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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sharing the Good News

On Sunday, September 21st a group of us from Faith went up to St. John's Lutheran church in Oxnard to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Centro Cristiano Hispano. It was a wonderful service full of memories and music in three languages (Spanish, Mixteco, and English)! It was a great day to look and see what the Lord has done through Centro Cristiana in the past. But for those of us from Faith, it was exciting to see what God could do through our church in the future! I truly believe that the Lord is going to open some new and exciting doors for us in the next few months and years!

But as we were there, the pastor of St. John's, Mark Beyer, made two very interesting points in his talk. He said that "faith takes risks" and "institutions don't do ministry, people do ministry." In light of our recent sermon series on Talking About Jesus I found these to be very helpful insights. Certainly as we start this Hispanic outreach, we are going to be taking risks and stepping outside of the box (no one ever said God would call us to something easy!) and we will be developing relationships with new people in our community. But as I thought about these comments, I wondered about how they apply to us in our own mission fields (home, work, school, etc.). Do we take risks in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ? Are we working through life's hardships with our loved ones? Or, are we waiting for the church to do this for us?

Now don't get me wrong, we as the "institution" need to be equipping you and preparing you to talk about Jesus, absolutely. But God uses your presence and you mouth to deliver the good news! The same faith He has placed in your heard He draws from your lips to bring the faith giving message of salvation to your friends and loved ones. He gives you the car to pick them up and bring them to church where they will hear about Jesus' love for them. And, as you take risks in sharing Jesus with those struggling through this world of sin, you will always have the church here to love, support, and encourage you along the way. For Christ is always present in His Word and sacraments to forgive and encourage. It is my prayer that we would trust Christ to carry us through as we take risks and present Jesus to our friends and neighbors!

Pastor Bob

Monday, September 8, 2008

Back into the Swing of Things

I love the Fall! Vacations are ending, school is starting, football is bringing joy and excitement to all our lives! Fall means that life is about to pick back up here at Faith Lutheran Church as well. We are going to be having a lot of exciting things happen around here in the next few months, and I hope that you will consider participating in a number of them.

The big Sunday you need to be aware of is September 14th. We have two major things happening on that Sunday. First, you will be receiving a survey asking you some questions about the ministry here at church and your own walk with the Lord. I am asking you all to please fill it out as the results of this survey will prove to be incredibly valuable as we are seeking ways in which we can be more effective in equipping you to live out the faith you have received from Christ.

Also that Sunday, after our 10:15 service, we will be having a congregational meeting. At this meeting I will be letting you know about what we are thinking in terms of sharing our facility with a Hispanic congregation. We have had a core group of people meeting over the last few weeks to discuss how our congregation might be able to work alongside Centro de Cristiano in starting some kind of Hispanic outreach here in Moorpark. This meeting will serve as a place to bring everyone up to speed with this endeavor as well as a place for you to bring questions and concerns before this committee as we continue to move forward with this exciting new ministry

Please pray for our congregation as we are seeking to do God's will in Moorpark. God has called our church to this place at this time for a reason. He is sending us out into our city in order to work through us as His messengers of good news. Please join us as we set about the Lord's work in Moorpark!

Pastor Bob

Speaking of Jesus: September 2008

We talk a lot about sharing our faith around here. After visiting our church a few times, one gentleman told me that, "One thing I got out of your church is that Lutherans are really big on evangelism!" We do talk a lot about it, but sometimes I fear that, though we see the importance of speaking of Jesus, we don't always feel well equipped to do so. We say, "I know I should share Christ, but with whom? What should I say? When is it appropriate? Where should I do it? Why is it such a big deal? How should I go about it and how will the hearer respond? These are all valid questions, and questions we would do well to ask ourselves before we just stand on a street-corner with a megaphone screaming "Repent heathen! Repent!"

This next month, we are going to deal with the who, what, when, where, why, and how's of talking about Jesus by looking at Jesus' ministry in the gospel of Luke. Who did He talk to? What did He say? When did He say it? Where... well... you get the idea. As we study the way in which Christ delivered Himself to others, we will not only find good examples, but we will learn the very message we should be sharing with our friends. That is, the message that God entered into this sinful world in Christ to overthrow the power and effects of sin and to reconcile the world to God through his death and resurrection. Jesus is this message in action, He is the Word made flesh.

As we get into this series, I would hope and pray that you would take up and read the gospel of Luke. As you read the Gospel, ask yourself who, what when, where, why, and how. Examine the way in which Jesus worked, and not only this, but read about what He has done for you! See what promises He makes to you! We have a wonderful Jesus who gave all of Himself for our salvation by dying on a cross. The message of this cross brings eternal life! May the Lord bless our church as we learn from Jesus Christ.

Pastor Bob

Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email