From the Word 

“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Colossians 3:16 

  Studies are done every now and then on the subject of how best to reach out to others about faith.  Study after study has shown that the most effective means of reaching others with the Gospel is simply to invite them to come and hear God’s Word.  The assumption is that we invite them to worship.  But do you know people who would respond better to some form of teaching before they join us in worship?  Those people certainly exist, and may be the people you are thinking of inviting.
  We are going to be offering many Bible Study options in the coming months.  Some will be options for Sunday morning, others at other times.  Some will be targeted studies for a certain period of weeks, others will be more ongoing.  We would also be open to suggestions for the future, things that you think would help you, or that you would like to invite others to come to. 
  There is no greater source of strength, grace, and assurance than God’s Word.  It only has that effect if we access it.  We are asking every member to consider this a time of re-commitment to worship and the study of God’s Word.  As we access God’s grace, we grow in that grace in our relationship with God and with each other.  The blessing of worship and Sunday School is wondrous.  As we offer options, we pray that they will be a blessing to the whole family.  It may be that one parent goes to one Sunday morning study and the other to another.  That’s fine.  It may be that you benefit from the other options that will come up from time to time.  But we need to think, not only of the benefit to us and our families, but whether we know someone else who would benefit from them as well.  If a visitor would benefit first from being in a Bible Study we have, we look forward to meeting them there.  Our goal is to share our faith with others.  If that is best begun with Bible Study, praise God!

 

From the Word 

“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.  By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes from faith.”  Hebrews 11:7

  How can the earth be as young as the Bible indicates if the fossils are millions of years old?  This is a question designed to disprove our faith.  The answer is the Flood.  July 14, 21, 28 and August 4, 11 at 7pm, we will show a 5-part video series on Geology and the Flood.  It delves into what the flood might have been like, and what effect it would have on such things as fossilization.  Our present secular humanist scientific community makes vast assumptions in order to arrive at their conclusions.  This series will deal with those assumptions, and how the same evidence they use can be used as a case for the Genesis Flood.
  One of the things not really discussed in this series is the volume of ancient lore that has two accounts in common; a creation account, and the account of a catastrophic world-wide flood.  Why is all this ancient lore ignored by modern secular science?  It does not agree with their world view.  There is considerable evidence that a terrible flood occurred in ancient times.  Such an event would alter modern theories of the age of the earth, leaving evolution as the vastly unlikely theory it is.
  We invite everyone to be part of this series.  This is a means of equipping ourselves for part of the apologetics we have been discussing.  How can we best carry on discussions with others about Biblical teaching?  Part of the answer is to equip ourselves with the information with which to answer some of the claims of modern theory.  We look forward to seeing you.

 

From the Word 

“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.  By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes from faith.”  Hebrews 11:7
  How can the earth be as young as the Bible indicates if the fossils are millions of years old?  This is a question designed to disprove our faith.  The answer is the Flood.  July 14, 21, 28 and August 4, 11 at 7pm, we will show a 5-part video series on Geology and the Flood.  It delves into what the flood might have been like, and what effect it would have on such things as fossilization.  Our present secular humanist scientific community makes vast assumptions in order to arrive at their conclusions.  This series will deal with those assumptions, and how the same evidence they use can be used as a case for the Genesis Flood.
  One of the things not really discussed in this series is the volume of ancient lore that has two accounts in common; a creation account, and the account of a catastrophic world-wide flood.  Why is all this ancient lore ignored by modern secular science?  It does not agree with their world view.  There is considerable evidence that a terrible flood occurred in ancient times.  Such an event would alter modern theories of the age of the earth, leaving evolution as the vastly unlikely theory it is.
  We invite everyone to be part of this series.  This is a means of equipping ourselves for part of the apologetics we have been discussing.  How can we best carry on discussions with others about Biblical teaching?  Part of the answer is to equip ourselves with the information with which to answer some of the claims of modern theory.  We look forward to seeing you.

 

 

From the Word 

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”  John 6:51 

  We were eating lunch one Sunday after church.  Near the end, Sherry loudly announced, “we have strawberries.”  My granddaughter’s head shot up and her eyes went wide.  I asked her, “What did grandma say?”  She whispered, “strawberries.”  She wasn’t nearly so loud, no doubt to make sure there was enough.
  June 12 is our Strawberry Festival at St. Paul’s.  It is a day when we feed people strawberries, shortcake, and ice cream.  It is also a time to get to know them, and to invite them to hear about the Bread of Life who has come from heaven to give us eternal life.  You can speak as loud as you wish.
  The next day we will have a picnic to kick off VBS.  I will have a brief teaser for VBS for the kids.  Otherwise, it will be a day of enjoying each other’s company in anticipation of a week of sharing the Gospel with kids and adults. 
  Both of these events are designed so that we can bring people into contact with God’s people and God’s grace.  As we eat, we can share the one who called Himself the Bread of Life.  Our first, and primary task for this event is to invite people to one or both of these.  Our goal, here at St. Paul’s, is to bring people in contact with God’s grace and let God grant the increase.  Please consider who you will invite to these two meals, and to VBS, then follow through and invite them.  Our prayer is that God will grant His grace to us and others, as is expressed in the prayer we sing,

Feed Thy children, God most holy; comfort sinners poor and lowly.
O Thou Bread of Life from heaven, bless the food Thou here hast given!
As these gifts the body nourish, may our souls in graces flourish
Till with saints in heav’nly splendor at Thy feet due thanks we render.  Amen.

 

 

From the Word

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2 

  We are entering the unique Indianapolis cultural environment called May.  For most people in America, May means full-fledged Spring; flowers stretching to the sun and the sound of birds in full throat singing.  In Indy, May means checkered flags planted in our yards and the scream of race cars speeding by.  Many cities in America host car races.  Indy has a month-long cultural event.  People continue to live their lives and discuss those lives in casual conversation.  May in Indy adds “what happened at the track today” to those conversations.
  We, as Christians living here, are handed a month-long opportunity to share our faith, using a race as our way into the conversation.  Granted, the race used as an example of our life of faith, is a running event.  But the length of the 500, and all the things that can go wrong during the race, can be a wonderful example of our life of faith.
  The drivers in the 500 face problems from within and without.  So do we.  They live in the apprehension that something will go wrong with their car.  We know there is something wrong with us before the race begins.  We are born sinful, and unable to overcome it.  Our life/race begins by God’s grace in His covenant of Baptism, as we are baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus (see Romans 6:1-11).  God continually renews that covenant with us as we live each day in faith.  The drivers must come into the pits to get fuel and tires to continue the race.  We come to God for the grace He gives us in His Word, and in the Sacrament of the Altar. 
  The threat from without is that someone else will cause a wreck.  We are assaulted from without by the devil, the world, and our own sinful nature.  God forgives us, watches over us, and guides us (much like spotters at the race) and leads us through the perils of life.
  The winner goes to victory lane to receive the various rewards of winning.  God ushers us into eternity of heaven, where we receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10), drink of the living springs of water (Revelation 7:17), and receive the un-spendable fortune of eternity in heaven.  Unlike the 500, the emphasis is all on God’s grace, not on us and our ability.  What a wonderful contrast to bring to people’s attention! 
  Welcome to a wonderful cultural opportunity to witness; May in Indy.