pastor-mark

“God is Our Fortress”

October 25th, 2020
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Reformation Day (Observed), October 25, 2020 Do Not Fear: The Lord of Hosts Is with Us Text: Psalm 46 Well, you may notice that today we got the red out. We have been green here for months now. We are red because today is Reformation Sunday. Reformation Day is actually Saturday. It is generally agreed


“A Setback or a Setup?”

October 18th, 2020
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Pentecost 20, October 18, 2020 A Setback for a Setup Text: Matthew 22:15–22 I ran across this on the internet. I read about a kid named Jake Olson. Shortly after Jake was born, it was discovered that he had cancer in one eye. The doctors did everything they could to save the eye, but they


Kingdom People…Kingdom Fruit…

October 11th, 2020
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Kingdom People Produce Kingdom Fruit Text: Matthew 21:43 Some places are known for who is from there, or what is harvested there, or what is made there. For example, Detroit and cars, right? Will Rogers was from Claremore, and if you go there you will find the Rogers Hotel, Rogers College, and it is in


“Conversations, Connections, Community”

October 4th, 2020
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Pentecost 19, October 4, 2020 Conversations, Connections, Community Text: Isaiah 25:6–9 Recently, I read a story of someone who became concerned that too many people today live detached lives and have no emotional connections with…well…anyone. You know, people only interacting with devices, not people. So he decided to do something about it. He reserved six


“God Wants You to Live”

September 27th, 2020
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Pentecost 17, September 27, 2020 God Wants You To Live! Text: Ezekiel 18:1–4, 25–32 What makes you happy? A giggling baby? A purring kitty? Your team winning a championship? A Chicago style pizza? Chocolate? A cold beer? How about this one: The day we turn the calendar to 2021? What makes God happy? Well, the


“It’s Not Fair”

September 20th, 2020
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Pentecost 16, September 20, 2020 Matthew 20:1 16 “It’s Not Fair!” I hear a lot of talk these days about fairness. People who live out on the west coast probably think all those fires they are dealing with are unfair. Some people think if someone makes more money than they do, that that is unfair.


“Greatest at Forgiveness”

September 13th, 2020
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Pentecost 15, September 13, 2020 “Greatest at Forgiveness” Text: Matthew 18:21–35 If I started this morning by asking, “Who/what is the greatest?” what would be your answer? Muhammad Ali? He said he was. Tom Brady? Frosted Flakes? Phil Keaggy? (guitar player) To have this discussion, we would have to say the greatest at what, right?


“Act Your Age”

September 6th, 2020
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Pentecost 14, September 6, 2020 “Act Your Age” Text: Matthew 18:1–20 For those of us who watch movies and pay close attention to the movie business, we know that the folks in Hollywood, when something becomes a big hit, will try and copy it as many times as they can, and still make money. Let


“Patience”

August 30th, 2020
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Pentecost 13, August 30, 2020 Patience Text: Romans 12:9–21 Are you patient? As we are less than a minute into this sermon, are you hoping I will just say, “Jesus loves you. Amen.” That would be a sermon for really impatient people. You know what they say about patience, “patience is a virtue.” We find


“The Keys”

August 23rd, 2020
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Matthew 16:13-20 Pentecost 12 “Being Given the Keys” Today, we are going to talk about … keys. Keys are useful things. They help us get into stuff. They help us lock up stuff. Sometimes we lock our keys up in the things the keys open. That’s not useful or helpful. And we don’t want to


“No One is Rejected”

August 16th, 2020
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Pentecost 11, August 16, 2020 None Are Rejected Text: Romans 11:1–2a, 13–15, 28–32 In recent times, there’s been a lot of discussion about race and race relations in this country. You all know why. I am not going to get into that here. There are people out there arguing that this is a systemically racist


Miracles. Simple.

August 2nd, 2020
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Pentecost 9, August 2, 2020 Miracles. Simple. Text: Matthew 14:13–21 Click Here to View Service How many pictures do you have? It occurred to me recently that the pictures on my phone had never been put in my computer or the cloud, so I did that. Had about 3100 pictures from the last 5 years.


“God is For You”

July 26th, 2020
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Pentecost 8, July 26, 2020 God Is for Us! Any Questions? Text: Romans 8:28–39 Click Here to View Service We get asked a lot of questions in our lives…right? Do you need to go to the bathroom? Is your homework done? Do you want to go to the dance? Do you want fries with that?


“Groaning”

July 19th, 2020
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Romans 8:18-25 Pentecost 7, July 19, 2020 “Groaning” Click Here to View Service A few years back, I heard a comedian say that “You know you are getting old when you cannot get in, or out of, a chair without groaning.” You know what I mean? It is a proven fact that since I turned


“There’s No Place Like Home”

July 12th, 2020
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Pentecost 6, July 12, 2020 “There’s No Place Like Home” Text: Isaiah 55:10–13 Click Here to View Service Home! For a lot of us, when we think of home we think of love and laughter, security and serenity, warmth and welcome. It is where E.T wanted to go. It is the point to baseball, going


“Need Rest?”

July 5th, 2020
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Pentecost 5, July 5, 2020 The Lord Who Gives Rest Text: Matthew 11:25–30 Click Here to View Service So how are you doing this morning? Fired up? Ready to go? Or are you a little tired? Coffee not kicked in, yet? Here is why I ask. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and


“The Hard Truth”

June 28th, 2020
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Pentecost 4, June 28, 2020 The Hard Truth Text: Jeremiah 28:5–9 Click Here to View Service Last week, when we gathered here, we talked about how sometimes we have to tell folks things they don’t want to hear. Today we are looking at the other side of the coin. Have you ever known someone who


“A Trapped Prophet”

June 21st, 2020
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Pentecost 3, June 21, 2020 The Praise of a Trapped Prophet Text: Jeremiah 20:7–13 Click Here to View Service First of all, today is Father’s Day so happy dad day to the dads here and watching at home. Have you ever had to say something to someone that they didn’t want to hear? That’s no


“Freely Receive, Freely Give”

June 14th, 2020
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Matthew 9:35-10:18 Pentecost 2, June 14, 2020 “Freely Receive, Freely Give” Click Here to View Service Next Sunday is Father’s Day, and we want to give a “shout out” to all the fathers out there. If you are thinking this is my way of reminding my kids that it is Father’s Day next week, it’s


“Jesus and Me”

June 7th, 2020
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Matthew 28:16-20 Trinity Sunday “Jesus and Me” Click Here to View Service There are some things I cannot explain. I cannot explain why a dozen is twelve, but a baker’s dozen is 13. I cannot explain how it is that in this country, we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway. I cannot


“Thirsty”

May 31st, 2020
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The Day of Pentecost, May 31, 2020 The True Water of Life Text: John 7:37–39 Click Here to View Service When was the last time you were thirsty? I mean, really thirsty. Not cutting the grass on a hot day and having/needing a beer thirsty, but worse. I am figuring none of us have been


“Trials”

May 24th, 2020
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Easter 7, May 24, 2020 Trials? Don’t Be Surprised Text: 1 Peter 4:12–19, 5:6–11 Click Here to View Service Centuries ago, the Roman Church, working with civil authorities, often had people put to death. It was common enough that we rarely remember any particular cases. An exception to that would be on July 1, 1523,


“An Inspiring View”

May 17th, 2020
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Easter 6, May 17, 2020 An Inspiring View Text: 1 Peter 3:13–22 Click Here to View Service Alex Honnold is known for free-soloing. Do you know what that is? That is climbing a rock or mountain with no ropes, no safety devices of any kind. Just your hands and feet. Alex was featured a couple


“God at Work”

May 10th, 2020
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Easter 5, May 10, 2020 Scenes of God at Work Text: Acts 6:1–9; 7:2a, 51–60 Click Here to View Service I like to watch movies. I do not think this is a secret to you. I must also admit that most of the stuff that comes out today, well, I find it lacking. I guess


“Our Good Shepherd”

May 3rd, 2020
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John 10:1-10 Easter Four “Sheep of the Shepherd” Click Here to View Service It’s Good Shepherd Sunday today. The fourth Sunday of Easter is annually observed as Good Shepherd Sunday. We love to hear about Jesus, our gentle, caring Shepherd. But if He’s my Shepherd, then I must be His sheep. Have you ever thought


“The Stranger”

April 26th, 2020
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Easter 3, April 26, 2020 The Stranger Savior Text: Luke 24:13–35 Click Here to View Service If I start today by just saying the word, “stranger,” where does your mind go from there? The Netflix show? The Billy Joel song? The phrase “stranger danger” we tell our kids to stay away from people they don’t


“The Voice of Peace”

April 19th, 2020
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Easter 2, April 19, 2020 The Voice of Peace Text: John 20:19–31 “Okay, Google, what’s the weather forecast this weekend?” Click Here to View Service “Hey, Siri, call Mom.” “Alexa, set my alarm for 7:00 a.m.” The human voice has new power! Now we don’t have to type anymore. We can talk to our devices


“He Lives!”

April 12th, 2020
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Easter 2020 Gospel Click Here to View Service The Lord is Risen! He is risen indeed! Today, on this very special day, we begin…by going back to Christmas. If you were here with us on Christmas Eve, you may recall that the focus for my message last December was on people who felt alone and


“Good Friday”

April 10th, 2020
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Good Friday The Way of Tears: Women Mourn the Savior Luke 23:26–31 Suffering and death are not something we modern Americans want anything to do with. The last thing we want at a funeral is an unseemly display of emotion. A few tears are acceptable, but none of this howling and wailing we see in


“Maundy Thursday”

April 9th, 2020
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Maundy Thursday Remorseful Tears: Jesus’ Betrayer Ends His Life Matthew 27:3–10 Click Here to View Service “What in the world has gotten into him?” That’s our response to someone’s behavior that seems suddenly out of character. Maybe a sweet, mellow person flies off the handle, lashing out at everyone in the way. Or at the


“A Dying Church”

April 5th, 2020
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Palm Sunday: Sunday of the Passion, April 5, 2020 A Dying Church Text: Matthew 26:1–27:66 Click Here to View Service The Lutheran Church is a dying church. That may not sound good, but on this, the Sunday of our Lord’s Passion, it’s worth thinking about for a few minutes. We are a dying church. We


“Peter’s Denial”

April 2nd, 2020
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Lenten Midweek 6 Guilty Tears: Jesus Is Denied by Peter Luke 22:54–62 Click Here to View Service “Bet you can’t eat just one.” Do you remember that advertising slogan from Lays potato chips? Lays was convinced you’d find their potato chips so delicious, you’d just keep popping them into your mouth. I can’t think of


“Take a Breather”

March 29th, 2020
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Lent 5, March 29, 2020 Take a Breather Text: Ezekiel 37:1–14 Click Here to View Service Today, we are going to talk about breathing. Every single time we inhale, our diaphragms contract and move downward so that the space in our chest cavity increases. The lungs then expand, air is pulled in, and with help


Midweek Lent 3 25 2020

March 26th, 2020
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Lenten Midweek 5 Garden Tears: Jesus Grieves over His Suffering Matthew 26:36–45 Click Here to View Service Was Jesus a real human being? Well, of course he was! Practically everyone believes that, right? Not so fast. The biggest doctrinal battles in the early years of Christianity were over whether Jesus was really both God and


“Shining Christ in Dark Places”

March 22nd, 2020
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Lent 4, March 22, 2020 Shining Christ in Dark Places Text: Ephesians 5:8–14   Click Here to View Service What is the last job you would want to do, the worst job you could think of?  Running a lie detector test for your least favorite politician?  Public relations director for Harvey Weinstein?  Editor for the


“Midweek March 18”

March 19th, 2020
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Lenten Midweek 4 Bowl of Tears: Jesus Reveals His Betrayer Matthew 26:17–29   A Video of the Service Betrayal—it’s one of the reasons our prisons are full. When crimes are committed by two or more people, and one of them gets caught, chances are the one who’s caught is going to betray his partners in


“Because I Said So”

March 15th, 2020
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Lent 3, March 15, 2020 Because God Said So! Text: Romans 5:1–8 Click Here to Watch Video Do you remember when you were a teenager, or a little younger, and you thought to yourself that your parents were so “unfair” and they didn’t “understand” you, so you said to yourself that when you had kids


“Our Hope and Abraham’s”

March 8th, 2020
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Lent 2, March 8, 2020 Our Hope and Abraham’s Text: Genesis 12:1–9 Click Here to Watch Video There are times in our lives when we find ourselves with little hope, or looking to hope. We hope the folks we elect this year will do right by us. We hope we will stay healthy this year.


“Jesus Beats the Devil”

March 1st, 2020
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Lent 1, March 1, 2020 Jesus Beats the Devil Text: Matthew 4:1–11 Click Here to Watch Video You may know that we have two cats. One of them has decided that it is fun to take their dish with the dry food in it and dump it on the floor. Erica has tried a couple


“Wrong Mountain”

February 23rd, 2020
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The Transfiguration of Our Lord, February 23, 2020 Wrong Mountain! Text: Matthew 17:1–9 Click Here to Watch Video A guy named Gideon Lasco, an avid mountaineer, has a Web site, “Pinoy Mountaineer.” Some years back, his group was attempting to climb Mount Malipunyo in the Philippines. Following the advice of some locals, they took what


“All or Nothing”

February 9th, 2020
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EPIPHANY 5, FEBRUARY 9, 2020 All or Nothing Text: Matthew 5:13–20 Click Here to Watch Video Are you a detail person? I am a detail guy. My sock drawer is laid out correctly…black on the left, brown in the middle, Stance on the right. My remotes in my living room, next to my comfy chair,


“40 Days After Christmas”

February 2nd, 2020
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The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord, February 2, 2020 Forty Days after Christmas Text: Luke 2:22–32 (33–40) Click Here to Watch Video It’s forty days after Christmas. Forty days for the gifts to be forgotten or broken. Forty days for the bills to sink in. And less than forty days for


“Following the Light”

January 26th, 2020
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Epiphany 3, January 26, 2020 Following the Light of the World Text: Matthew 4:12–25 Click Here to Watch Video Have you ever made a big move/a big decision without thinking about it? Impulsively? How did that work out? That is not the way I do things. I am one of those people that thinks, researches,


“Really”

January 19th, 2020
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Life Sunday Sermon 2020 Genesis 2-3; John 6 “Really” Click Here to Watch Video We are going to talk about a word today, “really.” Really. “Really” is such an interesting word. It can be used in a variety of ways. There is the “really” said as a question: “Really?” The “really” formed by gossip: “REALLY.”


“The Perfect Kid”

January 5th, 2020
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Luke 2:41 52 Second Sunday after Christmas “A Perfect Kid” Click Here to Watch Video Some of us work with and know kids better than others but think about a twelve-year-old kid you know, or think about when you were twelve years old. How many twelve-year-old kids have you ever known who never talked back,


“Protected by God”

December 29th, 2019
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Matt. 2:13-15,19-23 First Sunday after Christmas “Protected by God” Click Here to Watch Video Do you feel protected? We have the protection of the police, the armed forces, and so on. But protection is something that concerns us all our lives, even as kids. Did you pray this prayer before bed as a child? “Now


“Infidelity and the Incarnation”

December 22nd, 2019
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Advent 4, December 18, 2016 Infidelity and the Incarnation Text: Matthew 1:18–25 Click Here to Watch Video We have discussed from this spot how much lying there is in our society. We lie all the time. You might be doubting me here, but we do. We call them “White Lies,” but they are lies. When


“Everything Changes”

December 15th, 2019
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Advent 3, December 15, 2019 Rejoice: God Changes Everything Text: Isaiah 35:1–10 Click Here to Watch Video Sometimes, something happens, and it changes everything. More than twenty years ago, I stood at an altar along with my soon-to-be-wife, Erica. We faced each other. I said my vows and she said hers. We exchanged rings. The


“Hope”

December 8th, 2019
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Advent 2, December 8, 2019 What Are You Hoping For? Text: Romans 15:4–13 Click Here to Watch Video Last week, you may recall that our sermon asked, “What are you waiting for?” Today we ask, “What do you HOPE for?” There’s one kind of hope that’s really a wish. As Christmas approaches, many are hoping


“What Are You Waiting For?”

December 1st, 2019
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Advent 1, December 1, 2019 What Are You Waiting For? Text: Matthew 24:36–44 Click Here to View Video What do you spend a lot of time waiting for? Stoplights to change. Kids to get dressed. Waiting in lines at grocery stores or government agencies. Maybe you are thinking, “Waiting for this sermon to end?” My


“Sacrifice?”

November 17th, 2019
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Stewardship 3, 2019 What Do You Mean, “Sacrifice”?! 2 Corinthians 8:3–5 Click Here to View Video There is an old story that goes: Farmer Brown was going to support the work of the church by donating the milk, eggs, and bacon for a fund-raising breakfast. The animals in the barnyard were discussing what this would


“Ten Bags”

November 10th, 2019
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Stewardship 2, 2019 Ten Bags Relate to the Plate Malachi 3:10 Click Here to View Video The sermon is done and then along comes the offering plate! Some people think of this like at a restaurant and they are leaving a tip. Does that sound like a good way to say thanks to God for


“Prepare to Give Thanks”

November 3rd, 2019
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Prepare Our Hearts to Give Thanks to God! Ezekiel 36:25–27 Click Here to View Video Two toddlers sit and play with their toys. One reaches for the toy of the other, and what does the second toddler do? He or she will pull it close to keep it away from the child reaching for it.


“Who is the Wrestler?”

October 20th, 2019
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Pentecost 19, October 20, 2019 Who Is the Wrestler? Text: Genesis 32:22–30 Click Here to View Video As I stand before you today, most of you know that I am from Wisconsin and the suburbs of Milwaukee. I grew up in a household, and in a neighborhood, where people watched sports and thought sports were


“God Leads Us”

October 13th, 2019
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Pentecost 18, October 13, 2019 God Leads Us Text: Ruth 1:1–19a Click Here to View Video How many of you, I am talking to us adults here, are doing exactly what you wanted to do when you were young, and it is the only thing you have ever done? In other words, how many of


“Moving Mulberry Trees”

October 6th, 2019
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2019 LWML Sunday Sermon “Moving Mulberry Trees” Text: Luke 17:6 Click Here to View Video And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). Have you ever tried to


“The Three Men and the Fiery Furnace”

September 29th, 2019
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Pentecost 16, St. Michael and All Angels 3 Men in the Fiery Furnace Text: Daniel 3:9-12, 16-26 Click Here to Open Video Today we are going to start by talking about heat. Heat can be a good thing, if it is cold out. (OKC Marathon/Hypothermia) But it is my contention that usually, in our daily


“David and Bathsheba”

September 22nd, 2019
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David and Bathsheba Text: 2Samuel 11:1-5 Click Here to View Video When you look at the history of this country, one sees a lot of politicians, presidents, presidential candidates, who got swallowed up by a good sex scandal. The folks in D.C. and across the country love a good sex scandal. FDR had a mistress,


“Lost?”

September 15th, 2019
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Pentecost 14, September 15, 2019 Lost? Text: Luke 15:1–10 Click Here to View Video A show of hands please, how many of you watched the TV show, LOST? Ok. If you are not familiar with the show, it was on ABC a few years ago, and then it was on Netflix. It was about some


“David and Goliath”

September 8th, 2019
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David and Goliath 1 Samuel 17   Click Here to View Video Rocky.  The Karate Kid.  The Mighty Ducks.  Revenge of the Nerds.  Hoosiers.  Tucker: The Man and His Dream.  Braveheart.  Slumdog Millionaire.  Star Wars.  What do all these movies have in common?  They are all about underdogs fighting against the odds to win or


“Samson”

September 1st, 2019
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Samson Judges 16:23-31 Click Here to View Video If you pay any attention at all to our popular culture, and it is definitely ok if you do not if you do you have noticed that lots of stuff in the movies, TV, streaming services like Netflix, are all about the superheroes. Stuff like Superman, and


“Mission (Im)Possible”

August 25th, 2019
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Pentecost 11, August 25, 2019 Mission (Im)possible Text: Isaiah 66:18–23 Click Here to Watch Video I love spy movies, spy books. I was a big fan of the Tom Clancy books and movies. I believe I have seen every James Bond movie (there are 24 of them). Another of my favorites is the Mission: Impossible


“Division”

August 18th, 2019
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Pentecost 10, August 18, 2019 Division Text: Luke 12:49–53 (54–56) Click here to View Video We live in a time and a place in history where our country is severely divided. We are divided politically, we are divided culturally, we are divided racially and by income. We are also divided spiritually. We see these divisions


“Nothing”

August 11th, 2019
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Pentecost 9, August 11, 2019 Nothing (Abraham) Text: Hebrews 11:1–16 Click Here to View Video The story is told of a young child who wanted a bicycle more than anything else for Christmas. He began begging his parents and Santa and whoever else he could ask months before December for a bike. All his hopes


“Noah”

August 4th, 2019
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Noah Genesis 6:13-15, 17-19 Click Here to View Video What was the last really big surprise that you got? A birthday party? An unexpected rain shower while playing golf or camping? A diagnosis? We all have been surprised by stuff. We have all dealt with that. And some of the surprises we have dealt with


“Cain and Abel”

July 21st, 2019
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Pentecost 6 2019 Genesis 4:1-10 “Cain and Abel” Click Here to View Video A certain comedian who used to be popular, and now is not popular, said in one of his standup routines that if a husband and wife have ONE child, they are not really parents. When he said this, it was obvious that


“Adam and Eve”

July 14th, 2019
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Pentecost 5 2019 Genesis 1-3 “Adam and Eve” Click Here to View Video This morning we are going to start a little something. I am going to do some sermons this summer on Old Testament stuff that you may have never known, or you have not thought about, in a long time. Today we begin


“God Cares”

July 7th, 2019
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Pentecost 4, July 7, 2019 God Cares for Us! Text: Isaiah 66:10–14 Click Here for Video You ever get lost? That’s harder to do these days, with GPS and all. But even with all of our tech, we can still get lost. Last year when Christopher and I were in Germany, we set the GPS


“The Cost of Following the Leader”

June 30th, 2019
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Luke 9:51-62 Pentecost 3 “Follow the Leader” Click Here to View Video The story is told of a pastor who was giving a talk to some children. He was asking them things like, “Will your parents let you do this?” “Do your parents say no to that?” He was trying to get them to see


“The Holy Trinity”

June 16th, 2019
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John 16:12-15 Trinity Sunday “The Holy Trinity” Click Here to Watch Video I might be betraying my age here, but when I was growing up, ABC had this thing on Saturday mornings between cartoons called “Schoolhouse Rock.” They had cartoon videos about numbers (My favorite was Zero, My Hero, How Wonderful You Are.) They had


“The World’s Best Counselor”

June 9th, 2019
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The Day of Pentecost, June 9, 2019 The World’s Best Counselor Text: John 14:23–31 You probably noticed this is Pentecost Sunday. We get the red out, here, on this day. On this Sunday, we remember the work of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the Holy Spirit. We know that He lives in us and


“Not Just a Gory Story”

June 2nd, 2019
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Easter 7, June 2, 2019 Not Just a Gory Story Text: Acts 1:12–26 Click here to View VideoClick Here to View Video   This scary-looking book I’m holding in my hand is called Gory Deaths (Jonathan Schkade [St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2016]). Believe it or not, this book was published by the publishing company


“Easter Signs”

May 26th, 2019
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Easter 6, May 26, 2019 The Easter Signs Text: Acts 16:9–15 Click Here to View Video Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. (Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind…) This is a line from a song in my youth. Does anyone remember the name of the group? (Five Man Electrical Band) Now we still see a


“Wedding Crashers”

May 19th, 2019
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Easter 5, May 19, 2019 Wedding Crashers! Text: Acts 11:1–18 Click Here to View Video Last week I told you how the other people in my house just love the critters. And you have heard me discuss our cats we got at the start of the year. I know that some of you are into


“Dirty Rotten Sheep”

May 12th, 2019
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John 10:22-30 Fourth Sunday of Easter “Dirty Rotten Sheep” Click Here to View Video I have a wife and two children that just love animals. I am ok with animals, as long as they are not in my house. But there is a show on Animal Planet they have watched in the past called, Too


“Again, and Again and Again”

May 5th, 2019
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EASTER 3 JOHN 21:1-19 “Again, and Again and Again!” Click Here to View Video Have you ever blown it? Ever made a poor decision? Ever failed someone? We all have, right? Certainly, if we work outside of the home, have friends at school, if we are married, if we have parents, then we have done


“Remember Jesus Risen”

April 21st, 2019
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Easter Day Remember Jesus Risen 2 Timothy 2:8-11 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel. . . . The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him. (2 Tim 2:8, 11) Click Here for Video The Lord is


“Voices of the Passion”

April 14th, 2019
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Palm Sunday: Sunday of the Passion, April 14, 2019 Voices of the Passion Text: Luke 22:1–23:56 Click Here to Open Video We hear a lot of voices every day, don’t we? We hear the voices of mom or dad, spouse, kids, bosses, co-workers, teachers, announcers, and also the voice on the embedded video clip on


“Joy”

April 7th, 2019
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Lent 5, April 7, 2019 Joy Text: Philippians 3:(4b–7) 8–14 Click Here to View Video Remember that survey I gave out a few weeks ago? Let’s begin today with a little true or false pop quiz that is. . . similar. True or false: Jesus Christ went to the cross to destroy death and to


“How Does the Story End?”

March 31st, 2019
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Lent 4, March 31, 2019 How Does This Story End? Text: Luke 15:1–3, 11–32 Click Here to Watch Video If you’ve ever watched a good magician, his tricks and illusions will prompt you to ask, “How did he/she do that?” Magicians will tell you that much of what they do happens by way of distraction.


“Repent Now”

March 24th, 2019
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Lent 3, March 24, 2019 Repent Now. Text: Luke 13:1–9 Click Here for Video We live in a culture that has mastered the art of being outraged. As soon as news breaks, social media is flooded with people playing a game of “I am madder than you are.” Remember a couple of years ago when


“The Sadness, and the Persistence of Jesus”

March 17th, 2019
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Luke 13:31-35 Lent 2 “The Sadness and Persistence of Jesus” Click Here for Video What are the things that make you sad? I’ll bet we could assemble quite a list here. What comes to mind? Funerals and the deaths of loved ones or friends sure can. Certain songs can make us sad. Movies and TV


“In the Wilderness”

March 10th, 2019
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LENT 1, MARCH 10, 2019 In the Wilderness Text: Luke 4:1–13 Click here to View Video Do you read a lot of church signs? There are a lot of e-mail things that go around showing some of the more clever ones. Years ago, I remember a church got in trouble somewhere because they put on


“Mountain Climbing”

March 3rd, 2019
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Mountain Climbing The Transfiguration of Our Lord: February 24, 2019 Deuteronomy 34:1–12 Click Here to Open Video Ever done any rock climbing? Mountain Climbing? I have not. I don’t like climbing a ladder, so rock climbing is not going to be my thing. Those who do the climbing “thing” say few experiences offer similar challenges,


“Forgiven”

February 24th, 2019
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Forgiven Sermon: Epiphany 7 Genesis 45:3–8a, 15 Click Here to Open Video One of the things that happen to us in our lives is that things go wrong between us and the other people we know. And usually in there, somewhere, someone is hurt and needs to forgive. Sometimes forgiving somebody is easy. I have


“The Resurrection…It’s Not Just for Easter Anymore.”

February 17th, 2019
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1 Cor 15:12, 16-20 Epiphany 6 “The Resurrection…” Click Here to View Video A couple of Sundays ago, we had the “Big Game,” the super game played in a bowl, and I know a lot of you watched the game not for the game, but for the commercials. And while there was a lot of


“Everything Jesus Does Is for Us”

February 10th, 2019
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Epiphany 5, February 10, 2019 Everything Jesus Does Is for Us Text: Luke 5:1–11 Click Here for Video As I come to you today if I say the word “call” to you, what do you think of?  Phone calls?  Obviously.  Calls from telemarketers?  Ick, right?  Calling the kids to dinner?  Calling the pets into the


“Authority”

February 3rd, 2019
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Epiphany 4, February 3, 2019 He Speaks with Authority! Text: Luke 4:31–44 Click Here to View Video I do not know if you are going through this but at my home, there have been times when my kids were told to do something, and they wondered if they had to do what they are told.


“Not Just Another Service”

January 27th, 2019
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Epiphany 3, January 27, 2019 Not Just Another Service Text: Luke 4:16–30 Click Here to View Video Another week, another church service. When the alarm goes off, when you are getting ready to come here, do you think or hear: “Do I have to go?” “I want to sleep in today!” “It’s the same thing


“Baby Pictures”

January 20th, 2019
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Life Sunday 2019 Isaiah 46:3-4 “Baby Pictures” Click Here for Video After church today, when you are at lunch or later at home, go on Google and type, “reasons my kid is crying.” Should take you to a website. Look it up online sometime and you will find funny pictures of kids crying along with


“Wonder”

January 6th, 2019
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The Epiphany of Our Lord Star of Wonder, Star of Night Matthew 2:1–12 Click Here for Video Did any of you happen to be driving around a week ago Wednesday and see any Christmas trees, ornament-free, dumped on the curb, ready to be hauled away? You can’t say that’s wrong. People have their own decorating


“Give Love”

December 30th, 2018
Pastor Mark

Christmas 1, December 30, 2018 Give Love as a Gift Text: Colossians 3:12–17 Click Here to View Video The gifting day has come and gone, you know, last Tuesday. I’m sure many gifts are broken or forgotten already, and we have had our yearly reminder that searching for and deciding on Christmas presents for people


“House of Bread”

December 23rd, 2018
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Advent 4, December 23, 2018 House of Bread Text: Micah 5:2–5a Click Here for Video What did you have baking in the oven last week? What’s going in tomorrow? Christmas cookies. Perhaps a fruitcake. For Germans, a Stollen. It’s that time of year. Holiday baking. I love the smell when there is something in the


“Without a Doubt”

December 16th, 2018
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Advent 3, December 16, 2018 Without a Doubt Text: Luke 7:18–28 (29–35) Click Here to View Video Doubts. We are going to talk about doubts today. We talk about them a lot, although we may not realize it. You could ask me, “Do you think we will have a white Christmas?” I DOUBT it. “Do


“Straighten Up”

December 9th, 2018
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Advent 2, December 9, 2018 Straighten Up! Text: Luke 3:1–14 (15–20) Click Here to View I am a person who likes things neat. In order. Ordnung. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” I am now going to tell you a secret: That’s hard to do when you have two teenagers in the


“The King on His Throne”

December 2nd, 2018
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Advent 1, December 2, 2018 The King on His Throne Text: Luke 19:28–40 Click Here to View If you didn’t know better, you might think we’ve gone on fast-forward today and jumped ahead to Palm Sunday. Here it’s just the First Sunday in Advent; many haven’t put up their Christmas trees yet or baked any


“Be Ready”

November 25th, 2018
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Last Sunday of the Church Year, November 25, 2018 Allures, Alerts, Assures Text: Mark 13:24–37 Click Here to View Video How much do you like waiting? How long are you able to wait? I am not good at waiting. I’m not. You can ask Erica, I usually won’t wait thirty minutes for a table at


“Always Enough”

November 11th, 2018
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Pentecost 25, November 11, 2018 Always Enough Text: 1 Kings 17:8–16 Click Here to View Video I need some help from all of you this morning. I want you to take a moment and think about things that you would never want to be empty. I mean, if you had your way, what would always


“The Good News We Need”

November 4th, 2018
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All Saints’ Day (Observed), November 4, 2018 Good News We Need Text: Matthew 5:1–12 Click Here to View Video Today, we observe All Saints Day. All Saints’ Day can be a confusing experience in the church. The term “saint” has different meanings to different people. Sometimes people think a saint is someone who does a


“The Truth”

October 28th, 2018
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Reformation Day (Observed), October 28, 2018 It’s About the Truth Text: John 8:31–36 Click Here to View Video On this Sunday, we observe Reformation Sunday. You may recall that it was on Oct. 31, 1517, that Luther nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg the 95 theses, the 95 points he wanted


“We’re All in This Together”

October 21st, 2018
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2018 Stewardship Text: 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11 We’re All in this Together Click Here to View Video I want to start off by thanking you for being here today, because there are always those folks in a congregation who will stay home if they know this is our topic. And I know how some of


“More”

October 14th, 2018
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Pentecost 21, October 14, 2018 Mark 10:17 22 “Always More” Click Here to View Video Like a lot of other guys, I am not a big fan of shopping. For example, there are many times in a given year I have to go to Wal-mart. Not my favorite thing to do. And one of the


“The Rest We Share”

October 7th, 2018
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2018 LWML Sunday Sermon Text: Psalm 62:1–8 “The Rest We Share” Click Here to View Video A few weeks ago we talked about Twitter here. And we also talked about how social media give us access to the thoughts and lives of “famous” people we never used to have. Another side to social media, though,


“God’s Name”

September 30th, 2018
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Mark 9:38-50 Pentecost 19 “Living Up to God’s Name” Click Here to View Video One of the things that I had a lot of fun with before our kids were born, was to go through the Old Testament, read some of the more interesting names found there, and try them out as baby names. For


“How to Act Like a Child”

September 23rd, 2018
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Mark 9:30-37 Pentecost 19 “How to Act Like a Child” Click Here to View Video Back in the year 2000, the hot ticket Christmas item at the stores was the Playstation 2 video gaming system. At that time, I was gaming on my PC. But after seeing a PS 2 in late November at Best


“Vindicated”

September 16th, 2018
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Pentecost 17, September 16, 2018 He Who Vindicates Is Near Text: Isaiah 50:4–10 Click Here to View Video We begin with a story. A true story. The winter of 1925 was a bad one for the residents of Nome, Alaska. After treating four cases of what appeared to be tonsillitis, the only doctor in town,


“All Things Well”

September 9th, 2018
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Pentecost 16, September 9, 2018 He Does All Things Well Text: Mark 7:(24–30) 31–37 Click Here to View Video I start today with Twitter. Apparently, Jesus Christ has a Twitter account, but sadly, he has only 665,000 followers. That’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 100 million for Katy Perry.


“Resisting Temptation”

September 2nd, 2018
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Ephesians 6:10-20 Pentecost 15 “Resisting the Devil” Click Here to View Video A woman made excuses for having been married four times by telling people that she wanted to cover all the bases of life. Her first husband was a banker. Her second was an actor. Her third was a minister, and her fourth a


“Marriage”

August 26th, 2018
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Pentecost 14, August 26, 2018 Dearly Beloved . . . Text: Ephesians 5:22–33 Click Here to View Video “Meahwidge.” (Princess Bride) “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of God…” You have heard these words before, yes? That is how we pastor types usually begin a wedding. We are gathered here today


“The Bread of Life”

August 19th, 2018
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John 6:51-58 Pentecost 13 “I Am THE BREAD of Life” Click Here to View Video Do you like to eat?  I know I do.  And as I continue to go past 40, 50, and am now closer to 60, I know the truth, every day, of how I like to eat.  Now I restrain myself


“The Answer for Your Discouragement”

August 12th, 2018
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Pentecost 12, August 12, 2018 The Answer for Our Discouragement Text: 1 Kings 19:1–8 Click Here to View Video When I was a kid, I liked to play sports. Football, basketball, softball, tennis, golf, lots of different ones. And my folks and coaches always said, “Practice makes perfect.” In other words, if you work hard


“What Lasts”

August 5th, 2018
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Pentecost 11, August 5, 2018 For What Lasts Text: John 6:22–35 Click Here to View Video It is common for us to look around at things and think they will always be there. Parents…friends…football. The folks in Washington State thought Mt. St. Helens was just a mountain until the top of it blew off almost


“The ‘I’ of the Storm”

July 29th, 2018
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Pentecost 10, July 29, 2018 The I/Eye of the Storm Text: Mark 6:45–56 Click Here to View Video Many times when things are going well we refer to life as “smooth sailing.” When they are not we talk about life as “rough waters” or “a rough patch.” This is not a new thing. The hymn


“No More Walls”

July 22nd, 2018
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Pentecost 9, July 22, 2018 No More Walls Text: Ephesians 2:11–22 Click Here to View Video Today, we start with some poetry. Can I get an Amen! I know…you’d probably rather hear another story about my trip to Germany, right? Here we go…poet Robert Frost once wrote, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”


“You are Chosen”

July 15th, 2018
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Pentecost 8, July 15, 2018 Not Good Enough, But Special Text: Ephesians 1:3–14 Click Here to View Video I started running a new route a few weeks ago. Started running in the Trails. And when I run in there I run by three different playgrounds. Now since I usually run by them around 0630, I


“Weak or Strong?”

July 8th, 2018
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Pentecost 7, July 8, 2018 Rejoice in Weakness? Text: 2 Corinthians 12:1–10 Click Here to View Video Most employees, at one time or another, have to go through what is called a performance review. A part of that review may include answering questions like “What have you accomplished over the last twelve months?” and “What


“God’s Faithfulness”

July 1st, 2018
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Pentecost 6 (Proper 8), July 1, 2018 God’s Faithfulness Text: Lamentations 3:22–33 Click Here to View Video Most people I know who go to Vegas or the Grand Canyon make a trip to go see Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam was built between 1931 and 1935. If you walk out on that thing, you will


“God’s Visit”

June 24th, 2018
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The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 2018 God’s Gracious Visitation Text: Luke 1:57–80 Click Here to View Video We begin with a story.  She knew what was going to happen. She had met her son and daughter-in-law in the hall. She had seen the balloons that said, “It’s a boy.” And the


“The Word at Work”

June 17th, 2018
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Mark 4:26-34 Pentecost 4 “The Word at Work” Click Here to View Video Are you good at gardening? Do you have a big garden? I know that some of you do that. Since I am a German-American, meat and potatoes kind of guy, and since no one has figured out how to plant and harvest


“Tragedy Reversed”

June 10th, 2018
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Pentecost 3 (Proper 5), June 10, 2018 Tragedy Reversed Text: Genesis 3:8–15 Click Here to View Video Today we are going to talk about tragedy. You know, like a play. I did a little research on this and a tragedy is a story that does not have a happy ending, especially with the downfall of


“The Spirit of Truth”

May 20th, 2018
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The Day of Pentecost, May 20, 2018 The Truth Text: John 15:26–27; 16:4b–15 Click Here to View Video Sometimes we don’t want the truth to be known. We all know things about ourselves that we don’t want anyone else to know. I confess that I had a hard time facing up to the fact that


“Good News vs. Fake News”

May 13th, 2018
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Easter 7, May 13, 2018 Good News vs. Fake News Text: 1 John 5:9–15 Click Here to View Video Every so often, one of you will come up to me and say that on some channel like National Geographic or the Smithsonian Channel, you saw a show with some startling new discovery about Jesus that


“He’s Still With Us”

May 6th, 2018
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The Ascension of Our Lord, May 6, 2018 He’s Still with Us Text: Luke 24:44–53 Click Here to View Video I am calling a bit of an audible today. Instead of concentrating on the lessons for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, we are going to talk about the Ascension of Jesus, which is officially observed


“The Shepherd and the Door”

April 22nd, 2018
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Easter 4, April 22, 2018 The Shepherd and the Door Text: John 10:11–18 Click Here to View Video If you are a regular attendee here, you have heard 15 Thomas sermons from me fifteen times on the Sunday after Easter. Thomas is the Gospel every year the Sunday after Easter. Another regular topic is that


“Repentance and Joy”

April 15th, 2018
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Easter 3, April 15, 2018 Joy in Repentance Text: Luke 24:36–49 Click Here to View Video As we observe life around us, we notice that certain things go well with other certain things. Bacon and Eggs. Beer and Baseball. Rock and Roll. Now, what if I gave you the pair: Joy and Repentance. That doesn’t


“Trust Me”

April 8th, 2018
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Trust Me Sermon: Easter 2 Text: John 20:19–31 Click Here to View Video One of the most devastating experiences a person can have is realizing that people aren’t trusting him or her. Can you remember a time when you wanted desperately to be trusted, yet all your friends could think about was a time you


“No April Fool’s”

April 1st, 2018
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Easter Sunday Mark 16:1 8 “Easter…not April Fool’s” Click Here to View Video Well, here we are gathered today, on this very festive occasion. We all know why we are here. This date stands prominently on our calendars. Today was my mom’s birthday. If she was still with us, she would have been 91. No,


“Empty or Full”

March 25th, 2018
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Palm Sunday: Sunday of the Passion, March 25, 2018 Empty or Full Text: Philippians 2:5–11 Click Here to View Video I have mentioned to you in years before that this day, on the liturgical calendar, has a split personality problem. For centuries, today was Palm Sunday, and we remembered Jesus going into Jerusalem, riding on


“You Sure You Want That?”

March 18th, 2018
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Lent 5, March 18, 2018 You Sure You Want This Cup? Text: Mark 10:(32–34) 35–45 Click Here to View Video Have you ever been to a restaurant with the kids, and they say they want to order something…unusual? Do you tell them, “Are you sure you want that?” I remember the first time we gave


“See and Live”

March 11th, 2018
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Lent 4, March 11, 2018 See and Live Text: Numbers 21:4–9 Click Here to View Video How do you feel about snakes? Personally, I am not a fan. I don’t like spiders or snakes. A snake got between me and the lawnmower back when we were in Pryor. I never jumped higher. Every so often


“The Foolishness of the Cross”

March 4th, 2018
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1Cor. 1:22-25 Lent 3 “The Foolishness of the Cross” Click Here to View Video We live in a world of customization. We can walk into a car dealer and get a car with automatic or a manual transmission, built in GPS or not, satellite radio or no satellite radio, sunroof or none, pick your color,


“Unbelievable Promises”

February 25th, 2018
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Lent 2, February 25, 2018 Unbelievable Promises Text: Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16 Click Here to View Video Have you ever taken a shortcut? How did that work out for you? Not too well? Has it ever worked? Too often, shortcuts end in disaster. I remember the day before I got married, we were having a wedding


“The Daily Battle”

February 18th, 2018
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Lent 1, February 18, 2018 The Daily Battle James 1:12–18 Click Here to View Video Every day we are tempted. What are we tempted by? Are you tempted by kale? Tofu? Quinoa? Are you tempted by Lay’s? M and M’s? Cookies? What are you tempted by? From the lure of the forbidden cookie jar to


“A Most Glorious Mystery”

February 11th, 2018
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The Transfiguration of Our Lord, February 11, 2018 A Most Glorious Mystery Text: Mark 9:2–9 Click Here to View Video “History for two thousand, Alex.” “This John, born in Antioch in 347 AD, has attributed to him the last name that means, ‘Golden-mouthed.’” The answer? “Who is John Chrysostom?” John was a common name, but


“Able and Willing”

February 4th, 2018
Pastor Mark

Epiphany 5, February 4, 2018 Able and Willing Text: Isaiah 40:21–31 Is there anything God isn’t powerful enough to do? Well, of course, we know God is omnipotent, almighty, so we know the answer is no. But if on this very day one year ago those who are committed Christians and equally committed Tom Brady,


“Can but Won’t”

January 28th, 2018
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Epiphany 4, January 28, 2018 Can but Won’t Text: 1 Corinthians 8:1–13 Click Here to View Video When I was on vicarage, and when I was in my first years as a pastor, I coached basketball. Fifth graders, sixth graders. And it was really so much fun having the moms and dads of these ten


“You Matter”

January 21st, 2018
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Third Sunday after the Epiphany: Sanctity of Human Life Sunday You Matter Jonah 3 Click Here to View Video Have you ever been somewhere where the folks you are with ask your opinion, you state your opinion, but then your opinion/idea/wishes are ignored? That ever happen to you? You are with the family and someone


“Dead Men Don’t Sin”

January 7th, 2018
Pastor Mark

W. Jeff Jenkins Text: Rom. 6:1-11 Title: Dead Men Don’t Sin Click Here to Open Video Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Benjamin Franklin once coined a proverb, “Three can keep a secret if two are dead.” It was a re-working of an older saying that suddenly


“It’s Right in Front of You”

December 31st, 2017
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Christmas 1, December 31, 2017 It’s Right in Front of You Text: Luke 2:22–40   Click Here to Open Video Have you ever been looking for something, and you look, and you look, and then it turns out it was right in front of you? You just didn’t see it. Like when you are looking


“God Keeps His Promises”

December 24th, 2017
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Advent 4, December 24, 2017 According to Your Word Text: Luke 1:26–38 Click Here to Open Video “Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God?” “Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish, for better or for worse, till death parts you?” “Do you


“Better Things”

December 17th, 2017
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Advent 3, December 17, 2017 Better Things Text: John 1:6–8, 19–28 Click Here to Open Video Past, present, future. Nostalgia, resignation, and fear. That pretty much sums up how people tend to view their lives. How often, in talking about the past, do we hear people long for “the good old days” or say that


“Prepare”

December 10th, 2017
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Advent 2, December 10, 2017 Prepare the Way Text: Mark 1:1–8 Click here to Open Video Christmas preparations are well underway. Decorations are up or will be shortly. Our tree went up a week ago, although two more are still in our attic. Goodies are being baked and exchanged. Christmas music is heard everywhere. By


“The King Comes…How?”

December 3rd, 2017
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Advent 1, December 3, 2017 The King Comes . . . How? Text: Mark 11:1–10 Click here to Open Video When a president, a prime minister, a king or a queen is about to arrive where you are, that usually sets off a big burst of activity. Preparations are made so everything will be ready


“Here Comes the Judge”

November 26th, 2017
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Matthew 25: 31 46 Last Sunday of the Church Year “Here Comes the Judge” Click here to Open Video Have you ever gone back as an adult and watched a movie or TV show you loved as a kid? When I was a kid, I loved Gilligan’s Island, a space combat show called UFO, and


“Standards”

November 12th, 2017
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Pentecost 23, November 12, 2017 “Our Standards…God’s Standards” Text: Amos 5:18–24 Click Here to Open Video How good are you at following the rules? How good are you at following directions? Christmas is coming up. When your kids get the complicated toys where “Assembly is Required,” do you get out the instructions or do you


“No More Tears”

November 5th, 2017
Pastor Mark
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All Saints’ Day (Observed), November 5, 2017 The End of Tears Text: Revelation 7:(2–8) 9–17 Click here to Open Video Today we are going to talk about crying. You know, tears, snorfling, weeping. Now to be clear, we are talking about sad crying, not happy crying. Erica will tell you I tear up every time


“Reformed in Truth”

October 29th, 2017
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John 8:31-36 Reformation 500 Sunday “Reformed in Truth” Click here to Open Video We make a big deal about the truth. We expect our spouses to tell us the truth. When someone testifies in court, they swear to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Some folks on some websites check


“We’re All in This Together”

October 22nd, 2017
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2017 Stewardship Text: 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11 We’re All in this Together Click Here to Watch Welcome to Pledge Sunday. Today is the second of two sermons you are getting this year from me regarding stewardship. Last week, if you were here, you will recall that we talked at some length about Martin Luther’s assertion


“Triple Baptism”

October 15th, 2017
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Stewardship One “Triple Baptism” Corinthians 8:9-12 Click Here for Video If you have been paying attention, you know that today we start our two Sunday look at Stewardship. Yea! Right? I know. Some of you may not be thrilled with the idea that we are going to be talking about money today. There is an


“Jesus’ Renters”

October 8th, 2017
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Matthew 21:33 43 Pentecost 18 “Jesus’ Renters” Click Here for Video Have you ever been a tenant? Have you ever rented the place where you live? I am guessing that most of us have rented a house or apartment at some point in our lives. The first apartment I had was in college. It was


“Be Ready to Confess Jesus”

October 1st, 2017
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2017 LWML Sunday Sermon Text: 2 Timothy 4:1-4 “Be Ready to Confess Jesus” Click Here for Video 2017 is kind of a big year. First off, of course, it is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses. The whole world is paying attention to Luther this year. Lots of movies and books


“It’s Not Fair”

September 24th, 2017
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Pentecost 16, September 24, 2017 Matthew 20:1 16 “It’s Not Fair!” Click Here for Video I hear a lot of talk these days about fairness. People who run for president, and win the popular vote, but lose in the electoral college, and then write a book, and go on a book tour, say that is


“Forgiveness”

September 17th, 2017
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Pentecost 15, September 17, 2017 “Forgiveness” Text: Matthew 18:21–35 Click Here for Video If I started this morning by asking, “Who/what is the greatest?” what would be your answer? Muhammad Ali? He said he was. Tom Brady? Frosted Flakes? Phil Keaggy? (guitar player) To have this discussion, we would have to say the greatest at


“Government and God”

September 10th, 2017
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Romans 13:1-10 Pentecost 14 “Good Government is Godly” Click Here for Video It has been said that when you have friends and you want to keep them as friends, it is best not to talk about religion or politics. Today as I look at you all, I see my brothers and sisters in Christ, I


“The Things of God”

September 3rd, 2017
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Matthew 16:21-28 Pentecost 12, 2017 “The Things of God” Click Here for Video When I am dealing with King Christopher and Master Matthew, it is amazing how often I catch myself saying something that my dad said to me. I can remember many times in my younger days wanting to do something or go somewhere


“Living in Awe”

August 27th, 2017
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Romans 11:33-36 Pentecost 12, 2017 “Awed by God’s Love” Click Here for Video When was the last time you saw something that was so wonderful, so amazing, that it took your breath away? Maybe you have been to the Grand Canyon, or the memorials in Washington D.C. and had such a reaction. Maybe you were


“A Crumb for Me”

August 20th, 2017
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Pentecost 11 (Proper 15), August 20, 2017 A Crumb for Me! Text: Matthew 15:21–28 Click Here for Video Do you ever get tired of phone calls or letters in the mail asking you to help some group of people? That can happen, right? When my parents were still with us, they decided one year that


“What Are You Looking At?”

July 30th, 2017
Pastor Mark
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Jeff Jenkins Text: Rom. 8:28-39 Title: What Are You Looking At? Proper 12 Click Here to See Video Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So, I got all excited when I noticed that the youth group was supposed to go over to Pole Position to race go-carts


“Not Home Yet”

July 23rd, 2017
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Pentecost 7, July 23, 2017 Not Home Yet Text: Romans 8:18–27 Click Here to See Video Our world is a pretty messed-up place. You probably don’t need me to tell you this, as I expect the evening news lets you know that. Now whether you get your news on the TV, or on your computer,


“A Question of Optimism”

July 16th, 2017
Pastor Mark
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Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 Pentecost 6 “If You Plant It, It Will Grow” Click Here to See Video Are you an optimist or a pessimist? You know what I mean here. An optimist sees a glass as half full. A pessimist sees it as half empty. A real pessimist figures it doesn’t matter, they won’t get


“The Secret to Share”

July 9th, 2017
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Matt 11:25 30 Fifth Sunday after Pentecost. “A Secret Not To Be Kept.” Click Here to See Video Secrets. Today, we are going to discuss secrets. When you were a kid, did a playmate or a little brother or sister ever come running up to you and say, “I’ve got a secret. Nyah, nyah, nyah


“It Could Be Worse”

July 2nd, 2017
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Independence Day Weekend It Could Be Worse 2 Corinthians 8:1–12; Lamentations 3:22–33; Mark 5:24b–34 Click Here to See Video I am old enough to remember when movies that were called comedies were actually funny. It is my opinion, take it for what it’s worth, that so-called comedies today just try to gross people out or


“Fear God, Fear Less”

June 25th, 2017
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Matthew 10:24-33 Pentecost 5 “Fear God, Fear Less” Click Here to See Video Growing up in a Lutheran family, I grew up knowing what it was to “FEAR GOD.” When I was a kid, I went to church every Sunday, Sunday School, VBS, and even went to a Lutheran grade school. So very early in


“Following”

June 18th, 2017
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Father, Who’s Following You? Sermon: Father’s Day Deuteronomy 6:5–9, 20–25; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4 Click Here to See Video We all know what it is to follow someone. From having an impressive older sibling, to driving in a convoy, to doing the Bunny Hop, right? We also know it is sometimes a bad thing to


“I Can’t Explain”

June 11th, 2017
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Matthew 28:16-20 Trinity Sunday “I Can’t Explain”   Click Here to See Video There are some things I cannot explain.  I cannot explain how a computer can turn a bunch of ones and zeroes into cat videos and videos of people “failing.”  I cannot explain how people like Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian are thought,


“The Spirit on His People”

June 4th, 2017
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The Day of Pentecost, June 4, 2017 Confirmation The Spirit on His People Text: Numbers 11:24–30 Click Here to See Video Our reading begins with the word, “so.” “So Moses went out.” That word “so” tells us we are at the end of the story that comes before. Much has happened before the verses we


“Getting Picked”

May 28th, 2017
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Easter 7, May 28, 2017 Getting Picked Text: Acts 1:12-26 Click Here to See Video When we older people collectively look back at our childhoods, there are certain things that stand out. Many of us remember the first kiss, filling test papers out and filling in the little holes with a number two pencil, lunch


“Help”

May 21st, 2017
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Acts 17:16-31 Easter Six “Help” Click Here to See Video There are certain things that we want to know but we’ll probably never know. And we don’t like the unknown, do we? Did Lee Harvey Oswald really act alone? What really happens at Area 51? What are the 11 secret herbs and spices in Kentucky


“One Way”

May 14th, 2017
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Easter 5, May 14, 2017 One Way Text: John 14:1–14 Click Here to See Video “Recalculating.” With one word, I have all of you thinking about the exact same thing. GPS. That’s hard to do. If I say fish, you aren’t all going to think about Timmer’s Bay Side Inn on Big Cedar Lake in


“Our Shepherd”

May 7th, 2017
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Easter 4, May 7, 2017 Our Shepherd Text: Psalm 23 Click Here to See Video Do you like to be led around? It’s not my favorite. When I was in high school I did the senior trip thing to Washington D.C. and New York City. We were in a tour group. They took us everywhere.


“We Are Witnesses”

April 23rd, 2017
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Easter 2, April 23, 2017 We Are Witnesses Text: Acts 5:29–42 Click Here to See Video Martin Luther was supposed to be martyred. In 1505, young Martin Luther entered the monastery. Within three years, he was ordained a priest. Soon after, Luther was sent on a trip to Rome, where he was disgusted by the


“The First Commandment”

April 16th, 2017
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Easter Day Commandment One Mark 16:1–8 Click Here to See Video In the First Commandment, God forbids you from having any other gods than him. You are to fear, love, and trust God above all things. Because He wants to be God for you! For your benefit.  In fact, there is no other God than


“Here He Comes”

April 9th, 2017
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Palm Sunday: Sunday of the Passion, April 9, 2017 Here He Comes Text: Isaiah 50:4–9a Click Here to See Video In our age, and in our culture, we are used to people making grand entrances. Lady Gaga flew into her halftime show at the Super Bowl from the top of the stadium. Football players run


“Jesus IS the Resurrection”

April 2nd, 2017
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We apologize, but we are not able to provide the text of this week’s sermon. Click Here to See Video Audio and video are available.


“Karma? Grace!”

March 26th, 2017
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Lent 4, March 26, 2017 Karma? Grace! Text: John 9:1–41 Click Here to See Video Last week I made a rock n roll reference in the sermon. A few of you noticed. Today we will do this again. Today it will be a little more obvious. Today we are going to talk about the rock


“Satisfaction Guaranteed”

March 19th, 2017
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Lent 3, March 19, 2017 Satisfaction Guaranteed Text: Exodus 17:1–7 Click Here to Open Video Has your life been perfect? Nothing has ever gone wrong in your life, right? For all of us, our lives are always just walking on sunshine. I know. That isn’t true. Bad stuff happens, to all of us. But sometimes


“Justified by Faith”

March 12th, 2017
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Lent 2, March 12, 2017 Is Justification by Faith Alone Really Such a Big Deal? Text: Romans 4:1–8, 13–17 Click Here to Open Video Last week, from this pulpit, we started Lent Sundays the way we usually do: with Adam and Eve, Jesus being tempted, doctrine of original sin, Lutheran Law and Gospel 101. In


“Your Destiny”

March 5th, 2017
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Rom. 5:12 (13-16) 17-19 First Sunday in Lent “What’s Your Destiny?” Click Here to View Video One of the things that I have noticed, in all the sports that I have watched, whenever a team wins a big game or a championship game, I have often heard athletes say, “We are a team of destiny.”


“Getting Even Through Love”

February 19th, 2017
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Epiphany 7, February 19, 2017 Getting Even through Love Text: Matthew 5:38–48 Click Here to View Sermon Video Getting even. We’ve all done it before, and we know how good it can feel. Sadly, that idea comes to us too quickly, doesn’t it? Just think back to your childhood. You ever get in a fight


“We Need a Change”

February 12th, 2017
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Epiphany 6, February 12, 2017 Changed to Be Growing Text: 1 Corinthians 3:1–9 Click Here to View Sermon Video What do we all know about babies? They’re cute. They are a tax deduction. They cry a lot. They don’t sleep enough at night. We shouldn’t let them grow up to be cowboys. And they need


“Nothing”

February 5th, 2017
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Epiphany 5, February 5, 2017   “Nothing”  Click Here to View Sermon Video Text: 1 Corinthians 2:1–12 (13–16) The BIG event today is important and significant. Super Bowl LI will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. We’ve already heard plenty about the Falcons and the Patriots. There have been plenty of words. There


“Called Out of Conflict”

January 29th, 2017
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Epiphany 4, January 29, 2017 Called Out of Conflict Text: 1 Corinthians 1:18–31 Click Here to View Sermon Video Let’s face it: there are some people out there who are never going to be your best friend. Maybe the first time you met you just got off on the wrong foot. Maybe you like or


“People of the Ditch”

January 22nd, 2017
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Sanctity of Human Life Sunday People of the Ditch Luke 10:25–37   Click Here to View Sermon Video Today, we are observing here at St. Mark, as we do each year at this time, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  That is done each year because this is the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the


” A New Hope”

January 8th, 2017
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EPIPHANY 1: THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD, JANUARY 8, 2017 “A New Hope” Text: Isaiah 42:1–9 Click Here to View Sermon Video Keith Allen Barton made lots of promises, according to NBC news in San Diego. He claimed he could cure things like cancer and HIV with a new alternative therapy. People trusted Dr. Barton,


“The Blessing of His Name”

January 1st, 2017
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Circumcision and Name of Jesus, January 1, 2017 The Blessing of His Name Text: Numbers 6:22–27 Click Here to View Sermon Video Today, as we begin a new year, think about the day you were born. You were completely dependent on your mom and dad for every aspect of your life. They did the work


“A Christmas Gift Card”

December 25th, 2016
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A Christmas Gift Card John 1:1–18 Christmas Day 2016 Click Here to View Sermon Video What should a Christmas sermon be? Over the years, I’ve answered that question in a variety of ways (25 of them!), and I’ve heard a lot of Christmas Sermons before I was a pastor. But I must say I haven’t


“No Lie”

December 18th, 2016
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Advent 4, December 18, 2016 Infidelity and the Incarnation Text: Matthew 1:18–25 Click Here to View Sermon Video We have discussed from this spot how prevalent lying is in our society. Politicians love to do it. Four years ago Senator Harry Reid went before the Senate and said Mitt Romney didn’t pay his income taxes


“The Coming One”

December 11th, 2016
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Advent 3, December 11, 2016 The Coming One? Text: Matthew 11:2–15 Click Here to View Sermon Video This is a time of year for surprises. You go under the tree, open up a package, and we find stuff we were not expecting. Sometimes those are good surprises. I have told you that the first Christmas


“Prepare His Path”

December 4th, 2016
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Advent 2, December 4, 2016 Prepare His Path Text: Matthew 3:1–12 Click Here to View Sermon Video I believe that many of you are aware that one of the activities I like to do is something called disc golf. Some people call it Frisbee Golf but you don’t actually use Frisbees. That would be cheating.


“Hard Words”

November 20th, 2016
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Last Sunday of the Church Year (Proper 29), November 20, 2016 A Hard Word Against God? Text: Malachi 3:13–18 Click Here to View Sermon Video Today we are going to talk about “Hard Words.” Now I am not talking about hard words to spell like “antidisestablishmentarianism,” “floccinaucinihilipification,” or “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.” I am talking about hard words


“Hope and Change”

November 13th, 2016
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Pentecost 26 (Proper 28), November 13, 2016 Faith for the Hopeless and Helpless Text: Luke 21:5–28 (29–36)   Click Here to View Sermon Video Do you all remember Mother Teresa? The nun who worked in Calcutta all those years? I found out this week that after she died, people read her diaries and discovered some


“Blessed Beyond Belief”

November 6th, 2016
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SERMON All Saints’ Day November 6, 2016 Matthew 5:1–12 Click Here to View Sermon Video Today we are going to use the word “Bless” a lot.  You know, like when someone sneezes and everyone says, “Bless you.”  I am going to put it to you today, since we have the Beatitudes as our Gospel text,


“Truth and Freedom”

October 30th, 2016
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Reformation Day (Observed), October 30, 2016 Truth and Freedom Text: John 8:31–36   Click Here to View Sermon Video Truth and freedom—both are important to all of us.  Let’s start with the truth.  We want others to tell us the truth, not lies.  We want what we hear on the radio, see on TV, or


“Never Give Up”

October 23rd, 2016
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Pentecost 23, October 23, 2016 Never Give Up! Text: Luke 18:1–8 Click Here to View Sermon Video I do not know if you have ever experienced this, but at my house, it is often the case that my children will come up to me and ask me a question. Usually, it is something like: “Can


“Let’s Get Personal”

October 16th, 2016
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Let’s Get Personal Stewardship Sermon 2016 Click Here to View Sermon Video Stewardship. That’s a word that produces different reactions. Perhaps you hear that word and wonder, “What does it even mean?” Perhaps you hear the word “stewardship” and think, “Oh no! It’s that time of year again? Are we behind in this year’s budget?”


“Be Strong”

October 9th, 2016
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Pentecost 21 (Proper 23), October 9, 2016 Be Strengthened Text: 2 Timothy 2:1–13   Click Here to View Sermon Video   Have you noticed that people who work at cash registers are kind of bossy?  They are.  A lot of times I put down my stuff, get out my credit card, take the bag and


“Come and See!”

October 2nd, 2016
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2016 LWML Sunday Sermon Text: John 1:43-49 (35-42, 50-51) Come and See! Click Here to View Sermon Video Have you ever been surprised? Surprises can be good. After a romantic walk in the park, a man gets down on his knee, pulls out a beautiful ring, and asks his sweetie pie, “Would you marry me?”


“You Have It Made”

September 25th, 2016
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Luke 16:19 31 Sermon Pentecost 19 Have you ever known or encountered anyone who appeared to have it all, to have it made, and then it turned out later that they did not? This week I thought of three examples from my younger days in three different but important areas of American life: TV, Politics,


“Unjust Steward, Generous Master”

September 18th, 2016
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Pentecost 18 (Proper 20), September 18, 2016 Unjust Steward, Generous Master Text: Luke 16:1–15 Click Here to View Sermon Video Today, we are going to talk about money. Now fear not…this is not your annual stewardship sermon. We are going to talk about how we usually approach money. Money is often our god. We don’t


“The Power of Love”

September 11th, 2016
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Fifteenth Anniversary of 9/11, September 11, 2016 The Power of Love 1 John 4:16, 18 God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. . . . There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 Jn 4:16, 18)   Click Here to View Sermon


“Living Wide Awake”

September 4th, 2016
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Pentecost 16 (Proper 18), September 4, 2016 Living Wide Awake Text: Luke 14:25–35 What is important to you? Faith? Church? Family? Job? Your football team? That this week’s sermon is shorter than last week’s was? In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us again what is important. Last week in the Gospel, Jesus said, “Anyone who exalts


“Life in First Class”

August 28th, 2016
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Pentecost 15 (Proper 17), August 28, 2016 Life in First Class Text: Luke 14:1–14 Click Here to View Sermon Video Every stand-up comedian does a routine about flying on airlines. They all do it because it is something we are all familiar with. I am assuming most of know what it is like to fly


“A Place for You”

August 21st, 2016
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Luke 13:22-30 Pentecost 14 “A Place for You” Click Here to View Sermon Video What are your plans for lunch today? I know many of you like to go out to eat after church. If a restaurant is in your plans for later (this morning), you would expect that when you got there, you would


“The Big Lie”

August 14th, 2016
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Pentecost 13 (Proper 15), August 14, 2016 The Big Lie Text: Jeremiah 23:16–29 Click Here to View Sermon Video Rumors began to circulate that disaster was at hand. Reports of impending doom appeared. People were afraid. The “experts” denied the reports and rumors. They said there was nothing to worry about and that everything would


“There’s a Reason Not to Worry”

August 7th, 2016
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Pentecost 12 (Proper 14), August 7, 2016 There’s a Reason Not to Worry Text: Luke 12:22–34 (35–40) Click Here to View Sermon Video After hearing the Gospel lesson for today, you have probably guessed that today we are going to talk about being worried. What do you worry about? The list could be endless, I


“Joyful Work”

July 31st, 2016
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Pentecost 11, July 31, 2016 Joyful Work Text: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12–14; 2:18–26 Click Here to View Sermon Video If you read bumper stickers, you may have seen the one that goes: “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” Since the average U.S. household owes over fifteen thousand dollars in credit card debt,


“The Privilege of Prayer”

July 24th, 2016
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Pentecost 10 (Proper 12), July 24, 2016 The Privilege of Prayer Text: Genesis 18:(17–19) 20–33 The nerve. Intestinal fortitude. Guts. We’d be inclined to say Abraham had a lot of these in our Old Testament Reading today. He stands there before the Judge of all the earth, the Lord, and bargains. “Lord, how about this


“The Greater Service”

July 17th, 2016
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Pentecost 9 (Proper 11), July 17, 2016 The Greater Service Text: Genesis 18:1–10a (10b–14) Have you ever been “wined and dined?” It’s pretty cool if you find yourself in that position. You know what I am talking about, right? A salesman hosts potential clients at a golf outing at the club everybody wants to join.


“Wrong Question, Right Answer”

July 10th, 2016
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Pentecost 8 (Proper 10), July 10, 2016 Wrong Question . . .but the Right Answer Text: Luke 10:25–37 Click Here to View Sermon Video Today we are going to talk about lawyers. Yea! That sounds like fun, right? Lawyers are ok, right? Some of our best friends are lawyers. We also know that lawyers are


“Why We Do The Things We Do”

July 3rd, 2016
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Pentecost 7 (Proper 9), July 3, 2016 Why We Do the Things We Do Text: Galatians 6:1–10, 14–18 Click Here to View Sermon Video Picture this scenario: The Sunday Services are over. The organist is busy putting away music. The altar guild is attending to the Communion stuff. The elder of the day is taking


“Two Kinds of People”

June 12th, 2016
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Click Here to View Sermon Video Pentecost 4 (Proper 6), June 12, 2016 Two Kinds of People Text: Galatians 2:15–21; 3:10–14 “There are only two kinds of people in this world.” You’ve all heard the opening line, but there are many ways to finish it.  Most are an attempt at humor: “There are two kinds


“The Change that Glorifies”

June 5th, 2016
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Click Here to View Sermon Video Pentecost 3 (Proper 5), June 5, 2016 #1196 The Change That Glorifies Text: Galatians 1:11–24   You’ve changed! You folks have changed!  Now you might be wondering how, since I just saw most of you a week ago.  Well, I’m betting you have. I don’t see a single pair


“Don’t Be Fooled!”

May 29th, 2016
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Pentecost 2 (Proper 4), May 29, 2016 Do Not Be Fooled! Text: Galatians 1:1–12   There is a pastor/professor in Ft. Wayne who tells this story: “I remember fondly my first call out of seminary to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Burt, Iowa. It was a small town/rural parish. The church building was older, with


“I Am”

May 22nd, 2016
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“I Am” Trinity Sunday Seminarian W. Jeff Jenkins   People of St. Mark, loved by God; it was February the 8th. A pastor was leading his congregation in a midnight worship service. Now, this was the largest church in a very large city. The pastor was recognized around the world as a leader in the


“Let’s Talk”

May 15th, 2016
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The Day of Pentecost, May 15, 2016 Let’s Talk Text: Genesis 11:1–9 Today, we are going to talk about words. Words are a big deal. If there has ever been a time that you, or someone you know, could not talk (laryngitis, stroke etc.), you know what a big deal words can be. I can


“Jesus’ Soliloquy”

May 8th, 2016
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Easter 7, May 8, 2016 Jesus’ Soliloquy Text: John 17:20–26 There are those times in a play, or in a movie, or TV show, when a character steps forward and speaks directly to the audience. I believe some of you are familiar with the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Ferris (Matthew Broderick) talked right to


“Plain Talk”

May 1st, 2016
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EASTER 6, MAY 1, 2016 Plain Talk from the Risen Lord Text: John 16:23–33 We live in a world that specializes in doublespeak. Doublespeak happens when words are distorted, changed, or switched to make an unpleasant, tricky, or otherwise negative situation sound not so bad. Some examples of doublespeak we hear almost every day: “downsizing”


“In a Little While”

April 24th, 2016
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Easter 5, April 24, 2016 In a Little While Text: John 16:12–22 Question: What occurs once in every minute, twice in every moment, yet never in a thousand years? The answer: the letter m. Riddles can be fun, but they can also make you crazy, right? Let’s try another. Who makes it, has no need


“Safe in His Name”

April 17th, 2016
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Easter 4 (Good Shepherd Sunday), April 17, 2016 Safe in His Name Text: John 10:22–30 How much name hollering goes on in your house? You know, you say your kid’s name and then you say, “Time for dinner!” “Go brush your teeth!” “Finish your breakfast or you’ll miss your bus!” You know, stuff like that.


“Foes to Friends”

April 10th, 2016
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Easter 3, April 10, 2016  #1189 From Foe to Friend by God’s Grace Alone Acts 9:1–22   If you were selecting someone to serve as a character witness for you, would you choose the person who hates you the most?  If you were selecting someone to care for one of your most prized possessions, (like


“Without Easter?”

March 27th, 2016
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EASTER DAY: THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD, MARCH 27, 2016 #1188 Without Easter? Text: 1 Corinthians 15:19–26 Easter! Today is the Big One. The greatest day of the year because it celebrates the greatest day in history! There is so much to say about Easter that even a season of fifty days is too little


“Jesus’ Passion, Our Passion”

March 20th, 2016
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Luke 23:1-49 #1187 Palm Sunday, Sunday of the Passion “Jesus’ Passion, Our Passion” This is one of the more confusing days of the church year. This is traditionally seen as the day we observe Palm Sunday, the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, with people throwing Palm branches on the road in


“Risky Business”

March 13th, 2016
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Luke 20:9-19 #1186 Lent 5 “Risky Business” What is the riskiest thing you have ever done? Jumped out of a perfectly good airplane? Eaten sushi at a gas station? Ordered that hot dog at the movie theater that has been spinning there since 1973? Those are risky things, but I would put it to you


“Terms of Forgiveness”

March 6th, 2016
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Lent 4 “Terms of Forgiveness” Text: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 I am curious how many of us have this in common: You buy new software, or you update old software, and then it says you have to agree to the EULA, the End User License Agreement. How many of you just click agree without reading it?


“Sacrifice, Siloam and the Sinner”

February 28th, 2016
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Lent 3, February 28, 2016 Sacrifice, Siloam, and the Sinner Text: Luke 13:1–9 We live in a culture that has mastered the art of being outraged. As soon as news breaks, social media is flooded with people playing a game of “I am more outraged than you are.” The National Abortion Rights Action League has


“A Lenten Mindset”

February 21st, 2016
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LENT 2, FEBRUARY 21, 2016 The Lenten Mindset Text: Philippians 3:17–4:1 Today we are going to talk about something known as a mindset. For example, Michael Jordan, the basketball player, or Tiger Woods, the golfer, were described as having the “killer” mindset. This meant when they needed to make the shot or the putt to


“The Lord is My Refuge”

February 14th, 2016
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Lent 1, February 14, 2016 The Lord is My Refuge Text: Psalm 91:1–13 In Oklahoma, we all know the word shelter. There is a company called Shelter insurance. A lot of us have tornado shelters in our homes, backyards or garages. I expect the folks who sell and install those have a lot of ad


“Things That Will Last and Things That Won’t”

February 7th, 2016
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The Transfiguration of Our Lord, February 7, 2016 Things That Will Last and Things That Won’t Text: Luke 9:28–36 At times, it can seem like what you are doing is never going to end. Like being in the dentist’s chair, or waiting in traffic, or watching the media build up to the Super Bowl. In


“I’ve Got Plans for You”

January 31st, 2016
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Epiphany 4, January 31, 2016, #1180 “I’ve Got Plans for You!” Text: Jeremiah 1:4–10 How good are you at planning? Is planning something at which you excel? Something you think is important? Or are you the kind of person that just likes to “wing it?” For example, when I travel, I tend to plan things


“Today Scripture is Fulfilled in Your Hearing”

January 24th, 2016
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Epiphany 3, January 24, 2016 Today Scripture Is Fulfilled in Your Hearing Text: Luke 4:16–30 What if Jesus came to Edmond this morning? What if He came to our church? What if He stood here in this pulpit and preached a sermon? Wouldn’t that be something? Imagine, hearing a message straight from God! Although I


A Sign of the Times”

January 17th, 2016
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Epiphany 2, January 17, 2016  #1178 A Sign of the Times Text: John 2:1–11   Today we are going to talk about weddings.  I do not know if you are aware of this, but different places have different customs for weddings.  One example is in the West; brides wear white as a sign of purity. 


“The Perfect Gift”

January 3rd, 2016
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Christmas 2, January 3, 2016 #1174 The Perfect Gift Text: Ephesians 1:3–14           Okay.  By now most of you have gotten rid of the trees, the outside lights are gone, half the toys are broken, the kids joy of ten days ago is replaced by boredom and cries of…”We don’t want to go back



“A Lamb to Take Your Place”

December 27th, 2015
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Christmas 1, December 27, 2015 A Lamb to Take Your Place Text: Exodus 13:1–3a, 11–15     There’s no avoiding it. The world is still hovering in the holiday season between Christmas and New Year’s when all the decorations and music will be gone in the blink of an eye. But while the world is


“Blessed Beyond Belief”

December 20th, 2015
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Luke 1:39-45 #1177 Fourth Sunday in Advent “Blessed Beyond Belief” I think a lot of us can tend to be self–critical. We may wish we are taller or shorter. We may wish we were younger, or just that we had no gray hair. A lot of us probably wish we were thinner. We may wish


“Rejoice! Celebrate!”

December 13th, 2015
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Advent 3, December 13, 2015, #1176 Rejoice! Celebrate! Text: Zephaniah 3:14–20 Depressed. Feeling blue, stressed out, frustrated. These are not the things that are supposed to describe what ought to be a joyful time such as Christmas. Some people feel those things at this time of year. Sometimes it comes from unrealistic expectations. Sometimes it


“Excellence”

December 6th, 2015
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Advent 2, December 6, 2015 Excellence: Doing What Matters Most Text: Philippians 1:2–11 What do you think of when you hear the word: “Excellent.” Do you think of Mercedes or BMW cars? Tag Heuer or Rolex? Do you think of Wayne’s World? Party Time? (*pause*) Or Mr. Burns? “Approve what is excellent”— that is one


“Watch”

November 22nd, 2015
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Mark 13:32-37 Last Sunday of the Church Year “Watch!” I think all of us at some time or another have taken part in a surprise party. Back when I turned 40, the church I served before this one threw me a surprise party, but it wasn’t much of a surprise. When I got a call


November 15th, 2015
Pastor Mark

Mark 13:1-13 Nov. 15, 2015 “What Does the Future Hold?   How much would you give to know the future?  What would you give to know what is coming in the days ahead?  Many of us would give quite a lot.  If you like to put some money on sports, if you play daily fantasy,


“Being Generous”

November 8th, 2015
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STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2015 “Being Generous” Text: 2 Corinthians 8:1–9, 13–15 I want to start off by thanking you for being here today, because there are always those folks in a congregation who will stay home if they know this is our topic. And I know how some of you, though you are here, may


“Saints: Now and Then”

November 1st, 2015
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All Saints Day 2015 (#1167) Matthew 5:1-12 “Saints: Now and Then” They say that if you want to know what a church believes, teaches and confesses, attend a funeral service at that church. Watch what happens at that funeral. Look at what the pastor does and listen to what he says. A funeral tells you


“Freedom”

October 25th, 2015
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“Freedom ” Reformation Sunday 2015 Text: John 8:31–36 Today we celebrate the Reformation, made possible by the outspoken confession of Martin Luther. The Reformation is considered to have begun on October 31, 1517, when Dr. Martin Luther, professor of theology at Wittenberg University in Germany, nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle


“Seek First His Kingdom”

October 11th, 2015
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LWML Sunday 2015 October 11 As you come to worship today, on this LWML Sunday, what is it that you are worried about? Yes, I know that any good pastor or any well-intentioned brother or sister in Christ will tell you that you should not worry, but we do. All of us. We know we


“The God Who Doesn’t Give Up”

October 4th, 2015
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Pentecost 19 (Proper 22), October 4, 2015 The God Who Doesn’t Give Up Text: Mark 10:2–16 A word of warning: this is not a sermon which is going to have a lot of humor and where everyone is going to feel good. In the Gospel reading for today, Jesus is angry. And so this is


“Stop Griping”

September 27th, 2015
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Pentecost 18 (Proper 21), September 27, 2015 “Stop Griping” Text: Numbers 11:4–6, 10–16, 24–29 There is an old joke that refers to the child who never said a word his whole life. When he is twelve, the family is having breakfast and his parents were shocked to hear him say the words, “Cereal cold.” His


“I Believe; Help My Unbelief!”

September 13th, 2015
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Pentecost 16 (Proper 19), September 13, 2015 “I Believe; Help My Unbelief!” Text: Mark 9:14–29 We pretty much take it for granted that we can stand up. We certainly don’t remember the first time we did it, you know, on pudgy baby legs. We figure when we need to stand up, we stand up. Until


“Don’t Fear the Autumn Leaves”

September 6th, 2015
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Pentecost 15 (Proper 18), September 6, 2015 “Don’t Fear the Autumn Leaves” Text: Isaiah 35:4–7a When I was a kid growing up, one of the fads in Hollywood was to make movies about how people coped in a disaster. There was the movie about the skyscraper on fire, the cruise ship capsized by a tidal


“Dirty Hands, Clean Hearts”

August 23rd, 2015
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Pentecost 13 (Proper 16), August 23, 2015 Dirty Hands, Clean Hearts Text: Mark 7:1–13 Clean hands are important. We expect any restaurant to provide customers with a place to wash their hands. We expect the folks who are preparing and serving our food to wash their hands. We grew up being told to wash our


“I AM the Bread of LIFE”

August 16th, 2015
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John 6:60-69 August 16, Pentecost 12 “I Am The Bread OF LIFE” I am not much of a baseball fan anymore. I gave up on baseball after they went on strike twice while I was in college. But when I was a kid I was a big baseball fan. It was a common thing on


“Jesus is the Answer for Our Discouragement”

August 9th, 2015
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Pentecost 11 (Proper 14), August 9, 2015 The Answer for Our Discouragement Text: 1 Kings 19:1–8 When I was a kid, I liked to play sports. Football, basketball, softball, tennis, golf, lots of different ones. And my folks and coaches always said, “Practice makes perfect.” In other words, if you work hard at it, you’ll


“Our God Rains for You”

August 2nd, 2015
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PENTECOST 10 (PROPER 13), AUGUST 2, 2015 Our God Rains . . . for You! Text: Exodus 16:2–15 “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you’ ” (v 4). Have you ever seen the commercial? The one where the voice asks a guy who’s just won the


“Mine!

July 26th, 2015
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Pentecost 9 (Proper 12), July 26, 2015 Mine! Text: Genesis 9:8–17 I remember back when Erica and I announced that our second child was on the way. A lot of people, and I mean a LOT of people told us that was going to be a big change in our home. For example, when you


“Traveling Light”

July 5th, 2015
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Pentecost 6 (Proper 9), July 5, 2015 Traveling Light Text: Mark 6:1–12 When I was a kid, there was a show on TV called Mission Impossible where an agent named Jim Phelps would find a tape recorder in the oddest places, and the tape would offer him a mission, if he chose to accept it.


“Don’t Be Afraid, Just Believe”

June 28th, 2015
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Mark 5:21-43 Pentecost 5 “Don’t Be Afraid, Just Believe” Today we do not start with a joke or silly story. Today we start on a more serious tone. We begin with this story: There was a little girl once who was dying. She asked her dad, “I don’t like cemeteries. Will you go into the


“Sudden Peace”

June 21st, 2015
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Pentecost 4 (Proper 7), June 21, 2015 Sudden Peace Text: Mark 4:35–41 Our text today tells us about a storm and a boat on the rather large Sea of Galilee. I have never been on a boat during a storm. When Erica and I did an Alaskan cruise six years ago there was one day


“What Do You Do?”

June 14th, 2015
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Mark 4:26-34 Pentecost 3 “What Do You Do?” We live in a culture, a society, that puts a lot of stock in doing. We give glory, laud, and honor to the businessman who makes a billion dollars, to the athlete who hits the most home runs or to the quarterback who wins the MVP. We


“Don’t Lose Heart”

June 7th, 2015
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“Don’t Lose Heart” Pentecost 2 Mark 3:20-35 Do you feel like you fit in? Do you feel like you are one of the crowd? There are a lot of TV shows, movies, books, songs out there that discuss the issue of feeling like one does not belong to the group, when people feel like outsiders.


“Only, Only, Only”

May 31st, 2015
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SERMON: The Holy Trinity May 31, 2015 John 3:1–17 “Only, Only, Only” Have you ever woke up and just not felt or acted like yourself? Ever got up in the morning and been especially grumpy? Ever get up and been in an especially good mood? I’m guessing that is rarer. Have you ever noticed this


“Don’t Be Afraid of the Holy Spirit”

May 24th, 2015
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THE DAY OF PENTECOST, MAY 24, 2015 Don’t Be Afraid of the Holy Ghost Text: Acts 2:1–21 It is a tradition to tell ghost stories around a campfire, or in a cabin, I guess. Back on my vicarage, I was a cabin counselor person and when we had the 2-4th graders, they asked me to


“Chosen by God”

May 17th, 2015
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Easter 7, May 17, 2015 Chosen by God Text: Acts 1:12–26 From the time we are very young, we are acquainted with the idea of being picked, starting with something like “Tag” (because then you are picked to be it) or “Duck, Duck, Goose” (because then you are picked to be Goose). Then we graduate


“Orphans No More”

May 10th, 2015
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Easter 6 Mother’s Day John 14:15-21 When I went to college, I was a Communication Arts major with a Radio, TV, Film emphasis. That means I got to watch TV shows for homework, and that means I like movies, GOOD movies. Lately I have noticed that Hollywood believes the only movies worth making these days


“Be a Witness”

May 3rd, 2015
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Easter 5, May 3, 2015 Be a Witness Text: Acts 8:26–40 I read this week about a group of 50 Belgians who got on a bus and they were going to drive all night on this bus to the ski slopes at La Plagne. (It is in eastern France, near the borders of Italy and


“A Very Good Shepherd”

April 26th, 2015
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Easter 4: Good Shepherd Sunday, April 26, 2015 A Very Good Shepherd Text: Acts 4:1–12 I am guessing that we have watched many movies and TV shows where the bad guys figure that if they just have the good guy killed, their lives will be perfect. It is certainly a common enough plot point. The


“A Lesson From the Leaping Man”

April 19th, 2015
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Easter 3, April 19, 2015 A Lesson from the Leaping Man Text: Acts 3:11–21 When it comes to my sports teams, I am not what you would call an optimistic, hopeful person. Erica often finds it frustrating that I will be watching a Packer game, and I will often make the comment if the Packers


“A Resurrection Nickname”

April 12th, 2015
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EASTER 2, APRIL 12, 2015 A Resurrection Nickname Text: Acts 4:32–35 Do you have a nickname? Did you? Growing up I had a few, but I will not tell you what they were because they were not, shall we say, complimentary. In eighth grade people called me Kareem, because I was the tallest kid in


“Larger Than the Stone”

April 5th, 2015
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EASTER DAY: THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD, APRIL 5, 2015 Larger Than the Stone Text: Mark 16:1–8 Have you ever seen a picture of a tomb in the Holy Land? I have. There is one in your bulletin. As you can see, the opening is square, and you have to bow down to get inside


“Your King Comes”

March 29th, 2015
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Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015 Your King Comes (to Troy?) Text: Zechariah 9:9–12   Legend tells us that once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a city named Troy. Troy was located on the coast of Asia, across the sea from the Greek city-state of Sparta. In those days, people used to


“Snakebitten”

March 22nd, 2015
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Lent 4, March 22, 2015 Snakebitten Text: Numbers 21:4–9 Did you notice the title for today’s sermon? It’s “Snakebitten”! In our way of speaking, that expression can mean a couple of things. It can mean just what the word says—that someone was literally bitten by a snake. Also, the word can mean that someone has had


“Because He Knew All Things”

March 15th, 2015
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Lent 4, March 15, 2015 Because He Knew All People Text: John 2:13–22 (23–25) Like most couples, Erica and I have our “her shows,” our “his shows,” and our “our shows” on TV. Many of the shows we watch together have that element where you don’t really know who the bad guy is, and you


“R.I.P.”

March 8th, 2015
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Mark 8:31-38 Lent 2 “R.I.P.” Exactly six months from today, the whole world will celebrate (again) one of the greatest days in human history—certainly one of the greatest days of the last century. On Sept 1 in the Western Hemisphere (or Sept 2 in Japan, where it was formalized), we’ll reach the seventieth anniversary of


“Urgent: Tempted People!”

February 22nd, 2015
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Lent 1, February 22, 2015 URGENT: Tempted People! Text: Mark 1:9–15 There is an old story about a minster and his wife who wanted to buy a dress. He trusted her to be reasonable, knowing their checking account was not as full as they would like. That’s why he was shocked when she came home


“Out with the Old, In with the New”

February 15th, 2015
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The Transfiguration of Our Lord, February 15, 2015 Out with the Old, In with the New Text: 2 Corinthians 3:12–13 (14–18); 4:1–6 Are you aware that when you go grocery shopping, and they have those folks handing out shnibbles on toothpicks, the manufacturers know that at least 20 percent of the time a sale is


“A Fowl Sermon”

February 8th, 2015
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Epiphany 5, February 8, 2015 The Fowlest Sermon Text: Isaiah 40:21–31 This is a warning. What you are about to hear is a fowl sermon, in fact a very fowl sermon. It is possible that this is the fowlest sermon you’ve ever heard. Let me clarify. The fowl I’m talking about isn’t spelled F-O-U-L. That


“Raising Up a Prophet”

February 1st, 2015
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Epiphany 4, February 1, 2015 Raising Up a Prophet Text: Deuteronomy 18:15–20 To whom do you listen? Lots of voices out there, yelling to get our attention. TV, Radio, Internet. Spouses and Kids, too, right? Millions of dollars being spent on commercials for you to watch tonight, and you probably won’t remember any of them


“By God, Believe It! Do It!”

January 25th, 2015
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Epiphany 3, January 25, 2015 By God, Believe It! Do It! Text: Jonah 3:1–5, 10 To start: A Sunday School teacher asked her class, “What can we learn from Jonah?” One young girl, twirling her hair, thinking hard, suddenly blurted out, “When whales swallow people, they get real sick!” That’s how the story ends the


“Body Language”

January 18th, 2015
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Sanctity of Human Life Sunday Body Language 1 Corinthians 6:12–20 You can learn much from body language. If someone is sitting here with their feet out, head back, their body language tells me they are not really listening. If someone is sitting up straight, looking at me like this, they are probably unhappy about something


“About the Father’s Business”

January 4th, 2015
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Christmas 2, January 4, 2015 About the Father’s Business Text: Luke 2:40–52 A little boy was lost in a large shopping mall. He sobbed, “I want my mommy.” The mall security people took him under their wing. They treated him to a hotdog, a chocolate milkshake, and a teddy bear to hug. He watched cartoons


“Christmas Every Day”

December 28th, 2014
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Christmas 1, December 28, 2014 Christmas Every Day Text: Isaiah 61:10–62:3 The hustle and bustle of this hectic holiday season, the hurry and scurry, the racing and chasing to the mall, waiting in the long lines at the checkout counter, buying that perfect gift for that special person, decorations to put up, trees and tinsel,


“God’s Gift to You”

December 25th, 2014
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Christmas Day Luke 2:10-14   They expected it to be a night like most others. The shepherds had gathered the sheep into their enclosures and prepared for a long, boring night. Boring was actually good, because if there was excitement it probably meant that a thief or a wolf had broken into the pens and


“The King’s House”

December 21st, 2014
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Advent 4, December 21, 2014 The King’s House Text: 2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16 Today we begin with the concept of the “Honey-Do List.” For those of you not familiar with this concept, it is when one spouse, often the wife but not always, comes up with things for the husband to do around the house,


“He’s Got the Joy, Joy, Joy”

December 14th, 2014
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Advent 3, December 14, 2014 He’s Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Text: Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11 As we gather here today, about halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas, what one word would describe your mood, your attitude, as you sit here this morning? For kids today it might be “Anticipation.” Or maybe “Obedience” as little folks try


“The Trust Test Part Two”

November 23rd, 2014
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THE TRUST TEST (PART 2) Proverbs 3:1-10 Today we pick up where we left off last week, as we have been reminded these last three weeks of our need to trust God: His giving to us, His promises to us, His plan of salvation done for us. We continue today with another Biblical stewardship principle.


“The Trust Test: Part One”

November 16th, 2014
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THE TRUST TEST (PART 1) Proverbs 3:1-10 Today I want to talk to you about managing the resources that God has given to us. Two Sundays ago we asked the question: Can we trust God? Last week we looked at another question: Are we trustworthy? Can God trust us with the resources He has given


“Can God Trust Me?”

November 9th, 2014
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CAN GOD TRUST ME? Luke 16:1-13 Last week Koey and I asked the question, “Can you and I trust God?” As I’m continuing this series on Stewardship on our need to Trust God, today I want to ask another question. I think last week we realized that God’s gifts are generous, and God’s care is


“Do You Trust God?”

November 4th, 2014
Pastor Mark

Do You Trust God? Proverbs 3:1-10 This morning, and for the next three Sundays, we will talk about a key to Christian living. We are going to talk about trusting God. We’re going to really look at some penetrating questions. Can we trust God? Do we trust God? When we’re through looking at that, next


“When Things Fall Apart”

October 26th, 2014
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REFORMATION DAY (OBSERVED), OCTOBER 26, 2014 When Things Fall Apart Text: Psalm 46 I believe we have all had to face, what I am calling here this morning, “One of Those Days.” You know, your alarm does not go off and you have no clue why it failed. You run into the kitchen to start


“Fragrant Sacrifices”

October 5th, 2014
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LWML Sunday 2014 Ephesians 5:2 Today we are going to think about smelling. We do it a lot. I mean with this. I am not saying we smell a lot. We can’t taste food without it. We can walk into our home and before we can see a problem, we can smell it. If you


“Changing Our Minds”

September 28th, 2014
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Pentecost 16, September 28, 2014 Changing Our Minds Text: Matthew 21:28–32 How often do you change your mind? You go to a restaurant thinking you want seafood and you end up with a steak. You turn on the TV to watch a specific show or game and then you start playing the “How Many Channels


“It’s Not Fair!”

September 21st, 2014
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Pentecost 15, September 21, 2014 Matthew 20:1 16 “It’s Not Fair!” The story is told of a socialist who once went to see Andrew Carnegie, he was a rich dude 125 years ago, he built Carnegie Hall in New York. Soon the socialist was yelling about how unfair it was with Carnegie having so much


“Forgiving Those Who Hurt You”

September 14th, 2014
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PENTECOST 14 (PROPER 19), SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 Forgiving Those Who Hurt You Text: Genesis 50:15–21 Today I am going to talk to you about something that is hard to do. Today I am going to tell you something you do not want to hear. And no, I am not going to talk about how you


“The Left Hand of God’s Rule”

September 7th, 2014
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Pentecost 13 (Proper 18), September 7, 2014 The Left Hand of God’s Rule Text: Romans 13:1–10 Today we are going to talk about right hand and left hand stuff. I am guessing most of you are right handed, though I know a few of you are left handed. I am sure you have all heard


“Losing is Living”

August 31st, 2014
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Pentecost 12, August 31, 2014 Losing Is Living Text: Matthew 16:21–28 What do we mean when we use the word, “living”? For example, when we meet people and want to get to know them better, it is common for us to ask, “So, what do you do for a living?” We of course mean their


“Comfort”

August 24th, 2014
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Pentecost 11 (Proper 21), August 24, 2014 Comfort Text: Isaiah 51:1–6 Today we are going to talk about comfort. This might have something to do with the comfort dog we are receiving today. Normally when we talk about comfort, it is in the context of things like clothes, or setting a thermostat, or buying furniture


“No Monthly Payments”

August 10th, 2014
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Pentecost 9 (Proper 19), August 10, 2014 No Monthly Payments Text: Romans 10:5–17 Today we are going to do something a little different, we are going to compare Law and Gospel to car shopping. Picture yourself, for a moment, walking into your local car dealer’s showroom. They have only got two cars—only two. The larger


“The Table is Set”

August 3rd, 2014
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Pentecost 8 (Proper 13) August 3, 2014 The Table Is Set! The table is set. You’re ready to sit down and eat and drink. Imagine your favorite meal. What would it be? For me, for a long time, I would have answered prime rib, hash browns with just the right amount of grease, onion rings,


“Comfort Food”

July 27th, 2014
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Pentecost 7 (Proper 12), July 27, 2014 Comfort Food Text: Matthew 13:44–52 Are you familiar with the term “Comfort Food”? It is what people eat when they are sick, sad, feeling down. I can tell you that when Erica is not feeling well, the ONE thing she wants to eat is: KFC mashed potatoes and


“From Groans to Oohs and Aahs”

July 20th, 2014
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Romans 8:18-25 Pentecost Six, July 20, 2014 A few years back, I heard a comedian say that “You know you are getting old when you cannot get in, or out of, a chair without groaning.” You know what I mean? It is a proven fact that since I turned fifty, I “ugh” a lot more.


“We Really Need to Listen”

July 13th, 2014
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Pentecost 5 (Proper 10), July 13, 2014 “We Really Need to Listen” Text: Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23             Everybody hates commercials.  You do.  I do.  I suppose there are some people, sometimes, who like commercials.  People will say they watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.  “I guess “Sometimes You Fell Like a Nut,


“His Yoke is Easy”

July 6th, 2014
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Pentecost 4, July 6, 2014 His Yoke is Easy Text: Romans 7:15–25a A young stockbroker didn’t like some of the shady moves his superiors were making. He had a feeling that the company was headed for the rocks. So he quietly put his résumé out and soon joined another company, at a slightly lower salary.


“Nothing to Fear?”

June 22nd, 2014
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Pentecost 2 (Proper 7), June 22, 2014 Nothing to Fear? Text: Matthew 10:5a, 21–33           What are you afraid of?  What do you fear?  I sound a little bit like a movie trailer don’t I…I fear hearing the words, “Supreme Court Justice Miley Cyrus.”  I am afraid of Americans liking soccer too much because


“The Vocation of Fathers”

June 15th, 2014
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Father’s Day The Vocation of Fathers Mark 4:35–41          Every year, our country honors fathers on Father’s Day. Now it does not matter whether you are a father or not, what we will discuss today is very important and useful to all of us.  The Fourth Commandment teaches us to honor our


“Trials? Don’t Be Surprised”

June 1st, 2014
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Easter 7, June 1, 2014 Trials? Don’t Be Surprised Text: 1 Peter 4:12–19, 5:6–11           Centuries ago, the Roman Church, working with civil authorities, often had people put to death. It was common enough that we rarely take note of any particular cases.  An exception to that would be on July 1, 1523, two


“Preaching Resurrection”

May 25th, 2014
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Easter 6, May 25, 2014 Preaching Resurrection Text: Acts 17:16–31           The Lord is Risen!  (He is Risen indeed!)  You thinking, “Wait a minute, Easter was 5 weeks ago!”?  Well, I do have this habit of telling you all that every Sunday, that every day we live in the grace of Jesus, is another


“Like Father, Like Son”

May 18th, 2014
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John 14:1-12 Easter Five “Like Father, Like Son” (The last illustration in the sermon audio was “borrowed/inspired” from the Lutheran Hour, May 19.  Rev. Seltz preaching.)   There are times we hear someone say something, and we go: No way.  Brett Favre says, “I retire.”  Al Gore says, “I invented the internet.”  Donald Sterling says,


“Doors Sunday?”

May 11th, 2014
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Easter 4: Good Shepherd Sunday, May 11, 2014 Doors Sunday? Text: John 10:1–10   Door. Door. Door. Door. It almost doesn’t sound like Good Shepherd Sunday! It sounds more like “Doors Sunday.” Now “Doors Sunday” isn’t as catchy and it doesn’t look as artistic on bulletin covers and websites as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” But if


“Seeing Things God’s Way”

May 4th, 2014
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Easter 3, May 4, 2014 Seeing Things God’s Way Text: Luke 24:13–35           One of the things of our modern times and modern technology is now we never get lost.  We never take a wrong turn.  We husbands never have to stop and ask for directions.  Why?  Because we have this whiz bang piece


“God Does the Verbs”

April 27th, 2014
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Easter 2, April 27, 2014 Blessed in the Verbs Text: 1 Peter 1:3–9           My friends, you have received the the salvation of your soul. Yes, in light of Good Friday, Jesus’ three-day rest in the tomb, His glorious descent, where He proclaimed His victory to those who were there, and His triumphant rising


“Such Earthshaking News”

April 20th, 2014
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Easter Day: The Resurrection of Our Lord, April 20, 2014 Such Earthshaking News Text: Matthew 28:1–10         The Lord is Risen! (He is Risen Indeed!)         Back in December Matthew and I were at Office Depot.  I was looking for a new carry-briefcase-thingy for my computer.  While talking with the salesman, we heard a boom,


“The Rights of the Accused”

April 13th, 2014
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Mt. 26:1-27:66 Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion “The Rights of the Accused”   When I was a kid, like many kids, I would point at people (usually other kids) and call them names.  My parents told me every time I pointed an accusing finger at someone else, three fingers pointed back at me.  Maybe you



“I See”

March 30th, 2014
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Lent 4, March 30, 2014 “I See” Text: Isaiah 42:14–21           As a pastor, there are a few times in the Sunday Scriptures where I can talk about blind guys being healed and seeing.  For a few of my sermons, I illustrated my experience with LASIC.  Growing up, I was really nearsighted.  My eye


“Are You Thirsty?”

March 23rd, 2014
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Lent 3, March 23, 2014 Are You Thirsty? Text: John 4:5–26           When was the last time you were really thirsty?  For me it goes back to college days.  I, like two of my brothers before me, marched in the UW Marching Band.  Practices were two and half hours and they could be grueling. 


“The Gospel in a (What?) Shell”

March 16th, 2014
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Lent 2, March 16, 2014 The Gospel in a (What?) Shell Text: John 3:1–17           In our society we have certain things we use to tell what group of people we belong to.  On fields, courts, rinks we have uniforms.  A green and yellow jersey might tell you I am a fan of the


“God’s Cool Response”

March 9th, 2014
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Lent 1, March 9, 2014 God’s Cool Response Text: Genesis 3:1–21   Older children like to take advantage of their younger brothers and sisters when they are young.  I read a story where an older brother with a nickel tricked his younger brother with a dime into trading the two coins, even up.  The older


“Here I Am”

March 2nd, 2014
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The Transfiguration of Our Lord, March 2, 2014 Here I Am Text: 2 Peter 1:16–21           I do not know when was the last time you played hide and seek.  I am guessing for most of us here it has been a while.  The game tends to be less popular the older we get. 


“Getting Even Through Love”

February 23rd, 2014
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Epiphany 7, February 23, 2014 Getting Even through Love Text: Matthew 5:38–48   Today we are going to discuss: revenge.  In today’s text, Jesus addresses the idea of getting even. We’ve all done it before, and we know how good it can feel. Sadly, that idea comes to us too quickly, doesn’t it?  There is


“Too Many Choices?”

February 16th, 2014
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Epiphany 6, February 16, 2014 Too Many Choices? Text: Deuteronomy 30:15–20           I think it is safe to say that as we all get older, we are offered more choices.  Let me give you an example.  This is going to show how old I am, but when I was Christopher’s age TV’s had knobs


“A Day Acceptable to the Lord”

February 9th, 2014
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Epiphany 5, February 9, 2014 “A Day Acceptable to the Lord” Text: Isaiah 58:3–9a           Have you ever been in a position where you had something to say, but those who you needed to say it to, those who needed to hear it didn’t want to listen?  I think a lot of us feel


“Congratulations, You’re a Winner!”

February 2nd, 2014
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Mt. 5:1-12 Epiphany 4 “Congratulations, You’re a Winner!”   When was the last time you won a prize, drawing, raffle, something like that?  I do not win at such things often.  Almost never.  When I was a kid back in WI, our church had a picnic every year and there were always door prizes, and


“There is No Lid on This Light”

January 26th, 2014
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Epiphany 3, January 26, 2014 “There’s No Lid on This Light” Sermon Text: Matthew 4:12–25         Today, we are going to talk about darkness.  And usually when we think about darkness, well, we don’t think good things about darkness.  the darkness is scary.  Here is what I am talking about.  Spiders are scary, right?  Now


“Purified for Purity”

January 19th, 2014
Pastor Mark
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Purified for Purity Sanctity of Human Life Sermon, January 19, 2014 1 Corinthians 6:12–20         We notice when people do stuff backwards, right?  I recently saw a movie where the hero was driving a car backwards towards the bad guys using the backup camera.  It was kind of cool, but I do not think we


“The Good King’s Wisdom”

January 5th, 2014
Pastor Mark
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Christmas 2, January 5, 2014 The Good King’s Wisdom Text: 1 Kings 3:4–15   It is hard to read, just read, the Book of Proverbs. Or, perhaps, I should say, it’s hard to hear the proverbs in large doses. There’s only so much advice a person can take without being overloaded. You know what I


“Paul’s One Sentence Christmas”

December 29th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Christmas 1, December 29, 2013 Paul’s One-Sentence Christmas Text: Galatians 4:4–7   I’ve got a couple of Christmas wishes. First, I have to admit, sometimes I wish that Aaron Rodgers hadn’t gotten hurt.  I wish the credit card bills for this last month would go away.  And when you think about all the letters Paul


“Waiting For Christmas”

December 25th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Christmas Eve Waiting for Christmas Kids have a hard time waiting for Christmas. Here are some actual letters that were written to Santa: Dear Santa Claus, When you come to my house there will be cookies for you. But if you are real hungry you can use our phone and order a pizza to go.


“A Sign from God”

December 22nd, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Is. 7:10-14 Fourth Sunday in Advent “A Sign From God”   We spend a lot of time in life looking for “signs.”  I am not talking about traffic signs or street signs, but those that are more like indicators.  For example, we send stuff to Mars looking for “signs of life.”  For those of you


“Lord, Give Me Patience”

December 15th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Advent 3, December 15, 2013 Lord, Give Me Patience Text: James 5:7–11         “Lord, grant me patience, and please hurry!”  I’m sure many of you have heard that one-liner of a prayer. It’s funny because it’s true. We are by nature impatient people. Our impatience shows up in a wide variety of situations. Our impatience


“Abound in Hope”

December 8th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Advent 2, December 8, 2013 Abound in Hope Sermon Text: Romans 15:4–13   “It was a dark and stormy night.” Do you recognize those words? In case you’ve forgotten (or you are too young to remember), they’re the words of Snoopy, the black and white beagle in Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoon. Among his many pastimes,


“Giving In”

November 24th, 2013
Pastor Mark

Giving In Matthew 16:24–26 Please allow me to share a 1960s joke. The setting is a “man-on-the-street” interview. Question: “Do you think the two greatest issues of our day are ignorance and apathy?” Answer: “I don’t know, and I don’t care.” Please forgive me that.  But I do want to ask you a question. Would


“Giving Out”

November 17th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Sermon Giving Out Luke 19:1–10 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son


“Giving Up”

November 10th, 2013
Pastor Mark

Giving Up Luke 7:36–50 1. If you were here last week you heard me talk at length about the idea of generous giving. I am asking you to think about generous giving, not exclusively as financial in nature, but as a lifestyle because we love Jesus Christ and that we are now to go looking


“Generous Giving”

November 3rd, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Generous Giving John 3:16–17     1. I have not been to Washington D.C. since I was a senior in high school.  This was so long ago, I can tell you that I was in Washington the day we tried to rescue the hostages in Iran.  So I have not yet seen the Vietnam memorial. 


“The Reformation Still Matters”

October 27th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Reformation Still Matters Reformation Day Sermon, October 31 Romans 3:21–24   Does the Reformation still matter? Do we really need a special service to remember what the Reformation was all about? How often does it happen to you that you say you are Lutheran and people think you are a disciple of Martin Luther King


“Attack in Any Direction”

October 20th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Pentecost 22 (Proper 24), October 20, 2013 Under Attack?  Attack in Any Direction Text: 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5   Have you ever heard of the “Battle of the Bulge”?  I am not talking about the battle many of us wage who are trying to lose weight.  I am talking about Dec 16, 1944. That’s when hundreds


“If We Are Faithless, He is Faithful”

October 13th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Pentecost 21 (Proper 23), October 13, 2013 If We Are Faithless, He Is Faithful Text: 2 Timothy 2:1–13   Today the key word from the text is being faithful—faithfulness.  That is a good thing, but sometimes it is hard to do.  I was asked by my eye doctor to be faithful in putting the drops


“You Are My Witnesses”

October 6th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Today is LWML Sunday and this year’s theme is Jesus saying to us, > “You are my witnesses.” Usually when we think of that witness word we > think of police folks looking for witnesses to crimes. We look back > fondly on some things we have witnessed: births, graduations, men on > the moon,


The Haves and the Have-Nots

September 22nd, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Pentecost 19 (Proper 21), September 22, 2013 The Haves and the Have-Nots Text: Luke 16:19–31 I am guessing here today, as I preach my first sermon since July that is not based on one of the ten commandments, I am guessing you all have heard the phrase about the haves and the have-nots. A couple


Ninth and Tenth Commandments

September 15th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Ninth and Tenth Commandments Exodus 20:17 Today we are going to talk about coveting. That is a word we do not use much these days, but you know it when you see it. For those of you who like technology, you know how it works. A TV goes from 480 to 720 to 1080p. As


“Protect Reputation”

September 8th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Exodus 20:16 “Protect Reputation” 13″You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” There are some cliche’s that are true and valid, and there are some that are not. “It ain’t over til it’s over.” True. “It is what it is.” True, but redundant. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”


“Honor Marriage”

August 25th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Exodus 20:14 Pentecost Fourteen (sort of) “Honor Marriage” 13″You shall not commit adultery.” Doing certain things at certain times makes sense. You normally bathe at home, not out in the rain. You normally go to a library to study, not to a sports bar. You normally cheer for the QB on your team, not the


“Preserve Life”

August 18th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Exodus 20:13 Pentecost Eight (sort of) “Preserve Life” 13″You shall not murder.” For those of you who are parents, you know, like me, that when you have just one child to deal with at a time, things can go pretty smoothly. When you have two kids or more, problems can rise exponentially. When you have


“Protect the Home”

August 4th, 2013
Pastor Mark
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Exodus 20:12 Pentecost Ten “Protect the Home” 12″Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. “ When I was a little Lutheran, 40-45 years ago, there were many times that my parents would tell me to do stuff, and being