showed reveals to us what it means to be used by God to share His blessings with the people of this world so that the Spirit might have opportunity to work through us to touch the lives of people who do not know God.

Because of what Christ has done for us we are saved at 100%.  Now that is a deal we all want.

Amen.

Sermon 9-11-2016 (Transcript only)

(Video Unavailable)

Sept. 11, 2016 – Christian Education Rally Sunday              Text:  2 Peter 3:14-18

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

There was a little elementary school child who took a test on human anatomy and failed it.  She was the only one in the class who failed the examination.  This is how her test read:  “The human body is composed of three parts:  the branium, the borax, and the abominable cavity.  The branium contains the brain.  The borax contains the lungs, the liver, and the living things.  The abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five:  a, e, i, o, and u.”

If this child is planning to be a doctor, a scientist, or a biology teacher the foundation is simply not there.  With this knowledge the goal is not going to be reached.  Our goal as Christians is our heavenly home.  Until this permanent stop in eternity we are learning more about the faith we possess.  The Lord is giving us the time, what are we doing with it?  Today is Christian Education Rally Sunday and the question is put before you – are you . . .

‘TWISTING IN THE WIND OR GROWING IN KNOWLEDGE?”

Somehow, we have this idea that our Christianity has no real relation to the realities of living.  Many approach gaining in knowledge of Scripture like the little girl who said “the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five:  a, e, i, o, and u.”

God is not impressed if we demonstrate that His Word is not important to us.  The most important literature in all the world is the Holy Bible, where God gives us the record of His mighty deeds in Christ, and where He further tells us how to live as His people down here.  One Lutheran Pastor said it this way:

“Our life is divinely planned.  God still rules the world today, just as He has guided the events of the world in all past centuries.  We cannot teach our children about the world without teaching about Him!  We dare not teach them how to live without taking His will into account.  It is wrong to give them a goal and purpose in life without giving them at the same time a knowledge of their final goal in heaven.”

During Peter’s time the people were twisting the Scripture by their misunderstanding of God’s grace.  They thought they could sin boldly because this would give further opportunities for the grace of God to be demonstrated.  Today the twisting is done by not believing in sin and certainly the fact that no one needs a Savior.  Sin boldly is still the moniker – even when sin is hidden from their eyes.  We can buy into both paths of damnation.  “I am going to do this because Christ will understand and forgive.”  Or it becomes, “I don’t want to go to worship and Bible Class and hear Pastor talking about that sin, because I don’t think it’s wrong.”  There is the sin, it has become about you.  Your mind triumphs over God’s mind and what He had the sacred writers put down on paper.  Congratulations you have just made yourself God – have fun with that!

All of this leaves us twisting in the wind, not sure where we are being carried.  This reminds me of a phone call I was once received from a member upset about something they had read.  This member rarely came to worship and never to Bible Class.  I brought them in off the ledge and reminded them we talk about the issue before them and many others in our service and Bible studies.  Unfortunately, their patterned continued.  We can’t grow in knowledge if we don’t plant ourselves where the knowledge is being dispensed.  It is not a hard concept.

The only sure way to remain on guard in the stability of salvation is to remain in all of God’s Word.  Believers keep themselves fortified in and by God’s Word so that they will not fall away.  A student once asked the president of his school if there was a course he could take that was shorter than the one prescribed, “Oh yes,” replied the president, “but it depends on what you want to be.  When God wants to make an oak, He takes a hundred years, but when He wants to make a squash, it only takes six months.”

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (v. 18a)  Martin Luther wrote on this verse:  “This teaching is not learned all at once, nor can it be understood speculatively.  It must be learned by daily use and exercise amid the temptations of the world, the devil, and the flesh, amid despair, distrust, and innumerable horrible other things.  And without these exercises it cannot be kept.  Foolish people, therefore, are taken in.  After reading one or more pages of Holy Scripture and hearing maybe one sermon, they think they have already learned this teaching of Christianity completely.  They can see that in other, lesser arts we do not immediately become masters.  Much less it can happen in this greatest teaching of all, that we immediately trust in God from the heart and despise all the perils of the world, death, and the devil.  These things cannot be learned in one day, but practice and immense exercise and a singular gift of God are required.”

You can exercise your faith here at Good Shepherd.  You are growing from the ten-minute sermons and the worship itself.  That growth of knowledge can be substantial when you add an extra hour of in-depth Bible study.  We have Sunday School, Small Group Bible study, Ladies Bible study, and this fall an Adult Instruction class for those wanting to join or as a refresher in Lutheran doctrine.  All of these opportunities help us to stand against those twisting God’s Holy Word.  Our added knowledge given through the Holy Spirit allows us to stand faithfully for the truth of God’s Word.  They help us to “take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people” as Peter reminds us in our text.  We bear witness to the Word through our lips and our lives.

Our Lord is patient and giving us time to repent.  Do we use the time allotted to us to take sin and salvation seriously?   Do we twist in the wind by neglecting growth in God’s Word?  Daily repentance is what we need.  The patient Lord is working through Word and Sacrament to restore fallen sinners and to strengthen them in the stability of their salvation.  “To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” (v. 18b)

Amen.

Bulletin Announcements

September 25, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Amos 6:1: “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion. . . .”  The Book of Amos is a warning to God’s people who have been given great material wealth.  As Jesus Himself mentions, material blessings can turn into temptations – chiefly the temptation to think of ourselves as self-sufficient and independent.  What does Amos suggest as a way to combat this temptation?  First off: faith in the Lord and dependence upon Him!  And if our faith is right we will want to follow the rest of Amos’s instructions: to bless the poor with our alms and to make sure the Lord’s House is properly cared for. In other words: to align our actions with God’s priorities and put others ahead of ourselves.

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS, meeting in the basement at 9:15 a.m. continues a DVD based study: “Jesus – Legend of Lord?”  The class features LC-MS Author and Scholar Dr. Paul Maier discussing History and Archaeology and how it all fits with the Holy Scriptures.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL students study Deborah, one of the Old Testament judges.  Through Deborah, Barak, and Jael, God brought about victory for His people and freed them from cruel oppression; through Christ’s death on the cross, God brought about our victory and freed us from sin, death, and the devil.  Parents could ask, “How did God use Deborah to help His people?  How does God help His people today?”

THE ADULT INSTRUCTION CLASS for this week is being moved to Tuesday, September 27th at 7:00 p.m.  The class meets in the Conference Room next to the church office.

PASTOR APPRECIATION SUNDAY:  On Sunday, October 9th, we will celebrate Pastor Appreciation Sunday.  This year is the 25th Anniversary of Pastor Lueck’s Ordination.  A potluck dinner is scheduled following the 10:30 worship service.  There are sign-up sheets on the table in the narthex. Please put your name, how many will be attending and what you will be bringing to share.

PORTALS OF PRAYER:  The October – December 2016 Portals of Prayer are available on the book rack located in the narthex.  Pick up your free copy today!

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SCHOOL KITS:  It’s that time again for the LWML’s Project Lutheran World Relief Health Kits.  We need your help in filling the Health Kits with the following items:  36 Bars of Soap; 6 Toothbrushes; 36 Fingernail Clippers; and 18 Combs (No picks please).  Any questions please see or call Joann Hart (309) 310-9205.  Thank you for your help!

YOU ARE INVITED:  Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Eureka is having their Annual Hog Roast this coming Saturday, October 1st, from 4-7:00 p.m.  Pastor Lueck has two complimentary tickets to hand out if you are interested.

A WOMEN’S RETREAT, sponsored by LWML CID, will held at the Camp CILCA Christian Growth Center on Friday, October 7th and Saturday, October 8th.  More Information and Registration Forms are available on the table in the narthex.  Reservation deadline is this coming Friday, September 30th.

YOU ARE INVITED:  On Saturday, October 15th, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Christ Lutheran Church of Normal is hosting Dr. Paul Maier, Lutheran author, theologian and college professor.  Our Sunday Adult Bible Class is currently studying one of Dr. Maier’s presentations.  On the 15th, he will speak on “Defending the Faith” and “Christianity and The Competition”.  The cost is $15.00 and includes lunch.  Please call (309) 452-5609 or email: clcms@frontier.com to make your reservation.  The deadline to sign-up is Friday, October 7th.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “The Only Way To Live: By Faith!” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4.  God cares about you, listens to you, and answers your difficult questions with grace and compassion.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her home # is (309) 661-6522; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Bulletin Announcements

September 18, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 16:8: “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.”  The sons of this world know that they should use their wealth wisely to provide for their future.  Shouldn’t we “sons of light” know that the wealth God has allowed us to manage should be managed for God’s purposes in roles He has given us to play in Church, home, and society?

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS, meeting in the basement at 9:15 a.m. continues a DVD based study: “Jesus – Legend of Lord?”  The class features LC-MS Author and Scholar Dr. Paul Maier discussing History and Archaeology and how it all fits with the Holy Scriptures.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL students study “The Fall of Jericho.”  We are reminded that God is our mighty fortress who delivers us from the false walls of our sin and saves us in the true Joshua, (Jesus) that we might become and remain His people.  Ask students,  “What did the people of Jericho think their wall (fortress) would do for them?  What does God our Fortress do for us?”

TODAY 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 or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

ADULT INSTRUCTION CLASS begins tomorrow, Monday, September 19th at 7:00 p.m.  The class runs ten weeks and lasts about an hour.  This 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 him at (309) 838-0306 or email him at revbci@yahoo.com.

LUTHERAN WOMEN MISSIONARY LEAGUE ZONE RALLY:  The Fall Rally for the LWML Bloomington Zone will be held here at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Thursday, September 22, 2016, at 8:30 a.m.  Our Redeemer Lutheran Church is also assisting us with this Rally.  Our speaker will be Reverend Terry Strom from Trinity Lutheran Church.  There will be an ingathering for the Home Sweet Home Mission of canned goods, boxed food items, etc.  If you have any questions please see or call Luanne Huth (309) 829-6897.

THE LADIES MORNING BIBLE STUDY resumes this coming Tuesday, September 20th at 9:30 a.m. at  church.  We will begin the morning with Fellowship and light refreshments.  Our study will be on Chapter 1: “The Parable of the Sower” from the new book.  If you would like to know more about our Ladies Morning Bible Study or would like to join the Study, please contact Jeannette Ross at (309) 662-4622.

GOOD SHEPHERD’S BLOOD DRIVE:  Online scheduling is now available for Good Shepherd’s Blood Drive.  The gift of life can be given on Tuesday, September 20th, from 2-6:00 p.m. in the church basement.  Go to: redcrossblood.org and enter in your zip code, then follow the prompts.        You may also sign-up on the table in the narthex.  Thank you for helping your fellow man/woman who need this God given resource.

PASTOR APPRECIATION SUNDAY:  On Sunday, October 9th, we will celebrate Pastor Appreciation Sunday.  This year is the 25th Anniversary of Pastor Lueck’s Ordination.  A potluck dinner is scheduled following the 10:30 worship service.  There are sign-up sheets on the table in the narthex. Please put your name, how many will be attending and what you will be bringing to share.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SCHOOL KITS:  It’s that time again for the LWML’s Project Lutheran World Relief Health Kits.  We need your help in filling the Health Kits with the following items:  36 Bars of Soap; 6 Toothbrushes; 36 Fingernail Clippers; and 18 Combs (No picks please).  Any questions please see or call Joann Hart (309) 310-9205.  Thank you for your help!

YOU ARE INVITED:  Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Eureka is having their Annual Hog Roast on Saturday, October 1st, from 4-7:00 p.m.  Pastor Lueck has two complimentary tickets to hand out if you are interested.

A WOMEN’S RETREAT, sponsored by LWML CID, will held at the Camp CILCA Christian Growth Center on Friday, October 7th and Saturday, October 8th.  More Information and Registration Forms are available on the table in the narthex.  Reservation deadline is Friday, September 30th.

YOU ARE INVITED:  On Saturday, October 15th, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Christ Lutheran Church of Normal is hosting Dr. Paul Maier, Lutheran author, theologian and college professor.  Our Sunday Adult Bible Class is currently studying one of Dr. Maier’s presentations.  On the 15th, he will speak on “Defending the Faith” and “Christianity and The Competition”.  The cost is $15.00 and includes lunch.  Please call (309) 452-5609 or email: clcms@frontier.com to make your reservation.  The deadline to sign-up is Friday, October 7th.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Unlimited Patience—Almost” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from 1 Timothy 1:15-16.  In this life the Lord of perfect patience invites sinners to faith and forgiveness.  But remember, it is an invitation for this life only.  Reverend Dr. Ken Klaus is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her home # is (309) 661-6522; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Bulletin Announcements

September 11, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 15:2: And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”  Thanks be to God: Jesus receives us sinners!  What the Pharisees can’t understand, we praise with all our being: the grace of God.  We live by that grace and the more of it we receive, the more we will want to conform ourselves to the image of our generous and gracious Lord.  Knowing the Lord and trusting Him come first…and the desire to imitate Him can’t help but follow!

THE ADULT BIBLE CLASS, meeting in the basement at 9:15 a.m. continues a DVD based study: “Jesus – Legend of Lord?”  The class features LC-MS Author and Scholar Dr. Paul Maier discussing History and Archaeology and how it all fits with the Holy Scriptures.

TODAY IN SUNDAY SCHOOL:  At the Jordan River, led by Joshua, Israel leaves the desert in this week’s Sunday School lesson “Entering the Promised Land.”  In Baptism, led by Christ, we leave behind the desert of sin, death, and Satan so we may enter into the promised land of heaven.  Parents might ask, “What did the Israelites create to remind them of their crossing into the Promised Land?  What do you have to remind you of your Baptism?”

TODAY we will take our monthly Door Offering for Seminarian Jacob Hercamp.  He is studying at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN.  Jacob is married and has one child.

THE FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE is “DECORATION DAY”. It will be shown this coming Friday, September 16th, at 6:30 p.m.  A debt of honor becomes a bridge to freedom in this powerful, life-affirming winner of two Golden Globes for Best Drama and Best Actor, James Garner.  As two friends are forced to confront their own personal ghosts from the past, they will learn the true meaning of friendship and find the power of forgiveness in this unforgettable lesson in courage and love.  Join us for a great movie and a good meal in air-conditioned comfort.  There is plenty of room and plenty of food.

LUTHERAN WOMEN MISSIONARY LEAGUE ZONE RALLY:  The Fall Rally for the LWML Bloomington Zone will be held here at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on September 22, 2016, at 8:30 a.m.  Our Redeemer Lutheran Church is also assisting us with this Rally.  Our speaker will be Reverend Terry Strom from Trinity Lutheran Church.  There will be an ingathering for the Home Sweet Home Mission of canned goods, boxed food items, etc.  The cost for the Rally is $12.00.  All women are invited.  Reservations can be made by contacting Luanne Huth at (309) 829-6897 by this coming Wednesday, September 14th.

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 or you may call her at (309) 838-9868.

ADULT INSTRUCTION CLASS will begin on Monday, September 19th at 7:00 p.m.  The class runs ten weeks and lasts about an hour.  This 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 him at (309) 838-0306 or email him at revbci@yahoo.com.

THE LADIES MORNING BIBLE STUDY resumes this month on Tuesday, September 20th at 9:30 a.m. at  church.  We will begin the morning with Fellowship and light refreshments.  Our study will be on Chapter 1: “The Parable of the Sower” from the new book.  If you would like to know more about our Ladies Morning Bible Study or would like to join the Study, please contact Jeannette Ross at (309) 662-4622.

GOOD SHEPHERD’S BLOOD DRIVE:  Online scheduling is now available for Good Shepherd’s Blood Drive.  The gift of life can be given on Tuesday, September 20th, from 2-6:00 p.m. in the church basement.  Go to: redcrossblood.org and enter in your zip code, then follow the prompts.        You may also sign-up on the table in the narthex.  Thank you for helping your fellow man/woman who need this God given resource.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SCHOOL KITS:  It’s that time again for the LWML’s Project Lutheran World Relief Health Kits.  We need your help in filling the Health Kits with the following items:  36 Bars of Soap; 6 Toothbrushes; 36 Fingernail Clippers; and 18 Combs (No picks please).  Any questions please see or call Joann Hart (309) 310-9205.  Thank you for your help!

A WOMEN’S RETREAT, sponsored by LWML CID, will held at the Camp CILCA Christian Growth Center on Friday, October 7th and Saturday, October 8th.  More Information and Registration Forms are available on the table in the narthex.  Reservation deadline is Friday, September 30th.

YOU ARE INVITED:  On Saturday, October 15th, Christ Lutheran Church of Normal is hosting Dr. Paul Maier, Lutheran author, theologian and college professor.  Our Sunday Adult Bible Class is currently studying one of Dr. Maier’s presentations.  On the 15th, he will speak on “Defending the Faith” and “Christianity and The Competition”.  The cost is $15.00 and includes lunch.  Please call (309) 452-5609 or email: clcms@frontier.com to make your reservation.  The deadline to sign-up is Friday, October 7th.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “Be Careful Who Sings Your Praises” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Luke 16:1-15.  God invites us to take all that He gives us and then put it to work for others.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her home # is (309) 661-6522; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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Bulletin Announcements

September 4, 2016

THOUGHTS ON STEWARDSHIP:  Luke 14:33: “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”  None of what we have is ours – it all belongs to God.  That is the foundation of Christian stewardship.  What we have been given is to be used for God’s purposes according to our callings in home, Church, and society.  As we learn to leave generously in these callings, we renounce our ownership of our wealth.  It’s not “ours,” it’s His; God owns, we manage for the furtherance of His goals.

NEXT SUNDAY, September 11th, will be our Christian Education Rally Sunday with a special order of Worship.  We will also install Sunday School Teachers and Officers.  May God Bless our involvement in the Christian Education programs offered at Good Shepherd.  Also, next Sunday, will be the beginning of our monthly Door Offering for our seminary student.  This year it will be Mr. Jacob Hercamp.  Jacob is married and they recently had their first child.  He is studying at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN.

THE LWML will meet this coming Tuesday, September 6th at 9:00 a.m.

FROM THE OFFICE:  As of this past Tuesday, August 30th, Pastor, Toni, Karson, and Holden will no longer have their land line phone (309) 821-0512.  Pastor can be reached on his cell phone (309) 838-0306 or at church (309) 662-8905.  If he is unavailable, please be sure to leave a message and he will get back to you.  You can also text Pastor if you have something that doesn’t need a response (he’s trying to go to his grave having not texted!)  For an emergency contact or text response you can reach Toni (309) 530-8666. Pastor’s e-mail: revbci@yahoo.com is another point of contact and he does respond to those!  A moment of silence as we leave this piece of Americana behind – “Sarah, get me Sheriff Taylor.”

GOOD SHEPHERD’S BLOOD DRIVE:  Online scheduling is now available for Good Shepherd’s Blood Drive.  The gift of life can be given on Tuesday, September 20th, from 2-6:00 p.m. in the church basement.  Go to: redcrossblood.org and enter in your zip code, then follow the prompts.        You may also sign-up on the table in the narthex.  Thank you for helping your fellow man/woman who need this God given resource.

FROM THE OFFICE:  If your son or daughter is going away to college or they no longer live at home, please fill out an Information Sheet located on the table in the narthex.  As their church home, we like to stay in contact during these important years by sending them Pastor’s Sermon and the monthly Church Newsletter.  Please return the form to Sandy in the church office when completed.  We lift our young people up in prayer as their spiritual journey continues.

LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF SCHOOL KITS:  It’s that time again for the LWML’s Project Lutheran World Relief Health Kits.  We need your help in filling the Health Kits with the following items:  36 Bars of Soap; 6 Toothbrushes; 36 Fingernail Clippers; and 18 Combs (No picks please).  Any questions please see or call Joann Hart (309) 310-9205.  Thank you for your help!

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.

TODAY is the annual Camp CILCA Chicken Fry and Auction!   The day begins with worship at 10:30 a.m.  Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with the live Auction beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Auction items include quilts, gift baskets, homemade fudge, gift cards, and a picnic table hand-decorated by the 2016 High School Week campers and counselors.  Thirty plus campsites are available for tents, trailers, and RV’s.  Join other Camp CILCA supporters for a weekend of camping and fellowship.  If you would like to donate an item for auction, please contact the Camp office at (217) 487-7497.

A WOMEN’S RETREAT, sponsored by LWML CID, will held at the Camp CILCA Christian Growth Center on Friday, October 7th and Saturday, October 8th.  More Information and Registration Forms are available on the table in the narthex.  Reservation deadline is Friday, September 30th.

THE LUTHERAN HOUR:  “There’s No Other Friend Like Jesus” is the topic for next Sunday.  The sermon text will be from Luke 15:1-10.  We befriend, love, and show care for other people because Jesus loved, befriended, and saved us.  Reverend Dr. Gregory Seltz is the speaker.  Hear this Sunday’s message on the Lutheran Hour on WGN (720) at 6:00 a.m.; WJWR (104.7 FM) and WJWR (90.3 FM) both on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  Also, if you can receive Lincoln, IL radio station WLLM (1370 AM) the program is broadcast two times on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Tune in!  You can also listen to The Lutheran Hour on your personal computer at RealAudio, www.lhm.org.

PRAYER CHAIN:  If you have a prayer request please submit them by email to Mary Anne Kirchner at makirchner@yahoo.com or you may phone a Prayer Request to Mary Anne; her home # is (309) 661-6522; her cell phone# is (309) 532-2582.  The Prayer Request box is on the table in the narthex for any written requests.

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