Prayer Warrior

October Prayer Warrior Newsletter 2014

October 2014

Dear Prayer Warrior

Today Halloween is almost exclusively an American secular holiday, but many who celebrate have no concept of its religious origins or pagan heritage. That's not to say Halloween has become more wholesome. Children dress up in entertaining costumes, wander the neighborhood in search of candy, and tell each other scary ghost stories; but adults often engage in shameful acts of drunkenness and debauchery.

Ultimately, Christian participation in Halloween is a matter of conscience before God. Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, you must honor God by keeping yourself separate from the world and by showing mercy to those who are perishing. Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to accomplish both of those things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it's a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?

Our prayer warriors stand at the ready to pray for your needs.If you would like to submit a prayer request, it will be shared with our community of faithful Christians, so that they may pray for you.

Yours in Christ,

Stephen Ministry

 

Prayer Requests

 

Those Serving in the Military: Greg Kassel; Mike Leonas
Health Concerns: Norma Sadler, Joel Dickmann, Cindy Creasy, Caroline Soeken, James Standridge, Garry Lefevers, Ron Gray, Bill Milborn
Recovering from Surgery: Michael Brown, Deb Williamson, Don Kassel, Gary Gordey
Having Surgery: Lynn Holmes, Norman Baldwin, Viola Lampe
Cancer: Doris Cochran, Sharon Young, Rev. Scott Lemmermann, Joyce Buckner, Dale Newland, Paul Gregg, Vickie Wisner, Peggy Clay, Kiers Rowley, Bill May, Carmen Everding

Hospice: Marie Dieckman, Donna Wagner, Dorothy Senzee, Joan Simpson, Justine Rein, Liz Miller, Barbara Brown
Those in Care Centers: Elnora Dammerman, Willa Davis

For those suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and mental illness.

For all expecting mothers and their children; Rachel Micheel, Betsy Cochran.

For all who grieve, including Bob Dustman and daughter Jami Hede, at the death of her husband, John Hede.

For the unemployed and underemployed; the hungry; the poor; the homeless

For our nation, and for all the nations on the earth.

For all who are travelling.

For all those celebrating anniversaries

For those having marital problems and/or are facing divorce

For Andrea Steele and Adam Bien, united in marriage on Saturday. For Jessica Becker and Curtis Tate who will be united in marriage this Saturday. For Justin Karman and Meghan Fitzpatrick who will be united in marriage this Saturday.

For the Board of Elders and the Call Committee, that God would give them wisdom and guidance, and bless their work.

For BSLC during the vacancy and on into the future, that God would grant us to remain the truth, be faithful stewards, effective witnesses, and united in the work of the Gospel.

That God would bless all our efforts to reach out and encourage visitors and inactive members

For God’s blessings on the new adult instruction class just beginning.  For spiritual growth in all of our Bible studies and groups.

For the children and youth in this congregation, that they would learn and grow in the faith, and have the protection of God.

For Abounding Love Preschool, for God’s blessings upon the teachers and students.

That God would bless Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with success as they rebuild, and their pastors (Zerkel and Sanchez) with strength and wisdom for the ministry.

That God would richly bless our local and international partnerships in mission:

Rev. Bob Malone at Peace Lutheran in Kansas City, MO – especially during their vacancy
Rev. Bob Roegner at Peace Lutheran in O’Fallon, MO
Rev. Ted Krey and the Dominican Republic Lutheran Mission

 

Finding Leaders as Good as Moses

by Jason Evans

I want you to picture yourself as a leader of an entire nation for one moment. Now I want you to think about how you became that leader. Did you go through a lot of school, clawing your way through the political ranks to finally be elected into office after a hard campaign? Maybe you think to yourself that the position was given to you, after you successfully led your army to take over the world?

I have read a lot of self help articles about being a good leader. But most of them have it all wrong. Why can I say that? It is because most people have a wrong view of what it takes to become a leader. When someone is being interviewed in the business world they are typically being examined to find out how dedicated they are and how well they can perform. That is what people think qualifies you to be a leader.

Lets look at the church too. If you have ever been on a pastor search committee then you know that the guy with years of schooling, and plenty of experience clawing his way to become a pastor, is the one that often gets called first. He will normally come in and tell you all about how wonderful he is, while trying to act humble about it.

He may speak with such a dynamic voice and draw crowds of people. Then, after the church asks him to become their pastor, he starts making the changes that he wants to make. He commands authority and because of that authority no one dares to question him.

This may sound like a great leader. He has all of the qualities men look for. They flock to him. Those who oppose him are cast away by his followers. He really is a take charge kind of guy.

But is he the leader God would have chosen? I don’t want to shock you too much, but normally the answer is no. Because God likes to use the weak and the outcast to bring the mighty to shame.

Lets do that exercise again. But this time I want you to picture yourself as Moses. You are standing on the mountain looking over the promised land. God stands beside you and says, “You led them here.” You suddenly look back on your life to see the road that you took to become the leader of a nation.

Do you feel proud? Do you see all of the wonderful things you did and said? Do you see how strong of a leader you are?

The truth is that Moses never wanted to lead in the first place. He told God no several times. Then he finally surrendered and went to the slaves, who rejected him. Everyday he questioned his ability. In fact, Aaron had to speak for him because he was too afraid to speak for himself!

Even as God showered miracles down in front of the people they complained about him. He had no respect or authority at all! But at the end of the tenth plague they followed him out of Egypt as a free people. He still had problems though.

They continued to complain. One time the people even said, “Who made you a ruler over us?” Moses answered them by saying he would rather follow them than lead himself! Moses did not command authority. The people did not want to follow him at all. He was the last pick for the leader of their nation!

But none of that mattered. Because God had sent him. God had chosen a man so blunt and rough around the edges that he literally forced people to drink molten gold! He smashed the first hand written tablets of stone that God had given, and he even asked God to destroy the people after becoming so angry with them.

He certainly would not be the first pick to pastor most churches! Now, I know all of this is something you have probably heard before. But the way to become a leader chosen by God is not by becoming the most qualified. It really isn’t even by being willing (Moses certainly wasn’t). God has His own way of choosing leaders and putting them in place.

Here are some keys that I have seen in how God places people in leadership. The first key is found in Ecclesiastes 4:13-14. It says, “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.”

There is something God knows about those who follow others. They never follow because of authority. A king may make the law, but unless the military enforces it people will not obey. This is because people follow power. Moses had all of the authority in the world to lead, because God gave it to him. But it was only because God showed His power through Moses that the people eventually followed.

Power comes in many forms. Sometimes it is the power to inflict pain. People will follow orders because of the fear of your power. But this kind of power only lasts as long as it takes for someone else to challenge you with power of their own. The greatest power you can have is the power to make someone live a life more abundantly.

That is the second key. David had the power to set Israel free from the fear of Goliath. When he faced the giant that no one else would dare face, people took notice of him. They say that the one who speaks loudest will be heard. Remember that actions speak louder than words! Use the power given to you through the word of God to set people free. They will follow you after you do.

The third key to becoming someone that people will follow is knowing the path to travel. If you know how to help someone have a better life they will want to know your secret. If you have peace in your own life then people will want you to teach them how they can have it too. This is leading by example.

You may have noticed I did not list confidence, authority, or even ability in these keys. That is because people do not follow these things (at least not for long). People follow leaders that God puts in place because God works on their character.

He molds them into people that exhibit what others are looking for. They don’t need a title. They lead without it in most cases. But even without a title, the king that God has rejected fears them. Because the people would rather remove the king from his throne and crown the slave who heals their wounds, faces their giants with them, and knows the way to bring them to the desires of their hearts.

So if you are looking for a leader for your church, don’t focus on the degree, title, or elegant speech. Look for the one who leads by healing the hurting, facing the difficulties in your church that no one else would, and by practicing what they preach.

 

Prayer for Waging "The Good Fight"

Jesus, we thank You for the spiritual armor that defends us in battle and arms us for the struggle we encounter against the devil’s relentless schemes.  This armor enables us to withstand the forces of evil, no matter the means or persons the enemy works through to try to weaken or destroy our faith.  In addition to the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit we know that our prayers and petitions are heard by You who intercedes for us before our Father in heaven.  We use our armor for protection and we use the sword of the Spirit and prayer for weapons to reveal, attack and defeat Satan’s strongholds. It is through Your name, Jesus, that we are more than conquerors.  Amen.

See Ephesians 6:10-18 for the listing of the Armor of God

Martin Luther's Account of the Hearing at Worms in 1521 (excerpts)

(Second hearing, April 18, 1521)

[Dr. Eck, Archbishop of Trier] .Do you wish to defend the books which are recognized as your work? Or to retract anything contained in them?

[Luther:]  Most Serene Lord Emperor, Most Illustrious Princes, Most Gracious Lords . . . I beseech you to grant a gracious hearing to my plea, which, I trust, will be a plea of justice and truth; and if through my inexperience I neglect to give to any their proper titles or in any way offend against the etiquette of the court in my manners or behavior, be kind enough to forgive me, I beg, since I am a man who has spent his life not in courts but in the cells of a monastery; a man who can say of himself only this, that to this day I have thought and written in simplicity of heart, solely with a view to the glory of God and the pure instruction of Christ's faithful people

Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships: I ask you to observe that my books are not all of the same kind.

There are some in which I have dealt with piety in faith and morals with such simplicity and so agreeably with the Gospels that my adversaries themselves are compelled to admit them useful, harmless, and clearly worth reading by a Christian. Even the Bull, harsh and cruel though it is, makes some of my books harmless, although it condemns them also, by a judgment downright monstrous. If I should begin to recant here, what, I beseech you, would I be doing but condemning alone among mortals, that truth which is admitted by friends and foes alike, in an unaided struggle against universal consent?

The second kind consists in those writings leveled against the papacy and the doctrine of the papists, as against those who by their wicked doctrines and precedents have laid waste Christendom by doing harm to the souls and the bodies of men. No one can either deny or conceal this, for universal experience and world-wide grievances are witnesses to the fact that through the Pope's laws and through man-made teachings the consciences of the faithful have been most pitifully ensnared, troubled, and racked in torment, and also that their goods and possessions have been devoured (especially amongst this famous German nation) by unbelievable tyranny, and are to this day being devoured without end in shameful fashion; and that thought they themselves by their own laws take care to provide that the Pope's laws and doctrines which are contrary to the Gospel or the teachings of the Fathers are to be considered as erroneous and reprobate. If then I recant these, the only effect will be to add strength to such tyranny, to open not the windows but the main doors to such blasphemy, which will thereupon stalk farther and more widely than it has hitherto dared. . . .

The third kind consists of those books which I have written against private individuals, so-called; against those, that is, who have exerted themselves in defense of the Roman tyranny and to the overthrow of that piety which I have taught. I confess that I have been more harsh against them than befits my religious vows and my profession. For I do not make myself out to be any kind of saint, nor am I now contending about my conduct but about Christian doctrine. But it is not in my power to recant them, because that recantation would give that tyranny and blasphemy and occasion to lord it over those whom I defend and to rage against God's people more violently than ever.

However, since I am a man and not God, I cannot provide my writings with any other defense than that which my Lord Jesus Christ provided for His teaching. When He had been interrogated concerning His teaching before Annas and had received a buffet from a servant, He said: "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil." If the Lord Himself, who knew that He could not err, did not refuse to listen to witness against His teaching, even from a worthless slave, how much more ought I, scum that I am, capable of naught but error, to seek and to wait for any who may wish to bear witness against my teaching.

And so, through the mercy of God, I ask Your Imperial Majesty, and Your Illustrious Lordships, or anyone of any degree, to defeat them by the writings of the Prophets or by the Gospels; for I shall be most ready, if I be better instructed, to recant any error, and I shall be the first in casting my writings into the fire. I have been reminded of the dissensions which my teaching engenders.  I can only answer in the words of our Lord. 'I came not to bring peace but a sword.'  If our God is so severe, let us beware less we release a deluge of wars, lest the reign of our noble youth, Charles, be inauspicious.  Take warning from the examples of Pharoah, the King of Babylon, and the kings of Israel.  God is who confounds the wise.  I must walk in the fear of the Lord.  I say this not to chide but because I cannot escape my duty to my Germans.  I commend myself to your Majesty.  May you not suffer my adversaries to make you ill disposed to me without cause.  I have spoken.

[Dr. Eck, Archbishop of Trier]:  Martin, you have not sufficiently distinguished your works.  The earlier were bad and the latter worse.  Your plea to be heard from the Scripture is the one always mad by heretics.  You do nothing but renew the errors of Wyclif and Hus.  How will the Jews, how will the Turks, exult to hear Christians discussing whether they have been wrong all these years!  Martin, how can you assume that you are the only one to understand the sense of Scripture?  Would you put your judgment above that of so many famous men and claim that you know more than they all?  You have no right to call into question the most holy orthodoz faith, instituted by Christ the perfect lawgiver, proclaimed throughout the world by the apostles, sealed by the red blood of martyrs, confirmed by the sacred councils, defoined by the Church in which all our fathers believed until death and gave us as an inheritance, and which now we are forbidden by the pope and the emperor to discuss lest there be no end of debate.  I ask you, Martin--answer candidly and without horns--do you or do you not repudiate your books and the errors which they contain?

Luther: Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted [convinced] of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted [convinced] by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.

On this I take my stand.  I can do no other.

God help me.  Amen

"A Mighty Fortress is Our God"

by Martin Luther

“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” a hymn we sing every year at the end of October on Reformation Sunday it was written by Dr Martin Luther around the early 1500 's. It has been called the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation” for the effect it had on the reformers cause. There are several theories about it's origin one was that it was sung by Luther and his companions as they entered Worms on April 16 1521 for the Diet. Another was that it was sung by the German Lutheran princes as they entered Augsburg for the Diet in 1530 at which the Augsburg Confession was presented.  “Ein Feste Burg ist unser Gott” Luther's paraphrase of Psalm 46 is a very powerful statement of Faith. In 1720 a remarkable revival began in a town in Moravia. Jesuits opposed it, and the meet­ings were prohibited. Those who still assem­bled were seized and imprisoned in stables and cellars. At David Nitschmann’s house, where a hundred and fifty persons gathered, the police broke in and seized the books. Not dismayed, the congregation struck up the stan­zas of Luther’s hymn,

“And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.”

Twenty heads of families were for this sent to jail, including Nitschmann, who was treat­ed with special severity. He finally escaped, fled to the Moravians at Herrnhut, became a bi­shop, and afterwards joined the Wesleys in 1735 in their expedition to Savannah, Georgia.

This post highlights the work of the man who may be the most popular hymn writer yet: the great reformer, Martin Luther. Among his voluminous works, Luther wrote some 36 hymns. “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” however, is far and away the most well-known.

Based on Psalm 46, the hymn is a celebration of the sovereign power of God over all earthly and spiritual forces, and of the sure hope we have in him because of Christ. After its publication, it gained immense popularity throughout Reformed Europe.

It was the Marseillaise of the Reformation. It was sung at Augsburg during the Diet, and in all the churches of Saxony, often against the protest of the priest. It was sung in the streets; and, so heard, comforted the hearts of Melanchthon, Jonas, and Cruciger, as they entered Weimar, when banished from Wittenberg in 1547. It was sung by poor Protestant emigrants on their way into exile, and by martyrs at their death. It is woven into the web of the history of Reformation times, and it became the true national hymn of Protestant Germany. (Louis Benson)

The hymn became closely associated with Luther himself, as it embodied in its words and melody so much of the character of its author — bold, confident, defiant in the face of opposition. This association is symbolized in the monument to Luther at Wittenberg where the first line of the lyrics was engraved on the base.

There are at least 7 documented theories on the time and circumstances in which the hymn was written. Benson concludes, along with several other historians, that the most likely story is that it was written in October 1527 as the plague was approaching. The evidence for this date is the printing history surrounding it (no copies beforehand, and a growing number of copies afterwards).

There is debate about where the tune came from. In times past, it was believed to have been borrowed by Luther, perhaps from an old Gregorian melody. More recently, however, scholars are inclined to believe that Luther wrote it himself. (The story that the tune came from a tavern song that was popular in Luther’s day is the result of a misunderstanding of German musical terminology.)

There have been many attempts to translate the hymn into English. The two most enduring are Thomas Carlyle’s “A Safe Stronghold Our God Is Still” and Frederic Henry Hedge’s “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” Hedge’s translation being far more popular.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

Beautiful Savior
Lutheran Church
615 SE Todd George Road
Lee's Summit, MO  64063
Phone:   (816)  524-7288 
Fax:  (816) 524-6506
 
 

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