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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tim Tebow gives selflessly for others...similar to Jesus.

No matter what you have heard in the main stream media.  This video shows the true nature of Tim Tebow and his selfless giving of himself to help others.  His statement of "Love Jesus and Love Others" is very inspirational.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

10262014 Reformation Sunday (Observed)

Sermon Audio

October 26, 2014
What is our legacy?
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

            Last Sunday as I sat in the Sherman Theater, our Film of Faith entitled, The Ultimate Life challenged me.  It wasn’t the connection to The Ultimate Gift and the twelve gifts that Jason Stevens learned about.  It wasn’t learning the back story of how Red Stevens had built an oil empire with an express goal of being a billionaire.  It wasn’t the love story of Hannah and Red because of a chance encounter on a street in rural Texas.  What impacted me most was the statement that Hamilton, the man who was clinging to life itself after being hit on the 205 on his way to eat Christmas dinner with his mother challenged Red Stevens with as he lay in the hospital bed after receiving the donation of Red’s kidney.
          Hamilton said after acknowledging Red had accomplished his goal and dream of being a ‘billionaire’, “your legacy, your legacy is your family”.  Up to that point in Red’s life, money and being a billionaire was the only thing that mattered.  Red had sacrificed his family, relationship with his wife and children and the clearest impact he could have in the world after he was gone all on the altar of the almighty dollar.  The question that I asked myself thinking about myself and Emmanuel Lutheran church was, “What is our legacy?”

Today we stand at a crossroads in history here at Emmanuel.  We need to ask ourselves this question that will have lasting effects, not only upon our church, but our relationship with one another, with our community and even with our world.  We need to ask ourselves today “What is our legacy?”

Martin Luther stood up on October 31, 1517 and clearly spoke the words that changed history and the world when he uttered, “Here I Stand, I can do no other”!  This was the legacy that not only sent shock waves around the world, but clearly changed the landscape of the church and set in motion the Protestant Reformation.  The protest that Luther had was over the abuses that were occurring in the Catholic Church.  The Legacy impact he had we feel even today.  Because of Martin Luther standing up to the Pope, the Cardinals and the Catholic Church we gather here today.  Outside of our church on our front lawn is not a monument, but the legacy that Luther stood up for, our sign that calls us Emmanuel Lutheran Church.

The legacy we live does not begin with Luther, but connects us through Martin Luther to Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ stood in the temple and cleansed it because of the abuses that were occurring in His Father’s house.  Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice of dying on the Cross in order that we might live and have eternal life.  Jesus Christ legacy was to enter into the world in a lowly manger, live as a lowly carpenter’s son, teach the truth about His Father and die on the Cross of Calvary to set us free.  We are Jesus Christ’s legacy, passed down by the Gospel writers, inspiring Martin Luther to return to the Gospel of Salvation and which we here today gather to celebrate with our remembering the Reformation.

But the question still remains, “what is our legacy?”  What will Emmanuel Lutheran Church be remembered for?  Will it be our being a church that was built by the founders blood sweat and tears only to fall in ruin?  Will Emmanuel be known in our community as a closed group of people?  Or will our legacy be different?

Jesus Christ wants our legacy to be measurable, meaningful and to matter for us and for our community.  This was why Jesus Christ was born in a manger, walked the desert of the Middle East, ministered to the people He met along the way and made His way to Jerusalem to die for you and for me on the Cross of Calvary.

What is Jesus calling us to?  To measure our legacy, not by how much money we give or have at the end, but the impact we have with the money God has entrusted to each of us.  As Jim Stovall wrote in the Ultimate Gift, “In the end, a person is only known by the impact he or she has on others.”

Our lives have meaning, not only to the parents that brought us into this world, but especially to our God Who redeems us.  Stovall said, “If we can learn how to live one day to its fullest, our lives will be rich and meaningful.”  We are each given every day of our lives to live to its fullest and “be the church” and fulfill our legacy.

For in our fulfilling our legacy, our lives will matter.  Do you think Martin Luther from the day he began his studies to be a lawyer knew he would ultimately leave law school, enter a monastery and end up saying, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”  Probably not, but our legacy like Martin Luther’s is extremely important for the people that we meet, it will matter in the eternal scheme of things.  All because God is working through each and every one of us in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be shared, here in these four walls, when we pass through the doors of the church and each and every time we tell what Jesus Christ has done each of us and for all of mankind.

So I want each of you to ask yourself today, as a child of the Reformation, a saint of Emmanuel, redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.  “What is your legacy going to be?”  AMEN.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

If Christ is not at the center, we will fail!!!

This is the story of two people who married for all the wrong reasons....then...divorced....then found Christ and married for all the right reasons!!!  Jesus Christ at the center of their relationship!!!

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10192014 Eighteenth Sunday After Trinity

Gospel Audio
Sermon Audio

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

            Last week we had before us a fan and an extension cord to clearly demonstrate how we need to be connected to the power of God here in the church.  God in a very clear way connects to us not only by His Word proclaimed from the pulpit and lectern, but also through what we celebrate today from around the altar in the Lord’s Supper.  Thus, I have before us a chalice and ciborium.

Contained in the chalice is the wine which is the Blood of Jesus Christ and in the ciborium is the host or Body of Jesus Christ.  These two elements, Bread and Wine are the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ from which we receive the means of grace and salvation that God is offering us today.  We come to church to receive from God forgiveness in the absolution declared to us after our confession and from the altar the gift of eternal life and salvation from Jesus Christ.  Our coming for communion is all about relationship with God.

God is calling us into a clearer and more vibrant vertical relationship with Him.  A relationship where we walk with Him and talk with Him and unload our burdens upon Him.  The 23rd Psalm is a perfect example of the relationship we can have with God.  Not only God bearing our burdens, but God preparing a table for us.  And this table is not only for us, but also the vertical side of the relationship of and between men and women with each other here in the church and in our daily lives.  There are times where our relationships not only are stressed and strained, but especially heavy burdens.  Whether by our words or actions we create a hostility that is harmful and the opposite of the love of Christ.  But because of Jesus Christ and through His influence and unconditional love for all of us, we can change and love one another in our daily lives.  As the Church of Jesus Christ and the saying we heard last week of “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”, we can be united in one fellowship as the differing members of the Body of Christ that we are.  Yet we also need to ask and answer the question of our unity in the Spirit with “How are we to do it, ‘be the church’ here at Emmanuel?”

We here at Emmanuel are united in a fellowship with God and one another that will never fail.  We do at times disagree, sometimes with great vigor and conviction, but God’s fellowship that we are a part of and baptized into through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism will never fail.  Our fellowship is biblical, in that Paul in 1st Corinthians (1:9) says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Our fellowship not only is with God, but with one another since we are coheirs with Jesus Christ and our fellowship will not fail.  We who gather here today, have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ in our Baptism.  So we here in the church are united in a fellowship of believers that will not fail, because it is built around and upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is calling us by name and desires to have a personal relationship with each and every one of us.

The relationship God through His Son Jesus Christ is calling us to begins with our hearing the Word of God, our believing that God died for us and our confessing our sins and then being baptized.  We then can come like we will today to receive the precious Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior from the altar.  It is through our eating His Body and drinking His Blood that we connect with Jesus Christ and one another in a common confession of faith.  And this also reinforces the personal relationship that God has with each and every one of us through our baptism into Jesus Christ as His children.

In our being baptized into Jesus Christ, life, death and resurrection, we are changed, because Jesus Christ lives within each of us.  We are new creatures redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the World.  We in being baptized no longer are in bondage, but set free to be the people of God He calls us to be.  We are transformed and converted into the saints that God has made and enabled each of us to be the church of Jesus Christ.  As was said at our last council meeting, we have the opportunity to ‘be the church’.

God wants us to have the fellowship of the saints while gathered here on earth.  This is why we have church to be fed with His Word and His Sacrament of His Body and Blood and enabled and encouraged to go and “be the church” for all the people that we meet.  In one sense the church is like a gas station, like the Co-Op or Casey’s, where we come to fill up our tanks with God’s grace and mercy for all of mankind, through Word and Sacrament so we can continue on our journey of life and share what we have been given here from the lectern, pulpit and especially the altar and share it with everyone we meet.

And this morning in the light of pure grace offered for us, God is calling us to turn the page of our relationship with Him and with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, from the old that is hurt and mired and stuck in the mud and unable to change, to the new relationship built upon the strength of Jesus Christ.  Our Sermon hymn “Rise Up, O Saints of God!” is calling us to this new relationship.  It is a hymn that paints a clear picture of God’s calling us saints to “Rise Up” and “be the church”.  Since we are in fellowship with Jesus Christ we are enabled and empowered to “be the church”.  So our “hearts with nobler zeal might burn” and be enabled to lay claim to the grace of God for each of us and lay claim to the “word of hope” that is promised and fulfilled in and for each of us by Jesus Christ.  And we are called to “rise up” and “embrace the kingdom’s task” of spreading the grace God offers us in our worship and especially in the meal we share today.  Thus we can “commit our hearts to seek the path which Christ has trod” where we can “rise up as the saints of God” and “be the church” that Jesus Christ instilled in each of us in Holy Baptism.

God is calling us to this reality because of the grace offered on Calvary for all of mankind, especially including all of us saints gathered here this morning.  Let’s ‘be the church’ and extend our hands in Christian love, service and outreach, because God sent His Son, Jesus to be in relationship with us.  May we as we leave the church today not just ‘be consumers’, but ‘be the church’ that God can use for a kingdom impact here in Goodland and for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here this morning.  Let’s begin here at and in Emmanuel and let the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of God and our love for Him and one another spread and radiate out into our community of Goodland as we “be the church”.

Let us pray, heavenly Father, You clearly want to have the personal relationship with each of us.  Enable us to daily turn to You in trust and prayer for Your will to be done in our lives.  Please heal the rifts caused by our personalities and focus each of us on what You can do through each and every one of us as members of the Body of Christ who want to “be the church”.  For Your desire is clear for each of us to trust in You and have a personal relationship with all of the saints including each of us gathered here this morning.  AMEN.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

10122014 Seventeenth Sunday After Trinity

Sermon Audio

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

Are you plugged in?
This morning I’m going to talk about connections.  Before us we have two household items that need no introduction nor explanation, but both require a connection.  Without a connection to an outlet to provide electricity these items are useless and unable to perform as designed.  [Unplug the fan] The fan as everyone knows provides the movement of air and can cool us down on a hot summer’s day.  The extension cord does exactly what it says, it extends the distance one can be away from the outlet that provides electricity.  We use them both inside and outside, but both the fan and the extension cord need to be connected to not only be useful, but fulfill their purpose as their inventor designed them.

We are in need of a connection
These two items are a perfect metaphor for we the members of the church and our need of a connection to each other and the church for the fulfillment of our purpose that God designed us to fulfill.  Paul in the Epistle reading this morning from the New Testament states clearly how we as members of the church are connected with one another in a simple saying, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”.

When we understand our connection to Jesus Christ and have faith in what He has done for us.  And our clear connection to Him through our baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection, we then can clearly understand and see our need of connection with Jesus Christ through our baptism to Him and the church.  Just as the fan needed a connection to a source of electricity, we as God’s children need the connection to each other, the church and Jesus Christ to fulfill what God calls us to do and designed us to be as members of the Body of Christ, the church, but more importantly God’s Children.

We sometimes feel disconnected
But the reality is we sometimes are and feel disconnected here in the church.  We sometimes don’t want to be or feel connected to each other and we feel we do not connect to God, nor feel connected to God when we gather together.  Just like the cord for the fan and the extension cord, we sometimes feel unplugged, sometimes from God, but also disconnected with each other.  For some being unplugged is purposeful, because of something that has happened in the church, in our lives or even with people who call our church home.  The reality is though we may feel spiritually unplugged by choice from one another or from God, we have the greatest opportunity to reconnect with God.

God is calling us to plug in
God is calling us to plug ourselves into His power and His majesty.  God wants us to be connected and Paul shows us what the connection is for each of us, in the saying, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”.  We have one Lord Who came and died in order that we might be set free.  Our faith in what God did on the Cross of Calvary connects us clearly with God all because we have been baptized into our Lord Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.  By our laying claim to our personal connection through our baptism, we are plugged into the power that God is offering us in being connected with Him.

What can we do as the church?
We like the fan when unplugged from God feel useless and cannot fulfill God’s design nor our purpose that God instills in each of us.  What can we do as the church?  [Plug fan into outlet from altar]  When we plug into the church and the power of God that comes directly from Him through His Son and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We like the fan can come alive.  We can make a difference in the community we live in, the church we gather in and as God’s agents of action and connection can be the church Jesus Christ died for on Calvary.  Today, we as the church can ask God to plug us into His power, majesty and purpose for our lives.

We need to reconnect today
Last year before Christmas, the Film of Faith our congregation sponsored was “The Ultimate Gift”, which “The Ultimate Life” our current Film of Faith is a follow up story.  “The Ultimate Gift” was a story that showed the importance of relationship, not with the world, but how Emily, one little girl that was dying knew that her mother Alexia needed someone to connect with to survive after her death.  Enter the rebellious rich spoiled kid, Jason Stevens, who only knew how to live for his own wants, needs and desires.  What Jason learned in the death of his grandfather Red Stevens wasn’t about money, but the importance of connection.

As Jason learned about each of the ‘gifts’ and the lessons that came with them, Jason met and connected with Emily and Alexia in ways that were far beyond what he could have imagined.  Jason grew into a person of character that was entrusted with far more than he could have ever imagined.  Jason in a simple relationship with a little girl and her mother found the connection and grounding he so desperately needed.  Jason found a deep connection with his grandfather Red, but also with a woman who lost her connection with her daughter, but gained the connection with Jason who helped her to learn to love and trust even in the face of death.

God wants to connect with You
We who gather here this morning may be seeking an intimate connection as well.   The connection we seek is encapsulated in the phrase from Paul, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”.  God is trying to connect with each of us.  It is as simple as plugging into God here in the church as His children.  May we today find the connection with God in our faith through our connection with Him through our baptism into His life, death and resurrection for all of mankind, including all of us saints here at Emmanuel.

Let us pray, dear God, thank You for connecting with each of us today through Your Word and Your Son Jesus Christ.  Though our connection may be hurt by loss in our lives of relationship, understanding or pain, You offer us today the opportunity to connect with You in a more intimate way through Your Son Jesus Christ.  Let this be the first of many opportunities to connect with You and trust You and Your plan for each of us and for all of us who gather here at Emmanuel.  We ask this Lord in Your most Holy and precious name of Your Son Jesus Christ.  And all of your saints join together saying AMEN!

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Monday, October 6, 2014

LCMC Annual Convention 2014 Live Broadcast

Live Broadcast of the 2014 LCMC Convention! (

markeysav on Broadcast Live Free

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Harvest America

10052014 Sixteenth Sunday After Trinity

Gospel Reading
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.
We are no different 3000 years later
In the faith based movie, Courageous, Adam, the main character encounters a reality dreaded by all parents, the loss of a child.  For Adam, a policeman who faces dangerous situations  by putting his own life on the line daily, with this more personal loss the questions were numerous and the answers were scarce, but the meaning and implication was very personal and the hurt was very tangible.  In the same way, our Old Testament lesson this morning also tells of the loss of a child to a widow woman.  And Elijah, the great prophet is expected to answer her questions of why, but also bring the woman’s son back to life.  The reality is that even Elijah knows, he cannot perform this miracle on his own, Elijah needs God.

We who gather here 3000 years later are not any different than Elijah, the widow woman or Adam from Courageous.  All of us need God, and the church especially today needs God.  But for this woman and we who gather here, we daily doubt if the church and even if God cares.

The mother was deaf because of her reality
For the grief stricken mother, dressed in clothes that are only worn for mourning, hunched over the lifeless body of her son, any words spoken by Elijah would clearly fall on deaf ears.  This woman isn’t listening, she has mentally and emotionally shut down.  Because her world, her child, lay motionless in the bed.  But Elijah knows his actions done by God through him will either break this woman’s faith or enable her to see that God does care for her and her son.

Here and now vs. eternity!
For this mother, she sees clearly the ‘here and now’, but does not understand how her present reality connects to eternity.  This woman cannot see past her grief and fear of being alone like she was before Elijah entered her life and the eternal implications.  We who gather here today are no different, our choices we make on a daily basis have eternal consequences, but we, being human, lash out at our friends, neighbors and especially our family in fear, because of the unknown or it isn’t going our way.  Whether how we will pay the farm note, put food on the table, the clothes we wear or even how we will give back to God here at church.  Our reality, the here and now, crowds out of the picture our eternal consequences and God’s potential impact.

Paul and the Ephesians
Enter Paul, and his letter to the Ephesians.  In his letter, Paul connects clearly and puts down in black and white what Elijah portrayed and lived in the sight of and for the widow and as an example for us today.  Simply Paul wants us to, not lose heart, be strengthened, you will comprehend the love of Christ, so that you will be filled with the fullness of God.  This is all about God and His promises and how God fulfills them for this mother through Elijah and even for each of us gathered here today in the name of Jesus Christ.

The role of the Spirit of God
The reason God continues to be interested in each of us today is because of God’s promises, from the Garden of Eden to the desert where this mother mourns her child to we who gather here at Emmanuel Lutheran in Goodland, KS.  The promise that God made to Adam and Eve in the Garden, the widow and to us today was to give us the Spirit of God.  God’s Spirit is inside of us through our baptism and we can find comfort in this gift from God.  But daily we doubt God.  When we are struck by the arrows that Satan loses at us, they find their mark and we easily forget about the Spirit of God, doubt the Spirit of God exists inside of us and wonder why we feel ‘alone’.  This widow was no different than any of us gathered here today and all of us especially the church need the Spirit of God today in each of our lives.

God’s Spirit Strengthen’s us
And today in the most powerful way God reaches from heaven into each of our lives and offers us His Son, Jesus Christ.  Not only does God change the playing field and landscape of our reality, he navigates us to a different truth that is fulfilled in the Spirit of God in our lives.  Just as it was no accident that Elijah came into the widows life and prophesied about her son’s birth, Elijah also had a purpose of showing the clear action of the Spirit of God by raising her son from the dead.  Today when we partake of Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood, God’s Spirit enters into each of us again to strengthen us in our daily lives.

We will comprehend the love of Christ
As God strengthens us we are enabled to see with the eyes of faith, given to us in our Baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection.  We no longer will be blinded by the devil and society or what is ‘accepted’ by those around us who only have an earthly perspective, but we through our remembering our baptism will be made new through the gift of God in Jesus Christ.  When we make the decision to come forward to partake of Jesus Christ Body and Blood around His altar this morning we will more fully comprehend the love of Jesus Christ for each and every one of us.  And this is the same love lived out by Elijah for the widow.  This event was pointing to what Jesus Christ would do on the Cross of Calvary for all of mankind nearly 1000 years later.  And we who live 3000 years after Elijah and the widow can be filled to overflowing with the love and fullness of God as was promised to us and shared for and with us in our baptism and be strengthened by God and clearly comprehend the love of Christ for each of us on a daily basis.

So what are we to be as the church?
Yet, the elephant in the room is what does this have to do with the church?  Last week I spoke of our finding purpose for our lives.  How we need to find and have a purpose for each of us.  But today, for the church where we are gathered this morning, “what are we to be as the church?”

One of my pastoral mentors loved the ocean and would spend as much time there as he could and he found a picture that represented what the church was to be.  It simply was a lighthouse with its keeper standing outside of the door of the lighthouse.  The lighthouse protecting the man from the ocean was at the center of the picture.  If you were to step back and see the full picture, a wave, not 10 feet, not 25 feet, but 75-100 feet tall was crashing into the lighthouse on the opposite side, but the keeper was unmoved.

This picture epitomizes for me what the church can and should be.  The church is a place of safety from the waves of life that crash against us.  The church is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and His Word.  And we should not shy away from engaging each other as well as the world and be a beacon of what Jesus Christ did for all of mankind and offers each of us today.  We have the opportunity to show and share the Spirit of God in our lives and be the church of Jesus Christ with a purpose which was built on the foundation of the meal we are about to share.

Our sermon hymn this morning is a favorite of mine because it reminds me of four things, We need God, God is in control, He gives us His Body and Blood and God daily offers all of us grace and mercy even though we don’t deserve it.  This is the reality that God changes for each of us on a daily basis.  God offers mercy to all of us by coming to church weekly and through our sharing the story of Elijah, the widow and her son who was raised from the dead.  God shows clearly he does care for us.  God’s care is not only from a story from 3000 years ago, but made clearly manifest for each of us today in sharing His Son’s precious Body and Blood.  In this meal God imparts to each of us the love, the truth and the reality that like the lighthouse, God is here to protect us from the waves of life.  This is a protection God offers for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning seeking God’s presence.  AMEN.

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//trial script