Searching for....

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Letter from a Pastor's Daughter....

This is the best article from a Pastor's Daughter to and for the congregation!!

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Readings for August 31, 2014

Here is the link for the readings for August 31, 2014

We look forward to seeing you Sunday!!!

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Monday, August 18, 2014

Readings for August 24, 2014 One Year Lectionary

Here is the link for the readings for August 24, 2014

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Sunday, August 17, 2014

08172014 Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Sermon Audio

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

“Are you ready for some football?”  This iconic song and statement means one thing, sports are starting back up! Whether it is football, the coming of the playoffs in baseball as well as the beginning of school, it is certain that we will watch commercials advertising the sports and showing the stars of the different sports.  Currently the NCAA is in talks to pay college athletes for using their likeness on posters and other advertising, because kids look up to these athletes and see them as the model and example.  But the reality and question we here in the church need to address is, who do we look to as an example?

Clearly, there are probably three distinct groups that we look to in our daily lives.  They include our parents, our teachers and even the professionals that we pay lots of money to go and see, or sit in our living rooms and dedicate our Saturday’s and Sunday afternoons to watch on television.  But what do these three groups provide as a model for us?

Certainly our parents are clear examples of people we want to emulate.  Recently there was a clear expression of why we look to parents to emulate by a mother who was diagnosed with cancer.  But her cancer as well as the situation wasn’t normal.  She found out she had cancer after she learned she was pregnant.  Instead of sacrificing the child, which would have been publically acceptable, she chose to carry the child to term, allow the cancer to continue to grow along with her child in the womb and ultimately give birth at full term, before she began treatment for the cancer.  This woman now has been told she has less than a year to enjoy and bond with the child she would not sacrifice giving life too.  Why would we not use her as our example?

Or teachers who not only teach our children, but model for our children more during their waking hours than even parents do.  They not only are expected to provide discipline, compassion and even provide for them, but teach our children how to read, write and do arithmetic.  But even teachers model something above and beyond.  Remember both Columbine and especially Newton, Massachusetts.  There were stories told of a teacher who hid her students in the cabinets and told the gunman they were gone and sacrificed herself, in order to save the students she loved and cared for.  We have seen the impact of those tragedies, both by our redesigning our schools here in Goodland and refitting them to protect our children.  Why would we not use teachers like this woman as role models for our children?

We also not only see the professionals who play the sports, but how the media portrays them or in some cases crucifies them and their beliefs.  Having lived in Niagara Falls, New York, I watched Jim Kelly quarterback the Buffalo Bills.  But now Jim Kelly no longer on the radar or in the cross hairs of the media, fights for his life with cancer.  Yet he continues to hold his firm convictions not only as a parent but also as an advocate for children with mental and physical challenges.  Tim Tebow closer to home for us, former quarterback of the Bronco’s received more scrutiny than most for not only his upbringing, but especially his faith in God and willingness and desire to show it both on and off the field.  Why would we not want to follow the model of those who show their faith willingly and in some cases to their downfall?

No matter who your own personal example may be, each and every person has character traits that can both attract praise as well as criticism.  Yet as Christians, members of Emmanuel and especially members of the church, we have to ask ourselves the most serious question, who do we look up to as our example?

The simple answer should be Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ modelled for all of humanity not only the desire to do the Father’s will, but the willingness to sacrifice Himself because of His great love for us.  If you could have had a conversation with Paul after he had written this letter to the Corinthians, he would have plainly stated Jesus Christ was the person we need to look to most as an example for our daily lives.  Years ago the “WWJD” bracelets and key rings were the rage, but have fallen out of constant circulation.  But the reality remains, we as Christians not only can ask but look to Jesus Christ, what He was willing to do for all of mankind and know He is the best example for us today.

Paul in his letters always pointed and had his ultimate centering in and upon Jesus Christ.  Prior to his personal experience of being blinded on the road to Emmaus, Paul persecuted the underground church that followed the teachings of Jesus Christ.  But after encountering Jesus Christ, Paul preached tirelessly, through the night in order for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached and proclaimed.  Paul confessed he was not the perfect example, but Jesus Christ was and came to set us free.  Paul was not afraid to point to Jesus and we can daily look to Jesus Christ as not only our ‘true North’, but our example for each of us.

Ultimately as the church, we can and do point to Jesus Christ as the perfect example.  We see His likeness in our stained glass window above the altar.  Yet the reality remains, we even have examples here among us today that emulate and model for each of us a clear measure of sacrifice.  Whether it is the mother that speaks on behalf of and represents a departed son and continues his legacy of service in the community and making the world a better place.  Or the sacrifice many families in our community daily make of taking care of their loved ones, as they see them diminish and ultimately go to meet their maker.  Or even those who watch as their children who should have grown up and had families of their own, now have to be cared for by the very parents who gave them life.  We have examples right here among us where Jesus Christ is clearly visible and present in action and deed by the people we call brothers and sisters in Christ.

Clearly this is where we can see and individually lay claim to the example given us by Jesus Christ and know that Paul was true and correct when he said, “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

We each know people who are in need of being introduced to Jesus Christ and we as the church have the opportunity not only to introduce them, but continue to model for them who our example is in Jesus Christ.  Recently, I saw the movie “God is not Dead” and was struck by not only the profound opportunity, but clear impact one person can have upon countless lives.  But it was not the philosophy professor, nor the young man that defied everyone he held dear to defend Jesus, but it was the Pastor that for me that emulated the example we need.  Though he had the best laid plans for vacation, God used him and orchestrated the greatest opportunity and element of seeing and being an example and shoulder to cry on by many of the characters in the movie.  While he knelt at the side of the Philosophy professor, he truly understood Who his example was in Jesus Christ and what he needed to do for this man he had just met, but had been counseling people that were impacted by him.  It wasn’t make the man comfortable, but offer him the opportunity to confess Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  It crystalized for me what we need to be challenged to do as Christians, but also the church, not just be willing, but clearly be open to point to the Man Jesus Christ in all of our opportunities that daily present themselves.

We need to daily point to and introduce others to the perfect example we have that is found in Jesus Christ.  We need to be challenged to not only emulate Jesus Christ, but be His emissaries here in the church, and also and especially in our community.  And when our ‘perfect plans’ are changed, see it as our being used to not only give greatest glory to God, but used for His Glory.  For “God is faithful” and we can point to Jesus Christ as our perfect example for all of mankind that we daily encounter, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.
Save as PDF
Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Pint Sized Preacher

This is an inspiring story of how one young man STANDS for GOD!!!

As God is our witness, how have you inspired and challenged the youth that you know!

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Friday, August 15, 2014

08142014 Can you guess....

Here is the next installment of "Can You Guess"!!

Where is this at Emmanuel?  Please be very specific!

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Thursday, August 14, 2014

08012014 Can you guess answer...

We had some good guesses for our "Can You Guess" from August 1, 2014.

The closest was Joe Murray.

Here is the picture:

It is the cross from the flagon used for communion!

Check back tomorrow for another "Can You Guess"!  Share this with your friends and make a game out of it!

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Everybody has a story....

This video from Chick-fil-A is inspirational and calls the church to do better to look at people differently!

How can we the church do better?

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Here is YOUR challenge!!!

We are celebrating this!!!

Here is your challenge!!!

Invite your friends to come 'Back to Church'!!!

Emmanuel Lutheran Church
222 West 13th Street
Goodland, KS  67735

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quote from Martin Luther

This is a very interesting quote from Martin Luther:

"I will here briefly recount these articles of the Christian faith to which everyone is above all things to pay attention and hold fast.

The first is the law of God, which is to be preached so that one thereby reveals and teaches how to recognize sin (Rom. 3[:20] and 7[:7]) . . . . For this means a truly spiritual preaching of the law, as Paul says in Rom. 7[:14], and a right use of the law, as he says in I Tim. 1[:8].

Secondly, when now sin is recognized and the law is so preached that the conscience is alarmed and humbled before God's wrath, we are then to preach the comforting word of the gospel and the forgiveness of sins, so that the conscience again may be comforted and established in the grace of God, etc.

Christ himself teaches these two articles in such an order (Luke 24[:47]). One must preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins in his name. "And the Spirit (he says in John [16:8]) will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment."

—Martin Luther

Sunday, August 10, 2014

08102014 Eighth Sunday After Trinity

This sermon will be preached both at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Goodland, KS and at First Saint Paul's Lutheran Church, Burlington, CO.  I will be posting both audio's of the sermon.

Sermon Audio Goodland
Sermon Audio Burlington

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Do you remember the first time you said, “Dadda” or “Momma”.  Probably not, but your Father or Mother probably remembers clearly the sweetness of the moment.  Maybe even in your baby book they recorded the exact date, time and memory.  For our 21st Century culture and the invention of the cell phone with a camera, some parents even captured the moment on video and have shared it with their friends via Facebook, Instagram and even Youtube.  But the reality is that there are some couples who have never heard those words.  Whether it was due to infertility and the inability to have children or even parents who have lost a child due to no fault of their own before birth.  The memorable phrase of “Dadda” or “Momma” or even Paul’s phrase from our lesson “Abba, Father” tug at our heart strings.

But Paul, isn’t just talking about children calling out simple words like “Daddy”, Paul is speaking about we Christians being adopted by God.  In, through and by our baptism into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been claimed by God and as Paul says, “received a spirit of adoption as sons [and daughters]”.  We are not on the outer limits of the realm of Christianity, where God is far away, we are close and like Father and child, brought closer together and told of God’s love and shown His love in a special way.

We are shown the love of God through His Word, being proclaimed, the sacrament being celebrated, the fellowship of the saints of God, all because we are as Paul says, are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ”.  In the movie the Ultimate Gift, the heirs of the family fortune, who know how much the patriarch is worth all gathered around the table for the reading of the will.  Each of them expected to receive the bulk of his riches or a great share, because they were the ‘perfect’ children.  As the will was read, each received a small portion of the estate, but not what they wanted or felt they deserved.  We to who are Christians will receive our inheritance from God.  It will also not be what we deserve, but out of the great mercy of God and we will receive this only because we are heirs of God through our being washed with the Blood of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the World.

And as heirs we have an advocate, the Holy Spirit.  When we were baptized in the font, the Holy Spirit was given to each of us and Paul reminds us, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God”.  The Holy Spirit not only claims us, but indwells within each of us.  But we suppress the Holy Spirit.  For some it is because, that is not how we were raised or taught and it is not ‘Lutheran’, others suppress the Holy Spirit because we don’t want to be seen as a ‘Holy Roller’ or ‘Slain in the Spirit’.  But the reality is, God’s Holy Spirit indwells in each of us and we are empowered to be the children of God and heirs of the mysteries of God for the all the people of God.

It is like we have been given a check for “$1000” and we cannot just put it in the bank or use it for something we want to buy.  There are stipulations on this gift.  It must be given away.  What would most of us do?  Go to a charitable organization and give the money to them with all the fan-fare and acknowledgement that our society likes to give when a ‘big gift is given’.  But what if instead of giving it all away at once, we were required to look at this gift differently and cash it in for 1000 one dollar bills, or even better, 4,000 quarters, or even a greater challenge of 10,000 dimes.  What could we do with 10,000 dimes, but walk up and down the streets of a large city and put the dimes in the parking meters for people we do not even know?  This is exactly what God has done with and for each of us, gifted us with His Holy Spirit.  God didn’t tell us as heirs that we had to use His gift to each of us only for ourselves, but empowered each of us to use our gifts of cooking, fellowship, companionship and love for people that we know and love and share it with one another.  God has given us the greatest opportunity in our being given the Spirit of God to be the children of God and gift others with our blessings.

Nowhere is this any clearer than in the One Spark Foundation.  Daily, they share the sparks of life that impact people the most and bless people.  Here is an example from One Spark of the Holy Spirit working in one woman’s life. 

Recently, there was a mother who pulled into the drive thru at McDonald’s and she had seen a homeless man walking to the back of the parking lot to the trash dumpsters.  In the car with her was her mother-in-law and daughter.  While ordering, she added an extra dollar hamburger and fries.  Upon doing this her daughter asked why?  Simply she stated, there are many people that are not as lucky as they were and they may find someone like that.  After getting their food the woman pulled back into the parking lot and pulled up to the trash dumpster that the homeless man was now searching through for any food.  Rolling down the window the mother proceeded to get the man’s attention handed him the burger and fries.  Through the tears of gratitude and unspoken words of the homeless man, the mother knew she had made a difference, not only in this man’s life, but also the witness who was sitting in the back seat of her car.

We to, who gather here today have the greatest opportunity to be ‘led by the Spirit of God’ and be the “children of God”.  For that is what we have been baptized into and empowered to be as God’s Children who not only cry out “Abba!  Father!” but enabled by God to share our love of God with all of mankind, including those who are not here to hear and experience the Gospel of Jesus Christ through our Holy Spirit led hands and lives.  AMEN.

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Friday, August 8, 2014

08012014 Can you guess....HINT!!!

No one has guessed this week's "Can you guess..." image.

So, I am going to give a HINT!

It is used twice a month.....please commence your guesses in the comments below!

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Is this true of the church?

I received this video in my email and it REALLY has me thinking:

Take a look and "Let me know what you think!!"

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 VBS at Emmanuel Sunday Videos

Here are two videos from Emmanuel Lutheran VBS 2014 with Sky Ranch.  There were more kids during the week, but these are the kids who came on Sunday!

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

August 10, 2014 Readings

Here are the readings for this coming Sunday!  Enjoy these One Year Lectionary readings in preparation for our worship!

These are on our church blog!

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Sunday, August 3, 2014

08032014 Seventh Sunday After Trinity

Sermon Audio

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

If I were to ask about the one thing Christians don’t like talking about, what would it be?  Would it be relationships?  Would it be politics?  Would it be money or the lack there of?

Our reality is that we Christians don’t like talking about sin.  Sin is something that each of us thinks about on a daily basis, feel compelled to confess every Sunday and don’t need a reminder of by anyone, especially me the Pastor.

Paul, prolific writer of the New Testament on the other hand had no problem speaking of sin.  Just as some of us wear glasses because we need the corrective nature of a lens to see the world around us and do not share our glasses or contacts with others, even our family and close personal friends.  We who gather here today keep our glasses or contacts close to us so we can see the world around us in clarity.  We even do the same with our sin, we keep it close, because our sins are private and very personal for each of us.  Yet, Paul in stark opposite saw sin as we see glasses or contacts, something he looked through to see something greater and more powerful.  Paul talks about sin in every book and letter he wrote and looks through the lens of sin, not with condemnation for the people he is writing to, nor to us who gather here today, but with the greater vision in mind of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

In our lesson this morning Paul states, “I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.”  We are weak.  Granted living here on the high desert plain, we have to be strong and independent, but Paul is speaking of our fleshly human nature.  This is the part we do not like speaking about, the part that is close and personal to each of us like our glasses or contacts.  But like how we see things and what we look through, like our glasses, it is not what is close that we need to see.  We like Paul, need to see through our sin and our self to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Paul continues, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.”  We are free in Christ to be the children of God.  Just as the Sudanese woman who was threatened with death by her Muslim family for marrying a Christian.  She was ultimately freed from captivity and the threat of death and met with Pope Francis.  We too who gather here today are free as well in Christ.  We are set free as the Children of God and the Children of light in our righteousness won for all of us by Jesus Christ death on Calvary.  We are no longer bound by sin, but set free to be the people of God and focus with clarity and perfect vision on God, keeping Him in our sights and on our minds.

Every week we begin our service with Confession and Forgiveness.  This is where we let go of that which binds us, weighs us down and holds us back.  Symbolically when I kneel at the footsteps of the Chancel, I along with you the people of God am seeking God’s forgiveness in our corporate confession.  God hears our confession and then reminds us through the Forgiveness of Sins that we are set free.

As Paul continues, “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.”  We no longer are bound by sin, but bound to God’s gifts of grace and the benefits freely given.  We find our sanctification in Jesus Christ, Who offers Himself for us from the Cross of Calvary.  But what is sanctification?  Yes, it is one of those big theological words, but simply it is ‘our being made holy’.  And this is exactly what God does for and to each and every one of us every time we confess our sin.  God makes us holy through His sacrifice for us.

We are like the penny found on the street that is grimy and grungy.  No one wants it.  Nor does anyone want to pick it up or be near it at all.  Because it would take work to make it look pretty and used to pay for something at the store or a fast food place.  But God, unlike man, see’s through the grime, which is like our sins and weekly picks us up in our confession and shines us up in the forgiveness of sins.  God makes us new because of His sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary.  And what does God do, but send us out for circulation again.  We are continuously coming and being made new as the people of God and renewed by God for and by the “free gift of God…eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.  This is what we receive with our coming every week and being shined up and made new.

This past week, I saw a great example of this here at Emmanuel.  Three ladies came and did for the Altar ware what God does for each of us weekly.  They scrubbed the grime that had built up on the brass, shined the pieces and renewed the luster and shine of the altar ware we use in God’s house here for worship every week.  So to this morning we gather, not only seeing their elbow grease, but by our confession we can feel how God has shined up each of us to be returned to His service in the Kingdom of God.  God has picked us up and made us new in our confession and His forgiveness of us.  We can now, as the people of God shined up and made new by God’s work of sanctification, making us holy, can now go out and circulate and be God’s witness of the “free gift of God…[of] eternal life” offered for all of mankind, but especially all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Your favorite biblical character...

Please take the poll on the side bar...It will disappear on 8/8/2014 at 11:59 PM.

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Friday, August 1, 2014

Can you guess....

Can you guess....what is this from or for???

Please comment on this post with your answer.  It will be revealed in a few days.

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

Can you guess....Answer

Can you guess...Answer

This was the poem that Crystal Mays wrote for the Reformation Party in 2012!

Yes, April Mays did guess it correctly.

Check back next week for another installment.

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

//trial script