Do Not Be Discouraged!

Therefore, we are not discouraged . . . Yes, our momentary, light trouble produces for us an eternal weight of glory that is far beyond any comparison. We are not focusing on what is seen, but on what is not seen For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

What do you know about Thomas Edison? Most of us know him as a great inventor, and he certainly was. He has over a thousand patents to his name. Many of us also know him as the man who created the light bulb that we still use today. But how many of you know what he had to overcome to create his many inventions? Did you know that by the time he was an adult he was almost completely deaf? Did you know that it took thousands and thousands of failures before he perfected the light bulb. One of his quotes about the light bulb invention was, “I have not failed, but I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” It would have been easy for him to say after failure 100 or 200 that he was discouraged and that he was going to quit. It is almost impossible to imagine what our world would be like if he would have quit before creating the light bulb and many of his other great inventions.

Sometimes, however, we are not so strong and we do want to quit or we become discouraged -- or at least we’re tempted to. It is easy to become discouraged when the kids just aren’t listening, or when we invest time or money in something that didn’t turn out the way we were expecting. Who hasn't gotten to that point when a relationship has gone beyond frustrating. It is easy to want to quit when the doctor has some bad news we weren’t anticipating, or the treatment’s been too difficult, the job too hard, or the criticism has begun to fill our ears far too often. The feeling of wanting to give up can come from anything and just about at anytime. If you’ve ever felt it, you’re not alone.

Even Jesus was familiar with difficult and painful situations. Could we have blamed him if he had given up when he felt the pain of the nails, the rip of the whip, and the twisted thorns piercing his head? But he didn’t. One reason he didn’t was because he knew something about that pain. He knew it was temporary; which doesn’t mean that the pain wasn’t real or concerning. It was. Just like yours is. It’s just that Jesus was more concerned about something that was much more meaningful to him.

He was concerned about you. He carried his temporary cross so that we could one day wear a crown of glory. And he knows why you’re tired and discouraged. God tells us why “While we were still helpless, “Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)  He knew he was dying for the spiritually weak and helpless. The fragile. The vulnerable. He was dying for us -- the ones whom this life sometimes reduces to nothing. The ones who sometimes give up. So he didn’t.

But he not only died for us, but he also rose from the dead and ascended back into heaven to prepare our yet unseen but eternal home so that you would always have a reason to keep going. When you’re tempted to give up and when you feel you don’t even have enough power to make it through the rest of your day, fix your eyes on Jesus, and on the eternal glory that outweighs all of your light and temporary troubles and pain. Focus on the things that truly matter -- such as the life and death of Jesus who suffered in our place so that one day we would have eternal joy.

— Pastor Gartner


Church News

Holy Week

Join us for our Holy Week Services:

April 14 Palm Sunday - Save Us Now (8:00 & 10:30 -- Monday 6:30 pm)

April 18 Maundy Thursday - Take and Eat; Take and Drink (10:30 am and 6:30 pm with Lord's Supper)

April 19 Good Friday - It Is Finished (1:30 pm and 6:30 pm with Lord's Supper)

April 21 Easter - Death Has Been Swallowed Up In Victory (6:30, 9:00 and 10:45)

Easter Breakfast (7:30 - 8:30)

(Note: No worship service on the Monday Night after Easter)

Holy Week Devotions

Some of the Professors at MLC have written some devotioins for your Holy Week meditation. You may access them at this link.

https://mlc-wels.edu/publications/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2019/04/HolyWeekDevotional_2019-web.pdf

Bible Classes

On Sunday mornings, Pastor Frey is leading a study on the first 11 chapters of Genesis—an important and interesting portion of Scripture.

Pastor Gartner has begun his new study, entitled, "What Must I Do To Be Saved -- A Study of God's Gospel and the Words The Holy Spirit Uses To Proclaim It." We will be looking at the many beautiful words that God uses in the Bible to describe God's plan to save us. Please plan on joining us for these studies.

Easter for Kids

Easter for kids, a one-day VBS focusing on Christ’s resurrection (similar to God’s Greatest Gift, held in December about Christ’s birth) will be held Saturday, April 13 from 9:00-11:00 am. It is open to all children prek-6th grade. Please sign up in the back of church, by calling the church office, or online via our website/facebook page. There is also a sign-up sheet in the back of church for helpers and other volunteers.

EHV Preorder

Since November 2017 for the lessons during our worship services we have been using the Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) translation of the Bible. This is a translation produced by the Wartburg Project, a group of WELS and ELS pastors and professors. The entire Bible is now complete and will be published this summer. You now have an opportunity to preorder this Bible at a discounted bulk-rate price (the exact price will depend on how many Bibles are sign-up for). There is no need to pay right away; once we know the exact price per Bible we will inform those who have signed-up and how to pay for their order.

There is a sign-up sheet on the back counter if you wish to order a new EHV. There are also 100 pamphlets on the back for more information on this new translation. Although we highly encourage you to pick up a copy of this Bible, you should also be aware that the Wartburg Project plans on publishing a study Bible in the next couple of years. For more information, please talk to Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner.

To learn more about the EHV, click here: https://online.nph.net/ehv?utm_source=pastor-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=spring-resources-0319

To view an electronic version of the informational pamphlet, click here: https://online.nph.net/media/documents/EHV-Handout.pdf?utm_source=general-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ehv-preorder-0219

To view a sample of the translation, click here: https://online.nph.net/media/SampleFiles/PDF/0105000.pdf?utm_source=pastor-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=spring-resources-0319

Summer Activity Survey

Typically, St. John does a Summer fellowship activity. To get a better understanding of what people might be interested in doing, a survey has been put together. You can go to the link below to access this survey or you may contact Andy Raschka with your feedback.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JPTH7FW

Men's Bible Study

Next Tuesday, April 16 at 9:00 am, all the men are invited to a Bible study and fellowship.

Adopt-A-Highway and Church Work Day

Saturday April 27 (weather permitting) beginning at 9:00 am, we will have a Church work day to clean up the property and we will also clean our portion of the highway for Adopt-a-Highway. Please sign up on the sheet in the back of Church if you can even come for a portion of the day to help out.