Reformation Service: Oct. 29th in Bennington


Area WELS congregations will be holding a joint service on

Sunday morning, October, 29th at 10:00 

to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.

Churches participating are:

  • Living Hope, Omaha, NE
  • Good Shepherd, Omaha, NE
  • Gethsemane, Omaha, NE
  • Living Savior, Blair, NE
  • Christ Our Savior, Fremont, NE
  • Peace Lutheran, Shenandoah, Iowa

This special service will be held in the new auditorium at:

Bennington High School, 16610 Bennington Road, Bennington, NE  68007

Adult choirs, children’s choirs, and special musicians!

No services will be held at Living Hope that weekend.  Members are encouraged to attend this one, very special Reformation service.

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WSC meeting: Sept. 20th at 6:30 p.m.

Women Serving Christ will be meeting on

Wednesday, Sept. 20th at 6:30 p.m. at church.


This is a new time and day!  Hope you can come and join us!

We’ll be talking about our Christmas project and catching up on the news from summer.

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The simple truth

He [Jesus] said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” ~ Luke 24:25


People have a hard time accepting the simple truth. It is just too simple, and often it conflicts with their personal expectations. This is what happened to the two Emmaus disciples. They had their hopes regarding what Jesus should have been. Never once did they consider the simple truth.

Jesus needed to correct his disciples, and he started with the truth. It is also where I need to start. Certainly there is nothing wrong with having my own hopes and dreams. I have to be on my guard, however. I can never allow my personal expectations to become unrealistic. Nor can I allow them to replace the truth. This is why I need to start with, and continue to rely on the simple truth.

God’s Word, the Bible, teaches the simple truth. In the Scriptures I come to know that Jesus is the Savior God provided. He is the one who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one who has opened heaven for us. If I try to make Jesus into something more or less than this, I will be just like those two disciples–adrift in a sea of personal expectations.

The simple truth of the Bible also assures me Jesus will attend to my daily needs. He strengthens me to resist the devil’s deceptions. He encourages me to remain faithful. He accompanies me so I follow him without detour or distraction. In addition to all of this, he offers me peace to guard and guide my life. While all of this seems so simple, it is this truth which creates a profound change in my life.

The disciples came to realize the simple truth was exactly what they needed. How blessed I am when I rely on that same truth. My uncertainty is replaced with confidence. My fear is replaced with calm. My confusion is replaced with clarity. The best part is, the simple truth will never fail me.

Prayer: O gracious Savior, I thank you for coming to me in my confusion. Strengthen my faith so I cling to your truth, follow its direction, and receive its blessing. Amen

Read about the amazing walk to Emmaus in Luke 24 >

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Sunday School at Living Hope

2017 SS

Our fall session of Sunday School has begun!

9:30 on Sunday mornings.

Adult and Teen Bible study groups have also begun their fall session  This is a chance for everyone to learn and grow in God’s Word.  Visitors welcome!  Our Worship Service begins at 10:30 a.m.

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Praying for Florida

Friday, Sep 8, 11:30 pm – Calm before the storm on the night before Hurricane Irma hits…

Hi, this is Pastor John Backus from Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, Clearwater, FL.

It’s a beautiful night here. I’m outside Christ the Lord church, the neighborhood church that I serve as a pastor.

This might be the…it is… the last nice night we’ve got before the story of Florida changes significantly.

Right now my family is tucked away, hurricane preparations ready, in bed, just a block away in home. Most of our supplies are ready; we had a couple rushed Amazon Prime orders that got held up so we didn’t quite have all the things we needed, but we should be fine.

I was able to contact the majority of our church member families, just check in with them to do a welfare check… most of them are ready for what’s coming – both in their preparations and in their trust in God’s eternal providing hand.

Our church facility isn’t a great community shelter, but we do have opportunity to help at least one family, with several others waiting to see what tomorrow afternoon brings. Maybe we’ll be able to give them a roof over their heads and some sense of security.

What a beautiful two days it’s been out here; it’s hard to believe that a monster is heading up and about to run us over…

I wanted to reach out to all of you and say thanks to those of you who are praying for us, caring for us, and for your future acts of charity and kindness.

We trust that God, who reveals himself not through clouds, but through Bible promises, gave us his Son Jesus, proved his love for us in that way, promising that when the world goes chaotic his love remains constant and he’s got a bigger story for us, a bigger plan down the road, even when we face a beast of a monster ready to lay waste to our home.

We’ll see what happens, but whatever happens down here, we’re still good up There.

We’ll have some stories to tell after the weekend comes.

We’ll see what those stories are…

– Pastor John

View on Vimeo:


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Wrong turn

No one will be declared righteous in [God’s] sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. ~ Romans 3:20

leowThe name of Leopold Loyka is not a household name. Nevertheless, Leopold Loyka is the man who made one of the most consequential wrong turns in human history.

Leopold was a chauffeur, and a prestigious one at that. His job was to serve as the official driver for a high-ranking official from Austria, a man by the name of Franz Ferdinand. In June of 1914, Ferdinand decided to visit Sarajevo, a city that harbored hostility towards Austrian rule. As Leopold drove the car through the city with Ferdinand as his passenger, he made a wrong turn. When he stopped to correct his mistake, it so happened that he passed directly in front of a man who very much wanted to see Franz Ferdinand dead. The man seized his chance and shot Ferdinand to death.

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria was the spark that started World War I. World War I, in turn, set the stage for World War II. In all, 77 million people perished. And it all began with a wrong turn.

There is another wrong turn in human history that has even greater consequences. It is the false assumption that we can make our own way into God’s favor. It is the false assumption that we can chart our own course into a right relationship with God. Such thinking is not only wrong-headed and self-absorbed; such thinking also has consequences that are fatal, and eternal.

Enter Jesus. Jesus did far more than chart a safe course. He created a path where none had existed. The path was himself. He alone is the way.  As our Substitute he lived and died on our behalf. Through faith in him, God’s favor is ours, forgiveness is ours, peace is ours, life is ours. And not just for a while, but forever.

Through faith in Jesus, we are home.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive all of the wrong turns in my life—all of the times I have turned away from you. Wash me. Embrace me. Bring me home. Amen.

Read about mankind’s first wrong turn here >

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Martin Luther movie on PBS Sept. 12th

web poster

Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World (a version of the film A Return to Grace: Luther’s Life and Legacy, which was shown in Omaha this summer) will premiere on PBS at 7 p.m. Sept. 12th.  360 PBS stations across the United States will show the film.  The program will also be shown on Sept. 17, 18, & 19th.


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Labor Day prayer

beach2aGracious 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 at work and school give glory to you and your precious name. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whom I love and serve. Amen.

Our last Monday night worship service of the summer will be on Labor Day at 7:00 p.m.

Posted in All posts, Devotions & Meditations, Prayers

What gets you through

They were looking for a better country—a heavenly one. ~ Hebrews 11:16


The World War II film, Saving Private Ryan, is about a small unit of soldiers with a difficult assignment. They had orders to penetrate enemy country, find one, specific soldier, Private James Ryan, bring him out and send him home. The government issued those orders because it had just notified Ryan’s mother that her three other sons died in battle.

The leader of this small unit is Captain John Miller. Captain Miller is tough, fair, respected. He’s also a bit of a mystery to his men. Try as they might, they can never get Captain Miller to tell them what he did before the war. It’s become something of a friendly contest among the men to find out.

Which brings us to one of the most poignant scenes in the movie. In searching for Private Ryan in enemy territory, one of the men gets killed. The men in the unit begin to fall apart. They begin to wonder why they are there, why they are risking their lives to find one man. They are on the edge of mutiny. It’s at that moment that Captain Miller chooses to tell them what he did before the war. “You know what I did for a living?” he gently asks. “I’ll tell you. I was an English teacher at Thomas Alva Edison High School in Addley, PA.” Then he adds this. “My wife is there. I love her very much. And the way I see it, if carrying out this mission gets me closer to seeing her again, well, that’s what I’m going to do.” With that, Captain Miller picks up his gun and moves out. And without saying a word, the rest of his men follow.

By God’s grace, few of us have ever had to face the horror and stress of war. Nevertheless, in our lives there are those moments when all the comforts and joys of life seem to vanish with the arrival of something awful. Perhaps your finances have collapsed. Perhaps you feel trapped in the misery of cancer treatment. Perhaps a member of your family has shattered your heart.

At those moments when it seems as though there are only terrible things for you to endure, what sustains you? What gets you through? What sustained Captain Miller was the possibility of getting home to his wife. What sustains you and me is the reality of going home to heaven.

Even in a broken world there is almost always a wide variety of comforts and joys to sustain us. But at those moments when there isn’t, remember: Jesus died for your sins. He lives. Your home in heaven waits. And between now and then, your Savior will get you through.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in those moments when all seems dark, carry me. I rest myself in you. Amen

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