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Authentic Connection in Christmas Evangelism

Posted by Adele Werner on December 16, 2020 at 7:15 AM

The Christmas season is my favorite time of year. I love the decorations, the traditions, and of course, the music. My home is starting to fill with gifts, and songs praising our newborn king can be heard at any time of the day.

When I was involved in college campus ministry, one of the phrases I’d often hear during this season was “Christmas is an easy invite.” And during normal years, yes, it is easy to invite someone to attend a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service with you. I have often brought my sisters (who do not yet belong to a church) to my hometown church’s Christmas Eve candlelight service. But this year, these services may have transitioned to a new virtual approach, so how do you attend with someone who isn’t in your household? Sending them a link with the service just doesn’t feel the same (as great as that may be).

This year, instead of inviting someone to church, invite him or her into a conversation about the Christmas story and biblical narrative.

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A Devotion for the Friday after the First Sunday in Advent

Posted by Concordia Publishing House on December 4, 2020 at 7:51 AM

This devotion can be found in To Live with Christ Devotions by Bo Giertz.

Read: Isaiah 43:1–13

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Two Prayers for Peace during Troubles

Posted by Adele Werner on November 11, 2020 at 6:30 AM

I’ve been thinking a lot about peace. I think for me, peace is the biggest desire in my life. Not only do I wish for peace in the world, I also want peace in my friendships, peace in my marriage, peace for my future children. But I’m not known for my peace. In fact, for a long time, I was known for my fire. I would go from upset to angry in a moment; I was frustrated always. I wanted to burn bridges at the first sign of conflict. And yet, my desire was peace.

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Three Bible Passages to Encourage You to Tell Your Faith Story

Posted by Adele Werner on November 4, 2020 at 2:27 PM

My husband’s story of faith is miraculous. He was born to two loving Christian parents, had an infant baptism, was confirmed in eighth grade, and grew up knowing Jesus as Lord. In his senior year of high school, he became aware of God calling him to pastoral ministry. Now, here we are at the seminary.

One of my best friends grew up in a denomination that doesn’t believe that the Bible is infallible. Her family was actively involved in the congregation, and she enjoyed it. But she was always questioning that position, always thinking, ”If some of it is false, how can I trust the rest of it?” In college, she learned from professors to articulate why the Bible is God’s true and inerrant Word. She married an LCMS pastor. Miraculous.

The girl who ended up my maid of honor grew up in the church but without her (very much alive) parents. Another good friend came to faith in her Lutheran high school during religion class. Another struggled with the problem of pain. And another is a lifelong Lutheran whose parents’ involvement in the Church inspired her walk with Jesus.

All these stories are the miraculous work of Jesus Christ. And throughout Scripture, we see that we are called to tell others about what Christ has done in our lives.

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How You Can Support Christian Colleges (And Why You Should Care)

Posted by Adele Werner on October 20, 2020 at 11:29 AM

I didn’t go to a Christian university, but I was pretty involved with one during college. I met my closest friends, drew deeper into my faith, and learned so much about Christ through the professors, staff, and events held by the university. My life and my faith would be so different if it hadn’t been for that school in the Concordia University System. I am grateful that God has given us these institutions.

But recently, and not just because of the ongoing pandemic that has changed the educational landscape, Christian colleges—specifically, our Concordias—have been struggling. Here are some ways you can support the evangelism that is done at Christian universities.

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College
 

Evangelism Ideas for Small, Medium, and Large Churches

Posted by Adele Werner on October 12, 2020 at 10:42 AM

I appreciate the uniqueness of every church I have attended. Each one spoke the Gospel and served their community in their own way while leaning on the strengths of their congregation members. Each had its own way of evangelizing and creating opportunities to bring others into their community.

No matter where you are or how large your church is, I think that learning about the different ways churches evangelize can be helpful. Below are some ideas for how every size congregation can evangelize in their unique circumstances.

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Outreach Evangelism
 

A Great Flood: An Even Greater Gospel

Posted by Delania Byerley on September 16, 2020 at 10:53 AM

Most of us in America don’t have to worry about life-altering flooding. While we have had our fair share of flooding issues (the most recent being Hurricane Laura), our country also has the means to send government aid, and our Synod has the means of calling on thousands of Lutherans to help with restoration. But along the Nile River, a place that hundreds of thousands call home, flooding is an unfortunate part of life. The people there need our help now more than ever.

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Three Times God Has Used Turmoil in His Salvation Plan

Posted by Adele Werner on September 2, 2020 at 10:32 AM

I remember in grade school, reading books from what I considered fascinating historical times. The American Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Westward Expansion eras always drew my attention. I remember thinking, “Wow, life was so different and difficult back then.” I thought that a lot of what took place happened because it was the “old times” and that, even though I knew in my short lifetime there had been trouble and turmoil worldwide, it would never touch me. But now here we are amid a pandemic. And our lives have all been changed by what is happening throughout the world today. While all of this trouble and turmoil are around us, we can remember that this is nothing new. Throughout time, plagues and unrest have been a staple. Take a look below at a few times in the Bible where God has used turmoil in His salvation story.

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The Eighth Commandment and Your Witness

Posted by Adele Werner on August 12, 2020 at 7:00 AM

I am not great at being positive. I’m a little bit of a Debbie Downer. My default mode is to feel everything is bad and there’s nothing I can do to make it better. Some people will say this is a good thing—to recognize that, apart from Christ, nothing is good, everything leads to death (morbid I know, but true). But this is not 100 percent true for all things. When it comes to people—our neighbors, family members, friends—we are to act in a different way. The Eighth Commandment tells us, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). As Luther describes in his Small Catechism, we are to “explain everything in the kindest way” when it comes to our neighbors.

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How God’s Word Reaches Remote Alaska

Posted by Sarah Rivers on July 28, 2020 at 1:56 PM

It is important for children to receive the Word of God and to learn the biblical stories that have been passed down for generations. It is especially important today, in the uncertain and unsettling times the world is facing, that the Word—which provides comfort, reassurance, and guidance—reaches young ones.
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