Celebrate Being Debt Free – March 23, 2019

In [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Ephesians 1:7

Celebrate Being Debt Free


Daily Devotion – March 23, 2019

Devotion based on Ephesians 1:7

See series: Devotions

If you are like most people, you are dealing with debt. You have house payments, car payments, and credit card bills. And then there was that furniture you bought last year with no payments due for twelve months. And now the twelve months are over. Debt can be overwhelming. It can feel like a great weight pressing you down—a weight you feel you can never escape.

Whether or not you are like many people when it comes to financial debt, you ARE like every human being when it comes to spiritual debt. You owe God for every sin you have ever committed.

You could try to ignore your spiritual debt. But that would not make it go away, any more than ignoring your credit card bill. You could try to pay off your debt to God, except that you have no currency with which to pay it and with every day you live, you commit more sins and rack up more debt. Spiritual debt is overwhelming. It feels like a great weight pressing you down—a weight you feel you can never escape.

But the Bible has good news for you. God says that Jesus has freed you from your debt. His blood was full payment for your sins. The great weight of your guilt has been lifted. It was placed on Jesus when he hung on the cross, so your spiritual debt never needs to bother you again.

Imagine finding out that someone had paid off all your financial debt—your house, car, credit cards, and even that furniture you purchased. Imagine the weight that would be lifted! Imagine the celebration you would enjoy!

You don’t need to imagine that your spiritual debt to God has been paid. It has. Jesus paid it. So let go of your guilt and celebrate the freedom of your forgiveness!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I know that I could never pay the debt I owe because of my sins. But I also know that you paid that debt for me. Thank you. Keep me from feeling the weight of a debt I no longer owe so that I can be free to spend my life celebrating the forgiveness you earned. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Stubborn – March 22, 2019

I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day . . .
Luke 13:33

Stubborn


Daily Devotion – March 22, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 13:33

See series: Devotions

One hundred fifty-five years ago, during the American Civil War, an army of Union soldiers had become frustrated. For years, this Union army had fought under many different generals. But, no matter who was in charge the result was always the same. They would fight a battle against the Confederate Army, things would get messy and bloody, the Union general in command would lose his nerve and call a retreat, and the war would drag on.

But, then a new general arrived by the name of Ulysses S. Grant. At first, it seemed nothing had changed. Under Grant they had a sharp battle against the Confederate Army. Things got messy and bloody. The next day they received orders to march. “Here we go again,” the soldiers thought.

But, when they arrived at a fork in the road, instead of marching north in retreat, Grant led them south toward their enemy. Ulysses S. Grant was the general they needed. He was a stubborn, determined man. He continued pressing and pressing, attacking and attacking until, eventually, victory was won.

Ulysses S. Grant may have been a stubborn, determined man when it came to defeating the Confederate Army. But, even he cannot out-stubborn Jesus. When it comes to his love for you, Jesus is the most stubborn and determined person in all creation.

Remember that. Remember that when your burdens stubbornly stick to you. Perhaps it’s an ailing parent, a drifting child, uncertain finances, health problems, loneliness, or regrets from your past that you cannot seem to forget. Perhaps it’s just the wear and tear of living in a broken, sinful world.

When your burdens stubbornly stick to you, remember that Jesus is determined to keep his every promise to you. That is what he sealed in his blood on the cross and guaranteed with his empty tomb. He proved his love for you then and he’s not backing away now. Because when it comes to Jesus’ love for you, no one can out-stubborn him.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, your goodness and love pursue me with a dogged determination. Move me to see your stubborn grace in my life. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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A Walk – March 21, 2019

The Lord Jesus Christ . . . will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Philippians 3:20-21

A Walk


Daily Devotion – March 21, 2019

Devotion based on Philippians 3:20-21

See series: Devotions

Here’s an assignment for you: The next time you visit a hospital, make it a point to take a thoughtful, deliberate walk through that hospital. Look around. Take in what you see.

Behind every door there’s a story, an unfolding drama. There are some who are recovering from accidents and will soon be getting on with their lives. There are others with life-changing injuries. There are patients who are getting treatment for a stubborn bug and will soon be going home. There are others who are undergoing a barrage of tests in hopes of discovering what the problem is. There are families who arrive with balloons and funny cards because a loved one gets to come home. There are families sitting quietly in waiting rooms because they know a loved one is never coming home again.

Such a walk will remind you of one thing. No matter how healthy you are, you are only one bacterium away, one moment’s inattention away, one positive test result away from finding yourself lying in a bed that’s not your own, watching a wall-mounted television, with strange machines beeping at your side. It will remind you that, in this world of sin, each of us possesses a lowly body that’s far more vulnerable and frail than we care to admit.

But such a walk can also remind you of something else. The lowly bodies we have now are not going to be lowly forever. We know this because Jesus has made a promise. He has promised to transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

And so, there it is. The same Son of God who took on a human body to live in our place, sacrificed his body on a cross to pay for our sins in full, and raised his body back to life—this same Jesus has promised that the lowly bodies we have now will not be lowly for long. Disease, accident, age, death—these things do not have the final word on our bodies. Jesus does. And his Word says that when he raises his followers from the dead one day, our bodies will be glorious—no more pain or disease or injury or death. What a transformation!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, for the time being my body is frail and lowly. But not for long. For this I thank you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Moment – March 20, 2019

But our citizenship is in heaven.
Philippians 3:20

Moment


Daily Devotion – March 20, 2019

Devotion based on Philippians 3:20

See series: Devotions

If you ever want to take on a sobering read, pick up a book entitled, The Gulag Archipelago. The book is a first-hand account of what life was like in a Soviet forced-labor camp during the 1940’s and ’50’s. The accounts of what took place are so powerful and compelling, that in 1970 the book earned the Nobel Prize. Many consider it one of the most important books of the Twentieth Century.

What pulls you into the text, however, is not just the vivid description of what took place. Mixed in with the details of horror, cruelty, and desperation are proclamations of profound insight.

For example, the author unfolds what some Soviet prison guards were willing to do to terrorize and manipulate the inmates. But when he does, he also reveals what the guards feared the most. He says what they feared most is when they dealt with someone who knew that this life is nothing in comparison with the life that is to come—when they dealt with someone who knew that they were only passing through this short life, and that life eternal awaited. Against this kind of inmate, the prison guards were helpless. And because they were helpless, they were afraid.

Think about that for a moment. Through faith in Jesus—who died for your sin and rose from death—you can now look the rest of your life in the eye. And you can do so with a kind of courage that makes the powers of darkness tremble. Will there be days of difficulty in your future? Yes. Will there be days of sorrow? Yes. Will there be days of loneliness, disappointment, and suffering? Yes, yes, and yes.

But our citizenship is in heaven, God’s Word says. Heaven is where we belong. Heaven is where we are going. And because that is true, the passing moments of trouble we encounter—as terrible as they may be—are only that, passing moments.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, the troubles I face in this world last only a moment. My life of joy with you will last forever. Help me remember this. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Empty – March 19, 2019

Their god is their stomach . . . Their mind is set on earthly things.
Philippians 3:19

Empty


Daily Devotion – March 19, 2019

Devotion based on Philippians 3:19

See series: Devotions

Perhaps some of you have seen a reality-TV series entitled, “My 600-lb Life.” The episodes follow the progress of individuals who are in desperate need of extreme weight loss. If you have not seen the show, you may quickly discover that you have much more in common with these individuals than you assume.

It could be that you also struggle with health issues related to weight. Whether you do or not, however, is beside the point. What’s striking is how so many of the individuals in the series are struggling with the same deep-seated problem. For years upon years, they have tried to fill an empty place in their lives with food.

That empty place may have come from a tragic death in their childhood, from abuse, or simply from a general sense of brokenness they cannot define. Their choice for filling that emptiness, however, has been food.

With what have you tried to fill your empty place? Maybe you’ve tried to fill it with food, work, or entertainment and recreation. Or perhaps you’ve tried to fill it with approval from others, constant busyness, alcohol, drugs, pornography, social media, politics, or news networks.

What you already know, however, is this. These things never fill the empty place. They never work. No matter how much you consume, the empty place always returns.

The frightening truth is that you and I, in the loneliness of self, are far emptier than we dare to fear. And that’s why we desperately need Jesus.

When Jesus came to this earth, he came to do far more than simply pay off the outstanding debt of our sin as if it were some abstract equation. In living a holy life on our behalf and then taking our failures to the cross, Jesus reshaped our entire relationship with our Creator. Now, through the power of the gospel, the Holy Spirit fills us. Jesus fills us. He fills us with his promises and his living, breathing Word.

And as he does, he fills your empty place and mine as nothing else will!

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, forgive me. Forgive me for all the ways I have tried to fill my empty place with things that do not satisfy. Fill me with your Spirit. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Conflict for Christ – March 18, 2019

As soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the LORD had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die!”
Jeremiah 26:8

Conflict for Christ


Daily Devotion – March 18, 2019

Devotion based on Jeremiah 26:8

See series: Devotions

Many years ago, Steve Turner and Frank Weed teamed up to author a book entitled, Conflict in Organizations. The book is a how-to manual on dealing with conflict in the workplace. As they detail how various individuals react to conflict, Turner and Weed describe one specific group as “Concealers.” Concealers are willing to do a great deal not to experience conflict at all. According to the book, there are three basic types of concealers. First, there are the “Feeling-swallowers.” Feeling-swallowers will smile even when a situation is causing them great distress. Second, there are the “Subject-changers.” Subject-changers transition the conversation to a less confrontational subject as soon as possible. Third, there are the “Avoiders.” Avoiders will go far out of the way to put distance between themselves and any potential conflict.

Many of us can see ourselves in these descriptions. Conflict, after all, is unpleasant. Avoiding the unpleasant, therefore, is understandable.

Avoiding the unpleasant, however, is not a solution. It’s not a solution in the workplace. And it’s not a solution when it comes to serving as a witness for Jesus and his Word.

Let’s be candid, here. There have been all kinds of moments you and I have allowed to slip away—moments that were opportunities to share the message of Jesus with someone else. We let them slip away, however, because we just didn’t want to be bothered. We didn’t want to be bothered with a potential “awkward moment”—a potential conflict, with all the unpleasantness it might bring.

And that’s how my old sinful self often works. It doesn’t openly rebel against my Lord. It just finds a reason to put things off.

It’s time to come to repentance. It’s time to recognize how often I have put my needs ahead of someone who desperately needs Jesus. It’s time to find healing in the forgiveness that Jesus has purchased for me at the cross.

What’s more, it is in that very forgiveness that you and I will find fresh courage. We will find fresh courage to risk conflict and confrontation for the sake of Jesus and his gospel.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, forgive the many times I have given in to my fears. Wash me clean. Give me fresh courage to live and speak for you. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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BULLETIN- THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT MARCH 17, 2019

St. John’s & Emmanuel

Evangelical Lutheran Churches

Montello & Mecan, WI

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

MARCH 17, 2019

WELCOME TO OUR CHURCH!

We extend a warm welcome to everyone today, especially our visitors. In the bulletin you’ll find an outline of today’s service, a calendar of events and other bits of information. In the red hymn book you’ll find the songs we sing and the order of service that we follow. If you would like a large print hymnal or bulletin please ask one of our ushers and they will gladly assist you. Restrooms and nursery area are located the parish hall at Emmanuel and in the lower level and “link-way” at St. John’s. It’s nice to have you visit today. May God bless our worship together!

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY

“Christ Was Rejected, Yet Resolute in his Mission”

Salvation Through Our Savior’s Sacrifice Is Rejected By Many – “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified” (I Thess. 4:3).  As long as this call to holiness is ignored, we are slaves of sin and prisoners of the devil.  We are to examine ourselves, repent of our failures, and be hungry for God’s forgiveness.  Yet therein lies the problem.  Our examination of ourselves, our repentance and our hunger for forgiveness are such that we need to repent of them also!  In the Prayer of the Day we confess that “we have no power to defend ourselves.”  So, then, how can we not someday end up among those who reject His Salvation?  By remembering that God remembers.  In spite of our sinfulness, His mercy is constant!  Why, He even used the rejection by the very people He came to save, to accomplish our salvation.  Therefore, as we rejoice that it is God’s will to save us, let us also rejoice that it is will that we should be sanctified!

OPENING SONG St. John’s Day School & Little Lambs

“The Lamb”

ORDER OF SERVICE Service of the Word

hymnal page 38

Please stand

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Almighty God, you see that we have no power to defend ourselves. Guard and keep us both outwardly and inwardly from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Please be seated for the day’s Scripture readings

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Jeremiah 26:8-15

Jeremiah remained resolute in spite of opposition

But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the LORD had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die! Why do you prophesy in the LORD’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

When the officials of Judah heard about these things, they went up from the royal palace to the house of the LORD and took their places at the entrance of the New Gate of the LORD’s house. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, “This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!”

Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: “The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”

PSALM 42-43 hymnal page 82

Lectern side sings the first line, pulpit side sings the second line, all sing refrains and Gloria

EPISTLE LESSON Philippians 3:17–4:1

Stand firm in the Lord

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

VERSE OF THE DAY Philippians 2:8b

“Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

During the season of Lent, the “Alleluia” is omitted

Please stand

GOSPEL LESSON (today’s sermon text)Luke 13:31-35

Jesus’ sorrow over Jerusalem

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Please be seated

CHILDREN’S SERMON

All children are invited to the front of church for a special message

SERMON HYMN 109 “When O’er My Sins I Sorrow”

SERMON Luke 13:31-35

“Jesus, Are We There Yet?”

Though we’re still en route, don’t forget that Jesus SAVES, SORROWS & SHELTERS

Please stand

APOSTLES’ CREED hymnal page 20

Please be seated

OFFERING & WELS CONNECTION DVD

During the offering, feel free to turn and greet one another! We also kindly ask that you fill out the red friendship register found at the end of each pew.

OFFERING, LENTEN SEASON & INTERCESSORY PRAYERS (read by pastor)

– For those hospitalized, ill, shut-in and facing trials: George Alexander, Gene & Sharon Crook, Harley & Liola Crown & son Terry, Agnes Dassow, Jerre Duerr, Reinold Eckelberg, Elaine Emond (Mark’s mother), Earl Ewert, Marjorie Fabian, Mike Farrell, Kellen Grucza (Judy Fandrey’s daughter), Dawn Hirn (Linda Krause’s niece), Xzander Jahr, Bob Klapper (Sandy’s husband), Arden “Bill” Klimke, Linda Krause, Pete Laun, Lilly Mann, Frieda Otto, Debbie Parrish, LuAnn Reber, Mark & Peggy Russell (Elsa’s son & daughter in-law), Al & Darlene Schmidt (Dawn Marcelain & Candace Sonnenberg’s parents), Carol Schumann, Dennis Schwanke (Mary Isberner’s friend), Amanda Stalker, Jennifer Strauss, Dennis & Ramona Wacholtz, Donny Weber (Betty’s son), Larry Wegner (Bob’s brother), Heidi Weishaar (Dennis & Sharon Kekow’s daughter), Paul Weldon, Millie Wildt (John’s wife) – (added this week: Frieda Otto, Debbie Parrish, Carol Schumann)

– For our K3-K5 teacher Sara Borck who received the Lord’s call to teach Kindergarten next fall at Good Shepherd Ev. Lutheran School–Omaha, NE

– For Larry & Lynn Sellnow, currently teaching at Holy Trinity Lutheran School–Wyoming, MI were were called on 3/10 by St. John’s voters to serve as principal/teacher and K4-K5 director/teacher respectively

– For contentment

Please stand

LORD’S PRAYER hymnal page 43a

Please be seated

HYMN 440:1-2 “On Eagles’ Wings”

CLOSING PRAYER & BLESSING hymnal page 43b

CLOSING HYMN 440:3 “On Eagles’ Wings”

Note: As you leave today’s service, please give your completed Friendship Register sheet to an usher or pastor.

Announcements

Activities for the week of March 17-March 23
Sun. 8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
8:30 A.M. St. John’s Sunday School
9:00 A.M. Emmanuel/St. John’s Adult Bible Study
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship
Mon. 6:30 P.M. Choir at St. John’s
6:30 P.M. Bible Information Class at St. John’s
7:30 P.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
Tues. 6:00 P.M. Joint Worship Study Committee meeting at St. John’s
Wed. 8:00 A.M. St. John’s School Chapel
10:00 A.M. Adult Bible Study at St. John’s
3:30 P.M. Emmanuel Lenten Devotion
3:45 P.M. Public School Teen Confirmation Class at St. John’s
4:30 P.M. Lenten Supper at St. John’s
6:30 P.M. St. John’s Lenten Devotion
Thurs. 8:00 A.M. St. John’s School Teen Confirmation Class
10:00 A.M. Montello Care Center Devotion
6:00 P.M. Griefshare (7th of 13 weeks) in St. John’s lower level
6:00 P.M. St. John’s Council meeting
Fri.
Sat.
Theme for Next Sunday March 24, 2019 Lent 3: “Repent”
8:00 A.M. Emmanuel Worship
8:30 A.M. St. John’s Sunday School
9:00 A.M. Emmanuel/St. John’s Adult Bible Study
10:00 A.M. St. John’s Worship with communion

MEMORIAL In loving memory of Gordon Fabian, $20.00 has been given to St. John’s Church and $45.00 has been given to St. John’s School by friends. Thank you for your gifts.

EASTER FLOWERS We are taking orders now through April 8th! Please use the sign-up sheet located in St. John’s information room.

EMMANUEL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING An Emmanuel Congregational meeting will be held at 9:15a.m. following the today’s Emmanuel service today, March 17, to discuss the pending re-roof project. Those who wish to offer input are asked to attend.

WEDNESDAY LENTEN DEVOTIONS Join us as we gather for Lenten Devotions: 3:30pm at Emmanuel and 6:30pm at St. John’s under this year’s theme: “Three Words of Truth.”  A soup supper will also be served from 4:30-6:15pm in the lower level of St. John’s.  “Jesus, I will ponder now on your holy passion…” (Hymn 98)

LENTEN SUPPER This week, March 20, 2019, St. John’s Hands in Prayer is hosting. Supper starts at 4:30pm in St. John’s lower level.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU? Baked Potatoes with all the toppings and Tacos with all the fixings, assorted desserts, milk & coffee.

THANK YOU Emmanuel council is seeking volunteers to assist, with Emmanuel member funeral luncheons in the Parish Hall. All men and women are welcomed to help in any manner possible with the many required activities including food procurement, food preparation, and luncheon serving. Any members who wish to assist with this important service are asked to contact Sue Stelter at 608-297-2761, or by email at shieldscreamery@gmail.com or on a sign up in the Parish Hall.

EASTER FOR KIDS DONATIONS Planning for 80 childrenfor Saturday, April 13, at St. John’s. MONETARY GIFTS are needed most and help purchase: crafts, Easter pails, candy/prizes, outdoor advertising banner, snack & lunch, basket stuffers. DONATE home-crafted items for baskets. VOLUNTEER to bake for the baskets. VOLUNTEER to work at the event. Please contact Linda Wachholz 608-369-2635.

We still collect plain print-free ice cream pails. Please do not purchase plastic eggs, grass, or baskets,but we recycle by accepting gently used items you would like to share. A donation box is located in the linkway.

EASTER FOR KIDS COORDINATOR I am looking for someone to assist with the planning this year who would be willing to take the lead in the future. If you would be interested in working with me this year, please call me 608-369-2635. Thank you! –Linda Wachholz

REGISTRATION FOR EASTER FOR KIDS Any child, age 3 through Grade 6, is welcome to attend Easter for Kids at St. John’s on Saturday, April 13. This is an outreach program–it would be great if St. John’s & Emmanuel kids who attend would invite a non-member or unchurched friend! Register online www.stjohnsmontello.org beginning Monday, March 4. Get registration forms at both churches, in Monday Magazine, on church & school Facebook. This year’s theme is “Parade & Praise for the King!” Story rhyme time, singing & movement, crafts, egg coloring, snacks, & of course, a parade will bring the true meaning of Easter to the children. Register by Friday, April 5.

SPRING MISSION OFFERINGS are being collected by the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society through Sunday, March 31.Containers are located in the entrance at St. John’s and at Emmanuel—Please give your gift at the church where you are a member. 75% of gifts given will support Beaver Dam Circuit projects—HM/Campus Ministry New Starts & WM/Haiti. 25% of gifts given will support home & world mission projects described on the poster by the container and will be presented at the next LWMS Convention, June 27-30, in Des Moines, Iowa. Gifts welcome from all who love missions!

CHRISTIAN ONE-LINERS (from a WELS member):  “Don’t give God orders; just report for duty!”

NEW MEMBERSHIP CLASS I’d like to start a new membership class soon on Sunday at 11:30am and/or Monday at 6pm here at my office.  We will study the basic teachings of the Bible using the 20 lesson study guide entitled: New Life In Christ.  Call or text me at 608-408-7830 if you are interested.  –Pastor Pete Zietlow 

PLAN YOUR MISSION JOURNEY WELS Mission Journeys, the official WELS program for short-term mission trips, provides an opportunity for all WELS members to walk together in the Great Commission. Through church- or school-based volunteer trips to WELS mission fields at home and abroad, members have the opportunity to engage in Christian service. With the Lord’s blessing, these trips will inspire a lifelong journey of service and outreach for all who volunteer. Want to learn more about how you can get involved? Visit wels.net/missionjourneys.

WOMEN’S MINISTRY CONFERENCE WELS Women’s Ministry will be holding a conference this summer, July 18–20, at Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wis. The theme of the conference centers around “living stones” and how Christian women are called to be a part of something bigger. For more information on the Women’s Ministry Conference and to register, visit wels.net/wmconference.

MILK MOOLA Kwik Trip is ending the Milk Moola Program this month! We need all milk caps and bag tops turned in by March 22nd to the office!  Thank you.

EdTechLead SUMMIT REGISTRATION Registration is now open for the National WELS Education, Technology, and Leadership Summit, June 25-27, 2019. Enjoy early bird savings when you register by May 1. Check out the complete summit schedule, presenter line-up, and frequently asked questions at welsedtechlead.com. Make plans to bring your family for a summer get-away and join us at the Kalahari Resort and water park in the Wisconsin Dells this June.

FOR GENERATIONS TO COME WELS Congregational Services exists to help congregations engage in faithful and fruitful ministry. Programs are being developed to help congregations in evangelism, worship, compassion ministries, discipleship, and outreach through WELS schools. By strengthening our members and congregations, WELS will be able to continue proclaiming the gospel message around the world. To learn more about how Congregational Services is helping our synod for future generations, visit wels.net/forthegenerationstocome.

WHAT ARE THE PSALMS?

by Scott Schultz (our WELS pastor at Cross of Christ–Portage)

In a typical liturgical worship service, a Christian congregation may sing songs that were written over one thousand years ago, others that were written over five hundred years ago, others that were written over one hundred years ago, and still others that were written over the last several years. The oldest songs a Christian congregation may sing in a typical liturgical worship service were written around three thousand years ago. These songs are called psalms. In this column entitled, “Questions About Christianity”, we are looking at the different parts of a basic Christian liturgical worship service. This month we will learn about the psalms by answering this question, “What are the psalms?”

Psalms come from the Old Testament book of the Bible called Psalm. Old Testament Jews originally called this book “Songs of Praise” because this was their hymnbook. This book was renamed Psalm by the Septuagint. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Old Testament that was written around the third-second century B.C. The authors of the book of Psalm include: Moses, King David, King Solomon, the sons of Korah, Asaph, Ethan the Ezrahite, Jeduthun, Heman the Ezrahite, and others who are not identified. King David wrote the most psalms. He wrote seventy-three psalms we know of for sure. Jewish tradition says he wrote many other psalms as well. The oldest psalm was written by Moses around 1,400 B.C. and the newest psalm was written around 500 B.C. Many believe a Jewish rabbi or teacher named Ezra who lived in the land of Israel around 500 B.C. arranged the book of Psalm into the five parts that are found in most Bibles.

There are different classifications of psalms in the book of Psalm including psalms, song, prayer, miktam, maskil, and others. The main content of the book of Psalm include Messianic psalms (Psalms about the promised Savior), imprecatory psalms (Psalms against one’s enemy), Hallels (Psalms which were sung during Jewish festivals), and songs of ascent (Psalms which some believe people sang as they were going up to Jerusalem for a festival, or to the temple to worship). Since the book of Psalm was the Old Testament Jewish hymnbook, Jews often sang psalms on their own. They also sang them at the temple where the psalms were played by flutes, strings, and other musical instruments when they worshipped God.

Today many Christian congregations still sing psalms in their worship service. They have been arranged in a vast array of musical settings so they can be played by many different types of musical instruments. Christian congregations sing psalms to beautify their worship service and praise God. They also sing them because of the psalms’ very comforting message, especially about the coming of the promised Savior, Jesus.

Attendance Emmanuel St. John’s
3-10 3-13 36 40 90 67
St. John’s Altar Committee: March 2019 Diane Eisermann & Delores Cotte
St. John’s Greeters Schedule
Mar. 17 James & Linda Wachholz
Mar. 24 Ron & Evie Blada
Mar. 31 Delvin & Jean Henke
Usher Schedule
March 17 E SJ Darrell Buchholz, Noah Buchholz, Brian Ninnemann Kenon Smith; Chief, Christopher Smith, Calvin Wojtalewicz, Zeb Zuehls, Mark Emond
March 20 (Lent 3:30pm) E (Lent 6:30pm) SJ Wayne Stelter, Bruce Stelter, Joe Heller Dennis Wacholtz; Chief, Kevin Kaul, Scott Ritz, Ken Borzick, Ben Emond
March 24 E (with comm.) SJ DuWayne Sommerfeld, Bruce Stelter, Joe Heller Jack Yates; Chief, Thomas Wojtalewicz, James Henke, Paul Van Treeck, Martin Schmanke
March 27 (Lent 3:30pm) E (Lent 6:30pm) SJ Wayne Stelter, Bruce Stelter, Joe Heller Don Smith; Chief, Lee Ollendorf, Aaron Kendall, Chuck Boetcher, Jim Eisermann
March 31 E SJ Wayne Stelter, Paul Wuerch, DuWayne Sommerfeld Kenon Smith; Chief, Corey Kaul, Jerre Duerr, Robin Smith, Del Henke
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I Must Keep Going – March 17, 2019

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
Luke 13:31-33

I Must Keep Going


Daily Devotion – March 17, 2019

Devotion based on Luke 13:31-33

See series: Devotions

“It looks dangerous to me.” As Bob studied the rope bridge, he saw the frayed ends and missing boards. His advice was simple, “Let’s turn back.” In contrast to Bob’s timid nature, John expressed complete confidence. He knew the bridge was going to support their weight because he had just used the bridge a week earlier. So he started across the bridge and invited his friend, “Let’s keep going!”

Jesus faced a similar decision. Should I turn back, or should I keep going? He knew what was in store for him if he pressed on (Luke 13:33). His decision was revealed in his resolve: “I must keep going.”

Jesus knew what he was here to do. (See John 3:16-17.) It was a ministry entrusted to him by his Father. He also knew how it was going to end. Still, he accepted the work, and did not turn away from the cost.

“I must keep going.” With these words I understand the commitment Jesus had for my rescue. He would do everything necessary to free me from the punishment my sin demanded. Because Jesus was willing to die on the cross, I am free. Free from the punishment I deserved, and from Satan’s tyranny over my life.

As I live in this freedom, I need to recognize the challenges that confront me. Satan does not give up his claim on me. My flesh continues to be weak. The world increases its pressures and distractions.

“I must keep going.” It not only becomes my goal for life, it becomes my source of help. When I am tempted to stop following my Savior, or to give up, I need to look to Jesus. I trust that he never gave up on me. It’s this knowledge that becomes my reason to persevere. It’s my courage, power, and conviction to say: “I must keep going.”

Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal: 467)
May the mind of Christ my Savior live in me from day to day,
By his love and power inspiring all I do or say.
May I run the race before me, strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus as I onward go.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Great Love – March 16, 2019

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:8-13

Great Love


Daily Devotion – March 16, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 10:8-13

See series: Devotions

When you love someone, you express what’s in your heart by what you say and what you do. You send a card, give a gift, sincerely say, “I love you!” Because when you truly love someone, you want to show it. Love naturally expresses itself.

Jesus’ love for us speaks volumes. His death on a cross and resurrection from the dead reveals the depth and faithfulness of his love for us. He expressed his love by paying for our sins, once and for all. He opened heaven for us. Jesus is committed to staying with us and taking care of us. Those actions of love echo through time. They declare that he will always love us, always forgive us, always save us.

The message of Jesus’ love—the gospel—moves our hearts to dearly love him as our Savior. The Bible says that when our hearts trust that Jesus died to take away our sins and rose from the dead, then our mouths will naturally confess him as Lord and Savior. His love in us empowers us to love him in what we say and how we worship him. The more his love is in our hearts through the power of his Word, the more our lives will be glad to express our love for him.

Prayer:
Jesus, thanks for your great love. Thanks for being my Savior. Help me confess you with all my heart for all my life. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Lord of All – March 15, 2019

The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:12b-13

Lord of All


Daily Devotion – March 15, 2019

Devotion based on Romans 10:12b-13

See series: Devotions

Some people seem to have easy lives, and my life is hard. I pray and pray, and nothing ever seems to change. Could it be that God favors those other people, or is holding something against me, maybe something that I did? No, the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.

Some people seem to go through life without a care in the world, and I feel guilty all the time. I hear that I am supposed to feel forgiven, but I never totally do. Could it be that God has forgiven those other people, but that he is withholding his forgiveness from me until I do something that shows him that I am really, really sorry? No, the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses those who call on him.

People in other countries or in other ethnic groups in my country seem to have it way better than I do. They don’t face as much discrimination as I do, and they have so many more resources than my family does. Could it be that God favors certain countries and certain ethnic groups? No, the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.

God promises salvation to every person the same way, through faith in Jesus. Jesus’ death paid the price for the sins of the whole world. Jesus’ perfect life is credited through faith to everyone who calls on him. It doesn’t matter what ethnic group, gender, or socio-economic status, the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Prayer:
Lord God, I call on you in faith. Bless me and all whom I love. Grant me confidence in whatever you provide for my life through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

DailyCreative Commons License Devotions are brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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