Posts

Freedom

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Romans 14:5-9One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, yet he thanks God. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. Some of you may remember exclusively using the King James Version of the Bible and pages 5 and 15 in The Lutheran Hymnal for worship. Now, we typically use a rotation of four different worship services and have been using three different Bible translations as we examine their accuracy and readability. Which way of doing wor…

It's OK to be an OK parent

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Matthew 19:13-1513 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. A typical week in the Zarling home is four to five weeknights of soccer practices and cross country meets. This is followed by a weekend of my wife and I doing the divide and conquer technique for soccer games and high school activities. Somewhere in there, we need to squeeze in violin practices, Homecoming pictures, and Shoreland football and soccer games. What I’m describing as being typical for our family, is probably also typical for your family. As parents, we have put this tremendous pressure upon ourselves to have our children in every activity possible. We want them in club sports, grade school and high school athletic activities, band, orchest…

Love

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Romans 13:1-10Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe res…

The word of the angels

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Revelation 12:7-12 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." If you ask …

Sacrifice

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Romans 12:1-8Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. 3 For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. 4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of one’s faith; 7 if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching; 8 if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheer…

Awe

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Romans 11:33-3633 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? 35 Or who has ever first given to Him, and has to be repaid? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Twenty trillion gallons of water fell on Texas from Hurricane Harvey. Several dozen people have been killed. Over thirty thousand people have been displaced from their homes. Houses have been destroyed. Businesses are closed. Houston is under water. And, many are probably asking the question, “Why?” Some have taken to social media to say this was a result of global warming. Some have used the tragedy to score political points. Some have said that it was God’s judgment on America. What is the real answer? We want to know the reason. We demand an answer. When God does something that is beyond our understanding, we stomp …