Life Notes

“Grace Alone!” – Romans 3:23-24
By God’s grace, faith is given. By faith, life is given. Through Scripture, we have the truth that Christ was and is. Jesus said, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b-32.

The truth of the Scriptures led Luther to understanding that righteousness is not something we earn but rather what God gives us. As Paul wrote, “all… are justified by His (God’s) grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24.

Luther’s faith struggle to live the life that he believed God demanded left him hopeless. Becoming righteous was not in his capacity and drove him to a breaking point. As he read Scripture he came to understand that, although he was correct that God expected him to be righteous, he missed that God and God only gives that righteousness. Yes, God does demand that we need to be holy but holiness cannot be earned but rather it is what Christ has won for us and by grace alone we are saved.

Question of the week: What was Luther studying to be before he decided to become a monk?

Answer: Luther was studying to become a lawyer prior to his decision to enter the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt, Germany.

LifeCenter Update – 200 Fletcher Ave.
Landscaping of the building site is progressing, with the top soil re-spread and the ground now ready for seeding. Framing and other inspections are completed and insulation has been installed this past week by our work team. Flooring materials have been selected by our color team. We are now able to “lock up” the building in the evening with windows and temporary doors installed. Siding is on the way and one of the next projects. Our new address is 200 Fletcher Avenue.

Prayer Request From Missionaries Tim and Beth Heiney
Tim and Beth are missionaries in Guinea presently in the states on
leave. They report that Christians in various missions in Guinea have called for a day of prayer for the countries in West Africa that have been affected by Ebola and ask us to join them.

“As an international community here in Guinea we are setting aside Monday, October 27th to unite together as the international body of Christ to fast and pray for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
We believe that God honors the united prayers of His people. We want to see things change here and God glorified as a result. In the name of Jesus, we are praying that this virus will be halted in its tracks. Pray that the truth about this illness will spread in these places, pray for the quick and honest dispersal of aid, and pray for able personnel to help with this crisis. Pray that many people will come to know Jesus as a result of God’s hand.”

We’re asking you all to join us this coming Monday in concerted prayer for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Life Notes

“Give Me One Good Reason”
“Give me one good reason and you will convince me.” So often that statement has been made with the words hiding unbelief and cynicism. The words are thrust out with a conviction that there is no way that a good reason exists. Nothing will be able to convince the individual that he is wrong. Yet events come, vulnerability is exposed and an openness, a curiosity to find the truth, is suddenly there.

What drew, what compelled Nicodemus to come to Jesus at night to find that one good reason? Nicodemus, a Pharisee, had every reason to hate this popular rabbi who threatened his position of power, wealth, influence and belief. Yet Nicodemus was curious and honest and wanted to have an answer to who Jesus was. His words to Jesus revealed his dilemma, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” What was unsaid was, “Just give me one good reason to believe you are the Messiah.”

Question of the week: Nicodemus was a Pharisee. What was a Pharisee?

Answer: The Pharisees were one of at least four major schools of thought within the Jewish religion around the 1st century. Josephus, a Jewish commentator and historian of that time, indicates that the Pharisees received the backing and good-will of the common people, apparently in contrast to the more elite Sadducees associated with the ruling classes. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees were members of the Sanhedrin, the ruling Jewish council at the time of Nicodemus.

Update on our LifeCenter
Work continued on the parking lot and landscaping this week. Framing and other inspections are scheduled and siding is on the way. The windows and temporary doors have been installed and we are now able to “lock up” the building in the evening. Our new address is 200 Fletcher Avenue.

Life Notes

“I Don’t Have Time for That!”
How often have we said or thought that? Time is precious, isn’t it? When was it that you had time to burn, with nothing to do? Doing time or waiting for a long anticipated event is excruciating, minutes go slowly by. Yet the golden moments slip by too quickly.

What can we do? If we could freeze time, there would be no life. Yet, live life and it slips away. So we choose what we have time for and we don’t.

How do we choose what we have time for? Solomon, the teacher in Ecclesiastes, tells us all life is vanity, a mist and striving after the wind. But wait, Solomon says there is one exception. Life is not all vanity when we obey God. He writes, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” Eccl. 12:13.

The psalmist adds, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12. Wisdom comes from God that clarifies, charts our path and, yes, tells us how to use our time.

Question of the week: Why do we have 24 hours in a day?

Answer: It appears that the Egyptians were responsible for the 24 hour day. The Egyptians were fond of counting in base twelve (instead of base 10 which is commonly used today.

Update on our LifeCenter
Rock has arrived at the LifeCenter and so has the rain. Finishing the parking lot and landscaping will have to wait untill next week. The work crew installed the rest of the windows and the temporary doors, and we are now able to “lock up” the building in the evening. Large beams donated by Hughes Bros. for an exterior cross have been delivered. 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.