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Abundant, Wondrous Love: A Devotion for Lent

Posted by Concordia Publishing House on March 3, 2021 at 6:00 AM

This is an adapted excerpt from A Year in the Old Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year by Jeffrey Pulse. On Wednesday Lent 2, we look at the wondrous love the Father shows us and how it connects to the story of Abraham and Isaac.

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Four Bible Verses to Remember Our Hope during Lent

Posted by Adele Werner on February 18, 2021 at 5:37 AM

The season of Lent asks us to remember our fate if we rely on ourselves. It asks us to recognize that we can try and try and try to be righteous, but we will fail. It reminds us that we will die. That we are dust. Bleak, right? Yes, but it’s also true. We daily experience our own failings and the brokenness of the world around us. While we do need to “memento mori” or remember our death, we also need to know that when we trust in Christ and His promises, we will know that He provides everlasting life.

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Don’t Hurt Your Witness to Christ with Your Social Media Use

Posted by Adele Werner on February 4, 2021 at 10:58 AM

I’m a pretty active and avid social media user. I’m not a part of the generation that has grown up with social media all around, but I did get my first email account when I was 12. I used it to message my cousins and other close friends before I was allowed to get a Facebook account. I know the power of social media. I’ve seen it used for good as a means to fund a child’s dream or help a family down on its luck. I’ve seen communities form and friendships flourish. But I’ve also seen it create rifts. With such a powerful tool, sin enters. What is good can also sour.

We Christians know that when we witness to Christ’s resurrection and salvation, we do so with the help of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need to be aware that our social media use affects our witness. Here are three tips for making sure your social media posts are used for God’s glory.

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Writing Prompts to Encourage Fellow Christians

Posted by Adele Werner on January 20, 2021 at 7:00 AM

From age 11 to age 16, I had a pen pal. We were really consistent about writing to each other the first few years. But then, the letters became more sporadic until we found each other on Facebook and stopped writing. The fact that my pen-palship ended doesn’t change the fact that I loved and still love receiving mail. Honestly, even if it’s something that I know is coming or that I’ve sent to myself, I get really excited when I find it waiting on my doorstep or in my mailbox. And there is something so special about reading a letter that was written for you. I think we’ve lost the art of letter writing, and there is no better time to pick it back up!

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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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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