A Message for You – September 17, 2009

September 17, 2009 // 0 Comments

Pennant season begins by PASTOR DICK RILEY Rockford United Methodist Church The pennant races are on! As professional baseball moves through the month of September, many teams, including the Detroit Tigers, are fighting for an opportunity to play in the World Series, and they have already begun working harder in order to secure a position in the post-season play. Many players on a pennant-contending team seem to play with more intensity. The front office will now begin bringing up fresh players from the minor leagues and even trade for some talent to give their team an extra edge in the pennant drive. Everyone seems more determined to finish the season on a high note. Excitement fills the air as fans watch their team in hot pursuit of a championship pennant. In many ways, September is also the time when the church enters its own pennant race, striving to achieve the goals it set out for itself at the beginning of the year. It is, therefore, a time when we remember the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote: “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:14). Remembering those words, September, within the life of the church, is a time when the leadership, as well as the rest of the people within the church, start doing things with more intensity—with more determination. It’s a time when the worship services, the educational classes and opportunities, the outreach programs, and the fellowship times are fine-tuned to make sure that the year finishes on a high note as we “press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” Want to be a part of this pennant race, of this championship year? Then go and join with the people at the church of your choice, and see what it feels like to be part of an eternal winning team!

Church Message — June 25, 2009

June 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

Jesus the Know-It-All by PASTOR RON AULBACH BridgeWay Community Church You ever meet someone who just seems to know far too much about, well, everything? You have a problem with your car and based on your amateur diagnosis, the person knows exactly how to fix it, the tools required, part number, and where it was on sale last week. And whether it’s cars, home repair, investment tips or career advice, they seem to always have the answer. I have lots of “know it alls” in my life, because I attract them, and when it comes to projects around the house, my wife reminds me how much I need them. Jesus meets his first followers by chartering the boat of an unsuspecting fisherman struggling in his career. He orders Peter to “put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch,” (Luke 5:4). This is where Jesus goes from great teacher and extraordinary healer, to “know it all.” Think of it, Peter is an experienced fisherman; what does Jesus know about fishing? He was a carpenter, a carpenter’s son in fact, venturing into his new career as a public speaker, but thinks he knows how to fish better than Peter. Jesus the Know-It-All thinks he knows how to do Peter’s job better than Peter. In fact, he thinks he knows how to do your job better than you do, too. The only thing worse than a know-it-all is the know-it-all who’s always right. The story concludes with such an amazing catch of fish that the net almost breaks, the boat begins to sink, and it takes a team of men to haul the catch back to shore. You see, Jesus is the know-it-all because he has something to say about everything you question and need help with: your marriage, career, finances, addictions and fears. From the big questions to the small, Jesus is a know-it-all because Jesus has something of value to say about every arena of your life. Are you listening and trusting him to take you out into the deep waters of faith? Journey with him, and let him show you what he knows best.

June 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, 4610 Belding Rd., Rockford, will ordain and install Jonathan Klein as its associate pastor in a special 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, July 12. A cookout will follow the service. The community is invited to join by bringing a dish to share, while hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided. Klein, 26, is a 2009 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Milwaukee, a 2005 graduate of Martin Lutheran College in New Ulm, Minn., and a 2001 graduate of Lakeside Lutheran High School in Lake Mills, Wis. In 2007-2008, Klein served a vicar year at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ottawa, Ontario. His wife, Wendy, is a 2007 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran College, and most recently taught third grade at Hope Christian School in Milwaukee. Rev. Klein will serve as associate pastor of evangelism, youth and young adult ministries at Christ Our Savior (COS). He joins Pastor Tim Gauger and Staff Minister Tom Marten in shepherding the over 500-member congregation, which began as a church plant of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in 1989. COS is located on the southwest corner of Wolverine Blvd. and Belding Rd. For more information, call (616) 866-1881 or visit

A Message for You — May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009 // 0 Comments

Focus on your source of strength by PASTOR LARRY D. ROWLAND Rockford Baptist Church Sports have become more daring and dangerous during this past generation. Not content with just the more traditional sporting events like soccer, baseball, football, basketball and hockey, many young people today have become enamored with “extreme sports.” Doing skateboard tricks down huge ramps, riding bicycles at breakneck speeds down mountains, seeing how many spins one can do while skydiving out of airplanes-these are the thrills that many young people are seeking today. One of these extreme sports is called big mountain skiing. To perform this sport, a person wearing skis is dropped from a helicopter near the top of a mountain. This courageous skier has no choice but to descend down the mountain going through trails and jumping over cliffs that he has never seen before. The scenery is breathtaking in its beauty, of course. But one wonders how much of the view could ever be enjoyed because of the risks involved. When world champion extreme skier Kim Reichelm was asked how someone could ski down a strange mountain and survive, this matter-of-fact answer was given: What you focus your eyes on becomes critical on the side of a mountain. Look at the spaces between the trees; the exits where you hope to be traveling. Don’t stare at what you don’t want to hit. This same principle is true in navigating the dangers of life. Too many people focus all of their attention on their problems and obstacles. Their troubles consume their life. Instead of focusing on their source of strength and help, they only see the pitfalls and roadblocks of life. During some difficult times, the author of Hebrews encouraged some people who were enduring persecution to fix their eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of their faith (Heb. 12:2).

Reader Irritated by Misinformation

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

I frequently read your paper, and happend to come across the article on Paczki. It was interesting until I got to the part where the writer states “Fat Tuesday is the day of feast before Lent, a time when Catholics give up sweets for 40 days before Easter.” This is not only incorrect, it demonstrates the laziness of the author in neglecting to research something about which they obviously know nothing. A quick search on the internet would have produced the following: Lent, in some Christian denominations, is the forty-day-long liturgical season of fasting and prayer before Easter. [1] The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the desert, where according to the Bible he endured temptation by Satan. [2] Different churches calculate the forty days differently. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penitence, alms giving and self-denial‹for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Your author exhibited a laziness not uncommon in today’s society, and the editor exhibited extremely poor taste in printing a statement that reduces a faith practice common not only to Catholics, but to Lutherans, Episcopalians, and others, to nothing more than refusing to eat a donut. Shame on you!! Kevin Nelson Editor’s reply: Ouch! Thanks Kevin, for helping me set the record straight. I promised an article on pazcki and was confused by the information on the Internet (which I prefer not to use as a resource in any case). I was baffled on how Polish history, Catholicism and a Mardi Gras celebration day (Fat Tuesday) could be related. Frankly I’m still pretty confused, so appreciate your comments all that much more. Beth Altena Editor

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