Life Notes

“When Trapped by Darkness”
Some weeks are like that, aren’t they? Tragic accidents, emotional challenges, betrayal, lost loved ones, confusion, illnesses, loneliness and despair bring darkness. Perhaps we, perhaps family, perhaps friends are threatened by darkness. Darkness that sucks us in, obscuring our sight, causing rationality and systems to shut down. There we are trapped by a heavy shroud that mockingly, as the raven quotes, “Nevermore.” Nevermore will there be hope in your life, nevermore will you have joy, nevermore will you have purpose and a reason to live.

How do we avoid the trap of darkness and serve as a lantern holder for those who see no way out? How do we address the lie of nevermore with truth of life? We look to the light of the world, to Jesus.

“…. Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12. Through the Word we are instructed, encouraged and strengthened so we can say with the blind beggar after Jesus healed him, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:25. By God’s grace, darkness is erased. We are led out of the trap of darkness by His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9.

Question of the week: How often is it recorded in the Scriptures that Jesus prayed or gave a blessing? (7, 15 or 25 times)

Answer: Jesus prayed often. Twenty five times are recorded in the Gospels.

LifeCenter Update
Another busy week at the LifeCenter. More windows have been installed by our own crew. Soon the building will have temporary doors and we will be able to “lock up” the building in the evening. Large beams donated by Hughes Bros. for an exterior cross have been delivered by the Lucas Mohrman hauling company. The Center for Liturgical Arts from Concordia University sent a team that is helping with direction on the design and placement of the cross and signature. Our new address is 200 Fletcher Avenue.

Life Notes

In His Presence – God Is Here
As followers of Jesus, intellectually, we know we are always in God’s presence. Since God is present everywhere, when we talk about seeking or wanting to be in the presence of God, we are really talking about perceiving His presence, becoming aware and open to recognize His presence. How do we strengthen that feeling, that confidence that we are His child and always in His care and under His protection? The testimony of the Scriptures, as men were inspired to write by the Spirit, teach and instruct us about God. As we learn and know the identity of the Triune God, the tuning in process sharpens and the spiritual signal is strengthened.

In the series we complete Sunday, we will be led by Scripture to witness His majesty and come to a closer presence with God as Scriptures make clear. God is always with us. Our doubt, our ignorance, our self-worship clouds our vision, but God is still there. Nature testifies to God’s presence. The Word identifies the nature and identity of God. Knowing God, we feel His presence, are strengthened with His power, protected by His armor and filled with the breath of life.

Question of the week: Luke writes his Gospel addressing it to and for the benefit of a man called Theophilus. Who was Theophilus?

Answer: Theophilus is the name or honorary title of the person to whom the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles are addressed (Luke 1:3, Acts 1:1). Both Luke and Acts were written in a refined Koine Greek, and the name “????????” (“Theophilos”), as it appears, means friend of God.

LifeCenter Update
It was a busy week at the LifeCenter. Windows have been installed and sidewalks are now in place. Large beams donated by Hughes Bros. for an exterior cross have been delivered by the Lucas Mohrman hauling company. The Center for Liturgical Arts from Concordia University sent a team that will offer direction on the design and placement of the cross and signature.

Life Notes

In His Presence – God Calls
If it is true that we are always in God’s presence, what are the implications of that? Since God is present everywhere, when we talk about seeking or wanting to be in the presence of God, we are really talking about the realization of God’s presence, the perceiving of His presence, becoming conscious of His presence. When Peter was an eyewitness of Christ majesty on the holy mountain (2 Peter 1:18) Peter, along with James and John, heard God the Father speak and saw Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah. Peter was moved in a transcendental manner.

What did he think about what had happened before his eyes? Peter wrote “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. … for we were with him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18.

With Jesus, with God on that holy mountain, Peter’s call was strengthened. As Christ identity became clearer, Peter’s identity became clearer. When we recognize God’s voice, His call, our lives, our testimony, our walk becomes as God has planned and desires.

Question of the week: Why was it a common expectation of the Jews that Elijah would return to them?

Answer: Elijah did not die but was taken directly into heaven and the prophet Malachi writes that Elijah would return. Malachi 4:5.

Life Notes

In His Presence
What does it mean to be in God’s presence? If it is true that we are always in His presence, what are the implications of that? Since God is present everywhere, when we talk about seeking or wanting to be in the presence of God, we are really talking about the realization of God’s presence, the perceiving of His presence, becoming conscious of His presence. Peter writes that he was an eyewitness of Christ majesty on the holy mountain. 2 Peter 1:18. There Peter, along with James and John, heard God the Father speak and saw Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah.

Peter was confused on that day of the Transfiguration of Christ. But with the continued presence and teaching of Christ, witnessing Christ’s death and resurrection and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter would faithfully report, “we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”

In the series we begin Sunday, we will be led by Scripture to witness His majesty and come to a closer presence with God as we hear how God appears.

Question of the week: On the day that Christ was transfigured, what did God the Father say?

Answer: “… and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.'” Mark 9:7b.

Update on our LifeCenter
Check out the progress that is being made, talk with Luke Renken and consider signing up with the “hands on team” that is completing the smaller building projects. Our new address is 200 Fletcher Avenue.