Para Vista Lutheran Church

Weekly messages from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Para Vista Inc

Hang In There! (Audio)

July 3rd, 2022

Resilience has become a bit of a buzz word in recent years.  Doubly so, as we’ve battled through Covid and are still recovering from that, emotionally, socially, financially, and even spiritually.  We’d all like to know how we might hang in there during the tough times in life and continue to thrive and live well, in even the most challenging of circumstances?

In today's message we explore resilience, look at how worship helps us hang in there, and unpack a simple prayer for resilience: “Lord, warm my heart, renew my mind, use my hands, and shape my life.  Amen.”

Hang In There! (Video)

July 3rd, 2022

Resilience has become a bit of a buzz word in recent years.  Doubly so, as we’ve battled through Covid and are still recovering from that, emotionally, socially, financially, and even spiritually.  We’d all like to know how we might hang in there during the tough times in life and continue to thrive and live well, in even the most challenging of circumstances?

In today's message we explore resilience, look at how worship helps us hang in there, and unpack a simple prayer for resilience: “Lord, warm my heart, renew my mind, use my hands, and shape my life.  Amen.”

Our Divine Relattionships(AUDIO)

June 26th, 2022

Here is a thought that comes from the book “The Peacemaker” by Ken Sande, where he talks about an effect of using the Golden Rule to treat others as we would like to be treated. He calls this the Golden Result:

The Golden Result says that people will usually treat us as we treat them. If we blame others for a problem, they will usually blame us in return. But if we say, “I was wrong,” it is amazing how often the response will be, “It was my fault too.”

I have seen this result in hundreds of cases over the past twenty-one years. Whether the dispute involves a personal quarrel, divorce, lawsuit, or Church division, people generally treat one another as they are being treated. When one person attacks and accuses, so does the other. And when God moves one person to start getting the log out of his or her own eye, it is rare that the other side fails to do the same.

The Golden Result occurs more often with people who understand and cherish the gospel. When we admit our own sins are so serious that Jesus had to die for us, and remember that he has forgiven us for all our wrongs, we can let go of our illusion of self-righteousness and freely admit our failures. When we do this, we experience the wonderful gift of God’s forgiveness.

In so many cases this results in a softening and a willingness to work things out rather than to continue the conflict.

Pastor Paul Fielke

Bible Reading: 1 John 4:11, 15-21

Our Divine Relationships(VIDEO)

June 26th, 2022

Here is a thought that comes from the book “The Peacemaker” by Ken Sande, where he talks about an effect of using the Golden Rule to treat others as we would like to be treated. He calls this the Golden Result:

The Golden Result says that people will usually treat us as we treat them. If we blame others for a problem, they will usually blame us in return. But if we say, “I was wrong,” it is amazing how often the response will be, “It was my fault too.”

I have seen this result in hundreds of cases over the past twenty-one years. Whether the dispute involves a personal quarrel, divorce, lawsuit, or Church division, people generally treat one another as they are being treated. When one person attacks and accuses, so does the other. And when God moves one person to start getting the log out of his or her own eye, it is rare that the other side fails to do the same.

The Golden Result occurs more often with people who understand and cherish the gospel. When we admit our own sins are so serious that Jesus had to die for us, and remember that he has forgiven us for all our wrongs, we can let go of our illusion of self-righteousness and freely admit our failures. When we do this, we experience the wonderful gift of God’s forgiveness.

In so many cases this results in a softening and a willingness to work things out rather than to continue the conflict.

Pastor Paul Fielke

Bible Reading: 1 John 4:11, 15-21

We Are All One in Christ (Audio)

June 19th, 2022

Being a follower of Jesus is a package deal.  If we have God as our heavenly Father, through Christ, then because of that, other Christians are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

St Paul tells us in Galatians 3:36-29 that, because of our shared union with Christ, the usual cultural distinctions and separations between people no longer apply.  Our unity with each other is grounded in and flows out of our union with Christ.  We don’t come together as a congregation simply as a human arrangement, but because God has drawn us to himself and  made us part of his family.  This is not our doing, but his.  It is a gift of grace!

Our unity as Christians is a gift – and this precious gift is what that determines our identity.  Who am I?  I am God’s beloved and forgiven child, through my union with Christ.  And who are we?  We are God’s beloved and forgiven family, though our union with Christ.  That’s how we are to think of ourselves and of each other.

We are one in Christ – praise God!  Let’s live that way!

We Are All One in Christ (Video)

June 19th, 2022

Being a follower of Jesus is a package deal.  If we have God as our heavenly Father, through Christ, then because of that, other Christians are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

St Paul tells us in Galatians 3:36-29 that, because of our shared union with Christ, the usual cultural distinctions and separations between people no longer apply.  Our unity with each other is grounded in and flows out of our union with Christ.  We don’t come together as a congregation simply as a human arrangement, but because God has drawn us to himself and  made us part of his family.  This is not our doing, but his.  It is a gift of grace!

Our unity as Christians is a gift – and this precious gift is what that determines our identity.  Who am I?  I am God’s beloved and forgiven child, through my union with Christ.  And who are we?  We are God’s beloved and forgiven family, though our union with Christ.  That’s how we are to think of ourselves and of each other.

We are one in Christ – praise God!  Let’s live that way!

What is the Church? (Video)

June 12th, 2022

What does it mean to belong to the Kingdom of God?

How do we live in our local community as the Kingdom of God – the Church?

What is the Church – Jesus’ Church?

We live in a “individualistic” society, so how do we become a community acting together in unity?

We live in the world and have been given the role to share Jesus’ Kingdom on Earth.

Pastor Klein explores how we as a community share the Wisdom of God with each other and with those around us.

We are to be a community for each other’s sake.

Please read Acts 15:22-35 in preparation for Sunday.

Pr Fin Klein

What is the Church? (Audio)

June 12th, 2022

What does it mean to belong to the Kingdom of God?

How do we live in our local community as the Kingdom of God – the Church?

What is the Church – Jesus’ Church?

We live in a “individualistic” society, so how do we become a community acting together in unity?

We live in the world and have been given the role to share Jesus’ Kingdom on Earth.

Pastor Klein explores how we as a community share the Wisdom of God with each other and with those around us.

We are to be a community for each other’s sake.

Please read Acts 15:22-35 in preparation for Sunday.

Pr Fin Klein

Pentecost - What Dows This Mean? (AUDIO)

June 5th, 2022

Pentecost is all about the coming of the Holy Spirit.  This raised a lot of questions for those who saw and heard what the Spirit was doing.  First of all, there were the “tongues of fire,” which were a visible representation of the presence of the Spirit on the disciples.  And then the Spirit caused them to “speak in other tongues.”

With repetition of the word “tongues,” it’s understandable why some people might mistakenly think that the disciples were exercising the spiritual gift of “speaking in tongues.”  But that’s not the case.  The disciples were speaking real languages.  Luke explicitly says, “each one heard them speaking in his or her own language.”

Those who heard the disciples speaking, explained that “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”  The standout thing here is not so much the phenomena of the disciples speaking in other languages, but more about what they were saying in these different languages – the message they were sharing.

What was the Holy Spirit’s intention here?  To put on a good show?  Well, it certainly got people’s attention.  But that’s only a means to an end.  The goal here is for people to hear the Good News about Jesus.  To proclaim the greatest miracle of all: the resurrection of Christ and his victory over sin and death!

Finally, what does Pentecost mean for us here at Good Shepherd?  It means that the Holy Spirit is continuing to pour his power over our lives so we ourselves can believe in Jesus and then share that message with others; The Spirit is continuing to renew our hearts and change our lives so that we become more like Jesus and share his love with those around us; and the Spirit is filling us with peace and hope, so that we can persevere during this time of vacancy with determination and confidence.  The Holy Spirit is continuing to do what he’s always doing: drawing people into God’s Kingdom and growing God’s people in faith and love.

Pastor Richard Haar

Pentecost - What Does This Mean? (VIDEO)

June 5th, 2022

Pentecost is all about the coming of the Holy Spirit.  This raised a lot of questions for those who saw and heard what the Spirit was doing.  First of all, there were the “tongues of fire,” which were a visible representation of the presence of the Spirit on the disciples.  And then the Spirit caused them to “speak in other tongues.”

With repetition of the word “tongues,” it’s understandable why some people might mistakenly think that the disciples were exercising the spiritual gift of “speaking in tongues.”  But that’s not the case.  The disciples were speaking real languages.  Luke explicitly says, “each one heard them speaking in his or her own language.”

Those who heard the disciples speaking, explained that “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”  The standout thing here is not so much the phenomena of the disciples speaking in other languages, but more about what they were saying in these different languages – the message they were sharing.

What was the Holy Spirit’s intention here?  To put on a good show?  Well, it certainly got people’s attention.  But that’s only a means to an end.  The goal here is for people to hear the Good News about Jesus.  To proclaim the greatest miracle of all: the resurrection of Christ and his victory over sin and death!

Finally, what does Pentecost mean for us here at Good Shepherd?  It means that the Holy Spirit is continuing to pour his power over our lives so we ourselves can believe in Jesus and then share that message with others; The Spirit is continuing to renew our hearts and change our lives so that we become more like Jesus and share his love with those around us; and the Spirit is filling us with peace and hope, so that we can persevere during this time of vacancy with determination and confidence.  The Holy Spirit is continuing to do what he’s always doing: drawing people into God’s Kingdom and growing God’s people in faith and love.

Pastor Richard Haar

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