Tag Archives: spiritual growth

Where We are Going in June

A Biblical Look into Life’s 4 Key Questions

This June I’ll be preaching a 4 part series called: A Biblical Look into Life’s 4 Key Questions. The inspiration for these messages have come from discussions I have had with many of you about these very issues, and our congregation’s desire for more spiritual growth opportunities.

Here are the questions we will grapple with:

  • What can we know about God?
  • Why is there such suffering in the world and what does this say about the “human condition”?
  • Where do we look for security and happiness?
  • What hope is there after our lives end?

All religions attempt to deal with these questions and our faith meets them head on.  What does Christianity really say about these matters?

I imagine we all ponder these mysteries from time to time.  Do you have friends right now who need to hear these messages?

If so – invite and bring them!

If we pray, come prepared and engage I believe this series can be a blessing in our spiritual formation and growth!

What is to give light must endure burning – Lent at Rejoice

Lent is coming… and fast!

Lent is the time for the church to “amp up” its reflective nature.  It’s a time to take our faith to the next level.  This is often done by intentional serving in specific ways. Additionally, we take time for silence and devotions, fasting and prayer.  Ultimately the church wants to engage with Jesus on a deeper level.  Is it possible for us to do this?  Are we really interested in taking this journey??

If we give attention to spiritual disciplines, good things tend to happen!

The in the Old Testament we often hear God say through the prophets: “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.”  Lent affords us the opportunity to “draw near!”

This year we will follow closely the life, message and teaching of Jesus from the gospel of Luke.  Our overall theme comes from one of my favorite writers, Viktor Frankl: “What gives light must endure burning.”  His words give us a profound image to ponder.  Jesus the light of the world flames out on the cross, but in that mysterious and grim tableaux of crucifixion God removes the sin of the world.  Thanks be to God this is not the end… for after Good Friday there is Easte

How might we make the most of Lent this year?

My invitation to you is to take the journey with us and attend every service throughout Lent, as our messages will have a deep and meaningful theme that will span the arc of Lent and take you from the significance of the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday all the way through the resurrection on Easter Sunday.  Come to each service but before you do pray for yourself, the service, the ensemble, our children’s ministry with Janeen and Jessica, me (!!!), and ask God to open your heart to new dimensions of grace.  Make a real spiritual investment in our community.

We want to grow spiritually, we want to grow in our relationships, we want to grow in our stewardship… and here is one way to honor these worthy ambitions.

Let me state it again: make the effort to be here at worship consistently, prayerfully, and expectantly each and every service in Lent.  I believe you, your family and our church will be blessed by this ambition!  Lent is a great opportunity… let’s make the most of it!

God bless you as we journey on the path of faith together!

Pastor Lou

Thoughts on Spiritual Growth

I wanted to share with you a few of my thoughts on Spiritual Growth.  During last Sunday’s message, we broke up into little groups to define spiritual growth and there were as many answers as people!  And that is exactly how it should be.   We have different gifts, we have unique personalities and we are all on different points on the spiral helix of our faith journey!

As we embrace this topic consider this decidedly Trinitarian way to imagine Spiritual growth:

  • Spiritual Growth is a deepening awareness of God’s indwelling presence.
  • Spiritual Growth is about the longing to understand in ever deepening ways the mystery of Christ’s life, death and    resurrection and what it means for us to act purposefully as his disciples.
  • Spiritual Growth is an evolving communal experience of Grace, power and wisdom from the Holy Spirit.

Our congregation has made it clear that spiritual growth is something we want to reach for boldly in this year.  And because of this, it will mean making choices and decisions to show up to ministry events such as the Concert of Prayer, the women’s retreat, Beer and Bible Study, my Luther class and Sunday Worship as examples!  If we are serious about spiritual growth we have to ratchet up our investment in what we put into it!  We need to ask ourselves: if we want to grow what needs to change for us now?

Here is an exercise to start us off:

For the next 7 days, begin or end each day with making the sign of the cross on your forehead and heart (this is to remind us that in our Baptism we have been claimed by God as his own).  Recite slowly the Apostles Creed, and then pray the Lord’s Prayer… but really concentrate on what you are praying.  Don’t rush through it.  If you do, start over and make it count.  Then take 5 minutes to be silent. Just make yourself available to be in God’s presence.  No phones, computer, or distractions.  5 minutes.  Try it for 7 days and see what happens.

May this week and this year bring us the growth we are seeking.

With much love,

Pastor Lou