“See the Savior”

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

“See the Savior”

January 24, 2017

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 – And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Looking back to some of my earliest memories, I can recall a one-day outing with my father.

What I remember is not like a movie with one scene following after another. No, these memories are in the form of a few, old snapshots, which have been dulled and faded by the passing of decades. The theme of the outing was a trip to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Searching my memory I can barely see some trick riders standing on the back of their horses; I can make out a lineup of clowns who have just exited a mini-car, and one where I find myself wondering why the lion tamer uses a chair for protection. Still, the most vivid memory of that day is not from the death-defying performances. No, those memories come from what I had seen earlier, much earlier, in the day.

It is when dad and I watched the intricate choreography of roustabouts and elephants putting up the great tents that transformed a giant, empty lot into a canvas-covered, flag-flying, mini- city.

I suppose those old memories are part of the reason, when the time came, Pam and I took our three children to the circus. Although I have to confess, laziness kept me from getting the family up before dawn to see the work that was done behind the scenes.

In recent years there was always a desire to take the grandchildren to see The Greatest Show on Earth. Sadly, that is a desire that will remain unfulfilled. After 146 years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down. Declining attendance, high operating costs, changing public tastes, and ongoing squabbles with animal-rights folk have rung the show’s death knell.

The elephants are being retired to Florida, and the other animals are being distributed to various suitable locations around the country.

And I’ll never take the grandkids to see The Greatest Show on Earth. In the scheme of things I suppose not seeing a circus is not a very big deal.

On the other hand, not taking your children and grandchildren to see the Savior is an incredibly big deal. Think about it: Jesus is the only One who loves them more than you, who has done more for them than you. He is the One who will be with them long after you are gone, and He is the only One who can take care of them when the day comes that the doctors say, “We can do nothing more.”

Please note, in the above paragraph I said, we should take, not send, but take our children to see their Savior. In doing so, you show your little ones that the Redeemer is important to you. You are telling them that Jesus is not just for children, but He is for adults, too. Paraphrasing Ringling Brothers, Jesus remains the greatest (and the only) Savior on earth.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we don’t know how long we have before us, nor do we know how many opportunities will be presented to us. Help us use the days and the chances wisely, well, and in a way that glorifies the Savior. In His Name. Amen

Don’t Settle for a Piece of Peace

Lutheran Hour Ministries

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

“More than a Piece of Peace! “

January 23, 2017

Matthew 1:21, 23b – She will bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins … “and they shall call His Name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

In the new year, we tend to talk about hope, don’t we? But today in the world in which we live it’s good to remind ourselves of the Christmas-Easter message of peace: peace that lasts. And, when we talk about peace, we tend to mean peaceful circumstances, right? We want the peace that comes with bills paid, relationships intact, body/health doing fine, and purposeful work to do. That’s the kind of peace that folks are striving for with all that they do — day in and day out. So, when something interrupts those peaceful circumstances, we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of anxiety, anxiousness, fear and discord. And, as you get older, you begin to realize that those circumstances seem to arise out of nowhere, more and more often, with a clear awareness that we don’t have the capability to handle all things, at all times.

People often tell me if you have enough money, you can buy all the peace you need. But I remember a very wealthy man who had everything, but still lived in fear. He had to stash his money in several hidden places so that people wouldn’t steal it, so that he would have money when his health started to fade. And even before all those fears eventually happened, he was living in the daily fear of potentially losing it all everyday anyway. If you are satisfied with just having a piece of this world’s peace, if you are satisfied with this world’s best offers, its limited promises — the only news the Bible has for you is that peace won’t last.

That’s why Christmas and Easter are so important to you, to me, to all of us. It’s the promise of peace we really need. It’s an offer of peace that is beyond our control and greater than our circumstances. And that’s what our Bible verse is talking about today. It tells us about the peace of God that He brings when He comes into our life and He promises to be with us in all circumstances in this world — ultimately promising that in Him we will live forever in heaven. It’s the peace that comes when you know One that is able, One that is capable, and that One is with you in all things to bring you blessing. That’s peace that lasts. That peace comes when you realize that Jesus is “Immanuel,” God with us — God with you.

When you realize in Him, you have enough, then the way you face the issues of the day changes. I tell you too that when you realize that in Him you have everything — even more than enough — then life becomes a journey that ends in His abundant joy, eternal life, and a peace that lasts: circumstances included.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, give me courage and wisdom not to settle for the pieces of peace that this world offers because I know they don’t last. Let me rather put my faith in You and follow You in all things, with the knowledge that having You in my life — that’s the peace I need! Amen!

Thanksgiving Devotional

WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL THANKFUL

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me. – Psalm 50:23

What do you do when your life is going south? What do you do when it is “THANKSGIVING” and you have just lost a loved one… or just lost your job… or just lost your marriage? Surely you cannot be expected to give thanks… can you?

Sometimes thanksgiving is a sacrifice.  Sometimes we must thank God through clenched teeth and chocked back tears. Thanksgiving in the midst of a terrible storm brings tremendous joy to His heart. It shows the Lord that we really trust Him… regardless of the adverse circumstances we are facing.

THE THANKSGIVING CONSTANT

Perhaps you are one this year who is having trouble finding good in your life. Look no further than Jesus. He never changes. Despite everything you might be facing, you can rejoice in Him. You can give thanks for Him and His love and care for you. You can give thanks that He promised to work all things together for good.

Train yourself to give thanks in everything. Remember… a sacrifice of thanksgiving brings honor to the Lord. Thank Him for that trial you are facing. Thank Him for that sorrow. He will use your thanks for His glory and your ultimate good!

-Jeff Schreve

Join us for Thanksgiving Day Worship @ 9:00 a.m. & give thanks for God & all he does for us..

Trunk-or-Treat is almost here!!! :)

JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL TRUNK-OR-TREAT!!!
This is a great outreach event where we welcome neighborhood families to bring their kids for some trick-or-treating in a safe and controlled environment. Come show off your costume and enjoy the music, treats and company.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO VOLUNTEER YOUR TRUNK???                   Decorate your car’s trunk and fill it with candy or healthy treats to hand out to the kids of the neighborhood. Call Vanessa Terrazas @ 714-496-0587 or text Monique Cervantes @714-270-3715. 🙂

HOPE TO SEE YOU HERE!!