Faith Community Garden

Flowers bless us with beautyA community garden is underway at Faith, the produce from which will be given to people in need. This project is for anyone who likes to work in God’s earth with a heart to help and encourage a neighbor or friend struggling financially.  If you would like to be involved or want to know more please call the church and leave a message at 847-428-2079.

All seeds are incredible creations.  Each one develops into a plant that grows at n amazing  rate, with intricate design and for a specific purpose.  Trees, fruits, flowers and vegetables all are given to bless us and help sustain us.  Many plants also contain elements that are use to heal us and help restore our health and strength. But seeds must be planted and gardens must be tended and then harvested for all this to be possible.

Remember that seeds were made by God for his glory.  Even we ourselves are born of a tiny seed in the womb of our mother for his glory. But our seed is corrupted by sin and subject to wither and die.  So Jesus said “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” The reason the Lord came was to die for our sin that many would be made righteous in the sight of God. The planting of his body in a grave and his resurrection from that plot of ground brought God glory and is bringing many children to become living witnesses to his presence, here in the earth and in heaven forever.

Gardens require love, work and care if they are going to be fruitfull. Yet so few seeds can bless so many! Praise God with every seed you plant in a garden. Most of all, sow your own life like a seed that others may see your good works and in turn give glory to God.

Pastor Mark Frusti

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Without the Bible?

We sometimes take the Bible for granted.  We read Scriptures from the lecturn and pulpit every Sunday. We have copies of the Bible on our shelf at home and can access one quite easily. But what would it be like if we had no Bible at all? Rev Richard Wurmbrand, a Lutheran pastor, who was imprisoned  for his faith for 14 years in Communist Romania was deprived of everything and kept in solitary confinement.  In his book The Triumphant Church he wrote:

“One of the greatest problems…is knowing how to fill up solitude.  We had absolutely no books (in prison).  We never heard a noise, and there was absolutely nothing  to distract our attention.  We looked at the walls; that was all.  Now normally a mind under such circumstance becomes mad.  Read great books about prison life just to catch the atmosphere of prison as much as a free man can catch it.  You will see the maddening influence of being alone for years with nothing to distract the mind. I can tell you from my own experience how I avoided becoming mad, but this again has to be prepared by a life of spiritual exercise beforehand.  How much can you be alone without the Bible? How much can you bear to be with yourself without switching on the radio, a record player, etc?”  (excerpt taken from Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, March 2013).

The Bible is full of the words of life that Jesus confirmed over and over again, and after he rose from the dead.  Fill your mind with it everyday, the time could come when you will not be able to exercise that freedom, for whatever reason.

By the way, after communism ended in Romania and other European nations, Pastor  Wurmbrand visited the same prison where he was kept in confinement and it had become a storeroom for Bibles waiting for distribution!

Learn more about the Voice of the Martyrs at www.persecution.com.

Pastor Mark Frusti

 

 

 

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Pastor Mark Frusti

“Unto him that sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb, be blessing and honor and power and glory for ever and ever” Rev 5:13

We worship the Lamb who reigns.  He also remains the great Shepherd of our soul.

According to Watchman Nee “To worship the creature rather than the creator is an inbred tendency in us. All the conflict in this book of Revelation turns on this issue.”

But the Lamb is worthy because he triumphed over every rival. Trust Him to deliver your soul to himself in Heaven.124

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A Heavenly Evening at Faith Lutheran

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Heaven is my home. Our evening with Don Piper, author of 90 minutes in Heaven was amazing. He is a walking miracle.

If you were blessed by Don’s testimony and sharing of God’s word, or would like to let us know how you felt about it, please leave a comment.

Pass this link to our church website along to a friend. He is risen indeed! He is worthy!

 

 

 

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Searching for the Real Martin Luther

by DAVID C. STEINMETZ
c. 2012 Religion News Service

 

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Protestants have traditionally celebrated Oct. 31 as the anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, a movement that divided Western Christendom and gave birth to such diverse religious groups as Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans and Mennonites.

On Oct. 31, 1517, an Augustinian friar named Martin Luther nailed 95 theses for debate on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and so sparked a religious reform even he could not control.    But Luther’s public life actually began five years earlier, 500 years ago this week, on Oct. 19, 1512, when he finished his formal theological education and was installed as a professor of Bible at a relatively new and still unprestigious Catholic university in Saxony.

No one, least of all his patrons, expected this soft-spoken young man with a tenor voice and a bubbling sense of humor to turn into a religious bomb thrower, whose theological convictions would alter the religious and political structures of Europe for five centuries. Indeed, no one could have been more astonished by this unexpected development than Luther himself.

Luther’s enemies once described him as a seven-headed monster and suggested that he had been conceived by a prostitute through sexual union with a demon. Others, somewhat more temperate in tone, characterized him as a man utterly lacking in religious seriousness, an arch-heretic who attacked Catholic teaching concerning indulgences in order to win a bet.

At the same time, no one inspired a more ferocious loyalty among his followers than Luther. His friends called him a prophet and teacher of true Christianity, who inaugurated a new age in the history of the church. He was hailed as a champion of the freedom of the human conscience, as a defender of German national identity, and as the skilled translator whose German Bible lies at the foundation of the modern German language.

Mass media in the English-speaking world have found Luther’s story fascinating. No less than three movies have been made of his life over the last 60 years. Yet each fails to capture Luther in all his charismatic complexity.

The first appeared in 1953 and cast Irish actor Niall MacGinnis in the title role. MacGinnis captured the warmth of Luther’s personality, though not his irrepressible sense of humor. His portrayal underlined Luther’s stubborn and uncompromising refusal to bow to the worried pleas of his friends or the threats of his enemies.

The second movie, released in 1974, featured an impressive cast, including Stacy Keach as Luther and Dame Judi Dench as his wife, Katherine. The original play by John Osborne portrayed Luther as an angry young man in a hurry, whose conflicts with the Catholic Church seemed to be an extension of his fierce conflicts with his father.

The third movie, directed by Eric Till in 2003, featured Joseph Fiennes as Luther and Sir Peter Ustinov as Elector Frederick the Wise. Till saw in Luther’s story a conflict between a repressive conservative institution (in this case, the medieval Catholic Church) and a more liberal and liberating movement (in this case, the Reformation, which with all its violence and disorder marked for Till an advance over the conservative structures it attacked). For Till, Luther is a symbol of an enlightened spirit in an unenlightened age, an age not altogether unlike our own.

Perhaps out of respect for the serious tone of the plot, Fiennes played Luther as an intense, uncertain, humorless and generally liberal cleric, who could tear a passion to tatters, but whose claim to suffer fits of depression sounded more like acute dyspepsia than a bout of soul-wracking melancholy.

Still, there must have been more to the “real Luther” than the uncertain young friar Fiennes creates. Neurotic introverts seldom change the world. And whatever his flaws, Luther was no introvert. He was a great rollicking figure, a creature larger than life, who filled a room with his presence before he uttered a word. He enjoyed good beer, lively conversation, and the sound of hearty laughter. Till’s Luther was certainly brave and in many respects admirable, but remained throughout a diminutive and monochromatic copy of the colorful and boisterous original.

In the end, only MacGinnis in the 1953 film portrayed a leader someone would be willing to follow. Twenty years later, Keach’s leadership, such as it was, was all passion and angry denunciation with no clear direction forward. And Fiennes seemed far too uncertain to lead. But MacGinnis’ Luther attracted followers by the force of his personality and set them in motion on the trail he was blazing.

Judging from these three movies, finding and portraying the “real Luther” in film has not been a task for the faint of heart. Yet wherever the German language is spoken, wherever Protestants (and Catholics) gather for religious services or social action, and wherever the political history of Europe is told (including its darker sides), the ghost of Martin Luther is present and cannot be avoided.

It’s too bad that no movie has as yet been able to capture more than a small part of that culturally important story.

About the Author: (David C. Steinmetz is the Kearns Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at the Divinity School of Duke University in Durham, N.C.)

Editor’s Note: The 1953 film is owned jointly by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in the form of Lutheran Film Associates. The 2002 film received financial backing and production assistance from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. 

http://www.lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=1257

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Pastor’s Blog April 9

PenguinsHi,   come hear Pastor Don Piper tomorrow night, you’ll be blessed more than a pack of penguins. In fact, you will be surprised and so will your family! We are looking forward to seeing you then. Don’t miss it!

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Don Piper was our special guest in April

On his way home from a church conference in 1989, Don Piper’s Ford Escort was struck head-on by an 18-wheeler. He was killed instantly — pronounced dead by four sets of paramedics. Shortly after the accident, a pastor from the same conference arrived on the scene and began praying for “the man in the red car.” God worked a miracle and sent Don back to a now-broken body. To date, 34 surgical procedures have taken place. He walks only as a result of miraculous and in some cases medically unexplainable circumstances. During the time he was dead, Piper was granted the extreme privilege of glimpsing Heaven itself.

Since the release of his bestselling book co-authored with his writing partner Cecil Murphey,90 Minutes in Heaven – a True Story of Death and Life (Fleming Revell, 90_minutes_in_heaven2004), Don has traveled across the country and around the world sharing his amazing story. His message is simple … We can have a better life now and an eternal life someday through faith in Jesus Christ! In three years, Don has reached millions of people through his writing and speaking. A second book released in late 2006, Daily Devotions Inspired by 90 Minutes of Heaven(Berkeley), contains heartwarming stories compiled from his extensive travel and personal ministry. Don’s third book, Heaven Is Real: Lessons on Earthly Joy, from the Man Who Spent 90 Minutes in Heaven (Berkeley), was released in August 2007.

Don Piper Ministries is dedicated to spreading the Gospel through one-day rallies, conferences, and revivals via Don’s remarkable testimony delivered in print and in person. Currently booking dates into 2011, Don Piper Ministries continues to trust the Lord as He guides these efforts, changing lives and healing hearts.

Don Piper Ministries is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization.

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Faith Lutheran Carpentersville

Faith Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod

Sunday Services 10:00 AM

2525 Helm Rd Carpentersville, IL 60110

(847) 428-2079.

Come visit this Sunday! We would love to see you. A Church home in your neighborhood. Many events coming this Spring and Summer. Please stop in for a Sunday visit.

 

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Abortion and the Gospel

I recently had the opportunity to hear a presentation by a well-known prolife speaker on abortion. The argument against abortion, he said, lay in the answer to the question “Is the fetus a human being or not?” In meticulous fashion he presented his case which in substance said that if you can prove to an abortion proponent or a woman considering abortion that the fetus is a human being you have won your argument. Winning means that the proponent will give up his case or a woman considering abortion will not submit to an abortion.

Perhaps it is that I spent twenty years as hospital chaplain counseling, among others, women in their decision making that I find this argument overstated. Of all the women I counseled who were considering abortion I never had one tell me she did not believe the fetus within her was a human being. In fact, she would have thought it naive of me that I would even press the point. She would have said, “Of course, it is human, but I don’t want to be pregnant.”

In the non-Lutheran presentation referred to above, what struck me was the overbearance of Law and the absence of Gospel. Hammering away with rational explanation, the speaker concluded with an in-your-face video hideously depicting torn fetal body parts, all of which shattered any further reasonable discussion of the issue. Lutheran theology claims, and rightly so, that Law doesn’t transform people, the Gospel does. Women considering abortion are usually in crisis and the crisis needs to be addressed with attempts at healing. If addressed with compassion and truth spoken gently in the name of Christ who gave himself for desperate sinful men and women, the heart might be won over. Even if not, the path has at least been prepared a way for repentance to follow later. The Church needs to speak boldly against abortion, but more boldly still about the love of Christ for sinners considering and perhaps even participating in abortion.

About the Author: Dr. Richard C. Eyer is the retired director of pastoral care for Columbia Hospital, Milwaukee, Wis., and emeritus professor and director of the Concordia Bioethics Institute at Concordia University Wisconsin. He is the author of Marriage Is Like Dancing (CPH, 2007).

Reprinted from May 2000

 

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A Response to the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

by Paul L. Maier

As for the so-called “Wife of Jesus Gospel” (so-named by its discoverer, Harvard professor Karen King), while the document is in-teresting, it is only another of the long string of Gnostic writings that have been surfacing ever since 1947. Like all the others, it is of little or no use as authentic source material on Jesus. All Gnos-tic writings are late derivatives from the true Gospels and regular-ly offer information that runs counter to the mass of reliable evi-dence on Jesus.

This notion of a married Jesus–even if the recent text proves authentic–has no value whatsoever, other than to show how aberrant were some of the views among heretical quasi-Christians in the second, third and fourth centuries after Christ. This zero-value as authentic history is typical of all such Gnostic writings that re-cently have received far more attention than they deserved by those who promote sensation rather than scholarship. The Early Church had a big problem dealing with heretical groups that tried to pervert the image of Jesus, and the modern church is now encountering the same.

While Professor King is careful not to make claims beyond the evidence, one wonders why she announced her find before any authen-ticity tests were conducted on the document. And why did she give the document so sensational a title? I also find it significant that some in the faculty at Harvard Divinity School are known propo-nents of the Gnostic writings as reliable sources for the life of Jesus. Professor King herself wonders if the traditional information on Jesus was not a “mastery story” that forcibly excluded contrary views, such as those in the Gnostic gospels.

It is high time that any thralldom to the Gnostic writings be abandoned. Most of that material is recondite, visionary, hydra-headed, apocalyptic, mostly incomprehensible and riddled with impos-sibilities. Let one example suffice: The Gospel of Thomas, which is universally regarded as the most cogent and important of the Gnostic literature, ends with the claim that Jesus will turn Mary Magdalene into a man so that she may attain to the Kingdom of God. Such a ri-diculous statement is now paralleled with the claim that Mary was Jesus’ wife . . . evidently before he turned her into a man!

About the Author:

Dr. Paul L. Maier is third vice-president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

 

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