Follow Jesus

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. ~ Matthew 4:18-22

They were simple, first-century fishermen, just blue-collar workers going about their blue-collar jobs. Until, one day, Jesus called out and said, “Come, follow me.” They knew of Jesus. They had seen him before and had even witnessed his first miracle. But they could not possibly know what they were in for by following him. They would see him heal the lame, give sight to the blind, and even raise the dead. They would hear him preach and teach as no one before. They would see him arrested and beaten and nailed to a cross. And they would see him alive again three days later. It would be a journey of highs and lows that they could never have imagined that day when he first called them to follow him.

Jesus Calms the Storm, Mark 4:35-41

The same Jesus who called Peter and Andrew, James and John, calls for you to follow him. Follow his words and promises. Follow his will for your life. Follow him in good times and bad, when it is easy and when it is not. Follow him in everything you do this day…and every day yet to come. Like those first-century fishermen, you cannot possibly know what it will mean to follow Jesus.

But you will be so very glad you did. He is the way and the truth and the life. He is a light shining in this dark world, helping you make sense of it all, helping you see who you really are and who your God really is. Follow him through the twists and turns of this life and he will lead you all the way to the heaven he bought for you with his blood.

Follow Jesus. You will be eternally thankful you did!

Dear Jesus, I realize that following you will not always be easy. But I know it will always be best. Grant me the willingness and strength to follow you through this life and into the next. Amen.

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Ten Minutes

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. ~ Romans 8:19

Sometime this week, give yourself ten minutes. Give yourself ten minutes for a profound teaching moment.

Go to a place where you can let your eyes rest on a portion of God’s creation. For ten uninterrupted minutes, let God’s creation fill your field of vision. Watch it. Observe it. Study it.

As you do, call to mind that God’s Word wants you to notice something about this portion of God’s creation that’s filling your eyes. God wants you to notice that his creation is waiting.

The oceans are waiting. The lakes and rivers and streams are waiting. The trees are waiting. The mountains and valleys are waiting. The planets and stars and galaxies are waiting. They are all waiting, God’s Word says, in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

They are all waiting for that moment when the One through whom all things were made (John 1:3) will come back one more time. They are all waiting for the last day when believers of all time will be identified. They are all waiting for that moment when the King of kings will come to roll up this broken place like an old carpet. They are all waiting for the moment when the Lord of lords will come to sweep away the presence and effects of sin once and for all.

And when your ten minutes are up, realize that the creation before you now has ten fewer minutes to wait. For the One who entered this creation on our behalf, the One who lived a sinless life in our place, the One who died to wash us clean, the One who rose from death—this very Jesus has promised to return. And he always keeps his promises.

Lord Jesus, as I enjoy the beauty of your creation, let your Word show me that even your creation reminds me that you are in command, and that you will return. Amen.

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168th Street Road Construction

Construction will be ongoing on 168th Street, possibly for more than a year.

At times you will need to take alternative routes to reach our parking lot. This map highlights some of the roads that can be used.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience.

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Sunday Mornings at Living Hope

Sunday School and Bible Study begin at 9:00 a.m. Worship service begins at 10:00 a.m.

  • Sunday School (for ages 3 and up) starts in the chapel. We have a brief “Bible thought” and a song. Then the children go to their rooms for a lesson and activity. Snack time follows.
  • Teen Bible Study meets in the Learning Center building.
  • Adult Bible Study meets in the fellowship hall. Infants and toddlers are welcome to accompany parents.
  • Church service begins at 10:00 AM.

You are always welcome to join us!

Our Adult Bible Study will be using a book called Vocation: the Setting for Human Flourishing by Michael Berg. This is a study full of meaning and encouragement–How shall we live? What is the good life? What is the value of a person? What is my place in this world? Is God active in this world? Explore these questions that have been asked in every culture and in every era through the lens of Scripture.

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Jesus is the Key

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! …The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:4,5b

Paul wrote these words from jail. He’d been put there for preaching Christ. Did Paul’s prison food taste good? Did they give him a room with a view? Not likely. But Paul didn’t ask for pity. He didn’t complain. He wrote to his Christian friends and said, “Rejoice!”

Rejoice?! With very little effort, you and I can think of reasons to complain about our life. There’s so much pain, anger, and trouble in our world. Even our loved ones hurt us sometimes. And when you try to stand firm, when you try to be a wall against the hurricane effects of sin swirling in your direction, you rediscover the horrible truth that the weakness, the sin, is swirling around in you, too.

Paul says, “The Lord is near.” In other words, Jesus is coming soon. If Jesus who knows our every thought and every intention were to suddenly return visibly today and we were to stand in his presence, would we be encouraged? Or would we instead become suddenly aware of how selfishly and how meaninglessly we’ve so often lived our lives? The Lord is near?! Our sin makes those words sound like a warning siren!

But Paul doesn’t see it that way at all. He links the Lord’s return with rejoicing. Why? Because Paul knows who the Lord is, and he knows what the Lord has done. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, has taken the punishment and guilt of all sin and carried it to the cross. By his death and resurrection he has established peace between us and God, now and forever. He has taken your sin away, too! Peace is yours.

If you try to find joy in the circumstances of your life, you’ll always come up short. The key to real joy and contentment is found in Jesus Christ alone. Whether you are rich or poor, sick or healthy, young or old, you can rejoice because the Lord is near and because “the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

Dear Savior Jesus, give me true joy as I wait for your return in glory. Amen.

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Women’s Ministry recap video & LWMS Fall Rally info

The WELS Women’s Ministry Conference was held July 21–23 at Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wis. More than 330 women attended to learn how to identify barriers that get in the way of knowing our purpose, stand firm on Scripture in the face of conflict, and extend grace in their everyday relationships.

~ + ~

The Nebraska-Iowa Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society’s fall Circuit Rally will be held on September 24th at Good Shepherd Church in Omaha. It begins at 8:30 AM.

Please contact Pastor Jeske or one of the ladies at church for more information, and to register for the event. Rev. Daniel Laitinen from TELL Ministry will be the speaker.

RSVP before Sept 18th.

This is a link to a Facebook video about the TELL (Think, Evaluate, Learn, Lead) Ministry:

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Labor Day Prayer

Gracious heavenly Father, as the United States pauses to rest and contemplate the freedom to work and the employment opportunities that are available to us, may we never lose sight of the fact that it is only because of your grace and favor that we are able to work.

Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings, past and  present. Thank you for the joy of relaxation. May all that I do give glory to you and your precious name. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whom I love and serve. Amen.

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[God the Father] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
~ Colossians 1:13-14

It is a time of intense drama as volunteers frantically dig through rubble to rescue helpless victims after an earthquake. Immense energy is expended to free those trapped in the darkness of demolished ruins. What a relief when a victim is recovered alive and brought to safety!

We were all in need of rescue. Darkness surrounded us as we were trapped under the curse of our own sin, unable to escape. Powerless to push away our guilt, we were destined to face the impenetrable darkness of eternal death.

The Lord came to our rescue. In his infinite mercy, the heavenly Father sent his own dear Son to rescue us from our helpless condition. Jesus is the perfect Son who lifted the immeasurable weight of our guilt from us. We are innocent because Jesus’ innocence has been freely given to us. Jesus is also the sacrificial Son who willingly carried the heavy load of our sin to the cross, where he bled and died to pay the penalty for our sin completely. What a relief it is to know that we have been brought out of darkness and into the light of forgiveness!

The Lord rescued us by removing us from the darkness of despair and death, and delivering us to a place of unshakable safety. That place of refuge is “the kingdom of the Son he loves.” God the Father loves his Son for the rescue mission of mankind completed by him. The same love that rests upon God’s Son also rests upon those who by faith are within the kingdom of the Son he loves.

No matter how earth-shaking the events of life may become, we are confident of the deliverance our Savior won for us. Jesus’ kingdom will endure forever and we are overjoyed to know he has brought us into that kingdom by his grace!

One day we will dwell with our Savior-King in the heavenly kingdom that he has promised us through his word. In our eternal home we will dwell forever with the King of kings in the secure safety won for us by his love.

Almighty and merciful Father, I am forever grateful for rescuing me from the darkness of despair and death through Jesus, your beloved Son. Thank you for the light of the Savior that continues to emanate through my life as I await his triumphant return when you will bring me into the heavenly kingdom of glory. Amen.

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Millard Days Parade 2022

August 27, 2022

A big thanks to everyone who helped organize this fun event!

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Daily Devotions this Fall

“In His Word I Put My Hope” is the theme of this fall’s Meditations booklet. The daily devotions start tomorrow, August 28th.

Some of the weekly topics will be:

  • Jesus Sinners Does Receive
  • Praise the One Who will Always Be There
  • The Lord Protects the Pilgrim
  • Our Hope Rests In The Eternal God
  • God’s Ultimate Justice
  • Jesus Is Coming!

May these devotions be a blessing to us all!

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