Newsletters

Monday, 26 September 2022 16:16

September 2022 Newsletter

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An Excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article Persevere in Faith and Encourage One Another 

 

Persevere in Faith and Encourage One Another


19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the
blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since
we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the
full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and
having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who
promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all
the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:19-25)


As brothers and sisters in faith, we can rest assured that we have a place in the kingdom of heaven,
prepared for us by Jesus, himself. By giving his perfect, holy body, he won for us full, complete, unending
salvation for our sins. There is no doubt that his sacrificial death released us from the threat of eternal
condemnation.
Now, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.
(vs. 22) When we worship God, let us do so with praise and thanksgiving for the freedom he has won for us. Let
us do so because of the love he has shown to us. And let us be sincere in our love for God, not worshiping to put
on a show or because we think we must

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 16:42

August 2022 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article Governing Authorities and the Part We Play

 

Governing Authorities and the Part We Play

            It’s that time of year. You can’t walk down the road without seeing them. It doesn’t matter if you’re in town or in the country – SIGNS EVERYWHERE! Vote for this person or that policy. In just a few days, we have another election, leading up to the main elections in November. This process, filled with many elections, is the form of government our Lord has established for us as citizens.

            Paul wrote, “Let everyone be subject to

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 16:39

July 2022 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article What Does it Mean to Deliberate a Divine Call?

 

What Does It Mean to Deliberate a Divine Call?

            In last month’s Messenger, I explained what a divine call is (a call from God to serve in the public ministry) and how God extends those calls, either directly to an individual (immediate) or through a middleman, or calling body (mediate). But how does one deliberate a divine call after receiving it? And what does that even mean?

            Remember, a divine call can be extended to a pastor, a teacher, a staff minister, even to lay members to serve in long- or short-term roles within the church. What I’m about to explain is a process that works for any of those situations.

            When someone receives a divine call after finishing school or seminary, in other words, when they’re assigned to their first call on Assignment Day, a great deal of prayer has already taken place; prayer by the individual being assigned, and prayer by the assignment committees. Generally speaking,

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 16:37

June 2022 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article The Divine Call

 

The Divine Call

            It’s the season of call days. Martin Luther College sent out newly-called teachers and staff ministers, and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary sent out newly-called pastors. I often get asked how the call process works, so I thought it might be nice to explain it here.

            First, every time we call a teacher, a staff minister, or a pastor, it’s an example of a divine call. This means that this is a call, first and foremost, from God. There are two kinds of divine calls: immediate and mediate.

            When someone receives an immediate call, it means God called him directly, without a middle-man, so

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 16:31

May 2022 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article I Would, But . . .

 

I Would, But . . .

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.     (Psalm 95:1-3, 6-7)

            What a wonderful thing it is that we get to sing the praises of our God! Not because it’s something that we get to do for him, but because of something he has done for us. He is the Rock of our salvation. Through him, we can know the fullness of his grace, the freedom of forgiveness. How amazing that God chose

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 16:28

April 2022 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article Pride and Humility

 

Pride and Humility

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

 

            How easy it is to give in to the temptations of pride. In this parable, the Pharisee put his hope in his own righteousness, thinking that he was doing all that God found pleasing. What he failed to realize is that he never gave praise to God for his salvation, nor for the gifts God had granted

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 16:24

March 2022 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article Prayers for Ukraine

 

Prayers for Ukraine

            This month, in lieu of a devotion, I ask that you consider the message below, shared by our WELS World Missions Board. At this time, Ukraine faces war, and they have been in our prayers. This is especially true for our brothers and sisters in Christ, who are caught in the midst of this earthly troubles. In the message below, you’ll see

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 16:20

February 2022 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article True or False: "Respect is earned, not given!" 

 

 

True or False: “Respect is earned, not given!”

            You’ve probably heard that, maybe even said it yourself: “Respect is earned, not given.” It’s often used when people don’t think they’re being shown respect or being treated fairly by someone in a superior position of authority. If they don’t feel respected, then they don’t think they need to show respect. It’s so common that I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve felt this way yourself and one point or another. But does that mean this kind of thinking is justified?

            Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say on the matter. We’ll start with

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 15:24

January 2022 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article To Do, or Not to Do? Always the Question

 

To Do, or Not to Do? Always the Question

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. 30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. (Matthew 21:28-21)

            Jesus used this parable to help the religious leaders see a fault in their thinking. Outwardly, they appeared to be among the most faithful in service, both in word and in deed. But really, they were only paying Jesus what Isaiah called “lip service”. In other words, they were more than willing to say they were going to do the will of God, and to show others that they were following the will of God. But in their hearts, they did not rightly serve and worship God. If they had, it would show itself in their actions and their teachings.

            In the parable, the second son was like these leaders. Outwardly, he said he would

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 15:12

December 2021 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article 

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