Monday, March 29, 2010

Eggs, Eggs, & More Eggs...

Come to an Easter party and egg hunt this Saturday, April 3, at 2PM in the Fellowship Hall at St. James Lutheran Church. What? You're not a member? You're still invited to join us! What? You've never come to St. James before? We'll welcome you in with open arms! Don't miss all the fun as we peer into the empty tomb; paint a craft; enjoy some egg-celent games, and hunt for eggs gallore!!!

It's Almost Easter

Thanks to everyone who helped us pack our pews on Palm Sunday! We had a great time singing "Hosanna" and worshipping our Lord together. Everyone is invited to join us for a service of Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday, April 1, at 7PM. During this service, we will learn about the Sixth Mark of Discipleship to conclude our Lenten Discipleship Series. You are also invited to a contemplative worship service with us on Good Friday, April 2, at 7PM. Then, on Easter morning, we will celebrate Holy Communion at 10:30 AM as we worship our risen Savior, Jesus Christ. We can't wait to see you there!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Fifth Mark of Discipleship


Remember the words of the prophet Micah, and his one-line definition of the spiritual life: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

There is no getting around it. The life of a disciple involves service. The Gospel of John tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only son” (John 3:16) and that God intends to keep on loving the world through us, God’s beloved disciples of Jesus (John 13:34-35).

Justice and love are not options for those who follow Jesus. Service is a key mark of discipleship!

We serve in our church.

Lutheran Men serving Easter Sunday breakfast.

We serve in our communities.

God Rockz sent these Birthday kits home with families in community who come to our food pantry for help.

We serve so the Light of God’s love may be seen by all.

Scripture for the Week

Matthew 20:20-28

John 13:31-35

Galatians 5:13-15

Luke 6:27-31

James 2:1-17

Philippians 2:1-11

Exodus 23:4-5

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Palm Sunday

Next Sunday, March 28, is Palm Sunday, and our church is packing our pews! Join us at our 8:00 AM or 10:30 AM Holy Communion services, and bring a friend with you as we wave palm branches; sing Hosanna; hear our hand bell players ring and our chancel choir sing; and worship our Lord Jesus Christ as we begin to walk toward the cross with Him on Holy Week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Fourth Mark of Discipleship


In the Lutheran Book of Worship, the prayer of the congregation following the giving of the weekly offering reads:

Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us-our selves, our time, and our possessions, signs of your gracious love. Receive them for the sake of Him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In a discipleship church, the offering is symbolic of the giving of one’s self to God, who loves us with an everlasting love. It is not done begrudgingly, (to exert our own sense of power, or to pay dues), but it is done with joy and thanksgiving as an offering to our God who has given us so much already.

What does giving to God look like?

We give of ourselves to share the Gospel.

We give of our time to help those in need.

We give of our possessions to
support the mission of our
congregation and the efforts of the
church across the world.

Scripture for the Week

1 Chronicles 29:14-17

Deuteronomy 8:11-20

Mark 12:41-44

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Matthew 6:24-34

Psalm 116

Malachi 3:8-12

The Third Mark of Discipleship


Disciples worship. Their very lives are expressions of trust and praise to the God who made them, loves them, and invites them to love as God loves. Everything that happens in a discipleship church moves to and from that holy moment when God’s people gather together in worship. -Michael Foss Power Surge pg. 96

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts. Worship the LORD in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth. -Psalm 96:8-9

Scripture for the Week

Psalm 100

Hebrews 10:19-25

Revelation 5:6-14

John 4:19-24

Matthew 18:19-20

Romans 12

1 Chronicles 15:25-16:4

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Second Mark of Discipleship

Reading the Bible

“If most of us opened a carpenter’s tool kit, we wouldn’t know what to do with most of what we found inside. Using the tools of any trade requires the development of skills through mentoring, practice, and experience. It is no different with the Bible, the key tool in the trade of discipleship.” - Michael Foss Power Surge.

Reading God’s Word can be difficult. When God invites us to read and study His Word, God doesn’t require us to understand everything. God invites us into a relationship through the words of the Bible, and the relationship is primarily with God’s Son, Jesus, the living Word.

Need some help?
Here is a three-step process for discerning the voice of God in the words of the Bible:

1. Pray that God will speak to you in the words you are about to read. Invite the Holy Spirit to open God’s heart and character to you in the words of Scripture.

2. Read the passage, stopping when it speaks to you, or at the end of a section. Ask: what does this passage tell me about God or life? How does it fit with what I know about Jesus? What lesson is here for me?

3. Pray that God will transform us as we read. We want to conform our attitudes and behaviors to God’s will that we see lived out in the scriptures, and we ask God for the ability to do this.

Scripture for the Week

John 1:1-5

Psalm 119:97-105

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

Matthew 4:1-11

Hebrews 4:12-16

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Luke 4:14-21

The First Mark of Discipleship

Can one be a Christian without being religious? The vast majority of Americans think so. Polls and opinion surveys indicate that a the majority of adults in this country think of themselves as Christian. Yet their self-understanding of a Christian does not seem to be reflected in their lives in the form of practiced faith. As Christians, something must set us apart from the rest. This is more that just living a good life. It is more that doing good things. It is more than being a member of St. James Lutheran Church or any church for that matter. It is being a disciple. It is carrying the cross. It is living a life that exhibits the marks of Discipleship.

The Marks of Discipleship
We are going to spend the 40 days of Lent learning the six marks of discipleship. These are the six ways of living out our faith that show the world that we are different than a good citizen. These practices of faith will help us bridge the gap between belief and behavior. These disciplines of faith are based on biblical and historical practices that have long characterized individuals with living, active faith.

The Six Marks of Discipleship
As a member of Saint James Lutheran Church and the body of Christ I believe that I am called…”to the measure of the stature of Christ” -Ephesians 4:12
I will strive to…
1. PRAY daily
2. WORSHIP weekly
3. READ the Bible
4. SERVE at and beyond St. James
5. Be in RELATIONSHIP to encourage the spiritual growth of others
6. GIVE of my time, talents and resources

The assumption is that we all know how to pray. This problem of not knowing how to pray is not a new one. Some two thousand years ago, Jesus “was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord teach us to pray’” -Luke 11:1 Prayer is something that needs to be taught and learned over and over again; from the child getting ready for bed to the elderly person resting in a nursing home.

Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude.

Some Tips for your Prayer Life

It is important to take time to step into God’s presence Each Day. Here are some tips to help:

1. Identify your best time– morning, evening, during lunch break.

2. Find a place where you will not be interrupted.

3. Get comfortable.

4. Begin your conversation with God.

5. Review your day.

6. What do you have to be thankful for?

7. What situations do you need to ask for help with?

8. Where do you need forgiveness and healing?

9. Are there people and situation you want to pray for?

10. Leave it in God’s hands.

You can also just sit in silence and listen for God.

Scripture for the Week


Luke 11:1-13


1 Thessalonians 5:1-28


Psalm 5:1-12


Psalm 63:1-11


Mark 11:20-24


Psalm 46:1-11


Psalm 62:1-8