Looking up in the sky, you can tell what kind of weather the day is going to bring, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes it changes without much warning.
Picture this situation: you’re in your car, sitting at a red light, singing your heart out along with your favorite song on the radio. Out of the corner of your eye, the person next to you in traffic is staring at you. You know what they’re thinking, and in an instant your face is red and you stare straight ahead, praying the light turns green as soon as possible.
“Hey CHAPS, I have a question for you.” I am three months into my ministry as a US Navy Chaplain(or “CHAPS” as most sailors call me.) I love whenever a sailor says they have a question. Each time is an opportunity to listen, care for them, and sometimes share the Gospel of Jesus. This time the question was, “What’s God think about tattoos?” I could literally feel the sailors around me lean closer as we stood together in our ship’s small, medical room. Most of them had—you guessed it—LOTS of tattoos! This is what one version of a modern-day mission field looks like. A crowded room full of sweaty, tired, mostly 20-something year old sailors. To enter the US Military at any age is like entering a foreign country. The Navy has its own customs, traditions, rituals, and language. My first day aboard the ship began with a meeting called the Executive Officer call (The Executive Officer or “XO” is second in command of the ship). I understood about 5% of what was said in that meeting. That’s an exaggeration, but not by much. It is a good thing I love to learn. There is SO much to learn. Thankfully, there are many sailors willing to teach you. You just need to be humble and ask for help! Another good thing is my days are full of variety. As a CHAPS, I get to roam the entire ship. I may start my day by going to a training led by the medical team. Then I’ll attend an exercise that involves lowering a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) into the water. Afterwards, I may spend 1-2 hours counseling sailors who are having marital difficulty or struggling with anxiety. Then I will prepare for a Sunday worship service. I do all of this while our ship—the USS PHILIPPINE SEA—is undergoing maintenance. Maintenance is a stressful time for a Navy ship. The days are very long. Our sailors paint, fix broken parts, check equipment, stand watch, and then fix more broken parts. It is a grind. The pace takes a toll on even the toughest sailors. Whether they are religious or not, many of them come to me for a listening ear and a caring word. Our ship will eventually go to sea and believe it or not, doing so will be easier for many sailors that the long days right now. I am thankful I spent 12 years as a pastor before I became a chaplain. God used those years to shape me. I learned how to better rely on His power. “Hope,” Thomas Keating once said, “is the mercy and power of God.” Each day my hope rests not on what I can do, but on what God can do. And what can God do? Everything. God provides us with the right words when we don’t know what to say. God sustains us with strength. God opens doors to share His love. I am a witness of these things. This summer at Christ Lutheran’s VBS, the children and youth made LOTS of “Thank You for Your Service” cards for my crew. They also took up a special offering. I will use the offering to buy non-perishable items(i.e., snacks) for our sailors. They will be SO grateful! You all make a difference! This will open the door to share God’s love. Thank you! To the sailor who asked me about tattoos, how did I respond? The short answer is, with the gospel. “Whether you get a tattoo or no t”I said, “doesn’t change how God loves you. What matters is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus.” “Huh. We like that CHAPS.” The sailors said. To which I replied, “Good. And oh, by the way. We have a worship service this Sunday at1745 (5:45 PM). Why don’t you come?” Thank you for prayerfully supporting Megan, our boys, and me, as we serve Jesus. The campus of “Christ Navy” is going great! God’s blessings,Drew
This week's Blog is from Laura Scott the Executive Director of Thrive Day School. Thrive Day School is a special education school for preschool through 8th grade students that meets at the Christ Lutheran Church.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying: God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.
It was a fantastic week! 14 of us from all Christ Lutheran campuses joined together last week to go on a mission trip to Mexico. Half the group were youth and half were adults—a great mix! The stated objective was to build a house for a family.
We asked for tough questions, and you gave them. In fact, you astounded us with the depth of your questions. There are far too many to fit into a four-part sermon series. And quite frankly, some were too big to tackle in a single sermon, such as, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” That will be a complete sermon series.
Parents have a lot of choices when it comes to activities for our children. We fill their afternoons and weekends with sports, dance, and competitions. Our children and youth are so busy. It’s like we’re rushing here and rushing there ALL DAY long. We have every minute of our children’s lives scheduled. It’s exhausting! We don’t want to add one more activity.
Hate is a strong word.I have had whole conversations with people, and fully agreed with them, that we shouldn’t use hate flippantly. You know what I’m talking about. “I hate when I see dogs wearing pink tutus. Everyone knows that green is the only appropriate color for a tutu on a dog.
As I dropped my boys off at their last day of school on June 8th, I was filled with emotion. Some of it was because it was the last day of elementary school for my oldest Jackson, but as I sat briefly watching him enter elementary school for the last time, it hit me – this year was special – he had gone to school the entire year. Yes, restrictions were still in place, but he was there and so were his friends, every day since August. For the first time since 2nd grade, life felt normal. Let that sink in – since 2nd grade and now he was embarking on middle school.
You know when they start to squeal that it’s probably time to think about maybe someday possibly checking out how much is left on your brake pads? When the squealing turns to occasional rubbing metal sounds when you turn corners, you know that the time is getting closer. When the occasional rubbing metal turns to constant head-turning, metal-on-metal grinding…well…you know it’s time.
Often on Saturday I will pick up the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, sit on our porch with something cold to sip on, read through the paper, do the crossword puzzle and talk with Gretchen. It’s like a perfect afternoon.
The year is 2005. I am a sophomore in high school. Somewhat aware of the proud legacy of my high school’s marching band, and admittedly reluctant to join a marching band altogether, I was invited by my friends to go to the band room to hang out during lunch. Upon entering the room, I was promptly stared down by hundreds of trophies all littered about the room: some in trophy cases, some on shelves, a few on the floor, and still others precariously leaning against the walls. Several were broken, most were more than ten years old, and all of them were covered with a thin layer of dust. The most intimidating were the two large trophies from 1976 and 1978, when the band had won national championships. Placed at the entrance to the room, these trophies almost felt like an idol that I was supposed to genuflect towards upon entering.
These are the lyrics to a popular song, presently, by the artist Gayle. If you haven’t heard it, I don’t know that you’re missing out, but it is catchy. The essence of the hook is that the woman singing is mad. I mean, like, super mad at her boyfriend over breaking up.
…oh, not literally. Not like she’s crawled under our stove and slathered her backside in grease or anything. But, she is sticky, meaning, wherever we are, she is. She sticks with us.
In 2020, it was a very happy coincidence (or divine intervention) that here at Christ Lutheran we decided Online Ministry was a worthwhile endeavor. Two years later, our little virtual community is growing and trying to find a niche in this post-COVID world. I believe we have a unique opportunity to fill a void, eliminate your excuses, and continue spreading the Word of God.
Easter baskets! They’re one of the best traditions about Easter. They’re colorful, full of candy and goodies, and bring joy!
Easter baskets! They’re one of the best traditions about Easter. They’re colorful, full of candy and goodies, and bring joy!
It’s old, but it runs better than it ever did.Many of you know that I have a restored antique tractor. It’s a 1941 John Deere Model B. Hearing it do its “putta-putta-putta” as it dutifully tows a wagon-load of people up a hill takes me back to my childhood. I love that sound! And so do many others.
At the Last Supper, the disciples ate, probably sang songs, and we know they enjoyed each other’s company with food and wine. This would be the last time they would be together as they had; as a group doing life and ministry together. After that last supper everything would change. They didn’t understand it then but they would see Jesus in a new light. His rightful light, as the God incarnate. Knowing that everything would change for them, Jesus wanted to teach them. He wants to give them one final lesson. He knows that, soon enough, each of them would become leaders. Apostles, no longer disciples, sent out to start communities and teach the world the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ final lesson to them was to stay humble. Stay humble and not fall into the traps that the world has set for people of leadership.
While it may seem that little has been shared about building the worship center for Christ South, I can assure you that much is happening behind the scenes moving the project forward.
Christ Lutheran is a very generous congregation (in case you didn’t know). Our Benevolence Committee gives away at least 12% of every dollar given to the church
Our hands and bodies were FREEZING, but the Spirit was setting things on FIRE! That’s how I would describe the middle school retreat last weekend. What an amazing bunch of youth! What passionate adult leaders! What arock-solid Youth Director! What an amazing weekend!
My daughter got a special prize this Monday when she went into school. To receive the prize all she had to do was say a predesignated word and, voila, instant winner. The word was given to all the children in the class, well their parents. If the parents had read all the way through the newsletter then they would find instructions to have the child repeat the word to the teacher the next day and receive their prize.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. -Psalm 51:10
I don’t know about you but lately my life has been a roller coaster. Last year, we had a great middle school mini retreat where 40 youth got together safely and worked in small groups to have a Bible Study, played games, and did a service project. Then, we took kids to camp. Lutheridge was a wonderful experience! We started the school year with an outdoor luau for the middle and high school youth! It was great. Things seemed to be getting “back to normal.” Then Omicron hit.
Diamonds are valuable. I don’t have to convince you of that. Like gold or silver, diamonds have intrinsic value. They are valuable because of what they are. They don’t need to be molded or crafted into another form for them to have value. We’re usually pretty good about knowing when something is intrinsically valuable just by looking at it.
This past weekend we babysat our granddaughter, Chloe. There is never a dull moment! She loves to play “Hide & Seek” and “Go” with Poppy (Mark), loves to read books and loves to laugh!
This week, my talented co-worker, my trusted colleague and one of my closest friends, Mark Glaeser, announced that it was time to retire after serving Christ Lutheran for 32 years. My heart both sank and was lifted when he took me aside in private to tell me about his decision.
As parents, our life revolves around the school calendar. Now that school is back after the Christmas break, it feels like we’re taking off again from the starting line of a race. Yet, after the first week I find myself out of breath and exhausted, ready for another break. Parenting is hard, and it wears you out. What makes it difficult for me isn’t being with my children. I actually like them – most of the time. What’s so hard is wearing the other hats that fall under the title of parent: taxi driver, chef, cleaner, teacher, doctor, coach. But the hardest job, the one that gives me the most anxiety, is scheduler.
2022. Two thousand twenty-two years since the birth of ourLord, Jesus the Christ. We gave Jesus the highest honor: we ordered the timingof all humanity around him. We used to call it B.C. and A.D., now we aresupposed to call is B.C.E. and C.E.. However you call it, that turning point isJesus.
The well-known song “Mary, Did You Know?” has been a staple of contemporary Christian Christmas music for over thirty years. The song propounds a number of questions to Mary about Christ’s birth that, while pensive, can seem rhetorical. This has led to its criticism: social media is often ripe this time of year with nay-sayers who post memes and contribute vacuous comment-section banter: “Mary knew she would birth the Messiah,” the more tactful comments retort, “the angel Gabriel told her.”