Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Family Devotion - The Power of Jesus' Word

Scripture Reading - Mark 4:35-41

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

Thought of the Day
In another devotion, we talked about the power of God’s Word in creation. In this story we are shown that Jesus also has the power to control creation with his words. Jesus is able to quiet a storm simply by telling the wind and waves to be still. Imagine if you had been a disciple on that boat. Would you have been scared? Sometimes our fears can make us forget that Jesus is with us and protecting us. Jesus’ words have the power to change things and we must have faith that when we ask for His help, as the disciples did, that He will speak for us and bring us protection.

Discussion questions
1. What are some things that scare you?

2. When we are afraid, what are some ways we can remember that Jesus is with us?

3. How can we help others when they are scared?

Dear Jesus,
Sometimes we get scared. There is a lot that can frighten us. Help us to remember that you are able to speak to the wind and quiet the waves. Help us to remember that you will speak to keep us safe. Give us the faith to remember that you are always with us. Thank you for being there for us. AMEN.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Family Devotion - A Story By Jesus

Scripture Reading - Mark 4:26-29

[Jesus] also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."

Thought of the Day
Jesus knew that we need help learning about God. To help us he taught in parables, or stories, to help us learn. He often used pictures that the people listening would understand, including farming and fishing. In this parable, we represent the seeds that are planted and left to grow. God has scattered us throughout the world and He will return to gather us together in His kingdom.

Discussion questions
1. Can you learn from stories? What are some other stories that you’ve learned from?

2. How does Jesus telling us stories help us learn?

3. Write a parable of your own about the Kingdom of God.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for taking the time to teach us in ways that we can understand. Learning about God can make us think about a lot of hard questions, and through your parables you try to answer them. Help guide us today as we continue to learn about you. AMEN.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Worship Changes

Hey everyone!  I've been swamped here getting the changes to the Sunday morning schedule implemented for Children's Ministry.  They began yesterday and I think they were a success so far.  In Sunday School we have begun a new Sunday School opening to address the needs of our new 1 hour time limit and it seemed to be well recieved by the children and parents alike.  I for one enjoy the opportunity to interact with the children more.  Sadly I didn't make it to a worship service due to facilitating the changes but I was told that those went well too.

What are your impressions of the worship changes so far?

Register Now for St. Luke’s Preschool’s 2010-2011 School Year

Registration is in full swing for the 2010-2011 school year!

St. Luke’s offers 3-day programs for 4/5 year olds on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday mornings and afternoons. The three-day afternoon program is a multi-age class for older 3 year olds, 4 and 5 year olds. St. Luke’s also offers a 2-day program for 3 year olds on Wednesday and Friday mornings. The registration fee is $55. The 2-day program is $110/month; the 3-day program is $140/month for the 2010-2011 school year. Registration forms and a brochure are available at www.stlukes.ws/preschool.

St. Luke’s Preschool is an excellent early childhood program where children are nurtured in all areas of their development – social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual. It is a fun and loving place to grow and learn! Tell your friends and family about us so that they can call to have a tour and get information too!

If you have questions or would like to visit, please contact our director, Kristin Kaiser, at kristink@stlukes.ws or 952-881-5801 ext. 108.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday Family Devotion - Jesus' Baptism

Scripture Reading - Mark 1:9-11

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased
Thought of the Day
When we were baptized we entered the church family and became a child of God. Each of us is marked with the cross of Christ and because of that we know that God will never abandon us. He will always love and care for us. In this reading, Jesus is baptized and as he was baptized everyone there knew that he was God’s son. Even though our own baptism didn’t have a dove descending from the sky, because we know that Jesus is God’s Son, we know that our baptism keeps us as God’s child forever!

Discussion questions
1. Ask your parents what they remember from your baptism. Call grandma and grandpa and ask about your parent’s baptism. Did you cry? Did they? Look up your baptism anniversary and mark it on your calendar.

2. Mark the sign of the cross on everyone’s forehead and remind them that “They are a child of God.” How does that reminder make you feel?

Dear God,
Thank you for being with your Son and sending Him to us. Thank you for the story of His baptism. Thank you for our own baptism stories. Help us remember that we are always your child because of our baptism. AMEN.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday Family Devotion - The Greatest Commandment

Scripture Reading - Matthew 22:34-40

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Thought of the Day
We know that there are 10 Commandments that we are supposed to follow, but Jesus knows that 10 can be a lot of rules to follow so he breaks it down for us. Instead of 10, there are 2 things that we are called to do.
1. Love God
2. Love God’s People
These can be hard things to do all the time but God knows that if we do this we will live good lives. When we love God, we keep Him first in our lives and know that He is important. And when we love God’s people as we love ourselves, then we think about what other people would want when we make decisions. If the whole world followed these two commandments what a great world it would be!

Discussion questions
1. Which of these commandments is easier? Loving God or God’s people? Why?

2. What are some ways we can show God we love Him?

3. What are some ways we can show God that we love His people?

Dear God,
Following rules can be hard. Thank you for simplifying things and sending Jesus to help teach us to love you and your people. Give us the strength to think about you and your people as much as we do ourselves. AMEN.

Friday, January 8, 2010


It seems as though I have been Missing In Action lately but I haven't forgotten about you out there.  The reality of coming back from 12 days of vacation means that there are some piles to dig through and unfortunately it has taken me longer to dig out than I'd hoped.

If I had been more on top of it I would have asked you all about your Christmas'.  Did you start a new faith tradition this year?  But Christmas has come and gone and so has New Year's.  But I think that a week into the New Year is still an ok time to talk about resolutions.

Most of us make resolutions this time of year.  It is a chance for us to reflect on the year past and what changes we want to make.  It is a natural time to pause and take stock of what is important.  Below are the top ten most common New Year's resolutions.  Do you see something missing?

1. Stop smoking 
2. Get Fit
3. Lose Weight 
4. Enjoy Life More 
5. Quit Drinking 
6. Get Organized 
7. Learn Something New 
8. Get Out of Debt 
9. Spend more time with the Family 
10. Help Others

These are some wonderful resolutions and they serve a purpose - to make our lives more as we would wish them to be.  We want to be happier, healthier and more secure in our lives and these resolutions help thatBut there is something that is missing...there is nothing on there about improving on your relationship with God.  Now in particular spending time with your family and helping others are often products of a full life with God but they are not the same thing. 

It takes courage to admit that you are not always in a faithful state of mind.  THis is not to admit that you never have doubts or questions about God and faith, rather this is a state where God doesn't even register on our radar screens for the day, week, month or year.

Most Christians would agree that a relationship with God is an important thing, so why are we not resolved to start the year off and make it so?  We've just witnessed the miracle of Christmas - the birth of a Savior in the stable - will that affect your life this new year?  Or is it something you pack away with the Christmas lights or leave on the curb with the dry tree?

I say that we should resolve to make God in our top ten at very least.  It may not be a complicated resolution.  It may be as simple as resolving to pray before each meal, or before bed, or to put the sign of the cross on your children each day and remind them of their baptism.

What might your resolution be to bring yourself closer to God in 2010?

P.S.  Mine? I resolve to share my faith openly and honestly with you here on this blog.  My struggles and successes,  because sharing here makes me think again and in a new way about my own need for Salvation and God's grace that has been given to me.