Monday, December 23, 2013

Evangelism is about......bringing God's hope, love, joy and peace to others

The following were prepared as Advent/Christmas reflections reminding us that as part of the church God is bringing His hope to the world.... 

Evangelism is about bringing HOPE to others….
One day a man was sitting in the waiting room of his GP.  He looked contented and had a smile on his face.  Then as it happens a chatty lady sat next to him and asked.  “How are you going?” 
His reply, “fine”. 
This lady was not only chatty, she was also a little blunt.  She snapped, “Why are you here then, no one should be in a doctors surgery who is fine?” 
“Well, I have cancer and I am just here for my usual check up.”  He replied. 
She couldn’t help herself, she snapped back “How can life be fine, when you have cancer?”
“For a start being worried or stressing about cancer isn’t going to cure it and secondly if I am going to die, I am sure my next life is going to be far better?”  he replied. 
“Why is that, have you been the perfect person?” she asked. 
“No, in fact if my next life depended on me I would be worried.  Thankfully I believe that what Jesus has done will make sure I can live with God forever”  he gently revealed.
“Every time I hear something about Jesus or God I feel hopeless, I can’t live up to His expectations, and I am not too sure I want to have anything to do with Him.”  She shared
“Well the truth is none of us can ever live up to his expectations….but God doesn’t leave us in the lurch, because of this God does something for us…that is why he sent Jesus into the world….do you know that the name Jesus means to save people from their sins, and that is why we celebrate Christmas” he gently shared.
All of sudden this lady stopped chatting and sat there thinking.
Then the doctor called the gentleman’s name and by the time he returned to the waiting room the lady had left.
He would have loved to continue the conversation, but he was thankful he had given her a different picture of God than she had,….a picture that would likely give her some hope. 
As you live leading up to Christmas look at how you have helped people see the hope God gives.

Evangelism about bringing LOVE to others….
It seems that everyone has this inner need to be loved….even those who seem very unlovable.   Some years ago a local church was hosting a free luncheon for the community.  Some members of the church decided it was a good idea to personally invite every household in a 200 metre radius around the church.  A week before the event members of the church went with a personal invite, they knocked on the door of every house.   There was one house they were reluctant to go to, because the resident of this house was an old spinster who had a reputation of being quite abrupt and rude to anyone who came near her. However the couple who were designated to visit her thought what could they lose. So they knocked hesitantly on her door…the door opened, then they gently introduced themselves and said “we would love to invite you to lunch next Sunday, we would love you to come and there is no cost to you.”  To their surprise the lady replied, “thankyou, I will be there.”
The next Sunday a few people were a little shocked as this little old spinster walked into the church hall for lunch, they were shocked because she was here and shocked because instead of the normal frown on her face there was a big smile.  As the couple who invited her welcomed her, they too were amazed at what she said next, “I have been waiting for a long time for someone to show me some love, even a little bit of love and you know that you are the first ones to do so in a long time.”    
This couple didn’t love this lady because she deserved it or earned it, but because they were acting on behalf of God…they brought God’s love to her….check out 1 John 4:7-12…this Christmas look at ways to love people not because they deserve it or you feel like it…but so they can know the original source of love…God

Evangelism IS about bringing GODLY JOY to others….
When you think of those who are missing joy….what do you see….disappointment, discontentment, sadness, people obsessed with legalism, people trying to obtain joy through alcohol or drugs, people trying to obtain joy through obtaining or giving stuff.
The reality is there are many things and people who try to suck joy from life.
The Christmas story is about God revealing to us where long term, sustaining joy can be found….in Jesus…and when we understand this….we understand that joy comes not from having stuff, a smooth life or no problems…but about what God gives us and following the mission Jesus’ gives us…
So when it comes to helping others experience joy there are 2 things that are helpful:
1/  we live joyfully because we follow Jesus….think of all the good things about following Jesus.
2/  we be honest about what joy from Jesus is about…it is not about some short term happiness but that God offers us a better future because of what Jesus has done, is doing and will do for us.   This means we can have joy because Jesus came at Christmas to deal with what would otherwise stop us from being in a permanent relationship with God where there will be no sin, no suffering and no pain (check out Revelation 21:4).  Look at ways you can help others know this type of joy.

Evangelism IS about bringing GODLY PEACE to others….
The dictionary describes peace as:
 the normal, non-warring condition of a nation, nations, or the world.
 a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations:
 the normal freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community; public order and security:
 cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension.
And the most important area for peace to occur is between humanity and God, that means between you and God.  God sees that peace between us and him is extremely important.  That is why Jesus was sent into the world…check out John 3:16-18 and Ephesians 2:11-18.
Here is where our problem lies….the reason we need Jesus is because of sin (check out Romans 3:23),  and whenever God is dealing with sin in our lives, it is rarely peaceful or comfortable.  However for true peace with God to happen, it will mean us acknowledging we have sinned, that we need Jesus and His action to restore our relationship with God and we  need God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit to help us live His way of life.   
No wonder Jesus says to us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27. 
God’s peace is far superior and far better than worldly peace, and to receive God’s peace we often need to have some uncomfortable situations in this world. 
So when it comes to bringing God’s peace to others, expect them to be a little uncomfortable.  Their initial reaction maybe one of rejection.  However be persistent, dedicate to spend  time with them and help them develop a relationship with God that enables them to experience God’s peace.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Christmas Sermon ideas

Resurgence makes 7 suggestions for Christmas sermon ideas

7. LEARN FROM OTHERS  including  Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, Tim Keller, Matt Chandler, Rick Warren, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Alistair McGrath

And remember whatever you preach, remember that Christmas is about Jesus, and the story continues beyond the manger. This may seem obvious, but it cannot be overstated. Eternal God entered into mortal history. Creator God joined his creation. God who made man became a man, lived a perfect life, died in our place for our sin, rose from the grave to conquer death, and remains with his people today.
Like Christmas, Christianity is a gift exchange: we give Jesus our sin, and he gives us new life. No matter how many times we repeat that message, it never gets old.

for more details on these 7 sermon suggestions visit here

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Paper: Lutherans and Pentecostals in dialogue

This handbook was produced by members of a six-year Lutheran-Pentecostal Study Group initiated by the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France. The handbook is designed to facilitate dialogue between Lutherans and Pentecostals. Drawing on the study
group’s experience, it presents insights gained and lessons learned and aims to provide a resource for further dialogue initiatives.
This handbook has three main sections. The first explores goals of Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue. The second presents an analysis of the the topics that the study group covered, including a number of key insights gained in the process. The third section is more historical and seeks to introduce members of the two church families to each other— Lutherans to Pentecostals and Pentecostals to Lutherans. Much more could be said, of course. As rewarding as this initiative was, its members also recognized that they were merely scratching the surface. Our agenda was preparatory; if we had succeeded in answering every question, there would be no need for further dialogue—and further dialogue between Pentecostals and Lutherans is something all the Study Group members wish to encourage very strongly.

Main areas of dialogue include:
To think and speak appropriately about the other, not bearing false witness against each other.
To be mutually enriched by each other’s tradition.
To provide opportunities for mutual correction.
To enable cooperation in ministry, mission, and social outreach.
To resolve and avoid conflicts between our churches.

Identifying the dialogue Partners
Method for dialogue
How do we encounter Christ?
    The pure Gospel of Christ
    The full Gospel of Christ
Differences in church culture
How do we encounter Christ in proclamation?
    Necessity of discernment
    Proclamation as the task of the whole community
    Hermenuetics of scriptural interpretation
How do we encounter Christ in sacraments and ordinances?
    Terminology and heritage
    Water Baptism
    Presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper
    Areas for further discussion about the Lord's Supper
How do we encounter Christ in charisms?
    Spirit Baptism
    Gifts of the Spirit
    Fruit of the Spirit
    Lutheran responses

Lutheranism to Pentecostals
Pentecostalism to Lutherans
Lutheran reaction to Pentecostalism in the USA

The paper is available here

Monday, November 18, 2013

Discussion Starter: Biggest issue for the mainline church is Grandparents and Parents whose children have deserted the church

Imagine for a moment if at least 50% of the children of those attending church.....were still attending church.....
In many mainline churches... a lot (not all) of the next generation has deserted the church...
Now this is causing significant issues.....

It causes issues for the congregation who:
  • often have structures that suit a time when there were many possible future leaders to fill positions.
  • no longer have attenders who are able to give financially like they used to and do not have the skills or fitness to give physically like they used to.
  • are often ministering and doing mission in a way that is suitable to the past....helping children grow in the faith who have always been part of the church but not connecting to those who have resentment or have never connected really to the Christian community.
And the real people it causes issue for are the Grandparents and parents:
  • Some of them blame the church, pastors, leaders and others in the church community for their children and grandchildren not being part of the community.
  • Some of them blame the evils of the Sunday Sport, busyness, work, etc.
  • Some of them blame themselves.
  • Some of them worry about their child and grandchilds eternal future...but don't know what to do because they want to have a positive earthly life with them now.
  • Some will think getting a child baptised is enough...
  • Some of them seem to continue living only for themselves and not the next generation...
Reflection Time
Take some time to reflect on Psalm 71:18
Even when I am old and gray, 
do not forsake me, O God, 
till I declare your power to the next generation, 
your might to all who are to come. 

How can we help those in your congregation help those whose children and grand children are not in a living relationship with they know of God's real power???

Research: How adults become Christians

How Adults become Christians is the result of the work of Dave Bennett, National Director of Bridge Builders (A UK Evangelical organisation).

His project reveals the following:
Part 1: How do adults become Christians?
The various aspects looked at:
The significance of church involvement during childhood
The nature of conversion experience
The role of crisis in conversion
The involvement of the Church
The use of the Bible
The need for change of attitude, not just increase in knowledge

Part 2: In the process of adults becoming Christians, what part is played by individual Christians?
The role of the individual Christian
The significance of relationships
Assessment of the involvement of strangers
The relevance of activities used by individual Christians
- Praying
- Inviting
- Lifestyle
- Sharing your story
- Using the Bible
- Giving literature
- Explaining the gospel
- Caring and getting alongside
- Answering question
- Making suggestions
- Having a common interest
- Giving videos
- Use of Internet
- Use of variety and imagination
Unhelpful aspects of certain activities
The importance of being sensitive to people

To obtain either a summary or complete paper visit here

Friday, November 15, 2013

Grow Ministries - Lutheran Children Youth and Family

Grow Ministries is the LCA Board for Children, Youth and Family Ministry which exists to support a national vision for children, youth and family ministry in the LCA by being a point of reference and resource for the wider church by researching and developing CYFM resources along with equipping and encouraging districts and congregations in their ministry to children, youth and families including camping. 
Their website offers numerous resources including:
Faith 5
Faith Inkubators
Milestone Ministries
Generations In Faith Together
Studies for Youth Camps
Quiet Time for Christian Life weeks

There is also a regular newsletter, information about upcoming training and links to other resources suitable for Children, Youth and Family Ministries. 

Visit their web site at

video: What God says about giving

A free reflection video on what God says about giving

Also available for viewing at

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Free Ebook: My journey with Hermen by Neil Stiller

My journey with Hermen:  the highways and byways of hermeneutics by Neil Stiller has been written to  help 'ordinary members' become more aware of hermeneutics.  
In some Lutheran contexts this is a currently a hot topic, but often presented in a very academic way.   

Being realigned
This booklet describes something of my personal journey as a pastor where I was often required to look at the past – at the stories about God’s actions for his people in the Bible. When that process made an impact on me I often found that I didn’t return to exactly the same position as before. God’s message had realigned me. It had turned me, I believe, more closely in the direction he wanted me to go. Whether I ended up going that way is another story. 
This journey includes trying to understand what God was saying and doing then, and what this means for me as I try to serve him in the kind of world and society in which we all now live.
Of course, many other people find themselves in exactly the same situation as I do, and it’s great to be able to offer one another support and encouragement.  But there is one special companion who has always provided invaluable help.  This account of my personal journey is really about him. I’m going to call him  Hermen.
As I now look back (I have recently turned 70) and try to describe this journey from my childhood onwards, I know that my memory will play its usual tricks. It will get some things wrong, I’ll impose what I now know on events in the past, I’ll fill gaps in my memory with hopes and dreams and fantasy, and so on. As a result, I can hardly vouch for the truth of anything I’m about to write. But, truth  or fiction, it’s as good as anyone’s able to get; and it is my journey!

To obtain your free ebook visit here

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sermons (video, text and audio) from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Campbelltown

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Campbelltown NSW offers sermons and training online visit their site at

Paper: Mission Work - the Lutheran way by EW Bunkowske

EW Bunkowske's paper explores what it means to do mission the Lutheran way...

Main topics include:
What is mission?
What is the message?
Who is the mission?
Who are the messengers?
How are the messengers organised?

To read the paper visit here

World Mission Prayer League -

The World Mission Prayer League is a Lutheran community committed to know Christ, pray for the advance of His kingdom, share the gospel and ourselves with those who do not know Him, and encourage Christians everywhere in this global task. Prayer is our working method.

We embrace a rich heritage that flows from the passionate witness of Christians faithful to the call of Jesus.  Our ministry realizes the vision of Ernest Weinhardt to bring the Good News into the heart of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  The World Mission Prayer League consists of some 6,000 committed and praying members.  WMPL has over 100 missionaries in 20+ countries.

“We must have it as our aim to bring the gospel to the very last man. Wherever there are people who have not heard the gospel, to them we must go, no matter how few in number they may be.” – Ernest Weinhardt, WMPL Founder

Their church partners include:

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
  • North Western Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Bangladesh Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Iglesia Evangelica De Confesión Luterana Del Ecuador
  • Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en Chile
  • Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Boliviana
  • Association of Free Lutheran Congregations
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
  • Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
  • Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
  • North American Lutheran Church
Visit their site to discover how they have been working for over 75 years, how you can serve and partner with them

Resurgence R13 Conference - online free

The focus of the conference was Will Christianity have a funeral or a future?  with many of the speakers exploring what it means to be church in a post Christendom world!!!The 

Resurgence R13 recently took place in November 2013.  You can now view the entire conference or part of the conference free of charge

Speakers include:
Mark Driscoll
Greg Laurie
Matt Chandler
Judah Smith
Crawford Loritts
Dave Brushes
Rick Warren
James MacDonald
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey
Sutton Turner

Visit the Resurgence R13 Conference Page 

Free Webinars - Augsburg Fortress free faith formation resources

Augusburg Fortress offer free webinars every week
To view the catalogue of upcoming webinars visit here 

Webinars coming up shortly include:

Jump Start Your Search for Lenten Bible Study
With the Making Sense three book series and multi-media curriculum written by David Lose. Each Making Sense study grapples with tough questions about the Bible, the Christian Faith, and the Cross. Dive into a lesson from Making Sense of the Cross and jumpstart your search for a Lenten Bible Study.
November 12, 7:00 PM US/CST

Tools to Get Your Congregation Talking About Their Faith
Join us for a 45-minute introduction to Animate: Faith-an adult faith formation resource. Together we will review the seven session course and unpack session one, God | Faith is a Quest led by author Brian McLaren. Brian’s willingness to admit he has more questions than answers sets the tone for inclusive dialog with all participants. Come and experience how Animate: Faith can start animated conversations in your community!
November 13, 9:30 AM US/CST

Bring the Art of Bible Storytelling to Your Youth Ministry Program 
Come see how storytelling, creative reflection and dialog work together to create a brain-based learning experience that could guide your teens toward a more vibrant understanding of the biblical narrative. This webinar will cover: Big Picture Overview of Echo the Story Curriculum, Methodology and Pedagogy, and Walk through the Lesson "Promise"
November 14, 10:00 AM US/CST

Refresh Your Bible Study Leadership Skills 
By joining this live interactive one-hour session where we explore best practices for Leading Adult Bible Studies. Participants sample sessions from several new AF and Sparkhouse releases. Learn how to create a safe and vibrant experience for your adult learners. Discover the life cycle of small groups and how to bring balanced sharing to your next session.
November 14, 2:00 PM US/CST

Monday, November 11, 2013

Advent Candle Lighting Reflections - Australian Lutheran World Service

These Advent Candle lighting reflections have been prepared to help us remember what we receive from God as we celebrate Christmas and to encourage us, part of His church, to share these gifts with others.
They include stories of how God has been at work through Australian Lutheran World Service to bring hope, love, joy, peace and His light to people around the world, as well as biblical reflections.
They are ideal for the beginning of worship, chapels at school and aged care facilities and home devotions...

Visit to obtain the ALWS Advent Candle Lighting Reflections.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Logos 5 Lutheran Bible Software

Logos Bible Software  Version 5

Logos Bible Software is a worldwide leader in electronic tools and resources for Bible study.

Their mission is to serve the church. They do this by fostering a culture of service and innovation, by creating Bible study tools that connect people to the Word, and by hiring awesome, fun people.

Since 1992, Logos Bible Software has grown from a couple of programmers in a basement into the largest developer of Bible-study software and a worldwide leader in multilingual electronic publishing. We partner with more than 150 publishers to make more than 36,000 Bible-study resources available to customers around the world.
Innovation is key to Logos’ growth. In the last few years, they’ve expanded from their flagship software product, Logos Bible Software, to a variety of tools to complement your faith and Bible study experience. 
In June of 2011, they launched Vyrso, a Christian ebook store and ereader app. 
In 2012, they released Proclaim Church Presentation Software along with the Faithlife Study Bible and, a social network that allows Christians from all over the world to connect and share ideas online.
As Logos continues to grow, their goal is to not only create the best Bible study tools available, but to serve the church by making Bible study resources accessible to developing countries all over the globe.

Logos offers 7 different starter packages...visit here to discover what package suits you

There is also over 250 specific Lutheran resources available on Logos Bible Software including:
Luther's Works (55 vols.) 
The Northwestern Publishing House Electronic Library: Collection One (100 vols.)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (15 vols.) by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Concordia Electronic Theological Library: Complete Collection
Lenski's Commentary on the New Testament (LCNT) (12 vols.) by R. C. H. Lenski
Fortress Press Luther Studies Collection (11 vols.)
Theological Commonplaces by Johann Gerhard (6 vols.) by Johann Gerhard
Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament (ACNT) (15 vols.)
The People's Bible: Complete Set
Classic Studies on the Atonement (32 vols.)
Examination of the Council of Trent by Martin Chemnitz
Concordia Commentary
Christian Dogmatics by Francis Pieper
Lutheran Study Bible
Book of Concord
Vist here  to discover these and more Lutheran resources

Book: Women of Christmas

The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna by Liz Higgs.

A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God. 
Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Evangelism Studies: You are the light of the world

You are the Light of the World - An evangelism training program for those who want to share the Savior with others
Chapter 1 - Evangelism -- A Definition.
Chapter 2 - Evangelism -- The Biblical Basis.
Chapter 3 - Evangelism and Its Role in the Church.
Chapter 4 - Evangelism -- Our Area of Responsibility.
Chapter 5 - Misconceptions, Obstacles and Excuses.
Chapter 6 - Passive Evangelism.
Chapter 7 - Active Evangelism.
Chapter 8 - Fitting Evangelism into Everyday Life.
Chapter 9 - Responding to Excuses.
Chapter 10 - Assimilating the New Member.
Written by Pastor Stephen Kurtzahn of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Lawrenceville

To download these studies visit here

Monday, November 04, 2013

Worship and Discipleship weekly resource - CCToolkit now free

Changing Church forum has recently made available its weekly worship and discipleship toolkit available free of charge....
Changing Church forum is part of the ministry of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Burnseville

For further information visit

This is a great resource as they offer various worship series and link the weekly devotions to worship for the week.

Friday, November 01, 2013

North Western Publishing House's latest resources

5 of the latest resources from North Western Publishing House 

Come Follow me depicts what it means to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus. The movie recounts the experience of the apostle Peter - his misunderstanding, denial, doubts, and fears. The answer for Peter is Jesus, who through his death and ressurection assures his disciple of forgiveness. The way for Peter to be a follower of Jesus is found in the power and promises of Jesus' Word - the same way as it is for us. The lead role is played by Bruce Marchiano, the same actor who played Jesus in the Road to Emmaus movie. Running time: Just over 30 minutes. Includes English with closed captioning and Spanish. -

Real questions from real people and real answers from God's Holy Word. The author reviews hundreds of questions that were submitted over the years to the Q&A on the WELS Web site and for the column in Forward in Christ (formerly the Northwestern Lutheran). He focuses on what the Bible teaches and how to apply scriptural principles. Christians from various religious backgrounds submitted the questions. Scripture and subject indices are included.

Designed for Church Web Sites
Anytime Anywhere Bible Studies are designed for church Web sites, using Adobe Flash. The CD includes everything needed to post the materials to a site and a helpful README file. The studies themselves feature 1984 NIV text, audio clips, and story illustrations. Five studies in two types are included: three "quick" studies look at the lives of the early kings of Israel: "Saul and David," "King David," and "King Solomon and Afterward," Two "in-depth" topical studies cover "What is Lutheranism?" and "What is The Church?" The quick studies offer a total of 90 lessons, each taking 10 to 15 minutes, and include the text of applicable portions of The People's Bible commentary for more insight. The in-depth studies allow users to explore each topic at their own pace in 3 to 4 hours. Each topic is examined under the categories: Bible Basics; Details; History, and Faith and Life. The five studies are also available for purchase as individual downloads: Saul and David (3500140E); King David (3500141E); King Solomon and Afterward (3500142E); What is Lutheransim (3500143E), and What is the Church (3500144E).

An Outreach Christmas Celebration for Children Ages 3-10
Series: Christmas For Kids
The two CDs contain everything you need to plan and implement a seasonal, one day VBS at Christmas time. This program features activity stations where students learn about the Savior's birth, praise him in song, make crafts, play games, and enjoy snacks and fellowship. The Planning and Teaching Guide CD contains all of the material necessary for leaders, teachers, and students, including: three levels of student lessons in PDF; full-color Bible story pictures in JPG and PDF; directions for planning, scheduling and conducting Christmas for Kids; complete instructions for teaching at the various stations; advertising pieces and clip art; craft ideas, patterns, and photos; an opening devotion; and a Bible story skit. Note: Student lessons, advertising poster, postcards, and doorknob hangers are included in both English and Spanish. The Song CD contains 12 tracks of Christmas hymns and songs to add a musical component to your program. Tracks 1-6 consist of vocals with accompaniment, while tracks 7-12 are accompaniments only. The songs are: Silent Night! Holy Night; Joy to the World; Away in a Manger; a variation of, We Wish You a Merry Christmas; Happy Birthday, Jesus; and, A Christmas Tree. Published 2013. Ages 3-10. Two CDs in a standard DVD case.

Interpreting Scripture's Symbols, Parables, and Word Pictures
Series: Bible Discovery
Author: Joel C. Seifert
There are many symbols, metaphors, and parables in scripture, and sometimes it can be hard to wrap your head around all of them. This book, by Pastor Joel Seifert, teaches the principles of interpretation and explains Biblical figurative language from a solid Lutheran understanding. By deciphering the symbols in scripture, you will grow in faith and knowledge of God's saving grace.
Includes Scripture index. Published 2013. Papercover. Pages: 148. Size: 5.5x8.5 inches.

Sola Publishing latest resources

Sola Publishing 5 latest resources

The mission of Sola Publishing is to provide individuals and congregations with educational resources that are trustworthy and useful, at a reasonable price. By providing solid Biblical resources with a confessional Lutheran focus, we seek to give people a deeper appreciation for the distinctive Lutheran focus on God's use of the Scriptures to bring about repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Live from the First Century: Christmas Program Script
by Amy C. Little
Based on the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke, this children's program script takes the form of a first century newscast; reporting on the events in Bethlehem. The script includes a number of character parts; with each scene featuring a Christmas carol sung by the children. 

Permission is granted to reproduce the script for local congregational use.

Advent Adventures  by Paul C. Koch
Taking a road trip in Advent?  Come along with us!
Sola’s Advent Adventures takes a “novel” approach to the season by offering serialized fiction stories to be used by a congregation over the weeks of Advent. Written by Pastor Paul Koch, these books are intended as a resource for midweek Advent services, but they could also be used on Sunday mornings, with stories and reflections serving as the sermon for the day. 
Each chapter in the larger story has a suggested psalm and scripture lesson along with a sermon reflection for the week, tying the fictional story to God’s story, proclaiming the gospel to the congregation. A suggested order for an evening vespers service is also included.

Superior Storm: A Lake Superior Mystery  by Pastor Tom Hilpert
The second in the series, "Superior Storm" is mystery-fiction novel that features the character of Jonah Borden as a not-so-typical Lutheran Pastor, who also happens to investigate local mysteries.
Pastor Borden loses the life savings of an elderly widow when the First National Bank of Grand Lake, Minnesota is robbed. Now he is playing detective, trying to solve the crime and recover the widow's money. But his friends in law-enforcement can't seem to help him, and information about the case mysteriously disappears. In the meantime, Jonah faces professional challenges, and to top it off, his own relationship with the beautiful Leyla Bennett is in troubled waters.  Jonah must overcome a malicious plot against his life, the ghosts of his past, and face the fury of Superior itself, if he is to save himself and the ones he loves.
Superior Storm is set amidst the wild beauty of Lake Superior; featuring a cast of unique and memorable characters.

Not My Will, But Yours: A Bible Study on the Bound Will  By: the Rev. Steven E. King
The theme of human bondage is seen throughout Scripture. From the Old Testament examples of people held in slavery whom God came to set free, to the New Testament examples of Jesus healing illnesses and casting out demons, we witness the Lord’s power of deliverance. Ultimately, all these stories point to the greatest act of God’s redemption in the cross, where Christ rescued us from our captivity to the powers of sin, death, and the devil.
This six-week study will explore the topic of the “free will” from a biblical perspective, looking at what Scripture has to say about the bondage of the human will, and how Jesus Christ has come to deliver us from ourselves.

2013 Theological Conference: Proclaiming the Word with a Lutheran Voice on DVD
Institute of Lutheran Theology and The Augustana District
As we witness to Christ Jesus in a context often described as "Post-Christendom", what do Lutherans have to add to the conversation? 
Conference Presenters: Dr. Mark Grandquist and Dr. Steve Paulson 
Panel Discussion: Our Culture - Randy Freund, A Mission Start - Janine Rew-Werling, Seminary Education - Tim Swenson, LCMC - Mark Vander Tuig
The Institute of Lutheran Theology is an independent, Lutheran theological project, holding that God in Jesus Christ brings sinners to repentance and new life. The Institute works with supporting congregations to educate the next generation of faithful Lutheran Preachers and teachers.
3 Disc Set; Approximately three hours of presentations

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Luther's catechism to music

Off By Heart by Leigh Newton is Luther's Small Catechism set to Music...
It has been remastered and is now available on CD.
They sound much brighter with a new master.
This is highly recommended for Lutheran confirmation students and those wanting the devotion of listening to Luther's Small Catechism.

To order your copy visit Leigh Newton's site

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Paper: Attention and Retention relating to sermons

Reverend Stephen Anderson from Focus on the Gospel has qualifications and experience both as a pastor and an educator.
He shares a paper to help preachers be better preachers.....Attention and Retention which is available here

Weekly Sermon Notes from Focus on the Gospel

Focus on the Gospel was founded in 2010, with the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel; the Good News of the forgiveness of sins that comes with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and to help pastors, teachers and others to make that proclamation in a better, more interesting and innovative way.

Their web site offers weekly sermon notes 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lutheran Australian Lectionary for MS Outlook Calendar

Lutheran Australian Lectionary with Bible Readings for MS Outlook Calendar 

Download File here 


  1. Download the file to your computer.
  2. Save the file to your computer.
  3. Open Outlook.
  4. Select File, then Open, then Import.
  5. In the import dialog box select select 'Import from another program or file.
  6. Click next.
  7. Select comma separated values (windows).
  8. Click next.
  9. Browse for the file where you saved it.
  10. Select 'Allow duplicates with items to be imported'
  11. Click next.
  12. Select 'Calendar' as the destination folder.
  13. Click next.
  14. Click finish.
  15. On your next synchronization the files will be available on your mobile device.
  16. For Outlook on iPhone you will sync your iPhone through iTunes and update your Outlook as usual.

Augsburg Fortress latest resources

5 of the latest resources from Augsburg Fortress publishing

Christian Economic Ethics: History and Implications by Daniel Finn
What does the history of Christian views of economic life mean for economic life in the twenty-first century? Here Daniel Finn reviews the insights provided by a large number of texts, from the Bible and the early church, to the Middle Ages and the Protestant Reformation, to treatments of the subject in the last century. Relying on both social science and theology, Finn then turns to the implications of this history for economic life today. Throughout, the book invites the reader to engage the sources and to develop an answer to the volume's basic question.

The Mission Table:  Renewing Congregation and Community by Stephen Bouman
In a time of declining mainline Protestant church attendance, Bouman reminds us that the Holy Spirit is still very much at work. It is the mission of our churches to aid God's reconciling and restoring action in the world. This conversation on mission must involve everyone including laypeople, pastors, seminarians, and emerging congregational leaders. Each chapter contains scripture, questions, and activities, allowing for group study, reflection, and action. The goal is ultimately to help every member of the church to live as signs of the God who made the world and who will make all things new.
Chapters are:

  • Table of Creation
  • From the kitchen table to the alter table
  • Seeking hospitality at new tables
  • The Congregation:  a table for mission
  • Mission Table Leadership
  • Setting Mission Tables
  • Restoring the Broken Tables

Anatomy of the New Testament 7th edition by Spivey, Smith and Black 
This broadly adopted textbook weds literary and historical approaches to focus on the New Testament’s structure and meaning. Anatomy of the New Testament is systematic, critical, and reliable in its scope and content.
This seventh edition has been revised throughout, to take account of current trends in scholarship and to discuss important interpretative issues, such as the Gospel of Thomas. Each chapter includes two new features:
•         Have You Learned It? offering questions for analysis and synthesis
•         What Do They Mean? presenting definitions of key terms to enhance student comprehension and critical thinking
The text is augmented by numerous sidebars to stimulate discussion of matters “Behind,” “Within,” and “Beyond the New Testament.”
Other new features include:
•         a more readable two-column format
•         fresh, up-to-date maps
•         nearly 100 new images and illustrations in black and white and color
•         new charts and diagrams that facilitate deeper learning
•         thoroughly updated bibliographies

After more than a decade in youth ministry, Michael Novelli felt like he'd tried everything to connect his students to the Bible. Then a missionary introduced him to the art of Bible storying—an imaginative way to engage in the scriptures through storytelling, creative reflection, and dialogue. He soon discovered that Bible storying was not only an effective teaching approach, but a powerful way to awaken people to new purpose and identity rooted in the biblical narrative.
In 2012, Michael partnered with sparkhouse to create Echo the Story curriculum, based on his approach to Bible storying. Michael has seen people of all ages benefit from this imaginative way of encountering God through the Bible.
In this book, you'll find methods for adapting Bible storying for varied contexts and ages, testimonials from people using this approach, tools to create your own Bible storying narratives, and details about the proven learning theories guiding this approach.

Our brains are hard-wired to experience the emotion of fear. Yet "do not be afraid" is a common refrain from the Bible, used for both comfort and chastening. Too often, we have treated fear, an emotion that helps protect us from threats, as something simply to be dismissed, ignored, or suppressed. Being afraid means so much more than simply fighting or running from a threat; to be afraid is to remember that something in life is worth living for. In fact, there may even be circumstances where fear is God's best response to what we are experiencing. In this book, Whitehead helps us find the roots of hope in the soil of our fears so that we can form lives and communities of hope in the midst of a culture of fear.
Sections include:
  • Why Fear?  Why NOW?
  • What does it mean to be afraid?
  • Pastoral theology of fear and hope
  • Responding to our fears

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Australia Church Resources latest resources

5 of Australia Church Resources latest resources

2014 Australian Christian Diary
The Australian Christian Diary is published especially with Christian laypeople and the Church Worker in mind.
Clean quality white paper for easy writing
Durable vinyl cover (insert for holding notes & cards etc)
Bible reading suggestion for each day
3 year lectionary bible readings
Church Year Festivals
Australian holidays & school terms
Week to an opening
3 year calendar
Pocket size approx. 9cm x 16cm

Christianity and the Competition DVD
With Dr Paul  Maier
The world horizon is littered with competing religions and philosophies. Which has it right? In our multiculturage age, should we insist on the TRUTH of Christianity? Dr. Maier looks at sacred sources (Biblical documents that are reliable and essentially unchanged over time) and secular sources. A look at Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confusianism, Shinto, Tao, Judaism, Baha'i, Islam, etc.) and also Western religions (Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Scientology, etc.) in comparison to Christianity.

Loved! Devotions for Teens by Teens
What does it mean to be loved?
How can God love us enough to give up His own Son for us?
In Loved! teen authors share how great a love God has for His people. Each of the 34 devotions is followed by a short prayer, and scattered throughout are inspirational Bible verses that speak of God’s great love for us.

Time Out With Jesus
Australian devotions for a year
This book provides simple Christian devotions, by Australian writers, for each day of the calendar year.
Each meditation, edited by David Strelan, is a 'time-out' of about 3 minutes plus your own scripture reading time, and consists of a Bible reading, some thoughts on that passage, and a short prayer.
The devotion writers' thoughts are life-related and centred on the message of God's love for people shown in Jesus Christ.
The devotions can be used for individuals, families and groups. As you read and meditate on these words the Holy Spirit will enable you to be ... with Jesus.

What They Need To Hear
By Klemet I Preus
Maybe above all else, we want our family members and friends to rejoice with us in God as our Savior. Yet, those closest to us often present us with the greatest challenges for our witness.
This inspirational book is a collection of Rev. Preus’s letters to Lloyd. It is a captivating, real-life story of how one man returned to faith through the witness of his son-in-law. Written over a period of almost two years, Rev. Preus’s letters to Lloyd contain devotional and doctrinal insight, and offer personal anecdotes and practical advice to help readers who are struggling to reach out to friends or family members who have questions about Christianity.
Book features:
• 90 letters
• Evangelism principles
• Topical index
• Two tear-out inspirational postcards
• Free eCard site
Share the Gospel message with someone you know through an inspirational eCard today!
I know that I will see Lloyd again someday. When Christ comes in His glory, we will both bow before this throne. We will both eat with joy the fruit from the tree of life, which is our Lord.
—Excerpt from What They Need to Hear by Klement I. Preus

Concordia Publishing House's latest resources

5 of Concordia Publishing House's latest resources

Concordia Commentary:  Romans 1-8
This commentary articulates the meaning of the Greek text of Romans in its original context for the benefit of the church and world today. Those without any knowledge of Greek will also profit from utilizing the volume. It provides insights that will enhance the understanding and effectiveness of scholars, pastors, and teachers who have the privilege of proclaiming Paul’s most famous letter. This commentary seeks to be theologically thorough in as few words as possible. Romans is the Spirit-breathed, living, and powerful Word of God. Its purpose is to bestow the righteous of God, which comes through faith alone, and to inculcate the life of faith in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Concordia's complete Bible Handbook 2nd edition
Who is this Bible Handbook for?
Anyone who wants to take an in-depth look at each book of the Bible and learn more about important people, significant places, customs and traditions, and life in Biblical times.
What does this Bible Handbook provide?
This handbook starts with an introduction to the Bible, looking at questions such as:
Who wrote the Bible?
How is the Bible organized?
What's up with all those translations?
Is the Bible reliable and trustworthy?
How can I get the most out of the Bible reading I do?
The book then presents a survey of all 66 books of the Bible and the time between the Old and New Testaments.
How is this edition of the Bible Handbook different from the first edition?

The main change is the addition of a Bible dictionary that is more than 190 pages long.  The dictionary starts with Aaron, ends with Zorah, and has a wealth of information between about  people and places, customs and traditions, and terms found throughout the Bible.  The dictionary also serves as a "smart index" for the book, including page number references to Handbook content where appropriate.

I am not afraid:  Spiritual warfare and demon possession
While Africa and Madagascar seem like strange and faraway places, the world in which we now live has become much smaller than many of us could ever have imagined. Moreover, even our neighbors visit the local fortuneteller, read the horoscope page in the newspaper, and attend séances that seek to reach departed friends, lovers, and family members. Consequently, as we begin a journey into faraway places, we may soon find they are not as far away as we may have expected.  — from Chapter 3
I Am Not Afraid is Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett’s fascinating first-hand account of the spiritual warfare found within the Lutheran Church of Madagascar. Is spiritual warfare something new to the Church? Bennett reviews what the Bible, Church Fathers, and contemporary Lutheran leaders have to say.
Part One includes recent conversations dealing with spiritual warfare, an introduction into the Malagasy Lutheran Church, and the traditional Malagasy worldview. These are the stories of those who have been rescued from the darkness of sin and brought into the light of the Gospel.
Part Two looks to the Bible and the Church for explanation and historical perspective on the spiritual warfare found in the Malagasy Lutheran Church. Is it something only found in the time of Jesus and the apostles? What has the Church said in the past about such activities? Bennett explores the views of Martin Luther and other Lutheran leaders, and finally provides some helpful contemporary material and resources for dealing with spiritual warfare in today’s context.
Includes a glossary of key terms, transcripts of personal interviews, bibliography, Scripture index, and subject index.

One in Christ - Little voices cd
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Help kids learn about God’s love through music. They are sure to sing along with joy and enthusiasm with familiar favorites and delight in learning new songs.
Both voice recordings and separate instrumental-only recordings are included for each of the 58 songs. Three CD set.

5 things you can do series
The You Can Do It Series encourages and equips believers to live out life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, being formed and shaped by God’s Word. Written in a clear and encouraging style, each of these topical books gives Christians achievable goals for strengthening their faith and relationships. Each book features a consistent presentation of a topic in five parts with each part consisting of a presentation, summary, discussion questions, and several action steps.
The series topics are:

  • Understand the Bible Better
  • Witness Christ
  • Make Your Marriage Stronger
  • Read the Bible Prayerfully
  • Have a Faithful Prayer Life
  • Appreciate Science and Love the Bible
  • Have a Stronger Family
  • Live a Jesus-Centered Life
  • Make Your Congregation a Caring Church