Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Your Mercy...

FOR THIS Third Sunday after Epiphany we pray for the whole people of God, and others according to their needs.

Almighty and Gracious God, though we are sinful and sloth, you chose us to proclaim your holy name before the nations. Stir up the Holy Spirit in us that we may continue as your church. May we be empowered to widely pronounce mercy and salvation before all people, especially those who are cast far from your will by the evils of this world.

 Blessed Lord Jesus, we ask that your Spirit would grant that all pastors be given boldness to preach the Gospel. Let your Word be known as received through the holy Apostles. Sustain all missionaries and seminarians as they seek to follow your call to serve at your bidding. Give all that they need for service. Allow your blessing providence to be heard by all who are in conflict with family and friends because of their call in the gospel.

Creator God, who causes even the dead to rise, we ask that you would give to the leaders of our world the wisdom and will to govern with justice. Give to everyone such a desire for peace that they would rise to defend the weak and oppressed.

Wisdom of the Ages, we ask that your Spirit would reign in all areas of education. We especially ask that your wise countenance fall upon officials and teachers who in error believe that the separation of church and state would rule your will from their halls and classrooms.

 Spirit Divine, sustain us in medical research. Allow us right knowledge that we may help others. Sustain us as we assist those who are burdened by maladies of body, mind, and spirit, Today, we especially ask that you would be mindful of those who are unable to use their limbs. Being bold, we pray that these would be enabled to come unto full bodily capacity, that they may one day stand beside us lifting high their arms so to give you right praise. 

 Eternal Lord, we give thanks for all witnesses who have died in the peace of Christ, especially those most dear to us who now rest in you. Inspire those whom of the world that you have set apart and called through your grace. May we serve you as our faith ancestors did in this life, and... at the last may we receive the heavenly gifts you have promised your people.

 Into your hands, all knowing, present and powerful God, we commend all for whom we pray. Let those both those who believe and those who are yet to believe, trust wholly in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.      Amen

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lutherans Alike?

MAYBE I should stay silent for the sake of quiet togetherness. I would... if it weren't for the loss of life... the life of a child. May what I write here cause sufficient trouble to save even one.
 As many may know, the Lutheran denomination has been in great schism over several matters. But it it seems the greatest dark cloud for me, looms over the endorsement and payments for abortion. You see, prior to the formation of Hope Lutheran Church in Smethport, PA... allied within the North American Lutheran Church, I served as pastor of  Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. also of Smethport, and Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church of Port Allegany. Both of those congregations yet belong the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). I yet have fondness for many persons that remain in those gatherings and I sense them to be in great danger.
 The ELCA, you see, is the denomination that I left over differences concerning right understanding of scripture on several issues, only one of which is discussed here. I could not reconcile my ministry with their progressively decadent sliding within that denomination. I thus joined the NALC. Having been given a choice at the time of my leaving, to follow my course... both congregations I served chose to stay in the ELCA. Now, reflecting on their decision, I offer that you should read the attached article written by a sister in Christ, who was also an ELCA Lutheran, but now embraces the Catholic church.

After reading the article, I found myself marveling over the enduring murderous boldness of the ELCA, and other progressive, liberal denominations. These put deleterious wedges between the unborn and their lives. The facts revealed by the article even made me wonder about the NALC's wisdom in including the word "Lutheran" in our denominational name. In the least, those churches that have remained in the fold of the ELCA cannot be included what is termed as Christian, since they do not subscribe to that which Jesus Christ taught. Therefore they have become apostate to the true faith. Those that voice agreement with my position, yet remain party to this murderous activity by their prayerful and financial support to the ELCA or any of its congregations... are double-minded. The word for that is "hypocrite". May God have mercy upon their souls.

                                                                            Sincerely.... Pastor Tom

Friday, January 23, 2015

For Those Near and Far...

WHILE YET found unworthy in sin, on this day we approach the throne of our God asking forgiveness for our trespasses and mercy for our friends. We give you thanks in the name of Jesus Christ, for the gifts of breath, life and voice that we find present in your church.
 Today we especially name before our Lord, the health and well-being of our elder Bob Cochran, as he recovers from a recent fall. May his family, who serve well our brother’s needs, be empowered and strengthened in both faith and works.
 We pray also for our friend Nancy Lyons who is afflicted with health issues. May the doctors and medical personnel from whom she receives treatment, be guided by the Holy Spirit even unto a most perfect way.
 We especially ask of Almighty God, blessings upon Amber Cone, who has undergone major surgery today. May her physicians, medical care team, and family be lifted up in both wisdom and gentleness, that profound healing may be present for her.
 Today, O Lord we also ask that through your Spirit, you would be mindful of the ministry of Salem Lutheran Church, located in Bark River, MI. May the great evangelical work of their gospel proclamation be heard amid the hush of falling snows.
 These things we ask, blessed Lord, not for our sake, but for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came into this world and suffered stripes of the lash that we might be healed. It is in his name that we pray these things.  Amen

Thursday, January 22, 2015

For Empowering Strength...

PRAYERS WE cast before our God this day. Though we are sinful, we beg forgiveness and hearing for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. We ask that the goodness poured out by our Creator be praised throughout the land.
 We pray especially today for those who gather in Washington, DC, marching before the national government in protesting abortion. May their efforts provide witness to this nation and beyond concerning our Christian condemnation of present murderous legislation.
 Eternal and everlasting God, we pray that you would provide comfort for the friends and family of May Amell of Port Allegany, who died this past Sunday. Her presence shall be missed by the family and friends to whom she ministered in this life.
 Empowering Spirit, we especially today for your healing upon Barb Spitznogle, as she fights the threat of cancer. We pray also for her family and medical team as they work to provide loving care for her.
 Creator God, in this unfolding time we lift up the ministry of the Lutheran Church of the Risen Lord, located in Odessa, TX. May their works be empowered by your Holy Spirit so that evangelical witness can be greatly heard in that place.
 Finally we petition you, our Heavenly Father… that salvation and reconciliation having been purchased by the death of Jesus Christ, our Savior, be made known both far and wide. Let the Word be preached and written, rising suddenly before the world in same fashion as the Resurrection of our Lord.
 To the Holy Spirit who broods over those whom God loves, we boldly ask that these things and whatever else that we need, be fulfilled as you wish... according to the power of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Through the Word...

ON THIS Tuesday, while yet sinful and forgiven only through Christ, we pray for those Christians persecuted in the nation of Niger who suffer the loss of churches by fires set, and are pursued unto death by murderous hate. We also dare pray therefore Blessed Lord, for those that persecute them… that our God shall pursue them until they may choose to turn and know salvation in Christ Jesus.
 We pray today for Liam and Deegan Kapes, who are down with illness. Through the Holy Spirit, may those in their lives minister to them with the power of God’s eternal healing.
 Today we especially offer up to our Lord, the ministry of Word of Life Lutheran Church, in Maryville, TN. Being established by faith through grace, we ask that the Holy Spirit would make full the harvest of the gospel nets they cast.
These things and whatever else that you see that we need, Almighty God, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.