Tag Archives: Worship

All Good Things…

All good things must come to end.

At least that is how the saying goes. And in my case that is true. Today, May 1, is my last Sunday as pastor of Salem and Belmont Lutheran Churches. Today I say good bye to 12 amazing years as I grew from a young, inexperienced pastor to (dare I say) a seasoned pastor. Fresh out of seminary, I began serving at Salem one week after graduation. One month later I was married and off and running we went. Who knew (God did I guess) that we would spend the next 12 years of our lives living and serving in this small SW MN community.

And now, God is sending us to the west coast. Well, not exactly the coast but close. We are heading to the Tacoma, Washington area to serve a fairly new congregation as they strive to reach out to their community. We are excited, fearful, optimistic and a whole load of other emotions. It’s hard to leave an area that one has called home for a long time. It’s hard to leave family and friends. It is hard to leave one’s support system, but when God calls, God calls, and so off we go; trusting that God will provide and do some amazing things to show His glory.

Following today, I will have three Sundays off before I preach my first sermon in Puyallup, WA on May 29. Three Sundays off, wow, I just might start peeling my skin off as I have never gone that long without preaching. Maybe it will be a good break but I guess only time will tell. I love what I do and therefore leaving the people here is going to be hard. I am sure many tears will be shed today. So I appeal to God to send His Holy Spirit to give me strength to share the Gospel one more time in corporate worship here. May this be about God and not me. May this be about what God has done here the past 12 years. May this be about God’s faithfulness moving forward. And may this be about worshiping our awesome God and placing our faith in Him to lead us into an unknown future here and a known future with Him through faith in Jesus. God is faithful and God will provide for me and my family as well as the congregations of Salem and Belmont Lutheran Churches.

In the mean time, I will continue to write here and look forward to sharing more stories of God faithfulness as we move to a “foreign country”. As God watched over Abraham and Sarah as they moved to a foreign land, I am confident God will do the same for me and my family.

So with that, I sign off on this “Sunday edition” as the pastor of Salem and Belmont Lutheran Churches. May God continue to be glorified here, and through all of our lives, always and forever. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

P.S. CORRECTION ~ Not all good things come to an end for God is GOOD. All the time. All the time, God is GOOD:-)

 

Never Ending

Holy Father, loving God,
in this life we live in the reality
that all good things come to an end,
but You,
the Supreme Good,
ever ends.
It’s that reality we cling to
and the reason we gather to worship You.
You formed creation out of nothing with a simple Word.
You sustain creation with Your mighty hand.
You redeem creation with Your love and grace.
Oh God, in the same way
create faith here this morning with Your Holy Word.
Sustain faith through Your Holy Spirit.
Renew faith through Your love and grace.
May all who hear Your Word this morning look to You.
Strengthen us and embolden our words and deeds
that You may be glorified.
All praise, glory, honor and worship be unto You,
holy God,
through Christ Jesus our Lord,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Open ~ A Prayer

Oh God,
Open my eyes that I my see Your glory.
Open my ears that I may receive Your most holy Word.
Open my heart that the junk therein my fall out and Your Spirit enter to reside.
Open my mind to learn more of You.

Oh God,
Open my hands to serve my neighbor.
Open my mouth to speak of Your grace and love.
Open my life that I my receive my neighbor.
Open a door that I may walk through to glorify You.

Oh God,
You are the opener of all things.
You are the creator of all opportunities.
May I not miss the openness of Your grace
and thus miss a grand opening to share the truth of Jesus Christ.

Oh God,
open closed doors,
and send me,
to the glory of Your holy name through Christ Lord my Lord.

Amen

The Pastor -|—

Escaping Words ~ A Prayer

Holy God,

words escape me
as I try to bring you the glory that is due Your holy name.
For our human language can not come close
to ascribing to You all that You deserve.
So all we can do is to come before You;
humble and contrite,
falling on our knees before Your holy throne,
to attempt to worship You as the saints in heaven do.
And as we worship You
we come before You with thankfulness
that Jesus suffered death on a cross
and subsequently rose from the grave
to give us the victory through faith.

And so we come before You as sinners in need of Your mercy;
as sinners in need of Your Spirit.
Fill us now with Your Holy Spirit
and may we run to those around us with the Good News
that Jesus is alive and well.
May the Gospel burn within us;
driving us to speak boldly in Your name.

All worship, praise, honor and thanks be unto You,
holy Father,
through Christ Jesus our Lord,

Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Prayer of Anti-Laziness

Holy and awesome God,

What a privilege it is to gather together and worship You.
What a joy it is to lift up our thanks and praise to You.
What a peace-filled thing it is to rest in Your promises.
What a comfort it is to know Jesus.

For You sent Your one and only Son to do battle for us.
For You sent You one and only Son to suffer and die for us.
For You sent Your one and only Son to rise victorious for us.

Holy and awesome God,
Thank you!

Receive our worship,
hear our praise,
accept our cries,
and cradle us in Your holy arms.

But as we rest peace-filled and thankful, may we not be complacent.
May we not cheapen Your grace through selfish desires.
May we not turn our backs on those who are lost.
May we not take You for granted.

Holy and awesome God,
send Your Holy Spirit that we may know You better;
that our lives may be ones of worship and praise;
glorifying Your most holy name.

Bless us now, that we may be a blessing to others.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we pray,

Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Send ~ A Prayer

Holy God,
may You send Your Holy Spirit
that those here who do not believe
may come to a saving faith in Jesus.

Send also, Your Holy Spirit
to those struggling with doubts,
that the resurrection of Jesus may be confirmed in their souls.

Send Your Holy Spirit
that the peace that surpasses all understanding
may hold us firm when Satan is strongly attacking from all sides.

Send Your Holy Spirit
that we may know You better and better.

Oh God, please send Your Holy Spirit.

All praise, worship, glory and honor be onto You,
Holy God,
through Christ Jesus our Lord,
AMEN.

The Pastor -|—

Your Kingdom Come ~ A Prayer

Creator God,
to pray, “thy kingdom come” is to pray for our death;
the death of our old self
but New Life through Jesus.

May this kingdom come onto us as we hear Your most holy Word proclaimed.

But we also ask that we may feel a sense of urgency
to be agents of your kingdom message
and to be Your holy ambassadors in this world.
May we not take up residence here
but rather may we have a restlessness in our souls
that yearns to be home with You,
but not until we have accomplished that task You have for us.

And therefore…

…may we have holy eyes to see the outcast and forgotten.
May we have holy ears to hear Your children crying out.
May we have holy hands to serve one another.
May we have holy feet to go where you direct.

Oh God, mighty Father,
hear our prayer and send us Your kingdom.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—