Learning Worship from a Forgiven Prostitute

The evening has been carefully planned. All the religious bigwigs are coming to Simon the Pharisee’s home. Jesus has been invited over. He is a rabbi, but he is new to the religious scene. He has been making waves among the Jews by doing and saying some pretty “unkosher” things. He cannot be ignored any longer. So Jesus is invited over so an investigation can take place. Is Jesus a prophet or isn’t he?

Simon has not invited Jesus as an equal. Rather, Simon has invited Jesus to insult him. To provoke him. To let him know they are not in the same class as religious teachers.

Death to Life

Maggie Sun was a Chinese student attending Shoreland. Maggie’s mother and grandmother were not Christians. The Holy Spirit converted Maggie, though, as she heard God’s Word at Shoreland, living with her host parents, Pastor and Judy Peters, and worshiping with us and taking adult confirmation classes at Epiphany.

The Place for Preaching the Faith

When I have new people taking my adult confirmation classes, in my first lesson I begin to explain that when you walk into a church, you should be able to see what that church teaches based on the symbols within the church. Throughout the course of our study, I explain the Christian symbols in Epiphany’s sanctuary – the stained-glass windows, paintings, church furnishings, candles, crosses and other symbols.

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

My daughters have run cross country in the fall for WLS and Shoreland. Although they are busy playing soccer in the spring, they have also run for the track teams at WLS and Shoreland. As they are in training or running their races, they have heard their track and cross country coaches giving them advice.

One in Christ

When I help out at my daughter and son-in-law’s house, my help isn’t for free. I immediately go into their pantry for payment. There had better be a package of Oreos in there for dad.

Everyone eats Oreos differently. Some eat it slowly and methodically. Others shove the whole thing into their mouth at once. The girls in my house twist the cookie part off, eat the creamy filling, and then stack all the cookies to eat at one time. I prefer to dunk my Oreos in milk. There are some who don’t have a favorite way to eat Oreos … because they don’t like Oreos. I call them heathens.

Seeing Better

Last week I went to the Vision Center at Walmart to get my eyes checked. The nurse took me into one room where she checked my peripheral vision, eye strength and then shot that wonderful puff of air onto my eyeball. Then she asked me if I could read the numbers inside the colored dot pictures. I thought I did well. I saw the numbers 3, 4, and 12. I saw three out of twelve numbers. She asked, “Do you know if you’re color blind?” “Yes, I am very color blind.”

They Should Have Been Enemies

Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play Major League Baseball. He faced hostility from opposing teams. He faced animosity from baseball fans. He even faced resentment and suspicion from his own teammates on the Brooklyn Dodgers.

During one game, the taunting became unbearable. While playing second base, Jackie committed an error. The Boston players and fans began to heckle Jackie mercilessly. That’s when legendary shortstop Pee Wee Reese walked over from his shortstop position and put his arm over Jackie’s should and began talking to him.

No One Will Snatch You

Greg’s father died of cancer. Greg was understandably distraught. I had been introduced to Greg through my oldest daughter. I met with Greg the next day in an empty classroom at Shoreland Lutheran High School. As I worked to comfort and console Greg, I asked him if he believed everything he was being taught at Shoreland. He immediately buried his head in hands on the table. He didn’t answer for a full 30 seconds.

Finally, Greg answered, “I want to.”

Breakfast with Jesus

Nutrition experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides fuel for the body and brain after an overnight fast. That’s where the name originates – breaking the fast! A healthy breakfast can improve memory and concentration levels. It can improve mood and lower stress levels. In studies among children, breakfast can improve behavior and has been linked to improved grades. Just like any other organ of the body, the brain needs energy to work its best. Eating breakfast is healthy for the body and brain.