Pastor’s Blog

Reasons for Hope

Clint Schnekloth identified several religious trends to watch in 2019 (www.patheos.org). He began by admitting to the struggle the church faces in the years ahead: changes in the tax code have significantly reduced charitable giving and the cultural change has...

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No Room in the Inn

An all-time favorite story is the birth of Jesus as told by the evangelist Luke, a story inviting listeners on a journey with shepherds to Bethlehem to greet the newborn king on that first Christmas. While at the manger, I remember a question once asked of me by a...

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The Birth of Baby Jesus: Our Glad Response

On a cold December night we will gather again in the warmth of our church to hear told the story of Jesus’ birth. We will listen to the story read from Luke’s gospel, a familiar story we’ve heard before of that first Christmas when the baby Jesus was welcomed by...

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Slowing Climate Change: Doing Our Part

Candidates for the office of Mayor of Chicago have been asked, what is your position on “dibs?” Some of the 21 candidates aren’t prepared for the question. Former police chief Gerry McCarthy would outlaw the practice. Bill Daley, a candidate and brother to the former...

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Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

Enjoy a delightful evening of music at the “Love Sweet Love” benefit concert, Saturday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Master. “Love” is the theme of a mix of 60s, 70s and contemporary music. Admission is free; contributions made will benefit...

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Celebrating Christ the King Sunday

Our world faced turbulent times in the 1920's. Secularism was on the rise, dangerous  dictatorships were emerging in Europe, respect and reverence for the Church was waning and Christians were being told to “compartmentalize” their religion and give their highest...

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Living in the In-Between Times

Frightening words from the book of Daniel will be read this next Saturday and Sunday: “There shall be a time of anguish such as never occurred since nations first came into existence” (Daniel 12:1). The year was 165 BCE when the prophet Daniel’s words were first heard...

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National Jealousy Day

“It’s sort of a Lutheran purgatory,” Roman Schatz says, describing Finland’s November 1 “National  Jealousy Day. ” (NYTimes 11/2/2018 page A8) Shortly after 8 a.m. on November 1, the central office of the Finnish tax administration publicly releasees a report of the...

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Words Matter

Twenty inches of snow blanketed Chicago on a January day in 1979. A year earlier thirteen inches had fallen in one day. “Let’s buy a Jeep with a plow” my friend proposed. I had a garage and was persuaded. Minimal snow fell the next two winters, but monthly invoices...

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Giving from a Glad and Generous Heart

Giving that comes from a glad and generous heart brings joy to the one who gives. Giving expresses love and thanks to God. Giving is not to be from a sense of guilt, shame or self-interest. Part of our Sunday giving becomes “benevolence” or Mission Support. As members...

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Take a Risk

“Stewardship,” writes David King, “might lead us to a picture the exact oppose of courage…In a first meeting with a financial planner, you are likely to take an assessment to gauge your risk tolerance. . . We minimize risk to play it safe in order to preserve the nest...

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Stewardship: A Way of Life

A paper published in Science reports of a study of two groups of people each given money: Half were told to spend the money on themselves; half were told to give the money to a person or to charity. Those who donated the money showed a significant uptick in happiness;...

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I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me

On the front page of both Monday and Tuesday’s newspaper was a photo of the migrant caravan showing an estimated 7,000 people making their way from Honduras to the United States. The travelers believe safety is found traveling in numbers and daily prayers...

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The Healing Power of Forgiveness

What did Jesus know back when he told his followers to forgive not just seven times, but seven times seventy times. Did he know what scientists have since discovered, that forgiveness is healing therapy? Did he know that forgiveness brings blessings to the one who...

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Someone is in Need of Your Care, Smile, Witness

“People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that...

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Journey through the Bible with Us

A journey through the Bible has begun during the Sunday morning 8:30 A.M. Bible Study at LCM.  Last Sunday, Jeff Elrod led a discussion on the two stories of Creation in the early chapters of Genesis. The question he posed was this: What truth do we discover in each...

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We Blessed Our Sunday School Children

“You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the LORD.”  Leviticus 19:32 I’m now one of the gray headed, mentioned in the book of Leviticus, but long before as a newly ordained minister I was offered the option of...

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God’s Work. Our Hands.

“God’s Work Our Hands” day of service for Lutheran Church of the Master is Saturday, September 15, with these service opportunities: 1. Habitat for Humanity: build using your carpentry skills purchase food for volunteers prepare meals for the volunteers deliver meals...

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So Many Reasons to Celebrate

Friday, the last day of August (August 31), is “National Eat Outdoors Day,” offering us a reason to dine in the fresh outdoor air. Summer days will soon be but a memory as fall colors begin to appear, announcing snow is on its way. Celebrate on Friday by packing a...

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Prison Reform: A Change in Public Mindset Needed

The Walnut Street Jail, built in the 1770’s in Philadelphia, was a Quaker-inspired experiment in penal reform. Corporal punishment of inmates was eliminated, replaced with educational opportunities, regular religious services, and health safeguards. Fifty years later,...

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