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10/18/2019

Pastors Bondow and Hackmann discuss the first round of chapters as we grow in responding to people who ask: "Where is God when I'm hurting?" and "Why doesn't he answer my prayers?"

We'll be reading Prepared to Answer using this downloadable PDF schedule.

Guitar music by Troy Hergert, "Acoustic G, Getting There"

10/14/2019

Live in Thanks for God’s Grace
What moves us to thankfulness: obligation, propriety, common sense? Thankful living is born in the blessings God bestows on us. We love him because he first loved us.

Sermon on Genesis 8:15-22 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Daniel Bondow.

Prayer: Grant, O merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/07/2019

Act with a servant's heart. “You are not your own, for you are bought with a price.” We live
with Jesus not in a spiritual democracy, but in a benevolent monarchy: Jesus is the loving master, and we are his servants.

Sermon on Luke 17:1-10 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Jim Huebner.

Prayer:

Almighty God, in your bountiful goodness keep us safe from every evil of body and soul. Make us ready, with cheerful hearts, to do whatever pleases you; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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10/18/2019

Pastors Bondow and Hackmann discuss the first round of chapters as we grow in responding to people who ask: "Where is God when I'm hurting?" and "Why doesn't he answer my prayers?"

We'll be reading Prepared to Answer using this downloadable PDF schedule.

Guitar music by Troy Hergert, "Acoustic G, Getting There"

10/14/2019

Live in Thanks for God’s Grace
What moves us to thankfulness: obligation, propriety, common sense? Thankful living is born in the blessings God bestows on us. We love him because he first loved us.

Sermon on Genesis 8:15-22 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Daniel Bondow.

Prayer: Grant, O merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/07/2019

Act with a servant's heart. “You are not your own, for you are bought with a price.” We live
with Jesus not in a spiritual democracy, but in a benevolent monarchy: Jesus is the loving master, and we are his servants.

Sermon on Luke 17:1-10 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Jim Huebner.

Prayer:

Almighty God, in your bountiful goodness keep us safe from every evil of body and soul. Make us ready, with cheerful hearts, to do whatever pleases you; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

10/04/2019

This episode crosses state lines as Prof. Mark Paustian from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, provides background and explores the goals of his book, Prepared to Answer. Learn of past connections between Professor Paustian and Pastor Bondow along the way, but most importantly, grow in your confidence to engage others for the sake of sharing the Story with all people.

We'll be reading Prepared to Answer using this downloadable PDF schedule.

Guitar music by Troy Hergert, "Acoustic G, Getting There"

09/30/2019

"10 for 10"

People will invariably give beneath their ability when they fail to put the Bible’s teaching on firstfruits and proportionate giving into practice. Others give at their ability. This happens when people, confident in God’s blessing, prayerfully and thoughtfully practice firstfruits and proportional giving. Finally, one can even give beyond their ability. That’s the case when God’s people step out in faith and give in a way that, humanly speaking, doesn’t add up.

Scripture tells us of people who, even in their poverty, opened up their hands and gave beyond their ability. They gave from the overflow of their hearts. How could they do this? They simply trusted in God’s unlimited ability to care for them.

These biblical accounts of heartfelt giving are another one of God’s blessings to us. May we hear them, be inspired by them, and—as God gives us opportunity—make them our own story!

Sermon on Mark 12:41-44 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Aaron Strong.

Prayer:

Gracious God, all that I have comes from you: my body and mind, my strength and intelligence, my time and abilities, my energy and possessions. Guard me from the temptation to use these gifts only for my personal benefit. Make me willing to use them joyfully in service to you and to your people. Amen.

09/27/2019

One final bit of wisdom before we close out our Bible Reading Challenge year...the book of Job aims to take down every last resistance to faith and a living love for God, resistance that often comes when we suffer and "need" answers. How to respond to suffering? How to speak to others when they are crying out? This book serves as a powerful statement to let God be God and go long in his love.

Next up: At Grace we'll be using two books for our spiritual growth, Prepared to Answer by Prof. Mark Paustian and Grace Abounds by Prof. em. Daniel Deutschlander. Check out www.gracedowntown.org and the "Learn and Grow" section for PDF schedules, Bible classes and more podcasts!

09/23/2019

"10 for 10"

This weekend, the Lord will open our minds to consider the magnitude of his blessings. Each of us has been blessed in different ways and at various levels. What should our thoughtful, prayerful response be to these blessings? That’s where the Bible’s teaching about proportionate giving is such a help. For some families with fewer resources, the practice of giving 10% of their income might be a significant leap of faith. For other families with more resources, the practice of giving 10% may be a starting point for faith-filled giving.

St. Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Christians are blessed as they put God’s principles of proportionate giving into practice!

Sermon on Matthew 25:14-30 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Daniel Bondow.

Prayer:

Dear Father, you have given me so much more than I can ever return to you. Give me the wisdom I need to respond to your love thoughtfully. Strengthen my will to thankfully dedicate all that I am and have to your glory. I ask this in the name of the One who lived and died for me, Jesus Christ, your Son, my Lord. Amen.

09/19/2019

Don't be afraid - both of the book of Revelation, but also because of its core message. Through terrifying sights and terrific sounds, incredible imagery and poetry in song, Revelation is a masterpiece of apocalyptic literature in which Jesus triumphantly shouts - "Hang in there, I've got this!" We discuss some helpful ways to outline and interpret this special book of Scripture that its purpose might not be lost on us and we be left in despair because of the threats of the world around us. Ultimately, we are not abandoned, but hear the reassuring promise of our Lord, "Yes, I am coming soon."

09/16/2019

"10 for 10"

Today we begin a three-week stewardship emphasis to lead us toward giving ten percent of our income for ten weeks. The word stewardship is often regarded as a dirty word—a gimmick to get people to dig deeper and “give ’til it hurts.” Nothing could be further from the truth! Instead, stewardship is a precious word that sums up the Christian life. It encourages us to be who we truly are in Christ: Precious people who have been richly blessed by a Father who knows how to give good gifts to his children!

Sermon on Haggai 1:1-11 preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Brian Hackmann.

Prayer:

O Lord, giver of life and source of all love, we know that all we have received comes from your gracious hand. Help us to always use your gifts wisely and teach us to share them generously. Send your Holy Spirit to work through us, that many more might come to know the saving riches of your Son. May our faithful stewardship bear witness to the love of your Son in our hearts, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

09/10/2019

Keep Christ Jesus as Life’s Highest Priority.    The Christian life is all about setting priorities. Faith asks: what is most important in my walk with God? Faith answers: To make God and his message the highest priority of life.

Sermon on Luke 14:25-35, preached at Grace Ev. Lutheran Church by Pastor Brian Hackmann. 

O merciful Lord, you did not spare your only Son but delivered him up for us all. Grant us courage and strength to take up the cross and follow him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.