A lot of things are different this summer. Nothing stays the same, but the pandemic has caused a lot of frustration, a good amount of fear, and great deal of uncertainty. It's a good reminder to us that the only constant we truly have is our dear Lord and his Word.
Join us for worship every week, either at 7pm on Thursdays, 8am or 10:30am on Sundays, or online at our YouTube page. Listen to God's Word, the one thing you truly need throughout your life. Read it on your own. Look for Bible study opportunities coming this fall. God's Word is of utmost importance. We can't truly live with out it.
The Weekend of August 2,2020
As Christians, we live as wheat among weeds. Satan has sown lies and deceptions that sinful, unbelieving hearts gobble up. The Judgment is coming when the wheat and weeds will be separated. Until then, we look to God in his Word to strengthen us, guide us, and fill us with love for all, including our unbelieving neighbors. Let our prayers be filled with requests for such blessing. "Praying" is the focus of the sermon as we continue to consider the Christian faith, one word at a time.
If you know someone who would be interested in our services but does not have an internet connection, please let them know that we have DVDs available. They are ready to be picked up each week on Saturday by noon with the next day's worship service on it. They are outside the side door of church, beyond the end of the handicap ramp, in a mailbox mounted on the wall next to the door. Please have them call us at (608) 464-3212 to let us know so that we make enough copies each week. The DVDs are free.
Pentecost 9 Worship Service
Daily Devotion - Monday, August 3, 2020
Each day we post a devotion to help set our hearts on Jesus.
Back in 1963, the movie, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," premiered. It had a big, colorful, well-known cast, including Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, and Jonathan Winters. The movie is about a mad dash to find $350,000 in stolen money. Finding treasure is, of course, a common theme in books and movies. In real life, there are many people who search for treasure based on word-of-mouth stories that have been passed down through the years. Some will go to great lengths to find a treasure, and while some may pursue it because of the historical value, most people see dollar signs. But, of course, despite their spirited and often sacrificial pursuit, there are no guarantees of success.
Today's verses are best read in context, as are most things, especially Bible passages. If we go back to the beginning of the chapter, we see quickly what "IT" is that should be sought so diligently and persistently. "IT" is wisdom, the wisdom that comes from God alone, the wisdom that begins and ends with Jesus and his saving work.
Now it's personal assessment time.
How diligently and persistently are you seeking after the wisdom of God? It's so easy for those of us who are Christians to think, "I already have it. I don't need to pursue it." Such a conclusion is usually drawn by those who have pushed aside both personal time God's Word and public worship in pursuit of other things. Oh, we can say that it's not a matter of pursuing other things but, rather, simply a matter of not having the time, but that's not true. The sooner we put away the excuses, the better off we will be. And before anyone gets too bent out of shape about this statement, realize a couple of things: I'm not talking about those who have legitimate conflicts with work that sometimes keep them out of worship. But if those legitimate conflicts also become the rationale for avoiding God's Word and public worship altogether, then we've lost our way. The other point is that this call to repentance is made a person who needs to repent of many things daily, AS WE ALL DO. This isn't someone looking down his nose at others, but a brother who wants what's best for those who are his family in Christ.
We need God's wisdom more than ever. The world continues to put out so many things as good, upright, and necessary that lack wisdom. Realize that social media is not the path to wisdom. What famous people think is not the path to wisdom. We even need to weigh carefully what learned people think. Multiple doctorates do not guarantee wisdom. God's Word has the wisdom we need. So, if you haven't been in worship in a while, unless you have legitimate health concerns, it's time to come to worship. The pastors of St. Paul's are healthy and COVID free. Rumors of an outbreak at our church have been greatly exaggerated. Things are clean and sanitary. You can be as distanced from others as you would like. Masks are fashionable these days, so feel free to wear one. If you don't feel you can safely come to worship, you have a Bible (if you don't, let me known and I can get you one) and our worship services are available on YouTube and on DVD (just call to order one, then pick it up any time after noon on Saturdays; if you need delivery, let us know).
In a world seemingly spinning out of control because it follows its own wisdom, let us faithfully and persistently pursue God's Wisdom. Then we will know and understand so much more, for our good and for the good of others.
While it can be helpful to have this available during the safer-at-home order, it is something that can be used at any time, or all the time. We are used to the offering being a part of our worship service, but giving online need not take away from thoughtful, heartfelt, faithful giving. In fact, it can be an aid for it.
We have now set up online giving for those who are interested. While many of our members either aren't able to get online or prefer to use their envelopes, we understand that many people today do many transactions online and are very comfortable doing so. It's easy and convenient.
Just so you know what to expect if you use our online giving:
Clicking the link will take you to a third-party website, Faithlife.com. You can donate either with a credit/debit card or by entering your checking account info--your bank routing number and account number. There are minimal processing fees charged to us with each transaction. The fees are taken right out of the gift. Because of greater processing fees with credit/debit cards, it costs less to use your checking account than a debit/credit card. There is also an option for you to cover the processing fees yourself. You simply click a box and, for example, your $25 gift to the church becomes $25.95 in the case of a credit/debit card ($25 to the church and 95 cents in processing fees to Faithlife). Otherwise the church gets $24.05. For using your checking account, the processing fee fro a $25 gift is 56 cents. You don't have to pay the extra for the processing fees. We just want you to understand that the option is available.
If you really like technology and convenience, you can also text "Give" and then the amount you want to give, for example "Give 50" to (608) 424-2445. It will redirect you to our giving webpage to complete the offering, but after you've done it once, you can then give via text without the extra step of going to the giving webpage.
Thank you for your prayers for each other and our called workers and your continued support of our ministry.
Help Available for You
Whether it's a prayer or something else, if you need help of some kind - any kind - and you think that we can help, please call. We're here for each other. We'll do what we can and, if needed, point you in a direction where you can get help that we can't provide. (608) 464-3212.