Dec 15, 2017

Review: To Live is Christ and Beside Quiet Waters

This week, Pastor Nathanael Mayhew offers a review of two devotion books which you may want to consider as we prepare to enter a new year. Both come with high recommendations for family or individual devotions. The first is "To Live is Christ" by Bo Giertz. This is published by Concordia Publishing House. Bishop Giertz was a pastor in the Lutheran Church is Sweeden in the 20th century and brings a very down to earth but eye opening style to the devotions and prayers included in this book. His devotion book follows the church year not the calendar year, so save this one for next year! The second is "Beside Quiet Waters" by Richard Lauersdorf, and is published by Northwestern Publishing House. This devotion book follows the calendar year and has a brief Bible passage, followed by a devotion and finally a short prayer. Pastor Lauersdorf usally begins with an illustration which develops the main point of the Bible passage and applies it to our daily lives. Very well written and insightful as well. Both devotion books would be an excellent choice for you or those on your Christmas lists, and either can be purchased through the CLC bookhouse. May the LORD bless your study and hearing of His Word!

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Dec 11, 2017

Word of the Week: Nativity

Pastor Sam Rodebaugh takes us into the Christmas word "Nativity" and explains some details and misconceptions of the birth of our Savior. In spite of the pictures that we see or the songs that are sung about the first Christmas, many of those images are not factual. What do you think of when you hear the word nativity? What images do you associate with it? The nativity or birth of Jesus is all about the birth of a Savior for all people. We celebrate the truth proclaimed by the Old Testament prophets which describe how the King of Creation was born in very humble circumstances, and He willingly did this out of His great love for you!

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Dec 8, 2017

BIble Study - Take up an Advent Adventure as a Soldier, Athlete, or Farmer

In today's Bible Study, Pastors Mark Tiefel and Neal Radichel take up a study of 2 Timothy 2:1-7 with a special focus on preparation during the Advent season. In this section, the Apostle Paul gives Timothy encouragement for carrying out his ministry by giving him three illustrations - a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer. As we unpack these illustrations, we'll see how this instruction also encourages us as we prepare for the coming of our Savior. May the Lord bless our study of His Word. 

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Dec 4, 2017

Word of the Week - Pagan Holiday

During the Month of December, our Word of the Week will focus on different words associated with Christmas. This week, Pastor Rob Sauers considers whether or not Christmas is a "Pagan Holiday." You will occasionally run into Christians who don't like to celebrate Christmas because they believe the celebration is pagan in origin. We will briefly consider whether or not that claim is true and whether or not that matters at all to our celebration of the Savior's birth. We pray that this study will help you consider how to respond if you are ever questioned about your celebration of Christmas. 

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Dec 1, 2017

Bible Study - 1 Timothy

In today's Bible Study, Pastors Rob Sauers and Nathanael Mayhew take us through an overview of the book of 1 Timothy. 1 Timothy along with 2 Timothy and Titus are referred to as the Pastoral Epistles. These are letters the Apostle Paul wrote to individual pastors to encourage them and instruct them in their ministry. Though the letters are written to pastors, there is plenty of practical application to be found for everyone as we'll see from our study today. May the Lord bless our study of His Word!

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Nov 27, 2017

Word of the Week: ORTHODOX / HETERODOX

This week Pastor Nathanael Mayhew considers two related words: Orthodox and Heterodox. Simply put, Orthodox means "straight teaching" and Heterodox means "other teaching." These words have been used to descibe "correct" and "false" teaching in theology for centuries. While you won’t find either of these words in the Bible, you will find other words that mean the same thing. Instead of straight doctrine, we will find the phrase “good doctrine” or “sound doctrine”. Adhering to sound teaching or that which is “orthodox” is an essential criterion for the pastoral ministry (See Titus 1:7-8, and 1 Timothy 4:6). In contrast to “orthodox” teaching the prophets of the Old Testament, the apostles of the New Testament and even Jesus Himself warns of the danger of “heterodox” teaching. The apostle Peter warns: “there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1). Notice the result of heterodox teaching - it is destructive! Jesus describes the heterodox teaching of the Pharisees as “leaven” which spreads (see Matthew 16:12), and Paul uses leaven (Galatians 5:9) and cancer (2 Timothy 2:17) as an example of how false teaching infiltrates and spreads. Some think that doctrine doesn’t really matter. God says otherwise. He says there is straight teaching (orthodox) and other teaching (heterodox), and it does make a difference. God has called us to: “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Thank God that He has revealed what is orthodox through His prophets and apostles and also through His Son, so that we might know the truth. 

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Nov 24, 2017

CPR - Thanksgiving

In today's podcast, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Neal Radichel discuss the holiday we just celebrated - Thanksgiving. Though this holiday has somewhat secular roots and was not initially celebrated in American Lutheranism, we certainly do well to set time aside during this holiday to remember to give thanks to God for all of His blessings. Often when we think of those blessings, we think of physical blessings like food, clothing, and shelter, but there are many other things for which we can and should give thanks. Using the Apostles Creed as a guide, this study will discuss the first, second, and third article blessings we receive from God. We pray that this will be an encouragement to you to give thanks to the Lord every day.

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Nov 20, 2017

Word of the Week - Contentment

In our Word of the Week, Pastor Rob Sauers takes us through a study of contentment. Contentment seems to be one of those things a lot of people search for, but never find. Can we ever find true contentment? If so, where is that contentment to be found? Our study seeks to answer these questions by looking at both the places where people look for contentment and what the Scriptures have to say about the subject. We pray that this study will be a blessing to you.

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Nov 17, 2017

CPR - Where Do Babies (and Faith) Come From?

Faith is one of those topics that is very often misunderstood in our world today. The Bible itself, while speaking a lot about faith, only defines it in one place - Hebrews 11:1 - "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." In order to help us gain a better understanding of what faith is and specifically how faith begins, Pastors Neal Radichel and Nathanael Mayhew take us through a discussion of faith in today's CPR episode from a unique perspective - comparing the beginning of faith to the beginning of physical life. We pray that this study will help you to better understand this important concept. 

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Nov 13, 2017

Word of the Week - Petition

In our Word of the Week this week, Pastor Rob Sauers takes us through the word "petition." When we hear that word, we might think first of a formal written request signed by many people, appealing to authority in respect of a cause. In a petition, we are pleading to one in authority to do something we would like to see done.

The Bible speaks of petitions in the formal setting of the court. We have the example of Esther making her petitions known to King Ahasuerus. In the New Testament, the Jews petitioned Festus to execute the Apostle Paul. 

The Bible also uses "petition" in the sense of prayer. When we think of petitions in this context, we probably most often think of the seven petitions of the Lord's Prayer. In this prayer, Jesus gives us a wonderful example of how we should bring our petitions before the Lord. 

And we can do so with confidence. Though we are not worthy that God should answer any of our petitions, yet we have the promise from our gracious God, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7). Surely, God will answer our prayers according to His will out of His grace and His love for us. 

And so, we can do what Paul encourages in Philippians 4:6 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."

May God bless our study.

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