Lenten Dinners & Worship: “Acts of the Apostles”

December 27, 2016

The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1 with worship at 7 pm. Worship continues each Wednesday throughout the Lenten season (through April 5) at 7pm. Preceding worship, dinner will be served at 6 pm.

“The Acts of the Apostles”: We will be studying “The Acts of the Apostles” as a part of our Wednesday worship. For more on our Lenten theme, see our Heralds of Hope newsletter.

Our Easter celebration will be on Sunday, April 16 with worship at 10am. An Easter breakfast will precede worship.

Go to Germany in 2017! 500th Anniversary of Reformation

December 19, 2016

Pastors Joel and Wendy have been asked to be a part of tour to Germany in 2017 which will mark 500 years since Martin Luther posted 95 ideas (theses) for debate on the church door in a small town in Germany in 1517, launching what is known as the “Reformation.”

You are invited! The trip dates are April 24 – May 4 2017. Pre-trip dates to Italy are April 20-24.

This is a very unique and amazing opportunity to travel with Dr. Walter Sundberg, retired professor of Church History from Luther Seminary of St. Paul, MN. Dr. Sundberg will teach at all the Reformation historical sites. He will also teach on a pre-trip to Rome, Florence and Venice, recounting the history leading to the Reformation. The trip will end in Berlin. The implications of the Reformation insights for our time will be a part of the trip conversations. Dr. Sundberg is a very dynamic teacher! In the midst of the trip, “Martin and Katy Luther” played by Johan and Sonja Hinderlie will be offering humorous and insightful dramas along the way. Johan and Sonja are the retired directors of Mount Carmel Ministries, a Lutheran Bible camp and former summer campus of Lutheran Bible Institute, located in Alexandria, MN.

More detailed information along with registration information is on the brochure panels at the following links:

Germany & Italy Pre-Trip April 2017 Reg Form

Why Rome? Why Berlin? Learning from Dr. Sundberg

11 Day Germany & Italy Pre-Trip April 2017 Brochure (1)

11 Day Germany & Italy Pre-Trip April 2017 Reg Form

Ordinary People Hearing God’s Call: June 7-9

May 31, 2016

Ordinary People Hearing God’s Call
Seminar reflecting on your current purpose & call in all of life!
 
We will meet together for three evenings (yes, all three are needed)!
Dates and times:  June 7-9
Dinner served at 6:15 PM. Each Evening ending at 9:30PM
Hope Lutheran Church, Cedar Hill, TX 
Cost: $20 (food & materials)
Invite others!  RSVP: Pastor Wendy
 
If we need to shift the dates and times for those who are interested, we will!
 
Read: “Small is Big” (article below)!
Learn many reasons why you should attend!
 
Find out how! The living God has always accomplished His important work through ordinary people like you … people with fears, insecurities … people who weak and foolish! Yes! Jesus is calling you and has unique and important kingdom work for you to do! This is a workshop for discovering and discerning Jesus’ call! Jesus’ call is both broad and specific. It touches on nearly aspect of the Christian life! The seminar is fun, inspiriting and nonthreatening.
 
Small is Big: You are Gifted and Called!
Be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. Why? Because, small is big.
Small is big. Though you may feel “small” in some way, with the Holy Spirit, “small is big.” If you want to have a transformative influence and a big kingdom impact, then you will need to be set on fire by the Holy Spirit. You will need the Holy Spirit’s power and gifts.
Early in His ministry, Jesus began enlisting ordinary people like fishermen and tax collectors. Through knowing and following Him, Jesus began to transform and train these disciples (literally: learners) by demonstrating His kingdom agenda:  teaching God’s ways, forgiving sins, proclaiming good news, healing this broken world, pointing people to His saving death and resurrection, and multiplying His kingdom work by “fishing” for others.
Quite beautiful, miraculous and amazing, the living God has always been calling, training and mobilizing ordinary people like you for His kingdom agenda … people who were old, young, widows, weak, poor and even wayward (1 Corinthians 1:26-28). After calling people, God then anointed them with His Holy Spirit, equipping them with His power and gifts so they might walk in conformity with His call, accomplishing his plans and purposes.
The Biblical Greek word for “church” literally means “called out ones.” “Ones” … ordinary people like you “called” by Jesus to be transformed and trained by Him in order to go “out,” transforming the world in His name. Scripturally and fundamentally, “church” is not an organization, institution, building or place; rather, it is you, one of the “called out ones.” Furthermore, a “member” is not a name on a list to be tallied; rather, Paul used the term, “member” to illustrate how every believer is an important part of Jesus’ ongoing kingdom work, just like parts or “members” of a body, having a needed function (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31)
Today, Jesus is calling you! Do you know Him? Can you recognize His voice? What is He calling you to be, do and say to increase His kingdom? How is His Holy Spirit active in you? What gifts of the Holy Spirit are already at work through you? Jesus needs you! You are an important “member” of His ongoing kingdom work.
When you trusted Jesus and were baptized, you were anointed with the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit was poured out upon you and took up residence in you. The Biblical Greek word for “Christian” literally means “anointed one.” His Holy Spirit gave you breath when you were raised from the dead to new life. His Holy Spirit is healing you, increasing your confidence and diminishing your fears. The Holy Spirit is calling you, leading and guiding you.  The Holy Spirit’s power is in you, equipping you for the unique kingdom work that Jesus is calling you to do. The Holy Spirit has given you gifts, including supernatural gifts. The Holy Spirit will multiply your efforts. Small is big.
When Harriette became a widow at eighty years old, she needed to move from her house of many years to a seniors’ apartment complex. One day as she sat in her apartment feeling sorry for herself, she recognized Jesus’ voice. Jesus called her, saying: “Harriette, I want you to eliminate the loneliness in this place.” From that day on, Harriette was launched on a mission. Her gifts given by the Holy Spirit equipped her for this mission. She had a shepherd’s gift, a healing gift, an encouragement gift and a mercy gift. She was a prayer warrior. Beginning with befriending the lonely, over many years, she visited countless people transported from her building to the hospital, prayed with people, anointed people with oil, and helped people to trust in Jesus as they approached their last breath. Harriette began to testify to others how the Holy Spirit was transforming people through her. Many were inspired. One day a retreat speaker heard her story. The next week he told her story, sending it out to his email network all over the world. Even though she didn’t leave home, Harriette was proclaiming, healing, teaching and multiplying Jesus’ kingdom to the ends of the earth.
You can too!
1)      Press on to know Jesus as if you wanted to win an Olympic race (Philippians 3:7-14)! Pray. Talk with Him about anything and everything. Learn to recognize His voice. Listen to His word, especially the Holy Scriptures.
2)      Follow Jesus. Surrender to Him. Rest in Him. Be transformed and trained as His disciple, learning from Him about His salvation and kingdom work. Repent and be transformed daily. Practice spiritual disciplines.
3)      Serve Jesus. Identify your “spiritual” gifts given by the Holy Spirit. (Use the free inventory at callinc.org). Learn about your gifts. Your gifts show you how the Holy Spirit is active in you, motivating and working in supernatural ways.
4)      Discern Jesus’ call. It is unique and particular, custom designed for you. It is all encompassing, affecting your being, doing and speaking in all of life, 24/7: family, work, community, world and the gathering of believers (resources and seminars on spiritual gifts and call at callinc.org).
5)      Continually invite the Holy Spirit into your life. The apostle Paul encouraged everyday ordinary believers including you: “Do not get drunk (overly filled) with wine, for that is excessiveness, but be continually filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) For this reason, in our tradition, we seek the Lord and pray to Him, asking him to repeatedly “stir up” His Holy Spirit. Pray with me: Father in heaven, for Jesus’ sake stir up, renew and increase in me your Holy Spirit. AMEN
Jesus told a parable about “small.”
“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (Matthew 9:31-32)
Small is big. With the Holy Spirit, “small is big.”
Published in Sola Publishing Newsletter, April 2016; www.solapublishing.com
By Pastor Wendy A.W. Berthelsen,
Copyright © 2016 by Wendy A.W. Berthelsen
Pastor Wendy

Summer Women’s Opportunities

May 31, 2016

All women are invited to these summer opportunities:

  • Exercise class with Good Shepherd: Monday evenings, 6:30-7:30pm, Membership Fee: $25 monthy; Call 469-316-4179 for more info.
  • June 1-3, Together Conference, sponsored by Trinity Church, Cedar Hill, TX; Register at togetherconference.com.

Together conference

 

National Day of Prayer: May 5

March 30, 2016

National Day of Prayer will be observed in Cedar Hill on May 5. Details are on the flyer below.

National day of prayer

Mission & Discernment Process: April & May

March 30, 2016

Mission & Discernment: Begins Saturday, April 2

Lord Jesus Christ, renew and increase in all of us, your Holy Spirit and power in your name, AMEN

Please see Pastor Wendy’s invitation below where she gives the details regarding Mission Discernment. I pray that you will prayerfully consider attending along with me. I am hopeful that these 8 hours or so, will reap a spiritual harvest for our church and for me personally. Won’t you consider joining us?

Thank you,
Raymond Luster, Council President

Beginning on Saturday April 2 (9am, Berthelsen home)… Breakfast will be served.

All of the Council and also anyone interested from the congregation will be invited to participate in a prayerful listening and discernment process, regarding the outward focus of our church and how that relates to the inward focus of our church. Participation will be optional for all. We will focus on the following: spiritual growth, foreign mission, church renewal, works of compassion, call, domestic mission, witness, evangelism and how all of these are related. We will focus on our present strengths and also engage listening prayer to see if the Lord will reveal anything new regarding our future. We will consider this individually as well us collectively (how the Lord is leading us together). We will invite Jesus to rule and reign over this process and the Holy Spirit to empower all of us. We will expect our Lord Jesus to work as He did through common ordinary fishermen and tax collectors, perhaps working through something as small as a “mustard seed,” giving birth to something of significance over time. We will not predict the outcome. This has already been brought before the Council in general terms.

Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, North American Lutheran Church Assistant to the Bishop for Mission and some of his staff teams have done training, gave presentations and prepared materials for such a process, focusing on one of the NALC’s values, “Mission-Driven. Some in our congregation have been a part of these sessions. Each of our times together, we will use some of these presentations and materials. In addition, we will have times of intentional prayerful listening, waiting to see if the Lord might reveal something new to us.

We will do this over four Saturday mornings in April and May, beginning at 9am and lasting two hours. Here are the tentative dates: April 2, April 16, April 30 and May 14. We will shift the time and dates if needed.

Please RSVP or indicate an interest even if you cannot come to the April 2 session.

Pastor Wendy

Opportunities to Grow in Knowing Jesus!

January 27, 2016

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3
Do you know Jesus? Are you in a living active relationship with Him? Have you offered your life to Him and asked Him to bring repentance and forgiveness of sins to you? Have you asked Him to be your Lord (in control of all). It’s crucial to know Jesus to experience true life from now unto eternity. Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart. We hope you are pressing on, getting to know Jesus through his Word and prayer. The Scriptures tell us that prayer and the Word show evidence of living faith. Here are some opportunities. Click on the link:
2016 Spiritual Growth
Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart.
Jesus says, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Women’s Spring Gathering: March 5

January 26, 2016

On March 5, the women of Good Shepherd, our neighbors in Christ, have invited the women of Hope to a “spring” (the time of new life) gathering, celebrating the “newness” of life we celebrate by being in Christ. The gathering will be from 10am to noon. Younger women and youth of Hope and Good Shepherd will present a fashion show as part of the gathering. For details, see the image from the event poster below.

20160224_162823

Guest Preachers: Sept. 27 & Oct. 4

September 16, 2015

On September 27 and October 4, Hope Lutheran will host two different guest preachers.

September 27: We will be hosting a special speaker from Food for the Poor (click here).

October 4: We will be hosting an international Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) pastor from Myanmar, Pastor Martin Lalthangliana, Mission Director of the Lutheran Church of Myanmar. He will also speak about mission opportunities within his church at an event that will take place at the Hilton Gardens Inn, Frisco TX, from 3-5 PM on October 4, prior to the beginning of the annual LCMC gathering.

Meeting: Spiritual Giants

July 23, 2015

On July 14, I (Pastor Wendy) was honored to be a part of bringing two spiritual giants together to meet each other and share in conversation. Pastor Gemechis has known of Pastor Vaagenes for several years and always wanted to meet him. Both men share an intense passion for renewal, discipleship and the need for the empowering of the Holy Spirit. These were the topics of conversation. Pastor Vaagenes has studied “revival” movements for many years and shared his own experience of revival and renewal as he pastored North Heights Lutheran Church for forty years until his retirement and as he also preached and taught around the world. Some of the common elements of revival are: repentance, passion for the Word (Holy Scriptures), intense prayer, vision (revelation of God through waiting upon Him and listening prayer), miracles and empowering of the Holy Spirit. These elements often lead to kingdom growth in Jesus’ name (increasing Jesus’ rule and reign to people, problems and places), witness, mission, evangelism, and sometimes unpredicted congregational growth.
 
Pastor Morris (85) was the pastor of my family’s church, the church where Joel and I met each other. My mom continues to be a member of this church, for over 40 years now. As a result of revival, we personally witnessed the explosive growth of this church from a few hundred to several thousand people in a few years, and learned about revival as a result. Pastor Vaagenes has been a leader in church renewal and preached all over the world. I love that Pastor Vaagenes has said many times (as leaders of other revivals have), that the Lord surprised him with the numerical growth that occurred in our church. It is an acknowledgement that God is the one who “adds numbers.” (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 3:6-7) I love his humility, the absence of arrogance and being stuck on one’s self as the instrument for growth or that growth can somehow be engineered by human plans, methods, initiatives, programs, the latest popular church fad or projections on paper (It is easy and shallow to project church growth/numbers on paper, as if the church is a business which it is not. Beware of anyone who thinks that they can do this!). See article below from “Sola Publishing News” on the revival of 1857, by Pastor Vaagenes: “A Call to Pray”
 
Pastor Gemechis (39), a very gifted and anointed evangelist, has preached and taught at our church a couple of times. Presently as Assistant to the Bishop of the North American Lutheran Church, Pastor Gemechis preaches all over the world and the last time I heard, preaches to over 18 million weekly on his television program which our church and individuals in our church have supported financially. He is the founder of Leadstar University, a business university and theological school.
We had an awesome time of prayer at the end of our time together.

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