Hephatha Lutheran Church Pastor's Weekly Letter
Pastor's Weekly Letter
Below you will find an archive of Pastor's Weekly Letter for Hephatha Lutheran Church and School. Browse through the issues below, or follow the link located at the bottom of this page to subscribe.

April 23 2018 Email (Apr 2018)
April 23, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, Personally speaking, it’s pretty surprising to me just how many Christian folks struggle with the whole idea of church attendance. In my experience, we are at a crossroads in our nation pertaining the church and its influence in our culture. Nowadays, the statistics across the denominational and non-denominational churches would suggest that Christians who are not nearly as active in a local church as they once were. Sure, I admit, this isn't a new pro

April 16 2018 Email (Apr 2018)
April 16, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, What is a "Christ-centered home?" One thing's certain: it's not a home governed by restrictive "religious" rules. On the contrary, it's a place where family members live their lives under the "light" of the presence of the Son of God. It's a household of which it can truly be said, "Christ is the Head of this house, the Unseen Guest at every meal, the Silent Listener to every conversation." How does this "Christ-centeredness" play itself out in the pra

April 9 2018 Email (Apr 2018)
April 9, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, Back in 2008, I came across an engaging book written by Nicholas Best, a British author, who titled his work The Greatest Day in History. According to the Mr. Best, the greatest day in all of history was November 11, 1918 when WW I came to an end. While I respect the author’s educated opinion, I wholeheartedly disagree.  On Easter, we experienced an absolutely unparalleled event that never took place in history before—the bodily resurrection o

April 2 2018 Email (Apr 2018)
April 2, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, If I’m going to be honest, I’m a perpetual second-guesser. I seem to question just about everything. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to make a bad decision, especially when it comes to very important matters in my life. I honestly don’t like this part of my personality, but it’s the way I’m wired. As a result, when I was in College (at a Christian University mind you) I doubted some aspects of my faith. I didn’t turn my back on faith, but I had a lot of

March 26 2018 Email (Mar 2018)
March 26, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, As we move rapidly towards another Easter Sunday, or as some would call it…Resurrection Sunday, I want to take a moment to encourage you to invite your friends and neighbors out to church with you.  Often, special days such as Easter, Christmas, Mother's Day, and others are great times to give the invitation, and it’s also a time people tend to be more responsive as well.  Often, childhood memories of these times help them to think of some won

March 19 2018 Email (Mar 2018)
March 19, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, New life springs forth from dead seeds, limbs stripped of their leaves bring forth new leaves every spring. To see this is to be catechized in a Gospel which, as opposed to rejecting creation, speaks of its being reconciled to God. As Paul writes, that in Jesus “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19–20, ESV

March 12 2018 Email (Mar 2018)
March 12, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, It is my privilege to write to you about a wonderful retreat opportunity at Hephatha. I invite you to join me – and others from our church family on March 17th from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on our campus in the fellowship hall. Most of us, myself included, never would have gone on retreat without being asked.  That’s why I’m extending this personal invitation. In the remainder of this brief article, I will address a few questions that peopl

March 5 2018 Email (Mar 2018)
March 5, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, Intentional silence, even for a mature Christian, can often feel scary. However, when we make time for silence we are carving out space for spiritual transformation. My first experience of communal silence was back in the early 90s, on a spiritual life retreat with Professor Norman Shawchuck at Vanguard University’s Spiritual Formation class. At first, the experience of communal silence was awkward. Nowadays, I find I crave the type of silence where God’

February 26 2018 Email (Feb 2018)
February 26, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, Lent is a season of spiritual preparation in which we remember Christ’s temptation, suffering, and death. Lent is also a traditional time for Christians to draw closer to Jesus through prayer, reflection, fasting, and repentance. Here are a few simple ideas for keeping this ancient Christian observance. Historically, the church has celebrated Lent as a 40-day period beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding the day before Easter. The climax of Lent i

February 19 2018 Email (Feb 2018)
February 19, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, My social media feeds are a flutter with posts about the season of Lent. It seems that there are a lot of misunderstandings about the nature of the Lenten season. For some people, they are talking about Lent being “Roman Catholic” or that there is no need for Lent because “Jesus already paid for my sins.” I think that we need to unmask Lent for those who are unsure about this season. I think that we need to see Lent for what it is, and certainly for

February 12 2018 Email (Feb 2018)
February 12, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the forty days of Lent. Christians have been preparing for the celebration of Easter by walking through a “Holy Lent” since ancient times. This is patterned after Jesus temptation in the wilderness. Lent is a season of repentance, refocusing, and renewal. Of course, all of this happens with the sure knowledge of God’s grace to us through Christ. Neither Ash Wednesday nor the season of Lent is in any way about condemn

February 5 2018 Email (Feb 2018)
February 5, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, Lent is just about to kick us in the seats of our pants. This season will darken our foreheads and steal our sweets away. So, what is this Lent thing all about? I’ve put together a series of the questions people have asked me over the years, along with some answers. As you know, Lent is about repentance. Why should I repent again and again when God has already totally forgiven my sins in Christ? We are sinners, even after we are baptized, saved, fo

January 29 2018 Email (Jan 2018)
January 29, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, Between the "already" of our being in Christ and the "not yet" of our final home going, few things, in my opinion, are as important in the Christian life than a functional and a practical level of biblical literacy. Tragically, many in the Christian Church are unfamiliar with much of the Bible. In fact, many don’t even know the most basic of stories, doctrines, or books of the Bible. One of the Lord’s most important gifts to His children in the “here

January 22 2018 Email (Jan 2018)
January 22, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, How would you finish this sentence: The Bible is all about __________. From my standpoint, how you fill in this blank makes a big difference in how you approach the Bible and God? I have no doubt that many, if not most Christians, would probably fill in the blank with the word “Christ.”  The orthodox Christian faith demands no other answer.  In John 5:39,  for example, Jesus said of Himself, “The Scriptures…testify about Me.”And yet,

January 15 2018 Email (Jan 2018)
January 15, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, I’ve always considered myself as a person who kept myself aware of the events going on in our world: natural disasters, unrest, trouble spots in the world, and, of course, the plight of the persecuted church. But when I began encountering “The Prayers of the People,” weekly and corporately, a new depth of prayer for the world around me began to emerge in my heart. I did not grow up Lutheran; in fact, I served in several non-denominational churches

January 8 2018 Email (Jan 2018)
January 8, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, Let me ask you a question: “Are you too busy to pray?” More recently, I was talking to a busy college student who shared that he’s struggling with not having much of a prayer life because he has been working a job, going to school, and trying to have a social life. Other folks in Orange County have to commute long hours on the 91 freeway, 5 freeway, or 405 freeway and this can take away 1-2 or more hours per day. Mothers and fathers of young childre

January 1 2018 Email (Jan 2018)
January 1, 2018 Greetings in Jesus Christ, I wanted to take a moment and send a note to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! In writing to the Church at Philippi, Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The New Year ahead will no doubt

Hephatha Lutheran Church and School
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