Salem Lutheran Church

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New beginnings

I love this time of year. You can’t get on any social media without seeing many pictures of kiddos heading to school for the first time this school year. They stand on their porches with signs, some are captured heading to a bus stop, or standing with their new teacher in their classroom. In these pictures you can see kiddos who are buzzing with excitement, those who look a little nervous…

Time to Say Goodbye!

For the past ten years, Jill and I have had the pleasure of being a part of this faith community. It has been an absolute joy to be your pastor, and I thank you for allowing me to be an integral part of your lives. For the longest time, my hope and my prayer was that this would be my last call and that I would be here until I retired, but I think you all know me well enough to also know that…

It's Not About the Stuff

Our Gospel story today is often titled the “Parable of the Rich Fool,” but before we just skip over the accusation made against this man and talk about what this means for us today, I think it is critical that we understand why God calls this man a fool. Was it wrong for the man to want to store up his riches? Was it wrong for the man to save his abundance for the future? Does God think it is…

God’s Timing

Have you ever tried to make something happen, and no matter what you did or how long you struggled, it never worked out? Then later, under different circumstances, what you thought you wanted happened differently? I have heard so many stories of couples struggling to have a child, and when they finally adopted a child, they got pregnant. Maybe because the pressure was gone … or because they…

Teach Us To Pray

Prayer in the Gospel of Luke is an important spiritual practice. In fact, it is mentioned more than 60 times in Luke. In this Gospel we are told of Jesus praying at his baptism (3:21); Jesus praying before selecting the twelve (6:12); Jesus praying on the mountain before the transfiguration (9:28, 29); and in our story today, Jesus was praying before the disciples asked him to teach them to pray…

A nap and a snack: Your summer reminder

1 Kings 19:3-9 (CEB)

Elijah was terrified. He got up and ran for his life. He arrived at Beer-sheba in Judah and left his assistant there. He himself went farther on into the desert a day’s journey. He finally sat down under a solitary broom bush. He longed for his own death: “It’s more than enough, Lord! Take my life because I’m no better than my ancestors.” He lay down…

New Beginnings

Yes, it is true, I have resigned my call here at Salem, and on September 1, I will begin a new call as Bishop’s Associate of the Central States Synod.

This past Sunday, you all were so kind with your words of support, and for that I am truly thankful, but in our conversations, I also sensed a genuine concern for Salem. I heard words like, “What are we going to do?” and “It just…

God's Perfect Grace

This Parable of the Good Samaritan might be the most familiar of Jesus’ parables in all of scripture. No matter where you go, if you talk about being a “Good Samaritan,” everyone knows what you are talking about. Everyone knows it is a story about caring for others and always being willing to help others. It’s a story about always being willing to do the right thing. It’s a story about…

Be the Samaritan

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” Isn’t that the truth? What makes this quote even more fascinating is who said it: millionaire Malcolm Forbes! I imagine most people he encountered could “do nothing for him,” and yet he makes a valid point: we are to treat each other with respect, no matter what we get in return.

Jesus tells…

Not Just for the Professionals

This past Monday a small group of us gathered in the Salem Café to discuss our Bible readings for the past couple of weeks from the Bible Challenge. As we started, one person said something to the affect, “How can we be assured when we share the Gospel that we are convincing others to follow Jesus?”. That is a great question, and I think our Gospel lesson today gives us the answer.

If…

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